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Old 04-05-2014, 01:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Assumptions and questions by others

I don't know if it's just me being sensitive or what but I never really know what to say when people ask how my GSD is around kids or other dogs. Personally it bothers me because nobody ever asks either question before walking up to my little dog and getting in his face. The other reason I'm usually stumped is that I can't give a 100% accurate answer due to the fact that it would depend on each situation. So my answer is usually along the lines of "he respects anyone who treats him kindly and doesn't pose a threat to him or me". Oh and my little tiny dog that you think is so cute is 100% more likely to bite then my "scary looking" GSD.
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah...and your little dog is also unlikely to kill if it does bite. Why does the size of our breed really surprise people when they get asked these types of questions?

Think about it, a terrier can "go off" and bite someone and it probably won't do that much damage, and is highly unlikely to kill a human before someone intervenes, or the victim is able to stop the attack themselves. A GSD? One bite could be all it would take, as they can easily reach the neck of a human adult, never mind a child.

I swear, I either see the "why are people scared of my dog?" Or the "why don't people ask to pet my dog?"

What, in your opinion, is the best way to approach a dog? Or how should someone act around a person who owns a dog that is known to be a powerful and in a sense "dangerous" breed?
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Old 04-05-2014, 01:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It doesn't surprise me. I am just usually left wondering what the best answer is. For example I don't want to say "he's great with other dogs" and then the other dog snap at him and then I look like I lied. Just as I wouldn't want to claim he's great with all children and then a 10 year old physically hurts him and gets bit. I was simply thinking that maybe people should ask more specific questions upon approach such as "Does he handle hyper children well?" or "How does he react when another dog shows aggression?". The question "How is he?" is very very vague.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Personally, when I"m out I don't allow my dog to meet ANY dogs. Yes, he likes all dogs at this point and is very tolerant of snappy small dogs (lives with one), but I don't want him interacting with other dogs while we're out as I'm trying to get him to realize he doesn't have to meet other dogs .. even though he wants to. I feel there might always be that first time that he isn't okay, but it's not going to happen because I was careless. He's not really around children much, but he seems to like them when he sees them out as well as he does adults (he likes everyone he meets .. the mooch). I am the one that limits contact. Why do they want to know?

I usually just say he's got a nice temperament if they ask and then move on. I'm not the doggie guru and don't have to stand around answering strangers' questions.
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Old 04-05-2014, 02:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That's funny. Gunther was at the vet and was not tolerating being left alone in the examining room with me. He wanted to see exactly what everyone else was up to at all times. Since we were the only ones there they left the door open and he just wandered around visiting the clinic animals and all the staff. I came in talking about how he hates being away from me and he spent the whole time ignoring me.
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Old 04-05-2014, 07:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Why would a child ever "physically hurt" your dog? Is that seriously a worry of yours? I mean...if you allow a child to hurt your dog, while in your presence, I'm not sure what to say to that. So I'm not quite sure why you'd be that worried about that.

Most people that have aggressive dogs, don't really ask how your dog would react to their dog acting aggressively...they rarely ask to socialize their dog and most of the time will just avoid you anyways. People that don't expect their dog to act aggressively, will generally understand if THEIR dog is the one that growled/snapped first. So again, not sure why that's a worry as well.

Most times, the "is he friendly?" question is more than enough. If you say yes, the dogs sniff and say hello, be good enough to notice if either dog isn't "feeling it" and then pull yours away if the other person isn't already doing the same thing and pulling their dog away. I can't imagine that a dog would be able to go for a kill shot without either owner noticing signs of discomfort before hand.
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Old 04-05-2014, 08:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellimaybel View Post
It doesn't surprise me. I am just usually left wondering what the best answer is. For example I don't want to say "he's great with other dogs" and then the other dog snap at him and then I look like I lied. Just as I wouldn't want to claim he's great with all children and then a 10 year old physically hurts him and gets bit. I was simply thinking that maybe people should ask more specific questions upon approach such as "Does he handle hyper children well?" or "How does he react when another dog shows aggression?". The question "How is he?" is very very vague.
If you don't know them well enough to trust that their dog or their child won't act inappropriately around your dog, just say he's in training and not allowed to "say hi" yet. I have often told people my dog is more aggressive than she actually is because I don't trust them and I want them to stay away from me. Basically, if you think there is potential for a situation to go badly, just say he doesn't like kids or other dogs. What is the harm in that? They go on their merry way and stay out of your hair, and you know for yourself that your dog probably would have handled it fine.

If it's someone you know well, it might be worth a more in-depth explanation and conversation with them about how kids can behave safely around large dogs. Just tell them the same thing you told us.

Quote:
Most people that have aggressive dogs, don't really ask how your dog would react to their dog acting aggressively...they rarely ask to socialize their dog and most of the time will just avoid you anyways. People that don't expect their dog to act aggressively, will generally understand if THEIR dog is the one that growled/snapped first. So again, not sure why that's a worry as well.
I haven't found this to be true. A lot of people are not aware of how rude and threatening their dog's behavior is because they think aggression consists only of growls and hackles. When another dog is charging my dog and staring her down silently, the cries of "he's friendly!" are not very reassuring to me. There are also a lot of people who let their dog crowd my dog even though her ears are pinned and she is whale-eyeing everybody to kingdom come, then act surprised when she tells their rude dogs off.
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Old 04-06-2014, 12:51 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No it's not something I'm really overly worried about. I've been in law enforcement for 16 years, I'm very much a "cover my " person. I was just rambling hypotheticals.
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with the OP, people ask what seems to be dumb questions. Today, I'm walking my dog down the middle of the street and he's barking his head off for who knows what reason, I'm correcting, distracting, luring and attempting to shut him up, and someone yells at me from the sidewalk "does he always bark like that?" No, cuz I would lose my mind! It was just one of those mouthy sassy days. If your kid was misbehaving, I wouldn't ask you if he always acts like that, I'd let you be embarrassed in private! I do strongly discourage any face time from dogs or kids with this dog, though. First he has to learn a few more manners. I have spent many years as an ER nurse, I don't particularly want to talk to anyone after 3 twelve hour shifts, so it works out well. I just say"please don't touch the dog, he's learning how to be a good dog" and keep on going.
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Old 04-06-2014, 01:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
Why would a child ever "physically hurt" your dog? Is that seriously a worry of yours? I mean...if you allow a child to hurt your dog, while in your presence, I'm not sure what to say to that. So I'm not quite sure why you'd be that worried about that.
I didn't get the feeling that OP is jut letting people touch her dog however they want. And kids can be fairly unpredictable. I was checking out at a pet store with my dog sitting next to me at the counter. There was a woman and her kid in line behind me and while I was a bit distracted checking out, her kid took a step forward and pretty much just slapped my dog in the face. The mom was mortified and she apologized and removed her kid immediately. As much as I try to make sure I'm keeping an eye when in public, I wasn't expecting the kid to just SLAP my dog. I think OP meant more that kids can be unpredictable and she doesn't want to invite attention when she doesn't know if that attention will necessarily be appropriate.
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