Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-08-2012, 10:52 AM
stpauler stpauler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,569
"Can I pet your dog?" No.

Last weekend was finally a beautiful break of the summer heat that we've been having. A day when it wasn't 90+ has been a bit of a rarity so my SO and I wmade plans with a friend to hit two of the large outdoor art fairs in town. We were heading out around 10am so it was still early and with a doggy canteen on my side, I brought one of our dogs with. (The pug can handle long walks, the bulldog wouldn't.)

Backstory:
Now, I adopted the pug when he was 6 months old and he's a great dog and has really come out of his shell in the year and a half I've had him. He used to be afraid of strangers, if someone was walking towards him on the sidewalk, he would freeze until they passed. When I reached down to pet him and he'd duck out of the way. To put it frankly, I sadly think he was abused. So better life for him now, he no longer freezes, he doesn't duck out of the way when I reach down to pet him. In other words, he's building up trust. This summer, he's actually gone up to people on his own to say hi at the doggy park. As long as he initiates contact, he lets them pet him, any petting by strangers without his consent makes him run away. So, baby steps here, but I'm happy with the progress.

Back to the story:
So we're going through the crowds at the art fair and Spoon the pug is doing great. We stop for water, a little treat, etc but he's keeping up and having a good time being out of the house. When we stopped at one place, one of the artists comes up and asks to put him, I agree and Spoon shied away. So I figured he was not in a mood to be petted that day. As we progress, several children and adults come up and ask to pet him. I reply "sorry, no" which apparently People. Don't. Do.

At one point, I get chastised by a mother after her 8 year old daughter complains that she asked but was denied. "Why won't you let my daughter pet your dog? She asked nicely!"

In my mind I wanted to reply "because Veruca Salt doesn't always get what she wants when she wants it". But I didn't and just said "he doesn't like children, sorry."

So the question is, do I have some societal duty to let anyone pet my dog that asks?
  #2  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:00 AM
Alice The Goon Alice The Goon is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 9,895
No societal duty, no, but I wish you'd be a bit more understanding about it. Some people, especially some children, really, really like dogs, and them petting one doesn't hurt anything if the dog can be socialized to the point where he'll accept it and even like it. Then it's a win-win, because the kid is happy and the dog is happy. If it's just not possible for this to happen, then at least explain that the dog isn't friendly, instead of just saying a curt "no", which can be construed as you just not being friendly.
  #3  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:03 AM
Floater Floater is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 3,692
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
So the question is, do I have some societal duty to let anyone pet my dog that asks?
No, you haven't. I friend of mine was very delighted when I told her that I didn't pay any attention to her Dobermann unless the dog herself came up to me to say hullo.
  #4  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:10 AM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4,822
I also have a rescue who took years to get to the point where she is regularly friendly. Use the no days as an opportunity to educate.

I'm sorry she's a rescue and she's feeling a little anti social today but if you would like to(insert some action your dog likes here) she might come and sniff your hand.

If they ask again to pet her I used to explain that just like people sometimes like quiet time and to be left alone dogs are like that too.
  #5  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:10 AM
stpauler stpauler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
instead of just saying a curt "no", which can be construed as you just not being friendly.
So the thread doesn't derail on that point, I always said "sorry, no". I was polite but direct.
  #6  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:22 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 12,056
it is good to say no to the request and to let the child know it. giving kids an unconditional love for animals and the desire to touch and hug them will lead to problems, especially someday without their parent.
  #7  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:28 AM
TokyoBayer's Avatar
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 9,621
I think that the confusion may be because you had let one person pet your dog and then simply declined without explanation to others.
  #8  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:30 AM
friedo's Avatar
friedo friedo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brooklyn
Posts: 24,120
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
So the thread doesn't derail on that point, I always said "sorry, no". I was polite but direct.
Instead of this, maybe try something like, "sorry, he doesn't like strangers." That way you get the explanation for the denial out right away.
  #9  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:31 AM
Floater Floater is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 3,692
The problem here is parents who don't teach their children that they should never ever approach a strange dog, no matter how kind it may seem.
  #10  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:32 AM
ZipperJJ's Avatar
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
Just Lovely and Delicious
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 24,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
So the thread doesn't derail on that point, I always said "sorry, no". I was polite but direct.
It sucks when people ask for further explanation but you had a valid further explanation, why not use it?
  #11  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:33 AM
AaronX AaronX is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: 127.0.0.1
Posts: 3,469
I thought "he bites" would settle any dispute.
  #12  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:39 AM
stpauler stpauler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,569
Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo View Post
Instead of this, maybe try something like, "sorry, he doesn't like strangers." That way you get the explanation for the denial out right away.
Good point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
It sucks when people ask for further explanation but you had a valid further explanation, why not use it?
I did when I was directly confronted about it after saying "sorry, no" by the parent of the child and said that he "doesn't like children, sorry".
  #13  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:40 AM
VunderBob VunderBob is offline
Guest
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: The VunderLair
Posts: 15,370
I have one dog I won't let people pet because he's an insecure idiot and can act unpredictably. The other is of the "I'm in my adoring crowd, so pet me please it's my divine right" mindset, and I let nearly anyone pet her.

