My dog is friendly…Famous last words when a dog goes up to your dog.
I see it and hear about it all the time. My dog was approached on a walk by an off leash dog or I was out with my dog and this couple let their dog run right up to mine.
It’s a given that some people just don’t think and do dumb things randomly, such as the above. Causing conflict within ourself and our dog. As it is scary, almost like time stops as you hold your breath hoping that nothing will come of this rude greeting.
Much like humans, our dogs have individual personalities. There are outgoing dogs, there are weird dogs, there are tolerant dogs, and then there are antisocial dogs.
Our dog’s personality is based off of a number of things such as genetics, early exposure/socialization, and their handler.
Yes, you play a part in your dog’s friendliness to others.
It’s unfair to think because your dog is a social creature that they must have friends of their own kind. Unfair and sometimes downright dangerous to think such. So why do we, as pet owners, think our friendly dog should meet everyone?
I don’t have a good answer and honestly, it’s the quickest way to make your friendly dog unfriendly.
But if you must impose your dog to other strange dogs, first please ask the owner. This is the first step of keeping your dog safe when interacting with others. Some dogs are killers…that would be a bad day if you forced your dog to interact with a killer.
And if you’re the unsuspected owner of a surprise greeting by a strange dog. My best advice is this:
- Remain calm
- Create space if able to
- Keep your leash loose
- If possible, call your dog away
- If space is created, stand between your dog and the other dog blocking their access (only attempt if dog is not acting aggressive)
- Yell for help if needed
At the end of the day, as a dog owner, it is our responsibility to keep our dog safe and the public safe. Not all dogs are friendly. If you assume such, you failed as a dog owner.
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