Not too long after I got Boogie, my Boston Terrier, we did a lot of work together on greeting people. We were doing lots of training to get him okay around strangers. We had several good incident-free walks in a row. Then, one afternoon we went to the pet store and the staff was all over Boogie… wanting to pet him, give him treats etc.
“He is in training right now, he has some issues,” I told them. “If you lean in too close he might freak out and bite you.”
Of course, I don’t think they believed me. I’m sure they thought I was overreacting because Boogie was so sweet and calm and cute.
Boogie was very good. He came instantly to me whenever I called him (away from the store people). When I was at the counter paying for stuff, the store owner appeared and gushed over him. I told her not to get too close and she said “That’s OK, I am just giving him treats”. Boogie sat very politely, receiving his treats.
But, before I could say anything, she bent down, grabbed his head and kissed him. Not okay. Boogie let out a huge yelp and lunged. The woman backed off instantly. Everyone stood there in shock, and the other staff reiterated to the owner what I had told them earlier.
Nobody was hurt or upset. Boogie was fine; he came to me and stayed by my side. But I wanted to say “That was a dumb thing to do”or “I told you so.” Instead, I decided to just shut up and leave. They will know better next time.
It wasn’t Boogie’s fault. If there’s blame to be placed, it should be on those who aren’t versed in how to properly greet a dog. So, I present: