Whether you're bringing your dog to daycare, taking her for a walk, or considering adopting another dog, you need your dog to get along with other dogs. Some dogs naturally love all creatures. Others can be standoffish or downright aggressive when they meet other dogs. If your dog falls in the latter category, you'll need to socialize her to the desired behavior.
Teach Basic Obedience Commands
Your interactions with your dog will be better if you've taught her some basic obedience commands. The most useful ones are "sit," "stay," and "down." These commands can help in a variety of circumstances, including when she meets other dogs.
Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your dog. It's possible you can give her a treat every time she obeys the desired command. However, it's important for her to recognize a kind word or a pet as a reward. That way you can reward the behavior when you take her on walks or drop her off at daycare.
Be the Pack Leader
Dogs are pack animals. That's why they're such good companions – they like to be around their "pack," including their human family. However, a pack must have a strong leader. As dog behaviorist Cesar Millan points out, the key to success is you. You should establish that you're in charge in case a conflict arises. Teaching the above commands helps because you can direct your dog to go "down" when she starts to act aggressively toward another dog.
Socialize your Dog Ahead of Time
If your dog is used to encountering new dogs, she's less likely to get stressed when you take her to the park or daycare. Talk to friends and family members who have dogs about getting together for a play date. The date should take place in a neutral place so neither dog feels the need to protect her territory.
While you're introducing the two dogs, keep in mind the commands and your pack leadership. Be on the lookout for aggressive heralds such as raised hackles and bared teeth. If this happens, calmly direct your dog to sit, and reward her with a pet. When she's calm, try again to get the two dogs to interact.
Take a Practice Run
If you're considering a new dog daycare, take your dog on a practice run before you drop her off for the day. Take her to the new daycare, and let her get to know the staff. Let her sniff and explore – and meet the other dogs. If she's a nervous or aggressive dog, you may have to do this a couple times. However, once she's comfortable with the new territory, she's more likely to be calm around the other dogs.
Stay patient as you socialize your dog so she plays well with others.