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It’s no secret that dogs make the world a better place. They brighten our lives on a gloomy day when things haven’t been as peachy. Coming home to an enthusiastic golden retriever bounding down the hallways to greet you sounds like the perfect remedy for stress and exhaustion.
Moreover, the vigour and excitement for life that our puppers possess are infectious. Watching them interact with the environment, other animals and humans are always fascinating. From doing a few friendly greeting sniffs to inquisitively investigating the human walking past the window, our dogs’ ceaseless sense of wonder for the world around them is inspiring, to say the least.
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Thus, it’s not too far-fetched when dog owners claim that owning a dog has actually helped them to be more social and outgoing in meeting new people. But of course, these new people are often dog owners themselves. Especially in the social media age when we’re becoming increasingly disconnected despite being connected online, it’s getting harder to be meaningfully acquainted with others.
In that sense, dogs actually pose as a great conduit when it comes to helping their owners become more confident in engaging with strangers and by extension, making new friends all around.
Still sceptical about the success of dog-facilitated friendships and communities? Maybe a few statistics can convince you otherwise.
Source: Alice Castro on Pexels
According to a 2008 study, people were more willing and compliant towards a male confederate with a dog in terms of assisting in picking up dropped coins and women giving out their phone numbers when asked. These results demonstrate that clearly, people with dogs are viewed as more approachable and more trustworthy to a certain extent. The friendliness and adorableness of dogs actually downplayed the wariness of stranger danger.
As sociologist Erving Goffman coins, this wariness towards strangers in public is known as “civil inattention”. This is when we acknowledge the existence of others around us but will prefer not to engage in interaction. In general, this is a mutual behaviour that many people partake in when it comes to strangers. We all prefer to just stick to our personal bubble.
Additionally, according to a 1991 paper, a congregation of dog owners in a park was observed to be more friendly and welcoming toward other dog owners that entered the scene. In fact, most conversations start off with acknowledging the dog first in a phenomenon known as “triangling”. This meant that newcomers were more comfortable approaching strangers’ dogs as an icebreaker to avoid conversing with someone new straightaway.
Source: Lepale on Pixabay
Though evidently as the conversation flows, the two individuals become more open and get acquainted with each other. Bonded by the common appreciation and adoration for doggos, this is how the “civil inattention” barrier is broken.
Indeed, the infectiousness of a dog’s friendliness is a force to be reckoned with. Dogs aren’t impaired by social biases of appearances. Their interactional openness unknowingly breaks down our icy social barriers one by one (no pun intended).
Eventually, initial awkward interactions gradually blossom into broader social networks of support and interconnectedness to form full-fledged doggo communities all around.
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For instance, stray dogs sightings have been fairly regular in Singapore in recent years (albeit less common than stray cats). It’s been reported that there are between 7,000 to 10,000 stray dogs in Singapore.
In response, several animal welfare groups (AWG) have been bolstering their efforts in conjunction with an initiative set up by Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) to combat this increasing number. This nationwide initiative is known as the Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) programme which is a humane approach aimed at managing the stray dog population.
Among the few welfare groups involved in this initiative are:
While this list of AWGs isn’t exhaustive, each of these organisations have done their own fair share of independent sterilisation programmes over the years.
On top of that, these AWGs are welcoming of volunteers to come aid their efforts to control the stray population. A big example of such efforts include stray feeding. For more information, click here to find out how you can contribute to being a responsible stray feeder.
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One popular method to channel engagement amongst fellow dog-lovers is through Facebook community groups. There are tons of Facebook groups catering to all sorts of canine-related niches out there. Here are some local groups for your perusal.
Source: Dogs Singapore on FB
Heralded as the “No. 1 dog community” in Singapore (on Facebook at least), the group has amassed an impressive 6.4k followers to date. With a healthy and active cohort of Facebook users, the community welcomes all dog owners to share their pup on the page, regardless of breed, size or colour. Joining this page guarantees you tons of adorable local doggos to show up on your timeline almost on the daily.
Source: Dog Go Where on FB
For a canine spin-off of Singapore’s popular “Hungrygowhere” community, Dog Go Where is a vibrant community for members to post and share wacky moments of their beloved puppers with fellow dog-lovers.
Admittedly, this community page is more intimate with just over 600 followers. Regardless, this page is an excellent space to de-stress and forget about life’s worries for the moment by indulging in some adorable and sweet photos and videos of Singapore’s pup population. Go on, click ‘like’ 👍 on a few pupper photos, you deserve it.
Source: Dog Lovers@SG
On a more e-commerce scale, Dog Lovers @SG is also an impressive Facebook group with a membership of over 16.4k. However, it differs slightly from Dogs Singapore in that it focuses more on individual members or stores broadcasting their pet-related products — either preloved items (for the former) or store products (for the latter). Thus, this page might be more applicable for dog pawrents as opposed to casual dog-lovers.
Alternatively, for those who want to procure their hands on some guaranteed top-quality dog products to pamper their pooch, head on over to our Clubpets E-store for some of the best deals on the market.
Although Instagram doesn’t have the concept of community groups, following independent profiles fulfils the same purpose. Some of Singapore’s dog-fluencers include:
An adorable “tripod rescue dog” navigating through life three legs at a time, Kobe is a fighter like no other. Having gotten one of his hind legs severed at less than 3 months old, he never once lost his spunk. With his vigour and enthusiasm, it’s hard to believe that he’s any different from any other four-legged dog despite only having three legs.
Source: @kobibeagle and @magicdow
Now not to get him confused with Kobe, this adorable beagle, Kobi, comes in the standard (but gorgeous nonetheless) tricolour set. With a penchant for gnawing on delicious tree bark, Kobi is the quintessential beagle with an adventurous and playful personality. It’s never a dull moment with him.
For those who have a greater appreciation for pointy ears, consider Taro as a great addition to your Instagram following. Ever-ready with a beaming smile, Taro is indeed a ball of sunshine that’s sure to liven up anyone’s feed.
For more adorable doggo accounts to follow, check out this article for more puppy goodness.
Whether you’re a dog owner or just a dog admirer, there’s a doggo community for every dog-lover out there. Especially with the power of social media, establishing connections and bonds with other like-minded individuals has never been easier. So what are you waiting for? Get on your phones, log onto your Facebook and Instagram accounts, and let’s get pup-dated!