I made a quick run to the pet food store today to grab some food for Ozzy and the ferrets. (Ferrets usually eat raw, but since I'm going out of town and my friend is watching them, I wanted to make it easier for her and don't want food rotting in their cage).
While I was in there, one of the employees would wait for me to turn around before sneaking up to try and pet Ozzy. Only reason I noticed him sneaking up at all was because Ozzy would start wagging his tail.
EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I TURNED. AROUND. He would 'sneak up' to pet Ozzy. If I wasn't in such a hurry, I don't think I would have kept my mouth shut.
As we were leaving, he was squeaking a toy, and giggled when Ozzy turned to look at him. SERIOUSLY?
Whenever I get my GSD, I'm getting a vest that says in neon letters "DO NOT PET" specifically for idiots like this!
(And he was an EMPLOYEE).
Ha. I feel you. Sadly, that vest probably won't help as much as you'd like.
Corey is my guide dog, wears a BIG YELLOW SIGN on her harness that says "DO NOT PET ME I AM WORKING." There are 4 general reactions.
1. The people who just completely ignore Corey like they are supposed to.
2. People who make sounds and faces at her but don't pet her - even though this is just as distracting.
3. People who pet her and then when I tell them not to, they say "Oh, I didn't notice the sign." (This amazes me because it's HUGE and yellow. Legally blind here and even I can see it.)
4. The worst - people who pet her and when I say not to, they say "Oh, I know I shouldn't but I COULDN'T RESIST." As if this is an excuse.
I just don't get it. I mean, it's one thing to pet a strangers dog without asking - it's potentially dangerous for all parties - but to pet a dog CLEARLY marked as a service dog because you "couldn't resist" is just insane.
I hope you do have better luck with a vest. It'll probably help for some people, but sadly, probably not for all.
If I see someone with a SD, I smile and usually make a comment to the handler (usually along the lines of "Beautiful dog,") but nothing to distract or potentially distract the dog. And I only comment if the handler looks at me, or is already talking to me. (At work, for example). Otherwise, I admire from afar.
I saw a picture of a malinois that appeared to be a MWD wearing a vest with a profane word thrown on there, but for some reason, it seems like that'd be more effective....
Why can't people just ask? Ugh.
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.
When I took my niece and nephew to a flyball practice while they were out visiting, we went over two HUGE rules.
1) Don't put your fingers in any dogs' crate.
2) Don't pet any dog without asking.
The week before, a new member brought their sister who brought her two kids, and they were putting their hands in crates, running up and grabbing some of the dogs, and worse - letting dogs out of crates!
I was sitting and talking with my mom while other dogs were running when Ozzy (who was crated) ran into my lap. I said, "How'd he get out??"
The mom just laughed and said he had some help!
Needless to say, she nor her children were welcome to future practices.
There are serious dangers to the kids and dogs with everything they were doing, and the mom thought it was funny!
Respect for dogs should be taught early on. Hard to teach if adults don't show even the slightest amount of respect toward them. (Oh, and to top it off, she came into a crowd of crazy dog people talking about having to get rid of her two labs because she was moving!)
Oh my God.
Letting dogs OUT OF CRATES????
I guess maybe some people have this automatic assumption that all dogs that are taken out into public are completely trained, socialized, and perfect, but even the best of dogs can make mistakes. Heck, if Corey was in a crate and someone let her out without me knowing, I can't guarantee she'd run to me if I wasn't calling for her. That could be so, so dangerous!!! How could any mom be okay with that?????
I guess I shouldn't be shocked, though. I grew up way out in the country with divorced parents who were both experienced dog owners. That was like my only experience, so I have just always thought people understood the basics. Then I got Corey and I live in NYC, and I"m learning that no . . . so many people have no idea about how to respect others dogs.
Seriously. I was in a store the other day with Corey. She was on her best behavior, very focused, etc. And there were lots of temptations around - we were in a candy store - but she knew she was working so had no reaction. Then I feel her tail wagging and her fidgeting excitedly. i turn and see these two guys, one petting her. When he saw me look he backed up and was like "Sorry! I know the sign said not to, but she's so cute!" I was so surprised that he ADMITTED he had seen my sign and KNEW she was working and still did it. I told him eh shouldn't and he was like "Why?" and I had to explain to this grown man that a guide dog is responsible for my safety, and distractions can interfere with that, but also, she knows she is working, and if someone comes and gets her excited, she loses focus and isn't on her calm, cool behavior anymore.
It was like he wanted me to justify to him why petting a service dog without permission was a bad thing.
I sort of hoped getting a GSD instead of a labrador for a guide would help with this since my friends with lab guides deal with it a lot, but no. It's pretty much the same.
Ugh I HATE this... It's not as big of an issue with my GSD, he doesn't have the traditional markings... He's a blanket back but with a very large blanket and lots of black and I 'think' it makes him look more intimating. I've never had someone come up and pet him without permission and since he's big now people rarely approach him anymore. He's also very aloof with people and once they realize he could give two rats about them they tend to lose interest, lol.
But I have two small dogs, a Pom and a Chi mix and my Chi is fear aggressive... She's not a yappy dog, in fact she next to never barks but she does NOT like being touched by strangers. Once at a rest stop(we were driving to Oregon) this guy just swooped down to pet her, didn't even acknowledge my existence and was quite surprised when she did not happily greet him but instead snapped and growled. I was like REALLY??? Even after that he still didn't even look at me or say anything.
I get that if you take your dog into public they should be stable dogs but it just seems like common courtesy! Dogs are NOT PUBLIC PROPERTY.
That lady sounds like a giant tool and just... letting dogs out of crates... Wow.
I'm pretty sure the best sign for people not to pet your dog is a muzzle. This obviously isn't fair for the dog if they don't have any biting issues, but if there's a big GSD with a muzzle on, I doubt many people will pet him.
I always ask for people to ignore him that he is a jumper/licker, they ignore my request then get upset when he actually does jump and lick.
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Hm, people always ask me. It must be because hes so tiny and cute. Everyone fears Morgan and approach her very cautiously. :p
I get mad when people approach our dogs WITH dogs, though, because our husky is DA that is fear based and will go nuts. They even do this when shes wearing her muzzle. Sigh. She is cute and fluffy.
The curse of the cute and fluffy.
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