Chico is a pretty sociable guy, but he doesn’t like people to force their attentions on him. He’d much rather have you squat down to his level, maybe even turning away from him, and let him come to you, than have you walk over to him and lean down to pet him. And he’s not alone in that. I do a lot of positive reinforcement when kids ask before touching Chico, and, when they don’t ask, I do my best to step in quickly and prevent situations where there’s any chance of things going wrong.
At the fabulous Cook Memorial Library in my town on of the librarians gave me a book to read the other day – it’s all about manners for humans meeting new dogs.
There’s wonderful advice about reading dog body language presented in a whimsical interaction between some children and one owner’s ‘pack.’
Just a day later, I stumbled upon this post, To pet or not to pet?, at Success Just Clicks. The author has some good pictures and explanations of dog body language. I wish that more people were educated to read canine body language, humans would be a lot safer and dogs would be a lot happier.