I have a dog that doesn’t love kids. He simply doesn’t. As a young dog, he backed away if they tried to touch him.
You know what the best thing I’ve done for him? Something that took me many, many years and dogs to learn?
I respected his feeling.
I saw and I learned. He doesn’t want to be pet by kids. And that’s okay.
So I advocated for him. I stood up for his needs.
And The results where as i expected. I have a dog that now, can stress free co exist with kids. He can work around them, he can work for them. And he very well knows, I’ve got his back and no kid will make him feel uncomfortable because I’ll stand up for him.
You know where we often go wrong with our dogs? We force them to be okay with everything. We feel the need that they love everyone and every dog.
We push the issue upon them. Sometimes you get a dog that “gets over it”. But then, more often than not, you get a dog that learns that they must escalate to make the scary thing go away.
Had I let jasper get pet by kids. Force him to interact, I’d very likely get a dog that instead of shying away, a dog that growls, barks and snaps. Because he never would have had someone stand up for him, so he must do so on his own.
Instead I took Jasper’s feeling to heart. And I make it clear to him that I had his back.
So guys, it’s okay if your dog doesn’t love everyone or every dog.
It doesn’t mean your dog can’t co exist around those he/she are unsure of. And if your dog has learned that escalating and being reactive is the answer I can help you, help your dog.