3 Second Rule

How to successfully manage the 3-second meeting rule for dogs

Further to lur article on Approcahing dogs we decided to do one on the 3-second rule

.For dogs that don’t know each other, the initial idea is to allow a basic introduction where they meet without the experience becoming an unpleasant venture. Even if your pet is very easy going and enjoys meeting other dogs, at some point he will come across other dogs that he’s not happy meeting, or comfortable with, or who are socially unskilled. This is when the 3-second rule will allow you to make the decision if this is another canine that both you and your dog are comfortable with.

For dogs that don’t know each other, the initial idea is to allow a basic introduction where they meet without the experience becoming an unpleasant venture. Even if your pet is very easy going and enjoys meeting other dogs, at some point he will come across other dogs that he’s not happy meeting, or comfortable with, or who are socially unskilled. This is when the 3-second rule will allow you to make the decision if this is another canine that both you and your dog are comfortable with.

If you are out walking with your dog, and you encounter another, and you don’t feel comfortable allowing your dog to meet him, don’t panic, trust your gut feeling. Excuse yourself politely from the situation; explain to the other dog owner that yours is in training mode, and depart before the rendezvous becomes a conflict encounter.

Applying the 3 second rule

Many dog trainers recommend the 3-second rule that allows for a more controlled meeting experience, allowing an initial interaction time of only 3 seconds or perhaps even less, if negative body language is on display.

  1. At first meeting, allow an initial 3 second period for exploring and sniffing
  2. You will know if your dog is chilled with the situation – wagging tails and feeling relaxed
  3. Move away of the dog’s tail is erect or rigid
  4. Look out for the dogs staring each other out
  5. Look out for the dominant dog attempting to place his head above the other dog’s
  6. Keep the lead loose as a tight lead may heighten sensitivity levels
  7. Be aware of any other dominating signs such as baring teeth, growling or snarling – at this point depart
  8. Once past the 3 second point, or perhaps even earlier, begin to distract your dog and move away using a loose leash lead
  9. You could try this meet again after several minutes, or a good time for the dogs to greet each other is on your next walk to the park
  10. Continue with these small interactions, increasing over time to help your dog to become socialised with other dogs.

Unfortunately, these days, many dog owners are quite oblivious to what their dog is up to during a walk, as they tend to concentrate more on their phones. It’s best to give a wide berth to any such character on your daily walk. For a positive dog meeting you need both owners to be in total control of their pets. Following the 3 second rule will also make your dog understand that you, his owner, has the situation well managed.Hee at

Here at Finchley Dog Walker we are a foirm believeer of the 3 second rule when out and about, however, this does still depend on the  dog so always trust your inst