As a more general case and rule, you have an absolute duty to your dog and yourself to control your dogs interactions. If the dog may not act well for any reason, the answer has to be no, even if someone else just got away with it.

Being a dog lover, I solicit skritch time by holding the back of a hand out to the dog. If either dog or owner say no, I go on my way and no offense is taken. If the owner smiles or the dog gets excited, then I assume some social time is desired. Then I'll have to worry about my two sniffing me and giving me the canine stinkeye for cheating on them.
  #14  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:44 AM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 7,713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
The problem here is parents who don't teach their children that they should never ever approach a strange dog, no matter how kind it may seem.
They asked first, which is the responsible thing to do. Not a problem at all.
  #15  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:45 AM
Taomist Taomist is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: N.O.T. Land!
Posts: 6,061
1. At least the people asked! It's stupid when people don't ask; don't they realize it's an animal, not a robot?

2. No, you have no obligation to let people pet your dog.

You DO have two obligations, though.

1. To your pet, to not let them be petted when they don't want to be. That's just forcing them into situations they have no good way of dealing with.

2. To protect people FROM your pet, when said pet is not doing well in a social situation


So, you did fine . I'm sure all pet owners thank you for not backing down. People need to learn societal limits. Like taking no for an answer, not as an insult.

Last edited by Taomist; 08-08-2012 at 11:46 AM.
  #16  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:45 AM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 11,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
No societal duty, no, but I wish you'd be a bit more understanding about it. Some people, especially some children, really, really like dogs, and them petting one doesn't hurt anything if the dog can be socialized to the point where he'll accept it and even like it. Then it's a win-win, because the kid is happy and the dog is happy. If it's just not possible for this to happen, then at least explain that the dog isn't friendly, instead of just saying a curt "no", which can be construed as you just not being friendly.

I had a dog that had a propensity to bite hands that were rushed towards her face in an "I'm going to pet you" manner. She took it as an attack and she'd bite. People would ask me all the time if they could pet my dog. I'd say, no, she often bites. They would typically respond with something about how much all dogs like them and they never get bit. Wanna bet?


My point is that often a rather blunt "No" is best for all concerned. They rarely argue with that. I realize it sounds rude, but it's better than taking the time to explain that my dog may well bite you, and, of course, it's better than them getting bit.
  #17  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:47 AM
Floater Floater is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 3,692
Quote:
Originally Posted by Labrador Deceiver View Post
They asked first, which is the responsible thing to do. Not a problem at all.
They shouldn't even have asked in my opinion.
  #18  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:53 AM
Labrador Deceiver Labrador Deceiver is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 7,713
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
They shouldn't even have asked in my opinion.
How dare they ask a polite question!!

  #19  
Old 08-08-2012, 11:57 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,173
Most people have the reasonable expectation that a dog present in a crowded social atmosphere such as an art fair would be appropriately socialized to deal with a friendly crowd. A short explanation is a learning opportunity for kids and parents. "He's a rescue and just learning how to get used to people. Maybe next time we meet."
  #20  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:04 PM
eclectic wench eclectic wench is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,644
I don't see why on earth they shouldn't ask. I also don't see why on earth stpauler shouldn't say no - whether it's because the dog isn't in the mood, because it bites, or just because Stpauler doesn't feel like it. He (she?) doesn't have any duty at all to let people touch the dog.

My kid is just 3 and loves dogs, and I've taught her that you never ever touch one without asking the owner first. Sometimes the owner says no, to which Widget knows to say, 'OK, thanks, bye!' She also knows to hold out a hand and let the dog sniff her first, never to come at a dog from behind, and never to put her face to a dog's.

