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  • Writer's pictureKate Atkins

Dogs have a small social circle

I really want to bust a big myth!

Dogs don’t need to meet, be friends with or like every dog they see!!

The term ‘socialisation’ has morphed into a believe that - we 'must' put out dog in lots of situations and encourage them to meet every dog so that they are a well-rounded dog!

This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Dogs have a very small social circle, like us, and don’t need to meet every dog they see.

So many people are dragged by their dogs to every dog or person they see and the line I hear is - ‘oh they just want to say hello’.

If we are thinking human for a moment - then if you were to rush over to someone and invading their space, I would think you know them and are saying hello, however we would never do this to a stranger walking past because I don’t know them.

Your dog doesn’t know most of the other dogs/people they come across and them then pulling or rushing up to that other dog/person, is not to say hello. They are making a very important decision, getting in their first to suss out if it’s a danger or to find out their status with the other dog or person.

If your dog looks to you and trusts you to make all the decisions, because you have shown them that they can in all areas of their life, then they will have confidence in you. Therefore, calmly walking past another dog or changing direction is giving your dog all in information they need.

To get to this point takes time, confidence and lots of convincing your dog they can trust you at each step and this all starts in the home.

So next time your dog drags you over to another dog or runs over to them just think about what message you are giving them - are they make all the big decisions, and do they feel they need to look after you?


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