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Thought with Thanksgiving and all could be a great time to share some stories where you were extra thankful to have your dog along. I know there's some forum members here with better ones than me!

One instance for me was after I was called to check out some salvage/junk vehicles. A man called and told me he needed to clean up a property and was hoping I would be interested in buying some of the vehicles there. I agreed I would drive out in the afternoon and I did just that along with our female shepherd(Cleo). We arrived at the remote address where there was a bunch of scrap, vehicles, etc.. and a man awaiting our arrival just inside near the entrance. I stopped my truck behind his to speak with him shortly as he explained the situation and what he wanted to get rid of. Cleo and I then hopped out to check over the vehicles as the man showed us around and about 5 or 10 minutes in all of the sudden another vehicle came racing into the location and two rough looking characters quickly jumped out and bee-lined straight for us all. The newly arrived people were NOT happy. It turned out there was a dispute as to who's property this was and my dog and I had now been dragged right into the middle of it. A lot of yelling, swearing, and talking over each other's heads as one of the newly arrived individuals menacingly picked up a steel bar from the midst of the junk laying around. During all of this Cleo initially alerted to their arrival and then sat near me; alert and watching the bickering unfold between the rest of them. The new arrivals ignored Cleo and I besides gesturing some expletives at me indirectly. I aimed to take no part in the drama. I was finally able to get in a quick word edgewise and explained I had no idea what was going on here - I was told there was salvage vehicles for sale here but I will not be buying anything if I had no proof who it belonged to and then commanded Cleo back into the truck before hopping in myself to go back home.

Maybe they mostly ignored me because I was non-confrontational, maybe it was part to do with my 80 lb German Shepherd. Either way we came out unscathed and I was very thankful she was there with me.

Disclaimer: I am not advocating that anyone bring there dog into stressful situations. I do understand things could have went very badly and potentially escalated if my dog and/or I had reacted improperly.
 

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I got my first two GSDs at a time when the infamous Scarborough Rapist, Paul Bernardo, was active in Scarborough. One of the girls he abducted was taken just blocks from where I lived.

The local convenience store was robbed by an armed robber, the same man who had shot and nearly killed the clerk in another robbery in another part of town. Police found his gun in a hydro right of way behind the store, one where I frequently walked, as I could let the dogs off leash there.

It was very comforting to have a large dog with me on my walks!

My older dog was very mellow, and I never had any fear of her biting someone. However, my bedroom had sliding glass doors that went out to the back deck, and as the room had no windows, I often would leave the door ajar in the summertime to get cool air.

One night, I woke up to the sound of Lili barking. I found she'd run right THROUGH the screen door, and chased off whatever it was she'd seen on the back deck. it was probably just a raccoon, but still, I was surprised and grateful to know she'd been on guard while I slept!
 

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Numerous times hiking deep in the bush solo off-leash with Zepp. And even some trails in my town. I have come across random men walking alone (yes men are allowed to go for a walk!) but their energy was off, began walking toward me, and making unnecessarily strong eye contact. Zeppelin always beelines right for these guys, gets up in their space, and nudges their legs whereas with teens or women he gives space to and ignores (not to say teens or women can’t be sketchy - just none of the ones we have come across so far) .

I think I forget how large and intimidating a 90-pound all black GSD looks. To me he is my string bean baby. But to others he is a possibly vicious/protective GSD. I’m ok with that!
Snow Plant Natural environment Natural landscape Branch
 

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I actually had a weird situation where I regretted NOT to have my dogs with me.
It was after one of my early fall cold ocean swims. I had just gotten out of water, in mild hypothermia as always this time of year, so in my swimsuit getting dry and preparing to go home.

It was in the evening so not much light, the beach was absolutely desert, not a sound other than the waves. At some point I catch a glimpse of a big guy standing in between those wooden posts at one of the entrances of that beach, at maybe 100 meters. He sees me too, and... I don't even know how to describe this. He does this looking away then back at me thing, then starts staring and walking towards me at a very brisk and regular pace, silently, not saying a word, not waving a hand, nothing. He was just walking towards me like some robocop on a mission. I swear it looked like a horror movie.

Wouldn't have felt much different had he been holding an axe.

The weirdest thing is he didn't DO much, but just the "social weirdness" of noticing me and instantly proceed to stare and walk towards me like this, silently, with that fixed gaze, on that desert beach, that was awful! Like you said @Zeppy it's about that off energy.

All my primal survival instincts went crazy in like 10 seconds, I grabbed my bag and was ready to sling that to his face any time, I made a big swerve towards the closest exit and as he got closer, still not saying a word, the tension became so intolerable that I yelled at him.

Hey! Don't do that! Don't get closer! what are you doing?!

His answer - while he kept walking towards me in a very decided manner, not marking any pause as I yelled - was "I just wanted to say hello".

