Yes, I’ve said so: not all dogs love physical contact with us humans. Indeed, there are dogs for which the touch is a real nuisance. The contact with people, in general, makes them uncomfortable, just imagine what the caress of a stranger can be. Argos, for example, just tolerates my touch and that of very few others “elected”, but this must also be contained; a delicate touch is enough. I must admit that it has been hard for me to accept this, because the contact with the dog, with my dog, is important to me.
But I think there is something more important: to respect my dog and the fact that he doesn’t like being caressed too much.
With Argos, that’s actually quite simple to understand. He moves away and if the message is not clear enough, it will first look at you asking to stop, and then eventually switch to a growl.
Unfortunately, however, there are dogs that are not able to push away the intrusive human. They suffer and it’s very clear that they don’t like the situation. Only a blind man would not see that the dog is uncomfortable while being petted. Or someone who doesn’t care about the welfare of the dog, someone who simply doesn’t respect him.
Indeed, maybe there are people who believe that the dog “has to get used to the contact”. But why? Would you like a stranger to come and put his hand on your head and touch your back? I don’t think so. So, why does the dog have to accept that violation of his private area?
This is even more important to consider if there is a child involved: teaching to children to be respectful towards the others should be one of our goals as adults. In addition, the reactions of a dog that doesn’t like being touched can also be very violent, becoming a danger to the child himself.
I would also like to make you reflect on the fact that accepting the need for a dog doesn’t mean that the animal will not respect you: this is the exact opposite. In this way, the dog will understand that you are a true guide, someone he can trust. And trust is the basis of everything, especially when you have to deal with a reactive or fearful dog.