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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I just wrote to one of my cool doggie friends on here about this subject and decided some other folks on here may be worried or thinking about this same stuff, so I'll share some of my thoughts with the rest of you guys:)

So....does your dog not like to meet other people or other dogs at times? Does it bother you and make you wonder what is up with your beloved dog who is acting "anti-social" in your mind?

Some of my thoughts....and of course, a recent short story...

I wouldn't worry if your dog doesn't particularly like a certain person or dog. That is ok. Heck, do you like everyone you meet? Probably not. Certain people give off strange energy or are loud ---or their body language is too forward,etc which may be a turn off to your dog. Same with meeting certain dogs.

Heck just yesterday, Puma and I were passing our pet shop trying to get back to work when some guy came out of the pet shop grabbing his big dog by the collar, meaning his dog had no leash on. So I immediately pulled Puma back (by her leash/harness) and put her in a sit while quickly feeding her (counterconditioning) her with highest value food.

I had no idea if his dog was going to come near us, but I was praying that they weren't going to approach us. Then I loudly said "Oh Puma, that dog is on leash I'm sure, so no problem!" I wanted the idiot to know that his big dog should have been on a leash in public--- and to please stay away from us. No way did I want my dog to meet his while his was off leash. Heck no! Especially bc we were in a busy shopping center near the parking lot. OY!

The guy saw me doing all this and then started bugging me about our dogs meeting eachother. I said "No thanks, I don't introduce my dog unless I am in the proper mindsest/mood."

He then started badgering me about my decision saying well all dogs need to be socialized. Yeah, well not like this, I said.

Funny part of all of this? After I was firm about my position, we actually chatted nicely a bit after he put his dog in his truck, safely away from my Puma. I think he realized I knew a bit about dog behavior/training so he started asking me questions about his dog's fear of riding in his truck. So I actually helped him to understand his dog's fear and I offered several ideas to help them. Very cool! He seemed very appreciative. I just love when I can offer help to someone who actually is needing/wanting help with their dog! Can't get much better than that,

But my actual point was-- sometimes I don't want my dog to meet other dogs or other people! Sometimes it is merely the timing, the place, or my energy or mood, not the other dog/people. I politely say no thanks, or move away in advance in those cases.

I'm sure your dog feels the same way about meeting some dogs/people. I wouldn't worry about it all. Heck our dogs probably know better about other's energy/character that we do possibly... :)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Trust can be looked at in many ways regarding our dogs

Pulling back is something I never do, it’s an indication of lack of trust.


Just a different way of thinking. You may not like everyone you meet, but you need to meet them before making that choice.
Pulling back is not always "an indication of a lack of trust" at all! You may personally feel that way, but for other people this is just not so.

Actually quite the contrary. I am showing respect for my dog by not putting her in a position of discomfort or unsafety. This actually builds trust between us as she understands that I would never put her in harms way.

I talk to her all the time. She understands when I let her know "Hey, I've got this one, no need to worry." Like in this case.

Having one dog off leash and one dog on leash is NOT a proper safe polite dog greeting in most cases. The leashed dog cannot get away or distance herself if she is uncomfortable. She may be restricted in showing the other dog body language to tell them to please give her space. It just isn't cool or fair to the leashed dog.

By pulling my dog back (politely, no yanking etc) and giving space between the dogs, I avoided any unsafe meetings or events. Maybe the dogs would have been just fine, but I don't introduce my dog to strange unknown dogs in a parking lot full of cars. Especially when I am trying to get back to work quickly and don't have the proper time to do things correctly or safely. Not my style. Others here may differ.

My dog was certainly not begging to meet this dog (or man) and personally if this dog owner was so irresponsible to bring his dog out without a leash in a public space--against the law here in our city! And even ruder/irresponsible to bring his unleashed dog into a private store where it was clearly posted that all dogs need to be leashed. Plus he was strongly grabbing the poor dog's collar.

Who knows how his dog was socialized or if his dog was properly and safely socialized to to other dogs?

Based on all these things, I had no desire to have our dogs meet.
******
Another one of my personal true dog stories...

Not long ago, I was out walking my Gracie when we saw a nice man with a dog. We chatted nicely from across the street as both our dogs are on the shy side.
Both dogs were doing fine hanging with their owners. All of a sudden Gracie barked once (not very loud even) and the other dog did a look back at us---and then came full on charging at us!!

