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We were walking today and two people were out with their dogs and one spotted us and told the other “Heads up. Shepherd coming up.” And they both got off the path and waited until we passed. The tone was so disgusted! I’ve had shepherds before but just mixes so it didn’t feel great. ***Removed by moderator*** And she’s four months old! Not to mention she’s a total sweetie and already knows a ton of commands, doesn’t bark, etc. They had an adult dog and a puppy and the adult dog was less trained than my puppy. I wish I would have said something!
 

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Lol, I feel ya. But, it's probably just as well that you didn't say anything. Vent to vent, that's super healthy - even if people disagree with why you are venting, lol. But, little is gained from an un-needed confrontation. Rotties, Sheps, Pit's, Dobies -- you know all of them dogs are just vile creatures of destruction and mayhem. It has "nothing" to do with the humans who have taught them...


I will, however, quote a sign I once read:


The most aggressive dog breeds:
15. You
14. Can't
13. Rank
12. Them
11. Because
10. Aggression
9. Is
8. Not
7. Breed
6. Specific
5. It's
4. A
3. Learned
2. Behavior
1. Chihuahua's


They're just mean little critters! lol
 

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People... that's the beginning end to a good or bad dog.

I would be like you and say nothing, let my puppy do the talking as it walked on by, show them how a real dog behaves;) all the words in the world can't change stupid but can cause unwanted problems in todays world.
 

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My wife use to get upset when people would move to the other side of the street when Athena was walking then after a bit she took it as a badge of honor. I ha e a funny story about what some parents said to there kids as they where run, they said hey kids watch out for the strange people.... my wife almost died from laughing. Who says that strange people, maybe watch out for other people.
 

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In all seriousness, just make sure your dog is well trained. These people probably have experienced poorly behaved shepherds. Their bias came from somewhere. Make sure your dog grows up to be a good example.
This. And grow a thicker skin.

I don't mean that in a snide way, OP. It is simply the reality that many people are afraid of GSDs. Letting their reactions roll off your back, doing your best to make sure your dog is well trained and well mannered, and being sensitive to their fear will get you a lot farther than being righteously offended.

I won't say I haven't mercilessly mocked someone behind their back for their total over the top reaction ("needs to hand over his 'adult' card" was one phrase), or that I've never been passive-aggressive when someone responds in a crazy way to my dog (oh hey, you're going to give me death glares for existing in a public park with my puppy on leash? okay we'll practice stays RIGHT HERE then), but genuine fear and dislike rooted in genuine fear aren't rational or voluntary, and most often, generally reasonable people who are trying to respond reasonably to something they know is not reasonable will respond more positively if you respect the fact that they're afraid.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This. And grow a thicker skin.

I don't mean that in a snide way, OP. It is simply the reality that many people are afraid of GSDs. Letting their reactions roll off your back, doing your best to make sure your dog is well trained and well mannered, and being sensitive to their fear will get you a lot farther than being righteously offended.

I won't say I haven't mercilessly mocked someone behind their back for their total over the top reaction ("needs to hand over his 'adult' card" was one phrase), or that I've never been passive-aggressive when someone responds in a crazy way to my dog (oh hey, you're going to give me death glares for existing in a public park with my puppy on leash? okay we'll practice stays RIGHT HERE then), but genuine fear and dislike rooted in genuine fear aren't rational or voluntary, and most often, generally reasonable people who are trying to respond reasonably to something they know is not reasonable will respond more positively if you respect the fact that they're afraid.
I've had pitbulls in the past so I definitely am prepared for reactions. BUT I think I just felt worse that she's a puppy?! Like, come on.. I still pick her up sometimes. It just felt totally ridiculous.
 

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To be honest I kind of welcome the space. Fewer people approach while squealing "all dogs like me!!!!" They are still the outliers, of course. Most people let us pass, some say nice things like "wow, he is impressive" others hold their children close And to be DOUBLY honest I know a lot of people who have been bitten by German Shepherds. Especially when they were kids- were either landsharked or nipped into being wary of the breed.

I just either ignore and keep walking, proud of his nice leash manners and neutrality -or- If they compliment him without approaching I warmly thank them for the compliment and our space, if I have time to do so.
 

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I've had pitbulls in the past so I definitely am prepared for reactions. BUT I think I just felt worse that she's a puppy?! Like, come on.. I still pick her up sometimes. It just felt totally ridiculous.
Could be fear, or as I think about this, it occurred to me that I had a lot of similar reactions based on people feeling disgusted by the breed in general because of what they perceived as "extreme" breeding. Again, it happens. People will be ignorant or even downright stupid about your dog. If I get the chance to set the record straight in a polite, straightforward way, I will. If my best course of action is to laugh and treat the encounter as an entertaining story for my friends who get it, I will do that instead. But you're best off learning not to be offended by any of this, because it will continue to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Lol, I feel ya. But, it's probably just as well that you didn't say anything. Vent to vent, that's super healthy - even if people disagree with why you are venting, lol. But, little is gained from an un-needed confrontation. Rotties, Sheps, Pit's, Dobies -- you know all of them dogs are just vile creatures of destruction and mayhem. It has "nothing" to do with the humans who have taught them...


