Stop whistling at my dog! - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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Stop whistling at my dog!

Good morning,
My 6 month old puppy is doing great and really coming out of his shell. We live in NYC - which means even more sights, sounds, and people than other dogs may have to get used to. He walks well on the leash, doesn't pull and keeps to himself. I need to know if constant whistles from other people at Hudson when we walk is just a New York City thing or does that happen to everyone? He usually ignores them, but as he has gotten used to more and more people he's sometimes is generally curious when hearing it and it totally breaks his focus and sometimes he'll turn around and look.

He's six months old so I get it, he's a puppy and I need to train more on the focus command. But this morning as we were crossing a crosswalk someone whistled and Hudson ended up the wrong way struggling to find the guy - more than anything it freaked me out (hello middle of the street!) and I wanted to punch the guy upside the head. LEAVE THE PUPPY ALONE!

Anyways, does this happen to everyone? Do you scream at people who do it (kidding.. kind of)?

Second part of this question... someone touched Hudson without asking on his backside as we were leaving a store two days ago and it startled him. The person then loudly proclaimed how unfriendly he is. Ugh, I guess I'm just sick of morons touching and whistling at the dog. If this happened to you would you say something to the person?

Hudson geniunely is neutral to most everyone that he meets and most dogs at this point. I wish people (except for kids, who he loves!) would leave us alone! Sorry for the rant..

Brynn and baby bear Hudson
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 10:28 AM
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Maybe they are whistling at you
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Lol, definitely not.

Brynn and baby bear Hudson
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 10:59 AM
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Random whistling is not an issue in D.C. We have had people actually stop their cars on the road and ask about our dogs, especially our long haired big boy. (in the suburbs, not the city) With that this gorgeous coat on my boy, people have covertly touched in passing. We knew from the start that we would have to help our pup understand that the soft touch of a stranger was nothing to be concerned about. Honestly, no one should touch a dog without asking first, but sometimes it happens.

If they try that with my She-pup they'll get a face full of "what do you think you are doing" from both her and me. She is a stock coat and looks like a classic police dog so people tend more to keep their hands to themselves.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 11:06 AM
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If the whistling is constant, yeah, I'd find that annoying, but unless it's one person standing on a certain street corner who does it every single day as you walk past, I wouldn't yell at the person. It would be better to work on your dog's response to whistling and other distractions in the environment.
Crossing in the crosswalk, like you were talking about? I'd have hustled my dog along and would have corrected him for trying to turn around. His and your safety depend on getting across in a timely manner.
My dogs know it's ok to respond to a noise if I say "what is it?", otherwise they know to keep moving along.
Whistling at my dog, randomly, without asking if it's ok first to engage my dog, makes me want to go into a rant a la Peter Caine, lol.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 11:13 AM
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I did have some dumb guy in a road crew of three once yell across the street to me, "Hey Lady. Let that dog go." "OH Hi" I yell back with a wave. He yells again, " Let your dog go. I want to see him run". My response, "If I let him go he'll come over there, grab you by the arm and knock you on the butt". He yells back, "Would he really do that?" My final answer, "YES, In a heartbeat. And he'll like it!" I smile and we walked away.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Ok! I'm glad it bugs everyone else. Hopefully when he grows out of his puppy "look" people will not be so inquisitive. And yes, definitely need more work on the focus command. Sometimes I'll walk with a tennis ball and that definitely helps.

Cheers!

Brynn and baby bear Hudson
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 03:48 PM
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People take far too many liberties with other people's pets, I'm glad I don't live in a big city.

I took my puppy to Lowe's the other day and some older dude with his kids/grandkids (he looked middle eastern and older maybe grandpa but it's also possible he lived most of his life third world dirt poor and he was the dad, anyways not really the point lol) kept clucking and whistling at my pup as we walked past and distracted the crap out of her. He kept doing it once she started tugging hard on the leash and straining to get to them (my girl likes people but LOVES the chirrens).

I didn't say anything and just kept walking but it really ticked me off. If the man had greeted me like a normal person I would have gladly said hello and brought my pup over to get showered in pets by the little ones.

I just don't get what exactly these dummies are trying to accomplish? The dog is on a leash and it's my property not yours. Why would you keep harassing it and make it strain and fight on a collar, do you think I'm going to let it go to do as it pleases? That it's an adult human to make it's own decisions and you can converse with it? Do you also encourage toddlers to run away from their parents?

And the touching without permission bothers me too, do you randomly touch people or peoples property in public without permission as the mood strikes you? No? Then why are you touching my dog without at least speaking to me first?

It's a strange phenomenon that apparently to alot of people personal space and ownership extends to everything but dogs.

ETA I'm working on the leash fighting issue and focus issue right now but she's only 17 weeks, we've got along way to go but we're having fun.
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Last edited by Tennessee; 07-25-2017 at 03:52 PM.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-25-2017, 05:49 PM
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Wow. I must be lucky. People don't really bother my dogs. If they do they will ask first. Maybe a couple people in two years have just walked up to try and pet. And that is usually kids. I do remember the one group of kids. The father pushed them my way and was like GO. I said not right now were working but if I see you in a while I'll let you guys pet him. The kids obviously didn't wanna pet him anyway. So I just stayed away from them. Usually I have to deal with people's lack of control of their own dogs.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-26-2017, 02:17 PM
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I visit a nursing home (volunteer visit) & it's pets allowed, so Sonic (and formerly, Dynamo, my late great gsd girl) comes along. There is only one person (a staff member) that whistles at him, and I can tell she's afraid of dogs, so it's weird and frustrating at the same, it's an invitation that cannot be concluded. Even Sonic knows that, so it's uncomfortable. To get him out of the dilemma, I give him a command when she does that, so then he doesn't have to figure out what to do (he is allowed, and encouraged to go up to people who want to pet him).
There is a another woman (family visitor) who is afraid of dogs (we know as we've gone there for years, you get to know, and converse with, both residents and family). She will tell my dog to sit even at a great distance (and Sonic does, not sure how I feel about that).

I think both of these human behaviours are an attempt to control something they are afraid of.

I can't help but add, I always thought that weird (scared) human behaviour to my dogs was due to them being a large protective breed. Dynamo was a very dark blanket back, I could understand her looking intimidating, but Sonic is an under 40lb border collie looking dog, and I still get people crossing the street or giving me whale eye, so maybe breed matters less than I thought.
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