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FootprintsinSand

Meeting Scary Dogs

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The best solution is one that provides protection and avoids conflict without risking offense to someone who is doing nothing wrong.

Usually it's possible to avoid dogs you don't trust at the vets by waiting outside. Great solution when you can do it. But sometimes it's too hot, and sometimes your dog is sick enough that it shouldn't be outside. Or you have some messy situation like a litter of puppies that needs exams and microchips.

If I hit that situation with a small dog, I guess I'd do like cat owners do and bring the dog's crate. (Cat owners hit this situation virtually every time they sit in a waiting room and the crate always seems to resolve the problem).

If that is not possible, maybe best to go back to the car (with A/C on if needed) and phone the vet to explain the situation. Often they can ease the situation by letting you wait in an empty consultation room . . . or giving you a phone call when it's ok to come in.

Edited by sandgrubber

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That is why I asked if the dog growled or lunged - all it did was stand up and look at the OP and her dog.

Most dogs will stand when another dog comes along, if they are in a down position.

The actual dog, did nothing to warrant a reaction from anyone, all it did was stand up. It was leashed and standing by its owner.

Every time I walk into the vets, the other dogs stand. If we are in there and other dogs come in, Zig will stand..

He doesn't move, but will reach forward for a sniff and usually has a low wag of his tail until the other dog or owner indicates they can say hello, then the tail goes into helicopter mode.

People overreact out of fear and other emotions.

The vet staff did the right thing by suggesting she put her dog in the car and come back and pay - no harm was done to anyone.

I have a fear of heights and can't go up a ladder past the second rung if the ladder is outside - it is irrational, I know it but it doesn't make it any less real in my mind.

Fear makes people overreact - some may think my reaction to having to go up a ladder outside is a complete overreaction because they don't have that fear.

I don't have a fear of dogs, especially that 'type' of dog because I know the breeds and I have been around more safe dogs like that than dangerous dogs like that.

But that is me, I am comfortable and fairly confident in that situation..

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This thread was actually meant to be more a general question about how people react when they see a dog they decide might be scary. However since it has focussed more on my particular situation I will give more information.

At dog training I was taught that upright forward leaning dogs that are also staring can mean trouble.

In the past one of my dogs was attacked. It was a very traumatic experience, and I am wary.

I have sometimes asked people to watch their dogs and some owners have responded very aggressively.

When I am in the vet's waiting room I assess every dog that comes in the door. I don't think it is appropriate to read a magazine when other dogs are present.

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HazyWal   

But the actual dog DID do something to warrant a reaction Staffyluv, the OP was scared and uncomfortable. The dog may have been leashed but if you are looking away anything can happen. My two are not cat friendly in any way shape or form. If I walk into the clinic and there is a cat in a carrier my two are straight onto it so I sit away from them and make sure I keep them close and make a point of saying to said person that it's ok I'm over here and I continually say to my two to stop it. They will keep eyeballing the cat but I don't take my eyes off them, I don't flick through a mag.

Edited by HazyWal

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Snook   

This thread was actually meant to be more a general question about how people react when they see a dog they decide might be scary. However since it has focussed more on my particular situation I will give more information.

At dog training I was taught that upright forward leaning dogs that are also staring can mean trouble.

In the past one of my dogs was attacked. It was a very traumatic experience, and I am wary.

I have sometimes asked people to watch their dogs and some owners have responded very aggressively.

When I am in the vet's waiting room I assess every dog that comes in the door. I don't think it is appropriate to read a magazine when other dogs are present.

Dogs who are staring and placing their weight on to their front legs can mean trouble but there is a lot more to it than just that and I would also be looking at whether it's a normal "hey, there's a dog" stare or a hard stare, whether the body is tense or relaxed, what position are the ears in, what are the facial muscles doing etc. Leaning forward on its own is just a willingness to engage.

I'm sorry your dog was attacked. That must have been very frightening and upsetting. My dog has had his own share of bad experiences and I too am wary but it's helpful if it can be balanced and not become an all consuming fear (easier said than done sometimes).

