‘My dog is friendly’
‘My dog is friendly’ is a phrase that is often banded about like sweets. In reality this phrase has probably been uttered or heard by every single dog owner. These words are usually shouted when a dog is careering towards you or your dog. Although it is nice to hear your furry missile is friendly this behaviour is rude and unacceptable. It can be worrying for all dogs even happy, friendly ones but is particularly problematic for very young, older, injured, scared, nervous or reactive dogs. The same is also true if the phrase is being used in relation to people.
Can I say hand on heart I have never uttered these words, No I can’t. I work very hard on my group walks, when walking my own dog and when out and about training to be considerate and responsible. Unfortunately even the best trained dogs have their off days which may lead to the occasional oopsy daisy. Remember dogs are living, feeling creatures just like us.
If you shout this phrase once in a blue moon. Fantastic you and you dog are doing a great job. If you are using this phrase more often than not though this is a problem that really needs to be addressed. As unfortunately in addition to this behaviour being rude, unacceptable, potentially dangerous and is impacting others. These behaviours also could have serious consequences for you and your dog too.
What would happen if you dog was running towards another dog with a road in-between?? The potential consequences are horrific!!
How will you dog feel if he is continually told off when running up to other dog’s? It could lead to anxiety and nervousness around other dogs.
If you dog is guilty of running up to every dog he or she sees. What can you do?
· Prevent your dog practising and perfecting this unwanted behaviour. Put your dog on a lead around other dogs so you can control any interactions.
· Teach your dog that they don’t need to greet every dog that they see
· Walk your dog on a long line so you can practice your recall and control interactions.
· Work on recall with your dog.
If you are struggling, employ the help of good dog trainer that uses positive science based training to help you. It could you save your dog’s life and it will also make walks more enjoyable for all.