Can we say hello? My dog is friendly. Is your dog friendly?
I am confident that you get one of these questions asked at least once a day when you’re out on a walk with your dog. I do. I live in a very dog-friendly development, where it is expected for neighbors walking their dogs to stop and chat with each other, while their dogs approach each other nose-to-nose and hopefully, have a positive interaction with one another.
I have repeatedly avoided or responded to these questions, by either proactively crossing to the other side of the street, by responding politely “Oh no thank you, we’re training,” or by being a little bit more direct, “I do not allow my dog to greet other dogs on leash.” Unfortunately, I may have earned a bit of a reputation in the neighborhood. But here is the thing, I’m not doing this to be rude, nor am I standoffish, I simply prefer that my dog does not greet other dogs while they are on leash. I am also not avoiding these interactions because my dog is not friendly to other dogs. In fact, she is quite social with dogs and plays with them regularly off-leash. Here is why I do what I do:
About the Author
Tatiana Yastremski, M.A. CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, IAABC CSB-D, is Knowledge Assessed, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, Knowledge Assessed Certified Canine Behavior Consultant, and IAABC Certified in Shelter Behavior, specializing in dogs. Her dog behavior and training experience is very diversified through her work with shelter dogs and private training. In her dog training business, Totally Trainable, LLC, Tatiana's objective is to help humans and their dogs build a bond of trust through positive reinforcement training, clear and succinct communication, patience and love. Tatiana specializes in aggression, reactivity and fear-based behaviors.