All Things Dog

Sharing Knowledge, Ideas and Stories

Dogs are not public property.

Dogs are not public property.

*this article was spawned by a majority view of people who take their dogs into public situations and complied over a number of years. It is not a “general statement” that only applies to rare exceptions, it is the thoughts and feelings of the majority of dog owners, so take that for what it’s worth.

As a nation of dog lovers we have been encouraged to “ask before petting” someone else’s dog when out in public. We teach our young ones to ask nicely and then offer the back of their hand for the dog to sniff before petting it, we typically do the same ourselves. We smile and approach while asking, often telling the dog owner how cute their dog is or how we used to have one just like it, or how our parents had “these dogs” when we were growing up.

Here’s an insiders tip on approaching and asking to pet other people’s dogs.

Most people don’t want you to.

Let that sink in for a moment.

Most people would prefer if you never asked and never petted their dogs when they are out in public situations.
Most are to polite or worried about confrontation to say no, and many of my clients ask me for suggestions on how to handle this; whether they should just respond with a simple “no” and keep moving or if they should explain why or if they should just suck it up and let these interfering do gooders (always full of helpful suggestions on how to train the dog!) but in reality, they’d prefer it if you’d just pass on by with a smile or brief comment and continue on your way and leave them to theirs.
Most people have their dogs with them for a purpose, whatever that may be, and it’s rarely if ever to give you something to pet (except in the case of a therapy dog who is there for just that purpose).

As a society we’ve become both intrusive and worried about offending others at the same time and that creates quite the conundrum for many; we don’t want people all up in our space, yet have been conditioned to believe it’s rude to tell someone to ‘step back’; but in the case of dogs the vast majority of people you come across would really prefer it if people didn’t approach and want to touch their dog and that’s a fact.
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The Problem With Puppies…

The problem with puppies is that sooner, rather than later, they are teenagers and teenagers as we all know can be a major pain in the rear.

Someone told me once, “you were the smartest you’ll ever when you’re 17”. At the time it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me, silly statement with not an ounce of truth to it since there was so much left to learn, but good luck teaching me; yet the older I got the more I saw the truth in that statement. When you’re 17, you ARE the smartest person in the world as you know it, certainly smarter than your parents who know nothing, and your teachers…what do they know besides books? It takes time, experience and age to realize that the older you get the less you really know. Dogs aren’t too much different in that respect; all of that “puppy training”, all of that time and effort, that belief that the two of you had a real understanding goes right out the window in what seems like a blink of an eye and all of a sudden they are deaf, dumb and blind; especially to your requests. Everything and anything on the planet is suddenly more interesting that you are, or seemingly ever were. So where did all of that training go?

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The Story of “Dog”

The Story of “Dog”

I never did bother naming him, I called him “Dog” from the day we met and it just stuck. He was estimated to be about 4 or 5 years old when we crossed paths.

I was working for the counties of Gilmer and Fannin in north Georgia in the Blue Ridge Mountains as the first ever Animal Control Officer there and in charge of cruelty investigation. The occasional stray pick-up, some court appearances where the judge addressed the plaintiff as “cousin Billy” or Bob, or Billy-Bob (I’m not remotely joking nor even exaggerating with that comment), and told him not to leave his horse in a stall for the weekend with no food or water again and to get on out of there, and as those of you that are in my age range and have a deep familiarity with the south back then, you know what I’m saying when I say I wasn’t well received and me not being from “around here” sure didn’t help. You could be 5th generation born there and still be told “you’re not from around here”.

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Dogs and Modern Medicine


I would hate to be new to owning dogs in our current society, it’s difficult enough to be a seasoned, experienced, knowledgeable dog owner these days at times. I can’t imagine being so over whelmed with all of the new information people are bombarded with on a second by second basis from all directions, all day, every day. I’m going to do my best to stay on topic this post and focus on the ins and outs of the modern medical approach to canine care. I will be stating opinions based on over 40 years of practical experience, education, training and insider knowledge.

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