• Marina Veronica

Don't force your dog to make friends!
















Just like so many other social species, dogs have their favorite friends and their enemies. It is easy to see what other dogs — and people, for that matter — that a dog wants to hang out with and those with whom she'd rather not associate. Yet, there are a lot of dog owners who go into denial about this or simply fail to read the cues their dog is giving them.

It is common for overly enthusiastic owners to push their dog (sometimes literally) into social situations at dog parks when their dog would rather just go home. Or they allow strangers to pet their dog even when she's showing clear signs of wanting to be left alone.


It's important to note that there's a difference between positive encouragement with shy, fearful or reactive dogs. Taking small steps to encourage them out of their comfort zone and giving them rewards for any amount of calm, happy social behavior is important to helping them live a balanced life. But knowing the difference between gentle, rewards-based boundary pushing and forcing an interaction is vital to your dog's safety and sanity.

When dogs are pushed too far in social situations, they're more likely to lash out with a bite or a fight. They've given cue after cue — ignoring, avoiding, maybe even growling — and finally they've had enough and give the clearest message of all with their teeth. What's possibly even worse, is that their trust in you as a protective leader is eroded, and they have an even more negative association with a park, a certain dog or person, or a general social setting.

So do your dog a favor: read the body language she gives you when she doesn't want to be around certain other individuals and don't force it.


Image: https://www.insider.com/common-mistakes-people-make-with-their-pets-2020-1

Excerpt from article: https://www.treehugger.com/things-humans-do-that-dogs-hate-4864319

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