Dogs in Need of Space

Which is true?

A.) Friendly Dog + Friendly Dog = Good Thing

B.) Friendly Dog + Friendly Dog = Bad Thing

Both. Both are true. It depends on the dogs, and sometimes just on the  day.

I am elated a very thoughtful dog walker is making a push to get dog owners to redefine their boundaries. DINOS walk among us, in every city, of every breed, just about on every street. DINOS are dogs in need of space. Look at this picture. Pin it. Share it. Print it.

DINOS really are everywhere, so why are they such an overlooked group of dogs? I am tempted to suggest that as our society receives more and more education about dog socialization (a good thing!), it also gets saturated by the idea without the benefit of context (a bad thing!). I don’t think people in the ’50s were as crazed about dogs meeting other dogs as people are today.

Socialization is wonderful, duh. But unless people do the research themselves, they don’t get a lot of follow up, e.g., how to socialize a fearful or aggressive pup, and also, how not to socialize your dog.

And so Notes From A Dog Walker is filling a niche for us. You do not socialize your dog by letting it run up to strangers and/or their dogs all willy-nilly. Or if your dog is the one that can’t handle strange dogs in its face, it’s A-OK to ask other dog owners to respect your space and leave you the eff alone.

One more link for good measure, because you need to read about DINOS and their nemeses, MDIFs.

image 1, unknown. tell me if you know. image 2, photo lab pet photography.

4 thoughts on “Dogs in Need of Space

  1. I totally agree that there was a time (as recently as the 80s) when we all felt less pressure for our dogs to meet and greet. Socialization is awesome, but only at a pace that’s comfortable for you and your pups. Thanks for helping to spread the word!

  2. MDIFs, I’ve run into my fair share of them while working with my reactive dog. They did not make it very easy for me. But, at the same time, they also gave me the push to keep at it and now my dog is less in need of space than ever before. If we didn’t run across so many irritating people walking their dogs off-leash, I may not have needed to work so hard. As they say, irritation is motivation, right?

    • At least they’re good for something. I used to be kind of an alternate version of an MDIF. If my dogless self saw a cute dog walking on the other side of the street, I discreetly made a beeline for the dog in hopes that it would cheerfully lunge at me and force me to pet it. I know I was bad, but I got to pet so many cool dogs that way!

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