Seattle Dog Parents, Why This Phrase Is Problematic : “Don’t Worry … My Dog Is Friendly!” - Cosmic Home & Pet

As busy dog walkers in the Seattle, this declaration rarely reassures us, “oh it’s ok, my dog is friendly!” Maybe they are … until they’re not and suddenly a simple meet-and-greet has deteriorated into chaos.

Even if you feel confident in your dog’s usual friendliness, never assume the same for another dog.

 

5 Reasons Why “Oh It’s Ok … My Dog is Friendly” is Just Not Ok!

 

1. Not all Dogs are Social Butterflies

And the same may apply to their owners!

2. Lead Reactive Dogslead reactive dogs

It’s a common problem also known as leash aggression. Some dogs will often exhibit more reactive and aggressive behavior when on a leash. These canines usually have poor social skills and when combined with frustration, tension and the inability to put more distance between them and other dogs, it results in anti-social behaviors like barking, snapping and lunging. Unfortunately, these behaviors may attract the wrong kind of attention and reaction from other K9s. Ironically, these same dogs may be fine in off-leash interactions with other dogs.

3. Anxiety, Fear and Nervousness

Even an overly-friendly dog can overwhelm an insecure dog that is not as social. Calm introductions at a proper distance can help avoid or defuse a potentially aggressive reaction and an unwanted bite or fight. If you have a larger breed dog, keep in mind not all dogs may have been properly socialized to dogs larger than themselves. (We’ve seen this happen with the giant breeds (like Great Danes) we walk in Seattle.) Out of fear or anxiety, a nervous dog may feel threatened or overwhelmed and overreact to an unfamiliar, larger dog. Remember, size does matter in nature.

Do your part in socializing your dog in all kinds of situations, to all kinds of people and animals! (Does your dog need help in proper socialization? We can help!)

4. Dogs Who are in Pain or Feeling Sick

Seattle Dog Parents, Why This Phrase Is Problematic : “Don’t Worry … My Dog Is Friendly!”Dogs who are feeling sick or in pain can often react in an uncharacteristic way. If recovering from surgery or challenged with pain, a dog may lash out in an effort to protect himself in a weakened state. Giving such a dog a wide berth can help avoid a high-stress situation and unwanted outcome.

5. Even Friendly Dogs May Not Tolerate Rude or Unsocial Behavior

Every dog has its own threshold before resorting to aggressive behavior. Even friendly dogs may decide to address any unwanted and rude behavior from another dog; especially if the other dog invades their space or tries to take control of the situation. If warnings (such as growls or turning their head away from you and your pup) are ignored by the offending party, dogs will typically take care of the situation as they have for thousands of years.

 

5 Things YOU Can Do

 

1. Always keep your dog on a leash unless you’re in an off-leash park. (Even then, you still need to supervise your dog, so put the phone away!)

2. Always show respect for other dogs and their owners by maintaining a comfortable distance. If you have a friendly dog and ever question whether or not another dog is friendly, ask the owner before approahing them to see if it’s ok to greet the dog.  

Seattle Dog Parents, Why This Phrase Is Problematic : “Don’t Worry … My Dog Is Friendly!”3. Learn about canine body language so:

    • You know what to look for to stop a potential problem from escalating.
    • You understand what your dog and others are trying to communicate.

4. If you have an under-friendly, unsocialized or overly-friendly dog, get professional dog training; not only for you and your dog but also for the safety of those you may meet on a walk. (We can help!)

5. If your dog needs extra space to feel comfortable, consider tying a yellow ribbon/bow/bandana to the leash or collar (see the Yellow Dog Project) or use a harness or leash that offers directions (i.e., Please Do Not Pet Me; I Need Space; Please Back Off!). By making others aware, you can effectively protect your dog.

 

Seattle Dog Parents, Why This Phrase Is Problematic : “Don’t Worry … My Dog Is Friendly!”Dogs say a lot through their body language (or postures).

Understanding this “silent”  communication can help you

better understand your own dog and others.

And, there’s an app for that!

Click here to learn more about the Dog Decoder.

 

 

 

Cosmic Home & Pet  provides:

Seattle Dog Walking

Seattle Cat Boarding

Senior Pet Care

Professional Dog Training

Overnight In-home Pet Sitters

We also love and care for other critters (young and old)

including rabbits, ferrets, fish, birds, chickens and more.

When you can’t be there, we promise to treat your pet

as we would our very own!

 

 

Additional Reading

“It’s Ok – My Dog Is Friendly!” That’s Not How It Seems to Me!

positively.com/contributors/its-ok-my-dog-is-friendly-thats-not-how-it-seems-to-me/

Pet Talk: A Wagging Tail Does Not Always Mean a Friendly Dog

doorcountypulse.com/pet-talk-a/

My Dog Is Friendly

shibashake.com/dog/my-dog-is-friendly

The Yellow Dog Project (What is it?!)

drmartypets.com/yellow-dog-project/

How to Deal With Leash Aggression

www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-deal-with-leash-aggression/

7 Ways Your Dog Talks to You Through Body Language

iheartdogs.com/7-ways-your-dog-talks-to-you-through-body-language/

As busy dog walkers in the Seattle, this declaration rarely reassures us, “oh it’s ok, my dog is friendly!” Maybe they are … until they’re not and suddenly a simple meet-and-greet has deteriorated into chaos.

