A Kurow woman says she is in "utter shock" at a man's attempt on Tuesday to lure her daughter into a vehicle with the promise of seeing puppies.
The incident happened about 6pm, after the girl and her mother stopped at Four Square in Bledisloe St while walking their dog.
The 11-year-old remained outside the store to look after the animal and while her mother was inside, was approached by a man who asked her if she wanted to accompany him to his vehicle to see puppies he said were inside.
She refused his offer and ran inside to tell her mother.
The mother, who did not want to be named to protect her daughter's identity, said the incident left them shocked and upset.
"It's really hard to explain actually. I was in utter shock really and I was quite terrified. It was quite gut-wrenching, really."
Police praised the girl's actions, which her mother said were the result of knowing exactly what to do in such a situation.
"We actually have a code word, so it's definitely something we have talked about at length when she was a little bit younger.
"She is quite proud that she knew something was not right and followed her gut instinct."
Her daughter was still distraught about the approach.
"She is not very keen on being out of my sight too much and not keen to sleep on her own ... she is struggling a little bit."
Police described the man who approached the girl as being in his 60s, of skinny build, with a moustache and wearing a dark beanie, a neon hi-viz jacket, blue jeans and steel-capped boots.
Inquiries were continuing.