- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


DO you let strangers/kids pet your dogs when your out on a walk?

July 5th, 2009, 02:38 PM
I am just curious because aparently it is wrong to say no??? If I am out walking my chi's then I don't let people adult or child pet them. I use to let people pet my girl but ever since I got my second one from a rescue, (male) from an abusive home I don't let anyone touch them. He is amazing with my family and my kids but he seems to get posessive of his sister and if kids run up on him he gets agatated very easily. I am trying to socialize him beyond my house and my familys homes and camp and such. he has never bitten anyone but once showed teeth to my oldest son who startled him when we first got him. The reason I am asking is because yesterday I was walking them and 2 kids with an adult came up to me and just dove for my dogs and I told the kids not to touch the dogs, they get sacred easily. The mother (i am assuming) asked me if the dogs aren't friendly why bring them out??? I was kind of shocked because my girl is the biggest attention hog in the world and your arm will fall off from petting her and you will not need to wash your face for a week from all the kisses. My male is the same way in his home. If we are in a place he is comfortable in he is amazing. Great temperment friendly and loves kids (providing they know not to be rough with them) I just don't want him to get to freeked out and end up bitting or nipping at some one. He is fine walkig around other dogs and such too. He dosn't bark, and majority of the time he wants to play with anyone and anything. It is just that he gets so scared when people run up on him.

July 5th, 2009, 02:58 PM
Of course there is nothing wrong with turning people away from petting your animals. They are your dogs and its not your obligation to allow other people to pet them.
From the perspective of socialization it would be good for your dogs to get to experience interacting with other people especially for your rescue to overcome is reservations with strangers but you are correct that this socialization should not be forced upon him. Many children do not understand how to approach dogs properly and if you feel uncomfortable with them around your dogs its probably best from a safety perspective to politely decline their interactions. But definitely do not reject a good opportunity with polite people who are willing to listen to your conditions for the interactions. If the people are willing to lower their level and allow your dogs to come to them that is always a step forward to increasing socialization, but being smothered by strangers is definitely a step backwards.

July 5th, 2009, 03:06 PM
2 kids with an adult came up to me and just dove for my dogs

The mother (i am assuming) asked me if the dogs aren't friendly why bring them out???

You should have replied : if your kids don't know how to approach dogs , why take them out ? :wall:

It is perfectely ok to tell people to NOT pet your dogs. Those people should ask first if they can ! I'm sure the mom wouldn't have let her kids do this if you were walking a bigger breed ....

That is one problem I don't have when out with Nelly , no one wants to approach her :laughing: but once at the vet with Sam (golden) while I was paying , I turned around and there was a kid hugging , hanging on from his neck .... parents just let him ! I know I should have tell them that is what wrong and lucky them , Sam just didn't mind but , I was speechless !!!

July 5th, 2009, 03:07 PM
If someone is offended that you ask them not to pet your dogs then that is their problem, not yours. I agree with cell that if people are calm and appropriate and ask, then sure it is a great opportunity for socialization. But you have to do what is best for your dogs and if you can tell that someone, especially kids, don't know how to meet a dog properly then that is dangerous for your dog and a liability to you. You are perfectly within your rights to say no, and just explain that you're working on some training with your dogs.

July 5th, 2009, 03:07 PM
The reason I am asking is because yesterday I was walking them and 2 kids with an adult came up to me and just dove for my dogs and I told the kids not to touch the dogs....

I believe the proper response here is "Why do you take your children out if they have no manners?"

You are under no obligation to allow rude, pushy children to pet your little bitty dogs. A curt reminder to the adult "responsible" for such children that scaring the crap out of a strange dog (of any size) can result in a painful bite to a child and it is only polite to ASK before attacking!

I have always allowed people who ask first to pet my dogs. I usually get a little, shall we say, snipey with people who assume that since my dog is seeing the light of day they have the right to fawn all over it.

July 5th, 2009, 03:11 PM
If i am just out walking my girl alone then I have no problem picking her up and letting kids or adults pet her she usually licks their hand off. Some times when I am out with both of them I will try to get them to pet her so he can see that it is ok and if he gets excited I will let him be pet. But if kids just run up on them and try to pick them up before i even get a chance to tell them no and I can see him get scared and want to run I just cringe. (He was in a home and was abused by kids) I have had my girl since she was 8 weeks old. I got my male when he was just over a year old and has only had him for 5 months. They are both really good with children providing the situation. i have a 6 year old and an 18 month old and every morning my male wakes my baby up with big kisses and some nights will even curl up in his toddler bed with him. He is great is situations he is comfortable in. I usually try to walk them later on in the evening when most kids are inside. I was just suprised by the ladys comment.

