OH, yeah, and I don't mind at all if someone comments to ME. It's when they distract the dog that bugs me. Sigh.
And I KNOW. It isn't that hard to ask!!! I have a friend that has a dog with fear aggression issues. He's totally fine with people he knows and she has a system for how to introduce people (he was a shelter dog with a bit of baggage). When people ask to pet, she can do her routine and the dog can meet the person and it's fine. But if someone tries to pet the dog without asking, the dog might snap.
THIS IS WHY YOU ASK FIRST!
And, also, just out of courtesy? I mean, my mom taught me this when I was five. It amazes me the grown adults who do it. No joke - kids almost always ask if they can pet her. It's the adults i have to worry about.
Corey - female GSD, b. 12/21/10. (Fidelco Guide Dog)