Stop Approaching Random Dogs Without Asking Their Owners

Stop Approaching Random Dogs Without Asking Their Owners

Just because you have a friendly dog doesn't mean you should approach someone with an aggressive one.

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While not all people may do this, there are definitely some who will approach any dog they see while they are with their dog just because theirs is friendly. Unfortunately, that can lead to fights between the two or more dogs due to their lack of consideration that the other dog could be aggressive.

Now, before I go into detail about this subject, I would like to say that I am not intending to judge those who do this. In fact, I used to be one of the people who only thought about the fact that my dog was friendly, and the only reason I found out about how it can affect others is that I ended up adopting a dog named Zoey, whom I found out afterward was aggressive towards other dogs.

My personal experience with my aggressive dog, Zoey, wasn't as bad as others may have experienced. She was an angel around people, but she struggled a little more around fellow canines. Thankfully after carefully introducing her to my family's other dog, Salty, they got along fine, although she definitely considered herself to be the dominant dog.

The biggest problem was on the walks. I would try to walk her every day, and although I live in a more forested area than a complete neighborhood, I would still often pass by other dogs. If they were behind a fence Zoey would pull and maybe bark, but not as much as when they were just across the street, or sometimes right in front of me. I often times would have to quickly cross the street, or sometimes even cut a walk short so that she wouldn't get aggressive and possibly hurt any dogs because the people were having no problem approaching me while walking in the middle of the road.

There were admittedly a few times where Zoey attacked other dogs, but the times it did happen, the dogs were on our property. We didn't have a fence on our property, but we also lived on 6 acres of forest, and our dogs were good about staying on our property. Because of this, we usually didn't have to worry about my dog while at home. The first dog she attacked was walked down to our house by people we knew, and the dog, named Roary, was known to be a generally nice dog, but Zoey was one of the dogs he would occasionally show some aggression towards, whether she showed it first or not. He had just gotten stitches from a surgery when he was brought down to our property, and Zoey was outside sunbathing while I was doing homework.

I didn't notice that Roary was there at first, but then I noticed Zoey was sniffing him while her hackles were up, but she hadn't done anything aggressive yet. I felt nervous so I started to go outside when I heard barking. I quickly rushed outside to see that Roary's stitches had been opened, most likely from Zoey and not from simple movements. Nobody was sure which dog started the fight, but we ended up driving Roary to the animal hospital and fully paid for the medical attention needed. He ended up being fine and mostly just needing to be restitched.

The second time was a very similar situation. I was at work when it happened, and I'm not sure which dog it was, but what I do know is that the dog was brought down to our property while Zoey was outside. It once again resulted in us bringing the dog to the animal hospital and fully paying for the medical expenses, and thankfully that dog ended up okay as well.

Unfortunately, after that, it was decided that it was becoming quite difficult to take care of Zoey due to her aggression, as well as the fact that it would have been much too stressful for my parents to take care of her once I began attending college. Because of this, I ended up having to give her away on October 5th, 2016, and I can still remember every detail of my last minutes with her before heading off to school.

When someone first sees a dog, the first thing that often comes to mind is "Awww it's so cute," and often times that can distract you from other aspects, such as subtle signs of aggression. Some that I would recommend looking for is dilated pupils, panting when it isn't very warm out, its tail is down or in between its legs, its hackles are up, even if it's just slightly, and/or its teeth are showing. These are just the behaviors I know of, but I'm sure there are many more that I have yet to learn and I would recommend looking into, most of which are caused by fear.

In the end, not every dog is friendly. No matter how lovable your dog might be, always keep in mind that the dog walking across the street from you might be aggressive towards other dogs, and make sure it's okay with the owner before approaching. I'm not saying to fear every dog, I'm just saying that if a dog is showing any sign of aggression, or the owner looks nervous and/or tense, then please give them space unless they say otherwise.

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5 Ways Impulsively Getting A Dog Saved My Mental Health

Those four paws are good for a lot more than just face kisses.

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Shortly before my husband and I officially moved out onto our own, he surprised me with a puppy in hand on the morning of our anniversary. Moving out, tackling college, and everything in between, I thought another huge responsibility was the last thing I needed. However, in reality, Oakley, the lab/Australian shepard/collie mix, was exactly what I needed to get back to "me."


He provides emotional support

One of the most obvious reasons is how much emotional support dogs, (and other respective animals) can provide. His paws have been accidentally stepped on, and he certainly isn't a fan of the forced flea/tick medication doses, but less than 30 seconds later, he is without fail immediately by my side again, tail wagging and ready for more kisses. Although he is not trained or certified as an ESA, it's without a doubt he has effectively (and unconsciously) combated random anxiety attacks or feelings of being alone.

