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Old 11-12-2012, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do you guys think...

That some people give off a vibe that sets dogs off? i.e. people that have been attacked many times throughout their lives by dogs

The other day, Rainer and I were at Starbucks just hanging out since we've been having great weather and letting Rai watch people come and go. He was doing amazing just laying down, relaxing, and just generally letting the world flow. All of a sudden (we had already been there an hour) he gets up and starts big boy barking his head off...no hackles, just pissed. I look back and there was a young girl (teenager) standing far away in the parking lot talking on the phone. I just assumed she was staring at him and he didn't like it. Note: Rainer has never barked at ANYONE like that ever. So, later, she comes up to me to tell me she thinks Rainer is beautiful and asked to pet him, I said sure because I've never had a problem with him around people - most of the time he just ignores them. He again starts barking at her! I corrected him and put him in a sit and her and I just started talking. Apparently she had been attacked by a dog when she was younger. I'm assuming maybe he was reacting to her fear? He was fine while her and I were talking - just didn't want her in his bubble so-to-speak.

I also ran into a guy at the dog park when Rainer was younger that had been attacked by 4 German Shepherds earlier in his life. Had steel plates and screws all over according to him.

Anyone else experience similar situations?

Aaaand here's my handsome boy!
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Some people just don't know how to approach dogs and so they approach with their head down, staring at them, slightly bent over which always sets Sasha off. I do think some dogs pick up on fear though, Sasha does for sure. If you're a confident, knowledgeable dog person (or a child ) she'll love you right off the bat but if you approach her with hesitation and pull away when she's trying to sniff you, she'll bark at you.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The must either sense something about the person or there is something they are reading into like posture or body language. I think sometimes clothing like hoodies, will set them off too. Mine didn't even like me wearing my hood up when they were younger, they've gotten use to it now.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dogs do read body language/posture emotions on the face, eye contact and the scent(scent is usually the first thing they detect).

As far as the incident where Rainer went off on the girl across a parking lot, I'd say he was reacting to a stranger, not so much "her" or her mental state in particular.
I would be on alert yourself and watch if he zones in on people, redirect him if he does so....it could just be a phase he's entering. He needs to know that you are the one that he looks to so he can heed your directions on whether he needs to bark or not.
Up close and personal, if someone is showing timid behavior/ all the more reason to make sure you are in control or he may just think he is.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I think it certainly can be. There have been a lot of stories here about people's dogs, who have NEVER acted aggressive towards a person going off on someone, and later the person finds out that this person was/is on drugs, for example.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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This is definitely something to watch! I had forgotten that my MIL became afraid of my dogs from my bitch going after her. (She didn't get to her, my male tackled her first) When we had Grim up there, she wasn't totally comfortable at first, but luckily he's too young to really care. She got over it with him by the second visit. He's a punk, I think, that would try to scare people that he thinks are afraid of him.... so I'm watching his behavior carefully. Hopefully with us living right there they'll see each other enough that she has no fear of him before he's an adult.
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Old 11-13-2012, 02:09 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
Dogs do read body language/posture emotions on the face, eye contact and the scent(scent is usually the first thing they detect).

As far as the incident where Rainer went off on the girl across a parking lot, I'd say he was reacting to a stranger, not so much "her" or her mental state in particular.
I would be on alert yourself and watch if he zones in on people, redirect him if he does so....it could just be a phase he's entering. He needs to know that you are the one that he looks to so he can heed your directions on whether he needs to bark or not.
Up close and personal, if someone is showing timid behavior/ all the more reason to make sure you are in control or he may just think he is.
It was just weird because we had been there for an hour already and it is a busy Starbucks. Strangers were going in and out the whole time, looking (admiring ) him as they walked by and he just watched them come and go without budging. I'm not even sure if he saw this girl before he reacted, he just got up, turned around and started barking at her. You're right though and I will try to be more aware since it may be a phase he's starting to go through.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel View Post
The must either sense something about the person or there is something they are reading into like posture or body language. I think sometimes clothing like hoodies, will set them off too. Mine didn't even like me wearing my hood up when they were younger, they've gotten use to it now.
She was a little off and very timid. She was also holding a big purse and an iPad and I'm thinking something about that made him weary? When she put them down he approached her and gave her a sniff and was okay, but then she moved and he barked again...still no hackles. Didn't seem afraid... (She was weird when she first approached...she was like, "maybe cuz I have a knife in my purse?" I was like excuse me a what? LOL I guess she had a knife and fork in her purse?? Weird)

I'm glad she stayed and didn't run off so that Rainer could at least see that she was OK and I was talking to her normal.
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