German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Today I was coming back to my car after our lunch walk at a remote dead-end of dirt road trailhead. I noticed a car parked there with the door open as I started to load up my dogs. I have an older easy going mix who was still out of the car when this guy walked over smelling strongly of mary-j and started approaching me saying something about how he parks there a lot to chill and asking a few times if I was leaving or going. He started getting too close for my comfort, so I unloaded my female shepherd and kept her on a close lead. My dog knew what I wanted and gave him a series of warning barks, putting on her best scary dog look.

That finally made him back off, and he went back to his car, while I loaded up my older guy, keeping my female dog close.

When he kept approaching my car, and me, it made me very nervous. It is a remote area, and there would have been nobody to hear me yell. Cell phone coverage is spotty. There was nobody else there.

On the other hand, it seemed like he mostly was just a harmless guy who wanted to "pat" my dogs... but maybe not.

I always pay attention to my gut, and it was telling me as he kept approaching to get my female dog out immediately just in case ... but I might never know.

Sometimes it is nice to have a dog who can bark on command... but who really knows what that guy was thinking? There was another guy sitting in the car, too, so really I would have been easily physically overpowered...

The whole deal was a bit sketchy, and part of the reason I have a shepherd. They come in handy.

Or maybe I'm just really unfriendly.

Alls well that ends well, I suppose.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
850 Posts
Walking up to someone in a remote area to "pet the dogs"...common sense dictates to reasonably intelligent people not to do that. You did the right thing in bringing your dog out, telling him to stay the heck away. Don't second guess your decision. Better safe than sorry. I'd rather someone be mad at me for not letting them pet my dog, then me being dead or injured. It's great that your dog is in sync with you too. Cheers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,028 Posts
I think that sounds a little creepy. Hanging around, getting close, asking if you are leaving, and smelling a little drunk...and with another guy nearby in the car...I would have been feeling alarmed too.

Good job by your girl dog!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,834 Posts
I teach self defense both physical and firearms. I co run a large women's training group. So many have come to me after an incident and never wanted to be victimized again. I always ask them about what happened blow by blow because when I am teaching situational awareness I like to have real stories to reflect on (with their permission and without using names or locations/dates). One thing, one condition is universal. I have never heard a tale that didn't involve it- they were ALWAYS uneasy for no reason and wished they had listened to their gut. And they are assault, robbery, rape victims. They felt like they didn't want to be seen as a silly paranoid person. I always try to hammer it home that feeling stupid or hurting someone's feelings is fleeting and doesn't ruin lives. Anyway, a person with good intentions most likely has women/children/siblings whatever that THEY care about and would want to be on guard too, so they will forgive you. You did the right thing. And good girl to your female GSD <3
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,852 Posts
Honestly while reading your post my first thought was that the guy was testing how easy or difficult a target you would be and how much of a threat your girl would be. He may not have been there looking for prey but may have been the kind that wouldn't pass on an easy opportunity.

I read your title as "Treat or not " so at the end I was thinking heck yes and very handsomely!!! You've got a good girl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
I co run a large women's training group.
Do you also run groups for more petite women? Haha; just being silly.

Dogs are an awesome deterrent to crime of many different types. I'm so glad you trusted your gut.

Never be afraid to make a scene--I taught my daughter AND my sons that lesson. And having big, barky dogs adds to one's safety.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
4,726 Posts
this is one reason we have GSDs. I like to take long walks and having a strong dog your side makes you a harder target. Most "bad guys" want to find an easy mark. There is something primal that makes people step away from a barking dog. I say you did rightly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
The female urge to be nice to everyone makes women charming but it also makes them victims. No one is obligated to be nice to a stranger who is intruding on their personal space. Trust your gut.

Not just my opinion. Check out Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear. Best thing I've ever read about this. Becker would love the OP's dog.

Some years ago, a lady I know was walking her SchH 3 GSD in a forest preserve when a creepy looking guy came skulking toward her. She told him to back off. He kept coming. She told her GSD to put the guy in a bark and hold, which the dog did. The guy froze, and after a minute she called the dog off and told the guy he could go. He did, in a hurry. Several months later she picked up the paper and saw a photo of the guy--who was violently mentally ill and had just been arrested for murdering a woman.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Thanks, I totally agree. I try to listen to my gut, rude or not! And always better to be on the safe side.

My girl is pretty awesome. She's friendly or aloof with people in general, but when I want her on- she's on and she looks quite intimidating. It was just a sketchy situation, and when he just kept coming, past my big friendly goof of a boy-dog, I knew it was time to get my other dog out of the car.

It was interesting to see the obvious breed differences, too. My male dog doesn't have an ounce of protective behavior in his DNA, while the balance in my shepherd is amazing. Kind of cool to see that play out.

I have been meaning to read the "Gift of Fear" I've heard it recommended a few times. The idea of listening to my gut was in my mind during this whole thing- I didn't want to have regrets (or not be able to have any). Stuff happens in the woods and people do disappear. And while I love nothing more than a trail run with my dogs, there is a reason I have shepherds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,651 Posts
Thanks, I totally agree. I try to listen to my gut, rude or not! And always better to be on the safe side.

