German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Finally, the heat wave warning is over in our part of paradise.

I thought it would be nice to take the dogs for a walk, it seems like weeks that its been too hot to go too far from the air conditioning or the pool.

I whispered the magic words…

Good thing my wife wasn’t home because she would given me royal trouble for winding up our 3 dogs.

I dashed off looking for 3 collars and 3 leashes, then grabbed a couple of tugs and finally a thermos of cool water to fit in my backpack.

I was gone maybe 3 minutes max., to 3 impatient dogs, it seemed like an hour by the ruckus at the side door.

Finally, in some resemblance of order, we headed down the street.

About 4 houses down into our walk Sherri drives up and asked if we wanted some company.

One big smile and few wags later, the five of us were off on our walk.
Sherri asked, where are we going?
Not sure, around the block, over to the mall, through the park…
Since you have the backpack, let’s go to the mall to get a few things from the grocery store.
Enough about our walk, the real story happened when the dogs and I were waiting outside the store for Sherri to pick up milk and a few things for dinner.

How many times have you had to almost beat a stranger off with a stick because they weren’t respecting your space or your dog's space.

When we are out in public with our 3 GSD’s people act like it’s a newborn cute baby in a stroller and not a 4-legged war machine.

German Shepherds aren’t like most goofy body-wagging labs or retrievers in love with every stranger they encounter.

I trust my dogs 99%, however, that 1% of uncertainty always lurks in your mind, if the greeting is not done in a safe and unthreatening manner.

Remember people, German Shepherds are programmed by nature to be loyal companions and their job is to protect and serve.

So, when that stranger bounces into your space crouching down with an outreached hand or standing over them looking them straight in the eye and talking loud gibberish, doing everything but dressing up like a prime rib steak asking for your dog to bite them…

what do you do?

I learned not to be the nice guy, and strongly ask the intruder, that’s how our dogs may see it, to back off, to give me dog space and respect.
The right way to greet an unknown dog is not at all.

Yes, ignore the dog completely., greet the owner first.

Don’t even look at the dog, shake the handler’s hand and start up a conversation, no sudden movements or loud language.

The dog will pick up on the owners demeanor and if everything appears OK to the handler the dog most often willingly accept the new friend also.

Remember, this is still not the time for the two to become best friends, so no real contact with the dog, a sniff or light pat on the head is OK.

One more thing to remember the interaction means more to the visitor than the dog and really cares less about the new person and more about you.

So, practise this method the next you are out in public, start with someone you know.

As your confidence grows, you are ready to ask that stranger if they have time to help train your dog by following your instructions on how to greet a dog properly.

Share your stories, so others can learn...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
I was also surprised by how many people don’t respect basic strange dog rules. Like the most basic, ‘Ask before you pet.’ Most people and older kids around here do, but there’s always that guy...

We started using a vest for our girl that has a Ask to Pet patch on the side. I swear it cuts down even on the asks I get by half at least. Lol

She’s not afraid to tell a stranger she’s unsure of that reaches out toward her to back off with a bark. But I was so proud of her one time on a walk...we were at a bench practicing a long down/settle in public when a mom and a very young girl walked by. Mom had the kids hand, kid was maybe 3ish.

Kid pulled away from mom suddenly as they passed and before either adults could do anything the kid reached out and touched Kona’s forehead and swiped her hand right down her nose. Kona didn’t react at all, just looked at the girl. I felt great about that. Toddlers are the wild card.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,170 Posts
My neighbor's daughter suddenly out of the blue, kissed my dog on the top of the head. I felt my heart jump. It could have been SO bad. Thankfully she is about the same age and size as my own daughter...and got a free pass...but phew, talk about inappropriate dog behavior. Her mom reprimanded her a lot after that.

People in general don't understand the breed. My friends' dogs are all very friendly, they come running up to sniff and kiss and ask for pets. My neighbor's retriever strains and pulls hard on her leash to get to me so she can lick my hand and be greeted and petted. My Great Dane would jump on you with the intention of licking your face (which she could actually reach!). Many dogs are like this, so people think that their attention and affection is welcome.

