Socialising your dog with people

Updated: Feb 18

Written by Naomi White

Let’s talk about consent… it’s a big topic in humans but have you ever thought about how it applies to your dog?

Just imagine a random stranger approaching your child on the street, fussing over them, offering them sweets or touching their hair, you would be horrified and most likely report the incident. Now put your dog in that position, maybe that’s a normal part of your walk or maybe you just don’t see the problem with it… he’s a dog right, he loves it!?

There are countless dogs labelled as ‘aggressive’, ‘reactive’, or ‘unfriendly’ because they don’t appreciate people approaching them and they’ve taken it upon themselves to tell people to BACK OFF in no uncertain terms. Maybe you own one of these dogs and you just wish he would let people fuss over him, or that he would stop barking and lunging whenever someone came near him. This is where CONSENT becomes so important. Typically with a puppy we’re encouraged to introduce him to as many people as possible, pass him around children and adults and generally expose him to all sorts to ‘socialise’ him. However, have you ever considered your puppy’s feelings in all this? Perhaps you did, and you thought “he loves it!”, or if he didn’t look so keen you just thought “he’ll soon get over it”!

Like humans, dogs have individual personalities, some are mor