How to help your dog make friends - South Shields canine behaviourist offers tips after witnessing doggy conflicts
Hello everyone, my name is Lisa! I am the leading canine behaviourist at Rosie To The Rescue!
Like most people, I walk my dog twice a day, but over the last couple of months I have witnessed an increase in the number of conflicts between dogs, and dog owners.
It is not uncommon to see two dog owners arguing in the park, usually because of the actions of one dog, or both dogs.
I know we are a nation of dog lovers, so I would like to take this opportunity to talk about the importance of good recall, good socialisation, and how we can help make our parks and beaches a little safer, more enjoyable, and stress-free.
Good recall is extremely important, and you should never let your dog off the lead in an open area if they are not trained to come back to you when you call their name.
If your dog has no recall, it means they are very likely to run up to other dogs while they are off lead, but not every other dog is friendly and we need to keep this in mind.
Your dog may also run up to people who are afraid of dogs, or even chase something across the road and be hit by a car.
Picture this – you are enjoying a walk with your dog in the park. Your dog is trotting along while off leash and sees a dog who is on a lead.
Should you allow your dog to approach that dog? The short answer is no.
You should always ask the owner if it is ok for your dog to approach theirs. This is because not all dogs are friendly.
We also have to note that the dog on the leash may have social issues. Many people are training / rehabilitating dogs, so we need to give space to these individuals.
Let’s talk about safe play and when to intervene! It is important to be able to recognise safe and unsafe play in canines. If you overlook certain behaviours, situations can escalate and result in either dog becoming hurt.
Good play behaviour in canines includes play bows.
This is a dog’s best way to show they are being friendly, as they are inviting the other dog to play with them.
This usually results in dogs chasing each other around. If the dogs are taking turns chasing each other, this is healthy, however if you see one dog doing all the chasing, you will need to intervene as it could escalate.
There have been a couple of times when Rosie has been playing with a dog in a park, but after a while, the other dog kept trying to nip her when she was trying to come to me.
In this instance, I went over to get Rosie and de-escalate the situation.
Interrupt play often to ensure it does not escalate. Put the safety of all dogs first!
Rosie To The Rescue (Dog Behaviour/Training Specialist)
Facebook: @RosieToTheRescue22 "