When I walk my pack, I get glares.
Sure, from people, but mostly from dogs… the tiny chihuahuas stand like soldiers and stare me down, the rottweilers lean forward. Where I live, people tend to walk their dogs off-leash and don’t come when called. After so many encounters and so many dogs charging my pack and so many surprised expressions on owner’s faces: I start to notice the pattern.
Dog’s „fixate“ on things. First they’re just trotting along, sniffing: tralalalala… then BAM. They see you and your dog/s. Some will charge immediately (either playfully or… not so playfully), but I’m talking about the ones who stand and stare – fixated. When this happens, I chose my battles. Okay: either I change course, or I use this as a training opportunity and walk calmly past. When I explain this to some people, they say: „But the dog was just standing there, that’s not bad or aggressive!“ So they don’t correct their dog at that stage.
To put it into a human’s perspective: There could be some guy/lady standing calmly on the street as you pass by, and that’s totally fine. Then, you could walk by a guy/lady who is still standing, but in a different way. Her shoulders are pulled back, stiff muscles, leaning towards you, eyes narrowed threateningly and maybe even mumbling curse words at you. Sort of changes the situation!! Both are standing, but that doesn’t mean anything – you have so see how they’re standing.
Sometimes it’sour dog who’s doing the fixating. That’s the best time to correct and stop the process right then and there. If we let it go, it can escalate surprisingly fast and get to the point where it’s dangerous.
Another day walking the dogs!