How should I act around dogs?
September 9, 2013 9:23 PM Subscribe
My dog passed away a few months ago. He had a lot of problems with aggression and bit me several times. As a result, I am anxious around dogs and display nervous body language. How should I move past this and act the correct way around dogs again?
posted by nakedandalone to pets & animals (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I am 21 and I live with my parents. We always had dogs when I was growing up and I was never nervous around them. We adopted a dog in 2005 (we had 2 cats at the time). He was just a normal puppy up until he was 2 years old. He became more aggressive, very anxious whenever anyone left the house and very protective of my mother. But this would only happen on occasion - 90% of the time he was good, the other 10% he was uncontrollable. We spent a lot of time and money on obedience trainers and programs. My parents just gave up after a while and decided to live with it. He bit people several times, and twice it was bad enough to need stitches. (Please don't bring up the fact that he should have been put to sleep - I know that now and knew it then, but I was a teenager and had no say in the matter). He passed away from cancer a few months ago and it was very hard to deal with.
I have a hard time trusting dogs now. I've only been around a few dogs in passing since (at a shelter I volunteer at (in the cat area only)). It wasn't just being bit, it was having to be constantly on edge because I never knew if he was going to snap. Intellectually, I know most dogs aren't like this, but I still feel uneasy around them. I know dogs react to body language. How can I be confident and act confident around dogs again? Any websites or books about dogs and body language would be appreciated. I'm not cowering in fear, but I am super vigilant and I feel like the dogs sense it and it makes them uneasy. A friend is moving back home soon and she has a dog I would like to get know, so I really want to work on this. Thanks for any help.