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Off-Topic => General Discussion => Topic started by: Hugh Westacott on July 07, 2014, 09:27:28 AM

Title: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Hugh Westacott on July 07, 2014, 09:27:28 AM
At the risk of of upsetting some of the responsible dog-owners on this forum, I have to admit to a great aversion to all dogs. I find too many of them to be smelly, ill-behaved, noisy, threatening, unhygienic and altogether unpleasant. I can see the value of working dogs for herding, search and rescue, and for the blind, but why anyone would want one in their home is beyond me.

Last Saturday I walked eight miles on the borders of Wiltshire and Dorset and had three unpleasant encounters with dogs:
1   I was walking across a field and saw a middle-aged couple with two dogs coming towards me. The dogs ran to me jumping up and licking my legs. I asked their owners to call them off, which they did, and assured me that ’They were only being friendly’ to which I replied that all my friends are human and none of the jump all over, me, sniff my private parts or cover my legs with disgusting slobber. They walked off in a huff.

2   I walked past a house on a bridleway and a very tall dog came out of an open gate and followed me for at least a hundred metres barking furiously. I was frightened and felt that I was in serious danger of attack.

3   I climbed a stile leading into a paddock and two dogs, one wearing a muzzle, rushed towards me and tried to jump up at me whilst I was standing on the step. Their owner saw what was happening but at first took no action even when I asked him to call them off. Eventually he did and as I passed him I heard him say in a singsong voice ‘That silly, nasty man doesn’t like you does he?’

Could someone explain why so many dog-owners seem to think that everyone loves dogs and welcomes their attentions? If I encountered a couple of strangers, danced round them, ran my hands over them, and licked them, I should be arrested for assault, but some dog-owners seem to think that such behaviour is acceptable in their pets

If a dog really is a man’s (or a woman's) best friend, then I can only feel sorry their impoverished emotional lives.

I’m considering getting a humane dog repeller such as [url]http://www.poochdvd.com/url]. Does anyone have any practical experience of using such a device?


I grow old…I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled. T.S. Eliot

Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: krenaud on July 07, 2014, 11:29:38 AM

Irresponsible behaviour and a egotistical world view is nothing that is unique for dog owners. Irresponsible, egotistical and unempathic people come in all shapes and forms, it is just the manifestation that is different.

We have people who drive like lunatics without regards to other peoples' safety, we have smokers that smoke without regards to others wellbeing, we have cyclists who ride too close to pedestrians, we have people who play loud music in the middle of the night, we have people who let their kids behave badly without reprimands, we have cat owners letting unneutered male cats run free, we have dog owners not keeping their dogs under control, we have people who incessantly complain about other people, etc, etc.

Regarding the repellant, your URL seems to be incorrect. Is this the correct URL? http://www.poochdvd.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=135_79&products_id=409 (http://www.poochdvd.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=135_79&products_id=409)

I am not familiar with that particular device, but other devices do work from what I've seen on other discussion forums. Note, those devices I've read about are said only to work at close range (up to 5 metres).
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Hugh Westacott on July 07, 2014, 11:35:34 AM
Thanks for the correction. Krenuaud!

Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: boogyman on July 07, 2014, 06:34:37 PM
Hi Hugh,

My daughter has a Dazer II, but she's never had to use it thus far.

On several (dutch) forums the Dazer II is said to work on only a part of the dog-population (people claim they tried it "for real" and it worked in some cases but not in other cases).

And here are a few "field tests" with the device:
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyCTYVu6Ecw (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyCTYVu6Ecw)
- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGpaKHLIL0A (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGpaKHLIL0A)

Best regards,
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Lyle Brotherton on July 09, 2014, 08:18:35 AM
There is no such thing as poor weather, only poor clothing’. I believe the same with dogs: poor owners give good dogs a bad name and sadly there are many owners like this.

The only advice I can proffer Hugh when confronted by an aggressive dog was given to me many years ago by a military dog handler, and I can attest to its efficacy after being confronted by a large and aggressive dog outside a French farm.

* Be calm - an aggressive dog expects aggressive behaviour in return, by not acting in this way you will slow down the animals attack
* Do not look directly into the dogs eyes, instead look at the ground immediately in front of it
* Rotate your body to 45 degree, so you are sideways to the dog but still have it in full view
* If you are using a walking pole, put it in front of you and stand tall to appear as large as possible to the dog. This pose lets the dog know that you are in control, yet do not want the dogs space, only your own space.

