Ok so the title is a bit of a lie. it’s not him that hates people, it’s me. Oh yes, kids, this is a ranty blog!
Have a super cute picture of Trevor at the Friends of the Dogs, Wales Last Sunday event to gear yourself up for the explosion of words coming your way….
I have a real dislike of people. I have a few individuals who I love, a few more who I like, a handful that I tolerate and the majority I hold with a certain amount of disdain. I can be quite a sociable person, but mostly I like to be alone with my dog. There’s a saying I’ve heard flung around a lot since joining the world of dogs; ‘The more people I meet, the more I love my dog.’ And how true that is!
Perhaps I am being too generalising. This blog post is specifically about other dog owners (sorry). I am the proud owner of a dog that can be reactive, however tonight I made a shocking realisation. He is only reactive to rude dogs, which really, is absolutely okay. If he growls at a dog that’s all up in his business, that is FINE. I wouldn’t expect you to be quiet if a stranger was invading your personal space! In the majority of cases, rude dogs are rude because of their crap owners. If your dog is rude, it’s because you haven’t taught it not to be. You ask a child to say please and thank you, PLEASE teach your dogs the same courtesy?
Rude Human #1
I was in the far corner of a local field playing with Trevor. Trevor was focussed entirely on me and we were playing with his favourite toy and generally keeping to ourselves. I had spotted a Husky type dog in the far distance but knew I had control over my dog, he wasn’t going anywhere and that all was fine. The lesson I learnt was do not trust other dogs and their owners to hold the same importance on control of their dog. This husky spotted myself and Trevor and made a beeline for us, and the owner didn’t even call it back! Here’s the big rant… IT IS NOT OKAY TO LET YOUR DOG RUN AT OTHER DOGS. If you see a dog that is playing with its owner, minding its own business, leave it alone. If you absolutely must approach, do so on a lead and with a vocal warning. Even a cheery ‘Hello!’ would suffice. Letting your dog barrel at another dog without a care in the world is just downright rude. And do all people who let their dogs do that, balls to you. Stupid humans.
Rude Human #2
This one was actually plain dangerous. On my way home from dog training (we are mid way through our Silver Canine Citizens!!) on the bus, Trevor is curled up on my lap having a snooze and all is fine. The bus stops and a man gets on with his large Shar Pei. Trevor gets off my lap but sits at my feet calmly which is fine, I reassure him and treat him for being calm. The Shar Pei evidently doesn’t like the bus and is making some strange guttural howly noises at the back of the bus which is worrying Trevor so to distract him, I play ‘give me paw’ and ‘watch me’ with him. I whisper the commands and am generally calming, rewarding him for focus on me and being calm himself and drawing his attention back to me when it wanders. The whole time the people around me are watching me and the dog doing this weird little ritual but evidently quite pleased they aren’t sitting next to the howling lunatic. Next thing, the man with the Shar Pei LETS HIS DOG OFF THE LEAD. ON THE BUS. His dog immediately leaps on me and Trevor who is plainly petrified at this point. I pin Trevor to the wall and floor with my body and basically use myself as a battering ram to get this dog off me and my dog, at no point did the owner try and remove his dog. It took another passenger to get the dog off me. The owner just kept asking ‘My dog is nice, isn’t your dog nice?’ Yes he is, but he is bloody terrified of the dog that just jumped on him and his human while he was chilling out. Fortunately the man and his dog got thrown off the bus, but I really hope that dog is okay.
Rude Human #3
Now this one is a bit more subtle. Standing in a field talking to the owners of a big GSD. This dog was beautiful, but plainly very excited by the prospect of meeting my little dog! Trevor is quite good around new dogs now and will sit by my side calmly as long as we are not too close to the other dogs. His current threshold is about 10 feet for him to completely ignore even the bounciest of dogs, which is pretty good considering it used to be the length of a football field! So I was stood about 10 feet away from the GSD, chatting to the owners whilst we waited for friends to show up. I explained calmly that I didn’t want to come closer as my dog can be a bit snappy with ‘big bouncy hairies’ BUT the owner kept going in to introduce them. I am normally fairly ok with this. If a greeting is controlled and slow, Trevor is 99% great, does a quick sniff hello and then is on his way, however this dog was a bit above the line in regards to bounciness, and the owner, clinging onto the end of the lead kept inching forwards.
See what I mean about more subtle? Thankfully my friend arrived and we went for a walk (with our carefully introduced dogs) and all was well, but the man with the GSD clearly had limited control over his dog, therefore I was uncomfortable putting my dog in an uncontrolled situation.
Please forgive me for being blunt, brash or otherwise snarky, but I believe that when you see another dog sharing your space (field, pavement, park etc) you should follow a few simple rules;
☻ Give it space. If it is interacting with its humans especially.
☻ It’s okay to say hello, but ask first! A polite ‘Can my dog say hi?’ is FAR more polite than letting your dog run over and suffer potentially bad consequences.
☻ If you see the other dog owner spot you, and put their dog on it’s lead, be safe and stay away. Their dog may not be aggressive, it may simply be in season, or maybe the human isn’t in the mood to interact with you today!
If you have a dog that needs space for ANY reason, read up on Yellow Dogs UK. Actually, read up on it even if your dog doesn’t need space.
You wouldn’t run up to another stranger in the street, hug them, scruff their hair, shout in their face or touch them inappropriately, so don’t let your dog!