Author Topic: Please Don't Kick My Dog...  (Read 13359 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2905
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #75 on: December 06, 2012, 09:00:52 AM »
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

Hundreds of thousands?  I'm guessing there has been studies done about this to get those numbers?  It'd be interesting to see research on this sort of thing to get an idea of the percentage of responsible dog owners compared to the irresponsible ones.

Based on years of observation and recent experience, the irresponsible dog owners outnumber the responsible ones, in my neck of the woods anyway.  Of course, I have no formal research to back up my statement, so a huge grain of salt is required.

Humans are also biased to remember more emotionally charged incidents than neutral ones (with plenty of research to confirm it). But I think this discussion is not all that related to the etiquette question at hand.

OP, I would be really surprised if not shocked by someone making an aggressive gesture towards my pet. Even if they did something not physically threatening but negative, like flipped me off or make a terrible "yuck" face, I think I would be taken aback. Given that it would catch almost anyone off guard because it was an unusual reaction, I think you did well. I don't think it's your job to accommodate potential random phobias of strangers to the extent that 7-10 feet between your leashed dog and others isn't enough.

The woman could have said "Stay back! I don't like dogs!" or "Please keep him back!" or even just "Get back!" instead of kicking at the dog and then calling him a "beast."

BarensMom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2645
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #76 on: December 06, 2012, 09:35:13 AM »
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

Hundreds of thousands?  I'm guessing there has been studies done about this to get those numbers?  It'd be interesting to see research on this sort of thing to get an idea of the percentage of responsible dog owners compared to the irresponsible ones.

Based on years of observation and recent experience, the irresponsible dog owners outnumber the responsible ones, in my neck of the woods anyway.  Of course, I have no formal research to back up my statement, so a huge grain of salt is required.

Humans are also biased to remember more emotionally charged incidents than neutral ones (with plenty of research to confirm it). But I think this discussion is not all that related to the etiquette question at hand.

OP, I would be really surprised if not shocked by someone making an aggressive gesture towards my pet. Even if they did something not physically threatening but negative, like flipped me off or make a terrible "yuck" face, I think I would be taken aback. Given that it would catch almost anyone off guard because it was an unusual reaction, I think you did well. I don't think it's your job to accommodate potential random phobias of strangers to the extent that 7-10 feet between your leashed dog and others isn't enough.

The woman could have said "Stay back! I don't like dogs!" or "Please keep him back!" or even just "Get back!" instead of kicking at the dog and then calling him a "beast."

I'm playing devil's advocate here.  7-10 feet between a dog and a phobic person isn't very much space when you consider that an average non-retractable leash is 4-6 feet.  Add a retractable in the mix (which some people don't know how to use properly), and 7-10 feet isn't far at all.  When taking that into account, the kicking gestures are understandable, although not the best choice if one wants to escape being noticed by a dog.   OP had the dog under control, but the woman couldn't be 100% sure.

Personally, I would be more offended at the use of the word "beast," than the gestures. 


lowspark

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4163
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #77 on: December 06, 2012, 09:49:02 AM »
Both the kicking gesture and the OP's comment sound to me like a gut reaction. The lady saw the dog coming toward her, didn't want it to, and reacted. No time to think about whether the dog was actually under control or what kind of leash was being used, etc. The OP saw the kick and reacted with what she said. Up to this point, I think that although each of them could have reacted better, I don't really see anything egregious going on.

But when the woman made the "beast" comment, she went over the line.

I was bitten by a dog when I was young and since then I keep my distance from strange dogs. (I have no problem with pets of people I know but in a situation such as this, I just, well, keep my distance.) If I felt threatened, I could see reacting, and maybe this woman did, for whatever reason, feel threatened. But again, there's just no reason to make a rude comment like that after the OP said the dog was under her control and at the point in the story at which it seems obvious that the dog was under control.

boxy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1037
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #78 on: December 06, 2012, 10:45:39 AM »
I don't think the woman was wrong or rude at all for anything she did.  She was probably scared to death of being pushed over by the dog (falling), being bitten, or otherwise hurt. 

You may have been in control of the dog, but SHE wasn't.  You can't fault her for trying to protect herself. 

LadyL

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2905
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #79 on: December 06, 2012, 10:49:18 AM »
The entire act of walking a dog involves you controlling where the dog goes. It tries to sniff trees, you pull it along, it tries to sniff another dog, you pull it along. No one allows a dog to go wherever it wants. The dog more than likely took a few steps towards the woman, the OP pulled the leash a bit and kept walking. You seem hell-bent on making it as though the OP's dog was aggressive and a threat.

That's because the bolded sentence could not be more untrue if you added outrageous details including aliens and conspiracy theory's.  Hundreds of thousands of people on a daily basis let their dogs go where ever they want.  The woman had no way of knowing the OP was one of the responsible ones who doesn't do that.

