Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Is "socializing" dogs to other dogs really a good idea?

Among many other questionable arguments, the off-leash fringe frequently refers to the importance of "socializing" dogs to other dogs. Most of the references that I found regarding socializing your pet mean socializing it to people, objects and situations, not other dogs. Below is an interesting commentary by veterinarian, consultant, teacher, and author Myrna Milani:

Puppy Play Groups

Dr. Milani astutely points out:

"Given all that, I don't think we can overlook the final reality of canine social experiences which is that our desire for the companionship of other humans more than any desire for our dogs to experience quality canine companionship might fuel a lot of these activities. In spite of how complex our lives are, a lot of us are lonely. Puppy playgroups and dog parks provide us with an opportunity to socialize that comes with the added benefit of a built-in topic of conversation. Unlike sitting in a singles bar or going to a party with a bunch of strangers with whom we can only hope to broach some subject of mutual interest, those involved in canine activities always know that they can talk about dogs."