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Today I had my first slightly hilarious yet totally expected encounter with a random stranger. I was just coming back from walking Ryka, and as we rounded the corner of a street I saw a high school girl walking towards us. I smiled and she smiled back, and then she looked down and saw Ryka...

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone jump so high or run so fast. She literally jumped in the air in terror, then ran as fast as she could across the street away from us.

I almost laughed, but felt bad for the girl because clearly there’s a reason she’s scared of dogs. I get a pretty strict divide on how people react to Ryka: either they think she’s gorgeous and want to love on her, or they run as far and fast as possible.

I mean, is this face really all that scary? :p





 

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There is a terv in agility that looks exactly like the dog in the Netflix version of Gerald's Game. The owner told me that ever since that movie came out, she has had a few random people here and there catch sight of her dog and RUN. She couldn't figure it out until someone mentioned it, then she watched the movie, and we all agreed that her dog is a definite doppelganger for Stephen King's flesh-eating doggo....

Maybe Ryka looks exactly like someone else's nightmare fodder? ;)
 

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I have. A couple of ladies ran screaming from Bud and tried to barricade themselves in a store and a woman and her baby ran into traffic to escape him as well. Also had some elderly man try and attack Sabi while calling me a Nazi.

Had an elderly woman have a complete meltdown at the sight of my Great Dane as well. Her daughter said she was a survivor of a concentration camp. I felt so awful. It never occurred to me until then that some people may associate the sight of a dog with something negative, now I am much more mindful that even today some parts of the world are still brutal in their policing and dogs are a common tool.
 

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As my wife and I were walking two of our gsds a young guy switched to the other side of the street. As we came close to pass the guy began to panic and started to climb a parked car. He looked terrified and didn’t take his eyes off the dogs though they never gave him anything more than a passing glance. Drugs or genuine fear I’m not sure, but it surprised me to see his response. Nothing you can do about it so we just kept moving along.
 

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When I had my male GSD, I found out people found his dark face more scary than a dog with less black on its face. Probably for the same reason black dogs (and cats) are the last to get adopted from the Humane Society... :(
 

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Literally more times than I can recall. The best one was when Gandalf was 10 weeks old and an Indian lady was walking on the sidewalk, I got in the grass to give her some space and Gandalf looked at her and wagged his tail and she SCREAMED and ran the opposite direction! Gandalf looked so puzzled. Another was when I took Gandalf in Home Depot and there were two little Indian kids and they saw him and started crying screaming he's going to eat us. I felt the eyes of the entire crowd in Home Depot on me lol, Gandalf was being perfect. Super nice heel right by my side.. the parents tried to quiet the kids but they just kept crying. And another time I was walking my sable and we rounded a corner and there was a dad and his two kids. The kids said "ooh puppy!!!" And the dad yanked his kids away and said "that's a bad dog, he will hurt you." Which was so far from the truth! My sable adored kids. I'm not sure why Indian people are always afraid of my dogs... but it hasn't just been limited to them. I had another lady at an outdoor cafe tell me I shouldn't bring my "wolf" in public because if he bit someone he would be put to sleep.
I'm not sure where I stand on the dark faced shepherd being more intimidating thing, more people have been afraid of my white shepherd than my dark sable.
 

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When I showed horses I used to take my dog with me. I had security guards cross the parking lots to avoid me when walking 6 month old Tara. LOL

I also had some kids stop in one evening just before dark. I was just coming out of the barn, had no idea who they were so I grabbed Tara's scruff and told her to watch 'em. She got away from me and raced around the fence at the young man who had exited the car. He leaped through the window of the car to avoid her. She was harmless, but they just saw a big dark faced GSD running towards them.

I was in Alabama at a not the great hotel. Treue LOVED people, but she was very protective of HER truck. I was checking in and a rather scummy guy chatting with the guy at the desk heard I had dogs and had to go look in my window. Treue hit the window and he tripped over the curb onto his rear. I felt much safer staying there after that. :)
 

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I had a woman get mad at me because I didn't want her to give my dog water. Inga was riding in the back of the pickup in her kennel cage. She had just come from home where she had water and was going right back there after after I got some first aid supplies for my husband at Walgreens. This woman out in the parking lot offered to give her water and I declined. I don't let random strangers give food or water to my dog. Who knows, there might be antifreeze or something in it. She instantly started yelling and screaming that I was cruel and she was going to call the sheriff's department. Go ahead I said and drove off. For these people that are phobic of dogs I feel sorry for them. I agree dark faced GSDs are more intimidating looking.
 

