Letting strangers pet your dog
So you’re walking your dog, and are about to cross a young child who is pulling her mother’s hand saying ” Mommy! mommy! I want to see the doggy!”
Some people have a preference of not having their pet ‘socialize’ while outdoors, while other dog owners have no problem with their pet socializing with strangers. There is certainly nothing wrong with turning people away from petting your dog. After all, it’s your pet and it’s not your obligation to allow other people to pet it. Some pets may even get nervous and apprehensive confronting strangers, so best for both you and them to keep walking.
From the perspective of socialization (getting a dog acquainted with strange people and situations so it is less fearful), it would be good for dogs to get to experience interacting with other people and other dogs, but socialization should not be forced upon dogs if they are not comfortable.
Many children (and yes, some adults) do not understand how to approach dogs properly and if a pet owner feels uncomfortable with them around their dog, it’s probably best from a safety perspective to politely decline their interactions – for both the safety of the dog and child/adult. However, a good opportunity with polite people who are willing to listen to ‘conditions for the interaction’ should not be rejected. If people are willing to ‘cooperate’, this could be a great opportunity for your pet. And you will find that most times, people will cooperate and listen.
You can read the whole thread on this topic from this link in our pet forum