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Discussion Starter #1
Ugh.

I'm out walking Snyder on what was going to be a short do-your-business type night walk, but Snyder is showing a ton of energy, so I figure we'll go for a longer walk to let him burn some off. My plan is to make him do some tricks at every intersection.

I run into this really nice couple whom I've done business with. The guy is trying to pet Snyder and Snyder is barking like Cujo, tail between his legs — he's not into this. Now I tell Snyder to sit and watch me and he quiets down, but he's still very nervous. Well, the guy continues to try to pet the dog. The couple collapses on the ground and start trying to convince the dog to be friendly.

I say, "Sorry, he gets nervous around strangers in the dark." Which is true. They keep pressing the issue and I say, "He really doesn't look comfortable. I should probably get going."

Then they start explaining how he's really a "dog whisperer." He's SOOOOOOO good with dogs.

OK, you're grabbing at a pit-mix who was growling and barking at you. Seriously? Of all the times not to have an irrational fear of a pit bull, it's now?

I talked to Snyder in a soothing voice, shook their hands and tried to keep him distracted. Thankfully Snyder kept his cool long enough for me to walk away without hurting the relationship. If they were sober or if was someone I didn't know, I would have reacted differently. I just had Snyder at a taut leash ready to yank him back ASAP.

Crisis averted. This was mostly a vent, but is there anything I could have done differently?
 

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Probably not, at least, not that I can say. I have two previously abused dogs and I bolt out of those situations immediately. They have very low thresholds and react differently. Jack McCoy will spook and run, while Jonas will bite.

Why are all the people who say "I'm realllllly good with dogs.." the ones who get bit first? This woman my boyfriend's family knows stopped by and my doxie was lunging and snarling at her, as he often does with people he doesn't know. I inform her he does not like strangers and to not approach him and let him settle because he WILL bite. She INSISTS she's really good with dogs and LAYS ON THE COUCH WITH HER FACE NEXT TO HIS cooing and grabbing at him. End result? He bit her.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why are all the people who say "I'm realllllly good with dogs.." the ones who get bit first?
Doesn't it always seem that way? I'm getting to the point that I appreciate the people who cross the street in fear instead of try to become friends.

The real folks who are actually good with dogs seem to say something like, "Hey pup!" then smile at me as they walk right on by. Or the ones who ask, "Can I pet him?" before putting their hands near his teeth. But those folks seem few and far between.

All that said, Snyder has never actually bit anyone. I don't want there to be a first time.
 

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Doesn't it always seem that way? I'm getting to the point that I appreciate the people who cross the street in fear instead of try to become friends.

The real folks who are actually good with dogs seem to say something like, "Hey pup!" then smile at me as they walk right on by. Or the ones who ask, "Can I pet him?" before putting their hands near his teeth. But those folks seem few and far between.

All that said, Snyder has never actually bit anyone. I don't want there to be a first time.
Half the time I want to tell them that just because you've pet a few dogs doesn't mean you're good with them. You don't know my dog, and you don't know how he'll react, and most of them time in these cases, you certainly don't have permission to pet him because you didn't ask.

Often times on our walks I'm the one who just crosses the street. I can't imagine (but can't rule out) Smalls or Jack McCoy ever biting anyone, and they quite often enjoy meeting strangers, but you can never gauge how a stranger will act with your dog. I definitely don't chance it with Jonas, because while he's 10 lbs, he has bitten me badly (due to an extremely rookie mistake I made and am embarrassed by) and has bitten two other people. While I feel all the bites were warranted and he definitely gave them a good warning (and so did I) I can't chance someone being as understanding as I am about why he did it.
 

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I have a similar opposite problem.

my dog is DA...and dogs LOVE to come up to us...why ? not sure...but inevitably some happy go lucky "I WANNA BE BFF!" kind of pooch(off lease..ggrrr) comes barreling towards us looking to play and Bolo is going all psycho dog in her mind and struggle to pay attention to me in the mix...

Bolo's getting better about it slowly but surely. I work with her specifically and extensively on the issue...perhaps you might consider doing some work with Snyder to acclimate him to those situations?
 

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I have a similar opposite problem.

my dog is DA...and dogs LOVE to come up to us...why ? not sure...but inevitably some happy go lucky "I WANNA BE BFF!" kind of pooch(off lease..ggrrr) comes barreling towards us looking to play and Bolo is going all psycho dog in her mind and struggle to pay attention to me in the mix...

Bolo's getting better about it slowly but surely. I work with her specifically and extensively on the issue...perhaps you might consider doing some work with Snyder to acclimate him to those situations?
Well at least it's a dog that does the approach and I while not liking it can forgive the dog. There is no forgiving of people who are suppose to be smarter.

You know what would help, we need one of our brilliant DF lawyer types to type us up a short to the point waiver, you know something like "Please sign this so I and my family are not legally responsible for injuries after my dog is done mauling you. When these dog experts in petting come up you could just hand them one and while probably not worth a dime in a real court would at least give them something the expert dog petters to read while everybody who doesn't want their dog petted can beat a hasty retreat. C'mon somebody on forum get us something we can print out, short and to the point.
 

