Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pierre, South Dakota
I will get easier with practice. When I was in college, I walked a collie for an elderly neighbor. Boggie looked exactly like Lassie so when children saw him, they would immediately run up to him screaming "Lasssie, Lassie". Welll Boogie wasn't used to children and he didn't like strangers petting him but he did like to have his paw shaked. If I couldn't avoid the kids, I would ask them to stop - and be quiet, and I had Boggie sit - then one at a time, each child could shake "Lassie's" paw. I was right by Boggie's side and gave him treats for being good. For my Husky who did not like any children at all, I just learned to smile and say -" sorry she isn't used to children" and I would stop the kids from running up by saying, "don't run up to her, she might bite" . I did have parents thank me because they had been trying to teach their children that same thing. My Aussie was a terrible jumper, so I learned to tell people, "sorry, he's not friendly". Sting, my GSD doesn't jump, but does not want people coming right up to him and petting him, he also will lunge if they are carrying something and approach him directly. I curve around people and put myself between the other person and Sting. Joggers have thanked me and also people riding bikes. If people stop to talk to me, I have Sting sit right by my side. When people see that, they do not come right up to me but stop a couple of feet away.
Sting Chance von Gaard AKC GSD 2/8/2006