I too have encountered people who can be jerks about their dogs but for the most part people are usually pretty good. I think sometimes it can depend on how you approach them about their dog. I wouldn't say to someone that their dog looks scary or I think it might be aggressive etc as that's likely to put people on the defensive and make them react badly. I put the issue on to me and my dog and say that he doesn't respond well to dogs he doesn't know or was attacked recently (or whatever is most appropriate for the situation) and could they please not approach or ensure their dog stays by their side while we pass. Because I'm not saying there's anything wrong with their dog and have given a reason beyond "don't come near us", they're usually okay.

You might not think it's appropriate to read a magazine in the waiting room and it's not something I would do for reasons I've already said, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with someone else doing it if their dog is behaving and they're not concerned about other dogs approaching. They can't read your mind and know that this increases your fearfulness.

Edited by Sir Snook le Faux

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This thread was actually meant to be more a general question about how people react when they see a dog they decide might be scary. However since it has focussed more on my particular situation I will give more information.

At dog training I was taught that upright forward leaning dogs that are also staring can mean trouble.

In the past one of my dogs was attacked. It was a very traumatic experience, and I am wary.

I have sometimes asked people to watch their dogs and some owners have responded very aggressively.

When I am in the vet's waiting room I assess every dog that comes in the door. I don't think it is appropriate to read a magazine when other dogs are present.

Dogs who are staring and placing their weight on to their front legs can mean trouble but there is a lot more to it than just that and I would also be looking at whether it's a normal "hey, there's a dog" stare or a hard stare, whether the body is tense or relaxed, what position are the ears in, what are the facial muscles doing etc. Leaning forward on its own is just a willingness to engage.

I'm sorry your dog was attacked. That must have been very frightening and upsetting. My dog has had his own share of bad experiences and I too am wary but it's helpful if it can be balanced and not become an all consuming fear (easier said than done sometimes).

I too have encountered people who can be jerks about their dogs but for the most part people are usually pretty good. I think sometimes it can depend on how you approach them about their dog. I wouldn't say to someone that their dog looks scary or I think it might be aggressive etc as that's likely to put people on the defensive and make them react badly. I put the issue on to me and my dog and say that he doesn't respond well to dogs he doesn't know or was attacked recently (or whatever is most appropriate for the situation) and could they please not approach or ensure their dog stays by their side while we pass. Because I'm not saying there's anything wrong with their dog and have given a reason beyond "don't come near us", they're usually okay.

You might not think it's appropriate to read a magazine in the waiting room and it's not something I would do for reasons I've already said, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with someone else doing it if their dog is behaving and they're not concerned about other dogs approaching. They can't read your mind and know that this increases your fearfulness.

Snook re bolded part. When I first saw the dog it was just standing there and when it saw my dog it moved forward, came up on its toes, and stared. It was a hard stare and its body was tense. I had a few seconds to assess the situation. I do not know what the dog's normal body language (ear position, tail, facial muscles etc) is, so I could not assess them although certain breeds do have naturally stary eyes and upright body language.

I came out from behind a display stand and there it was about a metre away. I retreated back behind the display stand and spoke to the vet who was following me. The other owner would not even have known I was there. My dog could have been about to attack her dog and she wouldn't have known.

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This thread was actually meant to be more a general question about how people react when they see a dog they decide might be scary. However since it has focussed more on my particular situation I will give more information.

At dog training I was taught that upright forward leaning dogs that are also staring can mean trouble.

In the past one of my dogs was attacked. It was a very traumatic experience, and I am wary.

I have sometimes asked people to watch their dogs and some owners have responded very aggressively.

When I am in the vet's waiting room I assess every dog that comes in the door. I don't think it is appropriate to read a magazine when other dogs are present.

Your fear is very real and because of it you are more aware of the dogs around you - that is a good thing, to be aware of them. If that is what it takes to make you more comfortable then you should stay aware of other dogs.

I have a bull breed and he often has wrinkles between his ears :)

He leans forward when he is looking at something (a lot of dogs do - boxers, husky's come to mind as forward leaning dogs). Just because a dog looks like it is leaning forward and staring, doesn't mean it is trouble. Sometimes it might - but not always.

