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Every time we go out for a walk it seems some person wants to pet the big fluffy white shepherd. Most the times it goes down great, I put Gandalf in his sit Stay position on my left and then once I've said yes you may pet my dog I release him and they meet. Gandalf loves everyone, especially kids. He's a big hit at the garden store and most the little kids run up to give him a hug. All great. Except for those idiots who ask to pet my dog and they are scared. I had a guy walk up today and do just that, put G in his sit stay by my side, I greeted the guy and after permission allowed G to say hello. Super typical greeting for Gandalf, all 4 paws on the ground he doesn't jump, he just stepped forward to smell the guy and was wagging his tail ferociously! The guy FLIPPED out, grabbed Gandalfs head with both his hands and twisted his neck! Dude.. what are you even trying to do to my dog.. guy panicks out of there even more afraid. What's with these people? Why do you want to pet something if you're afraid of it? It drives me NUTS! Im not really sure what to do better, call them out on their bluff before they pet my dog? And don't allow it? Gandalf still gets a kick out of it but I don't really want someone man handling my dog like that.
 

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I either don't let people pet, or if I did and someone man handled my dog like that I would flip. " don't ever touch my dog like that" "if you are afraid of him why did you want to pet him?" I would totally call them out on it, then hopefully they would maybe realize that its a stupid thing to do
 

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I had one girl ask to pet my golden retriever, and she seemed very cool and collected until my dog was right in front of her. Brooklyn never jumps either, and she is always under control and will immediately come back to me when I tell her to. Well, this poor girl was shaking and had her hands up defensively, which is a hand signal that I had literally just been working on with my dog earlier that day. Brooklyn kept touching the girl's hand with her nose, then getting confused about why the girl was freaking out. I had to explain that she was telling Brooklyn to do one of her commands and that was why Brooklyn kept doing it. I recalled Brooklyn and we moved on.
 

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I had one girl ask to pet my golden retriever, and she seemed very cool and collected until my dog was right in front of her. Brooklyn never jumps either, and she is always under control and will immediately come back to me when I tell her to. Well, this poor girl was shaking and had her hands up defensively, which is a hand signal that I had literally just been working on with my dog earlier that day. Brooklyn kept touching the girl's hand with her nose, then getting confused about why the girl was freaking out. I had to explain that she was telling Brooklyn to do one of her commands and that was why Brooklyn kept doing it. I recalled Brooklyn and we moved on.


On my gosh LOL! Now that is a good story!

I just hate to be rude, and sometimes I have a hard time judging people too! It makes G's day to get to meet someone so I usually just go with it. Just like that girl this guy at first seemed calm and collected. I wish it wasn't the social norm here in America for everyone to want to smother your dog.
 

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This is one of the many reasons the general public is not allowed access to my dogs.
After this incident, Brooklyn does not get to meet and greet anymore. That, and I want her to learn to be calmer when people are around. She doesn't jump up or anything, but her tail is wagging so viciously that her whole body shakes a bit. She has been doing so much better since I cut off her visits and have seriously upped her training.

One time a friend was walking her for me, and apparently Brooklyn dragged her all the way across the street and into someone's driveway to say hello to them. The woman is old, so she isn't strong, but I doubt it happened like that completely out of the blue. My guess is that the neighbor was calling to Brooklyn, and Judy (the one walking my dog) was wanting to go over to talk anyway. Brooklyn would never dream of doing that with her leash in my hand. Oh well. No one gets to walk her except me anymore either.
 

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How do you not be rude about it? Many times for us it's neighbors, so I don't want to seem aloof or unkind.
I usually just say, “sorry, we’re training.” If that doesn’t work, I have no problem being rude. My neighbors are not strangers to me, so if they want to pet my clear headed, stable dog, I’ll let them (unless I really am training her at the moment). No one that I actually know asks to pet my boy, because they know him, lol.

