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Sunday, June 15, 2014

"Living With Your Pet" Tips: Sometimes It's About The Dog

We've written many times about how to prevent dog bites, most recently during dog bite prevention week a few weeks ago. The main idea is to prevent harm to humans, which we agree is a laudable cause. No one wants to suffer the physical and emotional scarring of a dog bite, including other dogs.

But we thought this recent post from our friends at DogTime Media was important to share because it puts a different angle on dog bite prevention: the dog and his or her feelings. And as the article points out, it's not just children who should be taught to always ask before petting a strange dog, it's adults, too.

   The author's dog, Lill, wearing her "Please ask first to pet me" vest.

Parental Unit, for example, doesn't think twice about letting all humans pet me, because she has never seen me be anything but embarrassingly friendly. I go crazy with joy when anyone pets me on our walks, and in fact, Parental Unit considers that extra lovin' a part of my daily "enrichment" and socialization. Just yesterday, Parental Unit and I stopped in a local store for a look-see, and a guy knelt down and petted and hugged me for a good few minutes—and we both got lots of enjoyment from our encounter. But she still thinks it's polite for all humans to ask first—and very few do.

That's why we think these vests are important for at least some dogs to wear while walking—it gives some warning to approaching humans that not every dog should be fussed over, most importantly without asking first. As this post emphasizes, some owners would prefer that their dogs not be approached and petted during their walks: they could be in training, shy or easily startled, or recently rescued, for example, and the owner doesn't yet understand their personalities. Whatever the reason, all humans, no matter their age or size, should ask the owner of a strange dog permission to pet that pooch...for the dog's sake as well as their own.


Unknown said...

Absolutely asking first but there is nothing wrong with a group hug.
Happy Farther's day to your daddy and have a lovely serene Sunday.
Best wishes Molly

Duke said...

We think the vest is a great idea! Not all dogs want to be touched.

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Sheltie Times said...

Not all adults do understand what is appropriate. We are blessed to have some pretty forgiving dogs, but having an adult charge you is threatening even if all they want to do is provide some attention.

Two French Bulldogs said...

It's funny is a lot of people are in denial that their dog is aggressive or can bite
Lily & Edward

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