dog. He absolutely adores people! The trouble is because
he is an OES, he gets alot of stares and comments-cute ones
but it seems the majority of people are afraid of him because
of his size! He is always well behaved and on a leash in
public places. Does anybody else experience this problem?
The majority of people woo and ahh, and step five steps
back from him. I know he feels bad when this happens,
because he just wants to be friendly. Do you think it's the
size of the breed that scares people? Or am I just living in
the midst of a bunch of fraidy cats here in Ct.
Would love to hear the other reactions people get with
their sheepies. Thanks----Chett
My experience with my (used to be) 106 pound Sheepie is that children were afraid of him, but the vast majority of adults had no fear in approaching him. (I think that the majority of people who were afraid of him were afraid of dogs in general...)
I am no expert, but maybe it's the way that Chester approaches them!!
My Jake is (usually) almost disinterested in people liking him. It's a little bit strange, but he is so darn excited to go and see who is walking down the street, but once he's near them and has given them a good look over or a sniff over, he loses interest very quickly.
So when we greet new people, I usually hold him back by the collar (perhaps this shows the person that I AM in control), I reassure them by saying "He's VERY friendly, would you like to say hello? He might lick you to death." If the response is positive, then I encourage Jake to "go say hi", and he approaches them, gives'em a sniff (actually probably checking for food in hand, I'm sure) then looks around.
It's a very non-threatening scene for everyone.
I don't know about Chester, but Jake has no problem with people hugging him around the neck. I understand that a lot of dogs find this to be quite threatening, and may pull back, growl or even snap at the offending hugger. So before I understood that my dog wasn't going to bite anyone for this, I used to tell little children "Just pet him with one hand at a time", because I was afraid that many would go right up to him, hug him and come away mauled. It never happened. Most of the kids are too wary of his size to embrace him with a hug.
This has always been a large disappointment for my wife Joan and me, as we LOVE to have children enjoy our Jakester.
Nice to hear from you again, Chett. I hope you found my post to be interesting if not scientifically accurate or well informed!
Thank you for your suggestions. I think you hit the nail on
the head in two respects #1 the way Chester approaches
people. He's like a 5 year old kid who loves people and
expects them to love him in return. Even on a short leash
he has a tendency to go over to all people and want to
make friends. #2 From now on I think I will take hold of
his collar and when people approach him assure them that
he is a big HAM! That way he will be totally under my control
when around people. Thanks again for the great tips!
|We often get the same reaction when walking our OES, Jake. I think size is a big factor because people seem less afraid of Jake whe he has his spring/summer hairdo. when he is shaved, he looks much smaller. Children especially seem less afraid.
Of course, it may be partly due to scraidy-cat Wilton, CT. City-folk seem less afraid of Jake. Also, when Jake was able to get around better, we would take him to Provincetown. People loved him regardless of whether his hair was long or short and he loved the attention. P-town is a great place to visit off-season for 2-legged and 4-legged alike. (Like most of Cape Cod, it is a zoo during the summer!)
Hope you enjoy being owned by a Sheepie regardless of people's reactions. Rubs to your pooch!
Thanks for you tips on sheepies and yes Wilton is full of
bunches of city fraidy cats! We just got back from N.H.
with Chester. Well we had a great time. Think people are
a little braver in the country! He got his picture taken 3
times by strangers and he was the perfect gentleman.
Met a family in N.Conway who have a female sheepie
75lbs. We told them Chester was 95lbs and that just endeared him to them more. They wanted to know about
this site and also the rescue sheepdog picnic! Lots more
stories but it would take a book to write them all.
Thanks again Joan
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