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Can I Pet Your Dog (s)?


SnowGypsy
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I cannot tell you how many times I encounter that question, or how many times my dog(s) have been rushed by children wanting to pet them.  Oh, least I forget, "Does your dog bite?"  Unless it is people or children that I am familiar with, the answer is always no.  For the biting question?  "They could."  The last dog I had, a beautiful English Shepherd,  did not like being touched by people outside the family.  She wouldn't bite them, but it made her uncomfortable, and my thought was that I was not going to sacrifice her comfort for a stranger.  Now, both dogs are older, one 15 and the other 16.  We adopted the yellow lab when she was about 8 years old, previously a breeder who was left alone in a yard when the owners moved away.  Even 7 years later, I don't know her that well really.  The other we have had since she was 3 months old, and she spent her first year growing up in an RV Park, so she is well-socialized.  For those that aren't yet "out there" be aware that people, even adults (like today), will rush up asking to pet the dogs, and especially with older dogs that may not see or hear that well, this can make them uncomfortable.  Not a fan of being touched by strangers, I can't see imposing it on my dogs.  Just my thoughts!

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I am thrilled when people (and especially children) ask the question rather than just assume they can approach the dog.  It obviously gives the option to say No.  Some dogs do enjoy meeting people.  Enjoy getting the attention.  For the more social dogs it is a pleasure to let them enjoy the attention of courteous people of all ages. Since my dog is out in public with me, interactions of all types are part of life.  For me as well as my dog.

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I, too, want people to ask before they automatically assume they can pet our dogs.

One dog loves people and assumes every person wants to pet him, so with him, it's more a matter of asking "Do you want to pet my dog?" :rolleyes:

The other dog "wants" to be friends with people, but she's very timid so is reluctant to approach them.  Once she gets to know people, though, she wants attention from them.

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Once Peter Sellers was asked by a stranger if his dog bites. He replied no. The stranger went to pet the dog standing next to Sellers and it bit the stranger. The stranger said “I thought you said that your dog doesn’t bite?”  Sellers replied, “ that’s not my dog!” LOL LOL LOL 😆 

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Twotoes:  "Oldie but a goodie!" 

Again today I had an adult quickly reach out to pet my dog.  Neither dog sees well, and it is obvious they are ancient.  Most say "Those dogs look really old."  Well, there is a reason for that.  Those with "really old" dogs realize the issues like failing sight and hearing that can make an older dog tense up, and admire them from a distance.  Also, with warmer temperatures, they just want to get back inside where they get plenty of attention.

Edited by SnowGypsy
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I love that almost all of the kids I run into have been taught to ask that question.  My dog is like a magnet, a bit bigger than a beagle, happy, wagging tail and white with black spots. I get asked if she is a dalmatian by half the little kids. If the kids are very small I make my dog sit and I get down on the dog and kids level so I can stop any errand hands that might pull an ear. The only time she is not interested is if she spots a much hated black squirrel.

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We have two dogs, the Aussie loves everyone without reservations, I just have to warn people that he will jump on them and give them a licking. Our other dog is 180% different, a Border Collie, does not like strangers and shys away from them. I worry if someone persistently tried to pet him he might bite. When I'm with him he mostly ignores others and I can walk right by them. When my wife has him alone he becomes more aggressive, barking at people who get near.

I've had this happen before with our previous dogs, especially a boneheaded Dalmatian who would put on such a display that no one ever thought about getting near. He also formed strong dislikes and terrorized one of my wife's cousins to the point she would not get out of her car. I didn't much care for her and he may have picked up on it tho I was never rude or hostile to her.

But when I was with them, no problem he would even accept petting from strangers.

My wife just can not establish her place in the dog dominance hierarchy.  They regard me as the boss dog and her as someone who must be protected.

 

 

Edited by agesilaus
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In 26 years of RV camping we have never had anyone approach the dogs to pet them.  This has been with four different pets over the years.  They also have never asked if the dogs bite.  The dogs have been a Border Collie, a Shepherd-Samoyed mix, a Black Lab and a Beagle (the Beagle has psychological issues, she thinks she's a Great Dane).  Our summer trips are when we usually encounter kids in the parks and they always seem to be to interested in doing what kids do and not the least interested in petting anything.  The Shepherd-Samoyed mix did get a lot of comments from folks who were walking by our site but none asked to approach.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We often get this question, as our dog looks soft and pet-able. If kids are polite enough to ask, I always try to accommodate them to reward them for doing things the right way. But our dog is a rescue and not all that fond of strangers and children, so I have her sit, get down to her level, put my arms around her, and tell the kids not to touch her head, but pet her body.  See how soft she is? I ask. I think it's good for everyone, unless the kids are screaming and overly wild. Then I just say no.

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Maybe things like this vary by area?  We were out and about with one of ours on Saturday, doing some shopping and grabbing lunch, so I paid attention to how people acted.  Nobody touched him.  A couple asked if it was ok.  Quite a few just commented that he's cute.  One person complained to the management that there was a dog on the patio, and was told that company policy is to welcome dogs.  Just interesting observations.

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  • 4 weeks later...

it all depends on the dog, human, and conditions.

my dogs were very friendly, (sad both have aged out long ago)  loved to play with kids. but there were a couple of "kids" they alerted on. good thing they stopped coming around, (the two boys did not live in that area).

never approch a dog you do not know, without asking the owner first.

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Jerry Clower or Justin Wilson had a bit years ago.

 

Sheriff was sitting in front of courthouse. Traveling salesman came up and saw the dog laying there. Salesman asked, “Does you dog bite?”  Sheriff said, “no”

Salesman went to pet the dog and got bit!  He ask the Sheriff what happened.  Sheriff said “ that ain’t my dog!”

 

 

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