Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

PLEASE DON'T PET MY DOG!!! Rant!

luckypenny
September 15th, 2007, 01:24 PM
Please, bare with me...

We were having such a lovely morning, Penny and I. Went to obedience class and the trainer said she was a "star." 9 other dogs present and she didn't lunge nor bark (which is rare for Penny). She was awesome, relaxed, and did everything perfectly.

So, afterwards, I decided to take her to a pet supply store (where dogs are welcome) to have her weighed and to get a couple of extra toys. Now, she's at a perfect heel at all times. Man #1 comes along straight towards her, bends, and outreaches arms. I say, "Please don't pet my dog." He continues saying, "oh, that's ok, I like dogs." :confused: I didn't ask if he liked dogs, I told him politely not to touch mine. Well, Penny gets up and barks/snarls at the man. I quickly distract her, and then briefly explain to the man that he should never attempt to touch a strange dog, especially one on leash and one who's owner just asked him not to. He shrugs his shoulders and moves on. We get to the checkout line and man #2 directly in front stares at Penny, puts his purchases on the counter, and turns to pet her. I say, again, "Please don't pet my dog." He says "Alright," and returns to standing upright. I calmly explain to him that not all dogs are comfortable with strangers staring nor touching them. He says, "You're right, I always forget." So Man #1, who is ahead of Man #2 in the line, says rudely and loudly, "She just shouldn't bring her dog anywhere, period." Now I'm getting a little :frustrated:. I reply, "If I brought my child in here, would you rub your hands all over his face and head?" He pays for his purchase and leaves without responding.

The front door opens and a woman comes into the store, and what does she do??? :frustrated: Comes straight for Penny, bends over, arms out to pet her. ":yell:Please don't pet my dog!!! (ok, I didn't yell, but you can imagine how I was feeling by now :o)" She straightens up, smiles, and says she's sorry. I told her it was alright but had to repeat once again that not all dogs like strangers touching them. She says, "But she's so darn cute." :shrug: Sigh.

We are working so very hard on socializing her to strangers and she's come a long way as long as no one attempts to pet her. I could have her stand just inches alongside a person or another dog and she's learned to feel comfortable with this. Give her 10, 15, 20 minutes and she'll be your best friend. But, until then, and if she doesn't know you, PLEASE DON'T PET MY DOG!

JanM
September 15th, 2007, 01:49 PM
I can relate to your situation - and I empathize with you. A woman at the Beach insisted on feeding Bobby - three times (different days), I very politely asked her to please do not feed my dog - she gave me a funny look and said "it's just a biscuit". I explained that Bobby has food issues and that I do not want strangers feeding him and that I need to know what he is eating. Well, the 4th time I have to admit, I lost my temper. Right in front of me she gave Bobby a biscuit and said "Don't tell your mummy, she won't like it".

Oopsie - as I said I really lost my temper :mad: and got right in her face, telling her that if he ended up in the hospital again, she would be footing the $500 vet bill, amongst other things. I told her she had no business feeding anyone else's dog, especially when she was asked to not do it (sound familiar???). I felt just awful that I had lost my temper but at least now she doesn't feed him!

Sometimes people just don't think.. I give you lots of credit for being so patient!

luckypenny
September 15th, 2007, 02:00 PM
...Sometimes people just don't think..

Exactly. It's not that I don't want a super friendly waggy-butt dog who loves everybody. I'd give anything for Penny, and Lucky as well, to feel this comfortable around people. But until, then, we just have to continue working on it.

badger
September 15th, 2007, 02:30 PM
As a frequent transgressor, I propose 'S/he bites' as a response; it's brief, gets an immediate reaction and no further explanation is needed.

NoahGrey
September 15th, 2007, 02:30 PM
LuckyPenny,

ALthough I agree with you on, I think people should be asking anyone who has a dog, if they can pet their dog before doing so, but

Are you trying to imply that there is a possiblity of your dog biting someone? If so, then maybe you should have him wear a muzzle, when he is in public places.

what if he lunges at someone and bits them? Which could mean a lawsuit for you, and the possiblity of him have to be put down.

If you were to get a lawsuit, I don't think that they judge would see your view. By telling people "Don't pet your dog" (because of fear he may bite someone) tells the judge that you know that your dog could protentaly bite someone. Knowing that, you as the pet owner should be responible and that you should do actions that would minamize that, like muzzleling him until he is comfortable with strange people.

Even someone standing unknowingly close to you dog, could trigger a bite. Some dogs are unpredicatble.

I would be careful.

ACO22

Dracko
September 15th, 2007, 04:14 PM
I fully understand your rant! Dracko does not like strangers. More specifically, strangers paying attention to him. The other day I had a new friend around me who I'd specifically told NOT to pay attention to him (we were at an off leash park and there were no dogs around). What does he do???? Bends down and calls Dracko to him. OMG! NO, no, no. What part of "ignore" him do you not understand. Dracko requires someone to be in his presense for a bit. He has always been this way. Because we were playing with a ball Dracko was distracted and tends to ignore any people around. Since he "seemed" like he accepted this guy, he thought he could try to pet him. For *****s sake. The dog is IGNORING you cuz of the ball. HE HASN'T ACCEPTED YOU IN TWO MINUTES.

Finally, because I was sure Dracko wasn't going to actually bite and break skin (he pretty much has only snapped) I watched this guy try to pet him. Sure enough he gets the snap and Dracko contacted his skin. This fellow is a dog lover and I guess thought Dracko would "know" that. I am so sick of people doing the "bend down, put their hand out" to Dracko w/o asking me. Nothing pisses him off more than that!!! Trust me, I own the dog and know him. No one has magical powers to change him in an instance.

And, for the record, when I see a dog I ALWAYS ASK THE OWNER IF I CAN PET IT and know that the possiblity still exists they could bite. If I'm gonna go up to it, that's the chances I take.

Don't get me started about the little kids I have to literally RUN from when out walking Dracko either. Parents will sit there on their step watching their toddler who can barely walk run up to us. I'm saying, "No doggie isn't friendly." They still come. I can't count the number of times I've had to run from a 3 year old to make sure nothing happens.

Like you LuckyPenny I'd give anything for Dracko to be one of those "loves anyone" type of dogs but he isn't and I respect that.

Love4himies
September 15th, 2007, 05:39 PM
People should be educated on how to approach any dog, small and cute or large and cute. I used to be ignorant on this until about 10 years ago when I approached a dog with his owner and went to pat his dog. He asked me not to touch his dog until the dog has sniffed my hand for awhile. After that he gave me permission to pat. I have never forgotten that advice and approach all dogs the same way. No touching without smelling and owners permission!

Keep on educating :thumbs up, luckypenny, this guy was just a jerk!

dtbmnec
September 15th, 2007, 06:21 PM
I don't think I was ever really "taught" the "proper" way to pet a dog.

I think once I'd heard that dogs and cats really like to smell people FIRST that I started to really think about not just leaning over (or at that age running up to) and petting the dog.

I do remember mom telling me not to pet strange dogs when their owners weren't around though. I think a few times I asked mom if I could go pet a dog and she had said as long as the owner said yes. :shrug:

Either way, when I see a dog in the park or whatever, on or off leash, I always let them smell me first :)

Now...if we could just train out the "crotch sniffing" we'd be all ok ;)

Megan

luckypenny
September 15th, 2007, 07:52 PM
...Are you trying to imply that there is a possiblity of your dog biting someone?...

...Even someone standing unknowingly close to you dog, could trigger a bite. Some dogs are unpredicatble....

