Have you ever experienced a person approaching your dog without permission? Or an unleashed dog that suddenly comes running towards you? How many times has a child wanted to pet your pet without asking?
Firstly, there are three types of people we meet with Sherlock on our daily walks. The first – people who see Sherlock and ask if they can pet him. The second type are those who start talking to him when we are in training and the Third – people who don’t ask at all and just do it.
It’s amazing that people so often point out what a great dog Sherlock is, but I stopped letting strangers stroke him a long time ago.It was very difficult at first because I felt uncomfortable saying no, especially when someone complimented my dog. I quickly realised that for Sherlock it just wasn’t the most comfortable situation.
Of course, every dog has a different personality and some dogs love to be touched by strangers, but you should always read your dog’s body language first. Just like us, dogs don’t want to be greeted and stroked by all the people they meet.
I could never imagine the situation that I notice a dog on the street and suddenly start interact with him, but some people don’t think like me. I think the biggest problem here is children. Parents should teach their children that asking to meet another person’s dog is important. But they should also teach their children that the answer to that question might be “no”. Walking a dog in the park is family time and should be respected.
Sometimes it is not the human that runs to our dog, but another dog. Although I love dogs very much, I believe that when they are off the lead they should be taught the “come” or “wait” command. This command should be so strong that the dog will either stop or run to us when called, in any situation.It is our responsibility to keep the dog and others safe.Although your dog might be friendly make sure that dogs greet each other in an appropriate manner.Personally if I see a dog running towards us and his owner shouts its name from a distance I know this dog is not reliable. I block the access to the sherlock with my body and do not allow the dog to interact.
Don’t be afraid to say no.