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fear of dogs

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Zoe1

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yes I can relate to that, I think cats have a den as well
there is one that is visiting my garden trying to catch mice
and its claimed a patch of long grass !

you know what I used to be scared of daddy long legs
and now I am not
I dont know how it came about I lost that fear
 
Hwy2Well

Hwy2Well

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well the reason I posted about it
is because I'm aware that I have an issue with dogs
that goes back to 4 years old and I'm wondering if I can cure it
and that is probably possible
Maybe you're doing it now -- like empathizing with the crazy dog in my story. I mean, some dogs you should be wary of. I love dogs (duh) but I steer clear of some I see are bad news. Again, I kinda judge dogs like I judge people generally. Do you fear little dogs as well -- or just ones that remind you of your past trauma?
 
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Zoe1

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yes little ones too like chiwawas and stuff
I was bitten by a little dog on my ankle
the dogs I like are red setters, golden spaniels that sort of docile dog
I'm just about remembering how nice they were
the red setters would lift a paw offering to shake your hand !
 
Hwy2Well

Hwy2Well

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yes little ones too like chiwawas and stuff
I was bitten by a little dog on my ankle
the dogs I like are red setters, golden spaniels that sort of docile dog
I'm just about remembering how nice they were
the red setters would lift a paw offering to shake your hand !
While I'm not afraid of little dogs (or any animal I can kick across the room -- JK!), I don't particularly like them. I think little dogs are the least mannered dogs I've been around. Yappy little stinkers! The only dogs who've bit me have been little dogs. 'Course no biggie, they really can't do too much damage. Why so many are such grumpy il-tempered brats is beyond me.

Alternatively, I've rough-played with most all my dogs and that does involve biting, but they know not to bite hard. Actually it's better described as "mouthing" not biting. Their mouths are like a hand -- so they grab things with their mouths. And they know when playtime is over, it's over and no more jumping, heel nipping or mouthing. They do pick up on cues you set.

You know the difference between dogs and cats? Dogs want to do most anything to please the owner. Cats want the owner to do everything to please them. That's not a criticism just a dynamic to consider when assessing dogs. If you act strangely around them they might consider you a threat to their owner so not be so friendly. (Then again I had a dog who had zero discernment and would love on a serial killer in progress.)
 
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Zoe1

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wow I cant imagine playing the biting games, with a dog
thats amazing !
and the way you can train them with cues

where I dont agree is that cats dont try to please you
I find that all cats are different
and I have felt very much comforted by cats
in times of grief
even when I did not have my own cat
a neighbour cat would walk in the back door
and befriend me just when I needed it !

I would love to have a cat
but I feel I cant afford it
and any way I might use it to isolate
 
Hwy2Well

Hwy2Well

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The thing is I was raised on a farm. My earliest memories are surrounded with vivid snapshots of various working animals. When we moved to a new state a huge yellow lab was my best (and only) friend. So my perspective isn't really helpful to you in a way.

The rough-play? Not so amazing. It's a "learned" comfort level and inherent understanding of dog cues/temperaments that wasn't "taught" explicitly but just part of what you learned surrounded by dogs. Considering no one ever told me to do this or that with a dog I guess you could say the dogs taught me. Does that make sense?

I'm probably learning more from you and your perspective than I could ever deign to teach you. Remember when I mentioned dogs I'm wary of? Well that's not something I could explain, but if I think about it I could guess I didn't like how the dogs ears were back, or his shoulders set a certain way... But that's not what I breakdown on any conscious level at the time. In the moment it's just a reaction and I respond accordingly. It has long since become an ingrained instinct. Does that make sense?

If you "like" setters and spaniels and like them shaking your hand it doesn't sound like you have a dibilitating phobia about dogs. Maybe you have a healthy respect for, or perhaps a tad hyper-awareness of, the danger a dog poses?

