No, not all dogs need to greet!

Written by: Veterinarian Lise Rovsing (Dyreklinikken Artemis) & Hanne Truelsen (Snudekompagniet)

Most dog owners are familiar with the following scenario:

You are walking your dog wearing harness and on its leash. Suddenly an unfamiliar dog comes running towards you.

From a far the owner shouts:” don’t worry, my dog is friendly”!

A second later, the two dogs are at each other’s throats, and you are forced to drag your dog away from the other dog. After a few minutes the owner of the other dog comes and collects his/her dog.

It is a common misconception that all dogs, should be able to interact with each other.

Dogs are racists, whom often like their own breed.

Not all dogs have been socialized since puppyhood. Some might have had bad experiences which make meeting other dogs a trial.

RESPECT that you do not know the story behind all dogs. If an owner has his/her dog on a leash, there is usually a reason why. The owner is showing responsibility, leaving the leash on the dog, knowing that the dog isn’t comfortable with unfamiliar dogs.

The notion that all dogs should be able to interact with each other, is outdated. The more we can learn about animal behavior, and the better we get to know our own dog and learn what it’s comfortable with, only then do we know when to put on the leash, and when to walk away from a potential conflict.

It should always be respected, when a dog owner expresses that the dog does not want to greet.

If everyone showed the same curtesy, many conflicts could be avoided.

Remember these guidelines on your next dog walk!

  • It is okay if your dog, DOESN’T love all other dogs! As long as you, take your precautions.
  • It is okay to put your dog on the leash, if you sense trouble. Dogs don’t always figure it out themselves.
  • It is okay if your dog is a ’racist’. Dogs ARE racists’ and know the difference between breeds.
  • It is okay to cross the road, if your dog sees another dog it’s not comfortable with. It’s always better to avoid conflict.
  • It is okay to place yourself between the dogs, if they start to play too rough. They don’t have to “figure it out for themselves”.
  • It is okay to take your dog out for short walks. Dogs shouldn’t just be “worn out” physically.
  • If your dog growls because it’s uncomfortable, remove it from the situation. It doesn’t mean that your dog is aggressive it means your dog has a language, which you understand.
  • It is okay not to scold your dog aloud for doing something it’s not supposed to, as long as you praise correct behavior!

All of the above is based on dogs’ language.

Learn your dog’s language by reading and understanding its signals, by doing this you are one step closer to a good life with your dog.