I have to speak up about this topic because as a former dog owner, and watching my sister having to deal with people who are scared of her little hyperactive mutt, I get beyond irritated with the way people behave around a dog when scared of it.
Here’s the thing. We get it. You are scared. Maybe you got bit by one in the past. So what? A dog bit my hand when I was ten years old- it was my fault- the dog was pretty much blind, I wanted to pet him, I surprised him, and poor thing got scared because he did not know I was coming and defended himself. I ended up with a bleeding hand, and poor thing was scared more than me. It didn’t stop me or my family of having another dog.
So here are key steps what to do/not do when you are scared of a dog:
1- You are NOT at the center of that dog’s attention:
People who are scared of dogs always somehow assume that the only thing the dog pays attention to is to them. Not true! The dog is busy exploring the surroundings, smells, other dogs, other people. You don’t stand out, to a dog you are just another person passing by!
2- Do not suddenly stop and stare at and/or talk to or yell at the owners (or dog)
So far everyone who is scared of a dog ALWAYS stops moving. If you had JUST WALKED BY the dog would have NEVER noticed you. By suddenly stopping you are making YOURSELF the center and you are making YOURSELF stand out. The dog probably would not care at all, HAD YOU NOT MAKE YOURSELF SOMETHING TO PAY ATTENTION TO.
You suddenly stop moving, that gets the dog attention- it is not normal behavior to a dog. Most people pass by, right? Asking the owner to “take care of the dog/put it on a leash/ grab it closer” is a reasonable request in human’s mind- to a dog, an UNKNOWN person in a hostile voice is talking to their owner: of course they will growl at you, they are sensing negative vibe and they will always protect their owner.
3- Don’t make the dog suspicious by making a scene
For some reason, people scared of dogs have a need to explain for ten minutes how they are scared of dog and how to “Get that thing away from you.” There is NO NEED to explain for such a long time that you are scared. Everyone gets it. The dog smells your fear, the owner can hear what you are saying. Walk on by and this scene making can be over. No need for the story and background details on your fear of dogs. KEEP WALKING!
4- Most dogs (despite of what you think) won’t bite you
Most of the dogs you are scared of are nice dogs. Even if it is a Pit Bull, doesn’t mean it is a killing biting machine.
I mean, it is so simple. If you are scared of the dog, just keep walking by and the dog won’t even care. Don’t stop and make a scene about how you are scared of dogs!!
Think about it- let’s say you are scared of snakes (I am definitely scared of them). So, let’s say I was walking down the street (maybe at some exotic location so it is more plausible), and there was a guy with a few snakes around his neck and maybe one or two following him around. Would I intentionally stop and started yelling at him to move his snakes away? NO!!! I would pass him and the snakes by to get the hell away from them all.
What do you think? What have your experiences been so far? Leave a comment below! Thanks for visiting my blog, and don’t forget to check out my books on Amazon!