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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:02 AM Thread Starter
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How to politely say back off

So today I was letting Piper take a quick pee break in a parking lot. I was stuck between two cars and a snow bank. This guy sees us from across the way, strides quickly and purposefully over asking what kind of dog she was. I can feel Piper stiffen and I don't blame her - he was coming into our personal space quickly and purposefully, not politely or casually. If I lived in a sketchy area I would wonder if he was going to assault me. He was in ski boots in broad daylight so I knew context, but Piper can't know. I couldn't quickly think of a polite way to say stop right there (he was probably about 8 ft away). Before I can respond he is quite close and she gives a warning growl. I had deftly shortened the leash just in case, but there was no need.

Usually when she stiffens up, I back up to a place she is more comfortable and ask for her attention with a simple command - but I was literally cornered.

After her low growl he sort of got the hint and slowed up, but not really. Instead he asks if she doesn't like men. I was thinking, "no, she just doesn't like you" and "no she just doesn't like people getting all up in her personal space and she is telling you to back off" but I politely said she doesn't like moustaches (he had one) even though that is bullshit. He rambles on about how he knows dogs, he has a Great Dane. I make it awkward by telling her to go potty and he finally gets the hint and goes back to his car.

I need a polite way to preemptively say "give us space" when I feel her get her guard up because we occasionally run across these misguided people who "LOVE" dogs and feel it is necessary to get right up in her face to somehow prove it. I don't want to give off the impression that she is a ticking bomb though, she is not, she just doesn't like rude people. If she wasn't there I would have been uncomfortable with his forthright behavior, she just "said" what was on my mind.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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It goes without saying (but I say it anyway just to be clear) I see my first job is to keep her under control because owning a guarding breed dog is a serious responsibility.

Next is her well being, as well as my own.

Last is sparing their feelings - but I do want to be an ambassador for the breed whenever possible, rude person or not.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 07:16 AM
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Years ago - I had some teenagers walk past our house, that i hadn't seen before.
- on the dead end street, someone made a smug comment
- and another asked, "will she bite"
- I said, "if i give her the correct word, she will" / this was former Amy, certified Therapy Dog
- but I got their attention & some respect
- so I said, "what to see some tricks, boys"...they said "Yes"
- Amy & I did a minute of formal OB, in front of them...in perfect control
- I had their respect, and they were respectful the next few times we saw the lads
LOL...they really did think, I had that one Key word.

Kelly is reactive in my parked vehicle, I had to tell a few people, don't touch my truck or walk up closer.
- one lady worker, at local dump even stuck her hand in my lowered window, to pet her
- she quickly pulled back her hand, I said "I told you"...but worker approached so fast
- "she is very protective of her property"

How to politely say back off / maybe start by putting your one hand up like a stop sign & say "your close enough".
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beaumont67 View Post
Years ago - I had some teenagers walk past our house, that i hadn't seen before.
- on the dead end street, someone made a smug comment
- and another asked, "will she bite"
- I said, "if i give her the correct word, she will" / this was former Amy, certified Therapy Dog
- but I got their attention & some respect
- so I said, "what to see some tricks, boys"...they said "Yes"
- Amy & I did a minute of formal OB, in front of them...in perfect control
- I had their respect, and they were respectful the next few times we saw the lads
LOL...they really did think, I had that one Key word.

Kelly is reactive in my parked vehicle, I had to tell a few people, don't touch my truck or walk up closer.
- one lady worker, at local dump even stuck her hand in my lowered window, to pet her
- she quickly pulled back her hand, I said "I told you"...but worker approached so fast
- "she is very protective of her property"

How to politely say back off / maybe start by putting your one hand up like a stop sign & say "your close enough".
Because, Kelly and I like our trucks!

Don't touch the truck!

I don't know how to dumb this down for people...

I'm serious...



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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Busytown View Post
So today I was letting Piper take a quick pee break in a parking lot. I was stuck between two cars and a snow bank. This guy sees us from across the way, strides quickly and purposefully over asking what kind of dog she was. I can feel Piper stiffen and I don't blame her - he was coming into our personal space quickly and purposefully, not politely or casually. If I lived in a sketchy area I would wonder if he was going to assault me. He was in ski boots in broad daylight so I knew context, but Piper can't know. I couldn't quickly think of a polite way to say stop right there (he was probably about 8 ft away). Before I can respond he is quite close and she gives a warning growl. I had deftly shortened the leash just in case, but there was no need.

Usually when she stiffens up, I back up to a place she is more comfortable and ask for her attention with a simple command - but I was literally cornered.

