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Hello All,


I experience judgmental people on walks and I am fed up. My GSD puppy is 5 and a half months old and has improved tremendously on basic obedience and leash training since we started working with a trainer. She still gets VERY excited when someone comes to greet her, which we are working on per my trainer. I always get these comments saying "you should try xxxx training method" or "xxxx training apparatus" after my puppy approaches people excitedly. The tone these people take with me are "you are clearly doing something wrong". After about 5000 times of hearing these comments, I am fed up. How you do guys deal with these comments? I really don't like being mean, but I am the point where I want to tell these people to put it where the sun don't shine. My puppy is doing great for a 5 and a half month old puppy, but she's still a puppy. I would like to hear about any experiences you've had. Thank you!
 

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I avoid this by not letting strangers pet my dogs and puppies when we’re out walking. I want my dogs to learn that strangers are not something worth paying attention to. They’re just part of the landscape. If people ask to meet my dogs, I generally just say, “sorry, we’re training right now” and move on. If they do not ask and attempt to just pet, I am less nice. We do enough classes and training that my dogs get plenty of exposure to greeting people that way, and my friends from training generally do not offer advice that I would find unwelcome.
 

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Best thought I have is "Thank you. I'll look into that if she doesn't continue to improve." But for the most part, I've been in situations where I don't need to take my young dog out around people. I do remember one rather opposite situation - a young woman with a child and a puppy entered the vets office as I was paying for my two and preparing to leave. She asked her very active puppy rather plaintively "Why can't YOU be like THOSE dogs?" I came back and spoke with her to say "Give it time. You have a young energetic pup and she will be fine. Those two weren't always well behaved." I hope I was telling the truth about her puppy.
 

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Maybe they have experienced the same thing with their own dog and are just sharing what worked for them. You might be giving off an air of exasperation or frustration at those times which is eliciting the helpful hints.
 

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When I saw the title I thought this was going to be judgmental in how they are judgmental/afraid toward your dog. Most people see my puppy and avoid her at all costs because they are afraid of her, even though she is walking along quietly and calmly at my side, which is a much better situation than what you are facing. I bet those giving you tips think you are overwhelmed and simply want to help you.
 

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I guess I was lucky enough to have lived in a place where people weren't always inclined to do that. Quiet roads, neighbors who weren't total busy bodies. In fact more often than not we got the "wish my dog behaved like that". With our big-boy we got lucky with a good combination of great temperament in the pup and a great trainer / mentor.

I've been that judgmental person but I only give advice if asked. Usually. OK, mostly. And I have been guilty of the eye roll. In our neighborhood there is a nice man who walks a sheba-inu. The dog seems well behaved but we always keep distance between our dogs, just-in-case. The other day we were on opposite sides of an intersection (suburban burbs type area) and the dogs were calm and well behaved. Another lady was walking a little something or other, end of leash barking smack and being obnoxious. We watched her walking away, then looked at each other and signaled that we both thought that was ridiculous. Sorry, just keeping it real.
 

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All I can say is I am a proud owner of a dog that doesn't even need a leash. She walks right beside my wheelchair and stops when I stop, starts when I start. Ignores all dogs and stays right at my side. Craziest thing is she pretty much came perfect. She is my freak of nature I call her and I am the proudest dog owner ever..

With all that being said. You have time... Your puppy is just starting her training. Hopefully you will some day feel what I feel
 

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Well, in the olden days my dog used to pull SO HARD towards other dogs, panting & whining (later escalating to barking and rearing up).

Oddly, nobody was judgmental but some people actually brought their dogs over (?!)
They were like, "We saw you struggling with that big dog - let's just let them meet".

They never realized that I was trying to train him to pass calmly, and they were actually undermining the training progress...

Sometimes I resented that they saw us, decided what to do, and took matters into their own hands.

I have "given judgement" once - a dog was lunging/growling at us, and I saw his owner whack him on the side with his hand. The dog yelped.
At that point, I had to speak up! I went over and said that I thought hitting his dog would just make the aggressive behavior worse.
 

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Usually people remark on how well-behaved Beau is on walks. They get judgmental when I ask them not to bring/allow their dogs to get too close, since he is sometimes dog aggressive. The look on some faces clearly communicates that I must be delusional about this sweet friendly dog, who is standing there staring at their dog with alert interest, whining while he slowly wags his tail. I’m the one who gets the eye roll lol.
 

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Rollo is still a puppy at 9 months but I would have him ignore strangers most of the time, like many on here advocate, but if I did let a stranger stop to greet us I would make Rollo calm down and get into a "sit" or I would just keep on walking. Rollo was good at sitting at listening as I worked on that aspect of his training relentlessly from the start.
 

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Since you asked....

People have as much power over you as you give them. I commend you for not blaming your puppy and having patience with your puppy. That is good. Because the majority of the problems we have with our dogs is on the human end of the lead. It is our inconsistency, our poor leadership, our holding unrealistic expectations, etc....

These may not be your problem at all. Your problem is letting folks that do not sign your pay check, are not going to leave you anything in their will, will not visit you in the old-folks-home, do not pay their share of your joint expenses, to get under your craw.

Some of us don't have this problem, and it isn't because our puppies were born perfect and needed no training. It is not even anything we do consciously, but somehow we give the impression that we are not open to whatever someone might say negative about our dog. We are not being mean, or anti-social.

Something you can try is taking a self-defense course. Self-defense is so much more, affects us way beyond knowing what to do in a criminal situation. It gives us tools, it helps us feel assertive, and act assertively.

Mastery is another thing you can try. Mastery in one area, can boost our confidence in other areas. people who walk around with a healthy amount of self-confidence, are naturally unavailable for unsolicited advice. The thing is, the mastery might have nothing to do with dogs at all. I have a Spanish/English Bible. They run side by side. I am working my way through first Samuel. It's fun, it is interesting, it is neat to see how much I've progressed, and it is building my confidence in a lot of ways.

Sometimes all it takes is having a short, witty, remark, there in the front of your mind: if ANYONE asks me ANYTHING about the puppy I will tell them __________________. Sometimes when you have that witty remark just itching to be used, they aren'??

Sorry, my mind and body are crashing.
 

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When I saw the title I thought this was going to be judgmental in how they are judgmental/afraid toward your dog. Most people see my puppy and avoid her at all costs because they are afraid of her, even though she is walking along quietly and calmly at my side, which is a much better situation than what you are facing. I bet those giving you tips think you are overwhelmed and simply want to help you.
I think like you, too :grin2:
 

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I just tell them perhaps they have no experience with puppies and steer clear of them..you always get the “know it alls” who really know nothing.
 
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