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Old 25.08.2019, 23:46
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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.
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Old 26.08.2019, 00:25
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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!
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Old 26.08.2019, 01:51
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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... 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!
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Old 26.08.2019, 07:45
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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”.
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Old 26.08.2019, 07:58
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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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!
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Old 26.08.2019, 08:21
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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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.
Absolutely sickening. I'm so sorry to read that this happened to you.
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Old 26.08.2019, 08:23
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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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!
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Old 26.08.2019, 08:25
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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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.
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Old 26.08.2019, 15:38
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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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...
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Old 26.08.2019, 15:40
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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Um did you grab her stick and hit her back? I sure as heck would have...
But then you could have been up on an assault charge. See post preceding yours.
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Old 26.08.2019, 15:44
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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But then you could have been up on an assault charge. 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.
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Old 26.08.2019, 15:49
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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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.

Last edited by Clocker; 26.08.2019 at 15:59.
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Old 26.08.2019, 16:01
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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.
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Old 26.08.2019, 16:03
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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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...

I'm horrified by meloncollie's story above, what a nasty woman to do that!
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Old 26.08.2019, 16:21
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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.?!
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Old 26.08.2019, 16:52
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

"this is not my dog"
Clouseau
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Old 26.08.2019, 18:29
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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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.
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Old 27.08.2019, 18:35
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

Thank you guys so much for the info, very helpful.
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Old 27.08.2019, 19:16
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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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?!
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Old 27.08.2019, 20:46
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Re: Can I pet people's dogs?

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At least you should have taken her stick and broken it in two. And then called the police.
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And then the charge would have been criminal damage to property?!
Taking the stick would be okay, holding it as evidence while you wait for the police to arrive.

Back to the original question:


Last edited by araqyl; 27.08.2019 at 20:46. Reason: Fixing image link
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