|12-03-2012, 03:46 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jun 2012
Gun owner, my dog, scary situation
First, I take full responsibility for not 100% controlling my dog in this situation. My fault, my blame, and I will not let it happen again.
We were skijoring in a remote area (unlikely to see anyone), with four dogs. I had my husky hooked to me, the malinois was in harness but she and my shepherd were free running, my partner was well behind with his older dog.
We were moving at a pretty good clip, like 15 mph. I was just kind of enjoying the moment. There was a walker on the trail ahead of us but I didn't pay much attention. We pass people on trails ALL the time in busier areas with neutral behavior from all parties. As we approached, my malinois ran ahead a bit and barked at the guy a few times. I told her to come, and she immediately came and we went on by. I didn't think much of it.
We got back to the parking lot and changed our skis out to head out on the more narrow trails for some slower ski touring. All the dogs were relaxed. The guy we passed came down the trail. An older guy.
I said hello, he said "your dog scared the out of me".
I said, "I am so sorry, I called her right away, I didn't expect her to bark like that."
He said, "well, you're not the only one with a weapon out here," unzipped his jacket, and started to pull out a large revolver he had strapped to his chest.
I was somewhat in shock. He was handling the gun. My dogs were 100% neutral- and playing with each other and there was absolutely no threat or inference of a threat from me (female, young, smaller).
He said, "I was a second away from shooting your dog".
This was interesting since my dog maybe barked three times and as we ran by. The entire encounter took about three seconds or less.
I said, "she was barking, I know she shouldn't do that, and I don't let her bark at people, but she was a bit startled."
He said that she was showing her "fangs". That he knew dogs, that he had 50 stitches in his head from a dog, and 8 dogs at home, and that he knew she was serious. I understood he was afraid of dogs. I got all that. I honestly do have the dogs I have in part for deterrence of (human male) attackers. That said, they are not PPD and I don't need that.
BUT BUT BUT, my goal with all my dogs is neutrality and 100% recall. Obviously, I dropped the ball here and it is MY fault my dog barked at the guy. Brief it may have been, reactive it may have been and so on, I am not making excuses.
What I take away from this is:
1. My dog needs more neutrality and OB training, we are not as far along as I had thought, despite numerous neutral encounters on more busy trails every day.
2. If I see someone on the trail ahead, I need to "heel" my malinois and/or (until she is 100% with her OB) leash her until we are past the person. Even though she rarely reacts, she needs to understand that I make the decisions.
3. Keep practicing the recall. Under extreme distractions.
4. I need to expect that people are carrying concealed, especially in rural areas. It is legal in this state.
5. My "small" (55 lb) dog is scary even though I don't see her that way very easily because she is so sweet with her family. Even more so because of the way she looks to people, I need 100% control over this dog.
6. Huge wake up call. I love this dog and I need to not let her make her own decisions in these situations. I will leash for her until her OB is solid and consistent.
So, I totally blame myself. Gave my girl a lot of loving last night, and was very happy I'd worked with her so much on recall that when I called her she came immediately. Kicked myself for not calling her to a heel before we passed the guy many times already.
I'm still a bit in shock by the guy pulling a gun on me well after the barking incident and when my dogs were not acting remotely threatening. Took me a long time to settle down last night.
It was like my worst nightmare. The last thing I want is my dog making me LESS safe than more safe.
Just a warning to us all that we can never be too careful or have too much control over our dogs. With some dogs, you can NEVER be complacent. Time for me to do some really consistent training with this. I could have avoided this whole thing if I had just called her in when I first noticed the walker on the trail in front of us.
I'm still reeling a bit. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.
Last edited by JeanKBBMMMAAN; 12-03-2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: language
|12-03-2012, 04:11 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: South Texas
I applaud you for taking responsiblity for your dog's reactions. I also applaud you for taking steps to ensure that you keep your dog(s) safe.
It only takes a moment. Just one single moment to change everything. I'm really happy that nothing serious came of this. Take a deep breath.
One more thing....Boy! Does skijoring sound like fun!!! What a great way to spend time with your dogs!
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|12-03-2012, 04:20 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2006
I once was working out on a treadmill in our workout center at work. It faces windows. A guy snuck up behind me, grabbed my shoulder, and yelled, "boo!" Unfortunately, I was not the person he thought I was. But he scared the **** out of me, and my reactionary response was to say, "man, I just about punched you right in the face!"
Of course, that is so far from the truth! I was completely startled and caught off guard from it. There's no way, even if I wanted to, that I could have punched him in the face. It was just a heart-racing, adrenaline pumped response to being startled.
Moral of the story- we all say stupid things under stress, and I doubt the guy was really, in actuality, a second away from shooting your dog. Not to mention that in most states, to my knowledge, threatening you (or your property) by brandishing his weapon was completely illegal.
I think you just caught the guy off guard and he wanted to give you an earful. Lesson learned on your part.
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|12-03-2012, 04:30 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2012
|12-03-2012, 05:17 PM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Denmark, Ohio
I would call the police.
Yes, you should have your dog leashed if she/he will bark at people, but dogs are dogs. They bark. They shouldn't be out there scaring people, and I think you got that. But no way should someone threaten you or your dogs with their gun. The guy is a jerk, and it may be a good thing if the police know that he is out there showing off his weapon and threatening people with it.
I actually approve with concealed carry. We have it my state too. Gun enthusiasts do not like people being idiots with the privilege.
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|12-03-2012, 05:36 PM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Florida Keys
That is really scary with the guy actually getting his gun out. Here it would be considered illegal to threaten a person like that - after you had already controlled your dog and was speaking to him especially. I know you take full responsibility for it all and I applaud your attitude but don't worry yourself too much. Your dog knew the guy was a cookie short of a dozen I think and reacted appropriately for what he felt. It's great you have such a solid recall. I shudder to think what could have happened. I do carry concealed but my number 1 rule is never take out that gun unless I plan to fire it. I do not believe in threatening people. There are some people out there that should not have concealed permits. Glad it turned out okay. Now about that skijoring - sounds like fun but we have no snow.
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|12-03-2012, 06:33 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Boulder, CO
Sounded a bit over the top to display it (did he display, or actually point it? If he pointed it, that's ridiculous), but from the guys perspective, it may be hard to determine the dog's intent/past/background. Guess I'm playing devils advocate. Good to hear that's as far as it went and lesson learned without any serious repercussions.