My GSD/husky is totally different and it took a while for me to understand that he feels the same way about strangers that I do...they are interesting, but he doesn't particularly want them to touch him! Fending off petting in public has become an automatic way of life now.

Example: smiling person exclaims, "What a beautiful dog!" and heads towards us.
"Thank You!" i say pleasantly with a smile...and keep walking briskly. :)
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,255 Posts
I walk my dogs with vests on, with matching collars and leashes. Lyka’s says “do not pet, bite dog’” Crios’s says “do not pet, working dog.” Crios would be happy as a pig in a slop bucket of every person that past showered him with love and attention. Lyka, well, she ignores until they get in her bubble, and then she lets them know it’s not okay by a low warning growl, and a couple fierce barks.

Pretty much keeps all but the most motivated people from even approaching. It’s the ones that think they know everything about dogs, and how to handle every dog, or the “oh, all dogs love me,” type person. I make it clear when I see them bee lining towards us that my bitch WILL bite. If they chose to approach after that, I put her in a down behind me, and get verbally rude with the interloper.

If I see a child coming, I just say “No honey, these are mean dogs,” and that usually suffices. If the STILL break through that, Crios will jump on them for attention long before they would be able to reach Lyka, and they normally run away at that point. If I see the child parents, I let them know their child approached my dogs against all warnings not to, and that they may want to show them the appropriate way to ask for permission before getting anywhere near a strange dog. It’s astounding how lax these parents are!!! Sometimes I get a thank you, some times I get “if you’re dog is a danger, it shouldn’t be outside,” argument. I generally respond with a snide comment about children being more of a danger to dogs than dogs being a danger to children.

When my son is in town (he’s in college now), he “mushes” with the Husky on an altered long board. It has a breaking mechanism on the back of the board for easy and quick stops. But people STILL want to approach and stop my son to pet the “sled dog.” He yells out, “sorry, we are training right now,” and keeps on going. The only thing Crios (the Husky, not my son) is training for is to NOT destroy the house with his over the top drive.

Hopefully with enough people insisting strangers do not approach their dogs, it will lead to them asking the next time they see someone else’s dog before they get in the dogs bubble zone!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,179 Posts
We were camping over the 4th of July and a very young boy ran up to hug our big-boy. Thankfully our boy is very patient with children. He's been attracting attention since he was a pup and sees strangers as curiosities to be explored and examined. Of course we let the parent know what their child had done. There were many other dogs at the camp grounds, including more GSDs and we didn't want to see this happy kid get scared. If he had run toward my gal-dog she would have barked at him. She is pretty good about telling people that they are moving in way too fast. Still, no one wants to get barked at. I also have to be her advocate and tell folks that she is a "looking dog, not a petting dog". We also tell people to talk to us and ignore her. If she decides to go over and check them out, then they can gently pet her. It is her option.

I made the same mistake myself with a Jack Russel. I was petting it and went to ruffle the fur on the back of it's head. I got the "that's enough lady" bark. The owner was a bit embarrassed but I told her that I understood. I over stayed my welcome with her dog. So even those of us who know better can still fall prey to the desire to play with warm fur on someone else's dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,949 Posts
I had try the vest once and I had the badge that said- in training it was on Max and we were swarmed with people and questions. Nothing bad came of it but I was reluctant to put that on again. He will want to smell people though and very interested in their scent- be will often sniff the air as people walk passed catching their scent. If I am talking to someone for awhile then Max will want to introduce himself depending on the person I may let a pet depending on the situation. People have jutted there hand out to pet him. One time we were walking by a woman who was sitting in a chair in the street Max jutted his long tongue out to give her a lick on the face to get some scent but I dodged that. For the most part though Max is a people watcher and does not look like he puts the green light on for stranger love. If someone random ask I will just say he does not want to be pet by people he does not know and that’s it. Max is big and dark and watchful not to many people ask.

