Well, I had a discussion with mom about this subject. She tells me it's mostly because of the humans that other dogs own. She told me about the time she watched a big lab dog knock over a human-puppy (I think you call them "children"). Well, the lab dog got into big trouble, but it wasn't fair because his person never taught him how to greet people properly! Now does that seem fair to you? I prefer a friendly, appropriate greeting from other dogs, and I know mom does too. I would guess that translates to other people as well.
She also mentioned people who walk with their dogs in public. We walk offleash wherever we can, but we also understand that sometimes for our safety, and for the comfort of others, we need to keep mom on leash. We don't mind too much, just as long as we get SOME offleash time to run & wrestle. Some dogs, and people, are not comfortable with other dogs, though, so we leash up when we see others, especially when other dogs are on leash. It helps them to be less afraid.
Speaking of public walking - I have to mention the poo. I admit, it's puzzling why humans like to pick up dog poo, but it seems like a pretty good idea. I like to smell it, but don't particularly like it on my paws. I'm guessing a lot of humans feel the same way. Why, then, is there so much dog poo everywhere? I think if I stepped in human poo as much as mom steps in dog poo I wouldn't like humans very much either.
And then there's the teeth. I have a hard time believing this, but mom used to be afraid of dogs. Makes no sense to me (in fact, I think humans are much scarier), but I guess that happens. Human teeth are pretty dinky in comparison (sorry humans, but you can't argue that!), and I think that people are scared of the damage these teeth can inflict.
I've learned to be a better dog in public. Maybe you can too. Here are some tips to share with your human:
- Teach your dog proper greeting manners. Older people and children can be seriously injured by jumping dogs.
- Teach your dog a rock-solid recall if he/she is ever off leash. This way, if he heads over to greet someone who doesn't look receptive, they'll come back instead of pestering the person.
- Be respectful: if your dog is off-leash and you see leashed dogs, leash your dog. There may be a reason that dog is leashed (for instance, aggressive behavior).
- CLEAN UP!! We have many trails we hike here in Pacifica, and we are always appalled at all the poo people have left behind. I'd clean it up myself if I could, but these paws don't tie knots in the bags very well. I'm a dog and I don't even like running into all the poo we see.
- Know your dog. If your dog shows any aggression towards people or other dogs PLEASE get help. My nose got bit about a month ago by a dog on leash who was in a very public place with lots of other dogs. I said hello like I had been greeting other dogs all day, and he just up and bit me in the nose. I felt like telling his people it wasn't fair to force him to be around those other people when he wasn't comfortable.
Thanks for reading!
Astro T.W. Dog