dogs make us more social
It’s no wonder then that so many people love visiting with and petting dogs when dogs make us more social they see them out and about in the world. If you have a dog that you like to take on regular walks, chances are one or two people will always try to stop you, ask if they can pet your furry companion, and greet your dog with a big smile.
Dogs work as excellent icebreakers, and for good reason! Even the that pets help alleviate stress, decrease feelings of loneliness, lower blood pressure, and increase opportunities for socializing. Humans are social creatures, and our dogs help us become even more social just by having them around.
Dogs are perfect icebreakers
People are social creatures, but sometimes we deliberately avoid social interactions. This is especially true when you’re out in public — you may make eye contact with someone, but you’re not about to strike up a conversation with a stranger on the spot. If anything, you might give a polite nod and move on with your day. For some of us, the idea of talking to strangers is enough to give us a small anxiety attack: Hold a conversation with someone you barely know?! What a nightmare!
However, the moment you see someone with a dog, chances are you’re going to go up and strike up a conversation with them. But why is that?
In one , she explains the social theories behind this phenomenon. She writes: “People typically treat strangers in public places with what the sociologist Erving Goffman termed ‘civil inattention.’ They may acknowledge each other with glances but quickly look away. The glanced is recognizing that the other person is there, but signaling that he doesn’t want to interact, and also being respectful of the fact that the other person probably doesn’t want to interact, either.”
Adding a dog to the picture, however, changes this interaction, which is why more social. Dogs don’t have any awareness of our social concepts, and chances are they wouldn’t care even if they did know about them. They sometimes want to say hi to anyone and everyone they can, and humans who like dogs are equally eager to meet, pet, and chat with dogs and their owners. That willingness helps break that “civil inattention” barrier that humans have, which opens up the opportunity for humans to interact with each other through the dog.
Plus, humans that have dogs are just more open to being social when out in public, and others often see them as being more friendly. Dog owners expect that and are usually more than willing to talk about their dogs. After some time, you may even learn more about the owner by merely asking them questions about their dog dogs make us more social.
Dogs foster social connections
Many people with mental health issues have difficulty . Studies have found that pet ownership changes that because it’s a great way to meet and interact with others—especially those who are like minded. Dogs are the perfect ice-breaker to start a conversation, especially since you are starting off with something in common. It’s like the weather, people usually love talking about their dog.
There are many places you can go that you might otherwise not feel comfortable. For example, you can take your four-legged friend to the local pet store and browse around—likely you’ll have at least one person striking up a conversation with you. Or head to the dog park where dog owners usually start chatting when it turns out their dog and yours befriend each other. You can take a stroll around any public place that allows dogs and you’re bound to have a approach wanting to talk about your breed.
They Create an Instant Connection
Let’s say you have neighbors you rarely speak to beyond a perfunctory hello when you see them on the street — a frequent occurrence, as people become more . A dog, whether it’s yours or theirs, gives you a reason to stop and talk and something to bond over, says a professor of human-animal interaction at Colorado State University. “A pet is a safe zone,” she says. Even in these divisive times, there’s nothing controversial about a friendly, well-behaved pooch.