I will, however, quote a sign I once read:


The most aggressive dog breeds:
15. You
14. Can't
13. Rank
12. Them
11. Because
10. Aggression
9. Is
8. Not
7. Breed
6. Specific
5. It's
4. A
3. Learned
2. Behavior
1. Chihuahua's


They're just mean little critters! lol
Hahaha!!!! I agree with that. I think people never train little dogs because it's so easy to pick them up. They get lazy in training since they think 'oh I'll just pick up snuffles!'. The only bad dog experiences I've had were with little dogs.

I guess it's all in your perspective. I really enjoy watching people with their ill-mannered little dogs scamper out of our way as we walk by >:)
HAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHH I just LOL'd! Fair enough! I always used to feel that way when I was walking my pitbull but with a puppy, I was like, COME on people.. She weighs less than your dog!

In all seriousness, just make sure your dog is well trained. These people probably have experienced poorly behaved shepherds. Their bias came from somewhere. Make sure your dog grows up to be a good example.
Yes definitely. :) We're working with an amazing trainer through video. I have dog training experience in the past. But can't take much credit cause she's just a really sweet dog. We actually had an unfortunate experience where a little dog (ugh) tried to attack her.. Off leash and not trained. She got bit on the nose before I could swoop in (ARGH) and her only reaction was, 'Mom.. Pick me up? These guys suck..'
 

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Discussion Starter #13
To be honest I kind of welcome the space. Fewer people approach while squealing "all dogs like me!!!!" They are still the outliers, of course. Most people let us pass, some say nice things like "wow, he is impressive" others hold their children close And to be DOUBLY honest I know a lot of people who have been bitten by German Shepherds. Especially when they were kids- were either landsharked or nipped into being wary of the breed.

I just either ignore and keep walking, proud of his nice leash manners and neutrality -or- If they compliment him without approaching I warmly thank them for the compliment and our space, if I have time to do so.
I never even expected a tiny bit of space.. Where we live right now, there's german shepherds everywhere. Super common here and nobody takes issue. People see her generally and scream 'MY DREAM DOG!'. But because people suck, I definitely expected to get some comments at some point in her life. I just thought it would be her adult life! :D Oh well. I'll keep my mouth shut (although it will be hard if this happens again while she's 35 pounds hahah!)
 

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Every time I go to the dog park, its the little dogs in the "little dog" area that are a problem. And it sucks because to get into the medium/large dog area you walk past the entrance to the little dog area. It hasn't happened a lot, but last time i was there there were two VERY loud little ugly dogs just barking at everyone and every dog as it came into the park. And the owners are just standing there doing nothing. As I walked passed, i looked at the two yappy things and said "QUITE!" then looked at the owners but nothing happened. I then looked down at Mei, who was very well behaved walking past these two, and said (so the owners can hear me even) those two things are not well trained are they? Mei looked up at me and agreed.
 

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I want my dog to behave, but part of why I have a GSD is that I feel safer walking with one. I, also, feel safer having one in my home to deter break ins.

I've had my share of unwanted encounters, before walking with a GSD. I can appreciated a little fear on the part of strangers, especially in California. There are lots of high-speed car chases that are televised here. Got to say they can be addictive to watch. Criminals tend to respect the canine officers. Once a criminal bails from their vehicle, and the dog comes into play, the criminal usually surrenders in short order.
 

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Mia is a smart dog! I agree, those little dogs are the worse and the owners normally ignore the behavior or make an excuse. Hoffnung, my older dog just ignores them too and looks at me like " Must be ***removed by moderator***
 

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Yep, our neighbors chihuahua is mean and gets let out off-leash to go potty. She was running behind Rumo, growling and barking and making mock charges at him from behind. He just turned his head, looked at her, and kept walking. What a brush off!

My friend from guitar group said we should walk our dogs together.”what breed is he?” he asked. I said,” shepherd-husky mix” and he said quickly,” oh! I don’t ever let my dog meet shepherds! They could eat him!” It was funny...but also sad.
 

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What is scarier I see a lot of people can’t control there big dogs even if they are super friendly. One time a very enthusiastic Golden slammed right into my knee - if I was up in age at that time it would have had some serious knee issues. Lol I would rather have people cross to the other side and then get down on there hands and knees and try to smother my puppy it has happened.
 

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Back to the original post --- How about just say Hi and Thank You and smile at them as you pass. They may have moved aside for any "oncoming" dog traffic. I would likely move aside and put my dogs in a sit or down.
 
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