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!!