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

MAD 25.08.2019 23:46

Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Hi, is it ok to pet strangers' dogs? if so what is the etiquette? what do I say in french? I just see a lot of adorable dogs but never tried to pet one because I don't know if it's acceptable here.

meloncollie 26.08.2019 00:25

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Always, always, always ask the owner first!

Keep at a sensible distance, stand still, and ask if you may greet the dog. I can't help you with the French, I hope someone fluent will come along soon. In German it is something like 'Darf ich grüezi sagen? Or, 'Darf ich ihn bitte streicheln?'

If the answer is yes, ask the owner how the dog should be greeted. Even friendly dogs might be wary if your approach is too rough, too grabby, too in-your-face - or simply not what they are used to. Please listen to the owner, do as he or she says.

If the owner says no to your request, please respect that and move away. Don't try to have a conversation, don't try to convince the owner, just move on.


Sure, there are lots of happy-go-lucky well-balanced social dogs out there who would relish the attention. Enjoy your interaction with them. But make no assumptions - always ask!

---

By the way, owners might not want contact for a variety of reasons, even when the dog is friendly.

I am one of those owners who do not let strangers approach, let alone touch, my dogs.

Some of mine have a few screws loose, some are terrified of strangers, so while I am working on their rehabilitation I keep those dogs away from anyone I don't know well. No matter how good your intentions might be, the wrong kind of encounter could undo months - years - of rehab work. It's a matter of safety - theirs and yours.

But even with my friendly social dogs I do not allow contact with strangers, because my experience here in Switzerland has taught me that I cannot not trust anyone I do not know.

Back in the dark days after Oberglatt, a seemingly sweet old lady asked if she could pet my ancient wobbly sheltie. Since St. Swimbo was a perfect angel, I said yes, and asked Swimbo to sit, which she did, nicely. At which point the (insert expletive here) raised her wanderstock and started hitting my poor girl.

If you have run into dog haters out and about you will understand why some of us are skeptical of strangers. People have done terrible things to dogs out of a twisted sense of self-righteousness.

If an owner says that he or she does not want contact, please respect that. It's not about you, it's about what is best for these individual dogs.

---

I'm sure you will find plenty of owners who will be happy to let you interact with their dogs - but (broken record time) ask first!

doropfiz 26.08.2019 01:51

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 3094628)
... a seemingly sweet old lady asked if she could pet my ancient wobbly sheltie. Since St. Swimbo was a perfect angel, I said yes, and asked Swimbo to sit, which she did, nicely. At which point the (insert expletive here) raised her wanderstock and started hitting my poor girl.

Wow, meloncollie, that is absolutely awful! I'm so sorry to read that you and your dog were subject to that. Horrible, horrible behaviour!

Excellent post above!

bowlie 26.08.2019 07:45

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
In French, I would look the owner in the eye and ask “ça va”? Then I would offer the back of my hand to the dog for it to sniff and then play it by ear (pun intended). If the owner says no, then I would smile and walk off saying “merci, bonne journée”.

omtatsat 26.08.2019 07:58

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MAD (Post 3094626)
Hi, is it ok to pet strangers' dogs? if so what is the etiquette? what do I say in french? I just see a lot of adorable dogs but never tried to pet one because I don't know if it's acceptable here.

Yes feel free. Smother them with kisses.( the dog not the owner ) But be a bit wary with the the pit bulls. They can snap!

Clocker 26.08.2019 08:21

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 3094628)
a seemingly sweet old lady asked if she could pet my ancient wobbly sheltie. Since St. Swimbo was a perfect angel, I said yes, and asked Swimbo to sit, which she did, nicely. At which point the (insert expletive here) raised her wanderstock and started hitting my poor girl.
If you have run into dog haters out and about you will understand why some of us are skeptical of strangers.

:mad: Absolutely sickening. I'm so sorry to read that this happened to you.

omtatsat 26.08.2019 08:23

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 3094628)
Always, always, always ask the owner first!

Keep at a sensible distance, stand still, and ask if you may greet the dog. I can't help you with the French, I hope someone fluent will come along soon. In German it is something like 'Darf ich grüezi sagen? Or, 'Darf ich ihn bitte streicheln?'

