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Hey everyone I am posting because I have been so frustrated recently while taking my dog in my new neighborhood for walks by a bunch of my rude neighbors. I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and what you usually say when it happens? It took every bit of effort for me to not say something snarky ;)

The townhouse complex I live in has a bunch of people with dogs, which I was really looking forward to when I first moved here. It's advertised as one of the most dog-friendly rental places in the area, and that is one of the main reasons I chose it. However, my boy is easily the biggest one here (~ 80 lbs). All the other dogs are mostly little ones. The rental property management actually had a rule prohibiting dogs over 50 lbs but my boy floored the staff with his great manners and they were able to make an exception for me.

So many of the other pet parents here are afraid of my dog. Maybe the non-pet parents are also afraid, but they're not the ones who go for daily walks in the neighborhood and go up to talk to me. My dog walks at my side and heels perfectly, always on one side, always slightly behind me, never pulling in any direction, even when he sees another dog/cat/squirrel. He'll look at another dog if we walk past them, but does not even sniff or try to play with them unless I give him the go ahead.

I've had neighbors scream at me for *daring* to walk on the same path as them and their dog, when their little bichon/terrier/whatever is on the end of their retractable leash, lunging towards me and snarling. I don't stereotype owners with the type/size of dog they have, but the vast majority of neighborhood dogs here have small dog syndrome and their parents are afraid of MY cgc-certified well mannered dog... ugh!

What can I even do in this situation? I am insulted they think my dog is a threat and I am insulted they think I wouldn't be able to handle my dog even if he was unpredictable and secretly vicious. I may only be 20 lbs heavier than my dog but cmon. I refuse to apologize for walking my dog on a path that is intended for all the neighborhood residents. Is all hope lost? Is there a non-confrontational way I can assure a hysterical fearful person that my dog is not a danger?
 

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Hmm, small dog syndrome, that's a good euphemism! Is your dog actually good with small dogs, like even off leash? (BTW, sounds like you have a very nicely trained dog!) Anyway, if you're sure your dog is bomb-proof, maybe you could invite some of the scared owners to a meet-n-greet with your dog, so they could relax and not worry that their little one's going to be shredded. Good luck!
 

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Dog mom.

The only responsibility you have is to the townhome association who made the exception for you and to your majestic GSD.

Continue to be the excellent owner that you seem to be and let the others be as they are.

Carry your head high, as I am sure your GSD does.

Don't get sucked into their candy ass world. Ultimately, as they notice you and your GSD's excellence, they will back off.

In my community, on Sunday am, there is a dog walking group of folks with all kinds, but mostly little yip dogs. I couldn't be less interested in joining them. Occasionally, we cross each other when I walk my three GSD's. I know they get a little uncomfortable, as they approach me, but we are always in control and keep right on going.

Good luck to you.
 

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I have a huge black lab. I had people cross the road a block ahead of us. (without dogs) Some people have come across dogs that are not well behaved and they have developed a fear. Just remember it is not about your dog, probably just a bad memory. Prejudice is not just about people....
 

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As you pass the yappy, out of control little dogs, just say "oh my, it looks like someone is in need of a little obedience training"
 

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As you pass the yappy, out of control little dogs, just say "oh my, it looks like someone is in need of a little obedience training"

I like this lol

Really the other owners being idiots, isn't your problem. Go about your day and enjoy your walks with your well behaved dog. If the complex made an exception for your dog based on your dogs manners, that's all that manners. Too bad they didn't do that with the yappers. I don't mind small dogs. I really don't, but I expect them to behave just as nicely and appropriately as my larger dogs.

I understand being offended by those having rude yappy aggressive ankle biters who judge me and my well behaved dogs. Yes, my dog has the power to seriously hurt someone but my dog is the one who will show restraint in situations whereas their yappers aren't likely to do that.
 

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urgh... I HATE people like that. Can't train their little dogs properly and criticize people with bigger dogs even when they are properly trained!... I'm no Satanist but here's a good rule from the book.
"When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him"
Sounds like you have a perfect dog in my books! Don't let them get you down.
 