ACO22, there is a possibility of any dog biting. There is no one dog that is 100% predictable 100% of the time (how many times have you heard someone saying, "Oh, but he/she's such a nice dog, I don't know what happened" after a dog bites?)

What I do know is that Penny is very uncomfortable with strangers (this doesn't include children however) staring, touching, or bending over her, especially when she's on leash (and yes, it is always slackened). I have considered a muzzle although she has never bitten nor nipped anyone. We are consulting with both a behaviorist and a trainer. Both feel that she is just "warning" and would not bite unless her warning is not heeded and if she is not under my control (I can't explain enough how 'obedient' Penny is). We are showing her that her behavior is not appropriate when she snarls/lunges but it won't work if people don't listen either. People generally fear a dog who's muzzled and dogs can sense this fear. I can only see this reinforcing the undesired behavior :shrug:. This may be a little far-fetched but I even thought of having some sort of shirt made for her with "Please don't touch me" or something of the sort written in bold florescent coloring :shrug:.

Jim Hall
September 15th, 2007, 08:33 PM
people go up ll thr time in petco and pet strange dogs without asking

even foks who own a dog shhesh i always always always ask no matter how frindly the dog seems

not only is it good manners you never know what a strange dog will do

I also love the ones who let thier doggie stick thier noses up to the cat cages while saying " oh my dog loves cats " I always want to say hey dummy the cats dont like your dog " I usually just distract the dog and get between the mutt and the cages

luckypenny
September 15th, 2007, 08:43 PM
even foks who own a dog shhesh i always always always ask no matter how frindly the dog seems

You know, I was thinking just that. Penny looks so friendly, tail wags and all, is very obedient, so I understand why people would assume it's ok to pet her. But for safety's sake, it's never alright to assume. With Lucky, one can see that he's afraid so either they don't try, or they insist "Oh, poor baby, come here honey, it's ok, I love dogs" :rolleyes: (all the while he's trying to 'escape' their presence). Funny though, when I tell people "NO" with Lucky, they listen. But not with Penny.

jiorji
September 15th, 2007, 08:46 PM
so ok...i get what you mean in case some accident will happen...so please forgive me as i've never owned a dog, but if she's got socializing issues, is it not GOOD to get her used to many people then?? to correct the behaviour?:o

luckypenny
September 15th, 2007, 08:51 PM
We have to expose her to as many different kinds of people and situations as possible in order to continue her socializing. But, it has to be controlled so that all her experiences are positive ones. Kinda hard when everyone's trying to maul her :shrug:.

Edited to add that, yes, to help with her behavior, eventually people will be able to pet her, but not as soon as they've met. Not now anyways. Anyone who knows her sees what a sweet friendly dog she is, introductions just have to be made properly for now until she realizes that strangers are not all bad and there's nothing to fear.

jiorji
September 15th, 2007, 08:53 PM
i'd be guilty of that too:sad:she's too cute:cloud9:

mika140
September 15th, 2007, 09:23 PM
I definitely empathize with you.....I have the same problem with my dog. She was a rescue dog and unfortunately didn't get enough/any socialization at a young age. I've gotten her to where she is completely neutral next to or around any strangers, but it is kinda under the assumption on her part that I won't let strange people pet her. I think it's fair.

I'm still working on having new people be able to pet her, but it's a struggle. Outside of people coming into our house, I'm just not sure it will ever happen (after all she's 9 yoa and about as stubborn as I am :rolleyes:).

I've realized that I just can't bring her to unknown environments anymore (except for on walks) because of how people act. I leave the socializing to the environments with people who I know understand how to act around dogs like her. A good comment someone told me to use, and which seems to get decent responses from people is "sorry, I can't let you pet her....she's in training." It seems to work well for me, maybe because people are given a reason right away (even though they shouldn't require one). Other people may not understand, but either way they get the point. However, I still usually put myself in-between my dog and one of those people until I am convinced they are not ignoring me. In fact, I've gotten quite talented at spotting such people from good distances now ;)

luckypenny
September 15th, 2007, 09:40 PM
A good comment someone told me to use, and which seems to get decent responses from people is "sorry, I can't let you pet her....she's in training." It seems to work well for me, maybe because people are given a reason right away (even though they shouldn't require one). Other people may not understand, but either way they get the point.

Thank you mika140. That sounds like a good phrase to try next time. I get so busy trying to distract Penny and trying to politely explain at the same time. I get worried about sounding rude when all I want to do is help Penny and educate others simultaneously.

Dracko
September 15th, 2007, 10:26 PM
Thing is there is no "right" way to approach a dog other than to ask the owner. Most people, for instance, assume u should put your hand out and let the pet smell you. Do that to Dracko and he'll freak. A person CANNOT put their hand out to him (unless he knows them, of course). The only thing a stranger can do is completely ignore him until he comes to them and even then don't assume he wants you to pet him. He's just coming in to check you out.

So, to me the right way is to ask in each case.

LL1
September 15th, 2007, 11:00 PM
Have to agree with the ACO,if your dog is going to lunge and snarl at strangers you should not be taking this dog into pet supply stores and other places like that,you should expose her to people you know that are aware of the dog's issues,and if you do not use a muzzle you are asking to be sued or have your dog euthanized.

Jim Hall
September 15th, 2007, 11:11 PM
Have to agree with the ACO,if your dog is going to lunge and snarl at strangers you should not be taking this dog into pet supply stores and other places like that,you should expose her to people you know that are aware of the dog's issues,and if you do not use a muzzle you are asking to be sued or have your dog euthanized.



i dont agree its up to the other people especially in a pet store to respect the owner of the dog

LL1
September 15th, 2007, 11:14 PM
Sorry,you bring them in a public place like a store and people will want to,and do,pet them,they would think the owner is responsible and would not bring an aggressive dog into such places.That is very irresponsible imo,what about children who have no idea and run up to pet the dog?

Jim Hall
September 15th, 2007, 11:16 PM
yup and i dont think its aggresion and yup the brats should stay away

LL1
September 15th, 2007, 11:32 PM
Nice.Good luck to you.

Dracko
September 15th, 2007, 11:33 PM
yup and i dont think its aggresion and yup the brats should stay away



:laughing:

I agree.

Why take a chance and pet a dog in the first place w/o asking the owner? Even the most friendly dog can have a "moment" and react to a smell on someone. I think someone being "responsible" with their pet is sufficient. They shouldn't have to muzzle a dog cuz some idiot disrespects the idea of caution and thinks they should be able to walk up to any dog and pet it. ***** if someone walked up to me and touched me w/o asking I'd be pissed, too, yet some people are all about physical interaction.

LL1
September 15th, 2007, 11:44 PM
Wow,I guess for people who dont like their dogs that may be the way to act Dracko.If my dog lunged and snarled at strange people,I would never risk my dogs life by bringing the dog into stores etc.I cant imagine being that irresponsible,and if my dog mauled a child,or adult,and I knew the dog lunged and snarled at strangers beforehand,I would not be able to live with myself,and live without my dog for me placing the dog and people in harms way

CyberKitten
September 15th, 2007, 11:44 PM
I have mixed feelings about your rant. I understand your frustration and while I ALWAYS ask someone if I can pet their dog - if only because I do not want to be intrusive and do not want to do anything unacceptable to the person or the dog - I do wonder about bringing a dog that is still undergoing training and dislikes being petted to a public location. I am sure she is a perfectly wonderful dog and she certainly sounds as such. YOU know that and her trainer does but there are so many people in public places, especially children, who do not ever think about asking - either they come from a small place where the norm is to pet a dog, they do not see it as impolite, they are not scared of dogs and see them all as friendly so why would they ask - the list is endless. They are not being disrespectful - it's human nature and people, especially young children - and God knows I have treated enough of them with dog bites to know this - will frequently do what they are not supposed to or what is expected of them. I know I was not a perfect child and would certainly have petted a dog without asking - I'd never have thought the dog was vicious or aggressive if s/he was allowed in a public place.

