Other Dogs And Me

I feel like i’m constantly going on about this, but ever since the
Dog Attack
On Ushi I have been quite nervous about other dogs. Tell me now if i’m playing on this or going on too much.

Before the attack I was warey of other dogs, as I didn’t really like when I could hear their feet running. I don’t know why, but I guess I was worried about how distracted Ushi would get. I remember after qualification, in fact, the day of qualification, how there were those yappy dogs on our estate. I have got gradually better about these dogs, and in fact, I think the owners have put in an extra gate away from the main gate so that they can’t get out or anything. I’m not sure if they have, but I can’t hear them run up to me now so that’s all that mattered.

I felt extremely proud of myself when I was able to walk past the house without even batting an eyelid. That took time though.

I never really let her run with other dogs on a free run as I wasn’t sure what the other dogs would be like, and that. I know it is probably selfish that I still don’t let her, but i’d rather be safe than sorry. I make sure that on a free run that we run somewhere quiet and I still have someone with me when doing it just in case.

We were going to free run the other day, and dad said there was another dog in the field. I panicked, and asked him what type of dog it was. He said that that wouldn’t matter, and that any dog could attack Ushi. He said though that Ushi will sense me being nervous, and then will be reluctant to work or that. I know he is right, but I can’t help panicking about other dogs. Especially now. I would hate for another attack to happen.

On one of our walks though there is a little pit bull dog behind a gate, but it can run along it. It has a really horrible bark, and it always manages to freak me out a bit. Once I am past it i am usually grand, but it still causes a bit of concern.

When my sister used to come out walking with me, she would deliberately cross the road so that I couldn’t ask her if it was out. But the thing is i’ve kind of started doing something which i know I shouldn’t. I’ve started to do an off kerb just before the house. I’ve only ever done it twice, but I know I shouldn’t and should just walk past the gate. When I am walking past though i am right beside the gate. If I was to reach out, I would be able to touch it. There is just about enough room for a car and me as the path is quite narrow.

I always tell myself afterwards that I shouldn’t do this as this could affect Ushi’s confidence in this area. While she hasn’t shown any worry, I wouldn’t want it to get to that point.

My instructor always says to keep Ushi moving, as the other dog will lose interest, which it does and stops barking, but it has such a nasty little bark.

But this has got to stop. It’s not Ushi that’s the problem-it’s her owner! I would hate for my actions to affect Ushi. Is it normal to be feeling this way after what 5 months? Plus the more I stop or worry, the more chance of Ushi noticing the other dog, which would be a vicious circle of trying to get her going again!

This is probably just me rambling, but I just figure that this does need to stop. Any suggestions?

Oh and by the way thanks for all the help regarding Ushi’s weight on my last post! I was extremely worried. I’m hoping that taking a handful out of each feed for now as well as the two walks a day will help keep that off her! Much appreciated!


6 Comments on “Other Dogs And Me”

  1. Jen says:

    Its only natural that you are a bit afraid around other dogs after what happened. Dogs can be very intimidating when they bark, especially if you don't know their temperament. There are lots of dogs around our house but I know them all, so when they bark I know they mean no harm.I think its good that you recognise the problem, and are trying not to let it affect Ushi. Just try and act confident so that she doesn't pick up on it.At least you have your pet dog so she can spend time with another dog regularly if she wants. You could always try bringing her free running or in close contact with dogs that you both know, if you want her to spend more time with other dogs. That way she will also think that all dogs are good, and be less curious, and probably less likely to completely ignore all other dogs even when they bark. This means that she will walk quickly past them without stopping, and if you don't stop, the other dogs are less likely to take an interest.If I were you, I would try and bring her into contact with other dogs, rather than trying to avoid dogs completely in fear of what might happpen. I think its important to do it with dogs you know though, since like you said, you'd rather be safe than sorry. Having a sighted person on a free run is useful, especially because they can tell instantly from a dog's body language if the dog is going to be a threat or not.

  2. BS"DIt is not wrong to speak about things who has scared you even if it was some months ago. When I read your post I see you have the right answer. You need to work with your own fears before you lose the control you still have. It is not easy but I know you will do it for your and Ushi's sake. (Jen's ideas are really good.)Good luck!Nadja

  3. Dracula says:

    Your dad is totally right about other dogs picking up on your fear. Plus your trainer is right, yoy have to keep walking past, loads of dogs here run up and bark at us, i give my dog a forward command and don't let her stop. the other dos back off. I think your off road idea in front of that house is really really stupid as the dog if it was going to run up will still do it whether your on the road or not. You are just making it more dangerous for yourself. if you are on the footpath then you can get your dog to move on, if you are on the road and this happens you will get disorientated and could put yourself and your dog in real danger. Get your trainer out and talk through all your fears with them. they are the best people for the job, don't keep talking about it and do something about it. the longer you leave it the worse it will get. Trust me, I know!If your dog stops when this happens it's probably not the dogs fault but your own as she is reacting to your fear and the tention it can feel. Take a deep breath and go for it! if not, change your path if you can.

  4. Torie says:

    Dracula don't worry the road is a very quiet road. Sometimes we have to go into the road for a couple of seconds if there is a car or something blocking our path. We then get back up again and stay close to the kerb. But thanks for your help though. I think I just need to work on this myself, and just keep believing in myself. The barking dog is behind a gate and will always be behind it, i just panick when I hear the bark.Jen it's amazing how you can identify every bark once you hear it? There is an akeeta dog at the corner of our estate who only barks when dogs go by. It is securely locked up (its owner told me), so it doesn't bother me at all. If it barks before i get to the corner then chances are there is a dog walker about.There is also a dude who owns a black lab, but it is friendly as one day it came over to us. It just played with Ushi (I corrected her of course as the man took his dog).My instructor always says that "confidence breathes confidence". I just need to get on with it.I'm glad it's not stupid! Me and a couple of guide dog owners are talking about free running our dogs together at some point.Each month when i'm at a fundraising meeting for guide dogs i bring Ushi. She gets on fabulously with them. I don't mind guide dogs at all as i know that if they were agressive they wouldn't be very good guide dogs!Thanks for all your help, and Jeniffer i'll reply to your email soon.Take care, xxx. I think we just need time for me to not be bothered by other dogs. Xxx.

  5. Jen says:

    I would try not to bring her on to the road either if you can. You don't want her doing off kerb work unless she really has to, and you don't want her thinking that the dog is an obstacle. The last thing you want is for her to think its ok if she goes on to the road to get away from an approaching dog.

  6. Torie says:

    Well this week I was able to walk past the house without stepping onto the road. The dog wasn't out though.I would love to say something to the owner, but it's none of my business really. I mean i don't know the person or anything, and they are never out when their dog is out.I think in time i won't be so fearful, but it will just take time.And Jen you put it much nicer than another commenter! Xxx.

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