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Adventures in Dogwalking, Part 843

April 27, 2015


This one is mostly for Kizz, but the rest of you can listen in because I’m nice that way.

Abbie Lynn is an intense little dog. It’s just her nature. She feels things very much. She’s wired to take action. Part of that intensity manifests as a certain amount of dog aggression. Not all dogs, not even most, but enough that I keep a grip on her at all times. It happens primarily when she meets another leashed dog, and I can almost predict what types of dogs will set her off (oddly enough, big blonde dogs like golden retrievers, and other pit bulls).

We have been working and working on it, and she has made great strides in the past few months. I am always so proud when she sits for her treat instead of lunging at some poor passer-by dog.

Today we saw a guy with a big black pit bull approaching. Her exact least favorite kind of dog. I dashed off the sidewalk and into a parking lot – I mean it was obvious I was avoiding the man and his dog – and got at least 50 feet away. I made her sit. She waited for her treat.

The guy came toward us. I looked up in disbelief because I thought my body language was obvious, but no, he wanted to Prove A Point. His point was Our Dogs Can Be Friends!

As he loped up, I said, “These dogs shouldn’t get too close together.”

But no. He wasn’t going to listen. He brought his dog RIGHT over to Abbie Lynn and let them sniff. All dog body language pointed to bad. Stiff tails. Rigid spines.

I said “This isn’t good.”

“They’re FINE,” he chortled. “They just need to say hello to each other.”

“You don’t know my dog,” I said, just as Abbie turned into a white ball of fury. She snarled and barked as I held her back. He pulled his dog out of harm’s way and Abbie continued lunging until they were about 30 feet away.

“You really should listen,” I said, as he gave me a helpless, goofy look.

I am still so mad I’m almost crying. I’m training my dog as best I can. I don’t know what I can do to train PEOPLE – though I think this guy may have learned his lesson.

  1. April 28, 2015 06:35

    Aw man. Reading that was like watching a horror movie. You can’t stop the young co-ed from walking toward the closet where the killer is hiding. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I’m even more sorry that it will probably happen again.

    It’s so hard to know what other people will respond to. So many people won’t even respond to “He bites.” They think that they’ll be the exception. Everybody thinks they’re fucking special. For some stuff I found that “He’ll pee on you.” kept people away but it’s just not appropriate for that many situations. And you, the human, want to keep your own demeanor calm so you don’t ramp your dog up but all I want to do is screech at people (which might actually keep them away).

    I hope you take it to heart that you really are doing the very best you can for your dog and just keep working the system. Please give yourself and Abbie a hug from me.

    • May 6, 2015 09:41

      Thanks, Kizz. I manage to avoid most random idjits, but not this one.

  2. April 28, 2015 10:30

    Wow. That is creepy….a violation of your personal space. I think it’s a good thing that you had your dog with you to protect you. I understand that you’re trying to train your dog to behave, but in a circumstance like this, I think your dog acted totally appropriately. Good dog!

    • May 6, 2015 08:58

      I think he had an agenda – oh, look, this dumb lady thinks her dog won’t be friendly with my dog, and I know all our dogs are going to be great friends – or something. Some people have NO sense of dogs or their body language. I still have people who approach Abbie stiffly, hold out their hand flat above her head, and come straight down with a pat, even though that’s pretty much the worst way to approach a dog – I mean, would YOU want someone 4 times your size who you didn’t know holding their hand up above your head when you just met? I don’t think so! People…

  3. Maria in Oregon permalink
    April 30, 2015 12:50

    I agree with DogsDontPurr. That’s a violation of your space! Yes, people are stupid. My Dad had kind of a similar thing happen to him but he did not have a dog with him. He actually really dislikes dogs. He makes no bones about it. His next door neighbor just had to prove a point and prove that my Dad would just LOVE his cute little critter! They were out on the patio and the neighbor said, “I should introduce you to Puddles!” (Not his real name, but appropriate.) My Dad said, “No, no, I really don’t like dogs.” Neightbor went inside, came back out with Puddles. Puddles ran over my Dad and peed on his leg. True story. Please listen to people! My Dad was very upset by this. He hasn’t spoken to his neighbor since!

    • May 6, 2015 08:55

      I’ll bet he was HOT (mad hot, not hot hot). I would be pretty upset, too. Puddles – LOL.

  4. May 1, 2015 11:10

    What a goober. Keep up the good work- your sweet pup is worth it! ( you already knew that)

    • May 6, 2015 08:54

      She has gotten a lot better over 3 years, but she’s still a tough little nut. Today she sat twice as soon as she saw other dogs. So proud.

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