I also have to admit I'd never in a million yrs bring an aggressive pet or for that matter a child who is acting out into a store. I know you are attempting to help your dog and I do understand your frustration and while I NOW would never pet a dog I did not know, I cannot say I was like that as child and I know many children who have been hurt by doing just that because the owners brought the dog into a public place. The results were occasionally catastrophic for both the child and the dog owner so I'd rather be safe than sorry and utilize a less public location where people know your dog to train her.

Please do not take this the wrong way. We all have different experiences and backgrounds and I am just sharing mine. Dogs who need help with socialization need help before venturing into the wider world and dogs - even trained ones - and children can be a volatile and dangerous mix! We recently had a case here of a perfectly well behaved dog who out of the blue attacked a child (not sure what the child was doing but according to numerous witnesses, nothing offensive, perhaps petting her :shrug: The dog was put down - the owner inconsolable as anyone of us would be but I really thought the entire issue might have been avoided if the dog and child were nowhere near one another.

I have to admit that even when I had my dogs - family dogs and as an adult (a Siberian Husky, a Fox terrier, a beagle, a poodle and now my chocolate lab "nephew"), I never brought them into a store- and none of them had an issues at all. However, one never knows with dogs and small children especially - as I alas know all too well from time in the ER!

Good luck!

Dracko
September 15th, 2007, 11:50 PM
For the record, I do not bring my dog in to pet stores. I am referring to when I walk my dog and am generally trying to stay AWAY from people.

want4rain
September 16th, 2007, 12:16 AM
i have to agree with LL1, especially with pet stores. it takes one irresponsible parent (which are everywhere) to get a kid bitten. while socializing your dog is important, at the possible cost of a childs face and thus your dogs life just isnt worth it. i know YOU know YOUR dog but in a situation where you can not predict what others will do and the consequences are taken out in a humans hide... just doesnt seem worth it to me.

now let me also say i totally vibe with you on folks thinking your dog is a pet for all. Mister is *not* ready for that. he jumps, thrashes and generally makes a fool of himself. having folks constantly screwing around with him is not helping his training at all. :shrug:

-ashley

growler~GateKeeper
September 16th, 2007, 01:30 AM
I think the real issue here is people need to be responisble enough to ask permission & teach their children to ask permission. As a society we have gotten away from respecting the rights of others to have thoughts/feelings/situtations different from our own. I grew up with dogs & my sister & I were taught to always ask permission no matter what.

LP IMHO yes you are right in all regards - you have trained Penny, she is obedient & well behaved in the right circumstances with the co-operation of others - this is a reasonable request for people to restrain themselves. Just because she looks friendly/cute doesn't mean anyone has the right to pet her without approval regardless of the location. The people around her need to realise that just because she's a dog and especially being a Lab or Lab x she is not automatically going to be people friendly (or dog friendly as in Cally's case - all the time I had people who didn't want to accept that I would not allow their on or off leash yappy/hyper/overly-friendly dog to greet Cally until they saw him visibly growling with bared teeth at their dog -then then took me seriously - it is also a reasonable request of someone to restrain their own dog because mine had dog aggression issues, if the other dog showed little or no interest he was fine & would greet them okay). People need to take responsiblilty for their own actions not blame everything on the dog or dogs' owner.

If the only location she was taken to to desensitize her fear of people were places she always went to with people she accepts she would only learn it was okay in those places with those people. I agree she needs to be socialized in different places with new people.

I cannot count the number of times I have told other adults & other peoples' children who are trying to pet someones' GUIDE DOG "No you cannot pet that dog - see the harness/special jacket, this dog is working it has a very special job, you must always ask the owners permission" - this was not my dog, I didn't know the owner of the dog, I didn't know the people/children trying to pet the dog. If people are not respectful of working guide dogs & the very important job they are doing for the safety of their handlers what are we teaching the kids about their own safety. There is also a large majority of people who are scared of dogs, as kids they are taught by their dog fearing/hating parents because they are scared it is okay to run from a dog - no wonder they get bit.

If children/adults were taught proper dog equittette greeting or otherwise the dogs would be more comfortable, the handlers would be more comfortable & everyone else would be too.

Dracko
September 16th, 2007, 01:50 AM
Good post.

Recently I was outside of one of the accounts I call on and there was a police officer with his K-9 on duty. These parents walked by and the kids walked up to pet the dog! No asking...nothing. The parents didn't try to stop the dog. Give me a break. This is a dog, while trained to behave, is also trained to attack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The officer kindly said the dog was "on duty" and could not be played with at that time. Get a freakin' brain people.

Parents have to teach kids basics of dealing with animals. If they don't know not to walk up to an animal w/o being told it's okay what happens if a dog escapes it's yard and is wandering around and not friendly? Better to be safe than sorry. If you want to whine about how the dog attacked your kid (after the kid went up to it), fine...also deal with the repercussion of it. I knew enough as a kid not to approach a strange pet w/o asking and even when given permission was prepared of possible consequences. If you want a pet around a kid that is 100% guaranteed not to hurt it, get a fish. Otherwise, no dog is 100% reliable when it comes to acting passively.

Shaykeija
September 16th, 2007, 02:42 AM
When we take HRH Missie the poo out , people always want to pet her. When she is hairy , she looks like stuffed toy. Missie is shy around strangers and will try to hide behind me. She will go to people in her own time. People want to pet Tyra also. Tyra is a social butterfly, LOVES everyone. I tell people not to pet the girls. When they ask if they bite, I always say, no but I do. You never know what someone might have on their hands. I especially hate it when small kids run up to the girls yelling puppy ....:wall: what are the parent thinking?

chico2
September 16th, 2007, 08:14 AM
I have the same problem walking Bailey,kids love her,I always have to say no,don't pet her..
Anyone rushing to her,will make her growl,so I rather nobody pets her,while she is on leash with me.

luckypenny
September 16th, 2007, 08:23 AM
I appreciate everyone's honest responses although I feel the need to defend my actions. I really need to make clear that I am an extremely responsible owner. The manager/staff at this particular store are aware of all my dogs' issues (the manager a trainer herself, although not ours) and always welcome me with the dogs in hopes of helping with their training and in helping with educating the public as well. When the store may be a little busy, the manager often stays nearby to help with explaining to other customers the possible dangers of petting a strange dog. As a matter of fact, when it comes to Lucky (our anxious dog), we often enlist and teach strangers (armed with treats) to properly greet him.

As for children, I had already explained in an earlier post that she has never shown any aggressive tendencies towards them. I have taken her to school bus stops and parks almost every morning and afternoon since we've had her, and with other parents' permission, their children ask her to sit and treat her. You have to see her while she has all these little pair of hands caressing her gently all over :cloud9:. At the same time, we are educating the children on how to greet dogs appropriately. I would never, ever put another in harms way and that includes my dogs. When I take them to public places, I am always aware of what is going on around us as well as the state of our dogs. If I feel that the situation may be a little overwhelming, I remove them immediately.