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I've been in similar situations at parks. Children running loose run right up to Donatello and I when we're walking the track. Instead of the parents calling their children back to them and to not pet strange dogs, they just look on with a dumb look on their face, expecting that nothing bad would happen.

Donatello is kind of like Snyder in a way, Donatello does not like people rushing or running up to us. He'll start growling and back up in front of me as if he's going to protect me. This is something I'm trying to work on, but when it rains so much and we can't leave the house, it's hard to teach him that I'm a big girl and I don't need his protection. lol! It's kind of sweet if I think about it, but could one day result in a child getting snapped at or bit.

The last few times we've been at petstores, children have walked up to him and petted him gingerly and he's even wagged his tail and sniffed them shyly; I can't say the same if they had run up on him or if they pulled on an ear...

Children should be supervised at all times, like dogs, and should never be allowed to rush up to a strange dog and assume the dog is friendly. Donatello has some severe emotional restraints, and with his abused past he's quite protective of me.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
perhaps you might consider doing some work with Snyder to acclimate him to those situations?
I kind of like him barking intimidatingly at strangers in the dark. I guess what I could try to train is some kind of cue that everything is OK? He is not generally a barker. In the daytime, he usually is wagging his tail happily when he meets strangers. But at night, he goes into protect mode. He also barks a lot when a stranger comes in the house, but calms down after a few minutes. After a person comes over a few times, though, he seems comfortable with them from the get-go.

Any tips or suggestions on how to go about a "calming" command? (Unless I'm looking at this the wrong way.)

Donatello is kind of like Snyder in a way, Donatello does not like people rushing or running up to us. He'll start growling and back up in front of me as if he's going to protect me. This is something I'm trying to work on, but when it rains so much and we can't leave the house, it's hard to teach him that I'm a big girl and I don't need his protection. lol! It's kind of sweet if I think about it, but could one day result in a child getting snapped at or bit.
Totally. It's just when the dog feels uncomfortable. And it's totally sweet in concept but in practice it could be terrible if something goes awry with someone it shouldn't (like a child).
 

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I'm like you too, GeorgeGlass in the respect I like Donatello barking at strangers in the dark. I live in Duluth, GA and let me just say... I don't feel the safest person in the neighborhood at 8:30 at night...

Even though Donatello is a tiny little thing compared to a Pit Bull- I have no doubt that if someone were intimidating me, or threatening to harm me- Donatello would very well likely rise to occasion. I'm not training him by any means be threatening to strangers. (There are a group of ladies at PetCo that flood him with coos and scratches when we show up- By now he's completely comfortable with them.)

However, at night- When some shady characters are loitering around the backside of apartments, his hackles will raise, his tail will curl up, and he'll let out a low growl, like a warning they better stay where they're at...

It's hard to explain, and some people may never understand why I would want Donatello to act as such... Some people believe dogs should be all lovey-dovey with strangers- Well sometimes, it's comforting to know someone's got your back. ; ) lol!
 

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I've noticed that "Can I pet her" seems to be a rhetorical question, asked about 20 seconds after oone rubbs one's mitts all over my dog's head. Fortunately, she's a purebred Attention Hound, and she likes it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hmmm....how do you motivate Snyder?

What kind of motivation/reward can he just not resist?
He loves praise, and usually that is enough to reward him with. He seems to crave praise even more than food.

That said, he goes NUTS for hot dogs. That's what I used when teaching him "watch me" which was a hard trick/tool for him to learn in distracting situations.
 

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You know what would help, we need one of our brilliant DF lawyer types to type us up a short to the point waiver, you know something like "Please sign this so I and my family are not legally responsible for injuries after my dog is done mauling you. When these dog experts in petting come up you could just hand them one and while probably not worth a dime in a real court would at least give them something the expert dog petters to read while everybody who doesn't want their dog petted can beat a hasty retreat. C'mon somebody on forum get us something we can print out, short and to the point.
I'm not a lawyer but I play one on TV ;). Will this do?

RELEASE AND WAIVER OF LIABILITYAGREEMENT

I acknowledge that I have voluntarily assigned myself the role of Expert Dog Petter (hereafter known as EDP) and as such, willingly and knowingly enter into situations with dogs heretofore unknown to me that involve risks of injury to me, any individual accompanying me, other persons, my dog(s) and other dog(s), including injuries resulting from, but not limited to, aggressive and persistent petting, unpredictable behavior, and lack of proper training of aforementioned EDP.

Additionally, I accept and acknowledge that I assume any and all risks associated with my ill-advised behavior towards dogs and their owners, and do hereby release the owner of any responsibility for injuries sustained during the encounter, either to myself or other persons or dogs involved. Furthermore, I do hereby obligate myself to pay for any and all damages sustained to any persons or dogs resulting from my unwanted attentions.

