Originally Posted By: PaschaFirst, we know our dogs' usual responses by what we actually see them do. You would have no clue as to how Riley would respond if you were unconscious. He would probably first consider it as unusual that you would decide to have a nap on the sidewalk. Thus, he likely would not respond in the usual manner.
You're correct, I've not seen him react in a situation where I really do need help. But I *have* seen him react in situations where people try to get to close to me and it's not pretty. If he perceives a threat to me even if there isn't one, he reacts. I've learned that he does not
like to be crowded, does not like me
to be crowded and takes direct eye contact from some strangers as an invite to confrontation. These things bring out his protective side and are all a part of the activity at the scene of this kind of call. Add to that, most of the world doesn't have a clue how to safely approach a strange dog. If they're afraid, they're only potentially going to make things worse.
Some of you may think this is a funny thread, but since I've seen how he reacts when he perceives a threat to me, I feel I need to think ahead to possibilities. I know I'll never be able to consider everything that might happen, but falling on a walk is a real possibility. You could instead insert any type of situation where the dog owner is in need of some kind of help and but being temporarilty incapacitated is not able to control the dog at the time. I don't want anyone to get hurt trying to help me nor do I want HIM to get hurt for trying to protect me. Maybe some of you are right, maybe he won't react protectively. I'm trying to protect my dog if he does. To many people believe dog protecting = vicious dog. To many dogs are being destroyed because people don't stop to think or realize there are other options available.
I'm becoming more and more aware that the general public along with a huge
number of dog owners themselves do not
understand dog behavior or that there's a difference between behavior and dog training. Take for example someone who's never owned a dog that got aggressive no matter what. They don't have a clue what to do when their new dog shows aggression. Not understanding the dog's behavior for what it really is, they get scared and figure the dog's gone vicious on them so you better destroy it. GSD's are automatically viewed by way to many people as being vicious and are to be feared just because they're a GSD. These people aren't going to think past that. At least in our area, Police Officers and EMS personnel are not trained in how to correctly approach a dog no matter how the dog is behaving. They don't know that how they approach can change a dog's demeanor in a heartbeat.
I could be wrong but my understanding is that a dog senses when there is something wrong with their owner and thus he would know that Mom's not just sleeping. Until proven otherwise, I have to assume that my dog is not Lassie, he's not going to go get Mom when Timmy falls down the well hole. For everyone's sake, especially
my dog because he's not the one carrying a gun, I have to assume he's going to react in the same protective fashion that he has in the past when he perceives something around me is a threat.
I do carry my cell phone and keys to my house w/me on walks. However, like someone said, they'd have to get past my dog to get at these things so they're pretty much useless until the dog is under control. A helmet might help in a fall situation, but as I said this is used as an example. I'm looking more for the best solution possible should I need help of any kind where I myself am temporarily not able to control my dog and someone needs to get near me to help me.