Training Talk: Misadventures in Public

Above: Puppy mom photo courtesy of Corrieb

When you are a puppy parent you are faced with all kinds of challenges–such as making sure those puppies get proper socialization.

This means getting them out in public, helping them to meet new people and new animals, exposing them to unusual (and sometimes scary) objects or environments, etc.

A vast majority of animal behavior and training issues can be prevented simply through good socialization and early training experiences.

Puppy training is a positive experience that requires only short, simple directives with play and redirection efforts.

Unfortunately, most people don’t understand how to properly shape that behavior–but there are those who will go to extreme efforts to make sure their puppies have the best head start in life possible.

However what those same people don’t expect is that they also keep them safe from well meaning  idiots people who come up and take liberties with their animals without their permission and without thinking.

When I read A little Millan is a dangerous thing: Don’t go ‘Cesar’s Way’ with someone else’s dog it made me shake my head since poor petiquette is rampant throughout the public arena.

Proper petiquette in public means that you don’t interact with someone else’s animal unless,

  1. you are invited to do so or
  2. the animal is invading (or about to invade) your personal space and the owner is not taking action to prevent it, or
  3. there is risk of attack or injury that you can stop.

Unless you are a hired professional who has been asked to assist in the project, a friend hoodwinked into helping with the puppies, or a potential puppy buyer that has an appointment–never step in to interact with any pet without asking permission first or without an invitation.

I don’t care if you are a hobbiest with 20 years experience or a fan that has never missed an episode of a favorite training television show–don’t do it.

And for those of you who need to know what to do when faced with someone with no petiquette sense–get a 60cc synringe filled with water and give the naughty person a short dose with a “knock it off” during their violation.

Yes, it is an old animal training technique but it gets the message across and usually will get the person to laugh but more importantly–to back off.

So, now that you have my sarcastic view on this–what is yours? How would you handle someone who has instigated an interaction with your puppy or pet without permission?

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