Sometimes, I really can’t get over how idiotic the general public are in the way they interact with or approach my dogs.
I feel no guilt calling them idiots, because I always try duck out of people’s way, tell them not to come over etc…yet they do. And at the end of the day they are putting my dogs at risk by behaving like imbeciles.
A prime example was an older man walking a JRT that had the same markings as Pixie, during Pixie’s first few weeks with us. I knew straight away he would come over and talk to us, I could tell as he kept looking over, so I immediately began distancing ourselves from him.
I clearly held out the sleeves on the lead (which read nervous, in training, and keep your distance) and started moving us away as the old man crossed the road towards us.
I walked across the road we were near and started walking behind some houses (dead end leading to a car park but with a narrow exit onto the pavement) and the man followed us, calling out questions and ignoring when I asked him to leave us alone several times, as my dog was nervous.
A similar incident happened here too
This is not cool!
You need to pay attention to anything the dog could be wearing (eg. a NERVOUS harness) and anything on the lead – this could be the lead itself (yellow, nervous, in training etc) or things on the lead such as sleeves, a yellow ribbon etc.
If someone has asked you not to come closer and especially when the reason given is their dog is scared, you MUST NOT go any closer – it is not fair on the owner and it’s certainly not fair on the dog, and if you get hurt it is YOUR FAULT no matter what the law says.
Another incident happened a few days ago.
We were walking Raiden and had already had to turn a few times and dodge several idiots, including a mum letting her child of about two start running towards Rey.
We were walking along the main road and there were two walkers up ahead moving very slowly, so we stopped and did some training with Rey to let them gain distance. The walkers crossed a very narrow bridge that leads into our village, then stopped at the end of it, completely blocking anyone from passing.
They stood there several minutes without moving, so we inched our way towards them in the hope they’d realise we couldn’t pass. This whole time we were training and rewarding Rey.
Eventually they moved away from the bridge, by about a foot – seriously?!
Nevertheless we passed them, giving Rey lots of cues and rewarding him continuously. He passed within a few feet of them and did really well (he also has an ‘IN TRAINING’ sleeve on his lead).
When we got about 3ft past the walkers, one of them called out to him and made the kissy-kissy noise?!?! Thankfully Raiden only turned and wagged, but if that had happened when he was much younger it would have resulted in pulling and shrieking, as he was overly excited by people and other dogs as a puppy.
If I am so obviously training my dog and keeping him calm, PLEASE DON’T try and distract him or get his attention!!!
There have been several incidences like the one above, including a lady who constantly tries to fuss our dogs – she once stopped opposite us (after we’d crossed a road to avoid her, and whilst we were asking Rey to focus, sit etc) and shouted to him until he was whining and pulling towards her *sigh*
How is it so hard to understand you DO NOT distract a dog when they’re training??
On top of that there are just all the people who act like dicks around our dogs 😛
- People who run at full speed past us on the pavement and have no thought that this might scare or excite our dogs
- Parents who let their children scream and shout right next to our pups
- Parents who let their children RUN UP to our dogs with the intention of stroking them; children ranging in age from two to about twelve
- Parents who let their children run past and wind my dogs up on purpose, because the kid finds it funny, and the parent then gets arsey when I ask the child not to
- People who approach our dogs head on and try reach out and stroke them without asking me
- People who bark at our dogs, yell at them or squeal “OH-MY-GOD THAT DOG’S CUTE!” at the top of their lungs
There needs to be some form of education out there, in regards to dog body language and acceptable ways to interact and behave around them – not just a few schools, but *everyone*, children and adults.
It’s not okay for people to walk around and try interact with dogs when they don’t have a clue how to do it safely, and it is NOT the responsibility of dog owners to educate adults and children on dog safety.
Dog owners shouldn’t need to be on guard all the time in case morons come over and terrify their dogs, and we can’t keep expecting every dog we pass on the street to be bomb proof and have no fears or anxieties.
When my parents were young, if you got bit by the family dog or he growled at you, you were immediately asked what you did to it – with the implication that it was *your* fault.
My dad’s childhood dog resource guarded food, and would growl if you went near as he was eating. That was totally normal and acceptable to them, and everyone (including the children) knew not to bother Ben when he was eating.
These days if a child runs up to an unknown dog and roughly strokes the dog’s face, resulting in a growl, the dog owner gets abuse and is told to muzzle their dog.
It’s ridiculous, and makes owning a fearful dog extremely extremely difficult.
Please check out this post as it has a list of easy to understand infographics on body language, signs of fear, and acceptable ways to interact with dogs. Useful for dog owners, the public and several could help children too 🙂