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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This might be a bit of a strange question, and perhaps more of a rant than anything else.... Maybe other users may not experience this much depending on where they live. Where I live not all people act appropriately towards dogs and think it's funny to tease them in ways I find quite mean. I sometimes run into people while walking my dog that I feel don't treat her well. (There are also plenty of "dog-lovers" that encourage behaviour I really don't like from dogs like play-biting, treats outside my schedule or giving her table scraps, but that's a rant for another day!)

For example, some people I've met think its funny to shout suddenly, creep up on her or make growling/barking noises to scare her or get a "funny" reaction out of her. People also might handle her in a way that I think is a bit too rough/sudden - like patting her suddenly on the head roughly. One guy even hit her in the face with a pen when she came up to get some attention from him, and a neighbour who really likes my dog and spending time with her thought it was funny to throw small handfuls of gravel at her as a game...

I've also met people who are not good at directing kids around animals - for example a toddler I met on the street was chasing my dog around and was petting her too roughly and in the face, so she actually got the child's fingers almost in her eyes a few times. Clearly she was scared of the child and so I tried to block her and hold back the child a bit, but the parent and the neighbour I mentioned before just laughed and didn't seem to notice/care that the dog was a bit distressed.

I don't speak the language here well enough to articulate well to people often why they shouldn't do what they're doing.. and I think many would think they're not actually doing anything wrong and I'm the one treating the dog weirdly. I want my dog to be able to trust me to look after her, and we have bonded well so far I think, but I'm still a bit concerned.... She is very easy going and sociable and likes to go and sniff and get attention from others, but I'm starting to feel a bit cautious to let her near others in case they scare her. She currently has a lovely, sweet personality and is obedient and easy going, so hopefully she won't be affected by these other people.... My usual coping method is to be cautious around or avoid people who haven't acted that well with her in the past, and if someone scares or whatever, I'll just take her away from the person/situation as promptly as I can.

Am I being over-controlling or over-protective of her? Does anyone else live in a country or place where you find people acting like this towards your dog? How do you deal with this?
 

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It must be a tough situation. I'd guess that many of the people you meet haven't had a lot of experience with dogs, apart from watching videos on the internet. Even if your putung hwa (or is it mostly Cantonese on the street in Shanghai?) were excellent, you'd probably still have a hard time getting the message across. It takes more than a brief lecture to teach people how to relate to dogs, and terse declarations are likely to come off as scolding. Chinese street scenes are often so crowded, I wouldn't attempt them with a dog that was the least bit nervous or reactive. (I lived in TaiPei on a student exchange program for about 6mo in the 1970s . . . may be quite different from Shanghai in 2015 ... but I'll never forget being told by my host family not to bother apologizing when you bump into someone or step on a toe in the bus . . . people just accepted this . . . save apologies for major occasions. That sort of closeness and, from a Western perspective, insensitivity to intrusion could be pretty hard for a dog).

Could you get someone to embroider a jacket saying "Please leave me in peace" or something?

Have you been able to talk with other dog owners to find out what they do? I suspect avoidance is going to be your best strategy.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Dog ownership is pretty popular here, there are many pets in my neighbourhood, many grooming salons and pet shops around and many people are comfortable around dogs, so I don't think it's that they haven't seen a dog in real life or anything like that, I think it's just that the culture towards pets is a bit different. Many people look at them more as entertainment or teddy bears or something I suppose? There are people with that view in the west, of course, but here I think it's more widespread.

Children in particular are very interested in dogs and parents often encourage them to interact with a dog they might see. Dog lovers/owners seem to fall into two major groups here, from what I've experienced - people with an "old fashioned" attitude, eg. They let their dogs roam, feed scraps, use negative training methods - or those that buy a puppy because it looks cute in the pet shop and end up spoiling it.

