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Old 02-26-2014, 07:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
gsdsar
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Default generic question about personal space and biting

This is good topic. And a confusing one. I know my opinions differ quite a bit, even as I was thinking about my reply.

I expect my dogs to allow me to do anything I want to them. If I open their mouth to look inside, they better allow it. Same with hugging, restraining, picking up feet, lifting tail. If I had a family living with me, the same would go for everyone that lives in my house. It's non negotiable. That does not mean I spend my time testing and training these behaviors. I just do them and move on.

If I had not done my job and for some reason my dog did not perceive other family members as having that respect as well, then I have failed.

Now for John Q. Public. This is where I start getting wishy washy. I, personally would not knowingly take a dog to a public place without being sure of their response. But, to be sure if their response, you have to take them. So I generally pick smaller events, or go in knowing that I may have to leave if it proves overwhelming to my dog.

For example. I KNOW my female Lena can be very snarky with other dogs. So she does not get brought to large events with lots of dogs. She can handle fewer dogs in a quiet setting, so she gets to go the lake and winery tours with a few friends and their dogs.

Now my puppy Nix, he is only 13 months. We did a few events this year, but he is getting older, less puppyish. So this year I will have to expose him carefully so I can judge his reaction. If I deem him not safe, he won't get to continue going or get to go to bigger events. The first few events this spring, I will be be overly diligent and watching his body language. And I have zero problem telling people not to touch him. If and when I deem him trustworthy, then I will take him to events known to have children. While I expect parents to watch their children, kids are kids and many parents assume if the dog is out at big public event then they are safe. Whether this is right or not. It is my job to make sure I don't contribute to a problem. So yes, I expect, if I am relaxed, that my dog allow a stranger to pet them,
Or a child to hug them. That said, I am always diligent, and if I see a kid coming over, I greet them and turn my dogs back to them, so they don't charge the dogs face. Then, once I know the dog is calm I allow kisses.

I never force my dog. If they seem uncomfortable, I remove them from the stimulus. We go on a walk, I put them in the car, we hide and smoke a cigarette(well I smoke)

Not every dog can be like that, it is up to the owner to read and understand their dog. And not force them into a situation that is dangerous. It does not mean the dog is a bad dog.

I don't expect every dog to like strangers in their face. It's very rude. I do expect owners to KNOW this about their dog and mitigate the situation so that the dog does not bite anyone.

If you know your dog does not like strangers in their close proximity, don't take them to events with an uncontrollable element.

But at home, inside the family, that same dog better accept anything.














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