She was patting a couple of greyhounds the other week, with permission, and the owner told me that I was the first parent I'd seen teaching her kid dog-manners. I was gobsmacked, but apparently most people either act like the dog is some terrifying monster that will eat you alive, or else let their kid go for the dog without even asking.

Kids need to learn how to treat dogs with respect - which means learning that interacting with a dog isn't all about what you want, it's also about what the dog wants. By saying no when the dog's not in the mood, you're not only protecting the dog, you're also helping the kids to learn that.
  #21  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:07 PM
oreally oreally is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
So the thread doesn't derail on that point, I always said "sorry, no". I was polite but direct.
Since you just said "no," actually you weren't polite IMO. You should add a little "he doesn't like kids" or "he might bite" or some such up font. Just "no," even said politely, has a rudeness about it, even if not intended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
The problem here is parents who don't teach their children
Could have stopped right there. Goes way beyond dog petting obviously, but it's included. Clueless parents are being cloned in mass quantities, it seems. Not in the given case, but I see it all the time.... /soapbox

Last edited by oreally; 08-08-2012 at 12:09 PM.
  #22  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:10 PM
stpauler stpauler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,569
Quote:
Originally Posted by oreally View Post
Since you just said "no," actually you weren't polite IMO. You should add a little "he doesn't like kids" or "he might bite" or some such up font. Just "no," even said politely, has a rudeness about it, even if not intended.
Is there some sort of disconnect here due to the shortened thread title? I'll repeat the conversation here:
"Hi, can I pet your dog?" Stranger

Me: "Sorry, no."
  #23  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:11 PM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Southern California
Posts: 11,866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Troppus View Post
Most people have the reasonable expectation that a dog present in a crowded social atmosphere such as an art fair would be appropriately socialized to deal with a friendly crowd. A short explanation is a learning opportunity for kids and parents. "He's a rescue and just learning how to get used to people. Maybe next time we meet."
Most dogs have no problem with crowds and people. Some dogs love to be petted, others take it as an attack. I have a 6 month old shelter puppy that loves people. Bentley wouldn't bite if you pulled his tail and bit him in the butt. But he loves to jump on people, and we're having a difficult time training that out of him, especially when he's excited. But my other dog wanted nothing to do with strange people reaching for her. Yet, she was in no other way aggressive around people. If you let her approach you, all was well.

My advice to all people is simply ASK before approaching someone else's animal. If they say No, it's not because they want to be rude.
  #24  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:14 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 12,114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice The Goon View Post
No societal duty, no, but I wish you'd be a bit more understanding about it. Some people, especially some children, really, really like dogs, and them petting one doesn't hurt anything if the dog can be socialized to the point where he'll accept it and even like it.
Pfft. I really, really like girls, but they seldom let me pet them in public.
  #25  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:14 PM
eclectic wench eclectic wench is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,644
Quote:
Originally Posted by oreally View Post
Since you just said "no," actually you weren't polite IMO. You should add a little "he doesn't like kids" or "he might bite" or some such up font. Just "no," even said politely, has a rudeness about it, even if not intended.
See, I don't see this. People have said, 'Sorry, no' (politely) to me and Widget, and I didn't take it as one bit rude. Since they don't owe us a chance to pat the dog, they don't owe us a reason why we can't. The nice tone and smile are all it takes to make the refusal polite.

ETA: It's great when they do give a reason ('He sometimes snaps' or 'He's nervous' or whatever) because it helps me teach the kid why you have to be respectful with dogs. But again, teaching my kid dog-manners isn't the dog-owner's responsibility, so I see it as a bonus if they bother.

Last edited by eclectic wench; 08-08-2012 at 12:16 PM.
  #26  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:17 PM
SmellMyWort SmellMyWort is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 2,944
Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
They shouldn't even have asked in my opinion.
Right, because people bring their dogs to art fairs and other such events because they expect no one will notice or want to interact with their dog.
  #27  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:26 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Posts: 27,064
See this is what we mean when we talk about "social skills". A person could choose any number of perfectly acceptible responses. However the ideal reasponse is one that gets you what you want (ie not having your adorably monstrous dog manhandled by some little shit) without making the other party feel like a jerk or an idiot.

Really the best response is "I'd rather you didn't pet him. He's a rescue dog and he gets really nervous uncomfortible with strangers touching him."

People like to know there is a reason behind your decision.

