Posted by Lora Shaw on April 14, 2023
We all know that dogs are our best friends, and while I’m sure we’re all guilty of fawning over a dog in public and asking to pet them, or just diving right in, that’s not always the right move. Whether a dog is in training, a service dog, or an anxious dog, there are several reasons why someone may have to decline when another person asks to pet them.
In our post, we’ll talk about the best ways to communicate to someone that your dog doesn’t enjoy receiving love from strangers.
You know your dog better than anyone else, which means you’ll most likely know exactly why your dog isn’t incredibly receptive to pets from strangers. The reason your dog is skeptical of strangers could shape your response when people try to pet them, and the environment that you’re currently in may inform this response as well.
For example, some dogs are only aggressive when on a leash, while others may be aggressive even when off leash. Some of the most common reasons dogs are either aggressive or anxious when a stranger approaches to pet them include:
Communicating to someone that your dog does not like to be pet can be a difficult task. In some scenarios, humans don’t always ask – they see a dog and they immediately think it wants to be petted. Sometimes, even if they ask and you say no, people may insist that they’re different and that dogs love them, which requires you to further explain why not to pet your dog.
Here are a few of our favorite polite phrases to let someone know your dog does not want to be petted when asked:
When telling someone that your dog doesn’t want to be petted, it’s easy to communicate that in a friendly manner simply by expressing things on behalf of your dog. Since your dog can’t communicate, it’s easy for people to accept that as their owner you would know best, and that your dog may simply be tired or done with social interactions for the day.
If you aren’t comfortable directly stating that your dog doesn’t like pets, there are alternative ways to avoid an unwanted interaction between your dog and a stranger:
If your dog is especially aggressive or anxious, it may be a good idea to take them to a few training classes. Training can help acclimate your dog to other dogs or learn to interact with new humans with less anxiety and frustration. Doggy daycare will also help increase and improve your dog’s interactions with other dogs and trained professionals.
If you need help with training, daycare, boarding, or grooming, Pet Palace has experts ready to assist you at many locations. Contact our team today to get started!
About the author
Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.