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Dogs don't like me/scared of dogs these days

Earth Girl
Community Member

I use to be fine walking past dogs when I was in public, but in 2020, when I would walk past dogs they would often growl and bark at me. My sister told me that since that was the year of the pandemic, the dogs probably felt differently because they didn't get to go out as much, but even now (not as much as in 2020), dogs sometimes still bark and/growl at me when I walk past them.


Last year, I would sometimes walk past this border collie and it was fine with me, but once when I walked past it (I think one of the more recent times) it growled at me which surprised me because border collies are really calm dogs usually so I don't think it liked me. 😞 A lot of other dogs have acted scary when I walk past them or when they are standing outside of their house and see me.


Just yesterday, I was going for a walk and I saw this man walking with his dog who was off leash and I was thinking to myself, it's just a dog, it's probably not going to do anything. The last time I walked past a dog who was off leash it came up to me to say hello and was friendly so this one probably won't be scary either. I heard someone running behind me so I made way for them and a little while later when the runner was now ahead of me, the dog started growing and barking at them and then it did the same to me and followed me. The owner shouted out its name and put it on a leash and then I felt better, but my heart was still racing a bit.


I remember this guy and his mother who use to live near me who didn't like me had a dog who didn't seem to like me either. I remember thinking that it was almost like the dog knew its owners didn't like me and I found out several years later that dogs can actually tell when their owners don't like someone. It really hurt though because it felt like the dog was scared of me. 😞


I know this probably sounds really "oh no, dogs don't like me", but it's not a nice feeling, especially if they seem like they are afraid. I don't know why they don't seem to like me these days because before 2020, most of them seemed to be find with me and they wouldn't growl or bark when I walked past them.


I kind of feel like there should be stricter rules about dogs being of leashes and not being let outside of the house without a leash on either. My parents use to let our dogs be outside without the leash on (which I didn't agree with, but I was afraid to tell them that I disagreed because they would have gotten really annoyed with me).

5 Replies 5

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hey EG,


From past posts it appears that much importance is placed on how others perceive you, and there is some good reason to be reticent around strangers; but you do have the right to feel/be safe in public spaces and the dog owner is required to have full control over their dog at all times.
Sadly, some people don't show this consideration for others who may not be as fond of dogs, or is averse to being set upon by some lumbering animal where their intention is unclear.


Dogs are usually very close (and protective) of their owners and a good technique I use is to 'seek permission' by striking up a conversation/greeting with the owner before approaching their dog. I think it has something to do with the 'pack mentality' of the dog world and showing deference to their 'leader'!


Everything in life, it would seem, is a power struggle - not a battle; but it is true that one cannot occupy the exact same space of another without acknowledgement, negotiation, and compromise.

Unlike us, dogs (and the animal kingdom) manage all this without words - I sometimes wonder if that is where we failed...


Thanks tranzcrybe. 🙂


Yeah, dogs must just act this way because they are very protective of their owners. I love dogs, but it does scare me when they come up to me and growl and bark at me.


I'm usually too shy to say hello to people when they walk past me. (I can usually work up the courage to say hi to them if they say hi to me first, but otherwise I can't). I try not to look scared or anything when I see a dog.


I remember last year, I went for a walk with my Dad and this guy was with his dog and he was telling us its name and acting like it was fine with getting patted so I gave it a pat and it put it's paws on my knees so I moved them down and then my Dad said very calmly "Haha, naughty dog" and then the dog started going mental and tried to bite both of us. My Dad thinks it may not have liked to have been called that lol. So now I'm even weary of dogs when their owner has full confidence in them because they might not be as calm as their owner seems to think they are.

It helps also to remember we are entering their personal space (which is a big deal for something a quarter of our size).

Just as with people, I like to make eye contact with the animal (checking for any flinches or twitches) and to show respect for their trust with a hand to sniff (no, I don't do that with people...) - I wouldn't want anyone coming up and putting their hands all over me (at least not before taking me out to dinner first!) so why would this be unreasonable for a dog?

You are correct though, even the calmest dogs can be 'spooked', so vigilance is key.

As for talking to people, showing interest in immediate surroundings (nice dog, what breed..., how about that storm...., etc) and yet keeping respectful distance from personal issues, can bring some pleasant surprises to your (and their) day - but again, one must always remain vigilant to flinches or twitches!!.

Hi there op and l'm sorry to hear about all this.

And don't feel alone about the Collie they can be pretty snappy to don't worry about that one, my brothers use to bite.

But it's a weird thing with dogs and animals they all have different temperaments and personalities to just like us and it also depends on how their owner raises them and lives with them , treats them.

lt's also their natural instinct to guard their property so some of them walking down the street take it to outside as well , know that sounds weird but they do.

My terroir,we'd be down the beach laying about and he use to go people walking past, l'd have to tell him of for the first 5 mins then he'd shut up. Thought he owned the place now that we'd made ourselves comfortable, better start guarding the beach.

Personally l've never bothered with some eye thing or even taken any notice of some dog l'm walking past, their a dog, l'm not gonna be doing some silly crap for a dog, we're the boss ha ha not him. Mind you , if it's a bit a a nasty looking one l'll certainly keep and eye on him as l go past.


Unfortunately to , they can be pretty cowardly this is why it's often kids or females that get attached but it works in that way to if they sense your a bit dubious or nervous so the more casual and don't car'ish you are the less notice they take of you. l know that would be hard if you've had a few scares from dogs sorry to but, if you can just walk past and about as if they aren't even there it can make a lot . Start looking at them watching too close or feeling nervous they'll pick it up.

They know when your smiling or looking friendly to l've gotten around a few grumpy dogs like that so before long they're wagging their tail and smooching.


Anyway , good luck eh.








Hahaha, thanks randomxx. 🙂