July 5th, 2009, 03:15 PM
I'm sure the mom wouldn't have let her kids to this if you were walking a bigger breed ....
That is very true, when i take my labs out they arent even given a second look and they are the biggest sucks in the world.

July 5th, 2009, 03:17 PM
I was just suprised by the ladys comment.

After socializing my rescued German Shepherd who was terrified of everything and everyone and would lunge and snarl if approached by a stranger.....well, let's just say I'm not surprised by ANYTHING people say about dogs anymore! :frustrated:

There are many stupid people in this world that don't understand dogs in the least - be prepared to fend them off :)

July 5th, 2009, 03:27 PM
Luckily with the size of the boys, people always ask me if it is ok to approach and how to approach. The joys of the giant breeds I quess. Plus most people only approach if my kids are with me. Rare if someone does when I am walking them bymyself. IMO if you want to protect your dog and anyone else from nervousness or anything else for that matter then yes, it is ok to tell someone no touching your dog. I always ask and make the kids ask.

July 5th, 2009, 04:18 PM
No I don't - I just tell them my dog is in training. The American Eskimo is a funny breed and they don't like everybody - and they have very big teeth and claws - and with their Collie shaped faces, the teeth are too apt to touch someone's hand - be it a child's or an adult's - not about to happen. Yet when we are at the vet's or the groomer's - no problem - a different environment. We live in a very litigious society and I am not about to take a chance with a kid or an adult pulling my dog's ear etc. The guy next door is 50 and puts his fingers in his ears and sings "na na nanana" - and also has jumped over the fence at midnight when we are out - so my dog is not overly fond of some of our neighbours. Yet when our Eskie is laughing and enjoying himself he would appear to be extremely sociable - and he is with certain people - us and people he trusts. And surprisingly is an absolute angel when home boarded - we just got back from vacation -and he was apparently a delight with excellent manners???!!!

July 5th, 2009, 04:38 PM
If I see kids or adults walking fast towards my dogs, I tell them no, and walk on. I have had some good parents asked if it is ok to pet them. I explain for them how to approach. Walking 2 rottweilers I thought would be intimidating to most, seems not around here.

July 5th, 2009, 04:45 PM
As long as they ask me I don't mind it. Paula my schnauzer usually doesn't spend much time around children so I like to keep her socialized with them to a degree.

July 5th, 2009, 05:17 PM
I hate when people pet my dogs...BUT they are such love sponges they act all cutsie until someone pets them....

July 5th, 2009, 05:21 PM
It is very rare anyone appoaches us lol, usually people cross over the road or children get scooped up and little dogs too .
If i had a pound for everytime i have said 'its okay he is friendly' i would be very rich !!!
My dog is soft as a bun and loves everybody:)
If he was a bit skittish i wouldn,t hesitate to tell people not to pet him, i have owned a aggressive dog in the past so can see both sides
I think people should respect it if you say please don't pet my dog for whatever reasons but there are some numptys out there who don't listen :D

July 5th, 2009, 05:23 PM
Usually the only time she sees children is at the plaza where I take her to either get pet food or to get her nails cut. So these children are usually with their parents.

July 5th, 2009, 05:26 PM
My boys love kids but I still just practice caution. Murphy's fav thing to do is go to the playground and watch the kids play, but with any dog it is good to teach kids and adults for that matter to ask then approach

July 5th, 2009, 06:04 PM
I let people pet my dog. I don't want him to think that people are scary or there's anything wrong with them. I don't want to teach him to mistrust.
I'm lucky in that he loves people, especially kids.
Not all doggies do though. We have to do what's right for OUR pets, regardless of what others do for theirs.

July 5th, 2009, 07:07 PM
I only allow people to touch any of my pets if they have specifically asked permisson. I don't let anyone touch any of my babies simply because we've had some bad experiences (years ago, one guy hit my dog Summer on her head because he walked right up to her face and she barked :mad:). Now I teach my nieces and nephews that they must ask before touching any animal, no matter it's size.

