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Discussion Starter #1
I have to fill my tank three times a week. And putting 20 gallons in takes some time which is boring, so if I have a dog with me, I let them out and play with them while the tank is filling.

Tonight, Rushie went to class. So we stopped to get gas. He is a big blackish GSD. Nice ears, eighty pounds, dark blanket back and head.

Well this guy comes out and starts walking to his car a few pumps away from me, sees my dog and halts. I see this, and call out that he is ok, he's on a leash.

The guy shook his head and went into the gas station and stared out the window. I thought, what a major wuss. He is going to let an eighty pound leashed, controlled dog stop him from getting into his own car.

Dad tells me that he probably has a phobia, and cannot understand that I cannot understand that.

But it ticked me off. Half the time people do not bother to ask when the try to come up to my girls, who do not care for strangers. But Rushie who loves EVERYONE and has never growled or barked at a person, gets this attitude.

Sorry, guys, but it is the men who are afraid of my Rushie. Women love him and come right up to him. Rushie likes men and will, willingly go up to them, but this reaction I have gotten several times and it is always guys.

Normally, I would be perfectly ok with guys thinking they should be on their toes. But it just rubbed me the wrong way.
 

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Maybe this guy is afraid of dogs and has a true fear of them. It isn't too often that you see a dog playing around at a gas station and if he was afraid I don't blame him for going back into the gas station until you guys were gone. He could have been a real jerk and started yelling at you for no reason, but it seems like he just quietly handled it in a way he needed to handle it. My mom is deathly afraid of snake. She can't look at them, she can't listen to them hiss, she can't even see a cartoon snake without freaking out. If she was out getting gas and a guy was hanging out with a snake at the gas station, she'd probably react the same way this guy reacted to Rushie. I wouldn't take it personally, he may just have a true phobia of dogs, you never know.
 

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Selzer, phobia and fears in people are things you can't control. I have a father-in-law that won't let our GSD puppy come to his house and he refuses to meet Jesse - even when he was 8 weeks old now 6 months. Jesse loves everybody and everything and doesn't have an aggressive dominate bone in his body. But the rest of the family dogs get to go (even lab/pit his daughter has) can go to their house, but not Jesse. I tried to force the issue and sat outside and was told to get the evil dog away from him. No matter what anybody in the family says to him or tell him, he thinks Jesse will kill him.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
People can have bad experiences with people, men or women. They can choose to be afraid of them and spazz when they get too close. But sooner or later, one must decide that the world is full of men and women and you better get over it.

Snakes are not all that common, and going back into the gastation because someone had one out there would be fine. How often are you going to see a snake?

But dogs are a part of life. I had the dog out of the car but we weren't "hanging around" and we weren't even playing. The dog was on his lead and stretching his legs a little. Rushie is not hyper. He was not climbing all over me, or chasing things. He was just walking on lead with me in control by my car and my pump.

I do not get the phobia thing. I used to be deathly afraid of hornets and wasps, then I moved into a trailer with hornets nests in the walls and mud wasps everywhere. I killed 26 one day in my kitchen. My days were numbered in that place. But, I got over it. I cannot imagine allowing the fear of anything to stop me from getting where I need to go. I guess I am just lucky or blessed without that kind of fear.
 

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You may not "get it" but it exists (phobia). The kind thing would be to simply put your dog up. The fellow didn't raise cain or anything afterall.
 

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You never know about people's pasts - maybe the guy got bitten or traumatized as a little kid by a dog who resembled Rushie. I'd try to give him the benefit of the doubt. At least he was calm and didn't cause a scene or something.

I get kind of tired of women w/kids getting as far away from Kodee and I as I walk him downtown while pushing a stroller with a toddler in it, no less! But, then I figure, if I was them, and saw someone w/a large dog I wasn't familiar with, I'd do the same darn thing.


Who knows - maybe your calm dog made an impression on the guy, and next time he won't be so afraid of a dog...ya never know!
 

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So "YOU" are responsible. "Your" dog won't bite me. "YOUR" dog is not one of those statistics I read about in the paper.

I don't know "YOU" I don't know "YOUR" dog, but I do know it is a German Shepherd and I know that if a German Shepherd wanted to hurt me it could do so. He might weigh 80 pounds or 65 pounds. To me it doesn't matter. Any German Shepherd catches my attention. I don't assume everyone I see with a dog on a leash is a good dog owner with a well adjusted dog.

