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Structure and Leadership

AN OWNER WROTE: ‘When I am on the beach with my Border Collie I feel so sorry for the dogs that stick right next to their owner’s leg and go nowhere else…you can see them edge towards my girl to try and play…I even say hello to the owners and ask if their dog would like to play with mine and I am usually met with silence."

I REPLIED: Owners who ask their dogs to be polite and stay calm in public aren't being cruel. Providing structure and leadership is an act of love, much like providing education and rules-for-living to human children. The silence you encounter is nothing more than the owners—the pack leaders—demonstrating the proper behavior for their dogs. As far as play goes, it is highly likely that these dogs have ample opportunity to do that when fewer distractions are present.