My friend does not like pets (In particular, dogs). Why does my dog keep going to him and what can I do?
Some people do not like pets, but that is where I am different. I prefer animals to other people. What do you do though when your pet is ignoring the fact that your friend does not like pets, and keeps going to them?
There could be a few reasons why this is happening.
Friendly and social awareness
Your dog could be a naturally socialized pet. Social pets are going to go up to anyone, including those who do not like them. It is similar to how social creatures and extroverted people tend to gravitate to anyone. Those of you who have an introverted pet does not have to worry about it.
You probably have an extroverted pet. Your dog is going to go up to just about anyone and say hi. It is in their nature.
Male versus female
Say, for example, that your friend is a woman. Your pet might have grown up around women(mostly). That can make them very selective about who they are around.
Your dog might start jumping up and down around your female friend(even though she does not like pets) and ignore the men.
Your dog is not seeing that your friend does not like pets. Your dog is seeing that she is female. That is who she will gravitate to. The same applies if the situation involves men.
Showing indifference to your dog makes him or her even more attracted. It is similar to how we, as humans, want what we cannot have. There is a psychology to this, according to a leading animal vet and trainer.
Some dogs will get sheepish around those who make the effort, but then want to bond with the person showing indifference. It can appear weird to some people, but it does happen.
Barking and friendliness
Some people do not like dogs because the bark is too loud. There is nothing that can be done about that.
However, your dog still wants to go say hi. Try to keep your dog on a leash during this time. Some dogs are just naturally friendly and aggressive to people they do not know. They are just being friendly.
Your dog is not going to understand personal space unless you teach them about it. This is another reason why some dogs still go to people that do not like them.
Once again, they are just being friendly and they want to say(especially if they are social creatures and more extroverted). You do have to teach them about personal space and when to move toward or away from someone they do not know.
Otherwise, the untrained dog is just going to do what seems natural to them.
Teaching your dog to interact with non-pet lovers and other new friends
There are some things you can do to teach your dog how to behave differently. You can teach your dog how to respond more appropriately to people who do not like pets (or a new friend).
The first thing you can do is keep your dog in a separate room. Say, for example, you are having a dinner party.
You have a few guests coming over. Some of them love your dog(they are pet lovers after all), and a few of them do not. You know that your friend is not happy about seeing your dog because she does not like them. However, your dog is unaware of that or your dog does not care.
Keep your dog confined to another room until everyone has arrived. Now, your dog is going to hear the noise. Your dog is going to yip and yelp(wanting to be let out). According to a vet, you should wait until everyone is settled in.
You can let your dog out slowly once everyone is there and comfortable. Put a leash on your dog if you have to. You might even have to attach the leash to something to keep your dog away from your guests who do not like pets.
Some doctors have suggested that offering a treat is one way to keep them level. I know it sounds crazy, but you do have to do something to keep your dog at bay. Your friend might not like pets, but she or he can still offer a treat. It is one way to get them to go away faster.
The one thing doctors do not suggest is throwing a toy to them. Yes, toys help to calm them down, but the dog is going to think you want to play. That is the last message you should send to them.
There is no way to avoid the greeting when you have a social dog in your family, even when you come across someone who does not like pets. There still has to be some interaction, especially if your friend is coming over to visit.
- The first thing you should try is training classes. Some experts know to train your dog to be more settled inside. You need to do this early, especially if you notice your dog has these signs early.
Experts know how to train your dog to interact with someone who is not pet-friendly(whether it is a friend or stranger).
- You should also control the environment more. Say, for example, your friend is coming over to watch movies for a little while. Keep the noise level in your home to a minimum. You should also try to keep the excitement and energy level down too. The less energy in the house, the less your dog is going to pounce on your friend.
You also cannot be afraid to tell your dog “no” when he or she gets out of line. Letting them know that what they did is no acceptable is one way to reinforce positive behavior for next time.