Then again, you may not care. The only harm in being rude to annoying people is that those annoying people will stay away from you. The downside is that might also get a reputation for being rude and people who you don't find annoying might also stay away.
  #28  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:28 PM
brainstall brainstall is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 1,333
Right or wrong, I think that a dog at a public event is assumed to be friendly. I suspect that your wee pug is also unbearably cute and that makes him even more likely to attract attention. You do need to be pro-active to stop people from approaching him in a way that makes him uncomfortable, but you can do that both firmly and politely. A blunt NO to a request seems a little rude, adding some sort of explanation, like 'he's very shy, please don't pet him' softens the no a little. Be prepared to step between them and the dog and block them, or just hold up your hand and repeat, no petting, please. Sure people will look at you like you're a big meanie-pants, but you need to keep your dog safe.

It doesn't matter what kind of dog you have, people will want to pet him. I used to work in canine security. Full uniform, large German Shepherd and even after telling them that, yes, he will bite if necessary, they still wanted to pet him. And yes, I got the 'but dogs love me' thing too. Not this one. Trust me.
  #29  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:50 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Quote:
It doesn't matter what kind of dog you have, people will want to pet him. I used to work in canine security. Full uniform, large German Shepherd and even after telling them that, yes, he will bite if necessary, they still wanted to pet him. And yes, I got the 'but dogs love me' thing too. Not this one. Trust me.
I adore German Shepherds, if they aren't the product of bad breeding. A well trained, well socialized GS is a wonderful dog. But if it's working, I don't even ask to pet it. The dog is probably in "protector" mode, and it might decide that I'm a threat.

Now, I have asked if I can pet strangers' dogs. I will always ask, even if the dogs are Golden retrievers, and I try to take a refusal graciously. I don't know what's going on in the human's life, I don't know what's going on in the dog's life.

I'd say that there is no social obligation to allow people to pet your dog. Most dogs will be happy with a bit of extra attention, but a few dogs clearly can't handle it. And people need to tell their kids that even if they (the kids) ask nicely, they are still going to be refused from time to time. Just asking for something doesn't guarantee that you'll get it. It's a great little life lesson.
  #30  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:51 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: the extreme center
Posts: 30,512
I'm fine with people asking if they or their children can pet my dog. What annoys me is someone (kids, usually) asking without any preamble "Does he BITE?" I feel like saying "No, but fearful children make her nervous. Better stay away."

It is really dumb to cop a resentment about your pwecious child not being allowed to pet a dog. I trust our Lab (who is friendly but somewhat scatterbrained) around strangers who are older than about 10, but I don't want young children she doesn't know touching her (they may not know how to properly pet a dog, she might tread on their sensitive little toes etc.).

Last edited by Jackmannii; 08-08-2012 at 12:52 PM.
  #31  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:53 PM
kunilou's Avatar
kunilou kunilou is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Posts: 24,246
I own a big, white, poodle.

No, you do not have an obligation to let every whiny little kid in the neighborhood pet your dog.

OTOH it's generally considered good manners to not be unnecessarily blunt when speaking to an 8-year old. The kid is old enough to understand "He's very shy."
  #32  
Old 08-08-2012, 12:56 PM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Suburbs of Chicagoland
Posts: 22,337
I agree that people shouldn't be offended at "sorry, no" but also that a tad more explanation - that doesn't sound like either "you suck" or "I'm bringing a vicious, unpredictable dog into a huge crowd just for the hell of it" would help. Something like "he's nervous today" or "he's still scared of strangers, I brought him here to let him get used to being out around people."
  #33  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:00 PM
oreally oreally is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 452
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
Is there some sort of disconnect here due to the shortened thread title? I'll repeat the conversation here:
"Hi, can I pet your dog?" Stranger

Me: "Sorry, no."
?? Apparently there is a disconnect. I don't know why you didn't get what I wrote; I'll try one more time: You should add a little "he doesn't like kids" or "he might bite" or some such up font. Just "no," even said politely, has a rudeness about it, even if not intended.


Quote:
Originally Posted by kunilou View Post
OTOH it's generally considered good manners to not be unnecessarily blunt when speaking to an 8-year old. The kid is old enough to understand "He's very shy."
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
People like to know there is a reason behind your decision.
Hey somebody gets it, thx.
  #34  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:01 PM
you with the face you with the face is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Laurel, MD
Posts: 11,915
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
See this is what we mean when we talk about "social skills". A person could choose any number of perfectly acceptible responses. However the ideal reasponse is one that gets you what you want (ie not having your adorably monstrous dog manhandled by some little shit) without making the other party feel like a jerk or an idiot.
(bolding mine)

Very true. I guarrantee that if the OP had simply said the dog is acting extra skittish, so no petting today please, the mother would not have pressed the point at all.
  #35  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:06 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 24,768
"Sorry, no," is a rather curt answer. I think most people would assume that the dog owner has a problem with the person asking the question (which seems in line with the Veruca Salt line of thinking), as opposed to the owner having everyone's best interest in mind.

