Yes, by the title of my post you probably can sense that I am a little bothered. No, let me rephrase that, I am angry. Why? I had a guy get quite bothered because I did not allow him to pet Bella. I was walking with Bella in a brand new area for her, and this man came straight at her, looking directly at her, saying in a high pitch voice, “Oh, you are so cute”. He did not have the common sense and yes, manners, to ask me if it was ok to pet Bella. At the beginning, I did not get angry at him since I know a lot of people even pet parents don’t know how to properly greet a dog so I told him, “No, please do not approach her. I am still training her and she seems to be a little bit sensitive towards men. Thanks.” He stopped and walked away quite unhappy. I saw this man again about 10 minutes later and I said, “Hi.” He made a face as if bothered.
Let me make it crystal clear that I wil not allow anybody to approach my dogs, or those I am taking care of, unless I am 100% comfortable with that interaction and the dog I am handling is relaxed. Just like we humans are supposed to have manners, that man certainly did not since he did not ask me if he could pet Bella, dogs also have to have manners. This is what he did wrong, what he should have done instead, and why I said no to him.
- He came straight at her. Being approached in this manner only meant that he was challenging Bella. In other words, he was looking for a fight. He should have come from the side, either left or right.
- He looked straight at her. Another red flag. Direct eye contact is another way dogs challenge one another. Glancing at her would have been more appropriate and polite. Stress on the word Polite.
- He did not ask me if he could pet Bella. That is rude in our world. How would he like it if some stranger went up to him and touched him? This one I’d like to firmly stress, please ask the pet parent if you can pet his dog before you do it.
- High pitch voice. That only created excitement and a nervous dog like Bella can easily have reacted by barking, hiding, shaking, etc. He should have used his usual voice and talk to me and not Bella.
- Because of all the above mentioned, the first word out of my mouth was, “No” when he tried to approach Bella. That stopped this rude man on his tracks.
Yes, as you can see in the above picture, Bella wears her name well, but regardless of how cute a dog may be, you need to have the pet parent’s ok before you pet her dog. A lot of bites could be prevented if we, humans, learned how to properly introduce ourselves to a new dog. Please, let’s have manners, both in our canine companion’s world and ours as well. Enjoy your weekend.