Well... the psychopath tick box got double-ticked. I jumped on my bike and got back home faster than ever. I decided no evening bath without my dogs going forward :)
 

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I actually had a weird situation where I regretted NOT to have my dogs with me.
It was after one of my early fall cold ocean swims. I had just gotten out of water, in mild hypothermia as always this time of year, so in my swimsuit getting dry and preparing to go home.

It was in the evening so not much light, the beach was absolutely desert, not a sound other than the waves. At some point I catch a glimpse of a big guy standing in between those wooden posts at one of the entrances of that beach, at maybe 100 meters. He sees me too, and... I don't even know how to describe this. He does this looking away then back at me thing, then starts staring and walking towards me at a very brisk and regular pace, silently, not saying a word, not waving a hand, nothing. He was just walking towards me like some robocop on a mission. I swear it looked like a horror movie.

Wouldn't have felt much different had he been holding an axe.

The weirdest thing is he didn't DO much, but just the "social weirdness" of noticing me and instantly proceed to stare and walk towards me like this, silently, with that fixed gaze, on that desert beach, that was awful! Like you said @Zeppy it's about that off energy.

All my primal survival instincts went crazy in like 10 seconds, I grabbed my bag and was ready to sling that to his face any time, I made a big swerve towards the closest exit and as he got closer, still not saying a word, the tension became so intolerable that I yelled at him.

Hey! Don't do that! Don't get closer! what are you doing?!

His answer - while he kept walking towards me in a very decided manner, not marking any pause as I yelled - was "I just wanted to say hello".

Well... the psychopath tick box got double-ticked. I jumped on my bike and got back home faster than ever. I decided no evening bath without my dogs going forward :)
Scary stuff 😔 these types of things have happened too often to me and I’m sure many other women as well. The look-away is definitely him checking that others aren’t around.
 

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Scary stuff 😔 these types of things have happened too often to me and I’m sure many other women as well. The look-away is definitely him checking that others aren’t around.
Such a strange feeling, right? You don't know how scary this silent gaze+blank face is until you've seen it.
I would weirdly have "preferred" for someone to shout and act completely crazy, rather than this. That silent, resolute approach was the strangest thing.
 

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Morality: if you're a normal guy and you know it wave your hands. ♩ ♪ ♫ 😂
(or wear some kind of facial expression)
Any guy that would approach a woman by herself acting that way definitely had bad intentions. I"m glad you were able to get away safely!
 

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I can't think of anything specific but... Definitely second that I feel generally safer hiking with Willow. Both as an early warning wildlife system and creepy human deterrent.

One of the main reasons I wanted a dog though, and particularly a guard dog breed, was that I had a kinda-stalker neighbor guy in this town a few years back. I baked him cookies one day as a thank you for plowing my snow covered driveway, which he took as an indication that I was madly in love with him. He started coming around my house at night, walking up to my windows and standing there in the dark. Super weird. I definitely feel safer with Willow.

Plus the odd "salesmen" that are actually casing houses. I always let Willow bark at them for a good long time before I open the door to tell them to go away.
 

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I work strange hours, coming and going from home at all times. Often in the middle of the night - come home to a dog needing out and a walk.. or at the very least a good play in the yard. The dog in this story was my Corso, I didn't ever put him out unattended. Arrive home from work around 330am, get him out of his kennel and let him complete his mandatory full house patrol to check for strangers lol it was his ritual.. all is well, out to the yard we go and have a good 30min play. I went in and out an otherwise unused house door to access the yard with the dog - any other comings and goings were always the main front door. We were back inside just long enough for me to walk up 6 steps and take my shoes off before someone tried to open that door behind me. A couple things I'm thankful for 1 - that Corso beat me to the bottom of those stairs and put on a good show for whoever was sneaking around and 2 - I am obnoxious about locking doors behind me when coming home. I've locked out guests who arrived in the same car as me before because it's an action so ingrained in my brain lol. We lived in town on a busy corner, people walking up and down the street or in neighbours yards weren't ever a reason for my dog to alert or act differently. Maybe the person was watching and hoping to follow me in - figured the dog hadn't made any noise and wasn't a concern. Maybe it was a drunk that just wandered to the wrong door thinking they were home lol. I won't ever know, but the only reason I got any sleep that night was Cato.
 

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When we were charged by two large dogs in the dark. We were just heading out to the car to go to a church thing and my brother and I made it to the car first but my sister and mother were still making their way down the porch steps. (Our dogs were in their crates in the house) Not two seconds after I had buckled myself in I heard growling and barking and screaming! Brother and I raced out and started asking what was wrong, by this time the dogs had already ran away, they said that two big, dark colored dogs came after them! My sister was the only one that got a semi-decent look at them since it was dark and it all happened so fast. We looked out where they ran off and couldn’t see anything but there were paw prints on the back porch. According to my sister these dogs were at least the size of Chief, so big. We ended up not going to the church event but we still had to do nightly chores, mom and sister were still freaking out so I grabbed Nadja and leashed her and took her out with us to do chores so we’d have some warning of the dogs came back, thankfully they didn’t but she was very alert and focusing on the direction the dogs were last seen. Later that night I heard dogs I didn’t recognize barking out in the field by our house but that was the last we heard of them.
 

