When I first moved Downtown and saw how a majority of dog owners just allowed their dogs to greet every dog that passes or ended up on the same corner and every dog friendly person would just bend down and pet your dog without even asking, I became very concerned. This was a driving force in me creating my company and my first initiative was to change this. To make people understand that these actions could be very dangerous to you, your dog, the other dog and owner or everyone involved. But this morning it is no longer just concern, this morning a line was crossed and now I am really angry over it all.
I am lucky, I own a dog that doesn't have dog issues, he is not fearful, aggressive, or hyper aroused by dogs at all. As a matter of fact, he usually pays no attention to them at all unless he is friends with them already. When a dog rushes into his face, he usually rushes to the opposite side to avoid the interaction. The issues he does have are with people and some environments. So when people reach down to touch him, he gets very frightened, though he has improved significantly, there are still times if a man especially reaches down to pet him, he pees.
So, this all brings me to this morning. I was walking my dog on our morning walk, enjoying the beautiful morning when a large dog dragging his owner in the park rushed into my dog's face. I asked the guy to get his dog back, he asked why they couldn't play, I told him we were on our walk and it is not play time, period end of story. He said something rude and we moved on.
Next, a few minutes later, I was on a corner and a man just walked right up and before I had a chance to say a thing he was bent over trying to pet my dog. Of course he peed all over my foot and I told the guy to get back, he is a fearful dog and by the way, you need to ask before you just pet a dog. The guy just laughed. I told him he was lucky my dog's reaction is to pee and not bite. We moved on.
Finally, we were almost home and I was irritated, my dog was upset, but we were almost home. Then I saw the sight I most dread, this little terrier mix that lives in my building. The owner is completely clueless and this dog is very aggressive with other dogs. So here she comes, being walked full out on her leash, her owner barely paying attention to what is going on. As we try to pass walking as close to the edge of the sidewalk as possible, the little dog runs straight for my dog. I stepped in front of my dog to block the interaction and held my dog as close to my legs as I could knowing that one step back we would be in the street and in the stream of cars passing by. I yelled for her to get her dog back, but she did nothing. At this point the dog is jumping and biting at my dog. So, I covered my hand with my sweatshirt and pushed the dog back, we turned and quickly walked away, the whole time the lady stood there allowing her dog to lunge, bark and have a complete fit. I of course had many words I was yelling as I walked away.
The important thing I suppose is that we made it home in one piece and besides being a little upset, my dog was fine. But I am so angry! What gives you the right to let your dog do whatever they want be it rushing into my dog's face or biting them? Further, what gives you the right to put YOUR hands on MY dog without asking? I don't understand why people think that these are acceptable behaviors. Do they not understand that if my dog was aggressive, I would have had two major dog fights and a possible human bite to deal with this morning. I know that is not what happened, but I just wonder if people understand that it could.
I hope your day is much better than the way mine started. I plan on making it a great day from here on!
For training with Bark & Clark, bark on the link: Bark!