Did the owner purposely drop the leash on his dog? Did the leash slip out of his hand? Who knows for sure. He says the leashed slipped. But I remember him telling me previously he frequently lets his dog and others just "work it out"....

All I know is his dog bolted across the street super fast to Gracie and then I heard noises between them. I actually was most worried about his dog getting run over in traffic since we were next to a very busy street at the time. I stayed very calm (shockingly) and held on to Gracie's leash, and then the man finally came across the street to us and grabbed hold of his dog's leash and got the dog away from us. Whew!

So... the excellent news? Gracie did not bite or get aggressive to the dog, thankfully. I attribute that to all the work we have done together with counter conditioning bc she was previously an extremely fear reactive dog.

Neither dog was hurt or bit so we chatted for a quick moment, he apologized and we went our separate ways.

I told Gracie how proud I was of her bravery and as a reward for both of us we walked an extra hour together, which we both love.

But-------as my Gracie was happily rolling in the grass, I looked down and saw a big bloody hole in her leg!!! The other dog indeed had bit my dog.

Took over a month for me to carefully and gently treat her bloody wound, two hours a day.

Moral to the story? One dog off leash and one dog on leash can be a horrible mix. Because the other dog cannot retreat or flee.


Could I have dropped Gracie's leash?
Sure-- but then she could have very easily run into traffic and got killed by an oncoming car.

My point: It is our job as dog guardians to protect our dogs at all times. To me, that is trust.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
There is no discussion. Have a good day.
What does this mean?

I started this post, you responded, I responded back. I guess this means you do not like what I have to say? That is fine, but by writing "There is no discussion" it sounds rather off putting.

When I posted this thread, I was trying to help other people with their dogs, not get into an unfriendly "discussion" with you or anyone else.

I have no problem with people disagreeing about things, and we learn like this, but I prefer to stay on a respectful level.

Sounds to me by saying this, and other statements in your various posts, like you feel your methods are "king" as you write, and all other methods are mostly invalid or wrong or outdated or whatever you feel.

I'm sure your methods work well for you and your dogs, but no need to say other people's methods are unacceptable or wrong.

Maybe I am misinterpreting your reply, but when someone says "There is no discussion" it generally implies that one person is completely right and the other person is wrong.

Feel free to correct me if I am reading your reply wrong.

Best to you, man.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Trust and responsibilty

That's a helicopter parent or an overprotective boyfriend. Not healthy in any relationship Athena.

Parents for example should let their kids be kids, let them explore, let the make choices - it's how they learn right from wrong. But, be willing to step in to protect when needed.

I'm sorry, this is typical in PR and PP. Redefine things.

It's confusing to dog owners, nothing is clear and concise anymore.
By me saying that trust has to do with protecting our dogs, I was not trying to redefine things at all. I was merely saying that trust means that a dog feels safe and protected with his/her owner. Maybe I didn't write it here exactly as I meant it, but I wasn't trying to "redefine" things like you are suggesting.

Who ever said anything about not letting dogs explore or make choices or let them be dogs? You haven't seen how I work with my dogs, so you don't have enough info to evaluate. Merely saying I always protect my dogs does not make me a helicopter parent.

This was more a statement about responsibility, not unhealthy overprotection or whatever. Now who is reading into things askew and confusing issues?

But---I do feel like it is our responsibility as dog owners to be responsible for our dogs and our dog's behavior, especially out in public.

I personally worry that some of your posts will confuse people because they cannot actually see what you are talking about in training, or will not know how to translate words into actions, and thus will not be able to execute your ideas safely. I think videos showing your work would be easier to understand and put into action than just written posts. And please, do not take this as negative as it is not intended to be so.

People get frustrated with their dogs when they don't understand how to work with them. No matter what methods they are trying to embrace.

The shelters in my city are always overfull. Dogs are always getting loose and lost. People dump off their dogs left and right. Dogs that are not worked with humanely or are misunderstood get euthanized. Sigh.

Giving people solid concrete suggestions and ideas that work can help these problems.
 

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From Websters Dictionary:
That's a helicopter parent or an overprotective boyfriend. Not healthy in any relationship Athena. You're trying to redefine trust to suit your needs.
I have to disagree on this. A helicopter parent is excessive in their protectiveness.

