“Its Okay, My Dog is Friendly!!”

So, I think everyone who has a dog has dealt with this, but for those of us with dogs that are so-called “reactive”, this is the nightmare scenario that we seem to be unable to escape. Case in point:

I am walking up from the beach with the monsters a few mornings ago. As we walk towards the stairs that lead up to the street, I see a big Aussie come down with some guys running up and down said stairs.

(SIDE NOTE aka Complete Tangent: we have like 5 sets of fairly steep stairs right near where we live. The OC housewives and man types are all out there every morning, frantically stair-ing it up in an effort to be more… something. Nine times out of ten there is also a “Boot Camp Instructor” somewhere in the vicinity. Instructor always has a SUV with their name and their witty business name emblazoned on the side; ie. “Boot Camp Babes by Bonnie!” We find it endlessly amusing.)

So, the Aussie sees them first and starts laser-tractor-beaming them into his scope from at least 100 yards away. We keep walking towards them, and I’m thinking to myself, “This guy HAS to notice his dog fixating on us. He’ll surely call him off, or maybe even PUT HIM ON A LEASH.”

But alas, not the case. Dude is so enamored with himself and his workout buddy, he does not notice. Aussie is tractor-beaming like a mad man and finally Forest and Diego notice. They are not happy. I am trying hard not to freak them out, but finally I yell at workout man, “Is this your dog?!?!” WOM glances over his shoulder, “Uh yeah, but he’s friendly!” and darts back up the stairs. I think he calls Tractor Beam a few times,  which is mostly ignored. I instantly start to grate my teeth at his statement. Maybe he is, but his “I am going to herd these little mofos like nobody’s business” stare is not helping me to believe.

So we forge on, and I am wishing I was a good enough trainer to deal with my two leashes and clickers and treats and growling dogs and Tractor Beam, but I am not. I make a silent prayer that Tractor Beam actually is friendly, and march towards the stairs. He has bounded up after WOM out of sight, but then pops back around towards us towards the top. Forest and Diego go nuts, they are trying to go up the stairs and TB–all 100 pounds of him–has inserted himself in between their two snarling snapping 15lb bodies. Effing awesome. Meanwhile WOM is yelling, “Its okay, he’s friendly!”

I finally lost my shit and yelled back at him, “Well in case you havent noticed, MINE AREN’T!!!” I dragged F & D off of Tractor, fuming, and stomped off up the street.

Thank god my dogs only posture and snap, they have yet to make any actual contact. But still. WTF. Put your freaking dog on a leash, and have some respect for other people. I am sure he’s the kind of guy who would say I shouldn’t have my dogs out in public if they “aren’t friendly!”, but…. Gah.

Maybe my dogs should wear little scarlett letter “R”s around their necks so “friendly dogs” off leash know to keep their distance… Sheesh.

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5 thoughts on ““Its Okay, My Dog is Friendly!!”

  1. Sorry but I happen to agree with the workout dude. If your dogs are aggressive you shouldn’t be able to ruin it for the 90+ percent of us with dogs who don’t start off growling and snapping sessions with other dogs they, and you, “perceive as threats” allot of dogs approach other dogs this way and unless the dogs being approached are aggressive and unbalanced, it normally just turns into a sniff and wag hello session, not a fight, despite the “staredown”. You have aggressive unbalanced dogs, put a muzzle on them, the rest of us are not going to acquiesce to your anxieties just because you happen to have unfriendly dogs. We are going to let out friendly dogs loose and you people with the messed up dogs need to keep them on a leash, control them, and not only that, put a muzzle on those dogs. Sounds like you never did any proper training, if my dogs began getting freaked out and growling at an approaching dog I would give them a good collar shock followed by a commanding “no”. This lets your dogs know you call the shots and they are not the ones to initiate defending the pack from an approaching FRIENDLY animal. Bottom line you are in the wrong here and not all of society is going to adapt their behavior to make your life living with two aggressive canines easier for you. You should have bought a poodle. Tell me I am wrong, you cannot win this argument with me, and 90% of FRIENDLY dog owners are on my side. Keep your dog(s) in a crate, with a muzzle, and away from humanity and the rest of us with friendly animals.

  2. Thomas, it is a public place. Everyone should be able to use a public place and have respect for others’ space. Dog owners with an attitude like yours are the reason it is so hard for the many, many people that are trying to do the right things by their dogs who, for whatever reason (and most of them will be adopted dogs, so the behavioral problems are no fault of the new owner) need training. How can you be so arrogant? This lady did have her dogs on a leash, and the other person did not. No-one should be letting their dogs run up to anyone (be it dog, person child and especially not a dog on a leash) in a public place without permission. People like you are so un-public spirited,it makes me sad.

    Perhaps you should go and actually study some dog behavior rather than just applying your “my dog’s OK, and my interpretation of his language (probably incorrect interpretation by the sound of it) is applicable to all dogs” attitude.

    I suppose you are one of the 90% of dog owners who incorrectly assume that a dog running straight up to another dog’s face is a friendly, polite greeting in dog behavioral terms. You would be wrong then, just like the 90% of dog owners that make going for a walk with my fearful dog an absolute nightmare every day.

    “Should have bought a poodle”? A poodle can be just as aggressive as a pit bull or a chihuahua. It’s the training that matters. Are you blaming people who adopt dogs and inherit someone else’s mistakes? They are trying to do the right thing, and you are not helping by letting your “friendly” dogs be a nuisance. Go away, that’s all I can say, Go and live in a world with all the other mean people and give us some peace.

    You need to read these:

    http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2011/12/01/my-dog-is-friendly/ http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/02/01/you-might-be-a-mdif-if/ http://flyingdogpress.com/content/view/42/97/
    http://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/my-dog-loves-other-dogs/ * http://notesfromadogwalker.com/

  3. One more thing – a dog growling, snapping, lunging at a dog that is running towards it is a perfectly normal reaction for a dog that is being greeted rudely and is anxious about it. If the dog keeps on approaching, expect worse if you are not lucky. And the reactive dogs are blamed for this? How sad that you think it is normal and acceptable to allow “friendly”dogs to cause anxiety to other dogs. I hate to hear of dog owners that think this way, because I wonder how much anxiety they must inadvertently put their own dog through due to their ignorance.

  4. Thomas, you’re a moron. If there’s a leash law where you live, you need to leash your dog. Also you clearly don’t even LIKE your dog because you’re putting your dog at risk for being bitten. You shouldn’t even own a dog. YOU are in the wrong, she is right, and any judge would see it that way.

  5. Thomas, sorry, the vote’s unanimous. You’re a moron. You’re also not in the 90%

    My last dog (who was as friendly as all get out to people including very small children) was highly dog reactive. I kept my dog on a leash. I did not take her to dog parks. I walked her off hours just to avoid idiots like you.

    If your dog was so darn well trained, then you should be able to call it back to you the moment I tell you my dog’s not friendly. Your dog is not listening to you. My dog did listen to me. She actually learned to sit when you were illegally letting your dogs off leash. But when your untrained, off leash rottie/lab/mutt comes barrelling up at me, there’s only so much I could do.

    I finally started asking people like you if they intended to pay the er bills – because I am not going to be bit, so I’m letting my dog go. And your dog is going to the vet.

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