|Barked: Sat Sep 14, '13 1:44pm PST |
|One suggestion other than how to respond to people when they pet your SD is how you want your SD to respond when people touch her.
Instead of having our SDs move away from people touching them (which could lead to disastrous consequences when people just won't stop and they keep moving away, like you saw!), we have our guide dog pups focus on *us* when people pet them. So a touch from a person immediately means *stay right with handler, mentally and physically*. This is a really awesome response because then kids can be poking and prodding but there will never be a dangerous situation because it just means the dog is *super* tuned in to the handler. Sure, it will be annoying for the dog which is why it is the handler's responsibility to put an end to it ASAP, but having to move away from the touching while still trying to work would be just as annoying and could also be extremely dangerous.
So while I definitely run into trouble with petting, it's not a huge deal because our work is never affected by it.
Just a suggestion! And other than people learning some manners, If big signs that say "Stop" don't get people to, well, stop, I'm not sure they'll learn!
As an aside, another thing I do when I hear a parent tell a kid not to pet the dog, or a kid tell another kid not to pet the dog, is to tell them thanks. For parents, I tell them how much I appreciate them telling their kids because kids are a huge problem, and for kids I tell them how important it is. If nothing else, expressing my gratitude will help the "good ones" realize how much of an issue it is, and potentially in another situation this may get passed on to another person. (Like to another parent-friend: "Oh, we saw a dog in the store today and I told little Jimmy not to pet him, and the handler thanked me and said it was a huge problem. I didn't realize that; I thought it was obvious!" This parent friend didn't realize it was obvious and would have allowed his/her little Sally to pet SDs, but now knows not to...)
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