Well, I feel like an jerk now cause a girl freaked out at the sight of Eevee (my totally calm 40lb Border Collie/ACD mix) when she got too close, and was jumping around, shrieking and trying to hit her away with her sandals. This has never happened to me and I didn't have time to think about what to say, so I was truthful, but a bit harsh and I think I offended her AND her mother. Sigh. But she was taking swings at my dog and I just kindof reacted. DX
This pre-teen girl and her mother were standing on the property talking to Blake and his dad, and I just happened to walk past because one of the kittens out here was too close to the road and I was getting her. Both my dogs were following me like they always do, and Eevee sniffed at the girl as we walked past, and the girl FREAKED OUT and started jumping around and waving her arms wildly and screaming "MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMM! MOOOOOMMMMM OMG GET IT AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
When she started swinging with her sandals and scaring the crap out of Eevee, who was already confused by her reaction, I got Eevee away from her and reacted in my own way by saying, "You know, if you react like that to a dog who IS mean, you will scare it and it might bite you. Just don't be afraid, they can sense that and it scares THEM." Both she and her mother looked at me like I had just slugged the little girl in the face or something, and then her mother said something along the lines of it being totally fine to react like that to a strange animal. >-.-/span>
I took the kitten and my dogs and walk away feeling defeated, and like a complete arse. Neither Blake nor his dad said anything to back me up. In fact, Blake told me how harsh I sounded, after I walked away.
I still feel like crap... I just reacted the only way I knew how and didn't have time to think about it because it happened so fast. I was trying to protect my dog. Sigh.
I don't think you overreacted at all. I probably would have said something like that as well. What you told that girl was correct and I think the only real thing you could have said to her given the way she was acting.
I understand that many people have a fear of dogs, but trying to hit the dog in question and waving your hands about like you just don't care rarely has a good outcome. Hopefully she learns something from this experience.
Don't dwell too much on it, I think most of us here understand that you can't always deal with a situation like that without feeling bad in some way or another. :)
Everything you said to the girl was very correct and her actions would have probably caused an aggressive dog to go into a defensive mode, good thing Eevee is well trained and behaved for her sake. The mom may just have got the wrong message from you and over reacted causing her to say what she did which would be in turn VERY bad advice in the future if were to happen again. I think it just might have been one of those things happening at the wrong time and wrong place in such a short span that required you to say something quickly before it escalated between the daughter and Eevee. I think you did what you had too, educate the un-educated haha.
I feel it was your fault for letting your dog get that close to another person without the human inviting the dog over. I'm not saying that your dog was gonna attack her. All I'm saying is that you let your dog become a victim of her instability.
A similar situation happened to me when Chuckie was 12 weeks old. I went to do laundry at a laundry shop(or whatever they call it) and there was this old man standing in front of my washer. He was opening all the washers in the row my washer was in and when he was in front of mine, Chuckie took a completely innocent sniff at his shoes. He got mad and said in a very harsh, mean, hateful tone, "Get away from me! I just took a shower!" I think he probably would've kicked Chuckie if I wasn't there.
I got so mad really quick. I was thinking "He's just a puppy and all he was doing was smelling you asshole!" But, then my rational mind kicked in and I knew it was my fault for letting Chuckie become exposed to that kind of hatred. I let Chuckie become a victim to somebody's hatred of dogs and I felt so bad because I could have prevented it from happening just by not allowing Chuckie near strangers who didn't invite him to them.
I just said to the old man that opened my washer, "That's my washer." He got really embarassed and walked away because he was caught I guess going through other people's things.
You live you learn. I learned my lesson that day. Just because I think the world of my dog, doesn't mean everybody does. Just because I love my dog, doesn't mean everybody is going to love him. Just because I know that he won't hurt anybody, doesn't mean that everybody knows that. Just because I love dogs, doesn't mean everybody loves dogs and just because I'm not afraid of dogs doesn't mean that other people are not afraid of dogs also.
Since then, I don't let Chuckie approach or smell ANYBODY unless they invite him over. I refuse to let Chuckie become a victim again if I could help it. Better safe than sorry.
