|I think there's a dog in my butt.|
The girls didn't really get into much mischief over the past week so instead I'm going to share with you an incident we had, my biggest pet peeves about other dog owners and tips on what to do if you have a "friendly dog" and you encounter other dog owners.
If we're friends on facebook or you've read some of my previous posts about this, you will know that I don't like my neighbors. For some reason I managed to move us into the apartment complex with neighbors from hell. The massive amount of irresponsibility when it comes to picking up after their dogs absolutely astonishes me. Not only that, people are constantly leaving their dogs unattended on patios for hours on end and in the case of my neighbor across the street, they've left their dog on the patio all night long on several occasions. I don't sleep very well most nights so I notice stuff. I just don't get it and I don't know why people get pets to just ignore them. It makes me very sad. Also most of the dogs in this complex are reactive. I've witnessed several dog fights so I try to just avoid everyone. I've tried talking to the management at my complex (mostly about the poop) but their solution was to threaten to make the apartment complex dog-free. Which did not help at all.
Probably my biggest pet peeve of all is owners who don't respect other dog owners. When they let their out of control dogs rush up to other dogs or drag them up to other dogs, while also yelling: "He's FRIENDLY!!!!" is pretty much guaranteed to make me see red. That's nice, but maybe mine isn't? See the Grumpy Cat meme posted above.
The other day it was pouring rain outside and I was trying to get the girls to go potty. Going potty in the rain is an event by itself. They hate the rain and do not like walking in wet grass. They are both divas but what can you do? So I was walking them along the back part of the complex, it's sort of a wooded area with lots of bushes and trees that haven't been trimmed. So I'm having to duck as well as I walk through there. Phoenix decides to go deep into this area to poop. The thing about that area, though is that if someone is back there you CAN see them. So it's not like this other person didn't see me. What happened was intentional on the part of the other owner. So I go in after her and I'm bending over to pick it up and the next thing I know I have a giant 100lb obese lab dragging his owner into their faces. It was raining, my hood was up, my back was turned and I didn't hear them coming. Not only that, he didn't warn me he was there or ask if it was okay for his dog to say hi and there was no escape for us. We are trapped because of the bushes and trees.This is the same person who I've seen do this multiple times to other people in the name of ".....but.... but... my dog needs dog friends!!!!" With no consideration of the other person and their dog. Luckily neither of my dogs snarked at this dog but he left a lasting impression on Phoenix and I'll get to that in a moment.
Have you ever had one of those days where you just completely snap? I was so pissed. I yelled at him that they weren't friendly (Not quite true, Zoe is usually always fine and Phoenix is okay if introduced properly, but has a long history of disliking labs because of these sorts of things happening to us) and that he needed to get his dog out of their faces, NOW. I hate using the "they're not friendly" line but it's always the first thing that pops into my brain. Also, leash intros are hardly ever a good idea because dogs feel trapped on leashes, leashes get tangled, etc.
These situations just aggravate me, endlessly. I've spent months working on Phoenix to get her to the point where she is okay with big dogs and when stuff like this happen it sets us back every time. The very next day she snarked at a large black lab and she has not snarked at single dog since before Doggie Dash and had been doing awesome. I know I will always have work to do with her but I get frustrated when the work I've put in is ruined by one idiot dog owner in under two minutes and I know I'm not alone. Many of you feel the same way. I think everyone has come across an idiot yelling "HE'S FRIENDLY!!!!" at least once in their time of dog ownership. I wish other owners would be more considerate. Maybe your dog is friendly but stop for a moment and think about the other owner for a change. I think people are too focused on what they want and what their dog wants to stop and think about the other person and dog's feelings on it. That needs to change right now.
So you have a friendly dog, what can you do when you come across another owner and their dog?
- First of all, assume that all dogs need their personal space unless you are told otherwise. A good space bubble should be about 4 feet or more.
- Ask them if it's okay to say hi.
- DO NOT approach until AFTER the person gives you the okay.
- If you're using a flexi lead, please lock it up so it's short.
- Try to keep interactions short, 3-5 seconds is best then move on.
- If they say no, then please respect that and don't get angry.
- It is completely NORMAL for dogs to not want to interact with other dogs. Don't pressure your dog into interacting if he or she does not want to. On the other hand, do not allow anyone else to pressure you into an interaction you are not comfortable with.
- If you notice someone trying to get space from you, GIVE THEM SPACE! Do not follow them and try to give free training advice.
- Don't allow your dog to drag you into another dog's face. (SPACE BUBBLE!)
- Always respect the other owner's wishes. (No Means No)
- Always respect the leash laws and keep your dog under control.
I think it's amazing that you have a friendly dog and that you want your dog to have dog friends, I really do, but it's important to remember that other dogs may not want to be your dog's friend. Mutual consent between both parties is extremely important. Make sure you get it before you let your dog go up to another dog. If you are able to do the greeting make sure you are watching your dog. Don't get caught up in conversation with the other owner, as nice as that is, you need to watch both dogs and make sure their body language stays friendly. Dogs are just like us. You don't always like every single person you meet and they are the same way. At the first sign that your dog doesn't like the other dog, MOVE ON. Don't wait until it escalates. Tell the other owner, "Thank you! Have a nice day!" and GO.
|Sorry, but we don't want to be friends with you!|
That poor husky in the photo above was completely ignorant of dog-dog body language and he had no idea my dogs did not want to be his friend. Luckily they ignored him as much as possible until the owner arrived to collect him. He was not listening to the owner at all and had no business being off the leash.
Have you ever been in the "HE'S FRIENDLY!!!!!" sort of situation before with another dog owner? What did you do?
I hope you all have an awesome Monday!