Manners, Manners, Manners, Please!


manners1Yes, 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. 

manners2Let 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

manners3Yes, 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.

13 responses to “Manners, Manners, Manners, Please!

  1. I did see something that might help (but then again, it’s not common knowledge). A yellow leash (or something yellow tied tothe leash) is supposed to indicate that the dog needs to be left alone.

    IIRC, I saw this at SNP-LA (Spay-Neuter Project, where I took Kita to be spayed).

    • I did not know about it. Thanks. I’ll see what I can find that is yellow and attach it to the leash, but as you mentioned this is not common knowledge. But I’ll try anyway, thanks.

  2. There was one particular training lesson–it involved taking Kita for a walk around Petco. She was going to learn how to meet people calmly (she can be a bit TOO enthusiastic at times). Two children did pet her (without asking me). While Kita did very well, our trainer did gently tell the children that they should ask the owner before petting a dog.

    • That has happened to me a few times with Alex, my 12 year old pit mix, but unlike Bella, Alex loves attention from humans. Even like that, I am not happy about it and I do tell the kids how to properly approach a dog.

      • Yes, Kita is very sociable, too. I am teaching her that she needs to sit or lie down before I let someone pet her.

        One well-meaning person offered to give her some chicken bones (which I politely declined).

      • Lol. Chicken bones? Wow! That’s a new one for me.

  3. you were totally right. I’m always unhappy when people nearly “jump” on dogs to pet or to hug them without asking the other end of the leash.

    • Me too:-) And I am not rude nor mean with them since I know they do not mean any harm, but I am firm because I need and have to protect my dogs.

  4. There are strangers who will approach a pregnant woman and touch her belly without asking. They can relate to what happened to Bella. I agree, it is incredibly rude not to ask, but there’s no accounting for class in some people.

  5. I totally understand, that’s your dog and your “baby”, so not just anyone can come up and start touching your baby without permission. I totally agree with you.

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