NO means NO!

Yesterday evening we took Ray for a short walk and, as we went down one particular street, we noticed some stalls set up in the parking lot of a local veterinary business. Curiosity got the better of us and we went over to see what was going on.

It was not particularly exciting, but it was all animal related products and information and, much to Ray’s delight, there were treats! Ray attracted the attention that he always doesΒ  and, of course, we go through the “Say hello Ray” routine so that he actually initiates the contacts after which he generally gets a treat from us. Various people had a compulsive desire to touch him, which he accommodated very well (“Want a treat buddy?”)

I have certain expectations of people, not all of which are perhaps realistic, but there are some basics which I believe are reasonable. One is that, any event that involves a veterinary office will have staff who display a knowledge of dogs and dog behavior. Logically, how can anybody run a vet business effectively unless considerable animal skills are practiced?

At one stall, and after Ray had said hello a few times and been treated accordingly, one of the ladies there offered to put a bandana over Ray’s head so that he could wear it. As soon as Ray saw it coming towards him, he took a couple of steps backwards. To my amazement, she started to approach him again and only stopped after I gave a very clear “No!” She looked rather puzzled by our apparent change of mind, so I explained that he had already made his wishes known by backing away!

In fairness to the lady, she may not have any direct connection with the veterinary business, and could well have been a well meaning volunteer just manning a stall….. but in an environment that would encourage visitors with animals, wouldn’t you think …………………………………………? Exasperated!

37 thoughts on “NO means NO!

  1. Encounters like that are always so frustrating, you did well in protecting him though – it’s all we really can do in those scenarios and maybe try to gently educate but sometime’s people don’t want to admit they could’ve done wrong so aren’t receptive to it I’ve found unfortunately.

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  2. How about the reaching over the dog’s head to pet him with a really curved arm position so the dog can’t bite? I see this mostly in kids. As you have previously stated, if the dog wanted to bite, the person just wouldn’t be fast enough to get out of the way no matter where their arm was. Education, one person at a time…

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    • Re Reaching over a dog’s head? I try and explain that if you saw a person six times your size, who you did not know, coming straight towards you… how would you feel? If that person stopped right in front of you and then leaned over towards you… how would you feel? If you saw a huge hand coming towards you and it suddenly disappeared over your head… what would you do? Ray cannot say “Stop” or “Go away”… but he can bark and bite!

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  3. Even me who only knows about dog behavior through you would have gotten the message. Cats are similar. You can read them, often by their tail movements or the position of their ears. You can’t force anything without a reaction.

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