Example: A helicopter parent may not allow their child to go to the playground, because of fear of the child getting hurt.

A balanced parent who naturally wants to protect their child just the same, will make sure the child is safe while playing on the playground by showing how to play safely and setting age appropriate rules. Within these boundaries that protect the child, it's still free to explore and discover and be a child.


I went to the park with my pup yesterday and because it was a safe area far away from the car park and road, I decided to trust my dog, after training her to come back to me when I call her and let her off the leash to run around, explore and play. When we came to an area with lots of rubbish, I put her back on the leash until we were past it. Not to helicopter parent, but to make sure she doesn't eat any of the glass/plastic, which she may well have as a puppy who wants to put everything into her mouth.
Once we were past, I let her run around off the leash again and she did not seem bothered at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great example!!!

I have to disagree on this. A helicopter parent is excessive in their protectiveness.

Example: A helicopter parent may not allow their child to go to the playground, because of fear of the child getting hurt.

A balanced parent who naturally wants to protect their child just the same, will make sure the child is safe while playing on the playground by showing how to play safely and setting age appropriate rules. Within these boundaries that protect the child, it's still free to explore and discover and be a child.

@kakite, I really like this. Very good, easy to understand example. Thank you.
 

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My dog loves to meet other dogs whether loose or leashed. If they're aggressive he'll defend himself. Doesn't matter if they're loose or leashed. Matters more how big they are. If they're small he runs away and won't engage. If they're large and especially male he'll take them on. Never breaks the skin or hurts them, just a lot of barking, growling and posturing.

He hates large giant male shaggy dogs like Newfoundlands and leonbergers, especially unneutered males who are pushy and don't respect his space. He'll get snappy and I have to leave or keep him leashed. That's because at one awful stable I kept my horses at for a few months there was a giant brown young shaggy dog that wasn't socialized and would always race over and jump on him and refuse to get off or leave him alone. This dog was always loose and would ignore his owner and mine was always leashed or in my car or in a horse stall so couldn't escape. No matter how he growled or barked or snapped the other brute wouldn't leave him alone and the awful woman refused to keep him in the house or restrain hum at all when I was up there. She also started my horses and my old one got very sick and she refused to follow vet's orders and give her medication prescribed so I had to go there daily to care for the horse until I could move them. If I left my dog in the car the other dog would jump on my car and shake it and scratch it and my dog would go nuts attacking it. His separation anxiety was so bad back then I couldn't safely leave him at home nor afford daily doggy daycare so it was just a bad situation.
Cost me about six thousand dollars in vet bills and almost killed my older horse. She gave them one bucket of black disgusting filthy water to drink a day.
And my dog has a definite phobia years later of giant male shaggy dogs. I thought I'd trained him to coexist peacefully with them in the dog park but the last time he went after his archenemy Newfoundland for the first time in two years be got his face ripped up.
That's the only dog he really hates he loves to meet new dogs and is usually polite about it.
Athenalove if I was making him ignore another dog and walk away and the other dog barked like you described Gracie doing, my dog would take that as an invitation to play and he might pull so strongly to run at her he'd pull the leash out of my hands. He's so strong he's knocked down all of my friends and me just once in a snowstorm.
I'm not at all saying the guy was right to drop the leash or that the dog was right to bite her and leave a mark but maybe the dog caught him off guard and really just got loose because she barked. If a dog barks at my dog he gets very excited to go meet them and is hard to hold onto. He never bites or hurts them but dogs act out when excited and some do.

He's usually fine and ignores them once he sniffs and meets them, but he has this insane need to meet every dog he sees. It makes him so happy I usually ask the other owner if it's ok because I like making him happy and he loves it so much. If they say no or the dog is clearly aggressive obviously I don't persist.

People I'm more picky about. Some people seem to think they have the right to pet him roughly or manhandle him or start telling me about him like they know him better than I do. Or start yelling commands at him. He doesn't have to listen to anyone but me and people I want him to listen to and I'm actually glad when he looks back at me and ignores their commands.
If they persist I tell them he's loyal to me and when they start feeding him and paying his bills then maybe he'll listen to them and they can go adopt their own dog if they want lol. While petting him of course. I just really have no patience for arrogant people who think they have the right to grab him and order him around without even asking me.