July 5th, 2009, 07:12 PM
I let people pet my dog. I don't want him to think that people are scary or there's anything wrong with them. I don't want to teach him to mistrust.
I'm lucky in that he loves people, especially kids.
Not all doggies do though. We have to do what's right for OUR pets, regardless of what others do for theirs.

The dog's temperment plays a huge issue.

July 5th, 2009, 07:13 PM
I let people pet Molly, she is great with kids and women but can be unsure of certain men, so I always keep a close eye on her in new situations. I do get peeved when people pet without asking, or when parents let their kids run right up to her. It's a great way to "socialize" her- I try to bring her to parks and the town beach often to help her learn her manners while out in public. :thumbs up

July 5th, 2009, 07:29 PM
I rarely let anyone pet Joey because he was a rescue who'd been most likely abused and abandoned. He was friendly and he liked seeing people but he was easily startled and would snap if anything made him feel threatened and sudden movements made him feel threatened so I would always kind of announce that as we got close to people. "He's cute and he looks friendly but he does bite so please don't pet him." I would sometimes,, in certain situations, let a well behaved child pet him if he understood the rules. Joey was just fine and loved the attention if he was approached correctly.

My big fear was that he would snap and someone would go ballistic and cause trouble for my baby. So petting wasn't for everyone.

Cooper loves people and is very very mild mannered. But he gets so excited to see people that only real dog lovers will try to pet him. He's very exuberant. A couple weeks ago I took him with me to pay my Jazzercise membership and there were two preschoolers who were so polite. They asked his name and watched him for awhile and you could tell they wanted to pet him but didn't. Then their mother prompted them and said "Ask permission to pet him." And these little cuties, barely put of babyhood asked me politely if they could pet the dog!!

How cute is that?

I praised them 8 ways to Sunday for asking! I told them that they were so polite to ask and that it's always smart to do that because not all doggies like to be pet.

You could tell their mama was one smart cookie!!

July 5th, 2009, 07:39 PM
I do not mind at all, in fact my little dog is downright OFFENDED is ANYONE passes by without loving him up and telling him how cute he is. If someone walks by him he stops dead and watches the person with a sad face, then starts to follow them, because they must have forgot! He doesn't understand, he LOVES everyone!!

When I am out alone with my lab, and I have a halti on people wont go near her and pull their kids away like I have some vicous attack animal. I took her to dairy queen once and a man asked my why I put a muzzle on her.. I said it is not a muzzle, it is used like a halter on a horse so I can have more control, because if she goes after a dog she is stronger than me, and will pull me whereever she wants to go, I need to be safe, I am like 105lbs soaking wet, so I need all the help I can get.

July 5th, 2009, 07:59 PM
Mybe thats the problem with the boys, They are in haltis. They both outwiegh me

July 5th, 2009, 08:24 PM
I let people, especially kids come up and pet our puppy when I walk her because she is so hurt when they walk by and ignore her. However, I try to explain to every kid who wants to pet her that they have to ask first, every time, because there may be days she doesn't feel like getting petted. Hasn't happened so far but who knows. and hopefully the kids will learn to ask other dog owners too.

July 5th, 2009, 08:57 PM
OMG, my dog is fearful of humans.. And people even come to my car and stick there hand in the half open window and start petting her. I get pissed off, obviously. Because when they go to remove there hand, She barks, growls and lunges at it. I dunno why, she just does, and then they tell me my dog is vicous, or a typical yappy yorkie:frustrated: People always just assume its okay. Kids are always running up to her (If somebody runs/joogs next to us she WILL bark, growl and lunge at there feet) And when she makes a m,ove towards them, they run off crying and i get an angry mother coming to speak to me. Then i tend to get angry and scold them about there rudness and there childrens rudness.

I was at the playground the other day, watching my little cousin (And also getting keely some socialization) And 1 Lady came over to me with her nephew. She said, "dont touch the doggy, you dont know her and you dont know if it is alright" She asked if it was alright and I told her yes. So we speant a good 20 minutes letting him play with keely and i was chatting with the lady. I thanked her many times for asking first, and explained what ussually happens and the issues im trying to work my dog through. And she understood completely. She was my kind of people! lol.. The little boy was a sweetheart!

