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Old 11.02.2012, 15:31
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

I know of several in Geneva. We take our dog on tracks away from town where she can be off the leash to her hearts content. Much better than any dog park.
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Old 11.02.2012, 17:11
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

What do you do if you are cycling out in the countryside passing farms where dogs are often loose and there are no owners around to intervene? If a dog runs up to me or after me, should I just stop and get off the bike? I've had some pretty aggressive farm dogs run up to me while out walking and have often wondered how to react if I'm out on the bike.
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Old 12.02.2012, 08:41
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

I have problems with this situation too. I often bike with my dog (he pulls me) and hate riding by a farm. It has happened many times already that I had to come to a sudden stop, panicly unleash my dog so that he can run away/defend himself I think these farm dogs can really be a nuisance...
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Old 12.02.2012, 10:28
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

Excellent work Grumpy, as a lifetime dog owner I say you're spot on.

As Grumpy said do not look an unknown dog in the face. If the dog is aggressive it is taken as a challenge by the animal. Until you've established the dogs place as lower in status to you the animal can react aggressively to being challenged.

Using the knee and not your hands, it not only stops a dog from jumping up on you to play but can also serve to stop a charging dog.
Extend your knee up as if you're going to get up onto a chair and turn your body away so you are not squared up to the dog. You may need to do this more than once but consistently using a knee is a solid blocking move that often will make an aggressive dog back down.
If you run it's a signal to the dog that you are vulnerable and to continue, if you extend your hands (natural for us) it gives a charging dog something to grab onto.
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Old 12.02.2012, 10:45
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

I must have had an exceptional mother-in-law. She grew up on a farm in Thurgau and knew things based on a life spent mainly in nature. On those Sundays when we were on a visit these were the only times when I , a confirmed 'fear of dogs' person walked out through farmland in a relaxed state of mind - secure in the knowledge that dogs would be no problem. Her method of getting an aggressive dog to walk away was to look it fully in the eyes, point her finger at it and say a couple of words - something like 'what do you want'. It never failed. This seems to be the opposite of the advice given here.
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Old 12.02.2012, 11:51
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

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Her method of getting an aggressive dog to walk away was to look it fully in the eyes, point her finger at it and say a couple of words - something like 'what do you want'. It never failed.
My elder daughter taught our younger daughter to put her head completely under the water by pushing the younger child's head down well under the surface and holding it there. 'Mummy, xxxx can dive'. It worked, but I wouldn't exactly recommend this method to ANYONE! Same applies to the method of approaching dogs you describe above.

Last edited by Longbyt; 12.02.2012 at 13:56.
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Old 12.02.2012, 12:04
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

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(my mother-in-law's) method of getting an aggressive dog to walk away was to look it fully in the eyes, point her finger at it and say a couple of words - something like 'what do you want'. It never failed. This seems to be the opposite of the advice given here.
I think there's more to how that worked for her than just staring and pointing.

Check this out:

Research shows that only 7% of human communication is in fact verbal (words we say). The rest (92%) is voice inflection and posture. Given that fact, its surprising that we -nine times out of ten- opt to communicate with our canines using verbal commands. The paradox is that just because we think that’s the best way to communicate with our dogs, it doesn’t mean that dogs agree. In fact, while you’re talking, your dog is “listening” way beyond your words.

...Dogs can smell the way you feel.
...
they can sense the subtle timber in your voice.
...they are very good at reading... human body language.

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Old 12.02.2012, 16:05
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

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Rule 1. When approaching a dog of any type for the first time in the street, countryside or friends house, or when it approaches you... IGNORE it - even if you know it is a friendly dog. Don't make eye contact or even look towards it, keeps your hands by your side and if it tries to come to your front, turn around. If it does try to jump up at you top say hello or to play (and it really shouldn't do this) stick your knee out to push it away.... do not use your hands or feet. You are basically telling the dog, in its own "language" that you are not interested in it, not scared of it and you are way above it in the family "pecking order".
My wife used exactly the same technique when we met. It was very effective, and immediate established who was first in the pecking order.
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Old 12.02.2012, 17:01
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

I've been trying to stay out of this thread because this is no longer my fight - but I feel like I should to respond to this bit:

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Her method of getting an aggressive dog to walk away was to look it fully in the eyes, point her finger at it and say a couple of words - something like 'what do you want'. It never failed. This seems to be the opposite of the advice given here.
Busby, what your mother-in-law does is indeed exactly the wrong thing to do in many cases, depending on the exact situation, the dog, and the person. You should not attempt to do this, especially as you say you are afraid of dogs. Given your innate fear your body language could convey something entirely different to a dog.

For most dogs direct frontal eye contact is a challenge, a provocation, an invitation to aggression. If you are not versed in reading canine body language and do not know how to interpret calming signals, issuing such a challenge will often only escalate the situation. By giving off the wrong body language, by not understanding a dog's appeasement maneuvers and responding correctly in kind, you run the risk of turning a friendly greeting into an unfortunate incident.

The knee-in-dog's chest is a good blocking move for people who are not afraid of dogs and have experience with them. (And who have good balance. ) I have used it myself when necessary.

