Ignore my dog
So why did we start this campaign? Well, one day Lewis and I were talking on the phone about how if everyone just ignored dogs more we’d likely see a massive reduction in problem behaviours and a significant reduction in dog bites too.
How it started
Over the past few years (combined about 20) Hannah and Lewis have been working with and training dogs. They've worked with all types and breeds of dogs and have also worked with loads of different types of human beings too. And the one thing they both agree on which is a HUGE problem in dog training is.... not the dogs, but the unrealistic expectations and somewhat mythical ideas of what sharing your life with a dog actually is and entails for a lot of owners.
We talked about how it would be funny, but also helpful, if we had tees which said
“IGNORE MY DOG: He’s a bit of a twat sometimes” and other silly little slogans. Later that night we launched the campaign IGNORE MY DOG.
What's the goal?
What we're hoping this #IGNOREMYDOG campaign will eventually do is encourage and influence a shift in our culture with regards to dogs and their behaviour, as well as our behaviour around them.
The ultimate goal is to educate and spread awareness regarding what appropriate interaction with dogs is and looks like. Our culture has a tradition of touching and interacting with every dog we see, without giving much thought into whether or not the dog wants to be interacted with, or whether or not it's beneficial for the dog to be interacted with.
As Jean Donaldson once noted
"Just a generation ago if you went near a dog when he was eating and the dog growled, somebody would say, 'Don't go near the dog when he's eating!, what are you crazy?' Now the dog gets euthanized. Back then, dogs were allowed to say, NO. Dogs are not allowed to say no anymore...They can't get freaked out, they can't be afraid, they can never signal 'I'd rather not.' We don't have any kind of nuance with regard to dogs expressing that they are uncomfortable, afraid, angry, or in pain, worried, or upset. If the dog is anything other than completely sunny and goofy every second, he goes from a nice dog to an 'AGGRESSIVE' dog."