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There is nothing like a large, solid black, long coat to clear the path ahead lol. Even though my late girl was incredibly aloof and couldn't be bothered with people. They would cross the road to avoid her and she probably had her nose to the ground in her own little world at the time.

My current sable girl is on the smaller side and very sweet. But did have one guy practically get run over crossing the street to avoid us although we were not actually that near him. He really was stressed, so I turned around and went the other way.
 

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With my long coated big-boy I get mixed reactions. He literally stops traffic because people want to comment on his good looks! There is something primal about wanting to touch all that fur, and it draws people, but so far nearly everyone has asked first because he is big and he is a German Shepherd. My gal-pup, people seem to see that she is not thrilled with their attention and stay at least an arm's length away. If someone come to close and she barks just once and they leap away...even people who know and understand dogs will jump. I then let my dog know, one bark and you are done. I'm in control of the situation as far as she needs to be concerned and one warning bark or one, "hey I see you" announcement is all she needs.
 

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There are all kinds of people I remember once I was in a pet store with max and a grown woman actually jumped in the air and screamed and ran down the aisle. I told hee to relax- max just looked at me that had to be a reAl ego boost for him lol! I was at the beach hut- a outside food place st the beach and I was walking by with Luna and she jumped out her jail and screamed. We just pretended she was not there. The most recent and the cutest was when we were walking on the beach with the dogs there was a mom with a bunch of little kids that were jumping up and down look Wolves !!!
 

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I much prefer people cross the road to get away from us than cross it from the other side to come and stroke the dog.
There doesn't seem to be much middle ground.
 

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I've had a few people cross the road to avoid us but nothing as dramatic as you guys, lol.

I was annoyed the other day when a women said to her husband "That German Shepherd is going to eat Fifi" - Kaiser was just walking past not even pulling or bothered in the least.. I retorted with "not quite" - I was miffed! Fifi was a Miniture Pinscher.
 

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I've had a few people cross the road to avoid us but nothing as dramatic as you guys, lol.

I was annoyed the other day when a women said to her husband "That German Shepherd is going to eat Fifi" - Kaiser was just walking past not even pulling or bothered in the least.. I retorted with "not quite" - I was miffed! Fifi was a Miniture Pinscher.
That's funny I say that to rude little dogs on the trail that lunge at us while we're roller blading. I had a whippet with a prong collar lash out barking and growling as we whizzed by the other day and I told the owner my dog was going to eat him lol. It bugs me how people just let their dogs lunge when we are trying to pass going 40 mph, it's really dangerous!
 

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I've had a few people cross the road to avoid us but nothing as dramatic as you guys, lol.

I was annoyed the other day when a women said to her husband "That German Shepherd is going to eat Fifi" - Kaiser was just walking past not even pulling or bothered in the least.. I retorted with "not quite" - I was miffed! Fifi was a Miniture Pinscher.
A perfect opportunity missed: Nah, he won't, hes too full after eating FooFoo. >:) I hate those "he's's going to eat you" comments that usually are made in lieu of correcting bad behavior.

One night dh was coming home a little later. I was leashing Sonny (about 7 mo old) to go pottyand didn't bother putting my glasses on. I saw what I thought was dh truck pulling in the drive way and just as I was opening the door and rushing out with our boy, to greet who I thought was dh, two guys had gotten out of the truck. Never saw two guys jump into a truck and take off so fast. I must be really scary looking.
 

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Pride is only 7 months old and I'm already noticing people actively avoiding her or giving her blatant wary stares. It obviously never happened when she was younger! I prefer this now than the constant "Can I pet your puppy" at least! LOL

At a mall, me and Pride (who walked politely) rounded a corner, and a chinese girl literally bolted to the side and said "Scared me to death" in this nasty way. I turned around and made a face.

At the same mall on the same day, a boy asked, "Can I pet the dog?" And his mom, "No." And she took his arm and rushed around us without looking.

