An ordinary aggression

Published by: Lisa Longo
I absolutely have to tell you what happened to me this afternoon. 🙁
It is absolutely scandalous and I am still completely shocked! 😱

Behavior Analysis & Modification

This afternoon, here in the north-east of France, it was a great 30°c, blue sky, big sun, not even a breeze. My husband and I decided to go for a walk in a park with a super nice fitness trail along the Moselle River. A shady side allowed us to hold the heat but honestly, after barely two miles walk, I was relatively exhausted by heat.
We settled on a bench; the opportunity to drink a few sips of water (for me at least. My husband would have preferred a good beer 🍺). We planned to stay here for a few minutes so I settle down on the bench (ok, I admit, I slumped on the bench 😅).
Suddenly, I see a man approaching us. I’m not the type of girl to be afraid easily, but I had a hard time understanding why this guy was approaching us so quickly!🤨 I begin to look to my right and left to find an “excuse” for this gentleman to come to us at this so assured pace, but no, there really is nothing around us.
My husband, slightly mocking about me, told me that everything was fine while laughing at my emotions. But I knew that something was wrong.
I got up from my position to sit, completely tense, and when arrived about a meter from us, the guy said something totally incomprehensible to my husband (i even was wondering if he spoke French). I did not even had time to speak or to take a step back, this madman has sunk on me, rubbing his hands on my face and my head!😟
Normally, I would have respond to this kind of attack with strength and grip and I have been thinking of a lot of things to get out of this aggression. I could have screamed at him, pushed him away, and honestly, I was even ready to hit him! But when I saw that my husband found it funny and was laughing, I stayed there, without moving, completely stunned! After a few seconds (you know, in my head, I had the impression that it had lasted an eternity but it only lasted a few seconds), the stranger left, as it nothing had happened. My husband smiled broadly at me, and tried to kiss me. And when I said NO and moved back, he did not even understand why I did not want to!🤬
What would you have done if you had been in this situation? Please, take a minute to really think about it.
I’m sure most of you would have reacted (to the strange man and maybe even to the husband …). Nothing more normal than reacting in such a situation!
OKAY. Let’s start again:
“My name is Sirius and I am a 2-year-old Australian Shepherd. This afternoon, here in the north-east of France, it was a great 30°c, blue sky, big sun, not even a breeze. My owners decided we were going for a walk. It was hot, very hot. My owners stopped, they sit on the bench, I take the opportunity to lie down in the shade on the grass.
Suddenly, I see a man approaching us. I’m not the type of dog to be easily afraid, but I had a hard time understanding why he was approaching us so quickly! I started looking to my right and to my left, putting my ears back, licking my nose and so on.
My owners did not seem to be paying any attention to my (dis)stress signals.
I got up to sit, completely tense, and when he arrived about a meter from us, the guy started to gabble something totally incomprehensible! It seem sthat it meant “can I pet your dog?” in french. I did not even have a chance or time to bark or to move back, this crazy man ran on me, rubbing his hands all over my face and my head!
Normally, I would have respond to this kind of attack with strength and grip and I have been thinking of a lot of things to get out of this aggression. I could have bark at him, growl at him, and honestly, I was even ready to bite him! But when my owners did not move, so I stayed there, without moving, completely stunned! After a few seconds, the stranger left, as it nothing had happened. My owners leaned towards me, big smiles o their face, and tried to caress me (it seems that it is to congratulate me because I’ve been a “very good boy with the gentleman”)
What would you have done if you had been in this situation?
Has your answer changed?
Obviously, this is a big anthropomorphic story, but the subject (struggle) is real.
When people ask you if they can pet your dog (for those who are polite enough to ask), please don’t answer until you have “asked the question” to the principal concerned individual : your dog.
How to ask your dog? How to know if he agrees?
Learn, study, analyze and respect his body language.
Most dog owners instinctively know whether their four-legged companions are comfortable in a situation or not. But in any case, the more we learn about our dog’s body language, the better companions we can be for them.
Because no, that’s not all about the ears and the tail ! 😉
Lisa Longo, CPBT-KA
Animal Académie

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