My boy stands up straight, his stance would be considered forward when he is looking at something that is interesting to him. If he is uninterested he wouldn't be looking at it.

I guess as his eyes are more forward than some dogs, it might appear that he is staring as well.

But I can tell you that I know my dog very well and I know that he would roll over if another dog looked sideways at him. I am comfortable having him on a loose leash at the vets and if I say 'stay here' he won't walk forward toward another dog but he will move his nose up into the air to get a sniff (that is what dogs do) and he will look at the other dog because he is interested in them.

So I don't think it is inappropriate to have a look at a magazine in a waiting room with my dog because I know he won't move forward unless he is allowed to do so. Perhaps the other woman was the same as me and knows her dog well enough to know it wasn't an issue.

My dogs have been run down and attacked by others as well, so I know what that is like - it is horrible to see your dog being attacked.

I don't agree with people abusing you over asking them to watch their dogs.

Some people might be offended that you are telling them to watch their dogs, when their dogs really aren't doing anything - maybe it is harder for you to see they aren't because you are fearful of you and your dog being attacked again.

Someone once told me an old saying about dog behaviour:

Nose to nose leads to blows

Sniffing bums, always chums

There is a whole lot more to dog body language and behaviour than that obviously.

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This thread was actually meant to be more a general question about how people react when they see a dog they decide might be scary. However since it has focussed more on my particular situation I will give more information.

At dog training I was taught that upright forward leaning dogs that are also staring can mean trouble.

In the past one of my dogs was attacked. It was a very traumatic experience, and I am wary.

I have sometimes asked people to watch their dogs and some owners have responded very aggressively.

When I am in the vet's waiting room I assess every dog that comes in the door. I don't think it is appropriate to read a magazine when other dogs are present.

Your fear is very real and because of it you are more aware of the dogs around you - that is a good thing, to be aware of them. If that is what it takes to make you more comfortable then you should stay aware of other dogs.

I have a bull breed and he often has wrinkles between his ears :)

He leans forward when he is looking at something (a lot of dogs do - boxers, husky's come to mind as forward leaning dogs). Just because a dog looks like it is leaning forward and staring, doesn't mean it is trouble. Sometimes it might - but not always.

My boy stands up straight, his stance would be considered forward when he is looking at something that is interesting to him. If he is uninterested he wouldn't be looking at it.

I guess as his eyes are more forward than some dogs, it might appear that he is staring as well.

But I can tell you that I know my dog very well and I know that he would roll over if another dog looked sideways at him. I am comfortable having him on a loose leash at the vets and if I say 'stay here' he won't walk forward toward another dog but he will move his nose up into the air to get a sniff (that is what dogs do) and he will look at the other dog because he is interested in them.

So I don't think it is inappropriate to have a look at a magazine in a waiting room with my dog because I know he won't move forward unless he is allowed to do so. Perhaps the other woman was the same as me and knows her dog well enough to know it wasn't an issue.

My dogs have been run down and attacked by others as well, so I know what that is like - it is horrible to see your dog being attacked.

I don't agree with people abusing you over asking them to watch their dogs.

Some people might be offended that you are telling them to watch their dogs, when their dogs really aren't doing anything - maybe it is harder for you to see they aren't because you are fearful of you and your dog being attacked again.

Someone once told me an old saying about dog behaviour:

Nose to nose leads to blows

Sniffing bums, always chums

There is a whole lot more to dog body language and behaviour than that obviously.

re bolded part

How can you say this when you don't know me. I have asked people to watch their dogs usually when their dog is loose in an on lead area and is starting to move towards my dog. I don't like being rushed by loose dogs. I like people to have their dogs on lead when out of their own yards and if it is an on leash area.

I did say in an earlier post that some owners of the breeds that worry me are lovely people and responsible dog owners and you obviously fall into that category. :)

Eta Sorry when I reread your post I think I have misread it. Please ignore the above. I have had enough for tonight and I am turning off my computer now.

