Today we are going to talk about a subject that I feel is necessary. That subject is about proper dog etiquette. No, I’m not talking about your dog’s etiquette in this article. That’s for a later time! I’m talking about your etiquette, as a passer or just a bystander. STOP DOING THESE THINGS! I’ll go into more detail in just a sec. But first, let’s explain why I am writing about this today.

I am in several dog training groups and just breed specific groups on Facebook. I see at least one post about how a person just approached their dog without asking and the dog wasn’t feeling well and almost bit said person. Now, most people reading this will instantly shout to the hills, “The dog shouldn’t try and bite her anyways! They should put a muzzle on the dog if it’s that aggressive!” Blah, blah, blah! In most cases I would agree, if the owner gave you permission to approach said dog. If the owner said no, and you just went ahead and decided to enter a sick dog’s space, then I think you deserved that nip!

I’m going to preach this for a long time! Possible forever! I want to teach you, the reader, about being a respectable adult when it comes to the dog and the dog’s owner! Let’s go over how to approach a person and their dog and why we would do so rather than just dive in head first!

Proper Dog Etiquette

Now proper dog etiquette is something that we should teach our kids, but as adults should practice ourselves. I understand that their are some dogs that are just so cute and lovable and sociable that we forget that they need their space. A dog is not like a human being. They will not fake being okay with you petting on them if they do not want it.

Also the biggest reason for this is that they can be in training. You can undo months of training or teach them bad habits if you just jump right on in. That’s a HUGE problem. Always ask first! Don’t even make contact with the dog! Just ask the owner and if they say no, then leave it at that. I don’t know what it is with people today, but being told no is a big deal. Don’t make it that way. The owner of the dog said no, so just don’t. Leave it! Respect the owners wishes. Do not argue, do not go back in, do not do anything just say okay and walk away. Keep it simple.

Why Should I ask to Pet Your Dog?

Why? Well I’m glad you ask. You don’t know my dog! My dog could be anxious, stressed, WORKING! It is really irresponsible just to walk up to a dog that you do not know and engage it without the owner’s permission! If the dog is stressed out there is a higher chance that the dog could lash out because he/she is uncomfortable. Besides it being irresponsible and possibly dangerous to you, it’s also very disrespectful and rude.

This is the big one though. The dog could be in training! If you didn’t ask and you just went in and gave the dog attention you could be destroying months of training. Besides getting the dog distracted from the training you wouldn’t know if the dog is a service dog in training either. Service dogs need to be focused! A service dog is trained to save lives. Do you really want to be the person that messes that up for somebody?

Just remember to ask the owner if you can pet their dog. Do not make eye contact with the dog, but rather with the owner. If you see a do not pet badge on the collar or on the harness, DO NOT PET! Don’t even ask. Just keep on walking. Be a respectable human being and just ask if you want to pet a dog. It can help you and the dog out.