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Is My Dog Scary? Advice


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Hello all!

 

My Archer is my first large dog (my other is a fluffy little chihuahua). Maybe this is a common thing for larger dogs, but i feel like i see people move to the side when we walk past. Sometimes when i open the door to get a package, the deliverer will be a little startled if Archer pokes his head out.

 

My feeling is that people are afraid of my dog. He is the sweetest guy, loves humans, and only wants to be petted and loved, as i'm sure most of yours are too. I get where they're coming from though: He's quite large, especially for a grey, and he looks like a tiger. He walks really well on the leash and doesn't pull or dart all over, but he sometimes will start walking towards approaching people to get pets which i could see as looking aggressive. The alternative though is that i starting reeling him in when i see people coming, but that looks bad too.

 

I bought him a bandana that just came in the mail that says "I'm Friendly" in fun colors to see if that helps. Does anyone else experience this? Any other ideas to help people see my approaching dog isn't going to hurt them?

Alyse with Archer (KB's Harper)

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Some people are just afraid of large dogs.

 

I am noticing something in your post: reeling him in. Are you using an extend a leash? Big No No. Google it and see all the accidents posted when using this type of leash. Most greyhound events prohibit the use of that leash as well. If I am wrong, please accept my apologies.

 

I have had 4 very large boys; one was 93 lbs. People also think that greyhounds are very active; and we know that is not true either. I think the bandanna is a good idea. People just have to get close enough to read it.

 

Congratulations on your new adoption.

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My Lola is a 73 lb. black Greyhound. Most people we run across are afraid of her. Many folks think she’s a Doberman which, in their minds, makes her ‘dangerous’. Lola is, in fact, a big, black bundle of smooshy love. They can’t know that so it makes perfect sense that they avoid her.

Irene ~ Owned and Operated by Jenny (Jenny Rocks ~ 11/24/17) ~ JRo, Jenny from the Track

Lola (AMF Won't Forget ~ 04/29/15 -07/22/19) - My girl. I'll always love you.

Wendy (Lost Footing ~ 12/11/05 - 08/18/17) ~ Forever in our hearts. "I am yours, you are mine".

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I am noticing something in your post: reeling him in. Are you using an extend a leash? Big No No. Google it and see all the accidents posted when using this type of leash. Most greyhound events prohibit the use of that leash as well. If I am wrong, please accept my apologies.

No, not using a retractable leash. By reeling him in, I meant pulling up the extra slack in his normal leash to keep him closer. Sorry if that was misleading.

Edited by Alyse

Alyse with Archer (KB's Harper)

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It's pretty common for people to be intimidated by large dogs. We once had a hotel maid refuse to enter our room for servicing until we took the dogs out.

 

Also, watch his body language when he's out and about. If he's very intense, holding his head lowered, staring - that could be very scary, and might indicate he has some leash reactivity. If his head is up and he's smiling and wagging his tail - well, some people just aren't comfortable around large breed dogs!

 

If ths is your frist big dog you might find this book helpful and informative: The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell.

https://smile.amazon.com/Other-End-Leash-What-Around-ebook/dp/B000SEFCD8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1538669251&sr=8-3&keywords=patricia+mcconnell

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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If ths is your frist big dog you might find this book helpful and informative: The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell.

https://smile.amazon.com/Other-End-Leash-What-Around-ebook/dp/B000SEFCD8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1538669251&sr=8-3&keywords=patricia+mcconnell

Thank you for the recommendation! I'll check it out :)

Also, watch his body language when he's out and about. If he's very intense, holding his head lowered, staring - that could be very scary, and might indicate he has some leash reactivity. If his head is up and he's smiling and wagging his tail - well, some people just aren't comfortable around large breed dogs!

I will pay more attention to his body language in detail but from what i remember, he has his head up and usually has his mouth open in a happy way. he doesn't wag his tail much unless he's playing with other greyhounds (must be greyhounds, weird) but i think his body language is happy. I'll check next time though. Very good thought!

Alyse with Archer (KB's Harper)

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If it helps, we run into the same kind of thing when out walking on the sidewalks here. We are in a 55 plus community, so we get 2 kinds of people, those who practically cross the street when they see us, and those who come running up and start loving on Rocket. Anytime we see someone approaching, I put Rocket into a "Wait" having him step off the sidewalk on to the grass and tell the people to walk past us. As long as they see that you have control of the dog, most are cool with walking by a large dog.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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I think a lot has to do with the area--we are a very dog-friendly city and I even have kids come up and want to pet him.