People speak Mandarin Chinese here which I speak okay (I've learned it for around 6 years now and have lived here about 3 of those years), and some speak Shanghainese also. Cantonese is only really spoken in Guangdong province and Hong Kong. You're right, although I can express myself clearly enough, it's more that I'm worried about people feeling like I'm scolding them or thinking I have a "superior" kind of attitude. I actually live in the outskirts, not the central districts of Shanghai, so it's not the city environment here you might be imagining, so busy streets aren't a concern. She is a very friendly, trusting dog who will trot up to anyone for a sniff, i just don't want her to lose that trust and friendliness.

Like you said, I think avoidance will be best for strangers or people I think she's not comfortable around. For any friends or acquaintances I think I'll just need to be clear how I train my dog and why, and ask them to join me.

Phew, I definitely need to learn to control my word count! :p
 

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Sometimes, when people are really forward and demanding, it's down to what you value more:
Being seen as 'polite' and not being superior or your dog.

That sounds harsh, but it's something that woke me up and made me start protecting my dog. What do you value more, people you don't know or care much about not thinking you are a snob, or your dog feeling safe? The dog you lived with and took responsibility for?

With family and friends, yeah, it's different but you have dialogue there and you can explain. With strangers... Your responsibility to your dog takes priority over making strangers like you. That is HARD social conditioning to overcome anywhere, in any situation, and probably harder from you, but at the sum total... it is what it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
it's down to what you value more:
Being seen as 'polite' and not being superior or your dog.
You're absolutely right, I need to learn to be a lot more assertive on behalf of my dog. Definitely some food for thought here. Thanks for your reply.
 

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Something else to consider ... Apparently dogs are (were) a food source in China and dogs may not be looked at in the same light as we look at them. I worked with 2 men from China 30 years ago and they specifically told me that dogs are raised as a meat source; this may have changed but people's attitude take a long time to change. We still have people training with the dominance attitude and that has been proven not that efficient at getting good results.

I think being less polite could be the key but don't be surprised if you find yourself climbing a steep hill ... being surrounded by a certain mentality may not result in the outcomes you expect. Eventually it might but not right away.
 

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I'd stop allowing your dog to approach people except on your cue with their permission. That's rude and allows them opportunity to act badly to your sweet dog. When you are rude people feel much freer to be rude right back. You can converse with people without them being able to reach your dog as well. Keep room around you so you can move away from toddlers and such. If she knows any tricks perhaps that would keep you in control of her actions so rude people won't feel the urge to make her do something by barking at her or throwing things at her.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'd stop allowing your dog to approach people except on your cue with their permission. That's rude
Don't get the wrong idea - most of this contact is outdoors where she is on a lead. If people are ignoring her then I don't let her approach, even if she has interest in them. I wouldn't want to scare someone who was nervous around dogs by letting her near them. I allow her to approach if the person is actively showing interest in interacting with her, ie. calling her, crouching and holding out their hands towards her, etc.
 

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My picture is of a nice relaxed dog on a leash with quite a few people walking around. Some notice her, smile and make noises and crouch down to greet her and your dog is responding by wagging her tail and pulling a little to go meet them then the person is doing something rude to your dog. I'd change that. If the person wants to meet your dog then have a little dialogue first and don't allow your dog to decide she wants to meet them, you decide. If somebody is rude then leave. The baby steps and little complaints you are politely making aren't working, step it up several notches. Stand up and walk away, do a pivot so you are between dog and person. Better yet, you control the interaction. Give the person a cookie by placing it in the hand and guiding it to treat her properly, tell him/her a cue so your dog will sit or speak or whatever, tell them to pet HERE, don't just fuss that they are petting her wrong.

I haven't run across people barking at my dogs lately, when I did it was high schoolers eating lunch next to the grocery store and I would laugh and ask Sassy to bark back. She was used to me barking and whining and howling at her anyway. Do the same with some of that rude handling like patting on top of the head and thumping her sides and tail/ear grabbing. No it isn't okay to do that to a strange dog but the more you can do things like that to your dog without it bothering her the better. She is going to be handled all sorts of odd ways by vets in the future, right?
 

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Not so long ago I signed a petition because China's government threatened to kill all dogs in China.No person is allowed to keep nay kind of dogs in China.This is all over my facebook wall right now,people beeing mad at FCI for letting China hold World Dog Show 2019. Is any of that actually happening and real?Sorry for of topic.I wanted to ask this to someone who actually lives there for a while now.
 

