My dog is fearful, keep away!

Pixie did the best  she’s done on a walk so far, which is funny because it started badly and it was a busy one!

We were out 20 minutes in the end (longest by far) as we were constantly having to dodge people, dogs, cats etc – all of which terrify her. Everytime I saw something I would say ‘this way!’ or, if the trigger was moving away, I’d let her watch.

She’s responding to that cue really well, and seems to appreciate praise on walks now 🙂 Still won’t take treats, but praise works and she’s offering eye contact so much!

To start with she wasn’t wanting to come out the door at all, even though she’s been doing really well at this. In the end I picked her up, she was trembling a lot but settled on a bench.

I put her down and we went off exploring, with her choosing the route and how close she went to me.

As she was sniffing about on the grass I noticed an older man across the road walking a black and tan JRT, taking an interest in Pixie. I guessed it was because they were the same colour / a similar size. I made sure the ‘keep your distance’ sleeve was very obvious, and gently began moving Pixie along.

I saw the man was crossing directly into us, so I gave Pixie a ‘this way!’ and we headed behind some houses to a car park. A fab route as it leads to a dead end where nobody would go, but there’s a handy exit onto the pavement too 😉

The man actually began following us up to the car park, and by now I was annoyed as I’d made it as obvious as possible not to approach us, and I DID NOT want Pixie getting scared or approached by a dog.

I called to him “Can you stop please, because she’s extremely fearful”, and the old man kept coming with a determined look on his face.

He shouted to me “Is she a puppy?” and by now Pixie was trembling because there was a man AND a dog (both big fears for her), and I was very pissed off and scared of managing it on my own.

I said again “Stop please, she is a rescue dog and very fearful!” He replied with “I think she looks like Basil here, doesn’t she?”

Thankfully we were near the exit onto the pavement by now so I scowled at him, continued with my praise to Pixie, and walked off.

I told my partner this, and he was very annoyed too. I told my parents and they laughed and both said “awww bless” because he ‘just wanted to talk dogs’.

I was really pissed off at this, and tried to calmly but firmly explain…

It does not matter if that man was lonely and wanted a chat, or if he’s a dog lover and enjoyed seeing a dog with similar colourings. What mattered is that I asked him to stop, and he didn’t.

What matters is that my girl is extremely fearful, and we have put almost a weeks’ effort into helping her gain confidence, and although she’s doing great, walks are still where she is most scared. 

What matters is if that man and dog had reached us, and trapped Pixie, Pixie could have been forced to react. If she had bitten the dog or the man, it would have been counted as her fault, and she could even have been PTS for it.


We have two sleeves on our lead stating she is in training and to keep away. We have a bright yellow lead on the way that has the word ‘NERVOUS’ printed on it eight times, AND I called out to the man to ask us leave him alone.

That should have been enough.

And on top of that, I find it really hard to stand up to people. I have psychosis, and my struggles include paranoia, panic disorder, and a butt load of anxiety. I actually spoke to this guy, I tried my hardest to protect Pixie…and my efforts were ignored.

My parents were of the thinking that ‘he was just being friendly’…and I’m sorry but that’s not good enough. That’s not fair, and it’s not right.

It’s exactly the same as when people let their dogs charge up to a fearful dog, and shout “oh it’s okay, s/he’s friendly!” – that’s not the point. The point is my dog is SCARED, and I have asked you to keep yourself or your dog away.

My dog has a right to an enjoyable walk, and we even purposefully went out of our way to avoid him so he wouldn’t have to.

In my opinion that’s not funny or cute…it’s rude and dangerous.


14 thoughts on “My dog is fearful, keep away!

  1. You’re right – it is rude and dangerous. You gave that man fair warning and yet he ignored it. You’re right that if something tragic happened Pixie would pay the ultimate price. It’s not fair and not right but legal. There wasn’t much more you could do other than what you did; but you managed it well.

