Pet My Dog

No, not really. You can’t pet my dog, that is, unless you ask me.

I’m fully aware of the risk of random strangers coming up and petting my dogs, without asking, has incrementally increased since I have chosen a breed that has striking eyes and look very wolf-life. This was a bigger problem when they were puppies.


If walking down the street and you see little Bowser wouldn’t you feel compelled to reach out and pet him? If you didn’t than something is fundamentally wrong with you. If you recently met a dog and started to pet him than something else is fundamentally wrong with you.

Why is it that people no longer ask permission to pet other people’s dogs? It would be in one’s best interest to know if the random dog you are petting has a fetish for fingers, eats smelly things and is keen on licking faces afterwards or has been dosed with water so as not to overheat in the summer.

Oh, details, details.

Nay, the problem is this (and yes, I said “nay” — what a nerd) is that people have no respect. Respect for the training that has been invested in trying to get the dog not to jump as a stranger approaches. As it turns out, I would like it very much if you pet my dog as it would allow me the opportunity to continue to train him and her, but on my terms. Read that to mean: when the dog is calm.

Why You Should Train Your Dog

Only then can you ask if your dog “has any problems.” Apparently, Saskia has tons.

Here’s another reason. There’s a command called “off” (some people use “leave it”). The command has become so ingrained in my dogs that if a rogue carrot falls on the kitchen floor and we say the command they will respect that it’s not their’s to take. An excellent command to have in your arsenal when you’re often spilling foodstuffs that are not safe for dogs. The command, as it turns out, works great on people too.

Saskia was only a puppy when we went to the Grand Canyon. Although one of the wonders of the world stood before us, we were engulfed with people who wanted to pet our dog. As husband and I sat cross-legged and meditated on the big hole in the earth that took 4 hours to get to, a middle-aged woman bent down to pet our puppy. Seeing in the corner of my eye that Saskia was on the verge of jumping up, I barked: “OFF!”

The woman jumped backwards and apologized right away. I still smile when I think about it.

Would you like to pet my dogs? Ask.


2 thoughts on “Pet My Dog

  1. I totally agree!!! It’s hard enough to get by with out people trying to pet him and once they start petting him they wont stop! We once went to the park and had to leave because this mom wouldn’t stop her kids from petting him we couldn’t take a step. Finally we just left because we weren’t going to get to have any fun!
    PS the pups on this page are so cute!

  2. Yes, I wrote at least one post about that some time ago, I’ll see if I can find the link. It’s great when children ask, or when parents tell them to ask. We are lucky if they don’t because Pippa has a great temperament, but still, they should ask. If anyone had done it with two of our other dogs they would have not been as pleasantly treated (by the dogs).

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