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I had an odd encounter with a homeless guy a few days ago. I exercise my dog sometimes at a nearby ball field. The dog typically peruses the perimeter reading pmail and marking herself. As she's wandering around the park she usually scans around both dugouts. She went into the first one, but came out quickly, and sort of gave it a second backward glance before moving on. So I thought I'd investigate.

As I approached I called out so as not to startle anyone. Sure enough, a guy answered back. When I glanced in I could see that he was sleeping under a tarp on the concrete floor. I apologized for the intrusion, and explained that the dog had caused me to check it out. So anyway, with that I left and went back by my car, while the dog continued on around.

I kept her from checking him out further, until he got up and came out of the dugout. He stopped just a couple feet from the door, and my dog noticed him and came back and stood in front of him about 10 ft away.

He asked her name, so I told him. Of course he immediately tried to call her, then told her to sit - both of which she ignored. That's when he started acting weird!

He asked me if she knew how to sit, and I said yes. Then he started kind of jumping at her, so she started barking then. He turned to go back in the dugout then, so I just put the dog in the car and left before he got himself bit.
 

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I'm sure I shared 15-odd years ago. When I first had Teagan and Luc, I was single, my brother was single, my mom widowed - so we piled in her Honda Civic and drove 3.5 hours to the east side of Algonquin to stay at some cabins for Christmas. I swear we fit more in that car than Toby and I can in our wagon.

Anyways, the guy who owned the cabin resorts had two GSDs, one a former K9. We're walking around one evening when we see him with his dogs off-leash charging us. Teagan was dog aggressive at the best of times, Luc more dog nervous. They charge me, my mom, and the dogs. I'm trying to keep Luc calm while separating Teagan and the guy's two dogs. Luc broke his collar and ran off. I was sick with fear - there was a river whose ice thickness I doubted, all sorts of bush. The resort owner put his dogs in his home and helped us look. We found Luc hiding under someone's stored trailer. I gave Teagan to my mom and crawled under to get him, exiting on the opposite side.

My mom had Teagan at her side in a sit, the resort guy condescendingly said to my mom 'I'll take her' and reached towards them. Teagan lunged at him and scared the crap out of the guy. We all walked back together and I said to the owner that if I saw his dogs near mine again I'd (do something very bad to the dogs). He told me it was all my fault because when I yelled at his dogs to stop my voice was 'high-pitched'. Yeah, almost like I'm a woman or something...

Anyways, I was very glad Teagan was there, she stopped the guy's two dogs from really getting in our faces, and then kept by my mom. We got back to our cabin, and I went to take off Teagan's prong, and realized she'd broken it when the dogs were charging us, she just stayed with my mom out of loyalty.

She also (with Luc) chased off creepy guys in masks (WAY pre-COVID) in the wee hours of the morning coming towards me in a dark park.
 

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One of the scariest times I’ve been thankful to have my canine sidekick with me, was when I had to make a quick run to the gas station for some ice (past midnight) and a pushy drifter followed me back to my car. When I got in the guy stuck his hand in the door to stop me from shutting it so he could keep the one sided conversation going. (He kept asking for a ride but gave me seriously dangerous vibes)
Luckily I had both of my large GSDs with me, and both of them quickly read the situation: Vega, my female, jumped into my lap hackles up and growled directly at him. VB my male was pressed up close behind her (he’s too large to squeeze up front lol).
The guy immediately backed off and asked “oh do they bite?”
I replied with a smug,
“Yup.” Then slammed the door in his face.

I’ve run into tons of “scary” wild animals while backpacking and day hiking with my dogs, and I’ve been in plenty of other tense situations where I was thankful for them. But nothing feels more dangerous than other human beings with malicious intentions.
 

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It would be quicker to tell you about not scary situations!
But, one involving my weirdo Punk I think. Shadow is pretty chill most of the time but every once in a while she rises to the occasion. I had the truck parked in the woods when I was living in it and we were in a pretty isolated area. No houses, or powerlines around and I was pretty far in. It was late and nearly dark and I was sitting by the fire playing Solitaire when all of a sudden Shadow lifts her head and growls. I look up and there is a guy standing by the truck. I mean just standing there staring at me. First thing that crosses my mind is he's between me and the truck. I said hello and he just kept staring. I untie Shadows rope and stand up and he asks if I am camping here. I say yes and he stares for a few more seconds and then starts walking towards me. My darling little dog lights up like a Christmas tree! Barking, growling, showing all her pretty teeth, he took a couple of steps more and she lunged forward and then right up on her back legs. He stopped and then just turned around and left. I was a good twenty minutes off the road and I didn't hear a vehicle so I have no clue where he came from or went, neither of us slept much that night but I sure felt better with her there!
 
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