Fear of dogs (that aren't yours)?

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by houlahoops, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. houlahoops

    houlahoops New Member

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    Obviously we all love dogs (or we wouldn't spend so much time on the internet gushing over them and posting photographs). But I'm curious if anyone else has ever had a fear of dogs.

    On a walk with my friend the other day we got charged by a very friendly, well-meaning lab cross. Intellectually, I could see that the dog didn't mean us any harm, but I could feel myself starting to panic. I yelled at it and it immediately turned and lolloped away, back to it's confused and slightly distressed owner. I apologized and explained that I am slightly afraid of dogs (to which he rolled his eyes and said something about that being my problem).

    I was bitten badly as a small child by our neighbor's Corsos, but otherwise have always loved dogs...from a distance. Even with friends' dogs, I find myself extremely leery of all but a few. When I dog-sit, I don't touch unless approached, avoid eye-contact, and try my damndest not to get bitten. I jokingly tell people that I don't like dogs that don't like me. On walks or runs, even the sound of dog tags is sometimes enough to make me turn for home.

    In all honesty, a few of my dad's hunting dogs used to frighten me, and even as a young adult I never entered the dog runs when others weren't home within earshot.

    So the question I'm posing is: How do you feel around other dogs that aren't yours? When they surprise you? When you are relaxing together? What about after you've known them for a while? Is there a way that I can work on my (small) anxieties so that I don't offend everyone on Earth with a dog that really DOES "just want to say hi"?
     
  2. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    For me, not at all. I probably have unhealthy amount of NO fear for dogs. But I understand where you are coming from, and I know people that are like you :).

    A dog attack doesn't help either!
     
  3. Cali Mae

    Cali Mae Little dog, big voice

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    I wouldn't say I'm scared of dogs that aren't mine, but I will say that there are select occasions when I do get a bit worried/scared. However, that usually only happens when Cali is with me and we see a large dog coming down the sidewalk. I always try and keep my guard up since dogs around here are rarely socialized/exercised/trained, and we had a close call with a GSD once. (please let me know what type of parent would let their seven year old walk an unruly, undersocialized full-sized GSD around town by themself?)

    I can understand the fear after such an incident though, completely. It'd be scary for anyone, let alone a young child.
     
  4. thehoundgirl

    thehoundgirl Active Member

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    The only time I was afraid of a dog was a poorly bred GSD that was at the dog daycare I worked at. I was by myself and every move I made he charged me. I had to lock me and the other dogs in the small computer room and have my boss come get him. I love GSDs but that dogs was nuts. Other than that I haven't been afraid of any dogs besides him.
     
  5. Flyinsbt

    Flyinsbt New Member

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    I'm not afraid of dogs, but a couple of times when I've been approached by loose dogs in the evening (with little light), I've had a moment of fear. I think in those circumstances the instinctive fear of predators kicks in.

    You have every reason to have some fear of dogs, and it is not your problem. People who own dogs should be responsible with them, and not let them go charging up to strangers. I'm always mortified when my dogs do something like that, and I apologize.
     
  6. AdrianneIsabel

    AdrianneIsabel Glutton for Crazy

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    Not afraid for myself but I almost never trust strange dogs when they approach my dogs.
     
  7. Sekah

    Sekah The Monster.

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    I'm not afraid of dogs, but my husband on the other hand...

    He's infamously bad with animals. Name an animal, and he's been bitten by it. He was bitten severely on the face as a child by a neighbour's Dobe (pierced his cheek, loads of stitches, dog was destroyed). Ever since then he's been very tense and uneasy around dogs -- though it didn't really dawn on him until recently that this was how his subconscious anxiety was manifesting itself. He tends to grit his teeth while patting dogs, he's too rough with them, and he tends to grab them in a way that dog savvy people would recognize as unsafe. One day it dawned on him that it was all tied to the attack when he was younger.

    He figures it's why he prefers small dogs (Mega was his before we married). Their small size is less intimidating, and since they're more fragile it forces him to be more gentle.

    He's still bad with Cohen. He grabs her a lot despite it being obvious she doesn't enjoy it, and he's often gritting his teeth when dealing with her. I've given upon trying to get him to relax around animals. It's no wonder animals bite him as often as they do. It's so frustrating.
     
