Sorry guys, it's a long one!
Today we took Vader to Petsmart to get a new hopefully (who are we kidding) durable toy. He hadn't been in a while and I figured it'd be a great time to work on some training and socialization since he hasn't been approached by anyone new in a while.
But oh my I did not expect it to go as intense as it did today. No one has ever approached to pet without asking, sure we've had small children run up with parents running after them going "Nonononono" but no one has ever made contact. Today the store was packed, so points for the socialization but hands were shooting out of everywhere! My mother would walk him down aisles with him in between us and be fine but forbid we stop or there would be a drive by petting. Now Vader has been heavily socialized since he was 9 weeks old, I really don't worry about it or what he'll do, I figure he has to get used to it because it's bound to happen his entire life. He'd also just gotten into a pile of bear poo in the woods before we went so, serves them right to get licked with poo mouth since they didn't ask. We did have a woman walk behind us and ask if he bit, but understanding people's fears we just told her no and let her walk around so she wasn't afraid.
The worst part was when we were looking at a Halloween shirt for him for our Obedience class Halloween party. He was at heel sitting by me on a short leash so he couldn't get into anything, my mom and I were talking when we hear "How old is he?". I love talking about him so I was really happy to let her know, I turn and her GSD twice his size is nose to nose with him! Vader is great with other dogs, he's never met an enemy and even respects the chihuahuas so long as he doesn't get a chance to play with them. She was very nice and I was as polite as could be, I'm painfully shy and try not to yell at people. We talked for a moment before going to another end cap when we're surrounded by their training class! 2 Dobermans (thankfully one walked off) and the GSD from earlier. I kept him sitting beside me as they peppered with questions but the other doberman comes up and presents her rear to him. I'm clearly nervous, my mother voices that it's making me nervous and the trainer has the gads to tell me "Don't be nervous he can sense that, why are you nervous?!" I had to slowly (not to sure about her mental status so had to be very clear) that I don't feel like breaking up a dog fight and Vader is non-reactive to my emotions. I was so thankful to finally get out of there and the woman is off letting her GSD meet the rotty who just walked up! I absolutely know Vader is solid with meeting other dogs, but strange dogs don't belong in his face. I have no idea why people just assume that their dog is going to love mine.
I really am so proud of him for handling everything like a rock, and being only 9 months old at that. He didn't even turn around when a little girl rushed us from behind and pet him up the back and only paid a second of attention to this small dog running at us yipping. So so proud of my boy today!