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Hmm, small dog syndrome, that's a good euphemism! Is your dog actually good with small dogs, like even off leash? (BTW, sounds like you have a very nicely trained dog!) Anyway, if you're sure your dog is bomb-proof, maybe you could invite some of the scared owners to a meet-n-greet with your dog, so they could relax and not worry that their little one's going to be shredded. Good luck!
He ignores all dogs when on leash unless the other dog is very reactive or butt-sniffy, and even then all he does is sniff back. Off leash he plays well with dogs of all sizes. Certain small dogs that can keep up, he loves running around with them and letting them chase him. With other small dogs, he realizes can't keep up (aka he runs and they don't chase him) and ignores them. I would love a chance to talk to these fearful owners, human-to-human without our dogs and assure them of the type of dog owner I am, but I only ever see them when on walks with the dogs, and they look at me like I'm a criminal and start yelling if I'm anywhere near them. I don't know which units are their apartments, and I would feel creepy leaving a note to invite them over even if I did. I don't need the entire neighborhood to love me and my dog, I just want them to be polite when I am doing nothing wrong.
 

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As you pass the yappy, out of control little dogs, just say "oh my, it looks like someone is in need of a little obedience training"
I might steal this phrase! Who knows, if they take it literally some good can come from it! Thanks everyone for the encouragement, I had the luxury of no breed/size-prejudice from my previous neighbors and was totally unprepared for what this new townhouse complex had to offer me!
 

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My neighbors in town are terrified of all dogs. They are Indian, so my understanding is that it is cultural. My lab/heelerX is the friendliest dog ever. Some mornings her tail thwumps their door as she is waiting for me and they'll answer the "knock" in their door. The father will literally scream and slam the door! :eek: Once I reached back in my door for something and Luna tried to walk in their apartment, tail wagging, to greet them. That almost caused a heart attack! :D

As Tucker gets bigger, I'm expecting them to move...

Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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It depends on if it's genuine fear or past experiences.

Since it's happening consistently with the same group of people I'm leaning towards them being defensive.

It's happened to me that people with poorly trained/untrained dogs will see a well trained dog and react defensively because they *know* their dogs are brats and you and your well trained dog emphasize their failure.

They redirect their negative feelings onto you and your dog and the self reinforce each other to feel better (I've seen the little doggie cliques at apts/townhomes and parks).

If it's genuine fear then talking with the person and consistently demonstrating that your dog is a good canine citizen would be all it takes.

For the defensive types I'm thinking just keep your distance and perhaps get a vest for your dog with patches that say 'I'm friendly', 'Please ask to pet me'. I've found that vests on my dogs will really alter their perception of my dog.

I wouldn't confront the defensive people or give them any ammunition. Just do you what you do and they will hopefully warm up over time seeing you and your calm well trained dog. :)
 

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It is a tough situation but all you can do is keep your dog well behaved and let them get mad if they want to. My neighbor has Mastiffs so my dogs are small LOL. Personally I prefer when people cross the street when I have my dogs out one less person walking by my house and my dogs hehe.
 

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Your post is timely, I've just experienced this 2x this week. Once at the dog park. All my daughter and I did was get out of the car with our GSD in the parking lot, I immediately hear whispers, "ooo, it's a German Shepherd, and one person leashed their dog in the dog park, it got very quiet. The funny thing is we were not going to the dog park, but there is a large grassy soccer and baseball field to walk around, that's where we were heading.

Last night, we went to a small private beach. When I arrived, I saw a white shepherd that I know from training, it is terrified of Molly, so I chose to go on the left side of the beach (they were on the right), where they could not access us unless climbing over some rocks. After they went home, Molly wanted to go on the right side of the beach, so as we were climbing up the rocks, I see a family of 6 with a Beagle at the top of the stairs, its' a steep stairway, 45 steps. They see Molly and freeze, watch us for a bit, then decide to leave. As they were leaving, my neighbor with 2 red Huskies was coming in, the Beagle people told her, Oh, you better watch out, there's a huge black Shepherd on the beach, it looks really scary. The husky owner did not say anything out loud, but inside she was thinking, "Oh, I hope it's Molly!" and it was. So the huskies came down and had a great play evening with Molly, all went home exhausted.