After her low growl he sort of got the hint and slowed up, but not really. Instead he asks if she doesn't like men. I was thinking, "no, she just doesn't like you" and "no she just doesn't like people getting all up in her personal space and she is telling you to back off" but I politely said she doesn't like moustaches (he had one) even though that is bullshit. He rambles on about how he knows dogs, he has a Great Dane. I make it awkward by telling her to go potty and he finally gets the hint and goes back to his car.

I need a polite way to preemptively say "give us space" when I feel her get her guard up because we occasionally run across these misguided people who "LOVE" dogs and feel it is necessary to get right up in her face to somehow prove it. I don't want to give off the impression that she is a ticking bomb though, she is not, she just doesn't like rude people. If she wasn't there I would have been uncomfortable with his forthright behavior, she just "said" what was on my mind.
If people aren't smart enough to figure out your dog was just trying to relieve herself, they don't need a polite response. In my lowly opinion.

Axel was a bit of a pain while traveling. He wouldn't pee, poop or eat while traveling.

It took a grilled cheese sandwich from Sonic just to get him to eat. Peeing was possible. Pooping? Out of the question.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:09 AM
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I have a reactive girl...who is the sweet looking one whom many think she is friendly as she LOOKS friendly even dressed in a dobe skin. I will scream across 'she's not friendly!' with a big smile...'sorry!' They normally will stop dead nod and walk the other way lol

My boy is the lab dressed in a dobe suit. People will AUTOMATICALLY turn the other way due to his size and cropped ears. For these cases...i am the one running after them ' He's FRIENDLY!!' Lol
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KitaTanya View Post
I have a reactive girl...who is the sweet looking one whom many think she is friendly as she LOOKS friendly even dressed in a dobe skin. I will scream across 'she's not friendly!' with a big smile...'sorry!' They normally will stop dead nod and walk the other way lol

My boy is the lab dressed in a dobe suit. People will AUTOMATICALLY turn the other way due to his size and cropped ears. For these cases...i am the one running after them ' He's FRIENDLY!!' Lol
HILARIOUS!

LMAO

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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:24 AM
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I'm polite at first, with "Please don't rush my dog" or something similar, but they get one warning. The politeness fades quickly. If they don't listen to that first warning I assume they're trying to hurt me and react appropriately...with increased volume and urgency in my tone.

I live in a crappy area, so this seems to work the best.

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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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I'm polite at first, with "Please don't rush my dog" or something similar, but they get one warning. The politeness fades quickly. If they don't listen to that first warning I assume they're trying to hurt me and react appropriately...with increased volume and urgency in my tone.

I live in a crappy area, so this seems to work the best.
We live in a low crime area and, while I like dobe respect, I don't want to make a statement. I like "don't rush my dog please" they get the hint because it is a direct request, but I'm not directly inferring that she will bite. Most people pause and ask before approaching- which means it gives her a minute to size things up and I can give her a command that tells her it's cool. And then she is great.
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 12:39 PM
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Yeah...I don't have that option. People around me assume they have the right to touch me or my dog unless I go on the defensive.

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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-06-2017, 01:29 PM
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My dogs are super friendly. I still don't want people rushing up to them or interacting with them unless I give permission. It's rude. I typically step IN FRONT of my dog, putting myself between my dog and any approaching person. You have to teach your dog to actually stay behind you, but it's a really good thing to teach, because it teaches your dog that you have control of the situation. I do the same thing with approaching dogs. People tend to stop approaching at that point and at least ask if they can pet my dog, at which point I can say, "sure, let me ask him to sit first," or whatever. Or, I can say, "no, we're working on some training stuff right now, but maybe next time." Whatever I want. I also typically carry Spray Shield for off-leash dogs so that I can spray them if this is a dog situation (too bad you can't spray dumb humans! ). In an actual threatening situation I would not be stepping out in front of my dog and hopefully he would identify the situation and act appropriately (I can only go off of his passing the WAE and you never know what will happen with an actual threat of course...I hope never to BE in that situation and have to find out).


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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 12:08 AM
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I'm pretty direct - "she does not like strangers and will bite" seems to work well - haha.