"Sorry, he gets nervous around people," is better. Or things like, "Sorry, he's overwhelmed now." "Not right now, he's not being friendly." "Now's not a good time for Wiggles."
  #36  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:10 PM
billfish678 billfish678 is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 16,681
No, he will rip your fucking hand off! That should do it.

Social skills (or lack there of) indeedy. Only on the Dope.
  #37  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:18 PM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: rhode island
Posts: 39,321
I had this problem for a short time after Blackjack came to live at our house. Since he was literally a junkyard dog during his life up to that point I didn't know how he might react to strangers. Even after establishing that he had no problem with adults there was still the question about children. It was easy to deal with by saying "Sorry, he might bite". Turns out not to be a problem at all. He appears to be half Shepherd, half Border Collie, and 100% Attention Hound. He's also a chick magnet. I always let them pet him, and he absolutely loves it. I wish I could get action like that.
  #38  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:39 PM
FloatyGimpy's Avatar
FloatyGimpy FloatyGimpy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Vancouver Island
Posts: 3,391
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackmannii View Post
I'm fine with people asking if they or their children can pet my dog. What annoys me is someone (kids, usually) asking without any preamble "Does he BITE?" I feel like saying "No, but fearful children make her nervous. Better stay away."
Most children hear "don't pet strange dogs, they may bite" so asking "Does he bite?" seems like a pretty regular question.
  #39  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:43 PM
ZipperJJ's Avatar
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
Just Lovely and Delicious
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northeast Ohio
Posts: 24,872
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
It sucks when people ask for further explanation but you had a valid further explanation, why not use it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
I did when I was directly confronted about it after saying "sorry, no" by the parent of the child and said that he "doesn't like children, sorry".
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
Is there some sort of disconnect here due to the shortened thread title? I'll repeat the conversation here:
"Hi, can I pet your dog?" Stranger

Me: "Sorry, no."
So did you or did you not add on the extra explanation? What happened when you did add it on?

Sounds like you were peeved and your dog was peeved and you were taking it out on people who weren't able to read your mind (or your dog's).

Last edited by ZipperJJ; 08-08-2012 at 01:44 PM.
  #40  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:45 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 24,610
They can't pet your dog, but it always ok to play with your pussy cat.

Last edited by aceplace57; 08-08-2012 at 01:49 PM.
  #41  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:53 PM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Western Reserve
Posts: 8,399
Maybe "he's having a bad (or cranky) day."
  #42  
Old 08-08-2012, 01:55 PM
stpauler stpauler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,569
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
So did you or did you not add on the extra explanation? What happened when you did add it on?
I'll quote myself again.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
I did when I was directly confronted about it after saying "sorry, no" by the parent of the child and said that he "doesn't like children, sorry".
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
Sounds like you were peeved and your dog was peeved and you were taking it out on people who weren't able to read your mind (or your dog's).
No. I figured that if asked if they could, my reply of "sorry, no" should suffice. I was only peeved when someone complained that I said "sorry, no" to their child. Askin' ain't gettin', even if you ask nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oreally
?? Apparently there is a disconnect. I don't know why you didn't get what I wrote; I'll try one more time: You should add a little "he doesn't like kids" or "he might bite" or some such up font. Just "no," even said politely, has a rudeness about it, even if not intended.
You don't see a difference between me replying "no" versus "Sorry, no"? You keep quoting me as saying "just 'no'".

Last edited by stpauler; 08-08-2012 at 01:55 PM.
  #43  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:12 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 45,641
I just got a dog five weeks ago, and, no, you absolutely do not have a duty to let anyone who wants to pet it, pet it. You're the person responsible for the dog's behavior, and if shit goes down, who do you think is getting the lawsuit? If you're not comfortable with the dog being petted, do not let it be petted.

That said, there's diplomatic ways of doing it. Not that the direct approach isn't okay (I think it should be fine), but I'd say something like "No, he's scared of strangers" to a child or something to that effect.