Luna is less watchful she is aloof and accepting of uninvited lavished affection. Same rules apply though unless I am talking to someone for awhile and the dogs want to says quick hi.

I found when Max and Luna where younger people are more intrusive they still can be though but just less common - Three of the most common type of stories and recent - I had a motor bike approach me and Max in the woods on a trail. He was looking for a neighbors dog. The guy handed me a number if i saw the dog. Max was just alert and watchful he had the guy in a visual lock down the entire time -if the guy asked me to pet max (he did not)I would of said no he is uncomfortable with people he does not know pet him.
In the local feed store a woman came up to Luna and asked to pet her as I was paying. I said yes the woman was all over the dog standing behind her and bending over Luna as she was sitting and rubbing Luna’s chest. Luna was great through all and accepting but probably like wtf this is just way over done. This is why for the most part I stick with no the dogs don’t like to be pet by people they don’t know. Sometimes I will say no they jump.Another story-When walking down through the neighborhood a gsd lover came running over to us. Max and Luna watchful. We were talking about gsds for awhile. The dogs lying down and relaxed. Allowing then the dogs to say a quick hello as they wanted to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,898 Posts
Be aware of who is around you at all times and if they come close, tell them No! You don’t owe strangers a polite explanation and they don’t have a right to touch your dog. We worry too much about not being rude, when someone touching your dog uninvited is the rude one. My WL is very social and if someone seems like a dog person and he wants to meet them, I might let him. Like a sales person in a pet store or someone I know and trust but my dog doesn’t know. Most people don’t get near him though because he looks, scary. My older girl is small and cute and everyone wants to touch her. She hates that and moves behind me. I always tell them no, she’s not friendly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
The occupational hazards of taking your dog into public. When Rio was little I had an in training harness to prevent the massive influx of puppy petters. Lol and honestly I don’t blame them, if I saw a GSD pup I’d definitely want to pet it. Or any puppy really. Who am I kidding? I want to pet all the dogs! But I always ask, and I think of myself as a polite petter seeing as I have dogs of my own.

Rio mostly ignores people but every so often there will be someone he particularly likes and will approach quietly if I’m not totally vigilant. Sometimes they’re dog people, sometimes they’re not, but they’re always proud that they were the “chosen one”. He is excellent with children and always observes everything/everyone but he has a great gauge of what is a threat and what isn’t. If he was iffy around people I wouldn’t take him into situations with the general public, because despite what you do there will always be someone’s toddler that strayed away or maybe even someone inebriated approach your dog. Even though they were the ones that broke protocol, you will still get the blame if something were to happen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,949 Posts
It is true even if one is diligent -one is apt to not notice something. It can take a second for someone to get in your dogs face. There are people that will not listen and pet your dog anyway, people that don’t ask. A dog has to be able to handle things that will happen out in the middle of the sometimes chaotic world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,553 Posts
How many times have you had to almost beat a stranger off with a stick because they weren’t respecting your space or your dog's space.
So many times. Had one person smack my male in the back of hte head repeatedly (because her dog likes it). Another grab his muzzle and tell him to sit (to get a treat). And on and on....

Now, I go out of my way to scare people. I'm very effective. Wait! and No! are my favorite words. Adults are stupid and entitled. And my dogs are not public property.

But for kids, I encourage contact. I want them to know kids and be gentle so I never deny a kid if they ask.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,939 Posts
First night of training with my new rescue, a 3 year old male GSD. I am waiting to talk to the trainer, at the end of the class. I've only had him a couple of weeks, and he hasn't met any kids yet. The next class, which is for problem dogs, is coming in. I have my back to the door.

I hear footsteps behind me, but don't turn around. A little kid, about the same height as my seated dog, RUNS up to him, and throws his arms around his neck and hugs him before I can so much as move!

Then, the kid's slightly older brother does the same. The oldest boy in the family has slightly more sense. He just pets the top of Ranger's head.

Since this was a class for PROBLEM dogs, I very badly wanted to have a word with the parents, but before they FINALLY showed up, the instructor came over, and I missed my chance!

