Don’t touch my dog!!!
Good habits become bad habits
Whilst out with my dogs in the last few days a few people have approached me, coming in close as they asked if they could stroke my dogs, a neighbour’s child, someone I know that I bumped into (not literally) out on our walk and a couple of strangers.
Normally this isn’t a problem at all for me because my dogs are friendly, I am a people person, I love chatting about dogs with anyone (no surprise there) and with friends I am, as a mate described yesterday, “a hugger” like he is.
But at the moment we are all doing our level best to keep everyone minimum of two metres away, further if possible. This social distancing lark is harder with dogs.
Some things we do are habits that are hard to break, just like our dog’s behaviours. Walking up to stroke someones dog means you are too close – well inside the 2m social distancing boundary we have to keep to at the moment so we stay safe.
Anyway, I give t-shirts free to my clients who have fearful, anxious, reactive dogs to help them keep people away from their dog and give them space whilst they are working on their dog’s struggles during our training program. So this morning I had the bright idea to wear one of my own t shirts today for our walk and nobody came near us.
So far so good.
If that doesn’t work I may even resort to putting the jackets and lead slips on my dogs that I also give to my clients to really make a point that I don’t want anyone to get anywhere near me.
Obviously even in normal circumstances you should always, always ask before approaching and stroking somebody else’s dog.
- Not all dogs are comfortable being touched by strangers (neither am I to be fair!).
- It is not your dog to touch, he belongs to someone else.
- You have no more right to just touch him/her on the way past as you would if it was a child
- So don’t do it, always ask the person and ask the dog.
Yes you should ask the dog – it is his body you are touching, always wait for a dog to happily approach YOU before touching him.
I have been catching up with clients old and new via video consultation and people have made fantastic progress during this week of lockdown: more time to spend training.
There is always a silver lining
Stay safe, enjoy your people free dog walks.