Penny's aggressive responses to certain strangers are predictable. I know exactly when she will react negatively right before she does and am able to re-direct her if necessary when others do not listen to "Please don't pet my dog." I just wish others would listen so well :shrug:. How else will we be able to help her overcome this issue if we can not take her (again, always under our control and close supervision) to places where she is often exposed to strangers in a positive manner? Any ideas would be most welcome.

want4rain
September 16th, 2007, 10:39 AM
lol maybe a sign that says "Mind Your Manners, Greet Properly! -Madam Penny"

also, i know under most circumstances you dont want strangers feeding your dog but maybe for HER it would seriously help if total strangers had yummies?? somethign she desires?? pettings by strangers arent it, maybe food is??

if you need the sign, im fairly handy with a sewing machine. you would have to show me the pattern for it (comfort for a pooch is different than a person) but i should be able to toss somethign together.

-ashley

krdahmer
September 16th, 2007, 11:04 AM
We never had pets growing up, (save for a rabbit who lived in an outdoor condo)..... and we were taught that you never go up to strangers, or strange animals. I just figured it was common sense to ask first before petting someone else's animals. And I really like the child comment you threw at man #1! How true!!

I think that maybe the pet stores that do allow pets in, should put up proper ettiquette signs on the door, so that all that bother to read it at least would know not to just approach and pet all the animals there. I know some people who would take their kids there for just that purpose.... to see and pet animals! I mean how silly is that, like those animals are at the zoo or something just because their owners want to take them with them! :frustrated:

Longblades
September 16th, 2007, 12:59 PM
I think it is a question of do you live in an ideal world, where people respect you and your dog and ask first, or do you live in the real world where they do not? Unfortunately most of us have to put up with the real world and in it, I agree, exposing a dog who is liable to snap and lunge to people who might bend over and pet without asking ultimately puts the dog at risk.

And people will never learn. Just ask my DH who came up on dog I knew (and he should have too) was not receptive to strangers, from behind, bent over her while she was lying down and went to give a pet. He received a snap in his face that resulted in a scrape just below his eye. He was very, very lucky.

CyberKitten
September 16th, 2007, 05:45 PM
LP, I don't think you need to defend your actions at all. You are a very responsible owner. The problem is with those who are not - and strangely, even in a pet store, there appear to be people like that. How amazing is that, sigh!

We are all unique with differing experiences. I just don't take the chance of going into a store with a dog because I worry about dogs and children and maybe my profession makes a little more concerned about that, I have seen what can happen even with the friendliest of dogs and not all parents monitor or supervise their pets <Major sigh!>

When I walk a dog, I keep him as far from people as I can even tho he is an extremely friendly dog but just jumping on a child could hurt them - not that he has even done that but I do not take chances! Our dogs were always taught by a trainer or at home and then brought to places (camp grounds, on trips, walked, the lake, etc, etc. No dog parks near here and I don't know about them either but that has more to do with my lack of experience in seeing a good one operated.)

t.pettet
September 16th, 2007, 08:52 PM
Sorry but am I missing something here? Why do you take her to public places where there are lots of dog lovers if no one can socialize or interact with her? No offence, just don't comprehend?

mummummum
September 16th, 2007, 09:24 PM
LP I had the same issue with Declan when he came home two years ago. It took alot of work on both our parts but he is now "fit for public consumption". (:D pun intended).

It is a balancing act. You need challenging situations to push her boundaries and reinforce her training and socialization skills but, you don't need challenges that you can't control. And a pet supply store has too much going on that is way beyond your ability to control.

I think you need to go back to learning in a simpler environment with fewer variables and variables (the "stranger" for instance) that you can control. So back to enlisting the help of colleagues, neighbours, friends she hasn't met etc. for some street and sidewalk work. Only when you are completely comfortable that Penny will react calmly with no outward aggression to people approaching her would I attempt an over-stimulating environment like a store. And even then I would still set up the learning exercises with friends, colleagues etc. within the store. And only when you are completely comfortable that her behaviour is reliable with these "strangers" would I attempt a high-stimulus enviroment like a store with real strangers.

Baby-steps in learning lead to great strides in understanding :thumbs up

~michelle~
September 16th, 2007, 09:46 PM
I know your frustration. I have been yelled at and called a bitch for asking someone to not pet the dogs. I have my reasons for not letting people pet them and regardless of what they are people should respect that. ( sometimes for training purposes and sometimes because 2 of my dogs can be wary of strangers)
It is unacceptable when you see someone walking down the street to touch them, children, or anything that belongs to them. I have no idea why people think dogs are exempt from this !!! it remarkably rude and dangerous. I would think ALL dogs are unpredicable with a stranger approaching them and their owner in a threatening manner (many peoples body language is threatening when they just lean over and pet the dog)
we should make shirts! "I dont randomly pet your kids please dont randomly pet my dog!" quite frankly i have a general rule of thumb if its not that busy and the area is not that crowded you probably shouldnt be getting even close enough to me to come and pet my dog without some sort of good reason unless you know me. Me having a dog does not take away my rights to my personal space and you manhandling my things, dogs included!

luckypenny
September 16th, 2007, 10:13 PM
I really appreciate these different points of view. Thank you for sharing all your thoughts.


LP I had the same issue with Declan when he came home two years ago. It took alot of work on both our parts but he is now "fit for public consumption". (:D pun intended).


MX3, What kind of work did you do with Declan, if you don't mind me asking? For example, in a controlled situation, when Declan met a stranger, what steps did you both take to 'help' Declan? Did he ever lunge or growl? And how did you distract and/or teach him it was inappropriate behavior? I understand no two dogs are alike and what worked for your's may not necessarily work for mine. But I'm more than willing to try. Please share :pray:.

EdwinBird
September 17th, 2007, 08:30 AM
One thing I've noticed is that most people I've run into think it very odd to "ask to pet a dog." A few weeks ago I was in Petco and so a beautiful big dog (I'm terrible with breeds!) and asked the owner if I could pet it. He gave a chuckle and said, "Of course you can!" Not a big deal, but I still got the impression he thought it was silly I would ask. Since I've lived with an aggressive dog before I knew it wasn't silly.

Speaking of which, when I took that aggressive dog for walks I used the "she bites." technique a lot (even if she didn't bite all that often, it got the point across quick). What would bug me was the few times when someone would say something like, "if she bites, why bring her to a park?" as if I should just keep her holed up in a cave forever!

mika140
September 17th, 2007, 11:14 AM
I feel your pain Penny....and it sounds like you're not randomly bringing your dog to different stores....more like this is a specific store where the owners are on board with your training.

As far as the response I give to people...I've thought about saying my dog bites, and in fact I've had a couple people ask that when trying to pet her. But it opens you up to a lot of legal liability. If something were to happen, even if the other person were at fault, they could say you knew your dog was dangerous. So if someone ran up on your dog and grabbed it and your dog nipped at them......pretty sure you'd lose. Just the way our legal system goes. I'd never admit to anyone that I knew my dog would ever possibly bite them.

I use the "sorry, I can't let you pet her...she's in training" because it seems to take the guilt away from the other person. I think people tend to feel like they did something wrong and get defensive if I just say "don't pet her." Then they put blame on my dog and I and it turns rude. My "training" response seems to do away with the defensive piece and I haven't had anyone be rude to me since I started using it.

Love4himies
September 17th, 2007, 12:13 PM
Not everybody is doggie smart and needs to be educated on approaching dogs. Parents can't educate their children on things they don't know. For those who do have dogs, I think they should understand that not everybody has their knowledge and should continue to educate those who are ignorant to proper dog approaches. It is too bad that some people take education the wrong way :sad:.

