View Full Version : How to tell approaching people not to touch head

9th April 2013, 03:59 PM
Maybe this was covered in the past but I'm going to give it a whirl anyway. Since Winston has had his surgery & is never allowed to wear a collar again how do I get the message to people approaching us walking not to touch his head? We have a boat & will be traveling a lot with it. Winston is always walked on a leash but his cuteness draws a lot of attention. People want to pet him. Already just going back & forth to the vet is see people reaching for his head to pat & I scream "DON'T TOUCH HIS HEAD". They are taken back but oh well! I ordered a new harness & I was thinking of having a sign sewn on that says "don't touch my head" but I didn't know if there is something already made like this. What does everyone do on here???? Anybody please???

9th April 2013, 06:57 PM
It's a great question and I don't really have an answer apart from letting you know that there is a campaign -in the UK I think- where people who have dogs that don't like to be petted are putting a yellow bow on the lead as a warning/marker - but that's not much use to you unless the people you meet are aware of this initiative :)

9th April 2013, 08:07 PM
Here are some links :) -- have seen this highlighted in Ireland, the UK and US:



9th April 2013, 08:10 PM
But as a lot of people aren;t familiar with this campaign, I'd also just politely say, "Can you pet him on his side or his chest (or not at all?), because he has had surgery on his head/has a sore head/(etc)". :)

Or just tell people he bites.:lol:

You can also simply block access and make it more difficult for people to reach for his head. ie move to stand in front of him or to the side that blocks him from people, or hold him on your lap so you can easily ask people not to touch him if you are at the vet. You could also just bring in a crate and put him in the crate at the vet, so no one can touch him.

I would certainly try not to scream at people -- not least because this must surely be very stressful for you, and for a dog to hear, and startling to him, and would I think perhaps be not much different in stress terms than having his head touched. :flwr: I know it can be hard but it is good to be calm and gentle in all ways of approaching a CM/SM dog. :)

9th April 2013, 10:40 PM
I don't know if this helps, but Holly P has Curly Coat/Dry Eye, which affects her coat in that it grows through in clumps which get dragged out if she is firmly stroked, as most people would smooth a dog, so I do stand between the person and the dog in the stroller and explain the problem briefly to them and ask that they gentle pat or perhaps they would like to shake paws with her. This almost always works well.

Little Joe is a stress related epileptic who is the other buggy rider, but when he is in the show ring he is of course on the lead and he does enjoy being shown, especially when we are doing Adult Handling together. Joe is usually stressed if somebody he doesn't know strokes the top of his head without warning, or makes any sudden movement towards him, so again I have to ask people politely to approach him in the way he prefers. Nobody has ever objected to me giving a quick explanation and showing them how to present a hand to touch him with.

I think people are very kind and understand if you give a very brief explanation of the problem and the best way to approach the dog.

9th April 2013, 11:05 PM
Shaking paws! What a good idea, as many SM dogs would be comfortable with that. :)

10th April 2013, 12:55 AM
I feel most people I come into contact with on walks always ask if they can pet Ella and now Elton. This is always a good idea because some dogs are not friendly but some people don't think.

I get concerned with Elton, not because of SM, but because he is a nervous cavalier. I don't think he would ever bite someone but I can tell when he is in a certain mood and try to judge that but he doesn't have SM.

At the vet or at appointments, Ella (who had SM and surgery) would always be in my lap. If people came up, I would say that she loves to be petted just not on or near her head. That way it sounds friendly with letting them know not to touch her head.

The hardest part was when she was around friends. Even with telling them and knowing she had surgery and also CM/SM, they would forget.

10th April 2013, 02:01 AM
Sorry but I personally would be offended if someone touched Fletcher without my permission. When we approach people out walking I always shorten up the leash and move out of their way. And most people get that but I will tell someone PLEASE DON'T TOUCH HIM if they approach first. From time to time I have even picked Fletcher up. It would be like me reaching out for your kid!!!!!!! ****read Mommy fangs*****

And do not even get me started on what I would do if one of MY kids reached to pet a dog without asking!!!!!!!!!!

Fletcher draws a lot of attention as well so I understand. I would just tell people he's sensitive and please don't touch his head or I would tell them sorry NO. I don't think there is anything wrong with YELLING at people tho :mad: The ribbon idea is wonderful but.....if its not widely known??? I've noticed most cavaliers I have met love to be petted under their chins so its automatic for me to pet every dog I meet there.

As for friends go out and find one of those foam baseball bats and smack them over the head when they "forget" that'll fix it for sure :)