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I Hate Aggressive Owners of "Friendly Doggies"


Two days, two experiences:


Yesterday, I was walking Loonah in our neighbourhood. Sometimes, she tends to be reactive towards large bitches that approach her suddenly and at high speed or when there is not enough space... she has very good reasons for that, I don’t blame her. She could have had lost her life during a very aggressive attack when she was an adolescent and since then, we have been trying to handle contact with large bitches without being unnecessarily reactive. I try to avoid such situations, I use positive reinforcement techniques, my body language, and if I am fast enough and give Loonah the right support, Loonah is just fine. I also have to admit that I have problems with large dogs without muzzle and completely out of any control of their owners, as my male Tari was attacked and bitten by a Fila Brasileiro male and had to fight the physical consequences of the attack all his life. After that horrible experience, I have been suffering from a sort of a “post-traumatic stress syndrome”. When the situation gets a bit difficult, and such dog owners become also aggressive (most of the time), it is difficult for me to “digest” it. When such moments are over and when we are out of the trouble and my dogs are safe, I start trembling and feel sick, I usually have to sit down, put my head on my knees, breath deeply...


Yesterday, we met a fat Wiemaranier bitch. She was out of leash (and out of control), no muzzle (in my country, it is required by law dogs wear muzzle when out of leash in public areas), and when she saw Loonah, she laid down, staring at her, prepared to run towards us. I took Loonah on loose leash, put her by my side so that I would be between her and the bitch, changed a bit our direction of walking not to go directly against the bitch, thus trying to tell the Wiemaranier with my body language we were not any threat. At the same time I rewarded Loonah for looking at the dog and then at me... the classic positive reinforcement technique... The bitch jumped to her feet, running straight at us. I stretched my leg to create a protection so that she would not get so easily to Loonah, and I called at the owner “please recall your dog”, which she tried with no reaction of the bitch. Fortunately, it was a “friendly attack”; the bitch started rolling at my feet, while I was standing with growling Loonah by my side. When the owner finally caught her bitch, I told her politely that she should not let her dog do such things, that not all dogs are fond of such “friendly attacks”. Her response was “oh, your dog is aggressive, mine is a friendly girl, she has never harmed anybody... “. And finally, she blamed me of having and aggressive dog and this uncomfortable situation was my fault! I have to add that Loonah was not aggressive at all; she just clearly drew the line for the other dog with her body language.


Today, Akhami, Loonah and I went up a narrow path in the forest, both girls out of leash (muzzles on). I heard an unpleasant man’s voice down behind us calling a dog. I thought: “Oh, someone’s dog is out of control... “ and an alarm triggered in my head... but nobody appeared behind us, so I thought the man took a different path. After some minutes, I heard a noise behind us... a Czechoslovak Wolfdog, without a muzzle, of course, was running at full speed at us. There are several of them around in the area where we live and walk and they are not friendly at all and my dogs´ attitude fully corresponds theirs. I did not know if that one was one of them. In that second, I was scared to death and my imagination went wild. I just hoped my girls would run away and save their lives if there were a real attack. I felt helpless. The dog went straight at me. Akhami sought shelter in the shrubs, however Loonah jumped in front of me, blocked the Wolfdog´s way with her body and stopped him. Fortunately, it was a young male without bad intentions. After a while, the owner appeared and took the dog on leash. Loonah was growling silently, still telling clearly with her body language that she would protect me and Akhami if necessary. I could not stop myself from telling the owner my opinion. I started politely, explaining my point and also telling it was not fair either towards people or dogs – one never knows what dogs and people had been through and it was really unfair to make anybody frightened. And that I once almost lost my dog in a dogfight not caused by him. No way he would understand. “My doggie is so good, if you have a problem, it is your problem... I don’t care that your dog could have been killed... I don´t care of your dogs and your fears at all... “ etc. I just expected an apology... just a human reaction towards somebody to whom the other person put in a distress... naive me! The man started being aggressive, striding with the dog towards me, threatening me with his movements and words. I was so scared the man would attack me and let his dog attack Akhami and Loonah... I screamed at him: “Leave us alone, you bloody bastard!” He stopped, turned away and started walking off crying at me “I hope you die here, you fucking bitch!” At that moment I was already on my knees, shaking, feeling sick... Loonah stood nearby, I was afraid she would protect me... fortunately, it was not necessary. She would not stand a chance if anything happened. Wise Akhami was still hiding in the shrubs.


I am so proud of my Loonah. My friend. She communicated in such a fantastic way. She is such a brave and loyal friend. She handled the situation better then I. She is my brave girl with perfect, healthy reactions. I love her.


In these two days, I have realised two things:

My learning curve has gone from peacefully and stoicly accepting the other people´s attitude through being assertive and explicatory to being reactive and sometimes even rather rude (and discovering that being rude is an efficient "weapon" against such people)... which is not my normal nature and I am not proud of it.



And I hate aggressive owners of “friendly doggies”.

Yes, I do.