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  • Writer's pictureAkira

Saying "No" for Fido

In last month's post, I touched on how advocating for your new dog is an important part of her socialization. For many of us, it can be difficult to do so out of fear that others may think we're being mean or rude. However, at the end of the day, it's about respect for your dog's space.

Here are some phrases you can use to step out of your comfort zone to help your pup stay in his:

We're training

You can use this one whether you're actually training or not. Most people understand this takes a different sort of focus and will leave you both to your work.

I'm his dog walker

Okay, this one may be a stretch, but it usually works for me. I explain that it's out of precaution that we avoid interacting with others on our walk.

She tends to get a little uneasy with new people/larger dogs/children/bikes/[insert your dog's kryptonite]

Be transparent about what makes your dog nervous and hopefully the other party will be empathetic.

We're on a tight schedule

I think everyone can understand that we don't always have time to stop for a chit chat.

He is leash reactive

Both Duke and King are leash reactive. Whether they are upset that our neighbor is coming out of their own house (how dare they) or giddy to play with another pup strolling by, our walks are a lot more peaceful when we keep our distance.


I actually had to resort to this one today on a dog walk. I said not one but two of these other phrases. To my bewilderment, she continued closing the space between us and her dog with enthusiasm. I don't know if she couldn't hear me or understand me, but at that point there was no time for anything else.I stood in front of my pups and gave her a stern "no" with an arm gesture to make sure it was crystal clear this time.

Have you found yourself having to say any of these phrases? Have you made up some of your own that work well for your situation? Please share in the comments below.

Well wishes & puppy kisses,



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