So if I listen to my human intuition and millions of years of genetic conditioning that says self preservation is applicable in this situation what should I worry about? Should I worry the dog owner will think I am less of a man for not acting cool and unshaken when I come face to face with a dog I know can kill me?
If I turn and walk away, sensing a dangerous situation and it turns out I was wrong I was just wrong, so what? If on the other hand I walk right into the personal space of a "gentle" dog who mauls me even though "he's never done that before" thats a time when being wrong would really suck.

What bothers me is when people walk up to strange dogs they know nothing about to pet them, and get bit. I wonder what would you say then? Would you say that I should have not approached your dog without permission?
Just my thoughts from a different point of view.
 

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Originally Posted By: selzer...
Dad tells me that he probably has a phobia, and cannot understand that I cannot understand that.

But it ticked me off.
...
I agree with your Dad, why should you (or anyone) get ticked off because someone is afraid of dogs (cynophobia).

Phobias are irrational fears. There are people who are afraid of clowns (coulrophobia), the number 13 (triskaidekaphobia), having peanut butter stick to the roof of their mouth (arachibutyrophobia), the color purple (porphyrophobia), flowers (athrophobia/anthophobia), etc, etc, etc etc.

Me? I have a fear of heights which includes a fear of high ceilings (batophobia/acrophobia - I've also seen it unofficially called altocelarophobia).

Perhaps you suffer from phobophobia - a fear of phobias.
http://phobialist.com/
 

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Originally Posted By: Tres Beau
What bothers me is when people walk up to strange dogs they know nothing about to pet them, and get bit. I wonder what would you say then? Would you say that I should have not approached your dog without permission?
Just my thoughts from a different point of view.
I know this kid, who in his 15 years has done this, and at least twice has been bitten, both dogs had to be put down because of his stupidity. He is slightly mentally challenged, and I cannot get over the fact that he has caused two dogs to die.
He will never be allowed to come to my house!!!

A friend of mine is afraid of big dogs. She will actually hide out til the dog is gone. We go to the same church and Pastors wife has an american showline GSD, smaller than most and very friendly. When Zoey comes around, friend will high tail it into another area! Everyone know of her fear and will accommodate her, putting their dogs away when she visits. She does have a yorkie, but that's about as large as she can take. She was bitten as a child, and never got over it.
 

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I also tend to agree with Tres Beau's post. If I see (or sense) people are nervous with large dogs, I tend to make sure we are moving away from those people, either by their actions or by me moving away with Kayla. I tend to believe that the dogs are more perceptive to our emotions (and scents put out by those emotions) than us humans so a person's attitude/perceptions will affect Kayla more than me. If opportunity presents to educate and introduce people (and especially children) to the wonders of the GSD's we do it, but I don't sweat it if it can't happen.

During Kayla's second year, we use to take walks around a lake in Oakland prior to going to a farmer's market. There many many folks who walk the lake regularly who basically have an inherent fear of large dogs. We would just step aside and I would work her through some obedience exercises while they pass-but it was just too many folks so I eventually just stopped using this venue. We have found so many other alternatives in the last two years that it just wasn't worth the effort.

If you can educate, change or shorten people's "issues with dogs in general and GSDs in particular, great, go for it. But don't let another person's "issues" affect your attitudes or getting your dogs out there. Life is too short and our time with our dogs is shorter still.
 

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Actually, despite Selzer's dog being on leash and under control there are many people who (for whatever reason) are afraid or do not like dogs for any reason and some are fearful to the extent that panic attacks occur - which are very frightening to those experiencing them. We do not know peoples histories so we can not judge their reactions and I do not think this man should be berated for his reaction. If you had gone in and spoken to the man seperate to this and found out the reasons for his reaction then maybe there would be a better outcome than being angry at his reaction.

I am interested in all dogs and my bias will always be directed towards the best interest of the dog concerned. However, those people that are so arrogant that they think that laws relating to dogs do not apply to them really piss me off. There is a increasing effort to decrease the liberty of many of our pets but there are also various liberties that we are granted. Everytime someone abuses those privileges it means that we will be closer to losing them.

I am no way saying this applies in this case but who knows what this man has had happen so that it makes him wary when he sees a GSD or another large dog.
 

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My heart skips a beat if I'm ever in a bank and someone comes in with sunglasses on. Gun held to my head and tied up during a bank robbery.

Fear often has a very real base, perhaps this man was attacked by a GSD or so a loved one attacked.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My life has had plenty of real bases for fear. I cannot spend the rest of my life being afraid. I will not put my dog away because someone is afraid. They can wait if they must.

I did not have my dog anywhere he was not allowed to be. I broke no laws. I followed every courtesy, including letting the guy know that I had the dog leashed.