  8. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    I'm not afraid of dogs but I don't really want to interact with other people's dogs. Especially just out and about. I live dogs as a whole but just.... Not really my thing to interact with ones I don't know. I am a little wary in certain situations. Especially around really big dogs I don't know or very protective breeds. I don't think thats bad though- just common sense.
     
  9. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Ex: my agility class. I've been with these dogs a year now. I know them. Know they're stable dogs and know they have good owners. I think it was very very recently that I've petted all of them. Just not my thing so much. Somehow it feels like an intrusion to me --- makes no sense.
     
  10. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    When I am with the kids and my dog YES I am nervous around random dogs. I have my hands full and if the animal is not restrained I am not comfortable.
     
  11. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    Loose dogs can make me a bit uneasy, just because I really don't know the dog or how they're going to react. I've been charged and barked at by loose dogs, and I've had two of my dogs attacked by loose dogs (and one almost redirected onto me), so yeah, if I see a loose dog, I try to avoid it unless it's body language is obviously friendly/relaxed. I wouldn't say it's necessarily a fear, but more that I just don't trust dogs that I don't know well and especially loose ones.



    Glad to know I'm not the only one! I think sometimes people think I'm afraid of or don't like dogs, which totally is not the case. I'm about as dog obsessed as they come. But for some reason I've just never been one to approach other peoples' dogs or pet them or talk to them. Kind of weird, I guess. But I just prefer interacting with my own dogs or dogs that are owned by friends/dogs I know well.
     
  12. Beanie

    Beanie Clicker Cult Coordinator

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    If I see a dog out and about while I'm running I tense up. Years ago I changed my running route so I wouldn't have to run by a house with a couple of dogs who (from what I was told by a neighbour) live outside because of the way they charged the fence when I went by. I was afraid they would jump/climb the chainlink fence OR if you can't bite the one you want, bite the one you're with. There was one occurrence when I was out running at the university, I was coming up on another guy who was running the opposite direction (towards me), and there were some vet tech students out pottying one of their patients - and the dog slipped his leash and went after the guy. Luckily the guy froze immediately and the dog got to him and was like "Derr? Why was I charging you?" and they were able to grab him... but it sure didn't help make me less afraid of something similar happening to ME. I know it won't exactly be the dog's fault, but me running is going to engage their chase drive at best and prey drive at worst, and being attacked by a loose dog while out running is one of my biggest fears (almost more than being attacked by a person. I can fight back against a PERSON trying to nab me... a dog in full on maul-you-to-death-mode is a different story...)
    There is a house on the corner in my neighbourhood with dobermans and they only have an electric fence. They have been outside while I've been out running a couple times and it flat out TERRIFIES me because I know there's no way that electric fence would stop them if they wanted to get me. I don't see them anymore so I'm not sure if they still have them; if they do they're rarely outside...

    Also any dog who comes charging up to mine while we are out on a walk gets me cautious. Auggie has become less tolerant of pushy, rude dogs in his advancing age, and a lot of dogs realize Payton has testicles and decide to try and attack him - and he will fight back if provoked. And Pepper of course is horrified by pretty much everything, strange dogs included. So even if a dog is bouncing up and it's pretty clearly a "YAY I WANT TO SAY HI!" I usually try to stop them from getting in my dog's faces anyway.


    That guy sounds like a jerk. No, it's actually NOT your problem that you're afraid of dogs so you yelled at his loose dog; it's HIS problem for not having control of his dog. I wouldn't want my dogs charging anybody even if they LOVE dogs... it's rude and I don't want my dogs to practice rude behaviour.
     
  13. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    I have my moments, but they are generally the sort of times where it makes sense to be afraid. At one point I had to walk past a group (5 or 6 dogs) of English Mastiffs who were barking and jumping against the fence at me - and I called my mom. Just kept talking as I walked by: "This is where I am and holy cow if these dogs get through this fence and rip me apart this is where my body is..." Just so someone knew what was going on if things went badly. The same group of mastiffs were loose around my car once as well, and I pulled up against a door to the barn, crawled out my passenger door and into the barn door, so they couldn't reach me.