Edited by sarsaparilla

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But the actual dog DID do something to warrant a reaction Staffyluv, the OP was scared and uncomfortable. The dog may have been leashed but if you are looking away anything can happen. My two are not cat friendly in any way shape or form. If I walk into the clinic and there is a cat in a carrier my two are straight onto it so I sit away from them and make sure I keep them close and make a point of saying to said person that it's ok I'm over here and I continually say to my two to stop it. They will keep eyeballing the cat but I don't take my eyes off them, I don't flick through a mag.

How is the other owner supposed to know that - I don't watch every single person to see if they are afraid of Zig.

The OP said it stood up and look at her and her dog - that is pretty normal behaviour to me but I am no dog behaviourist, so maybe it isn't..

But every time I have ever walked into our vets the dogs laying down get up. Zig gets up if someone comes into the vets when we are there but I don't look at the person and can immediately tell they are terrified of him?

You know Stan and Maddie don't like cats so you do the right thing and keep them on a short leash..

There is nothing wrong with that, that is just responsible ownership.

The other owner wasn't being irresponsible - her dog stood and looked (stared).. It didn't lunge or growl, it didn't take off after her and her dog..

I am not in any way trying to down play the OPs fear of her and her dog being attacked.. It is very real and I know what that is like, for a long time I had the same fear after Ollie was attacked the first time.

I have come to realise that not every dog I come across wants to eat mine. Doesn't make me any less aware of my surroundings but I don't expect every person I see to keep their dog on a short leash just because I am near them.

This is just me - the OP can feel the way she likes but she may have to accept that not everyone will know and do what she wants them to do by keeping their dogs on a short leash because she is afraid of them.

Personally, if she saw Zig and I and told me she was uncomfortable, I would be happy to wait outside for her or keep Zig on a short leash (not that he would need it) - but I am not everyone and there will be people who won't be happy to do what makes her comfortable..

Not doing what someone else wants them to do with their dog, doesn't make them irresponsible owners.

That is just life...

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This thread was actually meant to be more a general question about how people react when they see a dog they decide might be scary. However since it has focussed more on my particular situation I will give more information.

At dog training I was taught that upright forward leaning dogs that are also staring can mean trouble.

In the past one of my dogs was attacked. It was a very traumatic experience, and I am wary.

I have sometimes asked people to watch their dogs and some owners have responded very aggressively.

When I am in the vet's waiting room I assess every dog that comes in the door. I don't think it is appropriate to read a magazine when other dogs are present.

Your fear is very real and because of it you are more aware of the dogs around you - that is a good thing, to be aware of them. If that is what it takes to make you more comfortable then you should stay aware of other dogs.

I have a bull breed and he often has wrinkles between his ears :)

He leans forward when he is looking at something (a lot of dogs do - boxers, husky's come to mind as forward leaning dogs). Just because a dog looks like it is leaning forward and staring, doesn't mean it is trouble. Sometimes it might - but not always.

My boy stands up straight, his stance would be considered forward when he is looking at something that is interesting to him. If he is uninterested he wouldn't be looking at it.

I guess as his eyes are more forward than some dogs, it might appear that he is staring as well.

But I can tell you that I know my dog very well and I know that he would roll over if another dog looked sideways at him. I am comfortable having him on a loose leash at the vets and if I say 'stay here' he won't walk forward toward another dog but he will move his nose up into the air to get a sniff (that is what dogs do) and he will look at the other dog because he is interested in them.

So I don't think it is inappropriate to have a look at a magazine in a waiting room with my dog because I know he won't move forward unless he is allowed to do so. Perhaps the other woman was the same as me and knows her dog well enough to know it wasn't an issue.

My dogs have been run down and attacked by others as well, so I know what that is like - it is horrible to see your dog being attacked.

I don't agree with people abusing you over asking them to watch their dogs.

Some people might be offended that you are telling them to watch their dogs, when their dogs really aren't doing anything - maybe it is harder for you to see they aren't because you are fearful of you and your dog being attacked again.

