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Hello again! I have another question. So I'm sure you all read that Ronin (5.5 month old German Shepherd) was having problems with one particular kid in our area in another threat.. Thankfully, that has been resolved and so far no more issues. This time, my problem is this. I went to the pet store the other day, just Ronin and I, where there isn't a lot of people around all at once. Now, I was looking for a new bed for Ronin, and this couple with their 5 year old granddaughter came in. Ronin didn't do anything, just looked over and we kept going about our business. Well the grandmother oooh and ahhhed over Ronin. I was polite, said thank you, but could tell that the little girl was scared of Ronin, so I kept him away. Then the lady kept coming towards Ronin dragging the little girl, trying to get her to pet him. I told her, no that's okay, she's obviously not comfortable. The little girl was near tears, she was so upset. I told the lady again that I didn't want her to touch Ronin because she was scared, so I walked away. I went to pay, and the lady came up again with the little girl! Who was crying, almost sobbing, and forced her pet Ronin, even when I told her no and moved to pull Ronin away! The poor girl, is sobbing and Ronin is getting upset. I'm trying to pay for my stuff, and the woman's husband came up too. Ronin barked now, and the little girl was sobbing now. I just was at a loss on what to do. I told the lady, "Your little girl doesn't want to pet him, and I want you to step back because you're upsetting my dog." The lady finally stepped back, but she was angry with me, and one of the store employees was upset with me that my dog barked at someone. Thankfully, the owner of the store was there, who knows us and loves Ronin, and told his employee to leave us be. But I wasn't sure what to do when it comes to telling someone no they can't touch my dog. I walked away, but I couldn't leave the store because I was in the middle of paying, but I felt awful that the little girl was so scared and upset. Any suggestions or advice for if this ever happens again?
 

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That was hard to even read through. Really, I have never met anyone so insisting on making a kid pet a dog. Hopefully it never happens again, but I think you handled it just as you should have.
 

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You are your dog's protector. I won't let strangers near my dogs unless I am positive it wil be a benefit to the dog, not to a child or a grandmother. My responsibility is to my dog, not to someone else's feelings. Just speak up in a loud firm voice. I say, I'm training my puppy and I need you to stay a distance away from him. If they are pushy, I say, he jumps and will scratch you if you get too close. If they persist, I walk away. You can get a jacket for the dog to wear that says Do not touch, or anything else you want it to say if you are afraid to speak up.

You did the right thing and that woman is an idiot. I have no patience for people like that. I have no problem telling someone they are screwing up a child if I am pretty sure they won't try to harm me. If I'm not sure, I just leave.
 

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You can always use something like "My dog is in training, please don't come close and pet him. Thank you for understanding." Add a smile and go about your business.:)
There are definitely a lot of obnoxious and self-centered with low intelligence people. Myself being not confrontational, I really dislike situations like this. A normal and sane person would ask if it's ok to pet your dog and would understand what's going on even going by the poor child's reaction. In this case she was literally in her own little world with who knows what agenda on her mind. And if something was to happen (god forbid), you would be the one blamed.

We were on a walk the other day, and as we almost crossed the intersection, there was a kid (maybe around 10 y/o) behind us who was probably too in a hurry to cross it and ran up to us from behind. Of course my pup jumped slightly and his body stiffened a bit and we stepped aside. Then I stopped and told the kid to please not to run from behind of any dog because he may treat it as threat and may lunge at you. Be mindful and respect the boundaries, after all they are animals with large teeth whose primary responsibility is to protect their owner.

It's kind of sad that parents don't educate children and themselves on being around animals. Imho there should be mandatory seminars in schools for students AND their parents.

Yours and my stories though barely scratch the surface of the issue though.:(
 

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A young dog like that should be petted by people. The right people. People the OP feels comfortable petting his dog. Wearing a vest on the dog, or telling people he is in training please do not pet him, I think gives the wrong message, and people will just avoid him and his dog.

I think it was better to name the issue as he did, "she looks afraid, it is better that she not pet the dog." It's not everyone, it is people with 4 out of control kids, or a kid that is jumping up and down and acting crazy, or a kid that rushes over and practically lands on your dog without stopping to ask that we don't want to pet our dog. We can use these as learning opportunities, but yeah, you have to be able to step in front of your dog, say, "STOP", or "NO" to the child and say, "You need to ask, if you want to pet someone's dog. And, then I can say, yes or no."
 

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In the case of the original situation:

How about "Do Not Touch My Dog!:" "Do not make your child touch my dog!" "Get away from my dog!" "Leave us alone!" You can start out with "Please" in from of that but drop the please and get emphatic and insistent. Final option. Leave your purchases at the counter, leave the store with your dog. Put your dog up, come back, pay for the items and, if you like, chew the woman out but good. Tell her that her actions were unhelpful to your dog and her granddaughter/child.