Fortunately, Ranger was fine with kids, but my previous GSD would have bitten the little guy right on the face.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
519 Posts
I cross into the street to give space on walks. Jupiter has never shown the slightest defensiveness towards people, so I am not that vigilant about keeping people away from him, except for children, whose random behavior and flitting about sometimes inspires a chase/nip reaction. Still, the answer here is pretty clear: muzzle. It might not be fair, but it's the only way you can make sure, because you only have limited control over your dog and sure as heck can't control how other people behave.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,898 Posts
First night of training with my new rescue, a 3 year old male GSD. I am waiting to talk to the trainer, at the end of the class. I've only had him a couple of weeks, and he hasn't met any kids yet. The next class, which is for problem dogs, is coming in. I have my back to the door.

I hear footsteps behind me, but don't turn around. A little kid, about the same height as my seated dog, RUNS up to him, and throws his arms around his neck and hugs him before I can so much as move!

Then, the kid's slightly older brother does the same. The oldest boy in the family has slightly more sense. He just pets the top of Ranger's head.

Since this was a class for PROBLEM dogs, I very badly wanted to have a word with the parents, but before they FINALLY showed up, the instructor came over, and I missed my chance!

Fortunately, Ranger was fine with kids, but my previous GSD would have bitten the little guy right on the face.
You have to wonder if they have problem dogs due to having problem kids who have no idea how to treat a dog.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,255 Posts
First night of training with my new rescue, a 3 year old male GSD. I am waiting to talk to the trainer, at the end of the class. I've only had him a couple of weeks, and he hasn't met any kids yet. The next class, which is for problem dogs, is coming in. I have my back to the door.

I hear footsteps behind me, but don't turn around. A little kid, about the same height as my seated dog, RUNS up to him, and throws his arms around his neck and hugs him before I can so much as move!

Then, the kid's slightly older brother does the same. The oldest boy in the family has slightly more sense. He just pets the top of Ranger's head.

Since this was a class for PROBLEM dogs, I very badly wanted to have a word with the parents, but before they FINALLY showed up, the instructor came over, and I missed my chance!

Fortunately, Ranger was fine with kids, but my previous GSD would have bitten the little guy right on the face.
You have to wonder if they have problem dogs due to having problem kids who have no idea how to treat a dog.
Oh lord almighty, I’ve never understood people who don’t train (teach) their children the proper way to act around dogs! Then again, the parents are probably the type that mauls everyone’s dogs with affection because “all dogs love me.”

I have zero problems with telling children not to touch my dogs. Or telling parents that they need to be aware of what could happen to their kids if they aren’t taught the proper way to approach a dog, any dog. With that being said, there have been three bite incidences with family. My stepdad had a cocker that was old, blind, and pretty deaf. He bit my 4 yr old niece on the face while she was sitting on the ground watching TV. She didn’t do anything, wasn’t interacting with the dog, or moving around. Didn’t break the skin, and stepdad thought it was a fluke. The following week, the same niece was sitting on the floor reading a story book, and the cocker bit her again, this time hard enough to break skin and needed two stitches. He was PTS after the second bite. She is now 28 and has a permanent dimple from the second bite.

