Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Non Dog-Owners - How do you deal?

I've admitted before, my dogs aren't completely trained.  It's a work in progress, and especially since we're moving to an apartment without a yard soon, I've been working very hard on manners, especially barking. 

One thing my dogs are NOT is aggressive.  They do bark, especially when there's a dog on TV or a squirrel in the yard.  They also bark at people sometimes when they want to play and the person ignores them.  I'M WORKING ON IT.  I've been taking them for multiple walks a day so that they're very used to seeing other people out and about, and learning to ignore them.  We've been living in a house with a huge fenced yard, so I'm not going to lie, they haven't gotten walked every day.  It's so easy to just let them run out the back yard because I know they can run and chase each other at top speed. 

Back to the topic.  I know my dogs aren't trained.  We walked by an elderly woman in a car today, and stopped about 15 feet from the car.  I'd given the dogs rawhides to bring on the walk with them because when they can't open their mouths to let it go, they can't bark.  It worked for the rest of the walk, except in this one spot.  Ruby put her rawhide down to smell a stop sign, and looked around and saw the car.  The woman in the car yells at her "Get out of here!".  In response, Ruby pulls on the leash and barks, because she thinks the woman meant "Get over here!", which we use as a command.  The woman, who again was in a car with the window cracked a couple inches, gasps loud enough for me to hear it. 

It's tough for me not to be offended that she yelled at my dog.  In my experience, people who don't like dogs don't understand that yelling at them will prompt a yell back.  We have a neighbor who we've had to get the police involved with, who would yell drunkenly at my dogs, through a fence,  for 5 minutes after they let out a single bark, regardless of if they were in the yard or even in the house with the windows open. 

So, I swallowed hard, and walked my dogs away.  We left the rawhide because it wasn't worth it.  I think I'm going to take them for a walk in a dog-friendly park later today, and do another run at it.  Does anyone have success stories of getting their dogs to ignore others in the neighborhood?

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