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How do you handle curious strangers in public?

The Service and Therapy Dog forum is for all service and therapy dogs regardless of whether or not their status is legally defined by federal or state law, how they are trained, or whether or not they are "certified." Posts questioning or disputing a person's need for a service or therapy dog, the validity of a person's service or therapy dog, or the dog's ability to do the work of a service or therapy dog are not permitted in this forum. Please keep discussions fun, friendly, and helpful at all times.

  
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Reno

Not all Service- Dogs are tall
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 26, '13 12:03pm PST 
I have a small PSD, Reno is all of 7lbs, which for me is perfect, he's extremely portable and often goes completely un-noticed while i am out and about, however, there are times when he is noticed and animal lovers (especially children) flock to him. He is well trained, and well mannered, and like any PSD, hugely tollerant in most situations but I have the issue of children completely ignoring me and not just petting him, but trying to pick him up or give him hugs. Years ago with my former PSD I had a bad experience with a toddler picking my dog up BY HIS EAR while his mother watched and laughed and said her child "loves puppies!" The child injured my dog, first harming his ear then when he dropped him when I screamed. I also had the mother to contend with who got mad at ME for scaring her child (He started crying) when I shrieked "LET HIM GO!" I TRY to head people off "Please dont touch him, he's a Service Animal and is NOT to be touched or bothered" I will tell them, if they ask why I respond "Well, would you poke a stick in the spokes of wheelchair? Think or touching my dog as poking a stick into the spokes of a wheelchair, it's no different."
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