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Old 01-02-2012, 11:26 AM   #31 (permalink)
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That is a very good post Jean.

I love all of the responses to this, too. I just wish Frag's issues had been more fearful and basic, and easier to work with. We have been to two trainers (one also a behaviorist) about him(group classes + a behavior consult), and didn't get a lot accomplished with him because he was not consistent and what we could explain did not make much sense. Jean Dodds helped a little, and we've been able to make up our own theories about it and manage/treat those which seem to have worked, but they sound absolutely idiotic to most people and we look like fools with an aggressive dog we're in denial about or something. *le sigh*
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:07 PM   #32 (permalink)
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great post Jean, just wanted to reitterate what she said about kids not being able to read...Good point

Honestly around here, whether I have that vest on her or not, not many people even 'ask' to pet her, ok by me, and ok by her. Most people look at the big bad wolf, who shows absolutely no emotion really, when we encounter strangers and I guess just don't see that "waggy golden tail I wanna meet ya" type, so for the most part avoid physical contact with her.

Home is a different story, she'd let an axe murderer in my house and probably lick them to death
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:40 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I have one overtly friendly GSD, one fairly friendly GSD, and a Pekingese who wants it on his own terms.

I used to worry about my overly open dog. When we go shopping or out on walks, she'll be in a heel next to me, and the moment someone goes "Ohhh...can I pet him/her?" (she's frequently mistaken to be male for some reason), she won't break that heel, but you can see her practically quivering with the anticipation of meeting this new person. And so when I give her the go-ahead, she's all about the love (she likes to rub on legs like a cat and lick hands) and she mumbles and "talks" to them and dances like a fool.
I USED to worry. She has shown me that she's a decent judge of character and that happy-waggy-butt is not applicable to all strangers. She has delivered some warning barks to some and even did a bark and hold across the fence at our druggie neighbor. She's just an open dog, and since she does legitimately enjoy attention from anyone who will lavish it on her, I just always make sure she has a handle on her obedience when someone asks to pet.

My Peke is a different story. While not aggressive, he does have some pet peeves that always seem to be the thing people insist on wanting to do with a small dog, his main one being that he HATES being picked up. He also is not particular about being petted directly atop his head, nor does he like people putting their faces up to his. I'm always sure to warn for both of those when people ask if they can pet, and because the face thing has become an issue as of late for some reason I can't explain (not sure why people NEED to squish my Peke's face and make kissy faces at him), I don't allow people to kneel down to pet him anymore.

Our last Pekingese was not well socialized at all. We had her from the time I was four until I was eighteen years old. And for her, well, she only had one eye, so that was a good deterrent from people wanting to pet, but for those who found it endearing and still wanted to touch her, we would just tell them that she was just not a friendly dog and we didn't want them to potentially be bitten. It was blunt enough to get the point across, illustrated that a bite was a possibility and that I was concerned enough with their safety to not take a chance. She had not ever actually bitten anybody, but was very leery of strangers, particularly as she got older, and I was not that hard up for anyone to like my one-eyed dog.
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:47 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Danielle - I highly recommend taking him to Brenda Aloff and getting her opinion. She has is amazing at reading dogs (and also horses) and is also very blunt. She will be able to give you some things to do, things to work on and perhaps reasons he does what he does and what to expect. She did wonders for Madix and I - who was the "lunge and try to bite you as soon as you look like you might pet him" type.