July 5th, 2009, 09:43 PM
I just feel that saying no to certain people who are not calm when they approach is in the best intrest of myself, my dogs and their wellbeing. I just think they should go over how to safely approach a dog and how to ask the owner for permission to pet the dogs in school as part of the safety thing. Even with my labs if I am walking them and people ask if they can pet them and if they bite I tell them they have never bit anyone before. They are so funny if you start to pet them they will lean all their weight on you and just let their tongues hang out and you end up with a pile of drool on your shoe. I just can't get over the comment that lady made to me. I was taken back. Usually people respond with an ok, or your dogs are really cute, but I have never gotten a response like that.

July 6th, 2009, 04:59 AM
I have to agree with the others on, this woman was just plain rude to you. It amazes me how many uneducated people there are out there. Now my two are huge attention hounds, but Qman is man timid. We just figure it's because he's not exposed to alot of men in our home. I deliberately took him to Woofstock to try and get him more used to men. I was thoroughly amazed at the amount of people that would just reach out to touch him in the crowd or walk up behind Grace to give Bailey kisses( He was being carried). These people don't know my dog or how he's going to react to this behavior. If a person asks can i pat your dog, or they start talking to them but don't approach, then fine i'll let the puppers meet them. But anyone who just rushes up to them, noooope. And seriously why do people think its ok to just walk up to a dog and start thumping it on the head. You wouldn't just walk up to a human and touch them without an introduction.

July 6th, 2009, 07:36 AM
I prefer to err on the side of caution and I do not let kids pat my dogs and never have. With Clark there is no way I do not trust him enough to. But even with Bud and Boo who loved everyone I still avoid kids. They are more unpredictable then dogs. I have people been rude to me for it but oh well I could careless what they think. If someone is rude just give it right back or ignore them.

July 6th, 2009, 08:42 AM
The mother was being very irresponsible letting her kids run up to strange dogs. Just because they are little dogs doesn't mean they can't do damage to a chile if they bit them. I always taught my son u don't pet strange dogs...u always ask if it is ok to pet them.

Gary, hubs, allows people to pet Tegan, but she is a working dog and he doesn't mind. Me on the other hand didn't like people petting my working dog and I would tell them not to.


July 6th, 2009, 08:51 AM
I probably would have answered: "if your children were this ill mannered then why bring them out!". What a ridiculous question this 'adult' asked!

When I had my rott, I did not mind if people greeted him because he had no aggressive tendancies. My min pin on the other hand is a different story. When people approach her - I advise them right away that indeed she is cute but she will bite if approached.

Ignor the ignoramous as you have every right as a responsible dog owner to say 'NO'. You did good.:thumbs up

July 6th, 2009, 09:22 AM
I do let strangers say "hello", but I never feel obligated to allow them if I'm not comfortable, and I educate them on proper greeting if they need it...for example last week a neighbour came by the house with 4 young children, who immediately started reaching out for the top of the dog's this is perfectly safe with ours, but it makes Jaida a little nervous. So I showed them all how to calmly hold their hands low with the palm up and let the dog sniff, then move up to the head for pats once the dog is finished sniffing. They picked it up immediately and changed their approach. Sometimes it's easier talking to kids than their parents (this mom was totally not annoying, she just didnt' know).

July 6th, 2009, 09:30 AM
I work for life with every dog I own so that no matter what idiot runs up they will be ok. However--IF they are attacked by untrained children or adults--they are very thoroughly defended by me. In this case, I am with those who said they would have rebuttled the stupid woman's remark with one about her untrained children. My dogs know they will be protected by me--they also know they can step in to help if I require it, but only if I require it. I know most dogs are not trained to that degree, and I agree that most people are not either. I try to encourage calm interaction between people and my dogs on a daily basis--I repeat, CALM. :thumbs up
Soon I will be getting a new pup, who will be small and cute. He will gets lots of socialization, but much of it will be with my 90 lb ridgeback at his side, which tends to help with idiots. :rolleyes:

July 6th, 2009, 09:54 AM
The mother (i am assuming) asked me if the dogs aren't friendly why bring them out???

My first thought was "Does she expect them to use the toilet?" What an idiot!

Unfortunately, I don't have this problem with Muggs, he's so leash aggressive that I really can't take him anywhere. But I would have to stop people from approaching because he doesn't like the top of his head petted and that's the first thing people reach for.

