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-   -   Can I pet people's dogs? (https://www.englishforum.ch/pet-corner/293751-can-i-pet-people-s-dogs.html)

Mr Dog 05.09.2019 22:46

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Axel is a 9 month old all black GSD and he absolutely loves it when people pet him. When he was a little puppy everyone thought he was so adorable and wanted to pet him but now he's got big some people are frightened of him, which he doesn't understand.


When someone asks me I pretty much leave the decision up to Axel. I loosen my hold on his lead and tell him to "go say hello". He takes the step towards them and will nose them and rub his head against them to be petted. He then steps back to me. If he doesn't take that step towards them I just say sorry he doesn't want to today. I find that better than people reaching out their hands to him although we've done quite a lot of work getting him used to hands moving all around him

AnnaSophiaA 06.09.2019 18:51

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
In French, I usually ask “est-ce que je peux le caresser ?” Or “je peux dire bonjour ?”, pointing to the dog.

doropfiz 06.09.2019 22:27

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mr Dog (Post 3098005)
When someone asks me I pretty much leave the decision up to Axel.

I find that rather distubing, as I'd think a dog owner should be the one taking the decisions about which strangers may approach the dog, and which not.

AnnaSophiaA 07.09.2019 00:23

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by doropfiz (Post 3098287)
I find that rather distubing, as I'd think a dog owner should be the one taking the decisions about which strangers may approach the dog, and which not.

I can’t speak for Mr Dog, but I read that as the person decides yes or no and then ultimately leaves it up to the dog. Which is actually, in my opinion, the right thing to do. I get the first say in if a person says hi to my dog or not. But then I don’t say “sure go ahead”, I say, “let’s see if the dog wants to say hi”. Sometimes for whatever reason my dog doesn’t want to be close to a particular person. I don’t want people to think that if I say it’s ok the dog must automatically also be ok. If My dog doesn’t show 100% that she’s interested in and ok with an interaction with a particular person (that I have already given permission to), then there is no interaction. I absolutely do not force her to say hi to someone just because I think it looks like a good situation. If she hesitates, then no.

A good article on the subject: https://fox28spokane.com/your-childr...c9Hej39a-8vLyg

meloncollie 07.09.2019 09:13

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AnnaSophiaA (Post 3098297)

Outstanding article!

I especially like this bit:

"You are your dog’s advocate and your dog’s protector. Your dog can give consent to being interacted with . . . and your dog can say no. It’s your job to learn how to recognize those reactions and to act accordingly."


Towards that end, a book I go back to again and again is Brenda Aloff's 'Canine Body Language, a Photographic Guide':
https://www.dogwise.com/canine-body-...graphic-guide/

A clear explanation of how to 'read' your dog, one every dog owner should read.


---

An aside, as the article brings up the idea of wearing a 'do not touch' jacket or vest:

When Melon was very old, half blind with progressing DM, I did not want anyone surprising or touching him. But everyone seems to think he can pet 'Lassie'. So I wore one those jackets. Big letters, unmissable. The result?

Even more people tried to grab at Melon. What is it with idiots who feel the need to prove that 'Oh, but surely that doesn't apply to moi'...

Mr Dog 07.09.2019 13:06

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
AnnaSophiaA, exactly. As the owner of the dog I make the final decision as to whether I want a particular person to touch my dog based on the circumstances. Axel is a big dog and still growing and he does accompany me most places so it is important that he is a friendly and well socialised dog. He and I are normally really happy to stop and chat to people.


That said, I try to read his body language to gauge whether he is comfortable with a particular person touching him. Even the friendliest of dogs might not like hands reaching towards their face. If I decide that I am comfortable with him being touched, the decision is then turned over to him as to whether he wants that interaction or not. If he stays by my side or even steps behind me then both his and my answer is do not touch. It is far better for the person to stay still and Axel to step forward and make the first contact and I don't believe in forcing him into a situation he is uncomfortable with

doropfiz 07.09.2019 13:08

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Thanks, AnnaSophiaA and melloncollie,
Your explanations helped me to understand the difference, and relationship between, consent by the owner (1st priority) and consent by the dog (2nd and also essential priority). Thank you.

Mr Dog 07.09.2019 13:19

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Rather than a "Do not Touch" my friend has a "Nervous" sign on her dog. He was a rescue dog and nervous when she first had him and, even though not any more, still keeps it on him as she finds people are then more considerate


Here is another really good article on reading a dog's body language


https://positively.com/dog-training/...body-language/


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