There's a time to quit being nice about it.
 

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My dog has mange...
My dog is in treatment for ringworm, scabies, herpes, whatever comes to mind. Something exotic & tropical sounding & disgusting.
 

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If taking him into stores like that is something you're just determined to do, take him in, move him around, but don't get stuck in line paying for something. Put him back in the car and come back in to buy whatever. Leave yourself able to control and manage the whole thing. Whether we like it or not, there's a certain perception of dogs in some public places. And I think there's some responsibility on us as owners to just accept people are going to want to pet your dog there. Its not so simple as its my dog, leave him alone. That may be your right, but sometimes you have to be a little flexible and live with what is generally done in these places.

In places of business like that, I don't think its out of line for people to think your dog should be a social, love everybody kind of dog. Thats become what most people expect, either social or not social. Nothing in between.
 

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I rarely let people touch my dogs, but I do expect that in such places as pet stores and the veterinarians, that I am going to meet people who will want to interact with my dogs, kind of like a meeting of the like minded, (dog lovers), so those are the times where I do permit it.

If I were in that situation, I would have spoke kindly to the child and my dog, turned him around and presented his rump and allowed the child to pet his rump or tail. I have found the rear end approach calming to a child who may have trepidation petting such a large dog.
 

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I agree that people shouldn't be faulted for thinking a dog in a pet store is ok to be petted. However, it is still up to us the owner to ok the interaction. And people should still ask. Will they? That is a whole other ball of wax. We can still decide no. Sometimes it isn't safe in the car for the dog, even for minutes. So, they have to be in while we are making our purchases. We can leave the line and wait for the people to go if necessary.

Again, I think the OP did fine. And this kind of relentless behavior is rare.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you everyone for your replies. I really hope this never happens again and I'm sure that there were better ways for me to handle it. Being a new dog owner, I have to learn things as I go. I don't feel quite comfortable yet to leave Ronin in the car. We have a new bylaw that went into affect here a little while ago, and if someone sees a dog in a car, even on a non-hot day, and feels that dog is in danger, they can smash the windows of your car, take your animal out and take it to the SPCA. There have already been more than a few "good Samaritans" who have taken that too far and a simple act has turned into a criminal investigation. I never usually stay in a pet store long, just to get what I need and back out to the car. I thankfully know the owner and the majority of the staff at this store very well and they adore Ronin, so after the incident, the owner came out and asked if we were okay. I think he was afraid that I wouldn't come back. He commented that obviously Ronin wasn't happy and that was why he barked, and not to worry about it. I told him that I was just worried about the little girl. The grandmother kept saying that the girl had a boxer at home and was used to big dogs. I highly doubt it by her reaction. I'm just glad that Ronin didn't growl or anything. I did pull him away, but when someone is that persistent, then you never know what can happen.
 

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Thank you everyone for your replies. I really hope this never happens again and I'm sure that there were better ways for me to handle it. Being a new dog owner, I have to learn things as I go. I don't feel quite comfortable yet
I'm quoting you up to that point because its a large part of why I answered the way I have to your posts. There's a lot of things you aren't quite sure about yet. Things a lot of us don't put any thought into anymore. I can move my dog or puppy through things without worrying about it, just because I've done it a lot.

If you have to go in and buy something and you aren't completely sure you can manage and control the whole thing, you'd be better off leaving him home. Its better then something happening you don't want and socializing Ronin doesn't have to be going into business's like that. His world doesn't have to include shopping. Put yourself in situations where you can relax a little, it'll be better for him too.
 

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I assess each situation separately and make a quick decision based on what I see. My dog is exceptionally friendly and wants to greet people, but he's still young and he jumps and licks. I let him play with the neighbor kids, but a tiny child I don't know, nope, it's not going to happen until I get the jumping and face licking under control. We are working on that right now. My other dog was exposed to a lot of babies and toddlers as a young puppy, so I would let her greet a young child over an older one because I know she will be gentler with a baby. It's something she is used to and I trust her reactions. I don't trust the puppy completely yet because puppies are unpredictable.
 

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I'm quoting you up to that point because its a large part of why I answered the way I have to your posts. There's a lot of things you aren't quite sure about yet. Things a lot of us don't put any thought into anymore. I can move my dog or puppy through things without worrying about it, just because I've done it a lot.

