Dogs are not public property.
Let's talk for a minute about the rules of engagement with our dogs.
Should your dog be allowed to say no, I don't want to cuddle right now? Absolutely.
Should we ask them if they want to cuddle and also check in with them to make sure they actually want to continue? 100%!
Humans love to cuddle their dogs. I know I really enjoy it. But empowering my dog to say no as well as ask for cuddle time has made communication a lot easier for both of us and has built up an enormous amount of trust.
Somehow, it’s become normalized for folks to think they can say hello to every dog they see. While out in public, we know the “dog lover” who squeals over seeing a dog and proceeds to rush over and say hello. They make a beeline to the dog and immediately start fawning over it and petting it. Occasionally, this “dog lover” will ask the handler if they can say hello, but more often than not, no permission is asked nor granted to approach a dog while out in public.
We’re here to tell you. Thats not cool! Seriously. A true dog lover realizes that a dog is a sentient being, who experiences pain, pleasure, likes and dislikes. Dogs already have the stress of living in a world not built for them. Most of them are admirably tolerant of the many rules that come along with living with humans. We should not expect them to be physically accosted by strangers, with no ability to say no. The reasons why you should Ignore My Dog are endless, but the reality is this: Dogs are not public property and that should be reason enough. If you really love dogs, you will let them spend their time in public in peace. Be a true dog lover and Ignore dogs who aren’t your own unless you are specifically invited to interact with them. The dogs and their humans thank you.
It's time we remember that our dogs are individuals. They have needs and wants that often differ from our own.
Let's start normalizing some things about our dogs. Your dog does not have to enjoy being touched by strangers. If you have a dog who wants all the petting- that's totally fab- but if they don't that's 100% ok too. Get to really know YOUR dog and what they prefer. Once you do - be sure to kindly support them.
👏👏 Bringing back some old school manners 👏👏
🙅♀️When we were growing up there were some very strict rules when it came to our dogs. If the dog growled at you while it was sleeping, eating, sore, you would likely get a telling off. If you were told off more than once, you'd get a kick up the backside & told to leave it alone.
While the latter punishment was a bit overboard, we didn't get bitten, attempt it again or the dog didn't get put down.
If someone turned up at home & the dog barked, it didn't get yelled at to "shut up", we put the dog away & checked who it was.
🐺 Manners around dogs need to be brought back in a huge way. Dog's should be allowed to express themselves in a way that indicates something is either worrying, causing them discomfort or threatening. The issue here is when these are being shut down immediately & the dog ends up going from an acceptable warning/alert, straight to an extreme one. Then we have huge problems that didn't need to happen.
💖 Understand your dog's body language.
💖 Manage your dog/s appropriately.
💖 Teach your kids & guests about your dog.
💖 Repeat often to your kids about simple manners around not only your dogs but other people's dog too.
💖 Stop punishing normal communication, so that it doesn't become an extreme senario.
🙌Situations are easily avoidable with a bit of understanding🙌
#IGNOREMYDOG was started as a campaign to educate the public and encourage a cultural shift in the way people behave towards dogs. ignoremydog.com
"Just a generation ago if you went near a dog when he was eating and the dog growled, somebody would say, 'Don't go near the dog when he's eating!, what are you crazy?' Now the dog gets euthanized. Back then, dogs were allowed to say, NO. Dogs are not allowed to say no anymore...They can't get freaked out, they can't be afraid, they can never signal 'I'd rather not.' We don't have any kind of nuance with regard to dogs expressing that they are uncomfortable, afraid, angry, or in pain, worried, or upset. If the dog is anything other than completely sunny and goofy every second, he goes from a nice dog to an 'AGGRESSIVE' dog." ~ Jean Donaldson.
The ultimate goal is to educate and spread awareness regarding what appropriate interaction with dogs is and looks like. Our culture has a tradition of touching and interacting with every dog we see, without giving much thought as to whether or not the dog wants to be touched, or whether or not it's beneficial for the dog to be interacted with.
a 'Senior Dog' mom-O-Holic