No Pets for You!

t's not uncommon for people to want to come up and pet your dog. Unfortunately, no matter how good their intentions, not all dogs are comfortable with strangers in their personal space. When trying to rehabilitate a dog who growls, snaps, or bites at people out of self preservation, you have to start by advocating for them. When you clearly create the "bubble" around these dogs-- telling people "no petting", putting yourself between your dog and them, and keeping on lookers away--your nervous, defensive dog starts to see that you are helping them get the message accross. Work on an obedience relationship and an advocating relationship--it's the only way to help your dog become more comfortable in public. If they feel pressured to be pet every time you take them out (or have people over) they will act out more and more. Not to mention, their trust in you will start to deminish if you can't help them from feeling uncomfortable. With lots of advocating, and them knowing what to expect because you are around with strangers, they can hold a down/stay or place pretty comfortably, knowing they can trust you (their leader) to take care of everything.

Ramses loves strangers, but with his training vest on and in a down/stay, many people looked but did not touch at this Lowe's self-check out. Even without the vest, if someone would have walked up and tried to pet him, I would have stopped them and reminded them to ask me first. People want a doggie fix...but it doesn't have to be your dog if he's not happy about sharing affections. Pets are supposed to be a 2-way thing...not just satisfaction for the person. Always look at what your dog is telling you  :)