I was at a local PetValu with my two dogs to give them a much needed bath. I had finished bathing my Malinois, Dare, and had him in the place command on a towel behind me while I bathed my other dog, Nikita. I was the only one in the bathing section of the store (which is surrounded by a gated area) so I felt comfortable leaving Dare in place while I focused on cleaning Kita.
Apparently, I was wrong. I turn around, covered in water and dog hair, to see a strange man fishing through the bars of the fence to pet Dare. For a second I'm shocked, then, "please don't touch my dog." The man is taken aback, "he's friendly," he sheepishly replies before pulling his hand back through the bars. Thank you for informing me on my dog's behavior.
I am constantly surprised at how much the general public thinks they are entitled or obligated to give attention to dogs when they encounter them in public, and it's something I do my best to educate owners and dog lovers on; that just because they see a dog out and about - even if that dog appears well-behaved - that doesn't mean you should attempt, or even ask, to pet it.
News Flash - if you encounter this with your own dogs, and especially if your dog is even remotely uncomfortable around people or other dogs, YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED to let your dog meet that person or dog and you should not feel like you are being rude in saying, "he/she's in training," "he's a little uncomfortable at the moment," "no thank you." It is SO helpful to your dogs if you can advocate for them and be willing to tell someone "no" for their benefit, and it will also help teach the public that they won't be able to pet every dog, and that's OK!