I didn’t have a dog until I was into my 40s. I was allergic to them and my adoptive father didn’t want one. It wasn’t until I was older that I started researched brands of dogs that I might be okay with, which is how we ended up getting my puppy, Genevieve.
She has brought so much to our world that at this point I wonder how I survived all these years without a dog. I’ve learned lots from her, but I’ve also noted how much she has opened up my world when it has come to meeting people.
Dog people tend to bond easily even if they don’t have a pet of their own. If you do have a dog, however, it can provide plenty of ways to meet new people and make friends. The best part is, you’ll already have something in common so conversations may flow a little bit easier in the beginning.
Dogs Help Show Off Your Best Side
Being with your dog naturally puts you at ease and shows people you’re open to meeting them. Dog owners tend to talk to their dogs, which is an actually an endearing quality. How can you not adore a high-powered executive who is telling his dog, “good boy”?
If you’ve never been to a dog park, it’s definitely an experience. Dog parks bring out a variety of people, from pet owners to those who just like to watch dogs run around and play. You get to see what kind of “dog parent” a person is, and how they react to their dogs meeting other pups or being naughty. While you’re there, you can also find out the best place to get your pup groomed or find people who are willing to dog sit.
Many coffee shops have outside areas where you can hang out with your dog. When we first got Gen I took her to the coffee shop and many, many people came up to us to say hello. Who doesn’t enjoy greeting a new puppy? Make sure your dog is socialized so if a stranger walks up and talks to you, the dog doesn’t bark or snap.
Even the healthiest of dogs needs to go to the vet occasionally, and each time you do you’ll have an opportunity to connect with other dog owners in the waiting room and even the staff. Each visit offers a potential friend connection. It’s social time for you and the pup.
Dog Obedience Class
Puppy training classes offer plenty of ways to bond with other people. Aim for the classes that are several weeks long, because it will give you an opportunity to get to know people over time. Class instructors typically have you do activities with your pet and as each owner works with their animal it gives everyone a chance for conversation.
We had to take Gen to puppy class in the beginning, and it was good for her and us. She enjoyed meeting other dogs and we liked chatting with their owners.
Topics of Conversation
No matter where you are (online, at work, in a store), having a dog provides you with instant conversation with another pet lover. Just post a picture of pooch sometime on Facebook to see how many people respond. People love their animals and dogs provide a common thread for you to connect with friends.
Out for a Walk
Walking with your pet is great way to find friends right in your own neighborhood. And hello! The exercise is good for both you and the doggie.
If you need to go out of town, you’ll have to either take your dog with you or find a reputable sitter. This can be a good way to connect with someone you might know casually and develop a deeper friendship. You could even trade offers to watch each other’s dogs when you go out of town. This not only provides you with a new friend, but it also gives you peace of mind.
Some dogs do not like the groomer, so you’ll see plenty of owners trying to sooth their pet while they wait in line. This atmosphere makes people very receptive to conversation and meeting someone new. You can offer sympathy for their scared pooch while you strike up a conversation with the owner.
Special Dog Groups
If you have a particular breed of dog, there is probably an owners group somewhere that celebrates it. Do a search for the breed you have combined with the term “dog groups” to see what pops up. There are groups on just about every available online site, but several of these meet in person. The purpose of the group is simply to share the love of a particular breed, giving you an instant connection with a potential new friend.