In many places, a dog owner is strictly liable if their dog bite someone. This means that the owner is at fault even if they were not negligent and even if their dog has never bitten anyone before. So, it's always a good idea (and the right thing to do) to ask before you pet!
On the other hand, some people are actually snobbish about their pets in certain ways. Some people think that their pets are better because they are purebred or of a certain breed or a certain color, etc. Some people are overly concerned (IMO) with how their pets look and either snobbish about it or angry if the pet's looks aren't perfect. Once, I told a dog owner how incredibly cute I thought his dog's ears looked. If I remember correctly, it was a German Shepherd mix and it had ears that looked like German Shepherd ears except that one ear tip folded over a bit. It was incredibly cute, to me at least. The owner snapped at me that it wasn't cute at all and proceeded to give me a lecture about how he'd paid A LOT OF MONEY to get his dogs' ears to stand up straight. It was shocking how upset the guy was over his dog's folded ear (which I thought was absolutely adorable), especially since it was a mix and not a show dog or anything. So, whatever...some people are just extreme in some ways. To me, personality is way, way more important than looks or being "show quality" or anything else.
Edited by: LOVE4KITTIES at: 10/4/2011 (18:34)
10/4/11 5:56 P
What an interesting coversation! I live in a condo development. The way I ended up getting to know my neighbors was by getting a dog. Almost all the dog people are very friendly. But one lady seemed so standoffish. I found out that - even though she has a dog - she has a dog phobia! Who knew! And then some peoples' dogs don't get along with other peoples' dogs ... well, dogs have a LOT of personality. I have no idea why neighbors who see you frequently would snub you - whether they are trying to be careful, avoid liability - who knows. But I am sorry you feel hurt. Dang. Come by my neighborhood - everyone likes their doggie to get petted and complimented!
You should never, ever approach an animal you don't know, especially not putting your hand out to it, and ESPECIALLY not lowering yourself down closer to it so your face is near it. It's dangerous, plain and simple.
It drives me crazy when people go for my dog without asking. She's shy and nervous, and while she's come leaps and bounds since we adopted her two years ago, she's still a dog, and she's still scared of pretty much anything new (and some things not so new, like her own shadow...). I've never seen her bite anyone, but that doesn't mean that she wouldn't if she were frightened enough.
People seem to think that with animals and children, just because they're cute and cuddly, that makes it okay to invade their space. It's not. They are their own beings, no matter how soft and sweet they look. Wait until you're invited - by the dog AND by the owner. If you're not invited, then keep your hands to yourself.
Fitness Minutes: (6,295)
10/4/11 4:43 P
My puppy Sawyer is an attention hog, when we take walks he tries to get the attention of everyone walking by and when they don't stop to admire them he gives them a look like "what the heck? I'm so cute!". I can tell immediately by his body language if he likes a person, he basically likes everyone but occassionally a very large man will cause him to bark (He can be protective over me, so I think he perceives that person as a threat to me).
Personally I will always ask the owner first before attempting to pet their dog. My little brother has been bitten twice. Once when he was only 2, he tripped over a family friend's arthritic dog and it snapped at him. The 2nd time he was about 6 and he was at a friends, the babysitter allowed him into the house alone with their 90 pound Akita and he was almost mauled to death. So obviously my parents were very vigilant at teaching my siblings and I how to approach a strange dog.
I have also been bitten, I actually asked the owner if I could pet the dog, I was petting his head and he was wagging his tail then out of nowwhere jumped up and snarled and bit me in the face.
Anyway, I digress, everyone needs to be very cautious around even 'friendly' dogs. And owners are responsible for knowing their dog's personality and warning others if there is even a minimal threat. Dog bites hurt.
Fitness Minutes: (37,000)
10/4/11 4:37 P
its not that i'm "snobbish" about someone petting my animals, i don't want a lawsuit if someone gets bit. as a pet owner, i would never even consider touching someone else's animal without asking the owner for permission.
Fitness Minutes: (2,617)
599 10/4/11 4:36 P
I personally don't mind if people pet my dogs, however I do always appreciate it if asked first - that way I can preface it that sometimes they jump and if it's a child to make sure and let my dogs know it's coming so they don't feel threatened. For most people who come to pet either of my two, the dogs will flop upside down to give you easy access to their bellies so you can easily see there is nothing to fear from either of them. When I have my mother's cocker spaniel though, I try to never be snobbish but usually when asked I let people know they can try petting him but he can be skittish...and that if he growls it's not a good idea to pet him because he's not completely socialized as well as he could be. In my opinion, as a pet owner, it's my job to be friendly toward other people and animals when I'm walking my dogs...they learn from my body language and speech. It's also my job to be polite (but not rude) and let someone know if it's not a good time to play with Callie or Daisy. As a person who loves to see dogs or other animals while I'm out and about, it's my responsibility to always ask the owners if it's OK to pet or play with their animals. Basically I think it's just about common courtesy all the way around...unfortunately, there are always some who don't play by the same rules :-).
Fitness Minutes: (231,315)
15,721 10/4/11 3:09 P
I think that most dog owners [myself included] feel very strongly about our pets and how they interact with others both human and canine some dogs see some one approaching their owner see it as a threat,others are nervous by nature.My dog Chica is very vain she loves attention and compliments and when people approach her I caution them and keep her on a short leash because if the unthinkable happens and a dog bites some one the dog usually takes the blame. Having said that people do stroke Chica and walk away with all their fingers, children too with the permission of their parents can stroke her very gently. I would not call myself a pet snob, just careful for all concerned.