Current Crew: Gino-Gene-Eugene! (Eastnor Rebel: Makeshift x Celtic Dream); Fuzzy the Goo-Goo Girl (BGR Fuzzy Navel: Boc's Blast Off x Superior Peace); Roman the Giant Galoot! (Imark Roman: Crossfire Clyde x Shana Wookie); Kitties Archie and Dixie

Forever Missed: K9 Sasha (2001-2015); Johnny (John Reese--Gable Dodge x O'Jays) (2011-19); the kitties Terry and Bibbi; and all the others I've had the privilege to know

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Yes, some people are just uncomfortable around large dogs, and large black dogs, a double whammy :) When we meet people on our walks I try to keep my dogs close to me until I can see how the people are going to react. I have to shorten Val’s leash or she would be jumping on them to lick their face :lol Not even people who like dogs are always ok with that!

 

I actually don’t mind, especially when people come to the door, if they are wary of the dogs.

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I find that people unfamiliar with dogs can be easily intimidated by my greyhound. He's not black but he's tall and large (80lbs). Honestly when I'm walking around the city at all hours, I like that he keeps strangers away from me. I'm a petite woman and don't feel safe walking alone.

 

People who are used to large dogs and those who can read dog body language have no problem approaching and asking to love on him. We get that response probably 80% of the time.

Sarah with P Kay Ruger "Rogue"

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I'm sometimes surprised by who is afraid of big dogs. In addition to black dogs causing more fear than other colors, I found that walking more than one large dog puts off even more people. Milo and Jeter look like they combine extreme disappointment with a little bit of being insulted (not to mention amazed disbelief) when people don't come up and start fawning over them. On the other hand, I agree with the above that I'm not always sad that some people keep their distance.

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Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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I WISH this was my problem. I bought my dogs a large, yellow vest-harness with velcro message tabs that say "DO NOT DISTRACT" and "DO NOT PET" all over it to try to get people to stop being idiots about dogs in public. Although my dogs are friendly, I still don't appreciate people walking up to my dogs and petting them without asking. I'm not sure what possesses people to wheel their toddlers in strollers up to a dog they are face height with and encourage them to pet said dogs without getting permission from the owner. I wish people thought my dogs were scary.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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I only remember one person being petrified of one of my greys. We were walking on a wooded trail and a couple was approaching from the other direction. The woman literally began climbing up her companion's back and screaming when she saw my grey. Huh? He said she was petrified of dogs. That was pretty obvious :). The vast majority of people we come across have wanted to come pet them - especially children. Fortunately the children we have encountered ask first. (I am on my fourth grey). The people that look concerned/fearful most likely just don't like dogs.

 

Secretly, if I am alone and walking with my grey and someone we see is fearful of my grey, I don't mind - I kind of like feeling protected, even if it is me that would be doing the protecting :).

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I've found most children ask to pet, but I do warn them no hugs or snuggles, and he does jump and give kisses.

 

I will go to the side and let other dogs pass first, I know how he can be around pushy, in your face dogs.

Current Crew: Gino-Gene-Eugene! (Eastnor Rebel: Makeshift x Celtic Dream); Fuzzy the Goo-Goo Girl (BGR Fuzzy Navel: Boc's Blast Off x Superior Peace); Roman the Giant Galoot! (Imark Roman: Crossfire Clyde x Shana Wookie); Kitties Archie and Dixie

Forever Missed: K9 Sasha (2001-2015); Johnny (John Reese--Gable Dodge x O'Jays) (2011-19); the kitties Terry and Bibbi; and all the others I've had the privilege to know

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One thing occurred to me this morning on our walk. People who aren’t familiar with dogs see this large dog coming at them with an open mouth full of sharp teeth, while dog people just see a smiling dog :lol

That's true. Our door is half glass, and Diana would stand up to it on hind legs when people would come, so she was face-to-face with them and SMILING through the glass!!!! It scared the heck outta a lot of people. The pizza delivery guy called us "the house with the dog with all the teeth". LOL!

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I think a lot has to do with the area--we are a very dog-friendly city and I even have kids come up and want to pet him.