If the answer is yes, ask the owner how the dog should be greeted. Even friendly dogs might be wary if your approach is too rough, too grabby, too in-your-face - or simply not what they are used to. Please listen to the owner, do as he or she says.

If the owner says no to your request, please respect that and move away. Don't try to have a conversation, don't try to convince the owner, just move on.


Sure, there are lots of happy-go-lucky well-balanced social dogs out there who would relish the attention. Enjoy your interaction with them. But make no assumptions - always ask!

---

By the way, owners might not want contact for a variety of reasons, even when the dog is friendly.

I am one of those owners who do not let strangers approach, let alone touch, my dogs.

Some of mine have a few screws loose, some are terrified of strangers, so while I am working on their rehabilitation I keep those dogs away from anyone I don't know well. No matter how good your intentions might be, the wrong kind of encounter could undo months - years - of rehab work. It's a matter of safety - theirs and yours.

But even with my friendly social dogs I do not allow contact with strangers, because my experience here in Switzerland has taught me that I cannot not trust anyone I do not know.

Back in the dark days after Oberglatt, a seemingly sweet old lady asked if she could pet my ancient wobbly sheltie. Since St. Swimbo was a perfect angel, I said yes, and asked Swimbo to sit, which she did, nicely. At which point the (insert expletive here) raised her wanderstock and started hitting my poor girl.

If you have run into dog haters out and about you will understand why some of us are skeptical of strangers. People have done terrible things to dogs out of a twisted sense of self-righteousness.

If an owner says that he or she does not want contact, please respect that. It's not about you, it's about what is best for these individual dogs.

---

I'm sure you will find plenty of owners who will be happy to let you interact with their dogs - but (broken record time) ask first!

Old and sweet is a myth. Hope you gave the sweet old lady a thrashing!

Clocker 26.08.2019 08:25

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by omtatsat (Post 3094668)
Old and sweet is a myth. Hope you gave the sweet old lady a thrashing!

No, because that would have brought meloncollie down to that woman's level. :rolleyes:

Susie-Q 26.08.2019 15:38

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 3094628)

Back in the dark days after Oberglatt, a seemingly sweet old lady asked if she could pet my ancient wobbly sheltie. Since St. Swimbo was a perfect angel, I said yes, and asked Swimbo to sit, which she did, nicely. At which point the (insert expletive here) raised her wanderstock and started hitting my poor girl.

Um did you grab her stick and hit her back? I sure as heck would have...:mad:

Clocker 26.08.2019 15:40

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Susie-Q (Post 3094796)
Um did you grab her stick and hit her back? I sure as heck would have...:mad:

But then you could have been up on an assault charge. :rolleyes: See post preceding yours.

Susie-Q 26.08.2019 15:44

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Clocker (Post 3094797)
But then you could have been up on an assault charge. :rolleyes: See post preceding yours.

OK sure whatever... trying not to go down to someone's level can be reserved for bullies or harsh words, not for someone violently attacking my family member. If anyone abused my pet in front of me, I would do whatever it took to stop them, plain and simple.

Clocker 26.08.2019 15:49

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Susie-Q (Post 3094799)
OK sure whatever... trying not to go down to someone's level can be reserved for bullies or harsh words, not for someone violently attacking my family member. If anyone abused my pet in front of me, I would do whatever it took to stop them, plain and simple.

Preventing the woman from doing what she was doing by running away for example is one thing. Striking her is another. I guess it is a question of self-defence. I just think if you strike the woman, it changes things and leaves you yourself open to prosecution as well as her.
Everyone reacts differently and in the heat of the moment of course things can happen...
Having said that I do appreciate that one wants to protect a pet or (as you quite rightly put) a family member. :)

meloncollie 26.08.2019 16:01

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
As every dog owner knows - or should - when faced with aggressive behavior, escalation is the wrong response.

And as every dog owner knows - or should - so much of canine behavioral theory is applicable to people too.

