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Discussion Starter #1
Muddled much?

Anyways, I was just down at the community shopping centre with hubby and daughter, and the dog. I stayed outside with Duncan with hubby took the baby inside.

Now my pup is a 14month old bosterious wee boy who has to say hello to everyone, every single person. A guy came up to me, dressed in blue overalls on a stinking hot day, and he looked scruffy and really really wired, like he was on something.

He just walked straight on up and tried to pat Duncan. I immediately got nervous, from the way he came across and because people should not touch my dog without my permission. Duncan sunk back and got low. Not agressive like, nor submissive though. The guy tried to keep playing with the dog, while started to get far to close with me, stroking my arm etc. Duncan got behind me, and growled long and low until the guy went away.
As I said, normally he loves everyone, too much.

I started heading over towards the supermarket to get myself around people for the security. We are bound to see someone we know, its a close knit safe place generally, and I'd rather handle a bouncy dog then a spooky guy.

Now by then I had met up with hubby, who manages the local preschool. A four year old bounds up to him. I prepare myself and expect him to either a) growl because of what just happened or b) jump up and get too excited, because thats what he does, but he surprised us all with a C). He sat down, and wagged like mad while the kids gave him a scratch.

Normally when we get home from being out without him, he rushes up and jumps all over us. Twice now, he's sat 'behind the line' on command, stayed, let us get everyone in, then we pat and he's allowed to get excited.

For the last few weeks he has slept on the floor in our room. It used to be a bed. Technically I know thats a nono, but I was a bit meh about it. I gave him a few rugs on the floor, and he's taken to them beautifully.

Sometimes training can be so fustrating, but its times like these I appreciate my dog so much, and it's heartwarming to see him transform into a loving, semi-sane family pet :)
 

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I remember when that moment came with my lab. Someone was sneaking around our house. He was 6 mo. old. He woke me up growling and staring at the bedroom wall. I had never heard anything like that from him before. I knew exactly where the guy was because he was following him by watching the outside wall. SCARY!!!! He ran to the front door barking in the biggest baddest bard I ever heard from him before or since. They guy went away. I always felt so safe with him around. I would never been able to live alone with out him. (I'm a big chicken!!!) I could even tell whether I knew the person pulling up to the house by his bark. Awesome Dog!!! It amazes me the things they know that we don't or expect them to know.

What a good fella you have!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This got me thinking.

My dog either didn't trust the guy either or picked up on my fear nad became very unhappy. He slunk back and let out the long low growl, it took the guy a wee bit to get the message.

Nobody else would have seen the guy do anything wrong technically, despite how uncomfortable he made me feel. His touch was all the gentle brushing kind. If Duncan was backed anymore into the corner, and knew how I was feeling, who's to say he wouldn't have bitten him?

And then, who's at fault? Automatically the dog? He was on a lead, and not being respected. Me, for not telling him to bugger off out of fear of what he might do or how he would react? And then would the dog have been put down? Or the guy, for approching the dog? Would they see that this was not the dogs nature, and he was provoked?
 

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Yeah, Saffy with some people gets funny, and will act weird around them, sometimes growling or a bark. I'm sure they get a certain vibe from some dodgy people, just like we do.

I am sure that you would be able to prove that the guy was a provoking your dog in the case that he bit him, he is too friendly around other people anyway.
I think the safest thing to do is just to tell them quite bluntly to get out of the dogs face!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I need to get more assertive.
But what if I had done that, and then the guy got rough with me? At least the dog won't be put down because of my chickeness I guess. He was a happy pup, and he was warning the guy as much as a dog can.

I can't see him ever biting, but a dog is a dog is a dog.
 

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Sometimes you have to assess the situation. As you were in a public place, I don't think he would have done anything to you. But if you're alone on a walk, you have to be so careful these days. It's better to walk with other people.
Dogs under pressure may bite too, especially if they're on lead, as they've no where to go
 

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wow! your dog really protected you - I think its a great thing and if the guy got bit it would hav ebeen his own fault - I'm sure that if you told authorities he was a stranger that was frightning you they wouldnt blame the dog. After all the guy touched your arm and you were scared. Good dog!
 

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Years and years ago, I had a Doberman puppy, who was about 5 months old (IIRC) when this happened. I had taken her for a walk on the Mississippi River levee one day and we sat down for a rest on some concrete benches. She was sitting at my feet and a scruffy looking man was walking our way. Suddenly she got really alert and brought her lips forward and growled very softly. The man wasn't actually walking up to us, just passing by, and as soon as he was gone, she relaxed again.

It was an awesome feeling.

Little Teddy has only alerted twice. Once was at the office when a guy delivered my lunch. He normally does not bark at all, even when people are coming and going all day. The other time was at home. Again, he is quiet, even when people are coming and going downstairs (and even when the Maltese is barking his head off), but one night, my neighbor had some friends over and when one of them knocked on his door, Teddy gave a short growl and then a high-pitched "wroo wroo wroooooooo" - the same bark as that time at the office.

He's a generally quiet dog, so it's taking me a while to learn what his barks mean. I can definitely now tell the difference between his "play with me bark" (grrrrrrrrrr-wroo wroo-grrrrrrr) that he usually does at the cat, and his alerting to danger bark.

I find it fascinating really, and because he doesn't bark a lot, I know when I need to pay attention to it and when I don't.
 
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