FISH & OTHER DOGS: Sometimes They Just Don’t Like Them

by Camilla Gray-Nelson

My husband hates fish.  I wish he liked fish.  I like fish. Don’t all normal, healthy people like fish?  Maybe if I put fish on his plate every night for dinner, fed him MORE fish, got him used to fish, surrounded him with fish…he’d learn to like fish.  He just needs more exposure to fish… How ridiculous is that reasoning?  But it’s exactly what we do with our unsociable dogs when they do not like or act politely around other canines.

Some people just don’t enjoy fish, and some dogs just don’t enjoy other dogs.  So why do we keep trying to force them?  Bringing an unsociable dog that doesn’t like other dogs to a dog park, “so he’ll learn to play well with others” is like me serving fish for dinner every night to a husband who’s made it clear that he doesn’t want, like or need fish.  Never has, never will. My husband is happier with a salad and steak than fish, and many dogs are happier with you than with other dogs.  Now, is that so bad?

Socialization is great and I highly recommend it, but it cannot transform a dog-averse canine into the social chairman of the dog park, any more than fish 7 days/week will transform my husband into the Gorton’s Fisherman.

Let them be.


About Camilla Gray-Nelson

When I started training dogs professionally, it was women who sought out my help. Responsibility for the family dog typically falls to them, after all. Their homes were in chaos; they were yelling at their dogs – and their kids – and couldn’t control either one. The life skills of personal power that I learned as a child (and assumed everyone else had, too), turned out to be rare among my clients. Since that time, it has been my personal goal to share Nature’s message of quiet power with women (and men) everywhere to help them become more effective not only with their dogs, but in their greater lives as well.

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