Greeting people may make your dog scared or uncomfortable.
New dog owners and seasoned dog owners, are all too often, not well-informed, when it comes to socialising their dog with people and children. I see it time and time again, the look on the dogs face, its body language saying “Hey I am not happy” while the owners are oblivious to what their dog is trying to tell them. It really makes me, want to pull my hair out sometimes.
In my opinion, the number one cause of many issues we have today with dogs in regards to, dog bites/attacks is “Human Complacency“. While some may not agree with me or maybe even be offended. The reality is, many people today, not all, feel too secure and too comfortable when in the company of dogs and either don’t see or are unaware, of the potential dangers. After all, many of us share our lives and homes, with an animal that is quicker than us, in every way, has teeth that can do a lot of damage and depending on the size, is stronger. If I were talking about another animal, say a Tiger for instance, would people still be so complacent? I know the Tiger reference maybe extreme but I am trying to get the point across.
As dog owners, its our job to keep our dogs safe and to educate and keep safe, anyone who comes into contact with our dogs. And yes, if someone chooses not to listen to you and thinks they know better, dog owners its ok to say No! don’t think by saying NO, you may offend someone, if that person is offended, its their problem, not yours.
If someone, be it a child or adult wants to come and say Hi and pat your dog. Do you let them rush up and pat your dog on the head? No you don’t, and if they try to, stop them. As a dog owner its your job to protect your dog and educate, the not so well informed.
They have to ask you first, in a calm and quiet manner. Dogs don’t like to be crowded or stared at, (all have personal space, same as humans) whether it be one person or ten, ask the child or adult to stand side on with their arms by their side, a safe distance away, (the bigger your dog the more space), then your dog has the option to choose, whether to approach or not.
The same applies, in your home or when you are out and about, if you can’t be watching your dog and what is going on around you, 100% of the time, when other people or children are around, remove your dog from the situation. Don’t put your dog in a situation that it can’t handle just because you think, its what it needs. How well do you supervise your dog when around kids and other people?
Dog owners, need to become educated, so they in turn can educate others, on how to act and behave when in the company of dogs. If your dog is scared or uncomfortable, you should know, don’t let complacency rule the day. Please read: 5 Easy ways to get bitten by a dog