No Dog is an Island: Are Dog Lovers Anti-Social?

A hot discussion in one of our Facebook groups has us wondering: are dog lovers anti-social?

A group member posed the following:

“I don’t want to make an overall judgment but I am new to Minnesota and I noticed that a lot of people are anti-social with their dogs here. I walked my dog a lot in California and people would come out of their way to socialize their dogs with other dogs. Since I moved here, I noticed that people will make you aware that they are going out of their way to AVOID you or go around you. Anyone who can chime in on this?”

In the zillions of comments that followed (540+, to be exact), dog lovers weighed in on the issue.

Among the many thought-provoking considerations from our readers:

  • “With the advent of the Internet and social media, people are more anxious and have fewer social skills. People would rather be plugged in, even if it’s pretend, than talk to others.”
  • “I find dog parks are for socializing. My little dog is leash aggressive; she’s not being mean, she just really wants to say hello, but her bark is really loud and aggressive. Dog parks are easier. Everyone is on the same page and you know the dogs are okay to socialize with.”
  • “I typically don’t socialize my dog with others while we are walking on leash. If someone asks if the dogs can meet I will say yes, but I typically just walk by with her because I’m trying to teach her that she’s not going to meet every dog when she’s leashed to try to stop her from pulling and straining to meet them.”
  • “My neighborhood is pretty friendly, however, my current dog doesn’t want to meet your dog. I still have people who don’t take the hint, including having people chase me down when I’m clearly not interested. Your dog may be friendly, but that doesn’t mean mine is.”
  • “Welcome to ‘Minnesota Nice,’ which is a veneer for ‘passive-aggressive,’ dontcha know. “
  • “It’s not antisocial, it’s etiquette.”
  • “To us, walks are for exercising, doing their business, and stimulating their brains. If we want to socialize, we’ll plan a play date. On-leash meetings aren’t the best way for dogs to meet in most circumstances. To me, it’s less being ‘antisocial,’ and more ‘doing what’s best for your dog.'”

We’re dying to hear your thoughts on this, SWDers. To the comments!

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(Photo: Teddy Kelley)

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