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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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My dogs are super friendly. I still don't want people rushing up to them or interacting with them unless I give permission. It's rude. I typically step IN FRONT of my dog, putting myself between my dog and any approaching person. You have to teach your dog to actually stay behind you, but it's a really good thing to teach, because it teaches your dog that you have control of the situation. I do the same thing with approaching dogs. People tend to stop approaching at that point and at least ask if they can pet my dog, at which point I can say, "sure, let me ask him to sit first," or whatever. Or, I can say, "no, we're working on some training stuff right now, but maybe next time." Whatever I want. I also typically carry Spray Shield for off-leash dogs so that I can spray them if this is a dog situation (too bad you can't spray dumb humans! ). In an actual threatening situation I would not be stepping out in front of my dog and hopefully he would identify the situation and act appropriately (I can only go off of his passing the WAE and you never know what will happen with an actual threat of course...I hope never to BE in that situation and have to find out).
That is another good idea. This one was the hardest situations I've had because we were between two parked cars so not a lot of maneuvering room. The other time or two this has happened though it would have been a good call.

I don't mean to be obtuse, but how did you shape that behavior? I've never tried to have a dog get behind me quickly on command without holding her back and then stepping around. I always look at her and use eye contact when I use commands, which is counter to what I would need to do here.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-07-2017, 09:01 AM
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That is another good idea. This one was the hardest situations I've had because we were between two parked cars so not a lot of maneuvering room. The other time or two this has happened though it would have been a good call.

I don't mean to be obtuse, but how did you shape that behavior? I've never tried to have a dog get behind me quickly on command without holding her back and then stepping around. I always look at her and use eye contact when I use commands, which is counter to what I would need to do here.
Have you shaped any behavior that isn't in front of you? I would start with no leash in your yard, clicking for any approximation for the position you want. You may need to start by looking at her, of course. You click for closer and closer to what you want, slowing shaping to her being behind you, then you looking a bit away, then farther away, then turning the top of your body away, etc., if you want to clicker train it. Just like any other clicker trained behavior, with lots of rewards. I just stepped in front and did hold my dog back there on leash and rewarded heavily on leash quite a bit, until they understood that was a position I wanted - didn't clicker train it.


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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:32 AM
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I'm one of those people that if I see a dog in public, I want to pet it. That being said I have a casual approach and keep a respectful distance before asking if I can pet their dog. People assume that if your dog is out in public they are friendly. If someone is coming up to you too abruptly or improperly to where your dog is nervous, say excuse me please keep your distance as my dog is in training. People usually aren't offended by this and understand it.
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 10:43 AM
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Really good article related to this topic: Why are European dogs so well behaved? | The Bark


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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Really good article related to this topic: Why are European dogs so well behaved? | The Bark
I just saw this article a couple days ago. It really hits the nail on the head. I love talking dogs with other dog people, but people want to get right down in their face.

I had an acquaintance over last night and Piper gives a warning "I don't know you" bark right when they arrive and I have her sit beside me. I purposely have her off to the side so she has a second. After I greet the lady I ask Piper if she wants to say hello. (Her cue that the person is welcome). She sniffs tentatively and the lady dives in for an in-her-face pet, totally getting into her personal space. (That would be like a stranger going in for a hug right after you've met them) I see Piper is not keen and after this post I'm ready and step in front say "she isn't ready to say hello", and have her sit again behind me. It worked really well. I had to step in front of Piper because I haven't taught her a cue to step behind me yet, but doing that made Piper much more comfortable.

I chatted a minute to distract the lady, Piper gets to scope her out, deems her boring, goes over and sniffs her and is chill the rest of the night, even going over and charming her for pets a couple times.

I have a theory. Call it the lab theory. Labs have no sense of personal space, bless their hearts, and it is a hugely popular dog in this country. I think people are use to interacting with labs and think all dogs love to get right up in your face right when they have met you, so conversely think it is just fine to get up in any dog's face.

The funny thing is, once Piper knows you, she is more comfortable with no personal space. She will snuggle right in and fall asleep with my arm draped over her, but our lab rescue with separation anxiety who will say hello by getting all up in your face, hates hugs.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 01:22 PM
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I'm also one of those people who wants to pet/play with every dog I see. On the turn around, I'm quite anti-social with people and never really want them annoying me while I'm with my dog. Such a double standard.

Unless they were residents of my building I usually left them alone. If they were residents I'd make some small talk before asking to pet the dog. If they were in one of our obedience classes, all bets were off because the dogs were usually jumping on me and then we'd be training sits for attention.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-10-2017, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Dogs Name: Piper
Dogs Age: 2 years
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All of us love dogs here and I bet many of us like to stop for pets. I do. I will less now after reading that article Meadowcat linked, but I think the thing that gets me is how people continue to advance. When she gets that they are friendly (because I greet them or tell her they are cool) and she isn't ready or interested she pulls back visibly, but many people just follow her backwards and close in like they need to convince her they are friendly. It is a stranger coming up quickly or coming in the house that she vocalizes about of the bat.

The kicker is, if they don't come into her personal space she pretty well always happily goes over to them very politely.
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