I don't think anything can be done. I am sick to death of all the twunts that keep doing this. "Fuck off" is about the only thing. One stupid bitch with 3 dogs off lead told me my dog was nervous because I was. I'm afraid I retorted with "well, I can see why your dogs are fuckwits" She flounced off
I think it's the fact that the majority of people who have dogs who "only want to play" have no concept of body language either canine or human. (And they are morons)
As someone who owns two very, very bouncy, exuberant collie boys who want to say hello to everyone, and a small collie girl who wants to run away from everyone and is very fearful, I see both sides of the coin.
I'm lucky in that my boys are trained to skid to a halt and come back to me if I give a specific command because they have to be able to (they also work sheep) and solves the problem of "they only want to play" because they never as a rule, get that far, but as for my collie girl... this is what I have managed effectively in the past (and yes, I have done it! )...
1) Look around wildly and shout loudly "Oh fuck! Zombies! Run!! Run I tell you!! Run away!!" and then leg it as fast as you can with the dogs. The owner of the other dog is often so bemused they think you're some weirdo and call their dog.
2) Get DH to threaten to shoot the "he's just being friendly" dog. (Particularly good if it's a footpath across a field with livestock).
3) This actually took place on the river in the very large park where you did the Great British grund walk, so you know the river - throw a tennis ball (that you just happen to be carrying) towards a very big river. Let "friendly dog" chase it. It focuses the owners mind beautifully on getting their dog back. In this case, the dog ended up in the river swimming about, which was extremely funny as the dog was having a fantastic time and was completely ignoring the frantic dickhead owner calling it back. I proved a very pertinent point when the owner and I had a right slanging match "words" over her recall and "out of control dog".
Apparently it was my fault her dog jumped in the river after my dogs ball...
4) Shout "Fuck off, my dog will eat yours, are you fucking thick or what?" at the owner. Knowing you, however, I suspect you could be more erudite.
I sympathise. Patch really doesn't find other dogs comfortable. They all want to chase him and play. Perhaps he gives out wrong doddy-language or something. I actually feel stressed when I walk him that we may meet an off-lead dog.
I know, I know, this is like P & C parking. I am having a bit of a rant but I'm also genuinely puzzled.
We have four dogs - all greyhounds. One is reactive to other dogs - we are working with BAT and he's slowly improving. The other male is nervous around large dogs he doesn't know (especially if they run up to him) and if Reactive Dog starts barking, he joins in. He's also nervous with strange men so we keep him muzzled when we are walking.
So, we are walking this morning in our regular park - a local NT property with lovely spacious grounds, a lake and lots of squirrels. Being spacious and open is great, as we can take avoiding action if other dogs come too close and there's plenty of room (it's rarely crowded). We see a woman with an Am Bull walking down the path (carriage drive) ahead of us - she is about 30 yards away. We pause - all of ours are on lead, and walking nicely alongside us. She passes slowly along in front of us, and we wait happily while she does so. Just after she has passed level with us, her dog spots us. It steps on to the grass, looking interested. At this point, we turn around and start walking briskly away putting more distance between us. We glance over our shoulder and Am Bull is now trotting after us, watched happily by his owner.
DH pauses, shouts "Away" at the dog, and then calls to the woman "Please can you call your dog away?" Woman then responds with "Oh, but he is only being friendly"
DH tersely replies "But ours are not" as 38kg of greyhound now starts jumping about, growling and barking at dog which is continuing to encroach. Sigh. Woman then gets shirty with us and tells us that we shouldn't be out in public, calls dogs and flounces.
Honestly, what more can we do? Admittedly, Mick wasn't wearing his yellow bandana today as it was so hot (he does normally, but so far it's been useless at deterring numpties).
Can someone from the "He/she is only being friendly" club enlighten me as to what goes through your mind when you see four on lead dogs clearly taking avoiding action from you, that might make you think for a nanosecond they secretly want to play? My only consolation is that we weren't chased into a local supermarket.