    • Thanks. I guess it’s always gonna be easy to feel frustrated when something happens that can so easily destroy your dog’s confidence…especially when I tried so hard to prevent it XD

    • Thanks! Oh one of the houses we used to live at had about a dozen kids constantly playing outside, and there were half a dozen of them that would run full tilt up to Kasper (who was still nervy with strangers at the time). The kids were better than most in that they asked if they could pet him (yay!!) but every time they were out they would come ask, and it was like “*sigh* still no!”

  2. I’ve still catching up on a few of your posts, where did you get the lead sleeves from ? well done to you both in handling a difficult situation

    • Hey you! Thanks 🙂

      The yellow ‘in training’ sleeve was from etsy I believe (think it was just under a tenner but it isn’t very good really!), the red one which we’ve only had a day but seems great, was from ebay and can be found here – bargain for £3.99!

      The ‘NERVOUS’ lead (which I’ll be posting pics of asap!) was also from ebay and cost about £10 🙂

      • Thanks for the link 🙂 hope you are all enjoying the heat wave … it’s way too hot for Oscar, we had a little scare when he got a little overheated ~ he just doesn’t realise he needs to take it easy when it’s hot, even though we walk him when it’s cooler he still insists on running round like his bum is on fire!!!!

      • HAHAHAHA!!! I love that description, totally fits how Raiden runs XD Hope Oscar’s okay now?

        Kasper’s the same, even at 6 years old, he just cannot understand when he’s done too much exercise. When he was much younger he ran so much on a big off lead walk that when he got back he was sick and didn’t move for the next 12 hours XD

        Even now we have to monitor his exercise levels, especially if it’s warm out.

        And by god are we not enjoying this heat haha! Our house is always stupidly warm so the heat’s making that awful, and some days it was so warm we could only walk the dogs for 20 minutes tops. We hit 31*c here a few weeks ago – I’m melting at the thought!

      • Oscar was sick and rather subdued for a couple of days, now the best time to walk him is after dark on the lead only … which means he’s full of mischief in the day !! are we the only ones who doesn’t care if the the warm weather draws to a close ??

      • Aw bless him.

        Omb I can’t even imagine trying to entertain a young large breed not getting walks all day haha! How old is Oscar now? Rey’s uber chilled in the house so we lucked out with him and Kasper’s 6 so not quite (quite!) as bouncy.

        My partner despises heat too haha. We’ve still heard loads of people locally comment on how crap this summer’s been weather-wise…I’m sorry, have you been living under a rock?! XD

      • Osacr is now 21 months and the size of a small horse !!! and still full of beans, we have a large box filled with paper (2 treats in the bottom) which takes him an age to sort through, kongs & him throwing his bed about keeps him occupied for a while, his keeping watch over folks walking across the green holds his attention for an age plus when Beloved is working from home he stops every hour or so to play / fuss over him.
        I’s been warm but cloudy the last couple of days so morning walks have resumed but we have been keeping them short.
        I have to admit to wilting when it’s hot ..especially when I’m on a 7 day rotation at ‘The Workplace’

      • Aww I can’t believe he’s almost two 🙂

        We do the paper-box for Kasper too!! Hahaha Oscar’s so funny and such a lucky boy 🙂

        Yes the weather has been better the last few days (it actually felt cold at 3am when little miss woke us up as she had refused to go to the toilet before bed and needed a wee *sigh* ). The sun’s back today and fairly warm, but on Pixie’s short walk it wasn’t too hot.

  3. Well done for speaking up, that man was a total twit you couldn’t have done any more to give him fair warning. It’s honestly terrifying having to protect our dogs because like you said our dogs would pay the price of being taken away or PTS because some idiot completely overstepped boundaries. No matter what issues our dogs have they should be able to take a walk in peace without being bothered by others.

    • Thank you 🙂 That’s just it isn’t it, not only is there the stress and sadness of knowing morons will make your dog scared and push training back, but should your dog bite or act aggressively (and lets be honest any dog is capable of it) then you will always get the blame, and the potential consequences are very serious.

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