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Dogs?

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by DK’s_Ghost, Jul 31, 2021.

  1. DK’s_Ghost

    DK’s_Ghost Member

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    So, I have a really odd relationship with dogs - and people have commented on it, before, while out walking with me too.

    Dogs often make a beeline for me - and it’s often an aggressive one. It makes me extremely uncomfortable so I spent a lot of time recently watching dog training videos and actively avoiding thinking about it or being anxious around nearby dogs. To top it off, I wear noise-cancelling headphones now which also significantly decreases my general anxiousness around loud noises (like, for example, sudden barking).

    The other day, a dog was trying to get past me because I’d inadvertently gotten between them and their owner. So I let the dog pass (narrow bridge). When I had crossed the bridge, the dog turned fully around and started barking at me - then chased me, on my bike, for around 50 metres: barking aggressively all the while. I hadn’t even been nervous of this one at all.

    Today, a bully-breed type - Rottweiler cross, I think - was being walked on a cycle path. The owner was clearly quite careful to keep this one away from people (keeping the dog by his side and towards the verge) and I saw that they looked a little ‘off’ emotionally (the dog, not the owner) as they walked up. I watched a whole family, with two five year-olds on bikes, go past and the dog didn’t bat an eye. Then, when I cycle past, the dog lunges at me, barking.

    I knew a few dogs as a child, and lived with one, and only had issues with ones I didn’t know. But I don’t know why this is - why are dogs so aggressive around me? Does anyone else have this problem? I wondered if it may be an autism thing - like maybe our emotional expression is ‘off’ somehow in a way that dogs pick up?

    It’s really irritating - and many dog owners don’t even try to stop their dogs doing it. It makes me immediately and extremely anxious, when it happens. Though this can’t be the cause, since that happens after the dogs start barking.

    Any ideas?
     
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  2. KimS

    KimS Active Member V.I.P Member

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    I'm so glad you said this - I thought I was the only one with problems with dogs! I always assumed they sensed my nervousness, but I've seen too many get aggressive with my high-needs nonverbal son. Then there are the stupid dog owners who think their mutt will 'cure' his autism and actively encourage the dog after I say no. Karen, trust me you don't want my son to go into a meltdown around your dog.
     
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  3. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    Are you a Terminator :cool:...? [​IMG]
    I used to deliver papers. It's just the dog.
     
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  4. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    In terms of domestication, dogs remain "man's best friend". However first and foremost as canines they are highly perceptive, predators. Yet they can be highly empathetic as well.

    They sense- maybe literally smell your fear. Which in most cases gives them reason to become fearful and defensive as well. In essence, the more anxious you become, so will they. Where their predatory instincts are more likely to kick in than responding in a friendly manner to a strange human.

    Unless of course they are part of your pack.
     
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  5. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yes! I've been bitten and attacked by random stray dogs a couple of times and once by a dog on a leash, and chased on my bike too. There's one that hangs around at the local supermarket that's started barking at me. I'm not sure whether it is me that it's barking at, or my bike. When I go on foot it leaves me alone.
     
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  6. Tom

    Tom Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I did have a problem when younger with dogs. I experienced having agressive dogs set on me and friends about age 5-6 and was afraid of them thereafter. I was chased a lot and bit several times. Mostly I believe because I was afraid and would run.

    I read up on them, and practiced rewiring my brain and changing my physical behavior when near dogs. At first it was 'thinking calm/realxed' even when I wasn't feeling it and standing still posture relaxed, no eye contact. It is like acting. Dogs instinctively chase moving objects so if on a bike I might slow down or even walk it near a dog.

    That progressed to genuinely coming to like and then love them. Now I exude warm friendly thoughts, and uaually talk in a friendly manor. If I see a dog now, I will want to meet it and try to with owners approval. I don't care what type it is. But I watch the dogs behavior and try to sense it's vibe and will slow down to match the dogs comfort zone. I don't make the final approach to contact, but let them come to me when they are ready. And if the dog is aloofish I'll just talk to the owner for a while about what a great dog they have and that usually is enough to get the dog comfortable. :) With a few that doesn't work, but if you had more time it probably would. Most all dogs want to be friends.
     
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  7. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I am a dog person. If I see a strange dog, I want to meet him/her and for some reason dogs like me. I believe that they can sense fear and I am not afraid of dogs. I like dogs. If a loose dog acts aggressive to me, I do not show fear and they usually back off.

    I have had dogs for pets for seventy years or so. I like small, lap dogs and for the last thirty years we have had Chihuahuas. The only bad thing about dogs is their short life span.
     
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  8. Wulven

    Wulven Active Member

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    Always been around dogs. Got bit twice. Once by an insecure dog. Another by one I owned rough housing. That one tore my arm open. Leaving a very nice scar. Mostly they have been friendly.
     
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  9. Yeshuasdaughter

    Yeshuasdaughter You know, that one lady we met that one time. V.I.P Member

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    I love dogs so much. They are so loyal and friendly. I couldn't live in a world without dogs. They're big shaggy cuddlebears!

    Little dogs, however, the smaller the brain, the more they rely on their reptilian brain, so they're more yappy and aggressive.

    Cats are sweet- but they can occasionally be indifferent little jerks. But a dog, oh man, they'll love you unconditionally forever.

    I might just go on Craigslist and look for a big ol' friend right now.
     
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  10. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    Anything that can do something as ridiculous as smell your fear has to be evil.
     
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  11. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Dogs, my most trusted friends, my most reviled enemy.

    When I was 10 a friends dog decided that I was going to be lunch. This nasty devil dog tore through her bedroom door and trapped me behind a chair, where he proceeded to rip that chair to shreds in an effort to get to me. Long story short, animal control took that dog away. No one knows why he tried to attack me. I was just a little girl and reportedly he had never been aggresive with anyone before.