    I also am very, very cautious around Asian breeds. When I was teaching training classes, I had a chow that very nearly got me. There was a rescue chow mix that was owned by someone living on the horse farm I used to manage. I was asked to go let her 5 dogs out into their yard one day, and wound up against the wall with one dog resting her teeth on my thigh growling. I was less than a foot from getting through the door, but didn't think I could move my legs without her biting. I finally asked her one nice dog (who was, oddly, a purebred chow) to sit, pretended the paper in my hand was a cookie, and tossed it to the ground. I got through the door when the dogs all went for the "treat". I tend to stay away from all chow types at this point, because my nerves don't help.
     
  14. Southpaw

    Southpaw orange iguanas.

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    I'm not afraid unless I have reason to be. In most instances I am probably too trusting. A while ago I had a loose pittie come up while I was walking Juno, and really I was just annoyed more than anything. In general I'm not such a fan of random dogs. Don't really want them approaching me and I don't feel the need to gush over them. Even with other dogs that I know, I like them but I just don't interact with them the same way I would with my own.
     
  15. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

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    strange dogs in close spaces. Heck, I'm even cautious taking Hudson's collar off of him when he is already in his crate. He has never, ever given me a reason to think he'd bite or that he would be territorial of his crate. I blame it on working in a vet clinic during my formative years. Then again, rarely had a dog there that was crate aggressive either so there might not be any truth in that.
     
  16. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    double post
     
  17. Picklepaige

    Picklepaige Active Member

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    I'm trusting of dogs to a fault. I volunteered at the animal shelter for years, and I was never once even growled at, so I've just sort of assumed that most dogs won't do me any harm.

    I will fully admit to being one of those "gush over EVERY DOG" kind of person. I automatically love every dog I ever meet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTTwcCVajAc

    ^I am this lady but with dogs.
     
  18. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    This, basically. I am too friendly with dogs as it is :p
     
  19. AgilityPup

    AgilityPup Agility freak!

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    No, I would say that I'm not scared of dogs. However, sometimes I SHOULD be and I'm not. My boyfriends dog, for example, got loose one day, took off down the road and was 'fighting' (the other dog was trying to bite him, he was trying to play) with another dog. I ran out, grabbed Rex (boyfriends dog) and brought him back over to the truck. He didn't jump right in and so I reached down to pick him up. He growled, and instead of being afraid, I just calmly let go of him and waited for BF to come pick him up. Boyfriend was bothered that Rex growled, but I just brushed it off with the fact that he was likely full of adrenaline from running/fighting.

    I tend to think they're like my dogs too much, honestly. Like either of my dogs would have been fine with that... That said, when someone warns me a dog is less friendly, I am very smart about just letting the dog decide if it wants to be friends or not.
     
  20. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    Unless they are actively menacing me, no. As in, I can think of individuals that just gave me a really bad vibe and I have also, like others, changed my running routes to avoid what I consider to be potentially dangerous situations...like the two snarling lunging Akitas staked out in their otherwise boundary-less front yard. I did not want to be going past that house the day the lines snapped or the stakes came out of the ground...

    But in general, no.

    That said I tend to be rather cautious with when I'm out with my dogs, especially Mira. It's amazing how many dogs have "big black dog" as a trigger to be complete idiots, even if Mira is loosey-goosey and looking up at me and completely unaware that the other dog exists. She's be snapped at, lunged at, and menaced more times than I can count, and she's usually facing the other way. THEN the owner says "Oh, my dog doesn't like big black dogs." Well gee, ya think maybe you should have given me a little warning or NOT walked right up to us, then? *headdesk* Webster also tends to have a "kick me" sign, because he just doesn't get dog behavior in general and is a very upright dog to boot.

    So while I am not scared of other dogs personally, if I have my dogs with me I do tend to assume people with other dogs are idiots until proven otherwise.

    And like others, I really don't have any interest in interacting with random strange dogs. Friends' dogs, sure if I know the dog welcomes it and the handler doesn't care. And if I see puppies out and about clearly socializing and I'm not in a hurry I will often ask if it's okay to say hi...do my part to gently socialize the youngsters of the world ;)... but otherwise I pretty much just go on by without looking their way. There's not really a good reason other than that I just kind of like sticking to myself lol. I mean I adore my car but I don't go up and talk to everyone I see driving one...I adore my minimus but I don't talk to people I see wearing them (on the off chance I even notice)...it's kind of the same thing. You're doing your thing, I'm doing mine, and that's just fine by me lol.
     

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