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I've just binged the DoodleKisses podcasts!  I loved them all but I don't remember which one brought up the comment about how you feel about letting strangers pet your doodle   Anyway, how do you feel about it? 

My husband wants everyone to pet Picco because he's so soft.  Picco is shy around new people and I don't think he's all that comfortable with it and neither am I.   I'm not one to pet others dogs either.  I will with my friends dogs just a little to say hello.   Am I being selfish, protective, or just weird?  I'd like to hear how others feel!

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  • I find almost everyone asks before petting our dogs, but, what I do is look at my dog's body language. If one of them seems uneasy then I tell the person, that they aren't comfortable so they can't pet.
  • Riley loves people but she is unsure about new people in our house and has a pretty strong guard dog instinct which we are trying to work on...it can be quite intimidating when she barks at visitors.
    When we are out and about though she is very friendly with strangers, a little TOO friendly because she has this obsession with smelling peoples' faces which of course means jumping...so every time someone wants to pet her I ask them to give me a minute so I can stand on her leash and hold her collar.

    People often want to pet her because she looks like a giant teddy bear but we also have a lot of Muslim neighbors who are deathly afraid of her so they steer clear.

    With us at home and our frequent visitors Riley used to be kind of apathetic about cuddles but since she hit about a year old she is now a cuddle monster and wants alllll the rubs lol.
  • I think it depends on the dog. Some of them really just soak up all the attention, and some don't. I think it's our job as humans to read our dogs and decide if stranger interaction is enjoyable for them. These guys definitely attract attention, and not just because I have three! I was walking Maggie last week and someone in a car pulled up to talk to me about her. I thought it was so strange. I had headphones in and I had to pause my podcast and pull them out to answer questions about how old she is and what is her name, and is she just the best dog? (Of course!) But I kind of get it. I get excited when I see people walking dogs too. I don't pull over and talk to them, but... That actually isn't the first time that's happened. I have told people that they can't pet Maggie. I just tell them that she's a little nervous. I don't think there would ever be an occasion where she was aggressive, but it seems unfair to drag her out from behind me and let strangers pet her when she obviously isn't excited about it. Willow is different. She soaks up their love. With her I might walk up to the stranger and ask them to please pet this dog before she dies of neglect. I do not think you're being selfish, protective, or weird. I think you're doing a really good job advocating for the needs of Picco.
  • I think that was discussed in the very last episode with Stacy. My dogs have always loved attention, but it IS an odd concept compared to anything else in life with strangers, right!? I think it's how most people think about "meeting" a dog: touching it. I think it is a good idea to desensitize a dog to touch and such...it's part of the Canine Good Citizen test. But at the same time, I don't think others should "expect" it.

    P.S. glad you're enjoying the podcast!
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