|Barked: Sun Oct 2, '11 11:35pm PST |
|I take Bianca out a lot to dog friendly places, festivals, etc... She is a therapy dog and she loves to get attention and be petted by people, so I am trying to figure out the best way to indicate that she is friendly and can be petted, such as something she can wear
We have a few different common reactions we get depending on the situation:
Some people think she is a mean dog because she is a German Shepherd, or just that she won't like strangers because of her breed.
Sometimes she wears a Halti and people mistake it for a muzzle and I overhear things like a kid asking their parent if they can pet the dog and the parent saying "no, he has a muzzle" or something.
Other times I think people just don't realize that Bianca is interested in being petted because I do not allow her to go up and solicit attention from people without permission, and she is not that demonstrative even though she loves people.
If she is wearing her backpack, which I often use on walks so she can carry some of her own stuff, people sometimes mistake her for a service dog. I tried adding patches to the pack that said "Ask To Pet Me I'm Friendly" but it seemed to make people think she was a service dog even more.
Another thing, sometimes we go out to events and things with my sister and her husband and his guide dog. I overhear people saying don't disturb those dogs, they are working or kids asking their parents and the parents saying no you can't pet those dogs, they're working dogs. While I think it's great that people realize they can't pet my BIL's guide dog, I'd like to make it clear Bianca is not a service dog (and that they can pet her if they want.)
So far, I've tried several things that didn't seem to work well. I tried a bandana that has her name and "I'm Friendly" embroidered on it. I also bought one that says "Don't Just Stand There, Pet Me!" but the only people who seem to read it are the ones already petting her. I also made a pin that says Ask To Pet Me I'm Friendly and tried pinning that to a bandana and a harness but no one noticed it.
Basically I want to make it clear to the people who want to pet her but either think she is mean, working, or not interested that she is friendly and they are welcome to come up and meet her if they want.
I thought about getting a patch with different wording than the one I had, but I am not sure what wording would be more obvious and not confuse people.
I've seen some that just say "Pet Me I'm Friendly" or "I'm Friendly Please Pet Me" but I am not sure about that because I would rather that people did ask me first, instead of just running up and petting her (not that she minds!)
Maybe patches in general are a bad idea though because they seem to indicate 'service dog' to some people no matter what they actually say?
The bandanas don't seem to work that well either because people don't seem to read them, and they also tend to either get bunched up on her neck or move to a spot where they're hard to see. I am not sure the alternative?
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