Yesterday I talked about you patting me, a dog.
Today, I’m going to turn the tables on you.
If you were my Human, would you allow strangers to pat me when you were out walking me?
What would you do if a strange child ran up to me? I’m not used to children. I’ve been socialized around them, but I don’t have little kids to play with me.
What would you do when a strange dog, maybe misbehaving or even off leash, approached?
Remember, I weigh 100 lbs. and I’m very active and fit.
If you walk up to us, I’ll be walking on the off side of my Human. I heel on either side. If an off leash dog or one misbehaving approaches, I will sit like in the picture at the top of the page, beside my Human, on the off side away from persons or dogs approaching.
In the picture above left, I am watching and waiting for my Human to decide where she’s going. Directly above I’m at a street corner watching the traffic while I wait to cross with my Human. To the left we’re getting ready to cross another corner.
I’ll tell you a few other things about my training. I stop at, doors, steps and curbs. Now, unlike a service dog, the reason I was trained to stop was so I wouldn’t accidently carry my Human into traffic. (When my Human is finished with the camera, in the picture above, we’ll walk up to the curb, I’ll sit until signaled and then we’ll cross when there is no traffic.)
Service dogs, especially leader dogs, stop to signal a curb or step. (In the picture at right I’m stopped at the head of steps to wait for my Human.
The Thundering Herd (here) has a problem with people running up to them to pat them. For the life of her, my Human said she can’t understand running up to a Herd of anything! Especially Siberian Huskies!
I found out from the comments yesterday that Mrs. Midnite (here) has two little caveliers. If they like big dogs, I’ve been known to lay down to play with smaller dogs.
Bert (here) had a very important point about touching or patting a strange dog, after, of course, you’ve gotten the handler’s permission. You should extend your hand, palm up, for the stranger to sniff. Then, once the stranger reaches out and sniffs the hand and seems to relax, you can slip your hand UNDER the stranger’s muzzle. This from the mouth of another dog, who is also a search and rescue dog.
Why pat underneath chin instead of top of head or on side? A hand and arm reaching above or around the dog’s head is invading his personal space and is threatening. While such action by the handler or family is accepted, it may cause a defensive response toward someone else.
Skye and Parker (here) get two very different reactions from people when they go for a walk together. The problem is Parker, the cute fluffy white one, doesn’t care for “forced interactions with strangers”. Of course, Skye is the the poor maligned Pit Bull.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you WHY my Human doesn’t usually let anyone pat me. She’ll let me meet and greet other dogs, whose owners say it’s okay, before she’ll let someone pat me. (In the picture above left, I’m sitting a curb, waiting to cross.)
Today’s and yesterday’s post was inspired by A Glacial Pace (Here) The problems we face multiply when a handicapped or blind person puts their life in the dog’s paws only to have a strange child race up to distract the dog.