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Language barriers are hard but maybe you could find a way to explain that while your dog will tolerate such tomfoolery, that one day they may antagonize a dog that is not so forgiving. Maybe offer to let them treat her for a nice sit or shake of a paw so they have the opportunity to interact with her in a way that's positive for everyone?
 

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I like some of the suggestions that Kathyy offered. In addition to acclimating the dog to 'abuse,' You might also state that your dog is in training to be gentle, so you can take her to the hospital to do therapy with children who have cancer. So, it's very important to be gentle with handling and petting, and not to startle her.

Not everyone will listen, but maybe more will be careful. You can then turn the other way and walk off, if they aren't treating her well.
 

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Through the years I never had a problem because I just did not allow any fooling around with any of my personal dogs or dogs in training. I was never worried about being polite.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Not so long ago I signed a petition because China's government threatened to kill all dogs in China.No person is allowed to keep nay kind of dogs in China.This is all over my facebook wall right now,people beeing mad at FCI for letting China hold World Dog Show 2019. Is any of that actually happening and real?Sorry for of topic.I wanted to ask this to someone who actually lives there for a while now.
That is very very untrue. While there is an ongoing debate in China about the dying dog meat industry (It's pretty much illegal now) and views here about pets are outdated, in my opinion, but I get very frustrated at the huge misinformation about China on the internet.
 

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Phew, I definitely need to learn to control my word count! :p
Takes a lot of words to explain cross cultural situations. Context matters. No apology needed.
Bottom line has to be watch and understand your dog. You're not going to be able to change cultural attitudes. You may hope to touch a few people and help them relate to dogs as sentient beings rather than cute (disposable) toys. So long as your dog is ok with encounters with people who aren't good with dogs, it's fine. But if he/she ceases to be relaxed . . . I'd say do your dog walking in places and at times when you won't encounter too many unfamiliar people.
 

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Phew, I definitely need to learn to control my word count! :p
Takes a lot of words to explain cross cultural situations. Context matters. No apology for word count needed.
Bottom line has to be watch and understand your dog. You are a drop in the ocean. You're not going to be able to change cultural attitudes or change levels of sophistication. You may hope to touch a few people and help them relate to dogs as sentient beings rather than cute (disposable) toys. So long as your dog is ok with encounters with people who aren't good with dogs, it's fine. But if he/she ceases to be relaxed . . . I'd say do your dog walking in places and at times when you won't encounter too many unfamiliar people.
 

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LOL I have had a LOT of people tell me I am cruel because my dog is "too thin" when in fact he is at a perfect weight, he is a sporting dog in the making, I cant afford to have extra weight on him, people think I am cruel because my dogs has rules that I hold him to etc ... people are weird. Luckily, most of that stuff is from people online and not in person haha, most of the people here in this area are very dog friendly and dog savvy, a lot of people do sports and show in this area so they "get it". Now where I am from, in SA there are a lot of "dog stupid" (as I like to call them) dog people.

Though I have noticed that I see more "dog stupid" people in places like petsmart than any other dog friendly place lmao. Luckily I havent had to tell anyone off, except these two jerks at home depot who kept staring at Lincoln even though they could clearly see it was making him uncomfortable and they were laughing about it, I noticed and turned around and told them to stop it, or else, they did. That was the only time.

The other time was when I was at petsmart but I didnt have my dog with me and there was this jerk off walking around with a squeak toy squeaking it at all the dogs, and even spooking some on purpose by walking up behind them and squeaking it. I told a manager and showed her what he was doing and they told him to leave. He is lucky he didnt do that to my dog because I would have told him if he didnt stop, he would be pooping out that squeak toy in a few days.
 

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If it's any consolation, I live in Canada but people are horrible with dogs here too. I've had parents allow their toddlers to approach random dogs on the street, I've had people bark/growl at my dog because they thought it would be funny to see a reaction, etc...

The best thing you can do is ignore them/keep moving, and work your butt off in socializing your dog so that they don't spook easily.
 
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