Today I’d like to talk a little bit about how we (humans) put too much pressure on our dog which causes them to make bad choices because no one was ‘listening’. Every time you ‘force’ your dog to meet a new dog or a new person, you’re putting pressure on your dog. Dogs don’t talk so we assume they want to make and be friends with everyone and anyone but in reality, if you read your dog’s body language, they may be nervous, anxious and needing space. Remember guys, space = respect in the dog world.
Dogs do NOT want to be hugged & kissed. That’s just a human perception. Every time you enter your dog’s bubble, you add pressure. You’ve got the dogs who can handle it and just will try to back away or remove themselves from the situation, but then you’ve got the dogs who can only take so much, who will show the signs of being uncomfortable and if no one is listening or catching the cues of discomfort, the dog bites and gets put down because of human error. Let’s advocate for our dogs. Let’s stop being selfish and start thinking with our heads. Are we hurting the dog or are we helping the dog when we pet them? Do you know your dog’s stress level? Do you know how to read your dog? Think about that.
My dog Indie doesn’t like to be touched or petted by strangers. That’s just the way it is, so I advocate for her by not letting anyone touch her, not to mention she is a working dog and does not need to be petted and showered with love. Rowyn, our foster dog, is nervous around strangers, she’s a dog that needs space. When she is comfortable, she will approach you. Remember that when you approach a dog, you put pressure on them, if they back away, don’t chase them, just let them be.