Nobody can be 100% sure their dog will not bite and I agree stores that allow pets should clearly post proper dog approaching ettiquite: Don't touch pets without owners permission!

clm
September 17th, 2007, 01:34 PM
I think it's foolhardy for anyone to not ask before approaching a strange dog. Muzzled or not, friendly looking or not, cute puppy or not. I have people constantly rushing up to the puppies to pat them. Puppies get excited pretty easily, and depending on if they actually see the person run up to them, it can scare them pretty good too.
I prefer people to not pat my dogs. Could be just me, but I prefer only people who I know and feel comfortable with to pat them.
Growing up I remember my mom telling me that I was going to get bit one day if I kept approaching strange dogs, of course she was right. :laughing.

Cindy

ancientgirl
September 17th, 2007, 01:54 PM
That's understandable that you don't want people just coming up and petting your dog.

I always ask first. When I was moving into my new place, I met my neighbor, who was walking his beautiful boxer. I looked at him and asked him if the dog was friendly and if it was allowed to pet. He smiled and said yes. I then ran into the guys wife in the elevator with the dog the following week. She asked me if I was afraid of dogs and I said no, and that I'd already met China, so now whenever I see her she gets a pet.

I think its rude for people to just assume they can touch any animal. Your analogy was right on the button. Nobody would just walk up to a strange child and start rubbing their hair and pinching their cheeks.

luckypenny
September 17th, 2007, 02:42 PM
Nobody would just walk up to a strange child and start rubbing their hair and pinching their cheeks.

:laughing: Welllllll, I've met a lot of Nobodies then :laughing:. When my older son was just a month old, a woman in a grocery store attempted to put her finger in his mouth :eek: :yell:. I surprised myself by actually slapping her hand away from his face. When my younger son was about 2 years old, another woman tried to grab his cheeks :frustrated: in a grocery store as well. He screamed and tried to bite her :rolleyes: :D. Neither woman even acknowledged my presence before trying to touch my children. On both occasions, these women looked at me as if I was the one who was rude and ignorant.

Just to clarify again, Penny has never bit anyone, nor will I allow her to. She is under my control/close supervision at all times when out in public. I am trying to help her with a particular problem in a particular environment/situation, and other than taking her out to public places (as well as her training/desensitizing/re-conditioning of course), I haven't yet found another approach to this problem. Keeping her secluded in our home or yard is not an option and certainly won't help in rehabilitation. What then would be the point in sharing my life with her if she's locked away from my world :shrug:.

ancientgirl
September 17th, 2007, 02:54 PM
For pete's sake! People are unbelievable! I can't believe someone tried to stick their finger in your babie's mouth!

I swear, did aliens from the planet Moron invade us at some point while the rest of us were asleep?

krdahmer
September 17th, 2007, 03:20 PM
For pete's sake! People are unbelievable! I can't believe someone tried to stick their finger in your babie's mouth!

I swear, did aliens from the planet Moron invade us at some point while the rest of us were asleep?

:laughing::laughing: Invasion of the Brain Snatchers!!!:rolleyes:

ancientgirl
September 17th, 2007, 03:27 PM
I swear, every day I wonder more and more where people's brains are.

I'd never just touch a person's kid, just because I felt like it, and I would for sure never ever touch a dog I didn't know, unless I asked permission first.

You don't know if that dog doesn't like people, or if the owner just doesn't want their pet bothered. It's rude and dangerous. Please, some moron goes and tries to pet a dog that doesn't like it, he gets bit and then tries to sue you or have your dog put down because they were the idiots!

dtbmnec
September 17th, 2007, 05:43 PM
As far as babies/kids go, the best I do is make funny faces at them. I swear the parents must think I'm nuts, but hey it tends to make them smile at the very least ;)

You know I think the morons have invaded my workplace too....seriously, if you're asked to put 5 iPods on a line, and you only put on 4 of COURSE you'll get yelled at you idiot! :frustrated:

I've actually met many owners who don't bother to control their dogs when I'm walking home from work or wherever. Quite often I've had a dog come up to ME before the owner says anything. Usually, if that happens, I stop and let him/her sniff me, put my palm out and up by my side, and then keep walking. At least that way they get my scent and "know" me so that they don't start trying to follow me as their owner is trying to walk the other way. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. Sometimes, the owner looks at me like its MY fault for walking along the dog's walk route to get home. Thankfully, so far, all the dogs have been friendly/happy to see a stranger. I never try to pet them though.

Megan

Toonces
September 17th, 2007, 06:06 PM
Stores should have signs that if your dog is aggressive with strangers, do NOT bring them in this store.

If this happened in Ontario that could be called menacing behaviour and you'd land in court. Why put your dog and others at risk?

~michelle~
September 17th, 2007, 06:13 PM
i think its appropriate to ask not-- all dogs like to be pet by strangers, hey i wouldnt like strangers to hug me randomly! i think if u dont ask someone or disregard their direct request not to touch their dog you are being reckless and endangering yourself noone else is to blame. if you approach a dog on leash and pet it if it is at the side of the owner and controlled and you dont ask to pet it your being careless..... I have had people come up and touch the dogs from behind so it surprised the dog luckily noone has ever been bit but IMO if they were its their own fault.

CyberKitten
September 17th, 2007, 06:22 PM
In my work, I do hear stories all the time from parents saying they were in a store and someone came up and either opened the baby's blanket while the infant was sleeping, usually waking them up :yell: or pecked the baby in the cheek cooing at him ior her - actions like that. Some people know no bounds it seems and are very ill mannered. I almost wish the aforementioned baby had teeth and had taken a bite out of the person's hand. ;)

Seriously, the best way to take your baby shopping is when they are old enough, get one of those body snugglies (similar to what we also use for kittens and puppies) and go toe the store with the baby close to you so people have to get past you. Of course, maybe bringing them when they are two and can yell at nasty people is also a good payback idea, :crazy:

Jim Hall
September 17th, 2007, 07:26 PM
[QUOTE=Toonces;478930]Stores should have signs that if your dog is aggressive with strangers, do NOT bring them in this store.

If this happened in Ontario that could be called menacing behaviour and you'd land in court. Why put your dog and others at risk?


If some idiot decides to run into the street and you hit him with your car you will land in court too
even though it was not your fault


I for one would never give up my right to my freedom because random idiocy

luckypenny
September 17th, 2007, 07:49 PM
Stores should have signs that if your dog is aggressive with strangers, do NOT bring them in this store.

If this happened in Ontario that could be called menacing behaviour and you'd land in court. Why put your dog and others at risk?

Yet once again, she is at my immediate side, head to knee, either at a heel or sit position when we are in public places. When I see she is uncomfortable, I distract her or leave the environment.

It would be rather appreciated though if you could perhaps share some of your experiences. Let's say with one of your fosters? What would you do with a dog like Penny who's obedient and wonderful at all times with the exception of a stranger staring, bent over her, and reaching out their hands? What do you do to help re-condition/socialize one of your dogs who needs it? Perhaps some of the techniques you use may work with Penny as well.

Toonces
September 17th, 2007, 08:51 PM
Yet once again, she is at my immediate side, head to knee, either at a heel or sit position when we are in public places. When I see she is uncomfortable, I distract her or leave the environment.

It would be rather appreciated though if you could perhaps share some of your experiences. Let's say with one of your fosters? What would you do with a dog like Penny who's obedient and wonderful at all times with the exception of a stranger staring, bent over her, and reaching out their hands? What do you do to help re-condition/socialize one of your dogs who needs it? Perhaps some of the techniques you use may work with Penny as well.