I've spent years training him to be friendly and trusting and well behaved and tolerate people petting him and even like and trust everyone. I don't need some arrogant idiot ruining that. He had a lot of fear aggression when I first got him and he's still extremely protective.
He's perfect everywhere in public when I take him because he trusts me. But if I leave him for a minute with my dad, or my cousin or a close friend holding him, there's ALWAYS an incident where he barks at someone. Never bites, but barks. He's friendly and well trained but I know just when to check in with him and pet him or say leave it. No one else knows every potential trigger and every ear flick or when he needs a reminder vs a pat for reassurance.
 

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All of monster's posts are gone. That's too bad. No discussion apparently. Helicopter dog parenting would seem to me to never let your dog meet or play with other dogs if they're social and like to meet and play with other dogs.
My current dog's loves other dogs so not taking him to social dog events and dog parks would really honestly be abusive since I only have space and money for one dog.
I actually started boarding dogs a d doing some dog walking as a fun way to make extra money and keep him happy. And I concluded that unless it's a dog that's truly one of hos best buddies he likes having me and the apartment all to himself and just playing with other dogs and going home with me.
He seems to be ok as little ng as he's the only one on the bed and I feed him separately and he feels special lol.
My last dog didn't really like other dogs except for one or two buddies so I never took him to dog parks. He loved people and playing fetch with me and the horses so that's what we did.
He'd pin down other dogs and eventually I trained him to ignore them so he didn't enjoy dog parks.
But helicopter parents don't let their children or dogs have fun or exercise because it might be dangerous. You train your dog as best you can but still let them run and exercise and have some fun. Just not take unreasonable risks.
If recalls not 100 Percent stay in fenced areas. Have a solid drop it and leave it or don't let them loose around things they could eat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Dog leashes, bites, and squirrels...oh my!

Athenalove if I was making him ignore another dog and walk away and the other dog barked like you described Gracie doing, my dog would take that as an invitation to play and he might pull so strongly to run at her he'd pull the leash out of my hands.

I'm not at all saying the guy was right to drop the leash or that the dog was right to bite her and leave a mark but maybe the dog caught him off guard and really just got loose because she barked. If a dog barks at my dog he gets very excited to go meet them and is hard to hold onto.
Hi @Shadowmom!

Thanks for the reply!

Anyway, as far as the other dog that ran up to Gracie and took a chunk out of her leg...This dog was definitely not coming to play with her at all. I believe this particular dog probably just reacted out of fear or insecurity. I totally get that, since my Gracie was super fear reactive at one point also.

I am pretty certain that like you were thinking, it was in error, and not on purpose. The guy told me that this time he was only holding his dogs leash loosely in his hand, he said it should have been more secure especially bc he dog was known to be fearful/reactive, etc. He told me on a previous encounter his beautiful Aussie mix was extremely shy and fearful, won't even accept food from him. We had previously had a nice chat where I had pet her (sweet, sweet gentle dog just like my Gracie) and I had told him about my Gracie's shy/fear issues and how I work with her.

That is when he also told me about he often goes places with her and lets her run loose off leash in places.. and then allows her to "work it out on her own" (which can mean so many things, right?!) so that is the only reason I even doubted that it could be anything other than accidental. But--- we parted really nicely, no hard feelings. I was probably not upset as I could/should have been bc I was just so proud of how brave Gracie was in that moment!!! Plus....I had no idea that Gracie had gotten injured/bit so deep! Grrrr.

Medicating my Gracie topically is no picnic...cleansing a deep wound twice a day, applying antiseptic and liquid bandage to a highly fearful touch sensitive dog is so challenging. The positive outcome of this bad situation??? Gracie actually let me do this careful wound care twice a day to her, with no tweaking. But---I went verrrrrrry slowly, gently, methodically, using lots of massage in between rounds while waiting for meds to dry before applying the next med. Lots of patience and time needed, because I never wanted to spook her and then we would not be able to heal this deep hole in her leg. And going to the vets to treat it? Heck no--that would be even harder, more traumatic bc she is very fearful of vets touching her ever since her extensive painful heartworm treatment. Sigh.
*************
As for your ultra inconsiderate horse lady with the shaggy dog....grrrrr. That would make me so infuriated if she refused to control her unruly dog, especially knowing the dog was stressing out your dog, especially since she probably knew how hard you were working to help your dog be less stressed and more confident! Hate that!
***********
Squirrel, squirrels, Puma's best friends...

