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What do you do when someone is scared of your GSD?

2714 Views 33 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  alaman
Something happened yesterday at the vet that p!ssed me off, but it also hurt my feelings. Hans is our GSD who came to us about six weeks ago as a rescue. I love him to bits and he is so wonderful!

While at the vet yesterday, Hans was great. He never pulled away from me, sat right at my feet and didn't make a peep. We had an extended wait and there were tons of people, dogs and cats there.

This man came out with the ugliest cat I have ever seen. It was white and they had shaved its whole body, leaving a mane and foot fluff. It was nasty. Anyway, it was crated and the man sat on the same side of the office as me and Hans. Hans NEVER even looked at the cat. He was watching the door. He did not growl, lick his lips, nothing.

I smiled at the man, noticed the cat, and then looked away. After about five minutes, the guy got up, and said, "I think maybe we should move over here. Your dog doesn't like the kitty"
The man got up, walked right in front of us and went to the other side of the room!

Hans didn't do anything! He was behaved much better than ALL the other dogs there. So, what gives? I just looked at the man like he was an idiot. I didn't know what to say.

This is the first time this has happened. Do you have any similar experiences and if so, how do you handle this?
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"Help! BooBoo BIT our neighbor!" "Oh no, Bucky bit the meter-reader!" "Second bite in 2 weeks-- help!" etc etc etc... our Aggression Section here is a busy place. That's why folks are afraid of GSDs-- with good reason.

The sad part is, if a well-behaved GSD sneezes, people are terrified and see it as a sign of mean-ness. Hans sounds like a very good boy!

The sadder part is, for every nice, stable GSD, there are hundreds bred poorly who are so weak-nerved, that they make our aggression section of this board a busy place.

What do I do when someone is scared? I can't get insulted-- there are WAY too many aggressive, nervous, unstable GSDs out there for me to be angry at the person. I just am understanding. I don't try to show them that he is friendly. Scared people move erraticly, jerk their hands away, stand stiffly. I smile. I nod. I casually and calmly move away with my dog. There are tons of people who would like to pet my GSD-- we will save our interactions for those such people.
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Re: What do you do when someone is scared of your

Since we have a cat too obviously it wouldn't bother me in the least if someone with a dog sat down next to me especially if the cat was crated. Having said that, I know "some" cat people can be very finicky. I've had dog people shy away from me as well. One man in particular with a small dog looked at Sean and said, "Oh no, you're not having that for dinner."
I just ignored his remark.
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Re: What do you do when someone is scared of your

seriously that man had the problem Not you or Hans.
People like that make me mad.

I would ignore it go on enjoying hans and your new lives together.
That idiot has no bearing on your life.

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Re: What do you do when someone is scared of your

Patti is right.

I do have a picture I took on my phone of the lobby/waiting area at my vet office. It is long and narrow. I had Nina (GSD-black) and Kramer (GSD mix) sitting toward the far end because that is what was available when we came in. Total of 27 years of dog-so kind of past that stage of wanting to do anything but whine about being at the vet (Kramer even shakes-so not the scariest being at the vet office).

Anyway, as people came in with smaller dogs and cats (and I understand this because of the ability to damage due to size) they wouldn't sit near us and it ended up with everyone at the other end of the lobby-even sitting on the dirty, blood, poop, pee floor by the scale-instead of by my dogs. The receptionists looked and giggled. I took the picture (covertly) and
to myself.

I don't force my dogs on people, but like a parent, you want people to love them like you do (or a tenth as much as you do).

I am going to see if I can post that funny...and Kramer and Nina pleading with their eyes for someone to save them from the vet and me or to at least, please, perhaps maybe a little attention or pity?

This is before the people sitting on the floor came in-you can see the chairs next to where I am sitting (holding camera phone-out of shot) and then the rest of the lobby...
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I have one from the Vet's office, we are at the desk I'm paying.
Deejay has his front paws up on the counter and getting a treat from our Vet.
The door opens from one of the other rooms and a woman has a mutt with her, it sees Deejay and starts to bark & jumping.
She said "does it bite" & I reply "only if your does first".
My Vet laughs and said "not Deejay he is a good boy" and give him another treat still up on the counter.
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What do I do when someone is scared of my GSD??? BE HAPPY! Educated individuals that know dogs, and more importantly know me and my dogs are not scared. The rest... I want to be scared. Stay away from my home, stay away from my family. If someone is unsure and can put together a complete sentence and ask questions, then it's all about educating them about the breed and let my dogs be an ambassador to the breed. During my last vet visit I had both Diesel and Lowen with me, so 150 pounds of lean working line Schutzhund dogs. As I paid and left, I looked around and there were two boxers, two huskies, a pitt, two dobies and a GSD mix in various places around the waiting room. Most I met before I went in to see the vet, others just came in and I met them. Nobody was going nuts, all dogs were under control. I said out loud "Look at all of these powerful dogs doing well and getting along. We have a who's who of supposedly 'dangerous' breeds here, and no issues. You all should be proud." Everyone smiled.
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Brightelf you are "Right On"
Nervous people do have erratic movements, even run(children) and are very much the wrong type of energy around my gsd's. I also do not encourage "making friends" waaayyy.... too many people out there that are fine to try and change the world.
Wow that was shocking to read, sorry to hear your run in with an idiot.