ETA: I told people that wanted to pet him that we were training. Madix knew to give eye contact whenever someone made him nervous so it would actually look like training or I would throw in a Fuss! command as we were passing an interested party so that it was clear we were doing something...honestly though, I never had one person ignore my "no" to petting, it was probably the death stare that Madix would offer around my body block if I let him break eye contact...lol
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Old 01-02-2012, 03:55 PM   #35 (permalink)
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what a great and informative thread. can't add anything except that yes, brenda aloff is WON-DER-FUL.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:53 PM   #36 (permalink)
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People usually don't ask to pet Dakota in public, because we only take him to the vet or on walks. When they do we tell them flat out he is afraid of people and has bit before. That works. However, when people come to our house, sometimes that doesn't work. They insist on petting him. He growls. He hasn't bitten anyone since the first person years ago. But I will never understand WHY they pet him when I tell them he will bite them!
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:05 PM   #37 (permalink)
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oh vicki, i totally would not give dakota the opportunity to ever bite anyone in your home (or anywhere else actually), huge possibility there for a giant lawsuit, not to mention the possibility of him injuring someone and losing his life because of it. as you've seen, people can be so foolish sometimes and just don't listen when they're told something, even if it's for their own good.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:26 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FG167 View Post
Danielle - I highly recommend taking him to Brenda Aloff and getting her opinion. She has is amazing at reading dogs (and also horses) and is also very blunt. She will be able to give you some things to do, things to work on and perhaps reasons he does what he does and what to expect. She did wonders for Madix and I - who was the "lunge and try to bite you as soon as you look like you might pet him" type.
Thank you for the recommendation. I will keep the name on hand. Frag has not been displaying any of the hostile growling for many months now, thankfully, and I like to hope it is because we got his allergies under control. We are working towards our GCG and it's going well, but under very controlled circumstances for my peace of mind. I don't think at this point he would growl at anyone in public stores, etc. and I'm positive he wouldn't jump straight to a bite, but I don't like risking it if it isn't necessary and in most cases, it's not. If I want someone to pet him, I can instruct them how to do so to set him up for success and he's fine. But if by chance it crops up in the future again, she will be the first on my list to call because I hate feeling like I can't take my dog anywhere for fear of him growling and embarrassing me/bein a liability.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:00 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I can't really add to what Jean so comprehensively put together, but I will say that the line "I'm sorry, she's very shy" works wonderfully to stop people from trying to pet Rosa. Of course, the fact that Rosa usually gets behind me backs up my statement. I've never had anyone persist in trying to pet Rosa. If the person looks really disappointed, I will give them a treat that they can try to give her (which she will then spit out and only eat when I give it to her, lol).

With Niko, people do not ask to pet him. I don't get much closer that 15 - 20 feet from strangers, and we are focused on each other, clearly in training mode, and it seems like people understand this and don't try to interrupt us. If anyone did approach us, Niko would react and bark/possibly lunge (we are working on this) and the person would have to be a grade A fool to keep on coming. At which point I would drag Niko away. I don't think Niko would bite, but I don't take any chances.
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:25 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Usually I don't mind my dog being approached, he's friendly to most of the strangers, but he can be very brute and jumpy, giving you one of those painful head bumps lol. Usually I warn the stranger that he's like that (although they can see by his jumpiness).

But well, due to having a few cases of stealing dogs in my country, I hesitate more at letting people know that my dog is friendly. I even find myself acting as if I'm a bit afraid of my dog walking near some people (like looking slightly stressed, holding the leash more firmly near me and calling my dog's name) so that they might think that the dog could be mean with them (but just with adult men not women or children).

But honestly, I would hesitate on approaching big dogs I do not know of. This is coz you never know what issue they have, and you could end up with a bad bite just for doing affectionate attention drawing noises (I've got snapped by a big dog coz of that once when I was younger).

The weirdest things that happened were once, a man caught us by surprise by suddenly appearing in front of us with his baby and just sticked her right on my dog's face. I didn't even notice him until then, and I was shocked that I did not know what to do! He said that it was for my dog to know her... Maybe he's looking forward to a dog biting his daughter to get rich from a lawsuit??
Another weird situation but not so extreme was that once, my dog was being very reactive towards another dog in the neighborhood. My partner was holding him while he was jumping and barking, and then a stranger passed by and made those affectionate attention drawing noises...

Somehow, it just seems that people either loves him, get really afraid of him (some people gets all stiff with eyes wide open as if they see a ghost at distance), or do really weird things in front of him...
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