Whilst this technique worked for me, I confess to being very anxious that the dog would attack, yet I managed to keep a calm appearance.

If this technique fails and the dog attacks:

* Gently and non-threateningly offer the dog something to attack, such as your walking pole, an anorak from around your waist or your rucksack, and keeping hold of it allow the dog to slowly pull it off you whilst backing away
* If you do not have anything like this at hand offer it your forearm, you vulnerable body areas are face, throat, chest & abdomen and thighs, as bites here can make you either bleed out or cause severe damage
* Don’t pull away your arm, this seems counterintuitive, but now you have the dog secured you can place your other hand on the dogs face and with your thumb push out its eye. This completely disorientates the dog and it will back away, giving you the chance to run away and, unless you have severed the dog’s optic nerve, it will not be able to walk or run in a straight line or pursue you.

A very unpleasent last action, however, you are potentially fighting for your life.
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Callum on July 12, 2014, 08:33:23 AM
I received similar instruction from a British Army RAVC Dog Handler, at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray and would add:

- A good visual clue to determine if the dog intends to attack is if its ears are pulled-back and flat against its head. Dogs which are merely barking to deter you usually have floppy or elevated ears.

- If you are attacked keep your fingers safe by making a fist.

- Offer the dog your forearm then, when it has locked onto your arm, use your body to push the dog to the ground and force one knee into its chest to break its ribs.
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Pete McK on July 12, 2014, 11:27:25 AM
We have owned a rescue Border Collie dog for the last 6 years and she accompanies us on all our trips, whenever we are near either livestock or people she is placed on her lead. So we both are familiar with dog behaviour and comfortable in their presence.

Yet Emma was bitten by dog whilst shopping in Kendal one day and not by the public’s perceived bad boys of dogs, terriers, instead it was a Labrador, being walked by a young couple. As the couple were passing Emma the dog, completely unprovoked, Emma was not aware of its presence, bit her. It bit her first on her calf and then on the back of her thigh, from which she fell to the ground and a passer-by, not the owners, pulled the dog away from her. The owners then grabbed the dog and ran away! Somebody had called an ambulance and the police, both of whom could not have been more helpful in caring for her.

When something like this happens to you or a member of your family you tend to learn more about it and I was taken aback when I discovered the number of dog bites on NHS Direct, this was back in 2010. There were a staggering 6,000 cases of dog bites which required hospital treatment in England and Wales alone. The real number of bites will be higher as this figure only relates to hospital admissions. And sadly there are fatalities every year, mainly in children, by the dogs of irresponsible owners.

We now treat every dog (owner) with suspicion at first :(
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Lost Soul on July 12, 2014, 03:03:21 PM
Like Hugh I have an aversion to the things  At one time a total fear but that was all to do with being set upon twice by dogs.  Once when I was a very small child and then again when I was about 10.  Can't really see the point of them actually or why anyone would want to keep one.  Nasty, dirty, smelly things.

And I admit that when out and about in the fields one comes across quit a lot of dogs of varying temperament.  The worst of course are the aggressive ones compounded by owners who don't give a toss. I have solutions for said owners and the dogs.

I terms of irresponsible owners.  So you are out walking along a path.  How do you know you are approaching civilisation / a car park?   Simple; the amount of dog poo on the ground or hanging in plastic bags from low tree branches increases in inverse proportion to the distance from said car park or what ever.

Totally disgusting.  As I said I have solutions for those types of owners.
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Oakleaf on July 13, 2014, 08:13:57 AM
Interesting thread as usual - both in terms of the ostensible topic - dogs and as much again in terms of humanology!  ;)

Cards up front - very dog person.  And in terms of what follows I accept that colours my views to just the same extent ( if opposite scale ) to those who've written to the contrary here.  Certainly, exchange the word snake with dog throughout and my reactions and emotions are a good match.  So please do not take anything pejorative from my wafflings!  :)

Anthromorphism is a regrettable and yet universal trait. I have it in spades - and given my profession involves the taking of animal life that's just making things hard for myself!   Yet time and again above, human characteristics are attributed to the dog - in terms of its intent, emotion etc. The writers may have absolutely zero conscious intent to do that, but the effect is there.

As a good friend observed as a Special Forces ferret ( looooong story ) sunk his nashers deep in my finger - ' its not a good or bad ferret, you need to think more Zen - it's all just varying states of ferret'. Wise words, painful, but wise.