To be able to learn from a mistake a person has to acknowledge that they made a mistake. If you feel that you didn't do anything wrong then you didn't do anything wrong and there is no need to feel bad about your reaction.
If you feel that if somebody comes onto your property then they are subject to the actions of your dog/dogs then that's how you feel. That's your prerogative but, you also leave your dog open to how a stranger reacts to your dog approaching/coming near them, and that's their prerogative to react in whatever way they choose. We can't predict how other people are gonna react/act.
I don't think Mai's "victim" comment was meant to be offensive. I can definitely understand where they are coming from. I live in an apartment complex where many families walk around with their children. Most of the children are absolutely terrified of dogs and the parents are not much better. I've had children come up to my corgis saying they want to pet them and then just scream right in their faces. I've seen parents deliberately move over 20 feet into the grass to avoid passing us. Grown people shrink back in fear at the sight of them. And Baxter and Ziggy are very calm! After a couple bad, screamy interactions, I've decided not to let my dogs become "victims" of their awful reactions. We move away first, I don't let the children get near us anymore.
It is different when its your property and I'd say especially if the person actually owns dogs. You might not expect a reaction like that, but you just never know. Some people are just plain weirdos. Even weirdos are entitled to their personal space, but some are just crazy about what happens when they feel its invaded. I wouldn't feel like a jerk for what you told that kid. Her mother needs to teach her not to react like that to strange dogs. You would think a pre-teen would know better, but you'd think a mother would want to keep her kid safe.
Getting your point across in a situation that happens so fast is really hard. It's sort of an emotional reaction and it's hard to come across as nice through a quick response. Once an offleash dog ran across the street to greet the corgis and me. I was pissed. The owner was on a cell phone and the dog had to be about 6 months old. Thankfully there was no traffic as the dog bounded across the street. The man followed him over to me where I just kept walking away as the man tried to tackle his dog that was circling us, playbowing so hard. I was so angry all I could say to him was how irresponsible it was to have his dog offleash and how lucky he was his dog just didn't get hit by a car. After thinking about the interaction, I could have been a lot nicer about it. But it all happened so fast and I just couldn't believe his incompetence. Next time I'll be better at explaining myself and hopefully I won't come across as self-righteous or jerky. Eh, you live and Learn.
I'm sorry, it's just been a rough 24 hours. I'm so stressed this week because I'm about to move, and this incident was just something that added to that stress and it really freaked me out. I've been disturbed about it all day still. =(
Nothing I can really do about it now I suppose, except just don't walk so close next time I pass a strange kid, and think up something nicer to say and rehearse it so I don't blurt out more offensive stuff... =(
Don't beat yourself up over this, Cheetah. I've said way worse things over far less. Everyone's allowed their off days. :-)
Doesn't sound like you have grounds to feel like a jerk. The girl should NOT have tried to hit Eevee with her shoe, regardless of whether or not she is scared or doesn't like dogs. I don't particularly enjoy people who swat at animals and act like a big ol' turd burger when the dog is giving a simple sniff, doesn't mean I am gonna take off my shoe and bat them in the face. I guess the best thing you can do, is make sure that Eevee and Shippo stay a fair amount away from people that you don't know, unless they make it apparent that it's okay.. Not because you/they can't trust your dogs, but because you can't trust them. Never know how someone is going to react... Guess we can't all like dogs-don't understand who wouldn't and why they wouldn't, but I guess that those people don't understand why we love them so much!
I know how you feel, there is a women that runs in the park trails by my house that carries a stick with her and if a dog gets near her she raises it to strike. I told her that she was more likely to get bit that way but don't think she appreciated my help! I keep my dogs leashed (it is the law) but I do understand her fear since there are plenty of loose ones out there. Too bad so many people do not know basic skills.
I think you were right in calmly explaining to the girl that her behavior was dangerous. There are people out there who would react by swearing and yelling at the girl for attacking their dog. Sounds like she was on Eevee's property. Many dogs are protective of property and family members and would have been more aggressive.
I would have done the same thing. I know that kids/people can react out of being scared BUT they need to understand that their actions could make a dog more aggressive by the way they act:( Mom needs a lesson on "helping" her daughter find a better way to "react"!