13 May 2012

Ask Before Approaching

We are often interrupted on our strolls by people wishing to stroke Noodles. Noodles generally reacts the same way; he'll cautiously sniff any outstretched hand and then bark as it looms in closer to his head. Usually this causes the person to snatch back their hand quickly and then full on barking begins.

I explain that he may quieten down and creep closer for attention if they just leave him alone but some people persist in talking to him and ignoring everything I say. I think I've heard just about every variation of "He must be able to smell my cat/dog/guinea pig etc".

I've been looking for a while for a suitable product which would alert passers-by that not every dog is people friendly so I was delighted to discover these Dog Flags. They slip over any lead with a variety of useful messages, appropriate for dogs in need of space from either people or other dogs. I recently purchased "Ask Before Approaching" and "I'm in Training" which Noodles has been sporting when out and about. They have certainly generated a lot of interest and comments, and I've found people do pay more attention.

If only they made them for humans :)


  1. that's very interesting. Pumpkin is also a 'busted out of kennels' dog (albeit a bit younger than Noodles was) - and she is pretty similar: if people lean over her she will bark and snarl, but if she is able to make the approach to someone on her level, it's all hugs and kisses. (it's a different story with dogs, who she universally loathes unless they are boy-collies.)

    i might invest in a flag or two...

  2. Thanks Sarah :) Noodles only seems to like people who are accompanied by dogs. It's as if he thinks they have already been pre-approved in some way.

  3. That's a great idea. Not all dogs like to be pet when they are approached!

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

  4. Wow sorry that I haven't visited your new blog.....which I guess isn't all that new anymore. I did find your topic very interesting since our Toby, the red-headed Lakie step-child seems to acquire a Jeckel/Hyde personality while on a lead. He snapped at one lady who happened to reach down to pet him recently. We recently returned from Florida and while we were busy getting the house in order, Toby ran off unbeknownst to us. He is micro-chipped and our son called to tell us the company called to say a vet nearby had him. When we arrived to pick him up, he was charming all the girls in the office who said he was an absolute angel.......was this really our dog or one in disguise? He allowed a perfect stranger to pick him up, take him in a car to the vet and charmed the girls there. We are still in shock. ......Dewey Dewster's Gram....

  5. Definitely going to get a flag for Dottie - the special needs one - just a pity dogs can't read!

  6. Brilliant idea, well for people anyway.

    Pippa is the opposite and just adores attention. But because he is so big, people and children normally ask anyway. When we say he is happy to be stroked, half of them give him a huge hug, which he loves from strangers and dislikes from me!!

  7. Ugh. We have the same problem. Both Mango and Dexter prefer to have people ignore them so that they can approach in their own time. Dexter especially hates the looming pat on the head and Mango is not a fan of people sticking their face in his (which they seem prone to do for reasons that are unclear because what kind of idiot puts their face next to a mouth that big).

    I like the flag. I sure hope it helps. At the dog school I go to, the reactive dogs, or dogs who need space (like Mango) wear yellow bandanas so that the other trainers know to keep their distance and not sneak up behind.

    Poor Noodles. Every encounter with a scary human just reinforces bad behavior. Keep trying.

    Mango Momma

  8. That flag is a great idea. Problem is, everyone thinks they are a dog whisperer! Noodles is making progress.
    Smooches from pooches,
    BabyRD & Hootie

  9. Brilliant idea!! Yes, the zooming in of people and hands fluttering all around the dog's faces is a tough one....Stan and Scruffy I trust...sort of. Lacie, NO. She likes nothing that looks like a rodent and that is exactly what a hand is to her!

    We had an "issue" about a month ago...dog walker called me at work to tell me Stan had attacked Scruffy on a walk. She had pulled them into the grass to let a jogger pass when it happened. Must have been awful. Scruffy needed surgery...lotsa drains and such. I have never seen agression in Stan...went back to where is happened and found ground was covered in bumble bees...wonder if that was a triggar for this event. So not good. All dogs are fine now...like it never happened. It's made me more respectful of the unpredictabilty of our pups...

    Think of you often! Love to Noodles!!!

    Mumsie and the kids

  10. I have a welshie cross miniature schnauzer cross. He is 6 months old and we have had him since 8 weeks. I took him out in a bag straight away and we went to puppy class too. However mojo is scared of people approaching and will either leap away or bark when we are out. It has got worse since reaching sexual maturity. I am going to invest in some lead flags and hope this helps. My point though is that even doing all the proper things some dogs are just shy!