One of the most stressful parts of owning a dog is that everyone loves to give you their advice and opinions, whether you asked for them or not!
- Only take criticism from those you would seek support from. If you wouldn’t ask someone for advice on how to deal with a situation, don’t let their unsolicited thoughts get to you. If they haven’t addressed the issue they’re facing themselves with a dog like yours, they’re probably not fully understanding the situation and therefore their advice may not be entirely helpful – no matter how well intentioned
- Try simply nodding and saying thanks. Everyone likes to feel heard, if some stranger on a walk offers you advice then simply smile, nod along and seek advice from your professional if you have one or continue with your life happily if you didn’t consider the issue they’ve brought up a problem or aren’t sure on the quality of their advice
- Tell the person that you’re in training and will follow the advice of your professional first
- Advocate for your dog. If anyone suggests anything that doesn’t feel right, listen to your gut. If they physically go to do anything to your dog, interrupt them and say thanks but no thanks
- Consider the legitimacy of the person giving advice. People will often say they’ve owned dogs for years or have always had them. I’ve always had eyes but it doesn’t quality me for eye surgery, or mean I understand how they work!
- Set a boundary. If someone is consistently offering advice and won’t take no for an answer then politely set a boundary and request they respect it. Remember that others need not like boundaries, but they should be respected
- Remember that “No.” is a complete sentence