I would wager to bet way more dog owners let their dogs approach strangers then terrified old women run up and attack leashed dogs.

Hundreds of thousands?  I'm guessing there has been studies done about this to get those numbers?  It'd be interesting to see research on this sort of thing to get an idea of the percentage of responsible dog owners compared to the irresponsible ones.

Based on years of observation and recent experience, the irresponsible dog owners outnumber the responsible ones, in my neck of the woods anyway.  Of course, I have no formal research to back up my statement, so a huge grain of salt is required.

Humans are also biased to remember more emotionally charged incidents than neutral ones (with plenty of research to confirm it). But I think this discussion is not all that related to the etiquette question at hand.

OP, I would be really surprised if not shocked by someone making an aggressive gesture towards my pet. Even if they did something not physically threatening but negative, like flipped me off or make a terrible "yuck" face, I think I would be taken aback. Given that it would catch almost anyone off guard because it was an unusual reaction, I think you did well. I don't think it's your job to accommodate potential random phobias of strangers to the extent that 7-10 feet between your leashed dog and others isn't enough.

The woman could have said "Stay back! I don't like dogs!" or "Please keep him back!" or even just "Get back!" instead of kicking at the dog and then calling him a "beast."

I'm playing devil's advocate here.  7-10 feet between a dog and a phobic person isn't very much space when you consider that an average non-retractable leash is 4-6 feet.  Add a retractable in the mix (which some people don't know how to use properly), and 7-10 feet isn't far at all.  When taking that into account, the kicking gestures are understandable, although not the best choice if one wants to escape being noticed by a dog.   OP had the dog under control, but the woman couldn't be 100% sure.

Personally, I would be more offended at the use of the word "beast," than the gestures.

Sure, but then the OP would need to keep something like a 12-15 foot distance from EVERYONE she encounters in public, to account for potentially phobic reactions. I don't think that's realistic or fair. I think the onus is on the phobic woman to tell dog owners, firmly but politely, "Please keep back" and maybe add "I'm afraid of dogs."

I definitely agree about the "beast" comment. Uncalled for and unproductive.

anonymousmac

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 333
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #80 on: December 06, 2012, 11:38:39 AM »
I'm not very fond of dogs (I apologize very much to those who love them!), and I tend to get defensive and anticipate problems when encountering dogs on walks, because of bad experiences with aggressive off-leash dogs in an area where they're required to be on leashes, especially around my child who is scared of them.

And even I think that the OP did the right thing, and the other woman was very rude and picking a fight.

I don't know much about dogs, but to me the kicking motions seem like a clear provocation to the dog, almost "Come here and fight!"  Sure she was 10 feet away and wasn't actually making contact, but someone giving you the finger isn't actually touching your face either.

She was choosing to start an interaction, communicating aggressive intentions towards an animal that probably wouldn't be able to help but respond.  The OP was defending herself and her dog from those aggressive statements, and telling the woman to back off and cut it out.  And she was very polite about it!

OP, I think you did nothing wrong.

SPuck

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 996
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #81 on: December 06, 2012, 11:54:53 AM »
I would not call this woman rude but body language dumb definitely. I walk twice a day, and I know the best way to keep the interested dog away from you to ignore it and show body language of indifference. If a person who is afraid of dogs reacts with bag body language constantly, then more often than not the dogs are going to make a bee line for that person if given the chance.

Allyson

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2062
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #82 on: December 06, 2012, 12:06:16 PM »
I don't think anybody did anything badly wrong. I think the woman had a phobic reaction, and the OP had a protective one, but at no point did anybody do anything out of line harmful or rude.

I'm scared of dogs. My reaction would be more likely to freeze than anything else, but perhaps she panicked and reacted differently. Had she run up to the dog to behave aggressively it would have been entirely different. Everyone spoke civilly after the fact too. This situation really easily *could* have escalated and didn't which is nice to see.

Judah

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4769
  • California, U.S.A
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #83 on: December 06, 2012, 12:19:20 PM »
In my opinion, the OP overreacted a bit.  The woman was scared and reacted.  She didn't kick the dog but made kicking motions that could not, and didn't, even get near the animal.

In the future, if I were the OP and saw the same woman, I would put my dog between myself and her and walk quickly by as far on the opposite side of the path as possible.

This is pretty much where I fall. The woman didn't kick the dog, she made a kicking motion from 10 feet away out of fear.  The best course of action is to just give her a wide berth. 

I don't understand the objection to the woman using the word "beast". A dog, by definition, is a beast.
Ask for what you want. Let's be clear on this one:
Subtle hints don't work.
Strong hints don't work.
Really obvious hints don't work.
Just say it!

