• <<maybe it="" would="" be="" the="" perfect="" place="" to="" practice="" a="" couple="" nights="" week.="">>

    Bingo! If someone asks to pet your dog, say 'no we are training right now, thank you'.

    And FTR, Duke is not a dog with an aggressive or biting history (right?) he just overracted to being overstimulated. I have no problem taking a dog like this into a store.

    Another thing you can do, is to body block people from coming towards him. Place yourself in between him and any people that start to approach. To protect yourself from rude people like the 'talkback' man…next time say 'he is nervous around strangers, and we are here to improve his behavior...please don't try to pet him right now'</maybe>


  • <>
    Correct me if I am wrong Jill...but I think that Duke has some nice basic skills. This is not the start of his polite greeting training. If you have trained a strong "watch" with him, you should be able to use it in a setting like Petsmart.
    That being said, Jazzysmom is right...pet stores are a recipe for disaster often. I don't take my dogs because, well, usually I have my three year old with me, and I just can't watch the dog closely enough for my comfort. Also, people there often let their dogs do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, because the think "it IS a pet store...let them do their thing".
    But it is a great place to "proof" your dog as you start to work through attention exercises...although, as Jazzysmom said, you don't start there, you have to work up to it.


  • And FTR, Duke is not a dog with an aggressive or biting history (right?) he just overracted to being overstimulated. I have no problem taking a dog like this into a store.

    Other than being a barking bully, he has never bitten anyone. However, he has snapped - like a mean growly bark sounding warning tactic. At this point, I can't even remember what he was warning against. He definately warned the lady reaching to pet him last night. She didn't have a chance to touch him.

    Another thing you can do, is to body block people from coming towards him. Place yourself in between him and any people that start to approach. To protect yourself from rude people like the 'talkback' man…next time say 'he is nervous around strangers, and we are here to improve his behavior...please don't try to pet him right now'

    I like this suggestion. I will put this move into practice.

    Correct me if I am wrong Jill…but I think that Duke has some nice basic skills. This is not the start of his polite greeting training. If you have trained a strong "watch" with him, you should be able to use it in a setting like Petsmart.

    Oh yes - he is very attentive to me as we have progressed from Intermediate to Advanced training. I was just not able to do two things at once in the check out line. Duke obviously needs more practice with polite greetings - with my full attention.

    FYI - all our training has been at Pet Smart in the store. So I am very aware and focused on Duke when we are training. I am comfortable taking him there and know how to distract and move past other dogs. We are progressively getting better. That is why I have him in Advanced - to "proof" what we've learned with and without treats.

    Also, people there often let their dogs do ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, because the think "it IS a pet store…let them do their thing".

    Some people just don't think!


  • I have to say most people ask to pet our dogs. However, if they do ask if they bite, I generally remark that they have teeth and therefore they have the ability to bite.

    Kids come up occasionally, I have more issues with the dogs then the owners. People always think Dash is pulling on the lead to greet their dog and I try and intervene by saying "he bites!!" and stand between them.


  • @JazzysMom:

    Opinion Alert
    True, every dog has the potential to bite, but some are far more likely to do it than others. And when you know you have one that is more apt to bite, I feel you have to take extra ordinary precautions. Maybe, put the dog in the car for the little time it would take to shop/pay the bill, or being sure to have cash/cards ready before you get up there, etc., or shop another day.

    Unfortunately, all it takes is one second to have a lawsuit, an injured child,{or adult} and a euthanized dog {or a dog fight. My vet has a few horror stories about PetSmart and PetCo emergency injuries he's had to deal with}. Regardless of how we all feel – and we are ALL in agreement about people feeling so free to grab at any dog -- when we have a dog that we know is likely to bite, we just can't let ourselves be distracted in a public setting, IMO.

    First, these are words of wisdom. To bring awareness of the dangers bringing pets to pet stores. ALSO, if I may add . . . These places can harbor bacteria from excrement the dogs deliver on the premises. YUCK! Though PetSmart has recepticles with spray and wipes, I notice some people don't clean up after themselves. That's another example of how people think and feel about other people and their animals. They don't care!

    Second, I should have been more prepared with cash in my pocket, not lost in my big purse. Very good fore thought, Jazzysmom. Thank you.

    @JazzysMom:

    do have empathy for the frustration you felt. I think most of us can relate, esp. those w/dogs that aren't crazy about strangers.

    With this thought, think about your own human children and how frightened they'd be if or when a stranger might touch them! It is just not acceptable and is not encouraged. That same fright may generate the reaction a dog can have with a more verbal or actionable outcome. Strangers should keep their hands to themselves, either human or animal. I think the pet stores should have a written poster on the premises in several locations to this effect. Might keep them out of hot water too.

    I hope this thread brings awareness as it was necessary to mention.


  • @Duke:

    Strangers should keep their hands to themselves, either human or animal. I think the pet stores should have a written poster on the premises in several locations to this effect. Might keep them out of hot water too.

    I hope this thread brings awareness as it was necessary to mention.

    You know, that's a good idea. Someone ought to suggest that to PetSmart and PetCo!

    This whole thread reminds me of those people who feel compelled to touch a pregnant woman's stomach w/out permission!! Even to ask permission takes such gall!! LOL


  • We have a store here (won't mention the name) where some people let their dogs run around without a leash! It has never been a problem, but I do pick Jala up when there are little kids around. I just don't trust them. They usually try to touch or pull her tail!


  • @Jala:

    We have a store here (won't mention the name) where some people let their dogs run around without a leash! It has never been a problem, but I do pick Jala up when there are little kids around. I just don't trust them. They usually try to touch or pull her tail!

    Oh my… that would be scary.... regardless of the breed of dog...😕


  • I agree people should ask to pet first, but it seems to be a 50/50 chance that they do. My B is very used to the pet store thing we go in he picks out his toys, picks his treats, gets a chicken strip from the cashier and we go on our way. He's a fearless city boy and goes just about everywhere with us so he is used to people and children petting him all the time.
    I do have a BIG problem with people just walking up with their dogs or dogs that are not on a leash. Its similar because people dont ask can my dog go up to your dog and it is so annoying. I have a B that is great with dogs when he is not on a leash but does not want dogs to get near him when he is on a leash. I know I would be scared if a strange dog went right up to my face. It is one of the very few things we were not able to break him of from when we adopted him as a two year old 😞
    People should never assume and always ask!


  • I've run into similar situations with the kids in the neighborhood. When they saw me walking my previous beastie, they would come running. I always told the kids to stop and let my dog smell their hand so he could tell if they were good or bad ("oh I'm a good girl" :)) and the kids surprisingly obeyed. Now when they see me with EL D they remember and do the right thing. And sometimes I hear them telling their sibling or friend "let EL D smell you first".

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