Why “It’s Okay, My Dog is Friendly” is NOT Okay

Feb 05 , 2024

Why “It’s Okay, My Dog is Friendly” is NOT Okay

We’ve all had the experience of coming across an overly friendly dog. The kind of dog that runs up to you at full speed, dragging his owner along behind him. The dog that simply can’t control his own excitement as he jumps all over you, wiping drool on your clothes and dragging his nails down your arms. In the frenzy, you can’t tell whether the dog is trying to greet you or trying to eat you. 

That’s when the owner of the dog says it – those six little words that are supposed to diffuse the situation – “It’s okay, my dog is friendly.” 

It's important to be cautious and considerate when encountering other dogs, especially if you know that your dog may not be friendly. Here are some tips to help you navigate such situations at a park or during a walk:

1. **Leash your dog:** Keep your dog on a leash at all times, especially if they are not friendly with other dogs. This will give you better control and prevent potential conflicts.

2. **Use a muzzle if necessary:** If your dog has a history of aggressive behavior, consider using a muzzle. This adds an extra layer of safety for both your dog and others around.

3. **Choose quieter times:** Try walking your dog during off-peak hours when there are fewer people and dogs around. This can reduce the likelihood of unwanted interactions.

4. **Stay alert and aware:** Pay attention to your surroundings and other dogs in the area. Be proactive in spotting potential triggers or signs of tension in other dogs.

5. **Give other dogs space:** If you see other dogs approaching, give them plenty of space. Cross the street or move to the side to avoid close encounters.

6. **Communicate with other owners:** If you notice someone approaching with their dog, communicate with them. Let them know that your dog may not be friendly and ask if they could keep their distance.

7. **Have a plan:** Be prepared to quickly move away from potential conflicts. Know the exits or safe areas where you can take your dog if needed.

8. **Obedience training:** Work on basic commands with your dog, so you have better control in various situations. Commands like "sit," "stay," and "come" can be invaluable in managing interactions.

9. **Be responsible:** If you know your dog is not friendly, take responsibility for their behavior. Avoid situations where conflicts may arise, and always prioritize the safety of others.

10. **Consider seeking professional help:** If your dog's behavior is a consistent concern, consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to address and manage the issue.

Remember that every dog is unique, and it's crucial to prioritize the safety and well-being of both your dog and others. Being proactive and considerate can help prevent conflicts and ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.
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