Someone once told me an old saying about dog behaviour:

Nose to nose leads to blows

Sniffing bums, always chums

There is a whole lot more to dog body language and behaviour than that obviously.

re bolded part

How can you say this when you don't know me. I have asked people to watch their dogs usually when their dog is loose in an on lead area and is starting to move towards my dog. I don't like being rushed by loose dogs. I like people to have their dogs on lead when out of their own yards and if it is an on leash area.

I did say in an earlier post that some owners of the breeds that worry me are lovely people and responsible dog owners and you obviously fall into that category. :)

Eta Sorry when I reread your post I think I have misread it. Please ignore the above. I have had enough for tonight and I am turning off my computer now.

I think you have totally misread my post..

I will bow out now as there really isn't anything else to say about it :)

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Snook   

This thread was actually meant to be more a general question about how people react when they see a dog they decide might be scary. However since it has focussed more on my particular situation I will give more information.

At dog training I was taught that upright forward leaning dogs that are also staring can mean trouble.

In the past one of my dogs was attacked. It was a very traumatic experience, and I am wary.

I have sometimes asked people to watch their dogs and some owners have responded very aggressively.

When I am in the vet's waiting room I assess every dog that comes in the door. I don't think it is appropriate to read a magazine when other dogs are present.

Dogs who are staring and placing their weight on to their front legs can mean trouble but there is a lot more to it than just that and I would also be looking at whether it's a normal "hey, there's a dog" stare or a hard stare, whether the body is tense or relaxed, what position are the ears in, what are the facial muscles doing etc. Leaning forward on its own is just a willingness to engage.

I'm sorry your dog was attacked. That must have been very frightening and upsetting. My dog has had his own share of bad experiences and I too am wary but it's helpful if it can be balanced and not become an all consuming fear (easier said than done sometimes).

I too have encountered people who can be jerks about their dogs but for the most part people are usually pretty good. I think sometimes it can depend on how you approach them about their dog. I wouldn't say to someone that their dog looks scary or I think it might be aggressive etc as that's likely to put people on the defensive and make them react badly. I put the issue on to me and my dog and say that he doesn't respond well to dogs he doesn't know or was attacked recently (or whatever is most appropriate for the situation) and could they please not approach or ensure their dog stays by their side while we pass. Because I'm not saying there's anything wrong with their dog and have given a reason beyond "don't come near us", they're usually okay.

You might not think it's appropriate to read a magazine in the waiting room and it's not something I would do for reasons I've already said, but that doesn't mean there's anything wrong with someone else doing it if their dog is behaving and they're not concerned about other dogs approaching. They can't read your mind and know that this increases your fearfulness.

Snook re bolded part. When I first saw the dog it was just standing there and when it saw my dog it moved forward, came up on its toes, and stared. It was a hard stare and its body was tense. I had a few seconds to assess the situation. I do not know what the dog's normal body language (ear position, tail, facial muscles etc) is, so I could not assess them although certain breeds do have naturally stary eyes and upright body language.

I came out from behind a display stand and there it was about a metre away. I retreated back behind the display stand and spoke to the vet who was following me. The other owner would not even have known I was there. My dog could have been about to attack her dog and she wouldn't have known.

If it was a hard stare and the body was tense I would have been more wary too. It doesn't mean anything bad would have happened but it's obviously better not to take any unnecessary chances. Like you did in this situation, the best thing to do if you are concerned about another dog is to move away if that option is available to you. If that's not an option, then talking to the owner and saying something like your dog is afraid of bigger dogs and could they please not let their dog approach yours is another good option and is what I probably would have done in this situation. Failing that, if you need to take immediate action because the dog is coming toward you and there isn't time to talk to the owner first, use your body to block the other dog. I've had to do this a number of times and while it's not fun, it can be very effective.

I agree that if the other owner wasn't paying attention and your dog raced over and attacked it, she probably wouldn't have seen it coming. That's her prerogative though and I've encountered a lot of dog owners who've never had a seriously negative experience with other dogs and it wouldn't occur to them to be on alert for rushing or attacking dogs in a vets waiting room. The only part of how much attention she's paying that should concern anyone else is whether her own dog is behaving and under control and moving from sitting to standing, does not mean her dog wasn't under control, even if you think the dog was tense and staring.