But I don’t have the patience to deal with most strangers. My dogs are not public property, there for the amusement of others. If I only have my girl, not in a rush to get somewhere and I get a good feeling about a friendly stranger, I may let them pet her. But I also have no problem saying no. She’s social enough to accept normal strangers, but she doesn’t really care about neutral strangers, so she’ll usually greet, allow a pet, then walk back to me. I’ve seen looks of disappointment on more than one person’s face because my girl just doesn’t care about them. She greets them because I asked her to.
 

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How do you not be rude about it? Many times for us it's neighbors, so I don't want to seem aloof or unkind.
Just step in front of him and say that you won't allow it because you are training him. You could add "sorry" to the mix. Or turn him around and add distance. I personally don't care what people think when I am protecting my dog from idiots who are disrespectful to me and my dogs. What if Gandalf reacts aggressively one day? Who will be blamed? Not the one who is pushing him. Sometimes you have to be rude in order to get the message across. Maybe these people don't even consider that remark to be rude.
 

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I just say sorry, training. If they seem nice I let them get involved by explaining that we are working towards neutral, so having a convo with me and shaking my hand is helping me train. I don't allow people to pet him though. We have our friends and he likes them. We have masked "suspicious" with "reserved", so I don't want to ruin what we have accomplished by encountering an unpredictable stranger like the guy that for some reason handled your dog's head.

I'm afraid Valor would light him up if that happened, then turn to me with Spock eyebrows and say (in a Stewie voice from family guy) I told you strangers were not to be trusted.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I usually just say, “sorry, we’re training.” If that doesn’t work, I have no problem being rude. My neighbors are not strangers to me, so if they want to pet my clear headed, stable dog, I’ll let them (unless I really am training her at the moment). No one that I actually know asks to pet my boy, because they know him, lol.

But I don’t have the patience to deal with most strangers. My dogs are not public property, there for the amusement of others. If I only have my girl, not in a rush to get somewhere and I get a good feeling about a friendly stranger, I may let them pet her. But I also have no problem saying no. She’s social enough to accept normal strangers, but she doesn’t really care about neutral strangers, so she’ll usually greet, allow a pet, then walk back to me. I’ve seen looks of disappointment on more than one person’s face because my girl just doesn’t care about them. She greets them because I asked her to.
Not the same situation for us unfortunately, we are the new kids on the block. Just moved into our neighborhood of 20 houses so naturally everyone wants to be social and say hello. Which includes those neighbors who are also scared of dogs but are trying to be friendly. Their motive makes more sense vs the guy like today who wasn't a neighbor, not really sure what his motive was. Overcome your fears for the day maybe? I think we are done letting him meet strangers unless it's kids. Not sure how to deal with new neighbors though. I've tried the in training thing and that gets awkward real fast "oh you're training him to attack people?" No... lol. Don't really want my neighbors thinking my dog is aggressive. I've told them training his manners, most people then scoff and walk up to pet him at that point. Oddly enough the scared guy we met today said "I've seen you walking him before and he looks so well trained.." What was he expecting a statue?
 

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I live on a dead end, a long one, and all the neighbors know Valor and he knows them. He plays football in the street with the kids he knows. I totally get that "neighbor" cohesion. It's is strangers I encounter that I chose to have him remain neutral with. Here he is practicing for the BH traffic portion. The bigger kid in the blue shirt was terrified of all dogs, and he is friends with Valor now. He comes over to play ball in the yard with him. You can see Valor key on him looking for a toy. The barefoot nut on the razor scooter that buzzed his tail is my own lol I expect him to be social with people he knows are my friends. 20 houses is a lot to get to meet and get familiar with, we only have 8 houses total on my dead end. So you have like a mini town to get to know :)

 

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OP, I think you worry too much about what people think. Do you think they will be nice in return once G has bitten someone? Your dog is your responsibility alone. That 'new neighbor thing' is actually a good thing; making a fresh start so people know what to expect from you. Don't let all your good work be undone because you play nice.
 

