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Discussion Starter #1
So Luke is a bit growly at points and I stop him; he's not being mean just protective. But he saw someone and began to bark and growl at these people. I told him to stop and the guy looks straight at me and says, "Mean little dog."

Excuse me? I got into defensive mode right off the bat and said, "You don't know my dog and he's not mean." I should've said for him to come over and see how Luke will jump and kiss him, but didn't. Then I say further that he isn't mean and the guy puts his head down and his friend is laughing! Oh, that got me. And I normally do not do this, but I called them idiots. I doubt they heard me.

My mother said that sometimes guys will say stuff to get a girl's attention, but I don't think this was it. And if he was doing that, the moment I got upset he should've said something. Next time I see the guy I feel like saying, "Watch out my dog could bite you." *rolls eyes*

Anyway, I was wondering what would you do in a situation like that if someone called your dog: "a mean little dog". People with larger breeds can answer too. Thanks!
 

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I would have just said " Nah, ... he's just scared. " Then I would have looked at the guy ( because Leeo does this ) and said " Awwwe ... Leeo don't hurt the mans feelings! "
 

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Try having a 90lb GSD mix. One lady tried to have me kicked out of my apartment because my dog "looked mean". That's it. He looked at her.
 

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We had a passing cyclist sue us because " the black dog was barking but it could have been playing with the other dog in the yard" allegedly caused his chain to come off his bike, feet stuck in toe clips and land on his helmetless head....idiot in action.....adding insult to injury....he got a settlement pkg from our homeowners insurance. Idiots.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Dogdragoness--Lol! Next time I'm going to say sarcastically, "Watch out for my vicious dog, he may tear your leg off."

Aramyllis--that is dumb! I understand if the dog was baring his teeth at your neighbor, but just looking? Oy!

Whoa, that is an idiot kip.

Thanks guys. Normally I am not that defensive over something unless you really push my buttons, but for some reason that statement just got to me. Just because my dog is growling and barking doesn't mean he's mean. He's just overprotective of me. I always ask Luke what he's going to do when I have a boyfriend one day, lol.
 

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My guess is that those guys were just joking with you but depending on the day it probably would have annoyed me too (if I was in your shoes). The situation is a little different for me as your dog is cute and adorable and my dog is a doberman (still cute and adorable, imo, but much more intimidating). I get plenty of comments about my boy being a mean dog even when he's not growling so I generally shrug the comments off. Dreizehn only growls at people that both him and I get a weird vibe from so it's a pretty rare occurrence and when it does happen it's very rare that people comment about it (most just move away). When they do comment, however, I simply tell them that his breed was created to guard and protect in a situation where he deems it necessary so he is only doing his job and if they have no bad intentions then they need not worry because I have full control over him. I've never had a problem, lol
 

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Achilles growls and barks much like Patchwork's Dobe does. He probably isnt as intimidating as Dreizehn(to the general public... I looove Dobes, GSDs, Rotties, and Pitties and get upset when people just blanket the breeds), but he still gets people freaked out. He mostly just barks when he is surprised at somebodies presence(Somebody pops out suddenly from around a corner or something), or when we are on late at night walks and somebody is shadowy and walking in the distance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
The fear was a good one, Dobermanguy! And thanks for the other responses everyone! I guess I'm just so attached to Luke and know his personality, so when that guy said that it was, "you don't know my dog from adam so how can you just judge right here and now?" We have a neighbor across from us and she's turned into, kidding, Luke's aunt. Granted, he shouldn't jump on people, but he does that to get close to their face so he can kiss the person. He is a loveable dog.

Luke thinks this whole complex is his territory, so anyone he doesn't know or sees coming from outside their door, etc, gets a small growl or bark as if to say, "Who are you and where do you think you're going?" He's very noisy too, he'll watch the person go to his car to his house; I have to keep pulling the leash to get him to walk. So when he just does his "growly thing", it's more of a "who are you?" He would never bite another human.

So I can see why he did it, but if the guys were joking and I got defensive, don't you think they should've said something? I rather be embarrassed later on than go on not liking my neighbor.
 

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Well, I certainly don't believe owners when their dogs are growling at me and they say it isn't mean... dogs don't growl for happy reasons typically. I would have thought the same thing they did.

Why don't you apologize for your dog growling at a stranger next time and just move on? Work on getting him better around people so that you don't have to worry about it?
 

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My dogs barked at some passing people, seldom did they growl. More of a "Hey!, come over and play with me" kind of bark.
 

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I'd have said, "don't know much about dogs, do you."

Happy barking sometimes includes growling.

BTW, "possessive" is often mistaken for "protective".

A protective dog growls and barks at credible threats, whereas a possessive dog barks at anybody who gets too close. Of course, you could have a protective dog who isn't very good at threat assessment.
 

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It seems like maybe he was trying to get to you...to have laughed it off and walked away may have been a good solution, but I could see getting all caught up in the moment and reacting the way you did.
 

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I'd seriously write down a few comments that seem not threatening and confrontational and memorize them so the next time a complete stranger says something offensive to you, you won't get so upset yourself. Your pet senses your apprehension too so I'd think about how you were feeling when this happened, maybe the men/boys made YOU feel off so your dog just verbalized your fear. Just a thought :)
 

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Well, I certainly don't believe owners when their dogs are growling at me and they say it isn't mean... dogs don't growl for happy reasons typically. I would have thought the same thing they did.

Why don't you apologize for your dog growling at a stranger next time and just move on? Work on getting him better around people so that you don't have to worry about it?
I would never assume that a dog barking at me was "mean." Afraid? Maybe. Protective? Possibly. Possessive? Could be. Mean? I don't think dogs are ever "mean." They don't have malice towards others. Barking is an element of other issues (and in some cases, dogs are nuisance barkers that bark at most anything).

I don't mean that a barking dog can't be dangerous, although I think it's a lot more probable that the barking dog will avoid if you get close rather than bite. Not that I would approach a barking/growling dog to test that theory out. Obviously, the barking dog is telling you something--in many cases, it's "I want you to go away."

I've got a very vocal dog with certain fear issues related to kids/bicycles/skateboards. I always have her under control, but I knew before I got her that her mix might tend towards barking. I'm working with her on it, but it's going to take a lot of time. In the meantime, it is sad for me to think that people believe I have a "mean" dog. She's not mean. The folks at daycare (and the dogs at daycare) all adore her. She's an avoider, meaning she'll bark if she wants to "scare" somebody away, but if that person comes close, she'll just walk away. Far, far from "mean." Just some fear intertwined with natural protective behavior.
 
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