By accepting the prescribed terms and conditions and signing this release, I do hereby agree to indemnify and save harmless the owner of the dog I am about to molest, his/her agents, family members, local and state government, its agents, officers, and employees from and against all loss, cost, damages, expense and liability resulting from my unwanted attentions, including death, sickness, injury, and disease to any person or dog, or destruction to property, real or personal, arising directly from my behavior.

I do hereby acknowledge that I have carefully read this release of liability, and fully understand, agree with, and accept the terms and conditions that have been outlined above. I do hereby forever waive any and all rights that I may have to institute legal proceedings to recover cost of any kind. I have carefully read this release of liability, and fully understand, agree with, and accept its terms and conditions as outlined.

I AM AWARE THAT THE ACTIVITY I AM ABOUT TO ENGAGE IN IS HAZARDOUS AND THAT I COULD BE SERIOUSLY INJURED OR EVEN KILLED. I AM VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING IN THESE ACTIVITIES WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE DANGER INVOLVED, AND AGREE TO ASSUME ANY AND ALL RISKS OF BODILY INJURY, DEATH OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, WHETHER THOSE RISKS ARE KNOWN OR UNKNOWN.

Signatures:

EXPERT DOG PETTER
_______________________________________
Print Full Name

__________________________________________________________________
Signature/Date

___________________________________________________________________________
Address

___________________________________________________________________________
Next of Kin/Contact


DOG OWNER

_____________________________________________
Print Full Name

__________________________________________________________________
Signature/Date

__________________________________________________________________________
Address
 

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I'm not a lawyer but I play one on TV ;). Will this do?
I AM AWARE THAT THE (touching of this dog) I AM ABOUT TO ENGAGE IN IS HAZARDOUS AND THAT I COULD BE SERIOUSLY INJURED OR EVEN KILLED. I AM VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING IN THESE ACTIVITIES WITH KNOWLEDGE OF THE DANGER INVOLVED, AND AGREE TO ASSUME ANY AND ALL RISKS OF BODILY INJURY, DEATH OR PROPERTY DAMAGE, WHETHER THOSE RISKS ARE KNOWN OR UNKNOWN.

Signatures:

EXPERT DOG PETTER
_______________________________________
Print Full Name

__________________________________________________ ________________
Signature/Date
I like the quoted above with a title, Main reason as it's not a stand up in court program your looking for and if you give somebody the total long waiver(which is fantastic, good job) it might be to confusing and long to read while the cute dog that they want to pet is right there calling to them. I would just like a short shock to your system read for them. Of course my original intention to flee the area would work with the longer waiver read, so I'm torn between shock-em or flee from-em. Either way good job.
 

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I've noticed that "Can I pet her" seems to be a rhetorical question, asked about 20 seconds after oone rubbs one's mitts all over my dog's head. Fortunately, she's a purebred Attention Hound, and she likes it.
Smalls is the opposite. People don't ask to pet her, but only because they don't get a chance. She's all over them asking THEM to pet her.
 

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winniec777--

Oooo. Nice job.

IG-- too true. Why ask if they have no intention of waiting for an answer?

Sadly enough, I have been one of those people. Shoot, I didn't even ask, much less wait for an answer...
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Not but a few days after I posted this thread, I pet some girl's dog at the bus stop this morning. To be fair, the dog came right up to me and licked my hand, butt wagging crazily. But I totally didn't ask.

While petting the dog, I looked at the girl and I said, "I'm sorry I didn't ask first." She laughed, and said, "My pooch wooed you!"
 

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DK is always on the look out for "things" on our walks.

During the day... hes generally relaxed and not too often he gets alert. He may raise his head, but hes just looking.

during the night... if he sees a person/group of people his head will rise and his ears will stand up and he will stare.

This is great, but its not wise to let the dog fixate on something for a period of time. If they get no response from you, they will continue to think they're (the other person) a threat. The key is finding a way to reassure your dog that everything is alright.

I have taught DK the, "I see it" phrase.. He hears that and will go back to his relaxed mode and we continue on our walk.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have taught DK the, "I see it" phrase.. He hears that and will go back to his relaxed mode and we continue on our walk.
Can you elaborate on how you taught this?
 

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Can you elaborate on how you taught this?
FYI, I use a pronged collar for best results. IMO.

He used to go nuts for squirrels and other dogs as well as other people.

So as we walk around, once he became fixated o something, I would give him a hard correction (eventually I worked down to a soft correction) and follow it with "I see it". Make sure you reward your dog with a "Good I see it". It sounds weird but the dog is more opt to learning a new command when it results in a good reward (instead of ending with a correction).

Repetition! Repetition! Repetition!

Over time, your dog will correlate "I see it" with ceasing his focus on that object. 9/10 now DK needs no correction.

This is the same process you can use for teaching your dog leave it. That is when your around another dog or person and when your dog attempts to go meet them.
 
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