Spacial Awareness: Not all dogs like being sniffed by other dogs.
We came across this illustration recently, and it struck a chord with us. All dogs have a different tolerance for their greetings with other dogs. As handlers, it is our responsibility to set our dogs up for successful interactions and greetings with new dogs and people. Sometimes that means communicating with others that your dog likes their space. Invading this space can turn a well-trained dog that is typically a great doggy citizen into a "reactive" dog. Can we train our dogs to be okay with these meetings? Yes, we can improve upon these behaviors through socialization and diligent training. However, first and foremost, lets spread the word on setting our dogs up for more successful interactions by communicating and reading their body language.
Most importantly remember always to ask fellow dog parents if it is okay for your dogs to meet. Even a 6ft leash is not always short enough to pass other people and dogs on a tight trail. In these situations, it is smart to keep your best bud close to you to give the other dog space. Doing so will prevent any potential reactive situation from taking place. If your dog does a great job passing another dog or meeting another dog, be sure to let them know how awesome they are! Not all dogs understand that they did the right thing in these situations, and need to know when they are doing well. Many times we see handlers react to their dog's negative behaviors, while instead, it is WAY more important to respond to their awesome behaviors. Let's build that pawsitive relationship and have pawsititve greetings with other dogs!
Credit for the inspiration of this post goes out to notesfromadogwalker.com, functionalrewards.com, and doggiedrawings.net. Great job putting together such a beautiful illustration filled with meaningful content that every dog owner can learn from!