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This thread was actually meant to be more a general question about how people react when they see a dog they decide might be scary. However since it has focussed more on my particular situation I will give more information.

At dog training I was taught that upright forward leaning dogs that are also staring can mean trouble.

In the past one of my dogs was attacked. It was a very traumatic experience, and I am wary.

I have sometimes asked people to watch their dogs and some owners have responded very aggressively.

When I am in the vet's waiting room I assess every dog that comes in the door. I don't think it is appropriate to read a magazine when other dogs are present.

Your fear is very real and because of it you are more aware of the dogs around you - that is a good thing, to be aware of them. If that is what it takes to make you more comfortable then you should stay aware of other dogs.

I have a bull breed and he often has wrinkles between his ears :)

He leans forward when he is looking at something (a lot of dogs do - boxers, husky's come to mind as forward leaning dogs). Just because a dog looks like it is leaning forward and staring, doesn't mean it is trouble. Sometimes it might - but not always.

My boy stands up straight, his stance would be considered forward when he is looking at something that is interesting to him. If he is uninterested he wouldn't be looking at it.

I guess as his eyes are more forward than some dogs, it might appear that he is staring as well.

But I can tell you that I know my dog very well and I know that he would roll over if another dog looked sideways at him. I am comfortable having him on a loose leash at the vets and if I say 'stay here' he won't walk forward toward another dog but he will move his nose up into the air to get a sniff (that is what dogs do) and he will look at the other dog because he is interested in them.

So I don't think it is inappropriate to have a look at a magazine in a waiting room with my dog because I know he won't move forward unless he is allowed to do so. Perhaps the other woman was the same as me and knows her dog well enough to know it wasn't an issue.

My dogs have been run down and attacked by others as well, so I know what that is like - it is horrible to see your dog being attacked.

I don't agree with people abusing you over asking them to watch their dogs.

Some people might be offended that you are telling them to watch their dogs, when their dogs really aren't doing anything - maybe it is harder for you to see they aren't because you are fearful of you and your dog being attacked again.

Someone once told me an old saying about dog behaviour:

Nose to nose leads to blows

Sniffing bums, always chums

There is a whole lot more to dog body language and behaviour than that obviously.

re bolded part

How can you say this when you don't know me. I have asked people to watch their dogs usually when their dog is loose in an on lead area and is starting to move towards my dog. I don't like being rushed by loose dogs. I like people to have their dogs on lead when out of their own yards and if it is an on leash area.

I did say in an earlier post that some owners of the breeds that worry me are lovely people and responsible dog owners and you obviously fall into that category. :)

Eta Sorry when I reread your post I think I have misread it. Please ignore the above. I have had enough for tonight and I am turning off my computer now.

I think you have totally misread my post..

I will bow out now as there really isn't anything else to say about it :)

I did edit my post and I am sorry for misreading your post.

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Amax-1   

A lot of people are scared of GSD's and having owned and worked with the breed for many years, I try to project good control and restraint over my dogs for people who are scared or feeling uneasy to be able to relax a bit. If walking call the dog back into heel position when passing people......sitting in the vets, have the dog sitting with hold of the leash at the collar if someone comes in and looks apprehensive. I think being a breed enthusiast you tend to demonstrate that a good GSD is a well behaved dog that shouldn't illicit fear in a public place. Breeds with aggression history are scary to many people and I think the owners of such breeds have a public obligation to project control and calmness in the breed to reduce fear.

I have had a few people say they are scared of GSD's and with a good stable dog, let them pat my dogs and you can see the fear displace which is quite good in those circumstances.

I remember my wife having a great game with this dog one day, she was letting the dog lick her face and giving him a good rub and cuddle and she asked the owner what breed he was.....the owner said he's a Pit Bull :eek: He was a friendly dog who loved people so from a fear perspective of Pit Bull's my wife had this interaction with a good Pit Bull changed her breed outlook. :)

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megan_   

Did the dog lunge at you and your

If the owner is relaxed and the dog not lunging or growling, then I see them as safe to be in the same room with.