Had a middle eastern looking man make a wide circle around us to avoid us on the sidewalk...

Had a Chinese lady sitting like 20 feet away at a table tell her friend, "Watch out! There's a dog!" while giving us the most obvious wary stare, as if Pride was about to jump off her leash and run at them. I stared back and walked slowly by with my very polite dog until she looked away... LOL

And many others only since Pride was 7 months! A lot of making wide circles around us on the sidewalk.
 

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Probably for the same reason black dogs (and cats) are the last to get adopted from the Humane Society... :(
And this is why all of my fur babies are black. My husband the crazy cat man insists on only rescuing black cats. So what's a girl to do but make sure the fur of her shepherd can coordinate? I wear a lot of dark clothes to hide the evidence.

So far no one has run from my shepherd. Plenty do cross the street to avoid him on the sidewalk, and some of the husband's clients are wary of him and insist he is a wolf hybrid. Maybe we will score some runners once he gets the full weight of maturity on him and beefs out - he is still very adolescent.
 

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Pride is only 7 months old and I'm already noticing people actively avoiding her or giving her blatant wary stares. It obviously never happened when she was younger! I prefer this now than the constant "Can I pet your puppy" at least! LOL

At a mall, me and Pride (who walked politely) rounded a corner, and a chinese girl literally bolted to the side and said "Scared me to death" in this nasty way. I turned around and made a face.

At the same mall on the same day, a boy asked, "Can I pet the dog?" And his mom, "No." And she took his arm and rushed around us without looking.

Had a middle eastern looking man make a wide circle around us to avoid us on the sidewalk...

Had a Chinese lady sitting like 20 feet away at a table tell her friend, "Watch out! There's a dog!" while giving us the most obvious wary stare, as if Pride was about to jump off her leash and run at them. I stared back and walked slowly by with my very polite dog until she looked away... LOL

And many others only since Pride was 7 months! A lot of making wide circles around us on the sidewalk.
It was also around the 6/7 month mark that I noticed the same - the "can I pet your puppy" comments stopped and the wide circle on the footpath started.
 

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A perfect opportunity missed: Nah, he won't, hes too full after eating FooFoo. >:) I hate those "he's's going to eat you" comments that usually are made in lieu of correcting bad behavior.

One night dh was coming home a little later. I was leashing Sonny (about 7 mo old) to go pottyand didn't bother putting my glasses on. I saw what I thought was dh truck pulling in the drive way and just as I was opening the door and rushing out with our boy, to greet who I thought was dh, two guys had gotten out of the truck. Never saw two guys jump into a truck and take off so fast. I must be really scary looking.
LOL. But this reminded me.... we did have a runner once...
A pizza delivery lady. She rang the doorbell, Kaiser started barking. I got hold of him, told him to be quiet and then heard her say "CONTROL YOUR DOG" - I hadn't even opened the front door yet, so I said "Don't worry I have a hold of him". I opened the front door just in time to see her running down the driveway, with my pizzas still in hand, throwing them on the driveway, jumping in her car and speeding off. Kaiser and I stood there befuddled and went down the drive to collect our pizzas.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hahaha! These stories are great. I always knew Ryka would intimidate people, and my partner certainly feels better knowing I walk around with her. As she's grown, definitely went from people stopping in their vehicles to ask to pet her to now merely looking at her and crossing without comment. Or, in today's case, a very dramatic reaction. When I was visiting home, I got loads of comments of her being a "police dog", and I do find it entertaining when I'm walking her because her nose dominates her life. So if we walk by a vehicle, she tends to just sniff the wheel well, the door panels, and the ground around it as we pass by. Have definitely had a few teenagers parked by a high school freak out inside of their car when she does that, lol! I never let her get up in anyone's business out of respect for others, but it's amazing how if she shows any interest people tend to get very nervous. Though, if they happen to be shepherd people, they just come right up and comment on her then ask to pet her, haha. Had a police officer who was on duty inside a store that I had her in come up and ask if he could love on her, and boy did she ever enjoy that.

And ironically enough, she loves people. Especially elderly men and young children. Most of the individuals in my neighborhood who love her always get excited when I'm walking her, and they always come out to say hello and give her some pets. Most of them happen to be elderly men, so maybe that's why, haha.
 
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