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Thread: dog park., strangers and petting Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-20-2014 12:00 PM
Galathiel Knowing that your husband was playing ball with the dog, I can tell you how my dog would react. He does not want people petting him when he's 'working' (i.e. fetching, obtaining, having that glorious round object). He gets impatient if I even stop to pet him. He's independent and doesn't really care about praise or pleasing you, sadly. When he's in ball mode, that's all he cares about. He'll follow any commands, just so you throw the dang ball. He doesn't want a pat as a reward .. eh, nope.
06-20-2014 10:54 AM
martemchik No offense…but a dog shouldn’t be growling or acting aggressively (even as a show) towards perfectly friendly people. It’s a joke to think those are some sort of K9 instincts. They aren’t, they’re terrible. I have approached my city’s K9 on many occasions (he’s a neighbor) and the dog doesn’t even raise an eyebrow.

In OP’s situation, there just isn’t enough information to tell how the dog is feeling. Truthfully, if your dog is actively avoiding people, I’d assume it was apprehension and avoidance. The dog isn’t comfortable, it is trying to get away from the situation and showing a lack of confidence. Again, not saying this is what OP’s dog was doing, but that’s what I would think of a dog that was backing away from someone and not just holding their groud. A truly aloof animal would just stand there. It wouldn’t care if someone came up to it or they didn’t. It wouldn’t make any aggressive show towards a friendly person, it also wouldn’t back away and actively try to get away from people.

Without being there, no one can tell you 100% what your dog was feeling. If more than a few of the dog park patrons told you it was apprehensive, I wouldn’t discount them. Statistically, at least of few of those people are probably decent at reading dogs. You really have to see how your dog is moving away from the person, his ears, his tail, a lot of things tell you what he’s feeling. And it’s unlikely you’ll be able to recall that stuff without being biased and trying to make it so that your dog wasn’t apprehensive.
06-20-2014 10:29 AM
mosul210 I can relate with a lot of the examples that have been given so far. In summary it puzzles me how some people either willingly or un-willingly bypass the dog's behavior and proceed to petting. I had an older gentleman who was fascinated at my dog and immediately went to try to open his mouth and admire his teeth! fortunately my dog is well manner and just pulled away, but had he tried that with my female dog I would have had to wrestle her off him and as mentioned the dog would have paid the price even though the human violated the animal's space and trust.
06-15-2014 11:15 PM
jafo220
Quote:
Originally Posted by jessac View Post
Thanks, guys. I'll pay more attention next time and see if I notice anything. It does seem to just be who he picks and chooses. An older lady approached us and put her hand out to pet him and he was OK with that (which is how he usually is, nkot seeking them out, but calm and tolerates it) he just didn't like the two people that kept trying to.

Does checking in really mean he was uncomfortable? He usually does this hiking and even in the house sometimes if were all in different parts of the house. I just thought he was keeping tabs on us.

He is trained and listens well. While I know anything is possible, he's obedient and well mannered.
I'm not a dog behaviorist, but I do dog park now and again. I've had bad experiences and great experiences. Neither outweighs the other.

You have to watch not only your dog but other dogs. Packing up, playing rough meaning grabbing neck hide, humping or a pack circling another dog among other things are signs of pending trouble. Usually due to owners not tending their dogs. Some owners think it's alright until it's too late. I watched in amazement as a group of dogs circled a poor husky nipping to the point they were pulling clumps of hair off the dog. The owners just stood there looking at it like, "glad it's not my dog" and the owner of the Husky was in shock. Finally one of the owners went over then they all went over and grabbed their dogs. Husky wound up with a torn ear and missing fur. I had another dog get snippy with Cruz and I stopped it dead in it's tracks. When it gets like this, I leave. If it's like that before I go in, I don't go in. That's my own rule of thumb.

But as far as your original question, I let people approach Cruz as he has proven not to be aggressive around people. Most of the time, especially at the park, people won't be able to keep up with him or catch a time to pet him because he constantly going. That's good.

But in general, it's really not a bad idea just to stay out of the DP's. I really don't go that often and when I do, I make it early or late when the park is near empty. He just likes the car ride and exploring the park.
06-15-2014 10:53 PM
jessac I didn't force it. Just let him ignore them and he kept playing with my husband (loves balls) but I just didn't know what to think since rthe other owners seemed to think it was odd.
06-15-2014 10:39 PM
MichaelE I agree. If the GSD won't approach someone, it's best not to force the issue.
06-15-2014 10:35 PM
wolfy dog If a dog does not approach a stranger freely, he doesn't want contact. That should be enough reason to avoid that entire situation. Petting can be very invasive for a GSD or any herding dog for that matter. Goldens and other happy go lucky dogs are different and can OCD affectionate. Never seen a GSD like that.
06-15-2014 10:25 PM
jessac Thanks, guys. I'll pay more attention next time and see if I notice anything. It does seem to just be who he picks and chooses. An older lady approached us and put her hand out to pet him and he was OK with that (which is how he usually is, nkot seeking them out, but calm and tolerates it) he just didn't like the two people that kept trying to.

Does checking in really mean he was uncomfortable? He usually does this hiking and even in the house sometimes if were all in different parts of the house. I just thought he was keeping tabs on us.

He is trained and listens well. While I know anything is possible, he's obedient and well mannered.
06-15-2014 09:59 PM
MichaelE Strangers and petting do not go together with Lisl.

As Lisl has gotten older more of her K-9 instincts from breeding are becoming apparent. She is now 20 months old. She is a very good dog, listens to every command, easy to teach and eager to please, but she will not let strangers approach her.

After many visits to my home she may let you pet her or get close to her. She would rather look and smell you over than have you approach her however. I learn more and more about her every day it seems.

I was in contact with her breeder recently and found that one of her littermates works as a border control dog for the Canadians and two of her siblings work for the Kansas Highway Patrol.

She can be aggressive, but it is more of a warning to stay back or don't approach me than a willingness to bite or attack anyone. This dog will defend me with a prompting or command, but will control herself if I tell her to. She has an on/off switch and it works very well.

I really didn't expect this caliber of dog when I agreed to buy her. She's worth three times what I paid. And some departments have according to the K-9 officer across the street.

I love her to death. She's a good girl. Sorry about the crappy photo...

06-15-2014 09:59 PM
llombardo And I wouldn't put a dog in that situation or make him sit for unwanted pets from someone because if he were to get agitated and bite someone, he pays the price.
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