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Old 03-22-2013, 02:19 PM
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Default Fear of dogs (that aren't yours)?

Obviously we all love dogs (or we wouldn't spend so much time on the internet gushing over them and posting photographs). But I'm curious if anyone else has ever had a fear of dogs.

On a walk with my friend the other day we got charged by a very friendly, well-meaning lab cross. Intellectually, I could see that the dog didn't mean us any harm, but I could feel myself starting to panic. I yelled at it and it immediately turned and lolloped away, back to it's confused and slightly distressed owner. I apologized and explained that I am slightly afraid of dogs (to which he rolled his eyes and said something about that being my problem).

I was bitten badly as a small child by our neighbor's Corsos, but otherwise have always loved dogs...from a distance. Even with friends' dogs, I find myself extremely leery of all but a few. When I dog-sit, I don't touch unless approached, avoid eye-contact, and try my damndest not to get bitten. I jokingly tell people that I don't like dogs that don't like me. On walks or runs, even the sound of dog tags is sometimes enough to make me turn for home.

In all honesty, a few of my dad's hunting dogs used to frighten me, and even as a young adult I never entered the dog runs when others weren't home within earshot.

So the question I'm posing is: How do you feel around other dogs that aren't yours? When they surprise you? When you are relaxing together? What about after you've known them for a while? Is there a way that I can work on my (small) anxieties so that I don't offend everyone on Earth with a dog that really DOES "just want to say hi"?
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:27 PM
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For me, not at all. I probably have unhealthy amount of NO fear for dogs. But I understand where you are coming from, and I know people that are like you .

A dog attack doesn't help either!
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:29 PM
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I wouldn't say I'm scared of dogs that aren't mine, but I will say that there are select occasions when I do get a bit worried/scared. However, that usually only happens when Cali is with me and we see a large dog coming down the sidewalk. I always try and keep my guard up since dogs around here are rarely socialized/exercised/trained, and we had a close call with a GSD once. (please let me know what type of parent would let their seven year old walk an unruly, undersocialized full-sized GSD around town by themself?)

I can understand the fear after such an incident though, completely. It'd be scary for anyone, let alone a young child.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:32 PM
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The only time I was afraid of a dog was a poorly bred GSD that was at the dog daycare I worked at. I was by myself and every move I made he charged me. I had to lock me and the other dogs in the small computer room and have my boss come get him. I love GSDs but that dogs was nuts. Other than that I haven't been afraid of any dogs besides him.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:36 PM
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I'm not afraid of dogs, but a couple of times when I've been approached by loose dogs in the evening (with little light), I've had a moment of fear. I think in those circumstances the instinctive fear of predators kicks in.

You have every reason to have some fear of dogs, and it is not your problem. People who own dogs should be responsible with them, and not let them go charging up to strangers. I'm always mortified when my dogs do something like that, and I apologize.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:47 PM
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Not afraid for myself but I almost never trust strange dogs when they approach my dogs.
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Old 03-22-2013, 02:49 PM
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I'm not afraid of dogs, but my husband on the other hand...

He's infamously bad with animals. Name an animal, and he's been bitten by it. He was bitten severely on the face as a child by a neighbour's Dobe (pierced his cheek, loads of stitches, dog was destroyed). Ever since then he's been very tense and uneasy around dogs -- though it didn't really dawn on him until recently that this was how his subconscious anxiety was manifesting itself. He tends to grit his teeth while patting dogs, he's too rough with them, and he tends to grab them in a way that dog savvy people would recognize as unsafe. One day it dawned on him that it was all tied to the attack when he was younger.

He figures it's why he prefers small dogs (Mega was his before we married). Their small size is less intimidating, and since they're more fragile it forces him to be more gentle.

He's still bad with Cohen. He grabs her a lot despite it being obvious she doesn't enjoy it, and he's often gritting his teeth when dealing with her. I've given upon trying to get him to relax around animals. It's no wonder animals bite him as often as they do. It's so frustrating.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:03 PM
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I'm not afraid of dogs but I don't really want to interact with other people's dogs. Especially just out and about. I live dogs as a whole but just.... Not really my thing to interact with ones I don't know. I am a little wary in certain situations. Especially around really big dogs I don't know or very protective breeds. I don't think thats bad though- just common sense.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:14 PM
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Ex: my agility class. I've been with these dogs a year now. I know them. Know they're stable dogs and know they have good owners. I think it was very very recently that I've petted all of them. Just not my thing so much. Somehow it feels like an intrusion to me --- makes no sense.
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Old 03-22-2013, 03:24 PM
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When I am with the kids and my dog YES I am nervous around random dogs. I have my hands full and if the animal is not restrained I am not comfortable.
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