As far as your dog at times suddenly pulling hard on the leash to go meet another dog...omg the other day Puma did that to me! Not with a dog, but with a flirty squirrel! Thankfully I always have the leash wrapped around my hand in a secure fashion when we are out in public...just in case.....something I learned long ago when I was walking with Gracie who would regularly spook all of a sudden at any random thing out there.

So my Puma pup did not get away from me ----thankfully--- as we were very near a street, but she did yank my shoulder quite well, thank you very much Puma! Especially nice(NOT!) --since it is the same shoulder that has been injured 5 times in the last two months due to me falling and other stupid things. Puma never runs after squirrels on our walks, but this time....who knows? She really, really wanted to meet that cute flirty lil squirrel:)

We hung feeders in our backyard and she looooves nothing more than to sit quietly under her "squirrel tree" and watch the cute lil antics of these guys as they dine from our feeders. Never barks at them. Just watches them like a favorite TV show. Heck, some days she doesn't even want to come eat breakfast with us, she is just so much in love with her squirrel buddies.:)

My sig other was very happy!! When he hung the first feeder, I made a deal with him. If any of my three dogs become more aggressive acting toward any animals, including the squirrels, or showed an elevated unhealthy (to me) prey drive, or excessive barking ensues, then down the feeders would come asap! He took months to convince me to try it, by the way. Especially because Gracie used to bark at the squirrels, which I am quite sure the neighbors did not appreciate. All I needed was to be a nuisance to my neighbors, no thanks.

Yesterday my crafty significant other just constructed a brand new improved very cool large squirrel feeder....ohhh Puma was sooooooo happy when her squirrel pals showed up exploring the new exciting squirrel diner!! That doggie tail wagging in utter delight... she looked like she had just won the doggie lottery!
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Asking permission to meet dogs, solid recalls in public, and disappearing posts....

All of monster's posts are gone.


...he has this insane need to meet every dog he sees. It makes him so happy I usually ask the other owner if it's ok because I like making him happy and he loves it so much. If they say no or the dog is clearly aggressive obviously I don't persist.


If recalls not 100 Percent stay in fenced areas. Have a solid drop it and leave it or don't let them loose around things they could eat.
1) So.... what happened to Monster's posts? Anyone know? Did he get banned from our forum? I don't think you can remove your own posts, or am I wrong about this?

2)Ohhhhh how I wish EVERYONE would actually ask ALL dog owners if their dog can meet another dog!! Before getting up close to the other dog! It is one of my biggest pet peeves when people just allow their dog to come up to my dog without permission! (And I mean in public, but not in an off leash dog park obviously, where it is expected)

Ohhh those folks who chime "But my dog is friendly!" as they barrel towards our dogs without our consent! Eeeek... I hate that and so do a zillion other folks who tell me the same exact thing!

Well I am ultra happy that their dog is ultra friendly, but they need to realize not all dogs are that way! Or our dogs may be friendly but having an "off" day, or not feeling so well, or just come from the vet's office, or just got into an argument with another dog... or whatever!

So, @Shadowmom, thank you for being one of the responsible, respectful dog owners who actually ASK! On behalf of my dogs and a zillion others, we say a big WOOF WOOF=THANK YOU!

3)Solid Recalls---Yes, I agree with you! Soooooo necessary when letting our dogs go off leash in public where allowed! I personally think no dog has a 100% solid recall, any dog can become distracted and mess up (just like humans, right?!) but it should be pretty darn close to 100%.... and very practiced before dropping a leash where there are no fences-- or other loose dogs or humans. Especially if small children are present. Loose dogs with no recall (or poor recalls) and lil kiddos can be a recipe for disaster.

I see posts all the time in my city for dogs that have gone missing from parks.... or other public places. So completely sad and heartbreaking to see those posts, especially when the dog has been missing for months.