July 6th, 2009, 10:47 AM
People can't seem to resist stopping to pet my dog when we're out on walks, whether or not I want them to. I've had people come up from behind us while Ranger is in a "sit-stay" and start petting him before I've even seen them!

My next door neighbour's have two young kids and they've taught their children how to approach a dog. It's great! They come over sometimes to help me "brush" Ranger and these kids have more dog-smarts at 2 and 4 than most adults I've run into.

The worst was my boyfriend's step-sister. I was sitting on the ground with Ranger and she came up to us in my blind spot(didn't even see her), SQUEALED, then threw both arms around his neck! I had only had him for about 15 days and had no idea how he was going to react. Luckily he was fine. In fact, I think I reacted worse than him!

July 6th, 2009, 04:57 PM
I think the main issue is that people assume that any dog out on a walk is a friendly dog that loves everyone and everything. They forget that animals are individuals with personal prefferences. Most people think of animals as disposable "things", not living beings. Because of this, people assume that they enjoy petting a dog so obviously it enjoys being pet :wall: There really is no common sense left in this world :laughing:

July 6th, 2009, 07:23 PM
I can put a muzzle and a 'don't touch' vest on one of our dogs and people still come over to pet her. "Oh, don't worry, I just love dogs" they say as they're bending over her, reaching over her head, and staring directly into her eyes :rolleyes: :wall:.

So no, most times, I don't allow strangers to greet my dogs when we're out and about. On the rare occasion, if someone is standing still and looking right at me while asking for permission, I explain the dogs are in training and I'd appreciate it if they could help out. I go on to explain the appropriate way to meet our dogs, hand them a couple of treats, and allow the greeting to progress. Some times we get lucky and the ppl are more than happy to participate by following the rules. Other times, if they go to make a wrong move, I walk backwards, and have our dogs follow by facing me as I'm giving them a command ("look" followed by "let's go" in a happy tone). This way, I can quickly remove them from a negative experience while they are focused only on me and not the stranger.

Golden Girls
July 7th, 2009, 12:54 PM
I do not mind at all, in fact my little dog is downright OFFENDED is ANYONE passes by without loving him up and telling him how cute he is. If someone walks by him he stops dead and watches the person with a sad face, then starts to follow them, because they must have forgot!Mine exactly :) I live between two daycares so when the children are walking holding the string I'll walk iin the street otherwise I don't mind unless their really loud

But absolutely people should respect the owners wishes.

July 7th, 2009, 01:02 PM
I don't automatically let just anyone pet my dogs, even if they have the courtesy to ask first. It depends on how the people are acting. My problem with Hazel is keeping her from laying down and rolling over for a belly rub. LOL She goes to work most days with DH, and she lays by the doors of the shop so that anyone who comes in has the opportunity to give her belly rubs. Because most people do, and lots of folks come in strictly to see her, I guess she assumes that no one can resist her and will pet her. Because she is big, and people think she's black (she's actually grey but you can't tell unless she is next to a black dog) some people assume that she's mean and will give her a wide berth - which breaks her heart. If she sees people ahead of us, like if they are standing on the sidewalk having a conversation or something, she'll start to pull me to get to them quicker. They see her pulling me towards them and I can tell by their body language that they think she's aggressive. I'll start calling out 'don't worry, she's friendly and just excited at the prospect of getting petted'.

People don't try to pet Malone nearly as often, and he'll shy away from anyone that approaches him too quickly. Maybe he just doesn't have the cute appeal that Hazel does. When people do ask to pet him, I always ask them to approach slowly and pet him under the chin - he really doesn't like strangers trying to pet the top of his head.

The biggest problem I have is with my son's SharPei, Lexi. When we are at our lake camp, we often have people she has never met before in our camp and people assume that because she is smaller, she doesn't present a threat to them - but she can be really iffy about strangers petting her. She especially doesn't like it if someone tries to get her to roll over for a belly rub - there's not many people she will expose her belly to, even if she likes them. She also has entropion, and has had 2 surgeries already to try to correct that. Her eyes are very small, and I think she has trouble with periphial vision so she can be easily startled. I always tell people that if she wants them to pet her, she'll approach them and otherwise to leave her alone.

July 7th, 2009, 01:16 PM
I've never had anyone rush to pet Brina without asking first if its "ok" or "is she cross" etc.......