Dog Walks in 2020, Social Distancing Edition

The world as we know it has changed. And so have walks with our dogs. Some think it’s a great change since random greetings can become problematic while others do not see this as an issue.

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Just like people, every dog is different. Some dogs just don’t like to be greeted when they are on a walk, even if they are friendly. Some dogs are over excited and this can ruin the experience for the dogs they are meeting and greeting. There are obviously many dogs who do not go out of their way to greet dogs although they are friendly, so they simply walk on by. 

Many times, owners do not recognize that a greeting is not going well, so they will stay in place. Social distancing allows dogs to learn that they need to focus on their owners rather than every dog they walk by. 

During the past typical walks, when two dogs begin to approach each other they both make it abundantly clear to their owners what they want. And this can be problematic because they overreact in order to get their point across. If your dog is very social, they most likely will try to pull you towards the other prospective dog friend while barking and whining. Dogs who are not as social have similar cues, but they pull back trying to express that they do not want to meet the other dog. Now since there is no situational uncertainty, both dogs don’t get to meet. Sorry social dogs! And, it seems like Christmas came early for shy dogs

This social distancing is actually great for younger dogs who can begin learning proper self control. This will help them during situations they may not enjoy. If you need help calming down your dog during walks you can try CBD oil for dogs. This can help them have more control and not overreact when they see other dogs.   

We can’t forget that social distanced walks can be difficult not only on social dogs but also on social people! Dogs are a great way to run into people around your neighborhood or even start chatting with new people. The usual spontaneity on dog walks has all but evaporated into thin air, but rest assured things will slowly get back to a new normal in time. Until then, keep in touch with your friends who have social dogs. You can arrange hikes so that you and your dog can have some much needed social interaction. 

While some people still might be bummed out, especially new dog owners, it’s important to understand that this won’t severely impede your new puppy or dog’s socialization. While random walk greetings may not be welcome and create a negative experience for your dog, planned socialization can more so guarantee a positive socialization. And with other owners and dogs at a distance even if you are to get close enough for your dogs to meet, the distance can help you control the situations better. 

What are you and your dog’s thoughts on socially distanced walks?

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