Do my dogs have solid recalls? Nope, because I choose to work on other things that are highly important to me. Are recalls important? Yup, sure are. Very important!!!! For a myriad of reasons--a solid recall can save your dog's life.
But then again, I don't take my dogs off leash in public for my own reasons. This doesn't mean I don't need to work on it, because I do, but there are only so many hours in a day, and so many issues to work on. When you have a shy fearful dog, a newer pup to train that also has some RG issues, and an older senior doggie with some health issues, and two cats, an aging mom with health /safety issues.....well you guys get it....never enough time for everything right? I'm sure some of you guys feel similarly?

I say: I do the best I can today...and try again to do better the next day.:)
 

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yesterday... Frank stopped to look into an open garage. His choice, we're on the sidewalk.
There's movement in the semi darkness and then I can hear ( Frank has already heard) a voice. There's a woman and she's on her cell phone and moving around like she's looking for something and she's waving her free hand in a kind of emphatic gesture manner. I guess she talks with her hands, even on the phone.

Frank's not moving, I'm not moving. Just watching and then she see's us and starts moving in our direction... I think she wants to meet my dog, probably, but then she changes direction and starts towards the side door of her house, hand still waving around... gets to the door... touches the handle... changes her mind and starts towards me and Frank. Hand is still waving and she's still talking on her phone.

Hmmmm?

When she's about 8 feet away from us... Frank has stretched the loose short leash to short with tension and I remind him to stay. Ok. He's got that. Then she stops walking and still with the hand waving, still talking on the phone she starts to talking to Frank. ???? gibberish baby talk... still waving her … phone to her ear... has not acknowledged me at all. Zero.


ehhh. Nah. I'm not up for this.
"Hold on," I say, "We can't meet you while you're on the phone." ___ She gets pissy. "Ohhh, really?" Hand still waving around. She gives me the stop sign with her hand. Like a cop directing traffic. She's putting me on hold.
What the heck?

ehhh. "Lets go Frank." We move away and don't look back.

If you want to meet my dog, that's not the way to do it.
 

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I had a different situation yesterday, had a mom walking with her maybe 3 year old toddler. Mom obviously very engaged in a conversation on the phone. Toddler walking towards us. Nova is walking on my left, minding her own business. Then she gets scared of the toddler, because he is kind of running towards us. The mom is not paying any attention. I call out “My puppy is still in training” to get her attention and maybe ask the boy to stay with her? Nova couldn’t get to the little boy, but he was going straight for her. So I ask Nova to sit and stand in front of her and tell the little boy nicely that he can pet her another time, she is still learning how to say hi to people. He walks past us and we carry on, then he came back and tried to pet her right on the butt. Nova didn’t react, but I was so annoyed. Not at the little boy because the mom should have really watched him. I couldn’t see him from behind and thought he had just carried on (obviously annoyed at myself for not turning around to check). Nova has never nipped anyone (but my husband in play :p) but I don’t want to take chances, especially with kids.

I never let any kids or toddlers meet my puppy unless I have the parents permission and my dog seems relaxed and I can show the kids before petting her how it’s done nicely.
 

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I had a different situation yesterday, had a mom walking with her maybe 3 year old toddler. Mom obviously very engaged in a conversation on the phone. Toddler walking towards us. Nova is walking on my left, minding her own business. Then she gets scared of the toddler, because he is kind of running towards us. The mom is not paying any attention. I call out “My puppy is still in training” to get her attention and maybe ask the boy to stay with her? Nova couldn’t get to the little boy, but he was going straight for her. So I ask Nova to sit and stand in front of her and tell the little boy nicely that he can pet her another time, she is still learning how to say hi to people. He walks past us and we carry on, then he came back and tried to pet her right on the butt. Nova didn’t react, but I was so annoyed. Not at the little boy because the mom should have really watched him. I couldn’t see him from behind and thought he had just carried on (obviously annoyed at myself for not turning around to check). Nova has never nipped anyone (but my husband in play :p) but I don’t want to take chances, especially with kids.

I never let any kids or toddlers meet my puppy unless I have the parents permission and my dog seems relaxed and I can show the kids before petting her how it’s done nicely.
Good lesson for you and Nova, Kakite, with a few nuances thrown in. Plenty to process and develop strategies for similar situations in future walks. Frank and I generally move to or towards the curb when facing solo humans on a cell phone. Helps me keep surprises to a minimum. Dogs do watch hands and a cell phone in a hand can possibly become a target of focus.

