Jae Hemingway's This is my dog. What matters is what I've put into him

Jae Hemingway

This is my dog. I am his handler. 
It doesn’t matter how much I’ve spent to obtain myself a dog. What matters is what I’ve put into him. The hours spent on the road for him to be professionally trained. The amount of places a week I drive to for no other reason other than to train my dog, so that when we go places to shop or run errands, he’s a good dog. He’s polite to the public and business owners. My dog trusts me. He trusts me because he knows that I won’t purposely put him into situations that make him uncomfortable, and if he becomes uncomfortable, that I will deal with it appropriately. I did not gain this trust when he came home, I earned it by consistently showing him that good things come in the decisions and directions I make for him.
I earned it by learning to be comfortable with the word “no”. Not to him. But to you. When you, a person who’s name I don’t even know, asks to pet him. When your dog at the end of its leash comes barreling over while you smile. Yes my dog is friendly, very friendly. But we do not know you, your family, or your dog. We do not know what kind of person you are, or what baggage your dog brings to the table.
When you come trotting over in a high pitch squeal and your hand leaning over my dogs face, and I say yes, that’s how I lose my dog’s trust. 
When your dog comes pulling and stiffens up at his face and I say sure, that’s how I lose my dog’s trust. 
I want my dog to always know that the decisions I make, come with a reward. When you overstep those lines and make the decision for me and my dog there is also a chance he’ll enjoy it. He’ll be excited to be pet or to meet another dog. But then guess what? I become less exciting to him. I become less rewarding to him, unless I correct him. And I don’t want to correct my dog because you couldn’t control yourself. I really don’t. 
And what happens if I become less exciting than the people and dogs reaching out for his attention? 
I’ll get dragged. I’ll get hurt. My dog will end up hurt, when he pulls me to greet an aggressive dog. People will be terrified when they see a giant dog under absolutely no control because he’s taught himself that everyone and every dog wants to be greeted by him since as a puppy that’s all anyone did to him. My dog will not trust me, he will not have any will to learn or please because he trusts his decision is the better decision. My dog will be considered dangerous, even if “he just wants to say hi” 
When I tell you no, it doesn’t mean I don’t think you’re good enough or that your dog looks mean, it means that my dog trusts me and I respect him as equally as he respects me. It means I don’t want to have to correct or redirect my dog. 
If you can’t handle rejection, I suggest you do not ask if any dog can be pet. If you read do no pet on a dog, I suggest you do not challenge it, nor should you approach the dog. It could mean the dog is working, or it could mean the dog is aggressive. 
I understand my dog is very unique looking. But I assure you his coat feels the same as any other dog of his breed. I understand they are very cute animals, and it can be really fun to see how many dogs you can pet, but the reality is, it’s not cute for the handler behind the leash.