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Don't Pet the Dog!

Don't Pet the Dog!

These days adults and children have no respect for other people's dogs. It's like the assume all dogs are friendly and they must all be touched. Even if they don't ask! I just want to scream at some because they are asking to get bit one day. I use to take my dogs just about every time I went to a park or camping, but not anymore. Why? People suck. My favorite hoodie ( I need to get it in multiple colors in a t-shirt ) says "No you cannot pet my dog" in big letters. Many assume my dogs are aggressive because of my t-shirt, which is far from the truth, but hey if that keeps them away then I don't mind. My "aggressive" dogs and I will enjoy our walk in peace. Let me go into details, which to me is all common sense.

* DO NOT PET A DOG WITHOUT ASKING THE OWNER! I wish I could put this on a billboard, highlight it, put it in red letters, all caps, and whatever else to get this through to both children and adults! This is the number one reason why I don't take my dogs in public anymore because I have had this happen a few times. My last straw was when I had a little girl come from behind my dog and I without our knowledge, petted my dog on her back, which scared both the dog and I. Athena jumped and spun around real quick, thank goodness she didn't react (animals react differently when caught off guard including friendly dogs), and I jumped because I saw Athena move quickly. Luckily, once Athena knew it was only a child petting her she was fine, but that could have been a horrible situation. Due to the breed I own I'm sure the family would have blamed me, but it was actually the child's fault for coming up behind us and petting without asking. I could only imagine if that girl did it to a dog that was truly not friendly with others.

*DO NOT PET OR ASK TO PET SERVICE DOGS! These dogs have a job to do and you petting them only distracts them from their job. Service dogs are trained to ignore people, so if they get use to be petted guess what, now that handler has to retrain their dog. Sometimes one pet is all it takes to hinder training. "But it's a dog and they are all cute, they need to be petted." No, keep your hands to yourself. Yesterday, at Walmart with Michael, a client's SDiT, his handler, and myself were turning in a tight area. Michael was doing great with walking with the electric cart and ignoring this gentleman that was only inches away up until this man out of no where pulled Michael into his leg and began petting him! I was shocked and the only thing in the moment that came out of my mouth was "don't pet the dog, don't pet the dog" many times. I knew that moment killed that training session. So of course the rest of the Walmart trip he was looking for someone to pet him. Ug I was so angry. Takes 1 time folks, 1 time. Yes Michael has his working vest on and a patch that says do not pet.

*DO NOT PET A DOG THAT IS ACTING AGGRESSIVE TOWARDS YOU. When a dog is barking, growling, lunging, etc they are demanding space. If you think all dogs like you, even the reactive ones, think again. An ER visit is in your future. Unfortunately I know someone who went to pet a dog that was acting aggressive, owner warned this person, and well it ended badly for her. Use your head and listen to the owner!

*DO NOT PET A DOG THAT IS JUMPING. There are many people that are trying to correct jumping. If a dog's owner says to wait until they put their dog in a sit or to stop petting when the dog jumps, listen to the owner. Even if you don't mind the jumping, if the owner says to stop, please stop. If you continue to pet the dog when they jump/ put paws on you, all you are doing is rewarding that dog's behavior and setting back training. That owner was probably happy you asked to pet their dog so they could practice their training, so please be respectful.

*DO NOT PET A DOG ALL OVER. When petting an unfamiliar dog, only pet the dog's head or shoulder area. You should never pet the back, tail, paws, belly, etc. Some owner's may tell you where to specifically touch. If so, please be respectful and listen. They know their dog, you do not!

*PARENTS TEACH YOUR CHILDREN TO BE RESPECTFUL! I have 3 children with the youngest being 1 year old. Even at that young age I teach Maverick to be respectful. When it comes to other dogs teach your children to not hit, poke with sticks, touch / pull on ears, or even "boop" the dog's nose. Again, these are ways to aggravate a dog that can lead to a bite. A bite that was led from a child being disrespectful, not the dog being aggressive. This is how good dogs get put down. Also, please come with your child to pet the dog, don't stand behind. Children "booping" my dog's nose and pulling on my dog's ears is the second top reason why I don't take my dog's in public much anymore. Do I mention something? You bet. To me these situations are teaching moments for the child, but parents should already be teaching and correcting them, not me. I'm just the lady with the nice dogs.

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