When I was a kid, I was taught by my parents to always ask the owner before stroking a stranger’s dog. Always. No matter how small or cute or placid it appears. Always, always ask first.
Why isn’t this being taught anymore?
I’m out with Kimber, and adults and children alike are coming up and reaching out to stroke him, before even making eye contact with me. This is fucking annoying for two reasons:
A big part of a walk for Kimber (and any puppy) is training. Some of the things I am training him on while walking:
- Not to jump up at every person who passes by
- Not to chase joggers
- Not to pull on the lead
- To sit and wait at every curb
If you approach a dog, or even whistle or make that annoying clicking noise at them, you don’t know what important lesson you’re distracting them away from. “Oh one little distraction won’t make a difference” – No, one might not, but when every other bloody person on the street is doing it, then yes, it will make a difference. And you do not know what important breakthrough was about to occur.
Kimber’s a pup, he’s teething currently. He’s uncomfortable and that means he wants to chew everything. Sticks, leaves, my shoe laces, your headphone cable, your little darling’s fingers that are wiggling in his face…
And in addition, when I say that no, your child is best off NOT stroking Kimber as he is teething and therefore a bit bitey, there is only one acceptable response. And that is to listen to and respect those words. Do not say something along the lines of “Oh it’s ok, we’ve got a dog at home”. I don’t give a shit. What I care about is there a risk that MY dog will bite YOUR kid. That bite might be harder than you or your sprog might expect – he’s hurt both me and The Boy before – and I don’t want my dog being reported. When I say I don’t want your child touching my pup, please don’t mistake that as concern for the kid, it is a desire to keep my beloved pup safe. It only takes one overly eager bite and he could and up being destroyed. I don’t give a fuck about you or your kid – I care about Kimber.
So please child owners, care about your child as much as I care about my dog, and ask before approaching any stranger’s dog.
- Preventing Dog Bites by Learning to Greet Dogs Properly
- Approaching A Strange Dog
- May I Pet Your Dog?