Luckypenny I have never had a foster that acted this way but I did have a dog of my own several years ago that did act like that with strangers and after years of countless training sessions I just knew that he would never be good around strange ppl so I avoided those situations, he didn't care that he never went to into the pet store but was quite content to sit in the car and wait, he loved car rides. If I was walking him and saw ppl (espically with kids) I would cross the road, little wee ones don't know better, they see a bundle of fur and want to pet him, he was a very obedient dog and was good with those he knew but with strangers that was another story it took him abit to warm up to people (and once he did he was your friend for life) and I wanted to make sure he was safe aswell as others, I agree ppl can be ignorant I would NEVER go up to someones dog without asking first but not all of us have the same respect.

luckypenny
September 17th, 2007, 09:09 PM
Thank you Toonces. The funny thing with Penny is she adores children, even ones she's never met before. As for strangers, if they greet her properly, it only takes her about 5 minutes (outdoors) or 30 seconds (in our home) for her to get all goofy and ask for attention. It's just that initial first few minutes that are crucial that no one leans for her :shrug:. This behavior is quite new in regards to people so I need to address it as soon as possible in order to hopefully correct it. She's always behaved this way towards other dogs though that come charging at her either yapping uncontrollably or jumping all over her in play. She has finally learned that it's inappropriate to lunge at them; she no longer does it but looks to me for direction instead. I guess she just wants others to be polite as well :) .

CyberKitten
September 17th, 2007, 09:49 PM
I wish other people were polite too, :):) Poor Penny, having to learn there are impolite people - and even dogs (thx to humans) who are not as polite as she is.
I am with her though - wish others could be as cordial.

want4rain
September 17th, 2007, 09:57 PM
LP, was she abused?

-ashley

want4rain
September 17th, 2007, 10:03 PM
i wiped a booger off a little girls face once... her mom was a few steps away from her cart talking to another lady and she just kept blowign out these huge boogers... and sucking them into her mouth.... so i dug out a kleenex from my pocket and wiped it.

it was one of those things i was sure karma would get me back for in the guise of some old lady wanting to wipe her crusty fingers on my kids cheeks but its not happened yet.

the mom gave me the glare of death until she saw how green my face was and i explained what happened. i assured her i was really sorry and my kleenex was clean but i couldnt walk away knowing she was sucking up her boogers.

another thing that just KILLS ME is people who want to rub my pregnant belly. like beign pregnant bursts my personal bubble and im touchable. like i dont feel like my body is already being shared....

-ashley

luckypenny
September 17th, 2007, 10:17 PM
LP, was she abused?

-ashley

:shrug: I have no idea. She was found wandering the country roads last October. I got to know her over a period of about 2 months while she was at a shelter. We just both fell in love with each other immediately :lovestruck:. I'm guessing she was about 5-6 months old which would make her almost 1 1/2 years now. Her vet seems to think she may be a bit younger. Ever since we brought her home, as well as my other dog Lucky and every foster that comes our way, we always take them everywhere with us to socialize. So this particular store is not a new place for her. She's meeted and greeted lots of people here already.

We were discussing with our trainer that this must be a learned behavior. I used to take both Lucky and her together on our outings. Lucky is our anxious, fearful 3-4 year dog. Of him, we are pretty positive he was abused. So we sorta concluded that whenever he felt anxious, she picked up on it. While he first used to try to "escape," she, on the other hand, confronted. It's been quite a few months now that all training, exercise, and socializing is done separately. Lucky has come a long way but we'll continue working with them this way just in case our assumptions are correct.

luckypenny
September 17th, 2007, 10:19 PM
i wiped a booger off a little girls face once... her mom was a few steps away from her cart talking to another lady and she just kept blowign out these huge boogers... and sucking them into her mouth.... so i dug out a kleenex from my pocket and wiped it.

it was one of those things i was sure karma would get me back for in the guise of some old lady wanting to wipe her crusty fingers on my kids cheeks but its not happened yet.

the mom gave me the glare of death until she saw how green my face was and i explained what happened. i assured her i was really sorry and my kleenex was clean but i couldnt walk away knowing she was sucking up her boogers.

another thing that just KILLS ME is people who want to rub my pregnant belly. like beign pregnant bursts my personal bubble and im touchable. like i dont feel like my body is already being shared....

-ashley


ROFLMAO :laughing::laughing::laughing: You're too funny :laughing::laughing::laughing:

want4rain
September 17th, 2007, 10:26 PM
our 'rescue' Alfie was abused and instead of cowering after we 'got' him... he was confrontational. black men and white men with facial hair and ball caps. we tried everything to help him understand they meant no harm. everything from socializing to mom and i using body language to show acceptance. we had a friend of ours who was willing to brave our pooch to show him the first steps towards recovery. it never really happened heh, we ended up rehoming him (we were moving into an apartment where 165lb rotties werent welcome) to a huge property with 2 gay guys. no facial hair there!!

-ashley

otter
September 17th, 2007, 10:29 PM
First, I apologize that I haven't had time to read this entire post. My heart goes out to you all for trying to educate people about proper dog greeting etiquette. There is SUCH a need for it.

Second, I picked up this great little book mark at the pet store the other day... put out by an organization www.doggonesafe.com in association with www.cahi-icsa.ca. This little card is a very brief primer on being safe around strange dogs, how to recognize a safe dog, how to recognize a dangerous dog, how to be safe around dogs you know. It is quite well done IMO. I really encourage you to check out the website www.doggonesafe.com (http://www.doggonesafe.com) they have all kind of goodies you can download etc. for helping to educate people. I'd like to carry around a pocket full of these bookmarks and give them out to every kid (and adult) I see. Couldn't we teach this kind of stuff in school (or maybe they do?)

luckypenny
September 17th, 2007, 10:40 PM
Thank you so much Otter. I'll certainly be looking at those sites and definitely be picking up stacks of those bookmarks to distribute. What a great idea.

Unfortunately, they don't teach this in schools, not the ones my children attend/attended anyways. We live right next door to a park so I try to explain, to both children and parents alike, proper etiquette when greeting a strange dog every opportunity I have. Especially to those parents who allow their children to poke sticks through the fence into our yard to tease the dogs :frustrated:. Ok, before anyone panics :D, they are never outside unsupervised and we now have a chain link fence, then a cedar hedge, and then another fence separating the park and our yard (so about 2 1/2 feet). I'm not kidding when I say I'm a responsible owner.

otter
September 17th, 2007, 10:46 PM
I just started a thread about doggonesafe.... and I'm going to bring some of the info from that site to our local schools and see if I can convince the principal to bring some of it into the classrooms:fingerscr

LL1
September 17th, 2007, 10:54 PM
[QUOTE=Toonces;478930]Stores should have signs that if your dog is aggressive with strangers, do NOT bring them in this store.

If this happened in Ontario that could be called menacing behaviour and you'd land in court. Why put your dog and others at risk?


If some idiot decides to run into the street and you hit him with your car you will land in court too
even though it was not your fault


I for one would never give up my right to my freedom because random idiocy


Hope your dog doesnt pay with its life for your freedom.

TMac
September 17th, 2007, 11:29 PM
another thing that just KILLS ME is people who want to rub my pregnant belly. like beign pregnant bursts my personal bubble and im touchable. like i dont feel like my body is already being shared....

-ashley

I'm with you there Ashley....I don't know why people need to rub my pregnant belly either! When acquaintances do this, I sometimes get so annoyed that I ask to or rub their belly back!!!!

want4rain
September 17th, 2007, 11:32 PM
I'm with you there Ashley....I don't know why people need to rub my pregnant belly either! When acquaintances do this, I sometimes get so annoyed that I ask to or rub their belly back!!!!

you preggers now?

(boy if we all havent gotten a wee bit off track!!!)

