Welcome to my Blog. Here I will share my opinion on certain subjects and it is just that – my opinion based on my own experiences and knowledge. I am hoping I will pass on some useful information to you here but if it’s something you don’t agree with that’s also fine.
"It’s OK he’s Friendly" – Dog Etiquette
As someone who lives with a slightly reactive dog this is something that is very close to my heart and I hear "It's OK my dog is friendly" from other people on a daily basis. Honestly, I love the fact your dog is friendly and I am very sure he is but unfortunately mine isn’t!
It is important to understand that socialisation for our dogs takes on many different guises for example can they be happy and calm in all situations such as road walking, going to the pub, walking down the high street, visiting friends? Socialisation does not just start and stop at simply saying hello to every dog and person they come across.
Imagine if we stopped to talk to/ hug/ kiss/ sniff every single person we walked past on a daily basis. For a start, we’d never get on with everything else we had to do that day but in addition I’m 100% sure we’d come across several people throughout that day that didn’t want any interaction from us. This could be for a number of reasons such as fear, pain, or just simply being unsociable. The reason why they don’t want our interaction is not our business, however in order to keep that person feeling safe and comfortable we need to respect their decision. Why should this be any different for our dogs?
I know my dog Luna very well and due an incident when she was approximately 6 months along with the fact that she’s not a touchy feely dog I am very aware that every Tom, Dick and Harry of the dog world coming up to her would cause her a lot of stress and therefore lead to her telling them off.
Now for Luna a tell off is generally a little growl and snap which is basically her saying to the other dog “Go away, Leave me alone” (it’s probably not actually as polite as that but we’ll go with it). Now because I know that about her, I do my very best to not put her in situations where I know she’ll feel uncomfortable as I am never sure how the other dog will react to her tell off. If I see another dog she doesn’t know (this is important because if she does know a dog, she will accept them into her group after an initiation and they will be in her group for life!), I will get her focus on me, take her to one side, maybe put her on a lead or on some occasions possibly even pick her up!
I am doing all of this because 1. I don’t want Luna to feel like she has to tell another dog off and 2. I don’t want another dog to be put in the situation where they will be told off. It really is just about being aware of your environment and respecting other people’s space.
All I am asking for from other people is that they take notice of all the measures I am putting in place and assume I am doing it for a reason and as a result do their best to not allow their dog to come into Luna’s space. By simply being aware of each other we can avoid uncomfortable situations and allow all of our dogs to have they walk they deserve. If you see a dog on lead this is probably for a reason so don’t allow your dog to approach them, if you see someone getting their dogs focus and giving you a wide berth, this is probably for a reason so don’t allow your dog to approach them, it really is that easy.
Next time your dog approaches another dog that is clearly doing it’s best to avoid it before you’re about to shout out “It’s OK my dog is friendly” just consider for a second – maybe that other dog isn’t and that’s why the person with it is doing their best to avoid you. If your dog is friendly let’s keep him that way by not sending him into the firing line!
I am not saying at all that dogs shouldn’t play and have friends, of course they should but just choose them wisely and respectfully.
Go out with your dog, focus on your dog, play with your dog, engage with your dog, enjoy your dog and allow other people to do the same 😊.