If you have to go in and buy something and you aren't completely sure you can manage and control the whole thing, you'd be better off leaving him home. Its better then something happening you don't want and socializing Ronin doesn't have to be going into business's like that. His world doesn't have to include shopping. Put yourself in situations where you can relax a little, it'll be better for him too.
That's a good point. I have lists of businesses I created when I was fostering that allow dogs, and I will walk my dog through a store without buying anything. If we have any bad reactions, we leave. If I'm going to stand in line and buy something, I go at a time when I know it's not going to be crowded, which means not a hardware store on a Saturday morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'm quoting you up to that point because its a large part of why I answered the way I have to your posts. There's a lot of things you aren't quite sure about yet. Things a lot of us don't put any thought into anymore. I can move my dog or puppy through things without worrying about it, just because I've done it a lot.

If you have to go in and buy something and you aren't completely sure you can manage and control the whole thing, you'd be better off leaving him home. Its better then something happening you don't want and socializing Ronin doesn't have to be going into business's like that. His world doesn't have to include shopping. Put yourself in situations where you can relax a little, it'll be better for him too.
I don't mind it if you're honest with me. I'm going to make mistakes just like everyone with a new dog does. :) We had gone into the store to buy the bed and because the owner who we know really well, had asked me to bring him in to see him. I had planned a time when there weren't supposed to be many people around, and no one was there when I got there. They came in while we were looking for a new bed and had done all our chatting. I was probably about 2 minutes away from leaving anyway. I don't really care about socializing him in a pet store only because he's so well socialized at daycare and his classes that it's not really why I take him. Where I live is a small spot so a lot of people know us and want to see him. He's one of the few German Shepherd Dogs around here. Purebred anyway, and EVERYONE wants to see him. I just have to build up the confidence to say no to people a bit more. I try to avoid having him around kids as much as I can right now though. Mind you, the neighbor issue has been resolved and no problems with that there anymore, but we're working on him ignoring everyone and focusing on me if we're out. We're working on it at home and if we're out on walks at the park where there are people far enough away to not be too close. I know they're unavoidable, but as someone told me before, kids are not predictable, and neither is Ronin at this point.
 

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in the case of what you describe: step in front of your dog and put a hand out to the woman. "Stop! Your crying child is upsetting the puppy. I don't want you to come any closer." You have to be assertive and I wouldn't, at that point, be afraid of saying "I don't know what your problem is lady but you need to back off"
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You can always use something like "My dog is in training, please don't come close and pet him. Thank you for understanding." Add a smile and go about your business.:)
There are definitely a lot of obnoxious and self-centered with low intelligence people. Myself being not confrontational, I really dislike situations like this. A normal and sane person would ask if it's ok to pet your dog and would understand what's going on even going by the poor child's reaction. In this case she was literally in her own little world with who knows what agenda on her mind. And if something was to happen (god forbid), you would be the one blamed.

We were on a walk the other day, and as we almost crossed the intersection, there was a kid (maybe around 10 y/o) behind us who was probably too in a hurry to cross it and ran up to us from behind. Of course my pup jumped slightly and his body stiffened a bit and we stepped aside. Then I stopped and told the kid to please not to run from behind of any dog because he may treat it as threat and may lunge at you. Be mindful and respect the boundaries, after all they are animals with large teeth whose primary responsibility is to protect their owner.

It's kind of sad that parents don't educate children and themselves on being around animals. Imho there should be mandatory seminars in schools for students AND their parents.

Yours and my stories though barely scratch the surface of the issue though.:(
Normally when we're out and about we have no issues. People stop and talk to me, but they ask me first if it's okay to pet him, and I always gauge how Ronin is reacting to them before saying yes. Usually I have no issue. I should add that when Ronin barked, it wasn't a mean bark, or a warning. It was just a normal bark, but his normal bark is very deep it can sound scary to a child. I couldn't believe her husband didn't step in and say something to her. She told me that the little girl had a boxer at home and that she was used to big dogs, but obviously not. I told the lady initially that boxers and shepherds aren't alike and that she didn't want to pet Ronin and not to make her before I had walked away. We have been avoiding too close of interactions with kids after the other incident, but thankfully Ronin was relatively calm when he saw her and just kept watching me. We have been working on that at home lot. And you're right, it should be mandatory to have people be educated on how to approach dogs. Some people are obviously missing a few classes.
 

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I don't think its that you're making any mistakes. From everything you've said, I'd say you're being responsible and doing a good job with everything. There's just some things that some experience and trial and error gives you a little more of an idea on how to avoid certain things or how to control it because you know what they'll lead to. If you haven't seen it, you aren't always going to be so sure.

We had our first Rott at a dog show, probably 1995. We're sitting there talking to other owners and I notice a lady talking right next to me, I thought to herself. She was telling her 2yr old to reach in my dogs crate and pet him. You talk about luck. Out of 50 or so Rotts, she picked the one that was fine with that. He leaned his head in for her to scratch. With my second one, I always set his crate up with no access like that.
 
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