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.
Continue reading “Dogs are not public property.”