Many people unfortunately do not know the signals dogs give when happy, sad, scared, angry, anxious, etc. We as pet owners need to pay attention and learn our dog’s language in order to keep them safe, as well as, others from what could be a potentially negative situation. Kona, for example is a great dog, smart, strong, but also sensitive. Heelers are known to be one person dogs, and for Kona this is very much the case. She feels comfortable and safe with me, however, for a stranger to come in hands reaching for her makes her very uncomfortable. While I can read her body language and know when she’s saying “this is too much”, others won’t have a clue. This is where I must be my dog’s voice and make others aware to admire without physical contact.
You may think some signals are common sense. This is what I used to think until I was in a pet store and one of the employees put her hand out to allow Kona to sniff, after sniffing, Kona backed away. This tells me Kona is not wanting further interaction with the employee, apparently not to the employee who proceeded to move closer towards Kona. This is where I quickly made her aware not to touch my dog. While I doubt Kona would anything, I refuse to take that chance and see something bad happen to my dog.