No, You Can’t Pet My Dog, and Here’s Why


I generally don’t allow strangers to approach or pet my dog, and I never allow on-leash greetings with other dogs. 

The culture within the dog world has created the belief that it’s OK and normal to pet other people’s dogs in public spaces.

There are even shirts that say “pet all of the dogs.”

Barf. I steer far, far-off from those people.

Speaking up and advocating in your dog can feel awkward, rude, and uncomfortable, but your dog will respect you for doing so and your relationship shall be stronger in consequence.

Why I Don’t Allow Strangers to Pet My Dog

I don’t allow strangers and dogs on leash to approach my dog for a variety of reasons. The first reason is for safety. 

My Dog Is Reactive

My dog might be reactive with strangers and latest dogs and most of the people don’t have any clue the way to properly greet dogs. If my dog reacts and bites the person or other dog, then he’s blamed, though it’s the fault of the person or dog invading his space. I can’t take that risk.

If you’ve a reactive dog, you understand how stressful outings might be. You’re continually scanning the scene, keeping a watch out for the outstretched arms of “dog lovers” beelining straight toward your dog.

It’s exhausting and frustrating.

It’s Rude

Another excuse is because I simply wish to reshape the culture around dogs. I don’t touch people’s children without permission. I don’t hug random people on the road. I don’t drive my neighbor’s automobile simply because we now have the identical automobile.

It’s plain rude to enter someone’s space and assume that it’s okay because I believe their dog is cute, or because we each have dogs. It’s not okay and the entitlement must stop.

People will sometimes be offended once I say no or mutter that my dog must not be friendly. Nope, it’s just that you may’t pet my dog. Recover from it.

If I’m relaxing with, running with, walking, or training my dog, we don’t wish to be interrupted because you’re feeling entitled to pet my dog.

It Can Create Leash Reactivity

Finally, allowing people and other dogs right into a dog’s space continually can create leash reactivity and aggression problems down the road. 

At first, a dog may tolerate the frequent interactions, however it’s not unusual for sweet Fluffy to sooner or later resolve they’ve had enough and use their teeth to point they’re fed up.

My Dog Doesn’t Need to Be Pet

I don’t learn about you, but I sure don’t appreciate strangers touching me, hugging me, and entering into my space. A whole lot of dogs are not any different. 

Sure, there are some social butterflies who crave attention, but in case you truly watch a dog’s body language, you’ll notice that numerous dogs tense up, move to avoid interaction, or display other signs of discomfort.

6 Ways to Communicate to People That They Can’t Pet My Dog

There are many ways to speak with someone that they’ll’t pet your dog. Most of my methods are silent, while some are more direct. It relies on the situation.

Since the culture of petting someone’s dog is so ingrained into our society, it’s not all unusual for people to push you to say yes or not understand your signals.

It’s not rude to inform someone no or to avoid eye contact with them in case you don’t want them in your dog’s space.

It IS rude to assume that it’s alright to pet someone’s dog without first asking permission.

Listed here are the varied ways in which I communicate to someone that I don’t want them to approach my dog.

Just Say “No”

Consider this your permission to simply say “no.”

You don’t have to supply a reason why someone can’t pet your dog. A straightforward “no” is reason enough. 

You don’t must make up a reason about your dog being shy, or “not friendly.” You don’t need to clarify that you just’re training (because in case you’re doing it right, then you definately’re all the time training your dog). You don’t owe anyone any explanation.

In the event that they ask why, my response is that I don’t allow strange people and dogs into my dog’s space. 

It took a while to accumulate to feeling confident to answer with an easy “no,” so in case you do must work your strategy to a one-word answer, it’s absolutely okay to supply a reason such as you’re training or your dog is shy.

If someone is pushy, and says something like “oh, but all dogs love me!” or “I’m a dog person!” say “I said no” and just walk away.

Avoid Eye Contact

If I hear someone down the sidewalk or path making awwww sounds, baby talking about how cute my dogs is, or talking on to my dog, I allow them to know that we’re not desirous about greetings by avoiding eye contact and continuing to maneuver forward. 

I don’t say anything to them, I don’t have a look at them, I don’t smile at them. I just keep my head down and keep walking.

At all times Be Training (ABT)

Anytime you’re out together with your dog, it’s an excellent idea to work on passive training. Not only are you getting reps in on various skills, but a treat pouch is an excellent signal to other folks that you might be working on training. 

Often, people will are likely to stay away once they realize that you just’re working. So sport that dorky training pouch loud and proud!

Muzzle Your Dog

I consider muzzle training is an important skill that each one dogs should know. A muzzle gives a transparent indication that your dog needs space and is just not to be touched.

While muzzles are slowly becoming more accepted among the many responsible dog community, they still carry a stigma that only “bad dogs” wear them. It really works out nicely in case you don’t want people to approach your dog. 

Switch Your Dog to the Opposite Side

On tight city sidewalks, farmers’ markets, crowded streets, and on trails, I switch my dog to the alternative side of the person indicating that they wish to pet my dog. And, like all the time, I keep moving and avoid eye contact.

I taught my dog a “side” command which means he needs to modify from my left side to my right side. After a whole lot of repetitions, he now switches sides mechanically if an individual or a dog is approaching from the left.

Body Block Your Dog

In the event you are in a situation where you may’t switch sides, cross the road, or otherwise avoid someone, simply put your dog behind you and body block your dog from the “dog lover.” This can be a clear indication that you just don’t want your dog to be pet.

Get the $%&! Outta There

I’ve been in multiple situations where I even have to react quickly in tight spaces to an individual reaching out to pet my dog. On this scenario, I simply just back up and walk away. I don’t say a word to the person, I just get the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

What are your suggestions for communicating to folks that that they can not pet your dog?

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