What will make people listen to me? Nervous dog

(21 Posts)
Monsterdogs Thu 05-Sep-19 20:57:41

He is an ex-romanian street dog and is nervous of strange people. When i first got him he would bark at people who he felt were too close to him. After time, patience and a lot of work he can now walk past people on the street totally relaxed. However, if people stare at him or talk to him he still gets scared. When people listen to me and ignore him until he feels confident then he is fine. But there are times when people will ignore me and stare and/or talk to him. I have a hi-vis vest that says nervous dog (for me to wear, ddog has one too but that made people look at him even more). What else can i write on the hi-vis vest to get people to ignore him?

OP’s posts: |
Fucksandflowers Thu 05-Sep-19 21:58:49

'Don't touch I bite'?

Fucksandflowers Thu 05-Sep-19 21:59:30

I would imagine that might deter people?
Even if not strictly true

Monsterdogs Thu 05-Sep-19 23:15:23

Thanks fucks 😁. Only problem with that is he gets even more nervous around people that are scared of him. Plus i work as a dog sitter and am learning to be a trainer so dont want a reputation of having an aggressive dog

OP’s posts: |
ThighThighOfthigh Thu 05-Sep-19 23:20:35

Just thinking - i can generally read who's going to be a problem (3 year old girls confused) and i can stand side on to block my dog and say "he's not friendly".

BoringBettie Thu 05-Sep-19 23:26:20

I have a small spaniel who is incredibly nervous so I got him a red collar, red harness and red lead as there is a code amongst dog walkers, amber means the dog can be nervous and red means 'do not approach'. I've found other people to be more understanding with him now. Before I would have people trying to pet him. The only thing that makes people stay totally clear of a dog would be a muzzle! (Not saying use one, just an example!!) Hope you find something that works!

FLOrenze Fri 06-Sep-19 08:09:13

No advice, just sympathy, My dog wear a yellow halter, with ‘Keep your distance’. In very large letters.90 % of people are great, especially parents and intelligent dog people. They put their dog on a lead or recall them when they see her. I keep the dog close to me, but some people cannot resit, getting in her face.

I mostly now take her to the Forest rather than the park as it is easier to avoid people.


missmouse101 Fri 06-Sep-19 08:17:26

On Amazon there are loads of leads with big lettering on, like nervous/ caution/ I need space etc. Very good and worth a look.

FlashAHHHH Fri 06-Sep-19 08:18:20

You need to work within the dogs limitations and create distance between you and strangers. You will never be able to stop random people from trying to interact with him. So, you need to limit the risk of that happening.

That's not to say he should be kept away from all people, but you may find that he is never going to be comfortable being around strangers and that's something that you may never be able to train out of him.

So, I would be walking him in less crowded places and ensure you have the means to create distance if you need to, ie crossing the street etc.

There are also secure dog fields that you can hire, I'm sure this would be of benefit to you both.

Veterinari Fri 06-Sep-19 08:33:54

Get a basket muzzle for him - it will create space which is what he needs.

As a trainer it’s important that your dog is safe regardless of what the perception may be. A vest/harness saying ‘in training please give me space’ would help’

Monsterdogs Fri 06-Sep-19 09:05:02

Thanks all. I have a muzzel but as he is not yet fully trained to wear it for long. He is not food motivated and sensitive to touch, i am finding him a difficult dog to train.
I like in training, keep your distance. Hope that will help. He is fine with children, they listen to me. It is mostly men he doesnt like.

OP’s posts: |
pigsDOfly Fri 06-Sep-19 09:52:38

Someone on The Doghouse suggested telling people that were getting too close that your dog has a highly infectious disease. That could work with other dog owners, not sure it would be quite as effective with people without dogs.

Avoiding people as much as possible is probably all you can do.

I know someone who has a lovely rescue who can be reactive with other dogs and some people.

He has a thick yellow tape lead and a coat both have 'nervous dog' or something similar written on them. He still gets the 'it's all right, my dog's friendly' brigade completely ignoring him telling them to keep their dogs away.

He does hire a private field from time to time so his dog can have a good off lead run and that works very well for them.

There's absolutely no reason why you should have to muzzle you dog in order to make people keep away. It's very frustrating but unfortunately, you can't argue with stupid and there seems to be an awful lot of stupid people about.

Fucksandflowers Fri 06-Sep-19 09:55:39

You could perhaps just cheerfully say to the dog want to go this way or similar and walk away the second someone starts talking or staring maybe?
Though I guess you might come across rather rude.

RedHelenB Fri 06-Sep-19 10:32:40

My dog has a red collar and lead but hes great with kids and other dogs. It certainly isn't a code that I or other people round here would understand!

spot102 Fri 06-Sep-19 10:54:29

Likewise been walking dog wit red lead and collar thinking it looked smart not dangerous! Only heard about yellow recently, too. Must be a bit out of touch!!
Agree, lots of people just don't listen, or think they know better, it's frustrating. I used to toy with the idea of just letting them get bitten, them they might learn, exept that it's a tad unethical and dog would end up suffering.
I also found, like pp, a muzzle was great for keeping people away.

Fucksandflowers Fri 06-Sep-19 12:46:54

Likewise been walking dog wit red lead and collar thinking it looked smart not dangerous! Only heard about yellow recently

My in laws dogs also wear red - not aggressive dogs at all.
I think this colour coding idea is really silly.

By all means use a coat and/leash with words on it to send a clear message to those close enough to read it but don't just put a yellow or red collar then expect people to know what it is meant to signify.

FLOrenze Fri 06-Sep-19 12:57:01

I bought my ‘Keep your distance’ coat, from a company called DforDog. They are really good.

IncrediblySadToo Fri 06-Sep-19 12:58:03

It’s very difficult because even
people who see the dogs lead /your vest with ‘nervous’ etc probably won’t realise that means no eye contact or talking to your dog , so they might feel they’re respecting the ‘nervous’ by not approaching and helping with the ‘nervous’ by talking & being friendly, not threatening.

I think your only option is to keep trying to train him not to be nervous. It’s a bit difficult to quickly explain that your dog doesn’t want them to even look or speak to him.

mrsjoyfulprizeforraffiawork Fri 06-Sep-19 17:07:31

How about "ignoring me makes me feel safe"?

Purplecatshopaholic Fri 06-Sep-19 19:42:33

When I first got my darling boy - Spanish stray - he was scared of everything and everyone. He wore a yellow vest with I Need Space (or something similar) while I worked on socialising him. I personally found the dog wearing the vest rather than me worked for us - people wear high vis things for certain types of work all the time so no one pays attention. If the dog himself is wearing one people know it’s for a reason. He doesn’t need it now as he is a total star boy with people and other dogs, but it did take work on both our parts for quite a few months.

Runner31 Sun 08-Sep-19 07:21:41

I have a very pretty good and white collie who has always been scared of the world and strangers, he didn't have a great start in life.
No matter what I said people always wanted to pat him and when i asked them not to they would just stand and stare at him. I realised I couldn't control the people so I worked on him. Initially I didn't try to make him calm or happy around people but I taught him to look at me when we were out walking. For example if I could see people looking at him as we walked passed them I would have him look at me while he was walking. Only till we passed them but it put his focus on me.
I also used my tone of voice to train him to something positive. I took him out once and it was much busier than I had anticipated and ended up walking along saying 'hello' or 'good morning' (that's his favourite) to a whole load of strangers. He acted like they were long lost friends but his motivation came from me and my voice.
He is not an easy dog as being a collie he's prone to really quick reactions and can be easily trigger stacked but these two techniques gave us a solution while we worked on his general nervousness.

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