My girl is pretty awesome. She's friendly or aloof with people in general, but when I want her on- she's on and she looks quite intimidating. It was just a sketchy situation, and when he just kept coming, past my big friendly goof of a boy-dog, I knew it was time to get my other dog out of the car.

It was interesting to see the obvious breed differences, too. My male dog doesn't have an ounce of protective behavior in his DNA, while the balance in my shepherd is amazing. Kind of cool to see that play out.

I have been meaning to read the "Gift of Fear" I've heard it recommended a few times. The idea of listening to my gut was in my mind during this whole thing- I didn't want to have regrets (or not be able to have any). Stuff happens in the woods and people do disappear. And while I love nothing more than a trail run with my dogs, there is a reason I have shepherds.
We taught the behavior and then put a cue to it with Sabi. I chose that noise because it's quiet and I have to say it was one of the more useful tricks I have ever taught! She was a PPD but there were occasions that I just wanted her to make lots of big scary dog noise, and that's what I used it for.
I don't need to teach Shadow anything, lol. The only thing she resource guards is me! And while she will meet people, she is really pretty vocal about strangers stepping in on me unless I control it before she starts.
Two things stop most men in their tracks. Head up, shoulders back and direct eye contact. People who look like victims become victims.
Use your words. A firm BACK UP usually does the trick. If you need to be polite add please. Maintain your space.

I seldom let people within arms reach, and I always trust my gut. But in reading your story one thing caught my attention, you moved away. Try to avoid that. It instantly gives the person approaching psychological control. If that person is a predator you can seal your fate simply by backing up. If you have to move to maintain distance step sideways or angle your body, but avoid backing up.

Keep your girl close. She did a good job!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
474 Posts
I don't care what that man's intentions were, you did not feel comfortable in that situation. Your dog knew it and stuck up for you. Very good girl!


I can only hope one of mine will do the same if that happens to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
708 Posts
I do a lot of rather remote hiking with another female friend, and I never go without my Dobie gsd. I always feel safe with him.

I also carry a .40 because you just never know. I totally sympathize with how you were feeling, being approached by some creeper but chances are he just wanted some privacy to light up a doobie with his buddy. Still. Trust your gut!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
381 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Atomic- Yes, most likely, he was probably hoping I was leaving... but he got way too close.

And Sabi- good point on not backing away. I should know better since I understand how dogs work, and we work the same way if it runs we chase, and if we stand our ground or walk toward, (it, they) backs off. I should keep that in mind.

It's been good thinking this through and planning how I might handle it differently if something similar happens again. But I'm really happy that my dog, for her part, behaved perfectly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
421 Posts
I guess it's just my male brain, but I cannot figure out why so many women feel the need to be polite to strangers who are pushing unwanted attention on them, and make excuses for these creeps:

"it seemed like he mostly was just a harmless guy who wanted to "pat" my dogs... but maybe not."

"Yes, most likely, he was probably hoping I was leaving"

"A firm BACK UP usually does the trick. If you need to be polite add please." [That blows the whole thing and solidly establishes you as a weak potential victim.]

Heartandsoul, you totally get it:

"while reading your post my first thought was that the guy was testing how easy or difficult a target you would be and how much of a threat your girl would be. He may not have been there looking for prey but may have been the kind that wouldn't pass on an easy opportunity."

That is exactly what de Becker says in his Gift of Fear book.

Please, please, ladies, if you feel obligated to be nice to strangers who are pushing unwanted attention on you and make excuses for these creeps, read The Gift of Fear. It could save you from being brutally assaulted or killed. And keep your GSD with you whenever you can. Your GSD likely will trust his gut.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,651 Posts
I guess it's just my male brain, but I cannot figure out why so many women feel the need to be polite to strangers who are pushing unwanted attention on them, and make excuses for these creeps:

"it seemed like he mostly was just a harmless guy who wanted to "pat" my dogs... but maybe not."

"Yes, most likely, he was probably hoping I was leaving"

"A firm BACK UP usually does the trick. If you need to be polite add please." [That blows the whole thing and solidly establishes you as a weak potential victim.]

Heartandsoul, you totally get it:

"while reading your post my first thought was that the guy was testing how easy or difficult a target you would be and how much of a threat your girl would be. He may not have been there looking for prey but may have been the kind that wouldn't pass on an easy opportunity."

That is exactly what de Becker says in his Gift of Fear book.

Please, please, ladies, if you feel obligated to be nice to strangers who are pushing unwanted attention on you and make excuses for these creeps, read The Gift of Fear. It could save you from being brutally assaulted or killed. And keep your GSD with you whenever you can. Your GSD likely will trust his gut.
I made a great living trusting both my dog and my gut for a couple of decades. Trust me I am no victim.

On the addition of please, I'm Canadian and we are always polite. Good manners never make you a victim.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top