Even if you feel confident in your dog’s usual friendliness, never assume the same for another dog.

 

5 Reasons Why “Oh It’s Ok … My Dog is Friendly” is Just Not Ok!

 

1. Not all Dogs are Social Butterflies

And the same may apply to their owners!

2. Lead Reactive Dogs

It’s a common problem also known as leash aggression. Some dogs will often exhibit more reactive and aggressive behavior when on a leash. These canines usually have poor social skills and when combined with frustration, tension and the inability to put more distance between them and other dogs, it results in anti-social behaviors like barking, snapping and lunging. Unfortunately, these behaviors may attract the wrong kind of attention and reaction from other K9s. Ironically, these same dogs may be fine in off-leash interactions with other dogs.

lead reactive dogs

3. Anxiety, Fear and Nervousness

Even an overly-friendly dog can overwhelm an insecure dog that is not as social. Calm introductions at a proper distance can help avoid or defuse a potentially aggressive reaction and an unwanted bite or fight. If you have a larger breed dog, keep in mind not all dogs may have been properly socialized to dogs larger than themselves. (We’ve seen this happen with the giant breeds (like Great Danes) we walk in Seattle.) Out of fear or anxiety, a nervous dog may feel threatened or overwhelmed and overreact to an unfamiliar, larger dog. Remember, size does matter in nature.

Do your part in socializing your dog in all kinds of situations, to all kinds of people and animals! (Does your dog need help in proper socialization? We can help!)

Seattle Dog Parents, Why This Phrase Is Problematic : “Don’t Worry … My Dog Is Friendly!”

4. Dogs Who are in Pain or Feeling Sick

Dogs who are feeling sick or in pain can often react in an uncharacteristic way. If recovering from surgery or challenged with pain, a dog may lash out in an effort to protect himself in a weakened state. Giving such a dog a wide berth can help avoid a high-stress situation and unwanted outcome.

5. Even Friendly Dogs May Not Tolerate Rude or Unsocial Behavior

Every dog has its own threshold before resorting to aggressive behavior. Even friendly dogs may decide to address any unwanted and rude behavior from another dog; especially if the other dog invades their space or tries to take control of the situation. If warnings (such as growls or turning their head away from you and your pup) are ignored by the offending party, dogs will typically take care of the situation as they have for thousands of years.

 

5 Things YOU Can Do

 

1. Always keep your dog on a leash unless you’re in an off-leash park. (Even then, you still need to supervise your dog, so put the phone away!)

2. Always show respect for other dogs and their owners by maintaining a comfortable distance. If you have a friendly dog and ever question whether or not another dog is friendly, ask the owner before approahing them to see if it’s ok to greet the dog.  

Seattle Dog Parents, Why This Phrase Is Problematic : “Don’t Worry … My Dog Is Friendly!”

3. Learn about canine body language so:

    • You know what to look for to stop a potential problem from escalating.
    • You understand what your dog and others are trying to communicate.

4. If you have an under-friendly, unsocialized or overly-friendly dog, get professional dog training; not only for you and your dog but also for the safety of those you may meet on a walk. (We can help!)

5. If your dog needs extra space to feel comfortable, consider tying a yellow ribbon/bow/bandana to the leash or collar (see the Yellow Dog Project) or use a harness or leash that offers directions (i.e., Please Do Not Pet Me; I Need Space; Please Back Off!). By making others aware, you can effectively protect your dog.

Seattle Dog Parents, Why This Phrase Is Problematic : “Don’t Worry … My Dog Is Friendly!”

Dogs say a lot through their body language (or postures).

Understanding this “silent”  communication can help you

better understand your own dog and others.

And, there’s an app for that!

Click here to learn more about the Dog Decoder.

 

 

 

Cosmic Home & Pet  provides:

Seattle Dog Walking

Seattle Cat Boarding

Senior Pet Care

Professional Dog Training

Overnight In-home Pet Sitters

We also love and care for other critters (young and old)

including rabbits, ferrets, fish, birds, chickens and more.

When you can’t be there, we promise to treat your pet

as we would our very own!

 

 

Additional Reading

“It’s Ok – My Dog Is Friendly!” That’s Not How It Seems to Me!

positively.com/contributors/its-ok-my-dog-is-friendly-thats-not-how-it-seems-to-me/

Pet Talk: A Wagging Tail Does Not Always Mean a Friendly Dog

doorcountypulse.com/pet-talk-a/

My Dog Is Friendly

shibashake.com/dog/my-dog-is-friendly

The Yellow Dog Project (What is it?!)

drmartypets.com/yellow-dog-project/

How to Deal With Leash Aggression

www.akc.org/expert-advice/training/how-to-deal-with-leash-aggression/

7 Ways Your Dog Talks to You Through Body Language

iheartdogs.com/7-ways-your-dog-talks-to-you-through-body-language/