That space we all need

Any closer would be too close for Luke

I have to talk about space today. My husband and I ate lunch out yesterday at The Corner Bakery; great little place with great food. It was busy of course with all the shoppers out hussle and bussling. We sat down; got our food and were enjoying our lunch until; let's just say a very large guy came a pulled an extra chair, a fifth chair at a four table right beside our table. Normally I wouldn't mind this but the guy was literally up against our table; I mean touching our table. If he leaned back he would have been between my husband and I.

So as we sat there finishing our meal of course it made me think of the space our dogs need. I need alot of space; I do not like when people assume that they can enter into my personal space anymore than dogs do and like us they are all different. Like most people; the better I know you the closer you can get without it bothering me. So let's look at dog space. Last night Tilley had a primo position for sleeping; the other two dogs were wandering around looking for a spot. Everything was fine until they crossed an invisible boundary Tilley had made for herself and then she let them know. With the use of body language dogs make it perfectly clear when you are too close.

Of course some dogs have no personal space boundaries; some have very large boundaries and the boundary can have specifications. A dog may have a larger personal space designated for humans but dogs are welcome. Or it may be that only certain humans are allowed in and only certain dogs. Some dogs may only want humans in their space and not other dogs. Typically a dog let's their pack within a much tighter space than strangers; be they dog or human.

Within a dogs personal space specifications will be regulations; when, why and how you are allowed to enter into it. Humans should not assume just because a dog is friendly that they should enter the space completely. Dogs give signals and they may be so small that if you are not paying attention; you won't see them. Space issues are completely different concerning your own pack members versus strange dogs; the ones that you do not live with. Space is a safety precaution; both for humans and dogs. Space is what makes a fearful dog feel more comfortable and a very dominant dog less challenged.

A good rule to follow is to take it slow and always let a dog approach you; never push an approach. And save the hugs for the dogs you live with; don't hug dogs that are not in your own pack.