He requires being cared for

You'll heavily judge every crazy fur mama, as did, I until you become one. Getting Oakley immediately got me consistently back on my feet and forced me to ask myself, "What does he need today?"Even simple, easy tasks like taking him out to run/go to the bathroom had me excited and forced me to find a motive in the day to day activities. I loved no longer having even the mere choice to be unproductive. Don't want to start your day? Well, Oakley needs his day started, so let's get moving.

He serves as protection

It's no surprise how far a dog's loyalty will go to protect their owner. For decades, specially trained dogs have had life-saving responsibilities assigned to them. Even being married, my husband and I's schedules vary significantly to where it is not uncommon for me to be alone. The slightest sound or shadow from outside our door immediately initiates barking. In the bathroom taking a shower? He's there. Knowing that Oakley is looking out, even when I get carried away with tasks like cooking dinner, always calms my nerves.

He's become something to look forward to

The nice thing about having Oakley is regardless of how my day goes, I know exactly how it is going to end. Whether I passed an exam with flying colors or got the lowest grade in the class, I know what waits for me when I open the door at home. After a long day, nothing resets my mood like walking into a face that is just as happy and excited to see me!

He encourages bonds with others

If you want your social interaction to sky rocket: get a puppy. No, I'm serious. You'll have people wanting to come over and visit "you" (let's be real… your puppy), like it's your last day on Earth. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Getting Oakley had family members constantly checking in to see how he was growing, learning, etc. Not only did this encourage more interactions with family and friends, but it also "livened" my husband and I's home life. Instead of the "normal" weekend nights consisting of Netflix and MarioKart, (which are enjoyable in their own respective ways), spending our nights playing Monkey in the Middle with our new four-legged friend has proven much more entertaining.

So ideally was it the right time to get a dog? Probably not. However, adding Oakley to my small little family combated anxiety and depression in ways I wouldn't have ever thought possible.

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11 Of The Greatest Dog Breeds, And What Makes Them Great

Some dog breeds that could potentially be my future companion.

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Everyone has favorites, we all pick our favorite foods to eat, clothes to wear and jewelry to wear. The difference is sometimes our favorites aren't the best option for us. Having some greens once in a while instead of pizza is good for me. Sometimes, we look better in blue than our favorite shade of red, and sometimes, we have to wear some gold jewelry than our go-to silver. This is a list of not only my favorites but also some breeds of dogs I could see myself having because they would be a good fit for me.

I also would like to add that I am a cat person. However, I love all cat breeds, so that would be hard.

1. French Bulldogs

Hands-down, my favorite dog. They are so cute to me and they are chubby and so cute with all those wrinkles. The downside is the medical bill with this breed, but I could definitely see me get a Frenchie in the future.

2. Pugs

Again, the wrinkles are too adorable to not have! I will say, that I don't really think that I will end up having a pug, but they are really cute and I will continue watching pug videos on the gram.

3. Jack Russels

Jack Russels are a basic dog in my opinion. They are good dogs, good companions, and just happy dogs. I could see myself having a Jack Russel.

4. Pomeranian

Now, if I were to get this kind of dog, it would have to be a tiny version. This dog would have to have constant grooming appointments and be a cute stylish puppy. They are cute, but in my opinion, only because of the hair.

5. Labs

I really don't think of myself as a big dog type of person, however, I've been around labs my whole life. I believe that they are very loyal, and really good dogs. I also have seen a lot of kids and lab videos to warm my heart to get me to this decision.

6. German Shepards

This is a shaky type of breed for me. I have two German Shepards at home. One I get along with great, the other, not as much.

7. Chihuahua

Oh, yes! These crazy yippie dogs are on my list. Why? Because chihuahuas were my childhood fantasy. It sealed the deal when "Beverly Hills Chihuahuas" came out and one named Chloe was a main character. Now, it is not a solid deal as the breed once was, but I figured I would put this on there.

8. Pit Bulls

I think pit bulls carry a stereotypical bad reputation. In my mind, I feel as though pit bulls have the same personality as I do. They are very sweet dogs, but sometimes are clumsy or are sometimes too feisty. I saw a pitbull mix the other day and all the dog wanted to do was play with me. I think I would really get along with this dog breed.

9. Pomsky 

Just look up a picture and you will instantly want one too. So fluffy and cute!!!

10. Akita

I don't know a lot about this kind of breed, but by seeing their pictures I think they are cute but pretty protective dogs. I think they are kind of leaders and would be great for children.

11. Stray Dogs

I know this isn't a dog breed, but thinking about how all these different dogs come with price tags, why not rescue a dog for less? This could be great or the dog could not get along with the environment and it could go downhill. The good news is though, that doing this process, the people in charge help the dogs gradually change for it to work out for both parties and I think it is a great process. I have also have had ideas about fostering dogs in the future, so I think topic of my article was more than needed to talk about.

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