If I've heard this once, I have heard it a thousand times. No matter how much I try to avoid this conversation, it still happens far to often. I'm talking about dogs who get too close and the owners who disregard anything I say.
Your dog may be ok with other dogs, mines not! So I avoid other dogs to allow my boy to have a more relaxed walk with the hope that he doesn't go over threshold (barking/lunging). If I do come across an area where other dogs are off lead and could approach, I hastily retreat!
However, it happens and the conversation usually goes as follows:-
Me - "Can you call your dog?"
Owner - "It's Okay, My Dogs Friendly"
Me - "Mines NOT, call your dog or he may get bitten"
Owner - "Fido - come" No difference, dogs still coming!
Owner - "Fido - COME" Nothing!
Owner - "Fido - COOOOMMMMMMEEEEEEE"
At this point the dog has disregarded any cues from its owner and is now mouthing off with my dog! Yeah, cheers!
All to often enough the conversation concludes as the owner who has now got hold of their dog is walking away:-
Owner - "You should get that dog under control!"
Me - "My dog is under control. He's on lead.
So to help with the situation I bought a bright yellow coat! What, hows a coat supposed to help, I hear you say. Well these coats have writing on the side that inform humans that your dog needs space. Great, I'm advertising to the world that my dog has problems, oh the shame, oh the embarrassment. Yep, these were all the thoughts I went through.
All I can say is I could not have been more wrong! What a difference it has made. I don't feel embarrassed or shameful, I feel empowered. People look at us now and instead of getting an "urgh we get so many "Arrrrrrgh's". People are actually inquisitive and want to know what his deal is. Luckily, he is fine with people but dog owners now give us a wide berth as they can see us coming. It's awesome, especially when I'm in one of my unsociable moods!
Seriously, if you have a reactive dog then get over to the Yellow Dog Project and make your walks easier.