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Old 05-29-2019, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
 

Choisauce87 is an unknown quantity at this point
Weird about top of head

My 3 year old male pit mix has always been weird about being pet on the head. He will let me and my partner touch him in any manner, anywhere with no issue. But when a stranger tries to pet his head he ducks away. I am usually good about letting strangers know that he does not like this.

This specific instance has happened twice now:

Someone tried to kiss him on the top of his head and he snapped back with a warning bark that is very startling. Both times it happened in a setting with a lot of people who were drinking/intoxicated.

Wondering if this is something that I as the owner need to be better about by not allowing it to happen. Or if this is something I need to work on with him through training.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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One should never try to approach a strange dog by petting them (or kissing) them on top of their head. The dog cannot see what the person is doing on top of their head and some dogs feel threatened by this approach. Remember, dogs have a much better sense of things then we do. When the dog is with a lot of people they don't know it is unsettling enough, throw in inebriated people and it's worse.
The proper way to approach a strange dog is with an open hand, palm up and from under the dogs head. Let them give your hand a smell and take a few minutes to see if the dog is open to being petted. If not, back off. A growl or bark is the dogs way of saying stay away.
Lastly, if the dog is uncomfortable about groups of people and the possibilities of someone getting snapped at or worse, bit, put the dog in another room closed from people getting to it. If someone does get bit I can pretty much guaranty that it is going to be attributed to it being a "pitbull" .

Joe
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Old 05-29-2019, 08:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
 

Choisauce87 is an unknown quantity at this point
Hey Joe!

Thanks for the response. I never knew before I got a dog that it is normal for them to be uncomfortable with being pat on the head by strangers. I wonder why this is not a more known thing?

I definitely understand and was already worried that people would label him as another "aggressive pitbull" when he was just signaling his discomfort.
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