Threat... or not? - Page 2 - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 08:32 PM
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this is one reason we have GSDs. I like to take long walks and having a strong dog your side makes you a harder target. Most "bad guys" want to find an easy mark. There is something primal that makes people step away from a barking dog. I say you did rightly.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-24-2019, 10:24 PM
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The female urge to be nice to everyone makes women charming but it also makes them victims. No one is obligated to be nice to a stranger who is intruding on their personal space. Trust your gut.

Not just my opinion. Check out Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear. Best thing I've ever read about this. Becker would love the OP's dog.

Some years ago, a lady I know was walking her SchH 3 GSD in a forest preserve when a creepy looking guy came skulking toward her. She told him to back off. He kept coming. She told her GSD to put the guy in a bark and hold, which the dog did. The guy froze, and after a minute she called the dog off and told the guy he could go. He did, in a hurry. Several months later she picked up the paper and saw a photo of the guy--who was violently mentally ill and had just been arrested for murdering a woman.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 09:28 AM
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Do you also run groups for more petite women? Haha; just being silly.
You made a dad joke!! lol
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I totally agree. I try to listen to my gut, rude or not! And always better to be on the safe side.

My girl is pretty awesome. She's friendly or aloof with people in general, but when I want her on- she's on and she looks quite intimidating. It was just a sketchy situation, and when he just kept coming, past my big friendly goof of a boy-dog, I knew it was time to get my other dog out of the car.

It was interesting to see the obvious breed differences, too. My male dog doesn't have an ounce of protective behavior in his DNA, while the balance in my shepherd is amazing. Kind of cool to see that play out.

I have been meaning to read the "Gift of Fear" I've heard it recommended a few times. The idea of listening to my gut was in my mind during this whole thing- I didn't want to have regrets (or not be able to have any). Stuff happens in the woods and people do disappear. And while I love nothing more than a trail run with my dogs, there is a reason I have shepherds.
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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:31 AM
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Thanks, I totally agree. I try to listen to my gut, rude or not! And always better to be on the safe side.

My girl is pretty awesome. She's friendly or aloof with people in general, but when I want her on- she's on and she looks quite intimidating. It was just a sketchy situation, and when he just kept coming, past my big friendly goof of a boy-dog, I knew it was time to get my other dog out of the car.

It was interesting to see the obvious breed differences, too. My male dog doesn't have an ounce of protective behavior in his DNA, while the balance in my shepherd is amazing. Kind of cool to see that play out.

I have been meaning to read the "Gift of Fear" I've heard it recommended a few times. The idea of listening to my gut was in my mind during this whole thing- I didn't want to have regrets (or not be able to have any). Stuff happens in the woods and people do disappear. And while I love nothing more than a trail run with my dogs, there is a reason I have shepherds.
We taught the behavior and then put a cue to it with Sabi. I chose that noise because it's quiet and I have to say it was one of the more useful tricks I have ever taught! She was a PPD but there were occasions that I just wanted her to make lots of big scary dog noise, and that's what I used it for.
I don't need to teach Shadow anything, lol. The only thing she resource guards is me! And while she will meet people, she is really pretty vocal about strangers stepping in on me unless I control it before she starts.
Two things stop most men in their tracks. Head up, shoulders back and direct eye contact. People who look like victims become victims.
Use your words. A firm BACK UP usually does the trick. If you need to be polite add please. Maintain your space.

I seldom let people within arms reach, and I always trust my gut. But in reading your story one thing caught my attention, you moved away. Try to avoid that. It instantly gives the person approaching psychological control. If that person is a predator you can seal your fate simply by backing up. If you have to move to maintain distance step sideways or angle your body, but avoid backing up.

Keep your girl close. She did a good job!
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:46 AM
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I don't care what that man's intentions were, you did not feel comfortable in that situation. Your dog knew it and stuck up for you. Very good girl!


I can only hope one of mine will do the same if that happens to me.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-25-2019, 10:15 PM
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I do a lot of rather remote hiking with another female friend, and I never go without my Dobie gsd. I always feel safe with him.

I also carry a .40 because you just never know. I totally sympathize with how you were feeling, being approached by some creeper but chances are he just wanted some privacy to light up a doobie with his buddy. Still. Trust your gut!
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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Atomic- Yes, most likely, he was probably hoping I was leaving... but he got way too close.

And Sabi- good point on not backing away. I should know better since I understand how dogs work, and we work the same way if it runs we chase, and if we stand our ground or walk toward, (it, they) backs off. I should keep that in mind.

It's been good thinking this through and planning how I might handle it differently if something similar happens again. But I'm really happy that my dog, for her part, behaved perfectly.
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 01:23 PM
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I guess it's just my male brain, but I cannot figure out why so many women feel the need to be polite to strangers who are pushing unwanted attention on them, and make excuses for these creeps:

"it seemed like he mostly was just a harmless guy who wanted to "pat" my dogs... but maybe not."

"Yes, most likely, he was probably hoping I was leaving"

"A firm BACK UP usually does the trick. If you need to be polite add please." [That blows the whole thing and solidly establishes you as a weak potential victim.]

Heartandsoul, you totally get it:

"while reading your post my first thought was that the guy was testing how easy or difficult a target you would be and how much of a threat your girl would be. He may not have been there looking for prey but may have been the kind that wouldn't pass on an easy opportunity."

That is exactly what de Becker says in his Gift of Fear book.

Please, please, ladies, if you feel obligated to be nice to strangers who are pushing unwanted attention on you and make excuses for these creeps, read The Gift of Fear. It could save you from being brutally assaulted or killed. And keep your GSD with you whenever you can. Your GSD likely will trust his gut.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 04-28-2019, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JonRob View Post
I guess it's just my male brain, but I cannot figure out why so many women feel the need to be polite to strangers who are pushing unwanted attention on them, and make excuses for these creeps:

"it seemed like he mostly was just a harmless guy who wanted to "pat" my dogs... but maybe not."

"Yes, most likely, he was probably hoping I was leaving"

"A firm BACK UP usually does the trick. If you need to be polite add please." [That blows the whole thing and solidly establishes you as a weak potential victim.]

Heartandsoul, you totally get it:

"while reading your post my first thought was that the guy was testing how easy or difficult a target you would be and how much of a threat your girl would be. He may not have been there looking for prey but may have been the kind that wouldn't pass on an easy opportunity."

That is exactly what de Becker says in his Gift of Fear book.

Please, please, ladies, if you feel obligated to be nice to strangers who are pushing unwanted attention on you and make excuses for these creeps, read The Gift of Fear. It could save you from being brutally assaulted or killed. And keep your GSD with you whenever you can. Your GSD likely will trust his gut.
I made a great living trusting both my dog and my gut for a couple of decades. Trust me I am no victim.

On the addition of please, I'm Canadian and we are always polite. Good manners never make you a victim.
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