I often say to my clients “Its harder to train the people around you, how to act and behave, when in the company of your dog, than it is to train your dog”.
For example: You have taught your dog not to jump up at you, then you have a visitors, maybe family, maybe friends. They walk through the door, call your dog’s name, make a big fuss and your dog starts jumping up at them. You tell them not to do that but they say “oh its ok” and carry on, doing what they are doing, not listening to you. Your dog thinks, this is great, it’s getting all this attention and it becomes very excited and accidentally hits one of your visitors in the mouth, with its nose and loosens a tooth.
The mood quickly changes, your dog all of a sudden, becomes the bad guy here, you apologise profusely and reprimand your dog. Your dog doesn’t understand why he/she is being told off because your dog was having fun.
Whether its was because you didn’t want to offend your visitors, you didn’t make a stand and tell them in no uncertain terms, what they were doing was not acceptable behaviour or because you thought it would be ok. The end result was not pleasant for anyone, including your dog.
“It’s OK to say NO” don’t do that, if people won’t cease doing what they are doing, stand up for your dog and remove it from the situation. Remember, its your Dog, your House, your Rules. If people have a problem with that, its their problem not yours.
If you are out walking and someone asks to pet your dog and you are not comfortable or your dog isn’t comfortable “Its OK to say NO” Don’t feel obliged or think that person maybe offended, if the person is offended, its their problem not yours.
You can always say politely “My dog is in Training” and if you choose to let someone pat your dog, make sure the introduction is done the right way. Ask the person to stand still, side on, and not stare at your dog then let your dog make the first move. If your dog is ok with that, tell the person they may pat your dogs side or chest. If the person or child for that matter won’t listen to you and do what you ask, “Its OK to say NO”
If you are out walking and a MDF (my dog is friendly) dog owner asks if their dog can say hello and you or your dog are not comfortable doing that, guess what, “It OK to say NO” Again, head to head meetings with another dog are not the way to go, as it perceived as threatening behaviour, in the dog world, turn the dogs side on and let them meet and greet for a few seconds. If the MDF won’t do that, “Its OK to say NO”
“Its OK to say NO” if it keeps your dog safe and out of harms way.