;)

But back on topic:

MAD, hopefully you will find plenty of people receptive to letting you greet their dogs. We all want our dogs to be socially stable - and practice with the right people, in the right situations, is necessary to bring that about. Please just understand that owners make their decisions about social interaction with their individual dog's best interest at heart... so even though you are a 'friendly', ask first.

magnamax 26.08.2019 16:03

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by MAD (Post 3094626)
Hi, is it ok to pet strangers' dogs? if so what is the etiquette? what do I say in french? I just see a lot of adorable dogs but never tried to pet one because I don't know if it's acceptable here.

Always ask first as mentioned above. I'd imagine most owners are delighted to be asked, certainly anytime I'm asked I appreciate it, even if the answer is sometimes no based on what I'm doing with the dog. However I don't think any dog is happy to be patted on the head by a stranger so if you do pat, stay away from the action area even if the owner says its fine. A "c'est ok" or "ca va?" or "est qu'il est gentil?" would all be fine to ask. For people who love to pet dogs heads, try it on your significant other and see how they respond...:msntongue:

I'm horrified by meloncollie's story above, what a nasty woman to do that!

Clocker 26.08.2019 16:21

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Meloncollie, did you report the woman? Did you see her again? And do you have her contact details, name address, phone number, photo etc.?! :msnnerd:

starDeMer 26.08.2019 16:52

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
"this is not my dog"
Clouseau
:msnnerd:

omtatsat 26.08.2019 18:29

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by meloncollie (Post 3094628)
Always, always, always ask the owner first!

Keep at a sensible distance, stand still, and ask if you may greet the dog. I can't help you with the French, I hope someone fluent will come along soon. In German it is something like 'Darf ich grüezi sagen? Or, 'Darf ich ihn bitte streicheln?'

If the answer is yes, ask the owner how the dog should be greeted. Even friendly dogs might be wary if your approach is too rough, too grabby, too in-your-face - or simply not what they are used to. Please listen to the owner, do as he or she says.

If the owner says no to your request, please respect that and move away. Don't try to have a conversation, don't try to convince the owner, just move on.


Sure, there are lots of happy-go-lucky well-balanced social dogs out there who would relish the attention. Enjoy your interaction with them. But make no assumptions - always ask!

---

By the way, owners might not want contact for a variety of reasons, even when the dog is friendly.

I am one of those owners who do not let strangers approach, let alone touch, my dogs.

Some of mine have a few screws loose, some are terrified of strangers, so while I am working on their rehabilitation I keep those dogs away from anyone I don't know well. No matter how good your intentions might be, the wrong kind of encounter could undo months - years - of rehab work. It's a matter of safety - theirs and yours.

But even with my friendly social dogs I do not allow contact with strangers, because my experience here in Switzerland has taught me that I cannot not trust anyone I do not know.

Back in the dark days after Oberglatt, a seemingly sweet old lady asked if she could pet my ancient wobbly sheltie. Since St. Swimbo was a perfect angel, I said yes, and asked Swimbo to sit, which she did, nicely. At which point the (insert expletive here) raised her wanderstock and started hitting my poor girl.

If you have run into dog haters out and about you will understand why some of us are skeptical of strangers. People have done terrible things to dogs out of a twisted sense of self-righteousness.

If an owner says that he or she does not want contact, please respect that. It's not about you, it's about what is best for these individual dogs.

---

I'm sure you will find plenty of owners who will be happy to let you interact with their dogs - but (broken record time) ask first!

At least you should have taken her stick and broken it in two. And then called the police.

MAD 27.08.2019 18:35

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Thank you guys so much for the info, very helpful.

Clocker 27.08.2019 19:16

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by omtatsat (Post 3094878)
At least you should have taken her stick and broken it in two. And then called the police.

And then the charge would have been criminal damage to property?! :msncrazy:

araqyl 27.08.2019 20:46

Re: Can I pet people's dogs?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by omtatsat (Post 3094878)
At least you should have taken her stick and broken it in two. And then called the police.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Clocker (Post 3095157)
And then the charge would have been criminal damage to property?! :msncrazy:

Taking the stick would be okay, holding it as evidence while you wait for the police to arrive.

Back to the original question:

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