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Discussion Starter #1
As I've mentioned before, Matrix's epilepsy changed his temperament for the worse. He's completely unpredictable with strangers that approach him and so for safety reasons, I tell anyone that attempts to pet him (no one ever asks first!) that he is not friendly. They always look at me like I've just ruined their day, or that I'm lying or something!!
The truth is, he might totally love you, but I just DON'T know! He loves two of my neighbours, but is terrified of my other neighbour. The other day a lady reached to pet him, I moved away and said "He's not friendly", her response "But he looks so happy and is wagging his tail." Yes, I can see that, but it's most likely because he's out on a walk. He loves walks and even though we go for 4-5 walks a day, to Matrix, each one is like winning the lottery.
I feel like I always have to explain that he has epilepsy and he's unpredictable, but I shouldn't have to. I hate disappointing people...even when they are strangers and it's for their safety.
 

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As I've mentioned before, Matrix's epilepsy changed his temperament for the worse. He's completely unpredictable with strangers that approach him and so for safety reasons, I tell anyone that attempts to pet him (no one ever asks first!) that he is not friendly. They always look at me like I've just ruined their day, or that I'm lying or something!!
The truth is, he might totally love you, but I just DON'T know! He loves two of my neighbours, but is terrified of my other neighbour. The other day a lady reached to pet him, I moved away and said "He's not friendly", her response "But he looks so happy and is wagging his tail." Yes, I can see that, but it's most likely because he's out on a walk. He loves walks and even though we go for 4-5 walks a day, to Matrix, each one is like winning the lottery.
I feel like I always have to explain that he has epilepsy and he's unpredictable, but I shouldn't have to. I hate disappointing people...even when they are strangers and it's for their safety.
You should get a vest and put on it please do not TOUCH or pet. I think leerburg sells blank vest and you can sew what ever message you want on him.
 

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You should get a vest and put on it please do not TOUCH or pet. I think leerburg sells blank vest and you can sew what ever message you want on him.
This seems tough to handle the epilesy - I agree you may not always be fast enough at getting in between someone approaching. Now is Matrix the one with HD as well? Sorry I don't remember.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This seems tough to handle the epilesy - I agree you may not always be fast enough at getting in between someone approaching. Now is Matrix the one with HD as well? Sorry I don't remember.
Yep, Matrix is our special boy :p Well Mitch has his health problems too, but its manageable and doesn't effect him really.

The vest is a great idea, but not sure if it's worth it for us. I would consider a vest if I were taking him out and about on highly populated streets, but I don't, our regular walks are just around the neighbourhood, and he's heeling at my side (unless smelling around) so I can always stop it before it happens...just frustrating...I wish he were "normal"....
 

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Poor guy. I guess something to remember is that none of it is his fault, and that you love him just the same anyway. We had a cocker spaniel with epilepsy, and it is hard to watch. At least he has a loving family behind him :)
 

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That must be tough for both of you. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be. I don't know if there really is any way that you can just tell people not to pet him when he is looking like a very friendly dog. I know and you know that no one should approach and attempt to pet any dog but most of the public has no clue. It's probably not the way you would want to go; but, have you considered a muzzle for your peace of mind while out in public with him? It might decrease the number of people who attempt to pet him.
 

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That would be a hard problem as many people have mugged our poodles without asking. Even a halti might work just for your peace of mind. Or maybe you could get a t-shirt and put a transfer on it warning people that he is ill.
 

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Try ebay even. I know I saw vests on there that say "do not pet" for under $20. There are other sites that have stuff like that as well.

I wouldn't feel bad about asking people not to touch him, he is YOUR dog after all. Would people expect the right to touch your human child like they think they have the right to touch another person's dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the replies. I used to walk him on a gentle leader, but that was only for training, I guess I could go back to using it, that's a good idea.
 

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I'm sorry you have to go through that! I bet it is hard, like Roxy suggested you could try to find a vest or even one that says "in training" please dont pet or something.
 

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A vest may not always work. My experience as a service dog user is that most people don't bother reading the vest. You'd be surprised at how many people read the vest aloud while they're petting the dog.

If he can tolerate a Gentle leader than maybe you could go one step further and try a muzzle, only because when people see a muzzle on a dog they tend to stay away. Or maybe a Gentle leader that is in sharp contrast to his fur would look like a muzzle to non dog savvy people.
 
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