Fitness Minutes: (39,779)
2,319 10/4/11 3:02 P
Animals can be unpredictable, so your neighbors may not be snobbish, they could be thinking about what would happen if their pet bit or scratched you. You said "if I had pets..." I assume that means you haven't had any. Until you own one you wouldn't know what you would do. If you had a baby, would you let random people come up and put their hands all over him?
Fitness Minutes: (0)
2,210 10/4/11 2:54 P
II forgot to add on my last post that always taught my kids you never touch an animal unless it is at a petting zoo or you know the person who owns the animal and they give you the okay to do so.
There are many reasons someone could be less than friendly when approached by a stranger or neighbor, but it's probably for your own good--even if their method or demeanor is less than cordial.
Our lab loved most people but would occasionally stiffen and almost recoil when certain people would come near. I guess he smelled something on them or didn't like their voice, I don't know. After he did that a few times, I always politely asked people to keep their distance. I certainly did not need to get sued over a dog bite.
I've noticed that a lot of people do not know how to approach a dog properly. You don't come up to them abruptly or loudly, or with your palm facing downward and over their head. You also don't put your face right up to them, no matter how friendly the owner insists they are. All of these can be construed as attempts at dominance or aggression, especially by male dogs who might have alpha tendencies.
I'd just admire those pretty pups from a distance, unless I was 100% sure I wasn't going to have a chunk taken out of my hand.......
My dog loves children and women, but for some reason is very wary of men and has nipped a few, even though they have been very friendly. He's also that way around most other dogs, and he got injured in a situation where someone else's two dogs ran over to him and crowded (bit) him (even though he was on a leash).
I try not to be unfriendly when I walk my dog, but I keep him on leash and at bay until I can warn other people of his usual behavior. I allow other people, especially kids to pet and play with him, and I always try to show them the proper way to approach a strange animal. I am not trying to be unfriendly, just safe for them and him.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
2,210 10/4/11 11:38 A
Laws make some people that way. No one but family and friends see my cats since they are strictly inside cats. If I had a dog no matter if it never bit and was all lovable I'd rather you admire him/her from a short distance. You never know if something can trigger the dog off to bite. My sister has a sweet dog that I love, she had her for over 10 years but for some reason she bit her brother in law and tried again another time when he was over. They think her dog smelled his dog on his shoes. I am not a pet snob, but please do not touch my pets or my children if you are a stranger. .....Nothing is worse then when a stranger touches your baby ewww. I don't know their hygiene.
Fitness Minutes: (1,223)
10/4/11 10:07 A
The dogs I'm most likely to be walking, a beautiful 100 lb german shepherd and a golden retriever, are not dogs I would encourage others to pet. The Golden is fine, but the shepherd has aggression issues. And will get jealous of the Golden or protective of me. And since I'm not a big person, I don't trust myself to keep control of him when meeting people.
But yes, normally, I would encourage people to pet my animals (those dogs are not mine, I do not own dogs currently). Just ignore the snobby people!
10/4/11 9:45 A
A child came toward my dog, and I had been planning how I would handle it. At the shelter when I got him, they said he was fearful of men and small children. The mother called the child, and I said "I'm sorry, he's unpredictable." The mother said "See, you need to ask first!"
The unfriendly ppl might be worried about liability. My dog has been just fine, and I don't know what the shelter was talking about, but I have to take him out more before I can be confident letting kids around him
10/4/11 9:38 A
Sometimes, friendliness is proportional to the price of the dog - but Max didn't know he was in the $3000 - $5000 range. Other pure breds seem to know, and be arrogant . Rescued dogs are just grateful. This is tongue-in-cheek!
There is also a reverse snobbery about adopting rescued dogs (guilty?)
Edited by: SWIFTSEATURTLE at: 10/4/2011 (10:52)
Fitness Minutes: (35,465)
2,323 10/4/11 9:32 A
I have seen ppl like this at the campground we go to alot. Normally campers are friendly ppl, after all we are living real close together. Some won't let you pet their pet. If is a biter, then just say so.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
763 10/4/11 9:29 A
To each their own, I feel the same as you if someone compliments my pets I like it
Haha, people can be snobs about basically anything they want.
Sorry about the negative experience. Ignore them and move on to the next pet.
10/4/11 9:16 A
That's too bad your neighbors are that way. It's been my experience that even people who are usually unfriendly or snobbish will warm up when talking about their pets. We had a neighbor like that with a very friendly bulldog who loved coming around us whenever we were out in the driveway.
Max made me smile every time I saw him, but once I felt a chill from his owners, I didn't encourage him to come around.
I've met some neighbors who can be very snobbish about their pets. If I had a pet and other ppl admired him/her, I really wouldn't mind. In fact, I would be proud to show off my pet. But these ppl I've met seem to think it's a capital offence to admire their pet.
I mean, geez! It's not like I want to steal their pet! I just want to have a look and pet him/her! Some ppl can be so snobbish!
SparkPeople, SparkCoach, SparkPages, SparkPoints, SparkDiet, SparkAmerica, SparkRecipes, DailySpark, and other marks are trademarks of SparkPeople, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this website can be used without the permission of SparkPeople or its authorized affiliates.
SPARKPEOPLE is a registered trademark of SparkPeople, Inc. in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Australia. All rights reserved.