Dogs remain wholly and totally oblivious to human statute, bye-laws, breed integrity etc.  They live in a world driven by pack programming and stimulated by smell, sound, sight at a level realistically above our comprehension.  Whilst subject to mood swings as are we all,  their motivation is logic based. BUT that is dog logic, not human. 

None of this is an apology for ignorant, inept or bad owners - in interaction with the human world ultimate responsibility rests with the human 'in charge' ( notional concept I concede ).  But the reality is that responsibility is rarely enforced - instead the dog is repeatedly found guilty of ... well being a dog.

Again - nothing pejorative in what I am saying.  But in that dog world of senses, the inputs from someone nervous, disdainful, scared etc generate a wave of information that in all likelihood will be fairly interpreted by the dog in a way that compounds the situation.  The net result could be similar from opposite ends of the spectrum - a dog in aggressive mode and one desperate to help you relax and be 'friends' can appear identically threatening in the heat of the moment.

The issue is that the human 'owner' has allowed the dog to be in a position where it feels it must react - that's a human failure, not a dog one.

It's akin to trying to communicate with someone who speaks not only a foreign language but has a different culture.

In terms of deterrents etc - let's be honest; if you dislike and especially if you are nervous of dogs then advice along the lines of 'show no fear', be calm etc are a waste of everyone's time.  The best advice I ever heard ( and dog loving caveat above accepted ) was 'talk dog'.

You can go and check what I say here by finding some Youtube of a wolf pack attacking Caribou etc.

1.  Generally, do not make direct eye contact. That's not to say dont keep an eye on where the dog is. Just dont get into a staring competition unless you want to be Alpha Dog and are certain you will win.
2. Yawn - in fact YAWN.  Make it ostentatious. Yawning in dog language is 'dude, its cool, relax'. Just make sure you are seen to be yawning.  Unless the dog in question has a mental issue, the Yawn cuts straight through to the basic programming.
Watch that wolf pack - and you will note wolves that get looked at direct by the prey ( especially if its bigger ) start yawning like crazy.  Its subterfuge on the part of the wolf - in effect the wolf is trying to say - 'we're cool, nothing to see here'
3. A very clear - 'Your dog is scaring me, please control it immediately'  is also advised for communicating with the ignorant drongo who has let things get that far.

That's it.  I've used it on several Prison Service dogs - not in the course of exiting Broadmoor  :o, several private security animals and two or three hyped up other dogs. Nothwithstanding I'm fine with dogs, it worked everytime.

No gadget to find, deploy etc and you always have these things with you.

But none of the above detract from the negative experiences of those that have posted.
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Lyle Brotherton on July 13, 2014, 12:26:10 PM
Excellent comments Oakleaf to another fascinating and informed thread. For the record, we are replacing our Staffie next year, this time probably not with a rescue cross (he was a collie/Staffordshire Bullterrier) but with a Hungarian Vizsla and my wife will be training it again using her combination of techniques from Jan Fennel and Ceaser Milan.
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: captain paranoia on July 13, 2014, 01:19:01 PM
Oak leaf, I don't think anyone blames the dog; it's the owners who are at fault for not training and controlling their dogs, and forgetting that, whilst they might think they know their dog, and that their snarling dog is 'just being playful'*, the stranger knows nothing about the strange dog. 

* how often do dog attack stories feature the theme 'it was such a surprise; he's never done anything like that before'?
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Lost Soul on July 13, 2014, 02:53:35 PM

For the record, we are replacing our Staffie next year,  Whilst I don't like the things I certainly would not wish them or any creature for that matter unintentional harm.  On that basis I am not sure I am reading your comment correctly.

I sincerely hope you are not terminating the poor mutt or trading it in at some second hand dog mart are you?

LS  :(
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Lyle Brotherton on July 14, 2014, 08:20:20 AM
No, he died last year Lost Soul  :(

This weekend there was an open and free dog training clinic, sponsored by our local authority, held in the park; very impressive.
Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Lost Soul on July 14, 2014, 09:50:28 AM

OK thanks all is understood now. 

Title: Re: Dogs and some of their irresponsible owners
Post by: Hugh Westacott on July 30, 2014, 07:18:40 AM
Thanks to everyone for your comments and advice. I'm glad that I'm not alone in resenting unwelcome attentions from dogs.

It's particularly useful to have learnt the signals that dogs send out so that I can distinguish between a dangerous and a merely boisterous situation..


I grow old...I grow old, I shall wear the bottom of my trousers rolled. T.S.Eliot