Phobias are irrational fears. Some people do have them. Fears of dogs are usually rational fears that people have nurtured. More people are afraid of my Dark dog than my light dogs. So phobias are not color blind. Weird.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Believe it or not Babies and small children make me very fearful, especially when they are acting up. I expect someone's parents to come and beat the daylights out of them or something.

But I cannot expect people to take their children over to the other side of the road because I have an irrational fear of them.

I cannot expect people to remove their children to put them up.

I have had to leave stores because of bratty children in need of whuppins.

I was not expecting this guy to come within range of my dog. I did not expect him to come near me and my dogs. In fact, I feel a little better that men in particular do not approach my dogs. But reversing his route, hiding in the building and peering out the window was a bit much. If I had a black bear on a lead, maybe.

So to answer the question about people approaching my dogs without permision, sure that is dead wrong. People going on their merry way ignoring my dogs is what I prefer. This guy did not have to shout to make a scene. He certainly DID make a scene.

I think I liked it better when guys thought it was sissy to show fear. Thirty years ago, I never saw men acting like that. This is why I just don't buy it that all these people are afflicted with uncontrollable mental issues.
 

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Of course it is not illegal of you to fail to accomodate other people. However, at some point a business may ask you to keep your dog within your vehicle because a dog on a lead in that situation is upsetting other customers. Often it is easier in the long run to accomodate people before it becomes an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The guy was parked two islands away!!!! Sorry, dogs are a part of society. If someone has a problem, fine. I am not going to drop dead to accomadate them.

All you people that use bike trails and jogging paths and public parks may as well keep your dogs at home because there may be a man out there with a phobia to dogs.

I do not see it as something odd to let your dog stretch its legs (on leash and under control) when you stop for gas. It makes sense. Sometimes the dogs and you are in the car for a long time and he needs a break as much as I do.

If we were blocking this guy's path to his vehicle that would be another matter. But we were not. We showed every courtesy, including letting him know the dog was leashed.
 

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If someone is uncomforable around my dogs I put them up or do anything possible to help them feel more at ease.

<shrug> If my dog is making them uncomfortable they are going to be gone pretty quick. Whats a moment or two out of my life?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
If someone is in my house with my permission and is uneasy about my dogs, I put them away.

If I am in somebody's way, I get out of the way.

I am always taking the last position because I have a dog with me, like at the ice-cream stand, wherever.

On bike paths people with horses are first, people in and with strollers, people on wheels, people on legs, then people accompanied by dogs.

I am ok with all of that. But I'll be damned if I will put my dog back in my car because someone is with a quarter of a mile of it. Sorry. If you are out on a walk with your dog, you do not have a crate or car to shove the dog in. The guy just has to deal with HIS problem.

It was a few moments out of that guy's life, what is the difference?
 

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Quote: Dad tells me that he probably has a phobia, and cannot understand that I cannot understand that
As they say... 'live and learn,'

Time and experience will teach you tolerance and understanding if you learn to 'walk a mile' in another's shoes.

I've seen grown men faint a sight of a little needle, quake at heights, and shy away from house cats.

Phobias are just that. One definition is: "a <u>persistent, irrational fear</u> of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it."

There is no "wuss" about it. It denotes no weakness. It's a trick of the mind.

I grew up familiar with planes - father, sister, brothers had pilot's licenses. I flew in the cockpit and logged lots of miles.

One day I awakened with a 'real' fear of flying. It hit my gut.

Years later it has dissipated but I'll never forget understanding it was irrational but not being able to overcome it with reason. Humbling..

So, a big dog, a powerful dog, held by a stranger.. not too hard for me to imagine a perfectly sane, strong man avoiding the situation.

Try a little kindness.
 

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Originally Posted By: selzerThe guy was parked two islands away!!!!
,,,
Originally Posted By: selzer...
But I'll be damned if I will put my dog back in my car because someone is with a quarter of a mile of it.
...
The guy just has to deal with HIS problem.

It was a few moments out of that guy's life, what is the difference?
It must be a helluva big gas station if the islands are 1/4 mile apart. While I find your attitude rather callus, I can't condemn the fact that you didn't decide to put your dog back in your car.

On the other hand, I don't think the average person gets as upset as you seem to be when they encounter a person who has a fear of dogs. It's like you're taking the man's phobia personally. You post an 8 paragraph message ranting about the incident and then continue to obsess about it in subsequent messages when people sympathize with the man and his fears. Why not just drop it and learn to live with the fact that some people are afraid of dogs and may act in an irrational manner.
 
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