Understanding Consent: A Dog's Perspective

In a recent encounter, I observed a moment that resonated deeply with me, both personally and as a part of our team at Luluwags. A friend's 4-year-old son was hesitant to hug me goodbye, a stranger to him. It was a clear moment of discomfort, not just for the child but for all involved. It dawned on me how this situation mirrors our interactions with dogs.

The child chose to wave goodbye instead, a decision we both respected. This small act of understanding consent can be a powerful lesson, one that we at Luluwags believe extends to our dogs as well.

Just like humans, dogs have their boundaries. While most dogs relish a good scratch or petting session, their comfort levels vary. Some dogs are open books, loving every touch and cuddle. Others are more reserved, preferring interactions on their own terms. It's crucial to recognize these differences, respecting their space and comfort, just as we would with a person.

In our experience at Luluwags, understanding a dog's body language is key. When meeting a new dog, we suggest crouching down at a distance, allowing them to approach if they wish. A dog's approach is an invitation; their retreat, a clear boundary.

Our leashes play a subtle but significant role in this. With clear, friendly messages like "Ask to Pet" or "I'm Training, Give Me Space" embedded into them, our leashes communicate a dog's comfort levels and boundaries. They're tools of communication, helping bridge the gap between dogs and the people they meet.

Petting a dog should always be a mutual decision. If a dog leans in, it's a sign of enjoyment and a green light for more affection. However, signs of discomfort like stiffening or moving away should be respected immediately.

Remember, it's not just about petting. It's about respect and understanding. We've noticed dogs responding positively to this approach, often quicker to warm up and interact.

At Luluwags, we're not just about leashes and collars. We're about fostering a deeper understanding and respect for our canine companions. Consent is not just a human concept; it's a universal one.

We're curious to hear about your experiences. Where does your dog enjoy being petted? How do they react to new people? Share your stories and join us in this journey of mutual respect and understanding with our beloved dogs.

1 comment

  • Lin

    Really appreciate these insights. Whenever I meet new people with Max, I gently ask, “Feel like saying hello?” Usually, he’s eager to greet them and loves the attention. However, there are times when he’s just not up for it – maybe he’s a bit wary or something else has caught his attention. In those moments, I never force him to interact. Instead, I just smile and tell the person, “Seems like he’s not in the mood for hellos right now.” Most people understand, but if someone’s upset by it, that’s alright by me.

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