-The Car Talk Guys

Hollanda

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2696
  • Believe in yourself.
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #84 on: December 06, 2012, 12:29:21 PM »
It was possibly the tone in which the comment was said as much as what was actually said.
Knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.


bansidhe

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2073
    • The Menagerie
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #85 on: December 06, 2012, 01:01:04 PM »
To me, anti-dog woman sounds more like a nasty piece of work looking for a confrontation than someone with a genuine dog phobia. I have seven dogs, all of whom are medium-large or large, and have several times encountered people with dog phobias. In every case, the person's response upon encountering my (leashed and controlled) dog was to either freeze in place or retreat, not kick at the dog then insult it.

If she's genuinely that frightened of dogs, what on earth is she doing hanging out in a place where she's likely to run into them? I wasn't there of course and may be reading too much into things, but she sounds to me like one of those tiresome people who enjoy putting themselves into a "victim" position so they can feel justified about yelling at someone else. OP handled things quite well, I think - certainly much better than I would have.

As for people in general controlling their dogs in public, I find that an alarmingly large percentage of people are seriously clueless in this regard. Because of this, if I had a dog phobia I would go out of my way to avoid places frequented by dogs.
Esan ozenki!

Arizona

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6782
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #86 on: December 06, 2012, 01:15:27 PM »
To me, anti-dog woman sounds more like a nasty piece of work looking for a confrontation than someone with a genuine dog phobia. I have seven dogs, all of whom are medium-large or large, and have several times encountered people with dog phobias. In every case, the person's response upon encountering my (leashed and controlled) dog was to either freeze in place or retreat, not kick at the dog then insult it.

If she's genuinely that frightened of dogs, what on earth is she doing hanging out in a place where she's likely to run into them? I wasn't there of course and may be reading too much into things, but she sounds to me like one of those tiresome people who enjoy putting themselves into a "victim" position so they can feel justified about yelling at someone else. OP handled things quite well, I think - certainly much better than I would have.

As for people in general controlling their dogs in public, I find that an alarmingly large percentage of people are seriously clueless in this regard. Because of this, if I had a dog phobia I would go out of my way to avoid places frequented by dogs.

I don't think the OP did anything wrong and I agree the older woman was reacting to a fear.  Her actions and words could have been better but honestly, I wouldn't have given them a second thought once the encounter ended. 

But I am very bothered by the bolded part here.  I understand someone with seven dogs wouldn't really be able to relate to someone who geniunionly doesn't like them or is afraid of them.  That doesn't mean she should not have access to a walking trail that was designed for humans to walk on and ALLOWS dogs (instead of the reverse, a dog park designed for dogs). 

Piratelvr1121

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11547
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #87 on: December 06, 2012, 01:31:37 PM »
When I was younger I was very intimidated by larger dogs. I didn't mind the mid-sized ones like cocker spaniels and shelties, but bigger ones like German Shepherds and labs made me nervous.  I never was bitten by a dog, it was just the fact that they were big and I've always been on the small side and just pictured a dog knocking me down and slobbering on me.

I've gotten over it and now am fine with any sized dog, but even when I was nervous I wouldn't have kicked at a person's dog. I would have either put more distance between myself and the dog, or stood still and let it sniff me, maybe giving it a little pat on the head before moving on and if the owner said the dog was friendly.

This woman obviously has a bigger fear than mine ever was, but I still think the kicks were a bad idea, though we're rarely rational when we're afraid.  I agree with some PP's that while the woman had no idea that the OP was in control of her dog, the OP had no idea the woman wasn't going to hurt her dog. 
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6284
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #88 on: December 06, 2012, 01:38:14 PM »
I am afraid of dogs and simply do not know enough about the psychology of dogs (or animals in general) to know how to handle myself around them.  I think some posters assume all people have experience with animals and that is simply not true.  I think this is a situation to just let slide.

bansidhe

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2073
    • The Menagerie
Re: Please Don't Kick My Dog...
« Reply #89 on: December 06, 2012, 01:50:02 PM »
If she's genuinely that frightened of dogs, what on earth is she doing hanging out in a place where she's likely to run into them?

But I am very bothered by the bolded part here.  I understand someone with seven dogs wouldn't really be able to relate to someone who geniunionly doesn't like them or is afraid of them.  That doesn't mean she should not have access to a walking trail that was designed for humans to walk on and ALLOWS dogs (instead of the reverse, a dog park designed for dogs).

She can access it all she wants, but she needs to come to terms with the fact that she's going to encounter dogs and she needs to learn how to behave appropriately in that circumstance.

As an example, this isn't a phobia situation, but I'm not overly fond of small children - especially large clusters of them. I'm free to access family restaurants, parks with playgrounds, and Chuck E. Cheese all I want but I tend to either hang out in other places or manage socially acceptable reactions when I encounter small children instead of, say, yellling "Keep your brat away from me!" The latter is just not cool.
Esan ozenki!

Arizona