Canines are much more versed in appropriate behavior than many humans.
After years of private in-home training, I've heard a lot of stories. People tell me all the time about what others do to their dog and ask about how best to handle the situation. Knowing how to deal with these folks can be tough. But we all know at least one, or more realistically a handful of them. You know the type; the people who do all the wrong things with our dog? It could be your neighbor, your uncle or best friend. But whoever they are they do not know how to act around dogs.
I've heard stories of friends or family members being bitten by dogs. They come over for a visit and upon hearing that a dog is fearful they proclaim "dog's love me." Those of course are the last words out of their mouth before they get bit. They take it upon themselves to show you and everyone else how much dog's love them, even the scared ones. But the one thing they didn't realize is that they know nothing about dogs; but on top of that they are idiots.
Idiot; an utterly foolish or senseless person.
Then there are those who just act the fool causing your typically well behaved dog to misbehave. You know the folks; the ones who amp your dog up sending them into an overloaded energizer bunny routine? Physically roughing up your dog, shrieking and yelling about the dog being so cute or funny? "I know, you are excited, it's so exciting.....................weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee." All this while you stand looking at your super charged dog who is otherwise a very well behaved pup.
From there you have the ones who push it even further, they do things that can have damaging and lasting effects. They too consider themselves to be dog people; oh yes, they know dogs. Even the most social and well adjusted dogs can become shaken by these folks. They just do the strangest things. The people who grab your dogs muzzle and hold it while they struggle. They continue this even when your dog starts staying away from them. If your dog happens to jump up they grab their feet and hold them tight; and then wonder why the dog is chewing on their hands. "Hey?" they shout as your dog tries to free themselves from their grasp.
How about those people who stare; they just stare at your dog and even when the dog is clearly disturbed by this they continue. Often causing your dog to bark uneasily at them and then they are puzzled by the dog's behavior. One of the worst behaviors that a few humans tend to do it blow in a dogs face. That's right, not just their own dog who may eventually bite them but a strange dog. Dog's do not like to have their face blown in. I know several people who have been bitten for this very reason. Can you imagine your own response if someone did this to you?
People who are not dog savvy also tend to kiss strange dogs in the face or hug them. Both are typically not welcome behaviors. Again, even the best, most social and friendly dogs may object and act defensively in these situations. These people who act strangely around dogs puzzle me. I do not understand why they feel that they can do the things they do. I don't understand the reasoning in their own head that makes them do it. But do it they will, so we then need to step in and save our dogs. It can be very awkward to say something. There are some things that you can let slide; but there will be times when you just have to say something for the safety of your dog.
Letting your dog bite the person may seem like a "lesson learned" moment. But you don't want your dog to bite someone, it is your dog who will suffer the worst fall out if they do. Even when it is fully caused by a stupid human. I have been in these awkward positions myself; many times. You may be accused of being over protective or hovering when you do step in; I have been but I don't care and you should not either. It is your dog, you have taken on the roll of guardian.
Guardian; a person who guards, protects or preserves.
Therefore it is your job, your right to guard.
When people act in ways that cause a negative behavior in your dog; stop it. It may be a little something that can be brushed away or it may not be. Some behaviors that humans exhibit towards our dogs can have lasting negative effects. It can take a great deal of work to undo what a person does in a minute of foolishness. Most people are not meaning to harm our dogs; they just don't realize that they are acting completely inappropriately. But it is your dog; you make the rules and you enforce them. Bottom line.