"It's Ok, Dogs Love Me"

How many times do people walk into our dogs space without asking? They may love dogs, probably most dogs they have been lucky to have met or owned have been well balanced and well socialised.

I advise many people how to deal with unwanted approaches when they are re-habilitating a dog with issues. I now have one of my own, Malic, and I am personally experiencing for the first time, life with an unpredictable dog with issues. Trouble is, he is such an adorable looking dog, which doesn't help.

He is scared of Men! I always warn people not to approach, to let him come to them etc. etc. Most listen, but I get " I love dogs and they love me!" "I have dogs at home, I am used to them" "I have worked with police dogs for years!" !!! Malic doesn't know this?

This week after having a close shave at a Music Festival with Hubby and dogs. I bought a muzzle, really just to keep people at a distance, to think twice about approaching.

The incident in question, on the first day, and bearing in mind Malic was coping wonderfully with the crowds, music etc. a gentleman came up to say hello, I told him not to approach, he replies, "it's ok dogs love me, I have a labradoodle at home", he crouched down, Malic approached, all was well, Malic made a fuss of him, we chatted for a while. I rewarded Malic well for his encounter. The next day, while standing and watching a band, I heard a voice behind me "Hello, it's you again" turned to see this same gentleman approaching at speed, Woof!!! Snap!!! Malic Lunged and nipped his hand. Luckily Malic has a very soft mouth, he has to get Cleo to soften his chews before he eats them. The gentleman in question apologised, said " it was entirely his fault and stated that I had warned him yesterday" I replied "that it was lucky it was him."

We had no more incidents for the rest of the weekend.

Please remember that in the dog world there is social ettiquette, it is impolite to march straight into another dogs space without careful and steady approach and if dogs do not learn very early on that most encounters are good ones with carefully handled socialisation then they may be fearful and will use the only tools that they have to put distance between the aggressor and them.

Take care and keep safe!

copyright Susan C Fryer 24th September 2010

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