I encounter people that are unjustly afraid of Jesse every day, when I see someone make any kind of fearful move, I now say "he is a [censored] cat, nothing to be afraid of", usually if they are reasonable they calm down and might want to meet Jesse but some just continue on. Last night I did get mad though a couple was walking there dog by us and that dog wanted to meet Jesse and Jesse wanted to meet that dog, owner said to her dog "no Kara he will eat your face off" and ran by us.

wow my statement got censored -- didn't expect that, so you know what I said without censor "kitty cat" replace kitty with another word.
I ignore people like that. It doesn't hurt me because they do not know me or my dog so they are being ignorant.
We were at a park near our home monday and both my dogs were in the car Koda 6mo shepherd and Jypsy 2yr beagle , my daugter and I were standing nearby. A woman came by walking a little male beagle on a retractable leash and he was all nose running in btween the parked cars and back onto the sidewalk. He ran down by my car and smelled the dogs, and stood right up on his hind legs. Natuarally Koda started barking, but even though he has had some episodes apparently due to fear stages, he was just puppy barking, tail wagging. If you could have seen the look of that womans face. Then she saw me and said that's scary! Oh is he yours...and then Jypsy poked her head up, and her expression completely changed and she smiled and said oh look a beagle! Our regular mailman went on vacation and we got a letter from the post office stating they wont deliver the mail unless we keep all our windows closed, because we have an 'apparently agressive' dog. I had to call an ambulance to take me to the hospital once and the EMT actually refused to come into my house until I removed my dog, who was just sitting there, mind you, he woofed a couple times when they were coming up the driveway, that was it. Since I couldn't stand it's a good thing my mom was there to 'hold' him or I guess I would have remained where I was whether I needed medical care or not! You cant blame people for wanting to keep themselves safe though. It's a one bad apple spoils the bunch kind of thing I think. Then again, I was bitten by my babysitters dog when I was five, my mother and I were coming up the walk like every other morning and he ran out, like always, and I put out my hands to him, and he just attacked me, I still have a scar. That was a little sheltie that had known me for years. It was totally random. They had three kids all about my age, the dog had never shown any signs that it would do something like that. Maybe I'm just numb
but I never have been afraid of dogs even having been bit.
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Everytime I take Meb and Shay in town for a walk I get comments. A few weeks ago in our small town, a elderly man crossed the street and wanted to know if "they are man-eaters" I just smiled and said no. He said this as me, my mom, and my 12 year old niece were talking to a neighbor and Meb was loving on her.???? Then we walked down by the hardware store and another elderly man yelled out that he noticed that our dogs were taking us for a walk and I said no we are taking them for a walk and he yelled believe me if they wanted to they would be taking you for a walk. I just continued walking away. Most people just get way away when we walk by but sometimes people will say how nice they are behaved
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I wish someone was scared of my GSD. But she is just as scared of them so thats not going to happen. LOL
I live in a neighborhood where it's common for people to cross the street when they see Luca and I approach.

It doesn't bother me, though. I figure if they are that suspicious/ignorant/afraid they are better off not walking past us anyway. If there's one thing no dog needs, it's somebody freaking out right in front of them.
If people are afraid of my dogs, too bad for them. I just ignore them.
If they ever say anything, I just look at them like they are stupid and keep walking.
Actually if some stranger is afraid of my dogs, I just let them be afraid of them.
If some *idiot* (like this one lady the other day) says that "watch out it is a GSD, it will bite you", THEN I will educate them... this lady said this to her young son and the son got afraid.
After petting Cody and Brandie who were sitting down politely, he was not scared anymore.
When I take my dogs for a walk, I don't let anyone pet them anymore. No reason to. There are some goofy people in our area, and I do not want them to know that my dogs are friendly... they need to know NOTHING about my dogs as far as I am concerned...

I agree what happened to Hans was very rude of that person and I am sure I would have reacted too, the same way as I did with the *idiot* lady...
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I don't do anything. Typically people that are afraid of Kenya but feel pressured into petting her are the ones that do weird jerky motions or get real close and then run, things that can be upsetting for even a well socialized dog with a nice temperament. For example, the first day we moved into our current house I took Kenya for a walk and a group of little boys stopped and asked to pet her. One of them was scared but he slowly approached and as he reached out to pet her, his friend PUSHED him and he fell onto Kenya, screamed, and ran away. Kenya looked startled but didn't do anything. I was so pissed, ever since then I have avoided that side of the street and I don't let those particular boys pet my dogs. The asked for a while after that and I said "no, you scream and push each other around my dog so you may NOT pet her!" There is a group of girls and they usually come up and pet Coke and he loves going to see them. A few of them pet Kenya, but the ones that don't just stand off to the side. I don't coax them forward and I don't allow their friends to pressure them into approaching her. Maybe they have a valid reason to be scared, I don't know. My mom's cousin's son was basically scalped by a neighbor's GSD he had played with almost every day for years and for a long time the poor kid was afraid of his own dog. I just try to set a good example by having great control of Kenya and requiring a higher level of obedience as we pass these houses. They can either appreciate it or not. There are some animals *I* am afraid of too.
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I feel bad for them. We don't know what has happened to them to make them afraid. Sad.
I'd probably have smiled and has some wise chick response to the cat guy. Morgan has a solid disposition and minds well, to her I'd just say leave it. That doesn't mean she wouldn't STARE at the cat. She's my baby girl but I've been told she has a look in her eyes that says Don't give me a reason to mess you up.
Originally Posted By: CameoI feel bad for them. We don't know what has happened to them to make them afraid. Sad.
The thing is, a lot of times NOTHING has "happened" to make them afraid. Other than maybe a lack of "socializaion". Irrational fears of things like dogs or big dogs are often learned from the parents. Maybe a parent or grandparent had a "reason" to be afraid, but teaching or even just allowing ones children to also be afraid is NOT doing them any favors.
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