How To Advocate For Your Dog 🐾

How To Advocate For Your Dog 🐾

If you're a follower of ours on Instagram, you may have seen our latest post about how to advocate for your dog. When it comes to dog training, every day is important, and when you're battling against off-lead dogs, strangers trying to pet your dog and friends and family who don't understand the journey, it can be difficult to progress!

We've brainstormed some tips on how to help you to advocate for your dog, as its important to remember that if you don't put your dog first, no-one will, and your dog is more important than strangers who want to pet your dog without asking...


Saying No To Strangers

Allowing strangers to pet your dog can stir up some debate, and it's definitely a tricky area to navigate. The younger crowd these days tends to voice concerns more openly about the downsides of letting strangers pet your dog. In the past, dog training wasn't such a big deal - dogs wandered freely in parks, sorted out their social dynamics among themselves, and we weren't as possessive about it. Sometimes, it seems like there's a lesson to be learned from those days, where dogs could just be dogs. However, on the bright side, there's a growing advocacy for proper dog training, and it's become increasingly clear over the years how detrimental it can be to let random strangers pet your dog.

For starters, if you want your dog to see you as its main source of fun and guidance, getting attention from others can mess that up. When your dog gets affection from strangers, it learns it doesn't necessarily need you for love and attention. This can complicate training and make it tough to keep your dog focused on you, especially in distracting situations. You might notice your dog looking to others for attention when all you want is for them to pay attention to you!

That being said, there might be times when you're okay with strangers petting your dog. If people ask nicely and you know your dog loves the attention, you might be cool with it. But remember, it's ultimately up to you, and if you're not comfortable with it, you don't have to allow it.

If you find it awkward to say no when people ask, you can always say something like your dog is in training at the moment, or you're teaching your dog to be around people without getting too friendly!


Navigating Off Lead Dogs

Off-lead dogs with bad recall.. Ah, now this is a popular one! We've all seen it, and being completely honest, we've once been that dog owner that has had their dog off lead, and not been able to get them back! We've since learnt our lesson big time, and quickly come to realise how detrimental having your dog off-lead can be when they aren't in control, not just to others but to your dogs training too.

Advocating for your on-lead dog when confronted with off-lead dogs is crucial for their well-being and training. When other dog owners allow their off-leash dogs to approach yours, it's essential to speak up for your pet. Politely ask them to retrieve their dog or, if needed, carry a spare slip lead to gently guide the wandering dog away if their recall isn't effective.


Doggy Day Care

Doggy daycares can be a convenient option for pet owners, but it's important to consider how they might impact your dog's training. In environments where dog playdates lean towards rough and tumble play rather than structured interaction, your training efforts can easily take a step backwards. Instead, suggesting neutral dog walks where your dog can socialise with others without feeling pressured to engage in intense play can be more beneficial.

This can be achieved by connecting with like-minded dog owners who share similar training goals. Such an approach prioritises your dog's safety and ensures they stay focused on their training objectives. Doggy daycares, on the other hand, may inadvertently encourage dogs to ignore commands and rely more on other dogs for fun and play, potentially hindering their obedience and overall development.


The Most Difficult Challenge Of All.. Navigating Friends & Family With Your Dog Training

When it comes to dog walking and training, the involvement of friends and family can sometimes throw a wrench into your progress. It can be frustrating when they inadvertently undermine your training efforts by making a big fuss over your dog upon greeting them, despite your desire to keep your furry friend calm. This can be equally infuriating when they give conflicting commands or allow behaviours you're working to eliminate.

To mitigate these challenges, consider sending a text beforehand, requesting that they ignore your dog as you're actively practicing controlled greetings. Alternatively, bring along some dog treats and prompt your dog to sit or lie down, or go to their designated spot before allowing any interactions. You can even offer the treats to your friends or family and ask them to issue the commands themselves, aligning with your training goals and fostering consistency in your dog's behaviour! Involving your friends and family this way may ensure they feel included, rather than they're getting told off for not doing things the way you want them too (we've all done it!)


Advocating for your dog and their training is paramount, especially when facing various challenges from external factors like other dogs, friends, and family. It's essential to prioritise your dog's needs and training goals above all else if you want to see progress. Whether it's politely redirecting off-leash dogs, setting boundaries with well-meaning friends and family, or maintaining consistency in commands and expectations, putting your dog first is key.

Remember, your dog's development and well-being should always come before the convenience or preferences of others. By advocating for your dog's training needs and creating an environment that supports their growth, you're laying the foundation for a strong and harmonious relationship built on trust and understanding 🐾

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