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Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

This article was written by TOBALIE in cooperation with Nathalie Sari - Tiertraining & Verhaltensberatung

Do you also have a “do nothing dog”? Let’s take a look at what this phrase is all about. Because when doing nothing, the dogs do something.

What is meant by doing nothing?

Most of the time, people mean that their dog does not bite or does not cause serious injuries to anyone. That’s fine, but still he does something. More on that in a moment.

How often do we see a free running dog on a walk and far and wide there is no owner to be seen. From the distance one hears then: “Mine does nothing!”. Which means as much as: “I let my dog do what he wants, even if I call him he doesn’t come, he needs exercise and I don’t know how else I can keep him busy, besides he hasn’t hurt anyone badly yet, …”. So or so similarly one can probably translate the sentence.

The fewest people mean it badly or want to harm someone! Mostly there is simply a lack of knowledge about the consequences. With mutual consideration and clarification, it becomes more relaxed for everyone.

What does the dog do?

When you let your dog run up to other dogs without being asked, he does the following:

– Take the other dog by surprise and overwhelm him.

– Approach the other dog in a very unfriendly way (friendly would be slowly and in a bow).

– Falling below the other dog’s individual distance and harassing him.

– Ignoring the other dog’s body language, which makes it clear: Please go away!

– Scaring the other dog and possibly bringing traumatic experiences to mind.

– Ruining the training. Some people do a lot of training with their dogs, whether leash walking, dog encounters, or relaxed walks. Then comes a “do nothing dog” and bam you start all over again.

– Force the other dog to react (flee, fight, etc.). In the process, your dog can also be bitten, for example.

– Endanger the other dog. Maybe he has just been operated on and should take it easy or he has an injury and is therefore not allowed to move much.

– To infect himself. Yes, this is also possible. Maybe the other dog is sick and is not allowed to have contact with other dogs.

You see, it is quite disrespectful to the other human-dog team to let your own “do nothing dog” run around without being asked.

dog harness that fits your dog

Why should my dog not run to everyone?

The “do nothing dog” does not YET do anything. Because often they do not want to “say hello” or “just play” but create distance and have learned that attack is the best defense. Very few dogs want constant dog contact, especially not to strange dogs.

Likewise, the other dog can defend himself against the unfriendly approach and already a fight develops in the worst case.

In addition, the dogs learn to be on their own and to have to regulate things alone, because you just let him do it, but actually he wants support. He learns that he cannot rely on his human and possibly that other dogs are stupid.

What should you train with a “do nothing dog”?

So that it does not come to unpleasant contacts pay attention during your walks to the following:

– Call your dog to you, if someone comes towards you!

– If this does not work (yet), keep your dog on a leash. With harness and drag leash secured your darling also has enough freedom of movement.

– Create enough distance so that both dogs feel comfortable.

– Practice friendly dog interactions (turning away, walking in a bow, approaching slowly, etc.).

– Ask the owner if contact is desired before letting your dog go.

– Pay attention to the body language of all dogs involved. Do they all want contact or does one not?

With these few points and consideration, your meetings with other dogs and people (who will be grateful to you) will be much more harmonious in the future.


If you call out “he’s not doing anything” from time to time, please remember that not every dog wants contact. Make sure that you keep your dog with you and only let him go to others after agreement, if your darling also wants that.

We should support and respect each other as dog owners, then the walks will be more fun.