We all apologize way too much, for too many things that are not our fault. It’s second nature for us to say “sorry” when there are a million reasons not to. As dog owners we apologize for even more. STOP. Just STOP. Does your dog smell like wet dog for a little bit after a bath? Or, bark at the door? Stop apologizing! Does your dog do any of the below? Stop apologizing! Your “being considerate” is not doing anyone any favors.
1. Stop apologizing for other dog’s poor behavior at dog parks
You are responsible for your own dog. End of story. If another pooch’s owner isn’t watching and you have to pry their humping dog off of your fur-kid (or anything of the like) you most certainly should not be apologizing for having to do so. It is every dog owner’s job to take full responsibility for their own pup. Don’t apologize for standing up for your pup’s rights.
2. Stop apologizing for the rules you set for your dog in your own house
Your house. Your rules. You think it’s cool that Chewy makes himself the King of Comfort in your bed? Awesome. You like to snuggle with him on the couch as well? Enjoy every minute of it. If you have visitors telling you to set different house rules for your fur-kid, tell them (as sweetly as possible) to mind their own business. There really is no right or wrong. They’re guests in your house and should respect any rules you’ve set.
3. Stop apologizing for your dog barking at the doorbell
Dogs bark to communicate with us. It’s their nature to protect their owners and stake claim on their territory. So, it’s completely normal for your dog to bark when she hears a knock on the door. If you haven’t fully trained your pup to ‘heal’ once the door is open, then spend a little extra time with positive reinforcement training. But, generally there’s no need to apologize for this behavior.
4. Stop apologizing when your on-leash pup becomes reactive because an off-leash dog invades their personal space
It should not be news to any dog owner that unless otherwise specified, our dogs are to be on-leash at all times. When you’re minding your own business on a walk with your pup on-leash and an off-leash dog comes running up to greet your pup and your pup isn’t pleased…DO NOT APOLOGIZE. It frankly doesn’t matter if your pup reacts poorly in this event. It is 100% disrespectful of another dog owner to assume that just because their dog is “cool” yours has to be too.
5. Stop apologizing if your pup has an accident when in a foreign house
If your friend has opened an invitation for you to bring your pup over for a visit, they are probably aware that there’s a possibility your pup might have an accident. It’s new territory. They are nervous. And, they’re smelling all sorts of new things. While we don’t recommend letting your little guy go all over the place, it’s OK to give him a break if he makes a one-off mistake, take him outside and then clean it up. We know some people who become so embarrassed by a little mishap like this that they never take their dog for a visit again.
6. Stop apologizing for taking your dog on public transit
Dogs are legally allowed on public transit during specified hours. Don’t let anyone give you any guff. You’re not breaking any rules.
7. Stop apologizing for your pup who doesn’t want to be touched by strangers
If your dog likes his space, that’s his choice. But, you need to help him vocalize that choice. There are some great bandanas and other ways to alert others that your pup prefers to keep his distance. Technically, we should all be courteous enough to ask another dog owner as we’re approaching if their pup is pet/people friendly and then respect their answer/boundaries. If someone doesn’t respect that, you need not apologize. In fact, you should take the opportunity to remind them of owner/pet etiquette.
8. Stop apologizing to strangers who give you unsolicited advice on how to train your dog
This is one of our favorites. Everyone else thinks they have the best advice for you dog. They don’t know your dog’s ins and outs, they have no idea how s/he responds to triggers and training techniques. Instead of apologizing and wasting your time nodding and smiling until they move their way along, say, “Thanks for sharing! Have a great walk!” and keep moving in the direction you know is right for you and your fur-kid.
9. Stop apologizing to friends who say you spend too much money on your dogs
First of all, why does anyone besides your financial advisor or accountant think it’s any of their business to tell you what to do with your money? Your money, your business. Stop apologizing for spoiling your fur-child. Does dolling your pup up in bow ties and dresses bring you joy? Then stop saying sorry. We think all the accoutrement is fab.
10. Stop apologizing for loving your dog and making him/her a priority in your life
If you take away nothing else from this article please remember this: FOR NO REASON EVER – NEVER EVER EVER APOLOGIZE for how much you love your dog. Anyone who questions the fact that you always make your pup your #1 priority just doesn’t get it. They obviously have never known the unconditional love of a fur-kid. And, they will never understand that you go home early from the bar to let them out or, just to be with them because they give you infinitely more on the daily than any one night out with friends could ever compare to.
“But, it’s a dog, not a child,” they will say! They will never understand that your dog is your child. And, they have no right to claim stake on what parenthood means. Being a dog mom or dad is a gift and our dogs give us a reason to smile every day. For some of us, they’re the only kids we’ll ever have.