Dog etiquette takes practice

Dog etiquette takes practice
Marley loving stretches out on giant rocks or grass! Always open to mingling!

Since rescuing my pup more than seven years ago, I've discovered the joy of having my dog socialize with as many pups as he can. The truth is, he's such a friendly dog (especially for a Chihuahua mix) I would hate to deny him the ability to socialize. Plus, as they told me at the shelter, it's good for him to get to know other dogs.

Now, granted, I get that not all dogs are that friendly, but in my previous old north side neighborhood, Marley had buddies on every block a mile north and south of us. Not besties with every pup, but he had a ton of buddies! There was one dog that was fast friends with Marley, but his owner seemed to be very disturbed with how dogs greeted each other. (It was like he didn't brush up on dogs before owning one)

Right now, I'm chalking it up to the fact that we're super new to the area, but I find that dogs don't often need an extended social period before they become friends. It's in their nature to greet and mingle. Heck, look at how they salute each other! On those special occasions when I take Marley to a dog hotel, once he is escorted to a batch of dogs, I'm immediately forgotten. Just like that Marley has made a new buddy!

In the cases that an owner is open to it, we'll approach them, or they'll contact us, and just like that, they're fast friends (or not)! To help pet parent concerns, I preempt the dog's owner by telling them my dog's super friendly but a little energetic and super curious, or something that sums up his temperament with other dogs.

Doing this has worked with most dog parents. However, it blows my mind how many pet parents are walking along or disregard my friendly greeting. Knowing that it's a benefit for dogs to socialize, I find myself baffled when it happens.

Of course, at the end of the day, I try to read the pet parents first and proceed. And, they do happen to have an unfriendly dog,we'll keep walking along. But, if that isn't the case, I promise they'll adore Marley if they gave him a chance! Right now, he's currently on the hunt for new friends to play with in his new neighborhood!


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