And I dig cats. Haven't had one in awhile but yes they are a great comfort. I still stand behind my statement tho. The proof is: try to train a cat the things you can train a dog. They do what they want to do most of the time. And if that's sitting in your lap to be pet, then that's glorious!
 
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Zoe1

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I can understand how an animal might teach you something

what is it that dogs do to ' try to make you happy ' ?
 
Hwy2Well

Hwy2Well

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@Zoe1: Me personally? Innumerable things.
Dogs are extremely intuitive and instinct driven. They are very connected to their owners' mood.

Once I came home frustrated by something. It was all I could do to get thru the front door, jam to my bedroom, and throw myself on the bed in a sobbing fit. Immediately the two dogs in residence jumped on the bed trying to get to me to turn over so they could lick my face. They were both uncharacteristically "in my space." One notable point here is that these dogs were never on the bed. Ever. One wouldn't get on the bed if you invited him. And I never allowed them to lick my face (ew) previously -- and they knew better -- but they needed to communicate, and licking is a form of communication for them.

And their intervention worked. With two dogs wiggling over you, literally licking your tears away, with little whines of concern (seriously), it became comical. I don't remember what upset me but I remember their spontaneous reaction. I ended up being overwhelmed by their outpouring of concern and actually started laughing. It was funny. And such a moment of mutual love.
 
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Zoe1

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thats a really sweet story
its sad that I cant get that close to a dog
and I'm afraid yours would frighten me
he looks quite big

I do feel I'm benefitting from this thread though
 
Hwy2Well

Hwy2Well

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He is quite big. I'm sorry he frightens you, but by looking at this pic your concern isn't completely unwarranted. Normally I wouldn't post this pic of him. Why? Because he looks really uncomfortable and unpredictable. Which he was. I know this not b/c I remember taking this photo but b/c I can see. His haunches are tensed, perhaps because he's in a precarious position sitting on that bench, but then clearly he's eyeballing something (probably a bird) and he's prepped to jolt off at any second after it. His back also is hunched also indicating his mood.

Keep in mind he was a pup at the time so his impulse control was limited. It takes time to expose the dog to various stimuli to get them to maintain focus.

I would say your instinct of fear here wasn't necessarily wrong -- in spite of the fact you wouldn't have had anything to fear if you'd been there. Does that make sense?
 
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Zoe1

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yes that does make sense ... same is true of people sometimes
there might be someone we get on with
that other people are frightened of

I just remembered another positive dog memory
it was a book called the dog whisperer I think
I loved the horse whisperer, and then the dog whisperer

she said that a dog needs to feel confident
that the human is in charge, like an alpha male or female
and recommends that humans eat their food first in front of the dog
before feeding the dog

in order to show their superiority
otherwise the dog will go crazy like a dictator !
 
Hwy2Well

Hwy2Well

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yes that does make sense ... same is true of people sometimes
there might be someone we get on with
that other people are frightened of

I just remembered another positive dog memory
it was a book called the dog whisperer I think
I loved the horse whisperer, and then the dog whisperer

she said that a dog needs to feel confident
that the human is in charge, like an alpha male or female
and recommends that humans eat their food first in front of the dog
before feeding the dog

in order to show their superiority
otherwise the dog will go crazy like a dictator !
Yeah... The whole "Alpha" bit is popular nowadays. It's probably really great stuff for folks who aren't in-tune with dogs. Me? I never even once wondered if the dog considered my status. It's a dog. Duh.

I'll feed my dog first, I'll let the dog go in the house first, I do myriad things that this dogma(ha!) advises against. I'm not saying what they're preaching isn't (kinda) true, but as far as the dog is concerned, either you're the boss or you're not, whether or not he eats first.
 
Hwy2Well

Hwy2Well

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Hey @Zoe1 i think you're on the right track.

I want to say best wishes and keep up the good work. What's wrong with just spending time with the dogs you like/trust and otherwise reserving judgment as to the rest. That seems like a good rule of thumb for any human & not just for judging dogs.
 
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