That said, however, I would not recommend this as a first response for those who have a fear of dogs, for those who do not have at least a rudimentary understanding of canine body language, have not had the opportunity to practice this maneuver in a safe situation, nor for children or the elderly.

In many situations a safer response would be what the BVet recommend in their booklet: 'Ich habe Angst vor Hunde' Their advice is, in a nutshell: Ignore dogs who run up to you and they will ignore you. Look away (as in, no direct eye contact.) Move calmly.

http://www.bvet.admin.ch/tsp/02222/0...x.html?lang=de

(Scroll down to the relevant brochure, click on the link for a .pdf)


Ich fühle mich von einem Hund bedroht oder werde angegriffen:
• Halten Sie an.
• Wenden Sie Ihren Blick ab.
• Lassen Sie die Arme hängen.
• Atmen Sie tief durch.
• Gehen Sie langsam weg.
• Falls Sie hingefallen sind, kugeln Sie sich ein, schützen Sie ihren Nacken mit den Händen und bleiben sie still.

Der Hund verliert das Interesse an einer Person, die still und unbeweglich ist und entfernt sich. Jede Bewegung hingegen zieht seine Aufmerksamkeit an.


Which translates roughly as:

I feel threatened by a dog:

Stop, stand still..
Look away. (As in, no direct eye contact - my comment)
Let your arms fall to your side
Breathe deeply
Walk slowly away
If you are attacked, fall into a crouch on your knees, head down, protect your neck with your hands, stay still. The dog will likely loose interest in a person who remains still and down not move - and will go away. Movement attracts a dog's attention.


Hoping all y'all find a way to peacefully co-exist.
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  #30  
Old 12.02.2012, 17:15
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

Some great advice here. I was always taught that when you meet a friendly looking dog that you would like to stroke, the thing to do is to extend your hand, palm down, to allow the dog to sniff it without (as mentioned previously) making any sudden movements.
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Old 12.02.2012, 19:36
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

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I must have had an exceptional mother-in-law. She grew up on a farm in Thurgau and knew things based on a life spent mainly in nature. On those Sundays when we were on a visit these were the only times when I , a confirmed 'fear of dogs' person walked out through farmland in a relaxed state of mind - secure in the knowledge that dogs would be no problem. Her method of getting an aggressive dog to walk away was to look it fully in the eyes, point her finger at it and say a couple of words - something like 'what do you want'. It never failed. This seems to be the opposite of the advice given here.
No. it's not the opposite of what advice has been given here. Further to KF and MC's comments, the advice I and others have given here is directed at people who have no experience of dogs or are nervous around them. (in fact this whole thread is aimed at them).

Your MIL clearly had experience of, and more importantly, confidence around dogs and it was her experience of the dogs body language and her general confidence that probably made the dogs back off. A person with no experience of dogs, or worse who is scared of dogs, who tried to do what your MIL did could have a nasty experience if the dog is badly trained, nervous or aggressive.
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Old 14.02.2012, 18:34
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

Just touching on the Newsreader who was bitten by the Argentinian Mastif, here's a well written article by Cesar Milan, the celebrated US dog trainer. He's not to everybody's taste but he does speak basic common sense.

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First of all, if you have never been in a studio during taping, it’s a crazy energy. There are people running around, strange noises, bright lights, and lots of shouting. Even for humans, it can freak you out, so you can imagine what it’s like for a dog to be in that environment.

The other thing to always remember when meeting ANY dog is the rule, “no touch, no talk, no eye contact”. You have to let the dog approach you and show him that you aren’t a threat. With Max, you could tell before the bite there was going to be trouble, because, she was holding his face with both hands and he was getting more and more uncomfortable, and when she leaned in to kiss him a the end, he thought it was an aggressive act and bit her.
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Old 14.02.2012, 19:44
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

The advice of not looking a dog in the eye when being threatened seems bizarre. I once stood my ground against a Doberman when I walked into someones garden and they had it off the chain. He walked out to find me with a bag stuffed in the dogs mouth amazed that anyone had been able out smart the dog normally everyone turns and runs he said I find them on the ground with the dog standing over them.

Maybe I am not your average respondent as I grew up around dogs and if you look them in the eye and make it clear you aren't bothered they are easy to handle.
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Old 14.02.2012, 21:11
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

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Maybe I am not your average respondent as I grew up around dogs and if you look them in the eye and make it clear you aren't bothered they are easy to handle.
Wallabies, this thread is intended as advice for those who do not own dogs, who don't know much about them, or who are afraid of them.

Yes, those who know dogs, who have experience reading canine body language, can differentiate an agressive posture from a friendly exuberant one - and respond appropriately. But these are skills that the average non-dog owner doesn't have.

Because direct frontal 'hard' eye contact is generally a challenge in the canine world, experts are pretty much united on the recommendation that those who are uncomfortable around dogs, those who have not had an opportunity to learn to read canine body language/calming signals, take the safest approach and offer a calming signal of their own - looking away.

Looking away is what a dog generally does to de-escalate the situation when facing a challenge from another dog.