I do agree with that. Nobody in my area had greys before me, so a lot of people thought Sobe was a Doberman and sadly a lot of people think they're mean. Then when I got other greys, I had "a pack of wolf hounds" was "breeding fighting dogs" or "was running rabbits and deer". LOL. Over time, people learned. Even the people that said those things weren't really being mean, they just didn't know what the heck a greyhound was. The in-person encounters were often extreme curiosity, or fear and walking away. That got better over time. Small neighborhood. They got used to them.

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Guest Amos93

Some people are just not used to bigger breeds of dogs. It wont be that he of you are doing anything wrong. I was wary of larger breed dogs until we thought of adopting a grey. Now we are hoping to get 2 next week! Ive fallen head over heels. Ive always owned terriers in the past but feel greys will be taking up the rest of my heart haha.

 

Dont worry about it - he sounds lovely!

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest good_coffee

It's really where you live. My home town people loved their dogs and they were everywhere. Now where I live people act cautious around all dogs. It's a weird culture thing

Edited by good_coffee
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  • 3 weeks later...

Oh yes!

 

 

My parents were scared of my first dog Milo a mini dachshund! They have large personalities but it really depends on the person. I personally do not love all large breeds...I can't tell you exactly why but it just makes me uncomfortable being around some very large animals. My ex has a 1 yr old Doberman and I was a little scared at first but not so much after a few months and sometimes he nips when he gets really playful and it still makes me uncomfortable.

 

 

I personally want my dog to look scary! I think if people see a muzzle they get scared as well. Personally I don't want people talking to me and I wouldn't mind people thinking that I have a protection dog...although Milo the mini Dachshund might be a better protector.

 

 

If you didn't grow up with big dogs...they're scary.

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I just realized today that there is a woman we see pretty regularly in the morning who crosses the street to avoid Lila. It's really obvious because she crosses back to the "correct" side once she gets past us. It's her problem, Lila is the least threatening dog ever, most of the time she's too busy sniffing every single leaf or blade of grass to even know the lady is there.

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Jerilyn, missing Lila (Good Looking), new Mistress to Wiki (PJ Wicked).
 
 

 

 

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I just realized today that there is a woman we see pretty regularly in the morning who crosses the street to avoid Lila. It's really obvious because she crosses back to the "correct" side once she gets past us. It's her problem, Lila is the least threatening dog ever, most of the time she's too busy sniffing every single leaf or blade of grass to even know the lady is there.

totally off topic, but I am glad to know Val isn't the only one who has to sniff every. single. blade of grass. Every one. Separately. :lol

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Oh yes!

 

 

My parents were scared of my first dog Milo a mini dachshund! They have large personalities but it really depends on the person. I personally do not love all large breeds...I can't tell you exactly why but it just makes me uncomfortable being around some very large animals. My ex has a 1 yr old Doberman and I was a little scared at first but not so much after a few months and sometimes he nips when he gets really playful and it still makes me uncomfortable.

 

 

I personally want my dog to look scary! I think if people see a muzzle they get scared as well. Personally I don't want people talking to me and I wouldn't mind people thinking that I have a protection dog...although Milo the mini Dachshund might be a better protector.

 

 

If you didn't grow up with big dogs...they're scary.

Perhaps a greyhound might Not be the right dog for you. Greyhound people are a crazy bunch. We are known to stalk other greyhound owners - stopping our cars or at least waving crazily, chasing someone walking their hound down the street just to talk the them and pet the hound...

People will talk to you when you walk your grey. There are so many sighthound lovers or just curious folks out there.

Even here in Germany where greyhounds are rare random people often ask me about my pack, kids coming over to pet them. Greyhounds draw people in. It's in their nature.

Sorry for butchering the english language. I try to keep the mistakes to a minimum.

 

Nadine with Paddy (Zippy Mullane), Saoirse (Lizzie Be Nice), Abu (Cillowen Abu) and bridge angels Colin (Dessies Hero) and Andy (Riot Officer).

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  • 3 weeks later...

Cyrus is 80 pounds and black, so I often get the same wary reactions from neighbors when we walk by. But he's the biggest, friendliest dork, and he'll wag his tail so hard his whole back end starts going the second he sees any people out on the street. Most people are just curious about him and will ask what kind of dog he is, and if they seem interested I'll let them know he's friendly and they almost always want to pet him! Though I do enjoy knowing that people know where the intimidating big black dog lives, since my husband works nights and I'm home alone a lot of the time.

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