Give me space

We’re not doing on-leash greetings at all right now.  Castiel isn’t meeting people or dogs.  We’re going to gradually re-introduce on-leash greetings as an occasional thing, but for right now, no more.  We need to get Castiel relaxed on walks and that doesn’t make him relaxed.  Most dogs get far more stressed with on-leash greetings regardless of any problems they may or may not have and many people choose not to do any kind of on-leash greetings with other dogs.  With Cas, he is a bit skittish with people, so we’re working on his confidence, then we’ll start bringing people back into the equation.

Last night, I saw a great dane coming towards us.  The sidewalk wasn’t very wide, so I decided to cross a barrier, take Cas to the side and do some puppy pushups.  That way we’d be out of the way and they didn’t have to navigate around us.  Cas was in a yellow reflective vest and a harness that says ‘deaf dog’.  It should have been obvious that we were staying out of the way.

The dog owner, whose great dane was on a Flexi lead, crossed the barrier and, while I was focussed on Cas, thinking they would pass because it was OBVIOUS that we were staying out of the way, the dane comes out of NOWHERE and is RIGHT ON TOP OF CAS.

Obviously, I made a mistake in not paying more attention to where the dog was.  That was my error.

The other guy, however, should have been more sympathetic to the fact that I was clearly working with my dog.  Dog owners need to realize that not all dogs want to meet your dog.  Perhaps the best discussion of this that I have read is found over at Notes from a Dogwalker.  My dog needs some space.  Give him space.  I shouldn’t have to get stressed out trying to get him that space.

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