To Pet, Or Not To Pet: The Oh, So Common Misconception - Part 1

One of the most common mistakes, or misconceptions that I see in my line of work is that owners with anxious, fearful, or reactive dogs sometimes miss some very important signs that their furry friends are using to let them know that they are uncomfortable.  When these signs are missed, we sometimes push our pets into situations that cause them to lash out, or react - and more often than not, blame our dogs for doing so.

Now, don't get me wrong - I've been subject to pressure from family and friends who want to meet my extremely nervous, and reactive dog - in spite of my many warnings.  I've also felt the embarrassment creep up when I'm on a walk and someone is offended when I won't let them pet him because he is scared of strangers.  Or, I get "oh, don't worry, I'm great with dogs!" and proceed to reach right over his head, and get right in his face - cue the reaction. Then I get a look, like I have the devil incarnate on the other end of my leash.

If you are living with a reactive dog, I'm sure that you are familiar with at least one of the situations that I've explained above, or have accidentally pushed your dog into a reaction because you may have missed some of the signs.

This blog series is all about what to look for, and ways to make your precious pup more comfortable in those high stress situations!