A visit to the Dog Park (or regular walks around the neighborhood) gives humans and dogs a great conversation starter. For canines, it’s quite simple as they just need a few barks and sniffs to find a new friend. On the other hand, it is a little more complex for humans to interact with unknown people.
How Your Dog Can Help You Make New Friends?
Dogs are great facilitators of social interaction, especially among strangers. They act as a bridge between two completely different people to form a strong bond of friendship between them. Let’s go over a few methods that can help you (and your furry companion) make new friends at the dog park.
Create a Consistent Routine
You should try to visit the dog park at the same time every day. This is because it is easier to socialize when you start seeing familiar faces, regularly. When you commit to a routine, you are quite likely to find something common with other dog walkers in the area. If your pooch befriends another dog, you will automatically become friends with the owner of that canine. It’s a win-win situation.
Dogs don’t make friendships complex. They do not partake in social dances. If they like someone, they will interact with them. This helps to break the barrier of civil inattention in two ways.
Firstly, if you see someone with a dog (and you like dogs), then you know you have something in common with that person. Secondly, having things in common with the other person is the basis of many friendships.
Once you have a few dog walker friends at the park, you can try making a meetup group. Everyone in the group can share their dogs throughout the day, and it becomes an instant conversation starter. It becomes a lot easier if some of the members have a similar dog breed. This opens up new topics to be discussed within the group.
If you are finding it hard to join a group, make your own. In this age of technology, it is extremely easy because you don’t have to find certain people through social connections. Instead, the sophisticated algorithms of social platforms will search the people you may have met in the dog park. This also removes the element of ‘creepiness’ when you are interacting with strangers.
This is a very effective technique of breaking the ice with a stranger. If you see someone, talk directly with their dog, and compliment him/her (or give some treats). In this way, you don’t have to talk with a stranger as you can have a chat with their pup. The chances of rejection are extremely less when you are trying to impress a canine with delicious treats.
The owner will almost always start a conversation when his/her dog is taking an interest in you. This allows you to talk with the person, and it could end up in a friendship. According to research, people are more likely to be approached if they are with a small pet.
Join a Dog Class
If you haven’t yet attended an obedience class, there’s no better time than the present. It’s quite likely that you will find people of similar interests in such classes. You can enroll in different dog classes to simultaneously enhance your canine’s training and the size of your social circle.
If you do join such a class, remember to show up early at a consistent time. This will make you more visible in the crowd and increases your chances to chat up with fellow attendees. Additionally, it will let your dog interact in a less structured manner before the lesson. You can find such programs at the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program and find a class that suits you!
Dogs are social animals and they don’t need much time to make new friends. In addition to that, they can also help the owners to interact with each other at dog parks and classes. After all, it’s easier to get along with people when you have things in common.
A dog park opens up new avenues of socializing without having to put a lot of thought into it. Similarly, if you want to take things further and expand your social circle, dog classes are the way to go.
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