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I live on a dead end, a long one, and all the neighbors know Valor and he knows them. He plays football in the street with the kids he knows. I totally get that "neighbor" cohesion. It's is strangers I encounter that I chose to have him remain neutral with. Here he is practicing for the BH traffic portion. The bigger kid in the blue shirt was terrified of all dogs, and he is friends with Valor now. He comes over to play ball in the yard with him. You can see Valor key on him looking for a toy. The barefoot nut on the razor scooter that buzzed his tail is my own lol I expect him to be social with people he knows are my friends. 20 houses is a lot to get to meet and get familiar with, we only have 8 houses total on my dead end. So you have like a mini town to get to know :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkd4822qo6o
Good job. I feel it's a bit different situation, a timid kid vs a scared adult that tries to twist my dogs head. Most of my neighbors are not much better. It's true fear, not just a nervous kid. I would rather my scared neighbor not approach my dog...
 

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I'm thankful that most everyone in my neighborhood has no real desire to pet my dog. They have their own. It seems that mostly strangers want to touch all the long hair on my big-boy. I am ready at a moment to step between a human and my dog if a meeting looks like it is going to go wrong.

My gal-dog, on the other hand, tells people herself...with a simple, "thanks but no thanks" bark. People will look at me with "why did she bark at me" on their face. I tell them that she is asking you nicely to not pet her. Just ignore her, look at me instead and if she wants to come meet you she will. Taking the pressure off a situation helps a lot.
 

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OP, I think you worry too much about what people think. Do you think they will be nice in return once G has bitten someone? Your dog is your responsibility alone. That 'new neighbor thing' is actually a good thing; making a fresh start so people know what to expect from you. Don't let all your good work be undone because you play nice.
I agree... I do want to be a good neighbor and not seem rude. We have had MANY great interactions with people that love dogs, and G loves people! Many people who have had shepherds in the past but to old to own one now approach us to pet him or someone that just lost their dog. I feel for them, and know how much petting a dog can brighten your day. It's just a shame that these bad apples ruin the bunch! You are absolutely right though, G has behaved great so far but I think it is asking far too much of him to put up with things like this. Who knows what crazy persons we might meet next! He's a good boy too, and very social. For him getting to meet someone new is a huge reward, and I also like to reward him for that awesome behavior! Sit stay on my left side , good eye contact with me and wait for the next command. Just sucks !
 

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I just got back from our walk. On the way home, two ladies, one older, looked like they wanted to cross our path but stopped as we got closer. I stopped to ask if they wanted to get by us. Nope, they were admiring us and the older one was ready to approach, her eyes had the "I want to pet all over him" look, said she loves shepherds. I said thank you, and just walked passed them. I was kind of surprised as my guy does not have the inviting pet me look about him and wasn't about to subject him to it.

With the training excuse, you could train Gandolph to wave good bye or bow. That way, when you do say he's in training, give that command and then keep walking with a happy atta boy pat. It will help define to your neighbors the type of training you and he do. Lol.

I have used the "wave to the girl" trick to brighten up the no petting disappointed and it does help with perception.
 

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I am somewhere with Pepper, a lady asks to pet, I say sure, she gets down there and loves on Pepper, we get to the car, OMG pepper smells of some sort of perfume, the lady must of had it on her hands.
 

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I just got back from our walk. On the way home, two ladies, one older, looked like they wanted to cross our path but stopped as we got closer. I stopped to ask if they wanted to get by us. Nope, they were admiring us and the older one was ready to approach, her eyes had the "I want to pet all over him" look, said she loves shepherds. I said thank you, and just walked passed them. I was kind of surprised as my guy does not have the inviting pet me look about him and wasn't about to subject him to it.

With the training excuse, you could train Gandolph to wave good bye or bow. That way, when you do say he's in training, give that command and then keep walking with a happy atta boy pat. It will help define to your neighbors the type of training you and he do. Lol.

I have used the "wave to the girl" trick to brighten up the no petting disappointed and it does help with perception.
Lol I'm glad you chimed in! That's brilliant! Love that idea :grin2:
 
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