I

Lunging and growling aren't the only sign of an impending attack -staring is one too, especially if the dogs body is stiff. Some breeds don't growl or lung before an attack. For example, if a dog is in prey drive it will stare and stiffen up (and often dip it's head). It is dangerous to assume this posture is are.

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tdierikx   

With the particular media focus on anything bull breed looking being a "pitbull", anyone owning a dog that even vaguely fits the description should be extremely aware that others may look at their dogs with suspicion and fear.

sarsaparilla admits that media stories have managed to heighten her fear of such dogs - whether it's irrational or real is of no consequence, as she is frightened of dogs that look like her idea of a "pitbull".

I actually own a dog that is part pitbull, but you'd not guess it by looking at her... she's friendly and loves going to the vet because it means she'll be getting handled all over by the vet and then will be getting liver treats. I've never had anyone express concern about her in a vet clinic waiting room... but I still don't allow her to approach or be approached by other dogs in that environment... who knows what the other dog is there for, or how IT actually handles going to the vet?

My staffy/dane horse puppy is a completely different story. She is a big girl who is quite fearful of strange environments and people - although she absolutely loves other dogs of all sizes, and is socailly appropriate in her dealings with them. It doesn't help that she has strange coloured eyes and puts on a stupid fear display when she sees people she doesn't know. I know she will not bite, but a stanger doesn't... so we are always careful with her interactions with same - especially in places like a vet clinic which is usually a confined space and can get rather busy at times.

Dog help us all when my camp dog needs to go to the vet... she has a scar in her brain that means she moves differently to other dogs, and they can have difficulty reading her body language. She's a complete trollope when it comes to people and other dogs, which can be confronting to some. She's 15kgs, but I have a large crate to fit her and will usually carry her in that into the vet clinic - everyone is safe that way... *grin*

Funnily enough, no-one seems to be frightened of my Labrador... *sigh*... but she's the most likely to arc up if another dog is behaving inappropriately...

T.

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Did the dog lunge at you and your

If the owner is relaxed and the dog not lunging or growling, then I see them as safe to be in the same room with.

I

Lunging and growling aren't the only sign of an impending attack -staring is one too, especially if the dogs body is stiff. Some breeds don't growl or lung before an attack. For example, if a dog is in prey drive it will stare and stiffen up (and often dip it's head). It is dangerous to assume this posture is are.

Thankyou Megan, It was the eyes that especially disturbed me and the stiff body. Its eyes were locked on my dog.

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Amax and T your replies are so spot on. It is this that I wanted to discuss in this thread, not what I should and should not have done at the vets. The vet situation was meant to be an example to illustrate my point.

I do admit that my initial reactions to certain breeds have been influenced by media stories, as I am sure have many others in our community and on this forum. I also feel obliged to put my dog's safety ahead of being politically correct and not offending other dog owners.

Interestingly I have never really had close contact with a pit bull but I do think they are a very handsome looking animal. :) Perhaps we need someone to make a movie about children on an adventure with their family pet, an APBT, along the lines of the Lassie series or Beethoven.

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Making a movie about pitbulls would be a terrible idea, imagine how many more would be bred due to popularity and the unsuitable homes they'd go to....

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I'm very new to having a dog of my own, and this forum, I am not very good at reading other people's dog language but I wouldn't think anything of someone sitting in a vet waiting room with their dog loosely on a leash. I think I would be more nervous if someone saw me and grabbed their dog's collar, watched it intently, left the room, generally looked stressed. When I see nervous owners that's when I get anxiousl

I now have a big black dog and people already no doubt have all sorts of ideas about him in their minds. If he sees children I will hold his harness pretty tight because I know he would try to lick them and play with them, but I do sit in vet waiting rooms and leave him be. I don't think it's people being rude, just knowing their own dog's capabilities and trying not to stress about other people's reactions. I'm trying to teach my pup to not stress around others, so to do that, I have to lead by example.

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As for dogs that make people nervous in general I guess I would have to apply the same principles I do scary people (living in my area you want to be on alert lol). Avoid eye contact and leave the area as calmly as possible.

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