If you dog is well trained, try pulling over off the path and have your dog go into the "down" position. Let your neighbors know the dog is well trained and not a threat. Having Molly go down usually puts other dogs and their owners at ease. We live in a condo cluster where almost everyone has a 10lb dog. Molly has become friends with many of them.
 

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People can scare all they want and i don't care. I have my rights and my dog is NOT attacking anybody. If they don't like it, they can move.
 

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I know that you should not HAVE to, but think about putting a colorful bandana on your dog. Perhaps also teach him some funny/cool tricks and show off a little. Remo (who was gigantic) used to always carry his hot pink precious Frisbee along on our walks and it seemed to make people smile.

Every year at the beach, he would be walking at a perfect off leash heel and people would snatch up their babies and give us the stink eye. But someone with an out of control little rat dog would not cause anyone to bat an eye.

It sucks, but unfortunately that's the way it is.
 

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I get the same thing :(
There is a german shepherd in my neighborhood that is very reactive to other dogs, I had the lovely joy of having this dog attack one of mine even. So when I first moved here a lot of people thought my gsds were that dog. I have had people yell at me but mostly it is people avoiding us, giving us the stink eye and crossing the street.
My dogs are exceptionally well behaved and have always been well mannered - even when the other dog is trying to attack them. My pack does look scary though, especially with one of my dogs being a muzzled pit bull (Ontario law). Here are some things that I do to impress the neighbors and show every one my dogs are under control:
I regularly practise obedience right in front of all of the townhouses. Long stays, sits/downs/stands from a distance, recalls, finishes, formal heeling. I will down stay my dogs about 15' from the sidewalk while other people and their dogs pass by. I always make a huge fuss and big praise parties and dance around with the dogs. People really notice how well behaved my dogs are and how much fun we have.
If I see a reactive dog coming and there is enough room beside the sidewalk to give them space I will down my dog while they pass. I think this is embarrassing to the reactive dogs owner but shows you have good control and your dog is not a threat. If there is not enough room to give them proper space then I will walk on the road - I do try and be respectful.
And I am known to put bandanas on them, I do think it makes them look less menacing. I also dress them up for hallowe'en, Canada day and Christmas and walk them through the neighborhood.
Just try to be as pleasant as you can but don't waste your time on them and don't worry about it. Over time they will get over it or just ignore you. Most of the people in my neighborhood now know who my dogs are and adore them. Many of the reactive dogs owners now give us space and walk on the road out of respect, whereas they used to just stare at us as we walked calmly by. And they generally make comments about how bad their dogs are and how they wish they were like mine haha.
 

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wow i thought i only that problem , i also have a new GSD he is 98lbs and pure black i got him thru a friendwho needed a new home wile he is deployed , my housing area dreads everytime i walk him 3 times a day , they named him satan even though his name is Baxter . I am not sure that these people have any clue on the kindness of these breeds and how docile they can be . dont pay attention to them and you should be fine .
 

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You are not alone! Two weeks after we moved in someone left the side gate open (could have been Hubby or me or the teenage lawn cleaner kid, or maybe the wind blew it open, no idea) and the Ol Man trotted out, came around front, and laid down by the front door. Neighbor across the street (who hadn't introduced herself) STORMED over, literally stomping and raising a fuss. As soon as she stepped on our porch the Ol Man got up and growled (or so she said). She ran back to her house and called the cops.

And that's how we met the neighbors on either side of us.

The people on the left came over (nicely), knocked on our door and said our dog was loose. Of course me, being the idiot, said "no he's not, he's right out back" and she turned and pointed. Ol Man, sitting by the door, happy as a lark. Then she told me the lady on the corner had called the cops and to be prepared, and left. Deputy Sheriff came out, chatted with us for a bit, loved all over the Ol Man (who was a total ham), and warned us that if he got out and went on her property she could legally shoot him.

After he left the neighbors all around came over, introduced themselves, and commiserated on how much of a dog-hater that person was and how she'd made complaints on all of them at some time or another. LOL! Talk about an ice breaker for meeting the neighbors!!

Its been 6 years and that lady still won't talk to us, will actually go back in the house if she seems me working in the front yard. Her husband is really really nice though. Very leery of dogs but will chat with us and even say "hi" to the dog when we were out walking.
 
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