-ashley

CyberKitten
September 18th, 2007, 08:20 PM
I think one thing that bothers me far more than LP bring your dog inside a pet store as unpredictable an environment as that is is when people tie their dogs outside and they atre in the store.

I shop at Atlantic Superstore on Quinpool Rd (if anyone knows Hfx) and often, there will be a dog - usually large ones too - Rotties, German shepherds, etrc tied to something outside while the person is inside shopping. Anyone could walk away with the dog or what of the dog - not happy at being tied- decided to attack someone whp pets him for whatever reason (They hurt him/ her, he's cranky, and I'd be cranky too if my mate left me outside like that!!). It just irks me so much!!! I'd love to pet the dog but I would never do that. But not everyone is like me, sigh!!

Just like people - and cats and other creatures - dogs need their space!!
I wonder LP if there is somewhere else you can take Penney as she gets better with people. She sounds like a such a lovely dog. I'd hate for some idiot to pet her and for her to do something unexpected and have to pay for that idiot's thoughtlessness! You just know the 1st person who is bitten or even hurt if she jumps on him will be the one top complain. And Penny will just have been being friendly in the case of jumping and defending herself if she bites.

Other parks or places where that is not a worry?

luckypenny
September 18th, 2007, 09:19 PM
CK, I understand your concern and it's much appreciated. However I just wish my posts would be read thoroughly :shrug:. No one can pet her. She is directly by my side. I do not allow anyone to come within her reach. If my request is ignored, I either a) distract/redirect her or b) turn and walk in the opposite direction. I am not randomly walking into any store with her on a long leash doing as she pleases while I browse the aisles. There are only 8 widely spaced aisles (4 + 4 that are perpendicular to each other) in this store with lots of room to maneuver. We've been going to this place weekly since we've had her which is almost a year now. This is a fairly new behavior on her part so we're just working through it. Please believe me when I say, I know what I'm doing, as does the manager and the staff. If they felt she was a danger to costumers and that I had no idea what I was doing, do you really think we'd be let into the store? She is wonderful with people. Just this morning, we ran into another shelter volunteer on the street. Lots of traffic and students from a high school across the street all over the place. We moved to a parking lot where it wasn't so busy. I asked her not to pet nor stare at Penny. Within 5 seconds, she fed Penny a treat, and made a new buddy. That's how simple it is. All I ask is for her not to be pet. How difficult is that for someone else to not do? Really. That was the point of this thread. To rant about how some can not respect a simple request.

mummummum
September 18th, 2007, 09:34 PM
Luckypenny I understood your thread and understand your rant. My point was and is that I can never count on people respecting my space or my requests 100% of the time so I had to make sure that I was never setting Declan up for failure.

want4rain
September 18th, 2007, 09:40 PM
*laughs* i guess thats what the "rant" is all about right? its YOUR rant for petes sake! this thread just goes to show, there are stupid people all over and maybe we are all too aware of it. assuming a respected and conscientious member of this form would take a grossly aggressive dog who just wants to eat a few babies into a store full of children who scramble to pet it is a bit overboard. :)

:cool:

-ashley

luckypenny
September 18th, 2007, 09:50 PM
Luckypenny I understood your thread and understand your rant. My point was and is that I can never count on people respecting my space or my requests 100% of the time so I had to make sure that I was never setting Declan up for failure.

We do routinely practice with "controlled" strangers in more open spaces. So far we've not run into any problems (other than I'm beginning to run out of friends who are strangers :D) because I do ask, while we're 'setting up' that they do not pet her immediately. How would I move forward from that point?

And I understand what you're explaining as well and really appreciate/trust your concerns/advice. I'm just stuck on the "How To" part :shrug:.

mummummum
September 18th, 2007, 10:02 PM
If I understand you correctly... (and correct me if I don't get it right :D)

Penny has progressed to the point where she will relax her guard with a stranger so long as that stranger shows no interest in her at the onset of their encounter.

For us the next step took some micro analyzing and micro-managing. Pick one thing that sets her off ie. sudden hand movement, eye contact, a deeper voice and ask your stranger to do the usual quiet, non-threatening, no purposeful attempt to make contact approach but to exhibit that one thing. Let's say it's hand movements, shortly after the approach is made and the starnger is in Penny's space the starnger shoudl start talking first with small gestures at her/his side then with larger more involved hand movements ( but obviously nothing that could in anyway be interpreted as threatening).

And work your way through the list of micro-behaviours individually then in pairs and threes and fours until you have a stranger who is a wildly gesticulating madman demanding to pat Penny (just kidding :D)

That's what I did, it was slow-going and I'm sure there are better and faster methods but it worked for us.

luckypenny
September 18th, 2007, 10:19 PM
Thanks MX3, you did understand correctly. We've gotten passed the hand movements as well. It's the eye contact that does it for her. With or without the hands. Would you suggest I not use treats? It works but I'm thinking it's not such a good idea because, in reality, people don't carry cookies in their pockets :D.

mummummum
September 18th, 2007, 10:26 PM
If treats are working, stick with them ~ you can always phase them out in time.

How are you approaching integrating eye contact into the encounter ?

CyberKitten
September 19th, 2007, 04:22 PM
LP. I do understand what you are trying to say. I am not stupid (well I can'y type very well but no one's perfect, :D)

I only meant - like m3 - to point out that none of us - sadly - can predict the behaviour of others, no matter how many safeguards we have in place. You could have a huge sign - and I notice seeing eye dogs sometimes have signs saying "Please don't pet me" which is a good idea on their person's part - and still, there would be people willing to pet her.

I appreciate what you are trying to do. I really do. I am just trying to say not all people - especially children - can be depended upon to follow that. Even when she is close to you, peple can come up quickly and pet her before you even realize it. I would expect people at a pet store to be more understanding but even there, I have seen problems. It may well depend on the owners of course and the one you refer to obviously cares for Penny and that's good. I just hope there are wise parents and others who will respect your wishes but the fact is it is no guarantee.

It is for that reason I would not even take any of my dogs into a store. They were all wonderfully well behaved but you just never know. I certainly trusted each and every one of them - they would have protected a child before doing anything to him or her. But given the worst case scenario, and perhaps my own experience if seeing what happened when the best dog attacks a child for an inexplicable reason, I am just cautioning you to what can occur. It may never happen and I certainly hope so.

Even my YY who is a therapy cat once bit someone in my own home she did not like. It is so out of character for her yet she still works as in therapy and is absolutely wonderful - supervised of course!!!! But while the animals are well trained,. the people are not. :frustrated: Even or maybe especially in a pet store, I can imagine children who have no pets being in there to look at stuff and petting her. (they would not think to ask for permission f their parents never taught them that.) We cannot assume everyone thinks like us- alas, I have discovered they do not.

want4rain, I know your comment is in jest but as a pediatrician who has sewed up too many children in the ER even thx to their pets at home, it is no joke. LP{ is right - education is needed but that will take much more than education amg the converted.

RaYne
September 20th, 2007, 10:30 AM
I feel your pain... I have a similar problem with Lola. She's fearful of strangers, children included.

The only way to truly correct this behaviour is to expose her to strangers. The more people she sees the better. But at the same time don't set her up to fail. Every encounter has to be positive! I too take Lola into the pet store, but if it's crowded or they are alot of children in there I just take her somewhere else.

I'm working with a behaviourist. Our homework is to take her to as many pubic places as possible. We started off at a distance that's comfortable for Lola. Then gradually we moved closer and closer until we were next to people but no petting/touching or eye contact. Since Lola doesn't lunge I'm using a GL for better head control, she's never attempted to bite but better safe than sorry.