We move to the curb or towards it with moms and kids, too. I like to believe that giving Frank a diagonal angle to take in the scene is a little softer than the direct approach. Kids are fascinated with dogs, from fear to joy, and we are always ready to meet a parent/ child... if everyone is in agreement with basic rules.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Move OFF the path, choose who your dog meets & the girl who SCREAMED suddenly at Puma

So much to say about this topic, right? I love hearing y'alls stories about this subject. We all have them right? Keep the stories coming--we can all learn this way.

Since I take Puma or Gracie to work with me almost everyday and we work in a busy shopping center, I also do like you guys do. I pull Puma and myself off to the side of the path when we see pretty much everyone--but especially kids, people yakking on cell phones, drunk or unstable acting people, etc.

The whole kiddo thing makes me uncomfortable because kids are so dang unpredictable and erratic, especially young ones. Puma seems to like kids so far, and I'd like to keep it that way. I have no kids of my own, so the only ones she meets are outside our home.

So I, too, only introduce if the child and parent understand my greeting rules, when/how I need to give them. With Gracie, very strict rules bc she is a fearful nervous dog, while with Puma she is very relaxed...but still kids can be so unsafe as they stick their face right in our dog's faces and pet them roughly etc right????

Also, I looooove to say, "Sorry we are in training, can't meet now, maybe just blow my doggie a kiss, ok?" As I am moving AWAY I say this if I need to. This usually satisfies most kids and moms. If not, oh well, rather safe than sorry in this day and age.

Ok here's another one of my stories
...

When this happened, my Puma was very young maybe 5-6 months or so, dunno right now for sure.

I socialized her (gently and respectfully) all the time as soon as I got her at 3 months so she would be very secure and confident. Lots of super happy, fun introductions always with yummy treats and happy chat and fun tricks-- especially when meeting children. Sometimes, I let the kids give her the treats but only after first interacting with the kid and mom to see if they could listen to my wishes and guidelines for meeting my doggie. Thank heavens I did all this!!!!!!

So one day, lil Puma and I were walking around my shopping center doing various fun training, tricks, conditioning her to sounds and sights--- and meeting people etc.

We came across a nice lady with a young daughter who wanted to meet Puma. I talked to the mom for a bit-- then decided it was all good for them to meet Puma. Well the daughter who looked to be about 10-14 years (ish) started to pet my Puma. All was good at this point. Puma was totally relaxed enjoying the attention and getting treats from me to ensure the meeting with a child went well.

Well---all of a sudden the girl SCREAMS loudly out of the blue while petting Puma!!! Whaaaaat the heck happened?

Luckily Puma quickly looked at me for guidance and I reassured her calmly that she was ok. I pulled her back gently from the kiddo and mom and I talked to the mom for a few quick moments before leaving so that I could show Puma that we were ok, not to worry.But I sure didn't let the girl touch Puma again.

So what was the deal? I believe the young lady had some kind of "spectrum" or autism like issue. (please, please pardon my total ignorance/ pc tonight as I don't know what to properly call it... and I didn't want to pry and ask the mom any impolite questions)

I don't blame the young lady at all, of course, BUT for safety reasons I wish the mom would have warned me that there was a chance of this--- prior to our interaction!

Another dog may have reacted totally different with a horrible startle response or BITE! Heck I nearly jumped out of my skin when she suddenly screamed--it was LOUD!!

Anyway, I am just so grateful that Puma did NOT react at all, and also I was so grateful that Puma and I had spent so much time working together to socialize and acclimate to so many things in our environment. Whew!!!!!!!

I personally applaud (and totally respect!!!) all dog owners who actually protect their dogs by deciding who they will allow their dog to interact with or meet or greet. This means adults, kids and other dogs! This is good common sense for all... and for overall safety!


PS. If this is a repeat story, pardon me for boring you guys...)
 

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Ok here's another one of my stories
...

When this happened, my Puma was very young maybe 5-6 months or so, dunno right now for sure.

So one day, lil Puma and I were walking around my shopping center doing various fun training, tricks, conditioning her to sounds and sights--- and meeting people etc.