The 3rd incident still embarrasses me to this day. My son LOVES dogs. Always has, always will. He was raised with dogs, and taught how to interact with them. No pulling, no running, no hitting, no hugging, no kissing. He KNEW dogs do not like a person (or child) hugging them or getting in their faces. Or so I thought. Because I never allowed him to be in a situation where he could try any of the above, he tested the truth the way most kids do. Waiting until they aren’t around their parents and trying it anyway. He went to his aunts house (on his fathers side) who had a kid aggressive dog. My ex brought my boys to her house for a family BBQ. Noah sees their dog, rushes up, and full on bear hugs this dog. Dog gave him a nice bite on his ear that required 7 stitches. He came home to me the next day, and apologized for not believing me. He was 8 when this happened. So when I say my kids are bullet proof around dogs, I guess I should say they are bullet proof around me with dogs. He’s 18 now, and recently came to visit from college. We all had a good laugh at that story again, because my 9yr old daughter asked why his ear looked funny. I guess she never noticed it before. So now at least my young girls know mommy is telling the truth, so there is that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,939 Posts
You have to wonder if they have problem dogs due to having problem kids who have no idea how to treat a dog.
That was my thought exactly! But the parents would of course, be responsible for the kids' behaviour. My father's siblings mostly lived on the farm and had farm dogs. I was taught from infancy how to behave around dogs. I only ever remember being bitten once, and that wasn't a serious bite, and it was certainly my own **** fault!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,898 Posts
That was my thought exactly! But the parents would of course, be responsible for the kids' behaviour. My father's siblings mostly lived on the farm and had farm dogs. I was taught from infancy how to behave around dogs. I only ever remember being bitten once, and that wasn't a serious bite, and it was certainly my own **** fault!
There are still adults out there who have never been taught how to behave around dogs. Shocking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
32,553 Posts
There are still adults out there who have never been taught how to behave around dogs. Shocking.
soooo many adults! Like the lady slapping Seger in the back of the head. Or the lunatic that was picking something up at my house for someone else and came out of her car like her own one woman circus act running towards Seger.

I see this stuff all the time. And more so with Faren because she's small and pretty. I must look scary when they do stupid stuff. Two women have backed up with their hands in the airs say "I didn't do anything!". No, you did not. But only because I stopped you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,788 Posts
How many times have you had to almost beat a stranger off with a stick because they weren’t respecting your space or your dog's space.
I think I told this story on here before. When Shadow was fairly young and I was still struggling to get a handle on her bizarre behavior, I started moving off the sidewalk when people were approaching and having her sit in front of me and look at me. I had already observed that people were rude and for some reason think dogs are public property. Sabi was good with people and Bud was indifferent, so as long as they were reaching for the dogs not me it was all good. Most people didn't get to close to Bud anyway. But Shadow has a weirdo magnet hidden somewhere.
One day I notice this obviously intoxicated man heading straight at us, flailing and wobbling as he goes. Shadow starts with the duck and dodge thing so I move her a ways off the sidewalk and put her in a sit. I am trying to get focus but this guy has followed us and is now standing behind me, stinking of alcohol and shouting that dogs like him and he wants to pet her. Shadow tries to bolt, and can't so she decides to fight. I now have her collar, but there is no where for me to go and she is melting down quick and strangling herself fighting me. The guy is literally hanging over my shoulder asking if he can pet her and trying to dart around me. Her eyes are rolling, there is spit flying everywhere and I finally lose it and scream in his face "does she ----ing look friendly?? ----OFF!" He gives me an offended/confused look and finally backs off at which point I am able to pick Shadow up and carry her a safe distance.
I went and bought a muzzle that day and we cancelled the whole polite move away and sit plan. She walks on my left and I keep myself between her and people. As they approach I TELL them, "on my right please!" followed by hand gestures and we keep walking. If they reach for her, I block them. If they ask to pet I say no. Even with that I have had to walk through peoples arms as they reach for her. Oddly kids seem smarter. If I say to a child that Shadow is shy they get it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,898 Posts
i asked to take my dog out of a pet store once when a bizarre woman kept approaching us even when I was walking away to tell me how scary he was and shaking a bag at him. Finally, he had enough and he barked at her. The salesclerk told me my dog was dangerous and a safety problem. I think I posted this before, but they watched the store videos and apologized next time I came back in and said my dog wasn't at fault, the other customers were.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,918 Posts
I personally don't have that problem (people wanting to pet Deja). Maybe it is what I radiate? That might have something to do with it. Food for thought? When I am out and about with her, it is business and that's probably what people see. I only use a black prong, covered by her coat so no vests, explaining anything, no cute leash etc.
Forgot the Home Depot employees but I think 'being nice to dogs' is in their job description now. They can pet her after she sits (on my command) but no treats. Sounds bitchy, I know, but so far she has never caused any trouble. I am fully aware of the responsibility to have a dog like her.
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top