Embrace Your Dog Exactly As They Are
When I worked at a doggie daycare quite often the reasons why people wanted to bring their older dogs in was because “I want him to be more sociable;” or “I want him to have dog friends.” Nine times out of ten these dogs failed the assessment process. Why? Because these dogs simply didn’t really like being around other dogs, and do you know what? That’s totally OK.
Likewise, when out and about, sometimes I see two people walking their dogs and they immediately gravitate towards each other. As you know, their dogs have got to say hi, because they’re dogs, right? Dogs have got to say hi to every dog they see. Sometimes this leads to the dogs kicking off at each other. Did that greeting need to happen, really? What history of interactions with other dogs are we building here? What problems are we starting?
If your dog isn’t particularly fond of other dogs, insisting that they become more sociable isn’t going to change them and will probably make things worse. Embrace who they are! Don’t force them to be a social butterfly if that doesn’t float their boat. It doesn’t make them less of a dog, they aren’t broken, it’s just their personality and the way they are.
A lot of people think that to have a fulfilled life, dogs NEED to be around their own kind. They NEED lots of dog friends, they NEED to get on with every dog they meet…..THEY NEED TO BE SOCIABLE…if they don’t then there’s something wrong with them and they won’t be very happy. Let me ask you this: have you liked every human you have ever met? No!!! So why is it that some insist on this notion that all dogs need to get on with all other dogs?
I strongly believe that for your dog to be truly fulfilled:
- You embrace who they are
- You enjoy lots of positive interactions together
- You play together
- You enjoy training sessions together
- You enjoy exploring different places on hikes together
Your dog doesn’t need other dogs to be happy, so if your dog isn’t fussed by other dogs and would rather not be forced to greet or be around them that’s totally cool! Enjoy your dog for who they are!
About the Author: Kelly Murrell helps out with some of the work in the office at Devon Dogs, particularly with marketing and advertising. She used to work in the office at East Bowerland Farm, but recently moved to Vancouver Island, Canada with her husband. She is an avid dog trainer and regularly posts dog training tips for Devon Dogs, Bowerland and Progressive Paws.