We came across a nice lady with a young daughter who wanted to meet Puma. I talked to the mom for a bit-- then decided it was all good for them to meet Puma. Well the daughter who looked to be about 10-14 years (ish) started to pet my Puma. All was good at this point. Puma was totally relaxed enjoying the attention and getting treats from me to ensure the meeting with a child went well.

Well---all of a sudden the girl SCREAMS loudly out of the blue while petting Puma!!! Whaaaaat the heck happened?

Luckily Puma quickly looked at me for guidance and I reassured her calmly that she was ok. I pulled her back gently from the kiddo and mom and I talked to the mom for a few quick moments before leaving so that I could show Puma that we were ok, not to worry.But I sure didn't let the girl touch Puma again.

So what was the deal? I believe the young lady had some kind of "spectrum" or autism like issue. (please, please pardon my total ignorance/ pc tonight as I don't know what to properly call it... and I didn't want to pry and ask the mom any impolite questions)

I don't blame the young lady at all, of course, BUT for safety reasons I wish the mom would have warned me that there was a chance of this--- prior to our interaction!
Hey Athena. That does sound like the teenager may have autism. A random outburst... blood chilling for those not experienced, is not uncommon. My partner has worked many years with autistic youth and for the last 12 years adults with autism. She herself is mildly autistic, has an autistic daughter and 2 autistic grandchildren.

Your Puma reacted fine. That's the important thing. She looked to you for leadership and you gave it. Calm is king.
I have a sense... nothing empirical, just experiences, that dogs can read autistic people in some way, similar to how dogs behave around blind dogs... that dogs will exhibit a manner that demonstrates a bit of deference or respect. Something is up with that individual...

My previous dog accompanied my partner ( Barb) on Saturdays for her in home care of 2 adult men with autism. This went on for a couple years and Shadow loved it. He would hang out with the men near their wheel chair or on the couch, sit on the porch with them, offer his head to be petted while they sat in a chair. The men loved it, too, according to Barb, who can read autistic individuals much better than she can read me. lol. She's a saint she is., but cannot tell when I am making a joke.

Back to your story. It's quite possible, unless you actually confirmed it, that the woman with the teenage girl was not her mother, but her chaperone or caretaker for the day. Finding "normal" people to work for low pay with the challenges autistic's present is difficult and sometimes, they are quite honestly, careless thru lack of experience.

Also, although autistic's may be extremely non verbal, they do understand more of what's going on around them then one might think and can be very sensitive to being presented as autistic or special. In other words, they feel embarrassment, but have no clear way of signaling it.

I think it would have been appropriate to ask the adult woman with the teenager if her daughter was alright. I feel that it would not be interpreted as prying, but actual concern. Interestingly, if the woman was the young girls mother and was herself autistic ( it does run in families) she may not have been able to explain what happened. My Barb has great difficulty explaining to me how she goes about making decisions or how she rationalizes choices. If I push her with "why" questions, she can get so frustrated that she's moved to fear and tears.
_____

Frank and I have discovered a home where 2 autistic men live and spend time outdoors in the driveway. Frank looks for these guys when we come around and it's part of our routine to stop and visit and prepare Frank for maybe one day going to work with Barb.

The men have fulltime caregivers that provide support around the clock. One of the men is mobile and likes to sit in the driveway in a lawn chair and work on puzzles in magazines. That is his thing. Puzzles and that chair. The chair has held the same place in the driveway for over a year. It needs to be there for him to be comfortable. He's an interesting guy. Always says hi to Frank, encourages us to come and greet him and the when we get close he ignores us. Sometimes he just utters a stream of swear words. They just come out. He's not angry and says goodbye when we leave. Never smiles.

The other man (Steve) is bound to a wheel chair and has head/neck support and limited use of just one hand. He operates his chair with that one hand. I actually know this man from years back when I would walk Shadow to the grocery store and leave him on a short leash at the bike rake. One day I came out and Steve was parked next to Shadow. Shadow had his head in Steve's lap and was being stroked with just that one usable hand. Steve was over the moon with joy... unbelievable happiness in his face.

Steve gets that same joy with Frank, and Frank, for his part, with no formal training seeks this guy out and willingly offers his head to be petted.

When these men are not out, Frank still stops and looks at the empty chair.
It's fascinating, and in the end very moving that Frank is thinking about these guys.
 
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