    I have had other scary encounters too so that now I have ptsd and will not walk alone if I might encounter a dog. Some people will try to tell me their dog is "safe" but often that isn't really true.

    But for all of that I love dogs. There are far more good ones than bad ones. The good ones always slow down and become really gentle with me. They are more theraputic than frightening. But every now again a dog will find his inner psycho when he fomes near me.
     
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  12. DK’s_Ghost

    DK’s_Ghost Member

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    If it were just my fear, then they wouldn’t attack me when I wasn’t afraid. The one who chased me on my bike, I wasn’t afraid of at all. Up until then their body language had been fine and I was literally just cycling past.
     
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  13. DK’s_Ghost

    DK’s_Ghost Member

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    I’m both glad and frustrated to know that it’s not just me. Dog walkers are the bane of my life and it was somehow less frustrating when I could put it down to me being afraid.

    If other people are having this issue, though… that’s not ideal. It’s hard to enjoy my local parks when I get such aggression from dogs. Bloody dog walkers are everywhere, and they’re so blasé about it. Another time I had a collie go full on ‘predator’ at me on a cycle path and the owners took no notice - even when the dog’s body language was clearly predatory: head down, eye contact, full-on sheep herding mode. Predictably, that one lunged at me too.

    Maybe there’s something we should do to raise awareness of this with dog owners?
     
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  14. DK’s_Ghost

    DK’s_Ghost Member

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    Brain size has pretty much nothing to do with intelligence or ‘relying on a reptilian brain’. Small dogs are often more aggressive because pretty much everything in their world is huge and terrifying to them. If your face was barely 8 inches off the ground, you’d probably find being around people and cars pretty scary too.

    Brain size? Nope. Crows, is all I’ll say. Crows.
     
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  15. DK’s_Ghost

    DK’s_Ghost Member

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    Not the Terminator. Lol. But I do know an actual psychopath and he has no problem with dogs - they love him or ignore him. I think it’s because he projects no emotion at all, so he comes across as calm and comforting.

    I used to do a paper round too. I stopped going after I was chased down the street by a neighbour’s dog. It was a bully breed and they always left him in the front garden unsupervised. He jumped the fence to attack me. The owners were nowhere in sight.
     
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  16. SusanLR

    SusanLR Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Just the opposite with me and strange dogs.
    You mentioned projecting no emotions at all. That could be part of it, I don't know.
    When out walking, I show no emotions and just rather ignore what's going by me, humans or dogs.
    And dogs are always running to me wanting to play or be friendly.
    I don't like the claws of the smaller dogs when they jump up and paw my legs.
    But, if I start talking to them and petting them, they just start wrapping their bodies around my
    legs and stop the clawing.

    I've had dogs not on leashes, run to me carrying a stick or once a frisbee and hand it to me in their
    mouth. Like, let's play!
    I love Dalmations and there was a nursery I lived nearby once where I would walk in to look for
    flowers and plants. The owners had a huge Dalmation and it usually was just laying around
    sleeping.
    When I came in and was standing still looking at a plant or go to the outdoor register, he would
    run up behind me and stand on his hind legs and put his paws on my shoulders. Taller than I was.
    The owners scolded him. He wasn't bothering me.

    The only time I had a dog attack was because he was trained for that duty. He was a guard dog.
    It happened at that same nursery. The owners with the Dalmation sold out to someone else and
    I always went in the back gate as it was closer to my house. One day I did that and the dog,
    some type of Rottweiler looking dog, was hiding behind the desk at the kiosk.
    I knew the owner and yelled, "Hey. Bill, are you here?"
    The dog ran out and started to attack. It grabbed me by the arm.
    I didn't show fear and knew from defense training what to do.
    I couldn't' find the owner so I called the police, because children were riding their bikes and
    acted like they wanted to come in.

    (Don't worry, I didn't hurt the dog. Just subdue it.)

    Bill and the cops got there about the same time. He produced it's rabies papers and made sure
    the gate was locked. Said he had stepped away for a bit to go buy produce at the market
    next door and had locked the main gate. So I don't blame the dog.
    The owner should have been more careful though and locked both gates.
     
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  17. Crossbreed

    Crossbreed Neur-D Missionary ☝️ V.I.P Member

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    Like a head lock or something...?
     
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  18. KimS

    KimS Active Member V.I.P Member

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    I think the problem lies far more with thoughtless dog owners than the dogs. There is a small subset of dog owners that seem to lack any sense of responsibility or empathy to humans. I have had so many problems with my son and dog walkers on hiking trails. These people will override my requests and encourage their dogs to approach my nonverbal son. He's scared, and while I'm trying to get him away, I swear more than a handful have announced to me if my little boy had a dog he'd 'learn to behave correctly' or similar nonsense.
     
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  19. DogzSpirit

    DogzSpirit There's NOTHING to fix! V.I.P Member

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    When you love dogs they sense it. They are drawn to you...
    When you fear dogs they can sense that as well.

    Dogs have an acute sense of smell, and I do believe fear smells a certain way due to chemicals/sweat.
    We all have fears. The difference is the being this being/animal/dog is the object of your fear, much to your unlucky status, can smell your fear!

    That said I must add for @clg114 dogs have always been My Rescue...emotionally and otherwise, and much like the song (yeah I agree with you ) (Greatest Wish: I want my dog to live longer)

     
  20. Suzette

    Suzette Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    @KimS
    Most people simply can not comprehend a world beyond the confines of their own judgements, ideas or limited experience. I am not a Christian but the line from Jesus "Forgive them lord for they know not what they do" often comes to mind when I encounter people who mean well but get it wrong.
     
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