A young lady approached me this morning and asked “How can you be so unafraid of dogs?” My reply, “I’m unsure of how to answer such a question, & how can you be afraid of dogs?”
She was so sincere, that I knew her query was not a cheeky attempt at sarcasm. As one my morning crew (yes dog) approached her tail wagging, she stiffened. Her face was fearful, though she tried to control her fear, she remained relatively calm. However, that level of calm would not have worked with an aggressive dog, or a poorly trained house pet. This young lady impressed me because she was sincere, honest and wanted to learn. So my on the go advice to her was:
1. Never run from a running dog – chase instinct and all those dog behaviour golden nuggets.
2. Dogs read intention and body language quicker and better than we give them for, stay calm, or as calm as you can.
3. If you are on the street and walking past a dog unnerves you, cross over.. its as simple as removing yourself from the situation.
That said we both agreed beast and man are hard pressed to find a street in Mumbai!!
4. Dogs never attack unless provoked. Provocation is not necessarily physical. Dogs can read intention toward a person/persons they are protective of, and they protect their pack. Once dogs accept you as part of their pack, they are fiercely protective. Dr. Hare refers to this as “psychological convergence”
If strangers, “dog people” or not insist on “standing their ground to negotiate with a dog” they loose, every time.
On the go dog advice, to a young lady, who was honest about her fears and eager to learn new Truths. It’s heartening to know the next generation, as we are experiencing in real time, are ready to face their fears and take on the world. These young warriors and learner’s are out saving the world one conversation at a time.
Dogs read intention “a mile away” its impossible to lie to a dog.