“Recently, the UK has seen the rise of a campaign known as Ask to Pet. It’s an attempt to bring awareness to the phenomenon of strangers reaching out to interact with dogs in public, without first confirming with the owner that it’s alright for them to do so. For many of us, we don’t see this as much of a problem; after all, our dogs are friendly and adorable. No harm, no foul, right? However, there’s a few things that you might want to consider.
Ask yourself this; if your child was bitten by a dog, would it matter to you more what had prompted the bite, or the fact that your child may now need stitches? We like to think we’d be reasonable, but in a blind panic that comes from being a parent (or so I’m told by my mother), all of that reasonable logic goes out the window. Now, switch places. If your dog bit a child, would it matter to you more that your dog had injured someone, or what had caused the bite? You’d hope that someone would be reasonable and consider what had caused it; but unfortunately, that doesn’t often happen.
If you’re like me, then you view your dog as family; in which case, I ask you to consider another question – would you let a random stranger come up and touch your child? As far as the law is concerned, dogs are property, so we can rephrase this question – would you let a random stranger come up and start touching your purse or your car? Considering that the latter are inanimate objects, while a dog is a sentient being with fears and feelings, it seems a bit ridiculous that we might view it as acceptable to touch them without permission, but not a car.
Regardless of your dog’s temperament and socialization, uncontrolled interaction with strangers opens up an entire potentially dangerous scenario and it can counter weeks (or months) of training work, if it happens enough. As much as it may not bother you personally, if every single person made an effort to only pet dogs after asking, while also enforcing the same expectation on others, then the general consensus about interacting with dogs will change for the better!
Just know, you’re doing the right thing by protecting your dog and others from the potential harm that might happen during a negative interaction! If not letting people run up to my dog out of nowhere and pet her makes me a jerk, then so be it. I’d rather be a jerk, than have to deal with the fall out of my four-legged best friend biting someone because she was scared.”
If you have questions about our dog boarding services, call our facility near San Ramon, CA at (855) 364-3293 or (855) DOG-DAZE.