We are now to the point where Lola will ignore strangers, even up close but if they bend towards her or reach for her, she will still growl and back away. She picks and chooses who she will let approach. For example, one person walks up and says 'Hi puppy' she'll back away and growl, yet the next person could say the same thing and she will go into wiggle, hi hi hi mode.

We just started working on eye contact. Alot of people stare at her because of her size/breed. So If she makes any eye contact and is not reacting I shovel in the treats. If she reacts the treats stop and I re-direct her. She's very food motivated so thus far it's working fairly well.

I'm betting Penny's issues are from lack of socialization as a pup. I know Lola's issues stem from puppyhood. She was locked away in an empty townhouse with her mom and littermates for the first 8 weeks with no socialization, then her first owner locked her in a crate for the next 2 weeks because she was peeing all over her house, again no socialization. Then hubby and I brought her home. She was very fearful from the get go and she has came a long way since. But I know she will never be a social butterfly. I would just be happy if she would tolerate strangers, she doesn't have to love them.

People tick me off too. If I say my dog is in training and we are working on her fear of strangers.. why continue to approach her? My behaviourist said if you need to act like a psycho freak to get your point across then do it.

When Lola was stung by what I think was a bee and had that horrible reaction her face was sooo swollen so of course she was not wearing the GL. She's was sore/miserable/itchy and drooling like crazy. Yet this lady in the vets office continually tried to pester Lola. The first time I told her no and she's sat down, the second time she just kept approaching and I let her have it. Then she has the nerve to get bitchy with me and tell me I should have explained my reason to her. Excuse me! No is no.. and DUH do you think her face is suppose to look like that?! ARG!

luckypenny
September 20th, 2007, 10:40 AM
If treats are working, stick with them ~ you can always phase them out in time.

How are you approaching integrating eye contact into the encounter ?

Normally, if Penny remains calm upon meeting, which she usually does when not stared at, the treats come (from the stranger) before the eye contact. When eye contact is made, "pop," another treat (from me) simultaneously. Sometimes I wonder though if I'm not encouraging her to make eye contact, and if that's such a good thing after all.

mummummum
September 23rd, 2007, 09:48 PM
You might be right about the treats and I think you will likely fall into a natural rut that way. I didn't use treats because they weren't that important to Declan and like you, I also didn't think strangers would come bearing treats "in the wild" :D

I'm wondering if you have you tried this and if not whether this could be your next step.

You approach Stranger who is seated and stop at the edge of the comfort zone or twoish feet away with Penny in a sit or at heel at your side ~ you do not offer Penny any treats or speak to her unless it is to correct her from moving out of a sit/ at heel. Stranger should be seated forward with arms and hands cross over uncrossed. Without establishing eye contact with Penny, you and Stranger are speaking. Penny is on a slack lead allowed to approach. Maybe she will maybe she won't. Stranger, while talking with you starts with a brief glance at Penny, then back to you for a minute then glances again and back to you then glances again but this time leaves the glance for at least a heartbeat. With each glance, Stranger shortens the time between glances and extends time spent looking at her until Penny is comfortable looking back at Stranger. If Penny shows she is comfortable by either approaching Stranger or looking at Stranger for any period of time, Stranger can offer hand to Penny and pet her in whichever way she likes best (under chin, behind ear) while continuing to talk to you. Stranger should continue to look at Penny and look at you. Obviously, whoever you pick as your Stranger, it's really important that they have an aura and physical attitude of calm.

At the end of the encounter, you treat Penny. If, during any of this, she reacts in any way or you sense her tensing at any time, you get her attention back to you and the job you've given her which is her "Sit" or "at heel" command. I think it's important that you not give up if there's a lapse, that, unless she has a complete meltdown, you continue with the exercise ~

Now walk around the block and get ready to meet the Stranger again. Repeat the entire exercise only standing. I would try it two ways ~ you approaching Stranger and Stranger approaching you.

The third "wave" is also a walking/ standing exercise but has the Stranger establishing eye contact from the point of meeting and moving backwards to establishing while you are approaching and before you meet.

Again, I realize this is pretty methodical and slow-going and you may have already tried some or all of this before. But, this is more or less what Declan and I worked through tweaking it for each situation as needed. I was fairly lucky in that the people (real strangers!) we met on the street were generally more than willing to play along. Unfortunately now he thinks everyone wants to meet him and trys to waylay them or follow after them :rolleyes:

want4rain
September 23rd, 2007, 10:19 PM
LP, do you run out of strangers?? *chuckles*

-ash

Riluke
September 24th, 2007, 12:56 PM
I am absolutely no help in how to socialize a dog to strangers. My dog if anything is a big goof who thinks everyone is his friend and MUST be greeted whether they want it or not.:rolleyes: (But i can see lots of good advice being given by those more expereinced than I :D).

I have been lucky so far in the sense that the children in our subdivision have all asked "can I pet you dog?" before ever approaching and now they greet him with "Hi Luke" and rub his belly.

However I definitely see both sides of the story on this one and tend to echo Cyber kitten (yes I have seen those dogs tied up outside of the superstore and it peeves me to no end).

I had an argument with my husband the other day on a similar issue. He thought that if someone broke into your yard and your dog bit them, then it was their fault. I told him that it didn't matter and the law sees it as a mad dog, whether behind a fence or not. (My sister is a lawyer and confirmed I was right) Unfortunately this is the reality of things, it doesn't matter if the person is uninformed, good meaning, or just down right stupid, if a dog bites them, then the dog is at fault. I don’t think anyone is questing Lucky penny’s ability to be a responsible dog owner, I have no doubt that they are. My point is that if the dog managed to bite someone before the owner could step in, then the law will see the dog and the owner as at fault and the dog could end up being destroyed.

Not everyone has a dog and they don’t understand proper ‘dog etiquette’, that doesn’t make then stupid or rude, just uninformed and probably well meaning. I do agree with what Lucky Penny is saying about those who don’t get it after you tell them that they cannot pet your dog. It is usually those door knobs who end up getting bit and screaming for the dog to be destroyed, and unfortunately might succeed.

We teach fire safety and how to dial 911 in school, there should be a section on how to approach (or not approach as the case may be) animals.

jillfarm
October 16th, 2007, 11:31 AM
We live in the country. Our dogs are never allowed to roam but there are dogs or rather have been, that have roamed and scared adults and kids in the past. I taught my kids from a young age and think every parent should teach them animal rules for their safety.

1) NEVER meet the eyes of a strange dog. This is a challenge and some dogs will attack with this simple eye contact.

2) NEVER run with your back to the dog. This will bring on the prey/attack mode in unpredictable dogs. Walk away, facing the dog, looking over their heads, then calmly turn when the dog looks uninterested. Hard for kids to do, but my kids managed with practice with my dogs and prevented one particular dog in the area from attacking them. This dog was eventually put down, but I think the owners should of been for allowing this to happen.

3) NEVER approach a strange dog. If the owner is there ALWAYS ask if the dog can be approached and listen to the response. Then hand out slowly, to be sniffed. after that pet dog.

4) NEVER offer any animal food. Some animals have a defensive responce when eating and this is dangerous, never mind unhealthy for animal.

My dogs are very friendly, love every one, and love pets once they know the people. They are not used to small children though as all our kids are grown, and they just plain don't know what they are. My girls are better than the boys though. We know this and try to conter it as it comes up. All things cannot be perfect and we just deal with it as it comes up. Never will they be a danger though. And once the children are introduced properly, there is never a problem. It is just unfamiliarity.