Monday, June 4, 2012

My dog is Fearful, and I BITE

Had a nice weekend and I will post about that later, but first I want to talk about something else that happened this weekend.  On Saturday, I traveled to Fargo for a dog show with Peace.  On the way home, we stopped at a wayside rest in order for me to listen to a voice mail as well as getting Peace out to potty.  I parked with several spaces between my car and other cars in the lot.  I got Peace out of the car, gave her a drink of water and was turning to take her over to the potty area, when some woman with a terrier of some kind running over towards me.  The dog was straining on the leash pulling, hackles up and yapping, towards Peace. MY reactivity kicked in. Peace is not a dangerous dog, but she is a fearful dog.  I turned my back to the woman, put myself in front of her dog and told her "NO. We are not interested in meeting your dog. Thank you.  Please take your dog and move away". 

Guess what, her comment to me was something along the lines of  he just wants to play. No surprise right? My response was "No my dog is fearful and  I bite-please leave. We did not ask you to approach us and had you approached quietly and respectfully we may have chosen to meet you, however, both you and your dog needs to learn appropriate manners."   The woman was offended and rightfully so, however, it really is a simple manners issue.  Probably on both of our parts, but at that point my dog was shaken, shaking and very frightened. Its my job to protect her and that is what I had done. Would I do it differently again, maybe.  But I doubt it, my dogs(or child's) safety is more important to me than a rude strangers feelings.

Why am I posting about this meeting, because it really bothered me.  It bothered me to think that people think its OK to run up approaching a stranger with a strange dog in such an innapropriate way.  I do know I could have handled it kinder, but quite frankly, why bother. Maybe my rude response back to her will stop her from this behavior in the future. Maybe, Maybe not.

My friend Crystal (Reactive Champion blog) posted about a similar situation. She probably in general handles things nicer than I do, but its a nice thought provoking read.


Suzanne Himmler said...


Good for you! While we're out on the trails I keep the dogs to the far left so people can't let their dogs confront mine. It's people that have to be trained, not always the dogs.


GunDiva said...

If I take the time to teach my children dog manners, I expect the dog's owners to take the time to teach their dog human manners. It's just that simple.

There is flat-out no excuse for poorly mannered animals (or humans).