What pisses me off is people who just approach and manhandle my dog without even asking. I was at a bar yesterday (at a doggie-get-together event), and I was just about to lose it when this guy approached my pit mix and started to manhandle it, giving it commands, and tugging on his collar when he didn't obey. Now, it's a doggie get-together, so I get people not asking permission, assuming all the dogs are okay with human interaction. That's fine. But tugging on his collar and correcting him? I'm new to dogs, so I don't know if this is normal, but it seemed weird to me. I didn't want to cause a scene, but I really was that close to losing my shit, before he lost interest and continued on his way. I mean, if my dog freaks out and mauls the guy for being too playful with him, who's the one going to get blamed?
  #44  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:23 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Western New York
Posts: 79,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by stpauler View Post
Is there some sort of disconnect here due to the shortened thread title? I'll repeat the conversation here:
"Hi, can I pet your dog?" Stranger

Me: "Sorry, no."
There's nothing wrong with what you did. Some of us just feel it would have been better to go a little extra distance and offer an explanation like "Sorry, no, he doesn't like strangers touching him" without being asked.
  #45  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:26 PM
stpauler stpauler is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 6,569
Quote:
Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
There's nothing wrong with what you did. Some of us just feel it would have been better to go a little extra distance and offer an explanation like "Sorry, no, he doesn't like strangers touching him" without being asked.
That's what I'm getting from this thread too. I think in the future, I'll give a little more like "Sorry, no, he's really shy."
  #46  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:28 PM
Bass Chick Bass Chick is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 159
This thread illustrates why itís so hard for some people to ďJust say noĒ. Itís become a widespread societal expectation that you have to offer an explanation for declining a request.

This explanation should ideally make the request appear entirely reasonable (even if itís outrageous) and make it seem like if there were any way in the world you could possibly accommodate them you would (even if you wouldnít) because you are so very sorry (even if you donít care) to have dashed their hopes to pieces.

It allows them to walk away with their dignity intact.

This could have been a good teaching moment for the mother if she hadnít become so defensive. She could have told her kid she was proud of her for asking so nicely to pet the dog, but sometimes people have their reasons for saying ďnoĒ that we donít know about.
  #47  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:39 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SW Side, Chicago
Posts: 45,641
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass Chick View Post
This thread illustrates why itís so hard for some people to ďJust say noĒ. Itís become a widespread societal expectation that you have to offer an explanation for declining a request.
"Become"? I think it's always been that way. Curt responses, whether positive or negative, have a tendency to be interpreted in a negative manner, in my experience. In many cases, you shouldn't give a shit. But, in the OP's case, if there's a chance of running into those people again, I would go for a more verbose response. Just add a couple words, a smile, and you're golden.
  #48  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:41 PM
Brynda Brynda is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Middle TN
Posts: 4,398
Why did you include the backstory in your OP? Because it was important for us to understand the situation. You instinctively knew that. However, at the art fair, you didn't include the backstory until you were asked, and then resented giving it.

Rightly or wrongly, most folks expect you to say yes when they ask "Can I pet your dog?" in a situation like an art fair. (think about it--that's why service dogs have those "no petting" signs) If you are going to violate that expectation, giving a short explanation would make YOUR life easier. You can, of course, choose not to give it, but that will make your life harder. Your choice.
  #49  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:41 PM
CarnalK's Avatar
CarnalK CarnalK is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 16,340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass Chick View Post
This thread illustrates why itís so hard for some people to ďJust say noĒ. Itís become a widespread societal expectation that you have to offer an explanation for declining a request.
How long ago do you figure this whacky expectation started?
  #50  
Old 08-08-2012, 02:44 PM
Malthus Malthus is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Toronto
Posts: 18,184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bass Chick View Post
This thread illustrates why it’s so hard for some people to “Just say no”. It’s become a widespread societal expectation that you have to offer an explanation for declining a request.

This explanation should ideally make the request appear entirely reasonable (even if it’s outrageous) and make it seem like if there were any way in the world you could possibly accommodate them you would (even if you wouldn’t) because you are so very sorry (even if you don’t care) to have dashed their hopes to pieces.

It allows them to walk away with their dignity intact.
I'm sorta scratching my head over why adding a couple of words to soften the dissapointment of a child is such a bad thing in this case. Isn't it a general aspect of politeness to allow others to walk away 'with dignity intact' - even if you have done absolutely nothing wrong, the encounter was all of their making, and you have no actual duty to? It isn't like the child has acted maliciously in asking to pet the animal. Malice deserves a curt response. Non-malicious interaction doesn't.

Last edited by Malthus; 08-08-2012 at 02:45 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:55 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017