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Hello Citizen Canine,

I like to take my rescued Pug to the dog park. My dog LOVES people, but I want him to have dog friends that he can visit with and I would be so happy if enjoyed playing with other dogs. “Bosco” will sniff other dogs when he meets them on leash on our walks, but he is the wall flower of the dog park. I think he is missing out on the fun. Help — how do I teach my dog to have canine friends?
–Sarah

Hello Sarah,

Sometimes what seems to be a “problem” with a dog really isn’t a problem at all. It may be that as Bosco’s loving owner, you just need to think about things in a different way.

Did you know that the breed standard for Pugs says, “The Pug's reason for living is to be near their people?” Bosco is living up to his fine heritage.

There are so many dog owners who would change places with you in an instant. They would very much like for their dogs to be more focused on them and people they meet.

Wanting our dogs to play with other dogs is an idea that we humans came up with all the way down to scheduling play dates and having birthday parties for dogs and their canine friends.

Is there any chance Bosco could be intimidated by the action and bigger dogs at the dog park and stays with you so you can keep him safe? If you wanted to test out this theory, you could invite one dog owner with a similar size dog to come and play. If he enjoys playing with one dog, you’ll have your answer.

Since Bosco is so people oriented, maybe you'd want to look into an activity that involves you and Bosco working together (e.g., earn the new CGC title, or Rally), or to share Bosco's loving personality with others, you could look into therapy dog work.

CITIZEN CANINE readers, would you have any other advice for her?

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