Someone who is uncomfortable around dogs would likely unconsciously give off all the wrong signals - add in a direct challenge, and one could create more problems than solved.

As always - safety first. And the safest thing is to de-escalate as the default response.

FYI, for those who wish to learn a bit more about canine body language - which, after all, is a dog's primary mode of communication - a very good quick read is the classic 'On Talking Terms With Dogs: Calming Signals' by Turid Rugaas:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Talking-Term...9246308&sr=1-1

And a more in-depth study:
Canine Body Language, A Photographic Guide: Interpreting The Native Language Of The Domestic Dog' by Brenda Aloff:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Canine-Body-...9246387&sr=1-1
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Old 14.02.2012, 21:30
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

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Wallabies, this thread is intended as advice for those who do not own dogs, who don't know much about them, or who are afraid of them.

Yes, those who know dogs, who have experience reading canine body language, can differentiate an agressive posture from a friendly exuberant one - and respond appropriately. But these are skills that the average non-dog owner doesn't have.
I think maybe I slip through the cracks here in terms of where I fit into the above groups.

My first experience with a dog was not a positive one. My parents got our (and their) first dog primarily because of my fear. They felt it was important to help me overcome that fear and in came our sweet new friend that I instantly adored.

Since then, I've grown up with dogs - my own and also friends. And yet, I'm still terrified of them at times and nervous around them. I know it seems to be a contradiction but it's accurate.

When I see an "aggressive posture," I become totally petrified. Right or wrong, this is a reaction that has never changed for me over time, despite almost all my encounters with dogs being such wonderful ones.

P.S. I've bookmarked both book suggestions and look forward to reading them. Thanks so much.
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Old 14.02.2012, 21:33
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

Interesting thread. I'm a dog lover who grew up with a dachshund/beagle, and the dog was definitely in charge

Grumpy - you seem quite knowledgeable so I'm curious on your thoughts. I always smile at the small dogs I see on the tram and they usually always get that smile in their eyes and that hopeful look that I'll pet them (which I don't because it seems to be not appropriate here).

Is this really such a bad idea? I sense there's some difference between the larger dogs and the small definitely-pampered house puppies. I dont really approach either, but the smaller breeds do seem quite well socialized here in Zurich.

(BTW, love the pics of King Nelson - he's utterly adorable.)
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Old 14.02.2012, 22:14
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

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The advice of not looking a dog in the eye when being threatened seems bizarre. I once stood my ground against a Doberman when I walked into someones garden and they had it off the chain. He walked out to find me with a bag stuffed in the dogs mouth amazed that anyone had been able out smart the dog normally everyone turns and runs he said I find them on the ground with the dog standing over them.

Maybe I am not your average respondent as I grew up around dogs and if you look them in the eye and make it clear you aren't bothered they are easy to handle.

TOTALLY disagree! This is bad advice and you were very lucky. I have seen my husband bitten by a dog when he used this ill advised idea to look a dog in its eyes. This dog was especially sensitive to any male who "stared" at him and if they ignored the owner's advice...they got a nice snap. Please don't think you
were "clever" ! You were LUCKY !
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Old 15.02.2012, 00:02
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

grumpygrapefruit

Tip Top posting

loved the 5th picture down on this posting:-

http://www.englishforum.ch/commercial/126464-probably-best-eggs-you-ever-likely-eat.html

one of the dogs looking at one of the 2 chooks with cat in background, he looks so adorable
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Old 15.02.2012, 11:19
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

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I always smile at the small dogs I see on the tram and they usually always get that smile in their eyes and that hopeful look that I'll pet them (which I don't because it seems to be not appropriate here).

Is this really such a bad idea? I sense there's some difference between the larger dogs and the small definitely-pampered house puppies. I dont really approach either, but the smaller breeds do seem quite well socialized here in Zurich.
Its not inappropriate if you ask the owner first before petting any dog, big or small. (I have to admit that I sometimes get too enthusiastic when I see a beautiful dog and forget to ask the owner. )

For the smaller dogs, the world seems much bigger and more intimidating to them. Even a 4 year old is bigger than them - as I've learnt from my 9 kilos terrier.

If the owner says that its ok, you still have to do your due dilligence so as to not startle the dog:

- Approach slowly and squat sideways in front of the dog. Facing the dog directly will be viewed as confrontational and would make the dog defensive. Likewise, hovering over the dog will make it defensive.

- Extend your hand slowly (palm down) to let the dog smell you first.

- People shake hands when they meet. In the canine world, sniffing is their way of greeting. When the dog has sniffed your hand, stroke it under its chin, rather than over its head. As I mentioned in my first post, insecure dogs dont like that.

- If the dog is calm, you can now pat the head.
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Old 15.02.2012, 11:33
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Re: For non dog owners/lovers. How to approach and deal with dogs.

And I'll add to Summerrain's excellent advice:

No matter how sweet, cute, huggable the dog looks - if the owner says 'no', please do as he/she asks and leave the dog in peace.

- MC and Psycho-Collie The Anti-Lassie, who was nothing at all like his film star doppelganger.
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