Zombie Dog Owners

zombie dog owner
zombie dog owner

You’re out in the park with your dog, minding your own business…

Perhaps you’re doing some dog training. Or maybe you’re taking a nervous dog out for a potty break…

Sooner or later, you’ll find some reason to leave the house with your dog. You simply can’t train a dog in your own backyard and expect to have fantastic obedience when you eventually leave your property. When you train your dog around real-world distractions and environments… that’s how your dog gets better.

I frequently write about the three phases of training:

  • Learning
  • Reinforcement
  • Proofing

But until your dog gets to the proofing phase… he needs space.

Dog writer Jessica Dolce calls these dogs: “DINOS” — Dogs In Need Of Space.
My Dog Is Friendly — A Public Service Announcement

They’re good dogs, but they’re nervous around strangers. And their owners are good people who like to be outside with their dogs to breath the fresh air and get a bit of sunshine… without being rudely jumped by strangers. And strangers can be either the two-legged kind or the four legged kind.

For many irresponsible dog owners, it doesn’t matter if you and your DINO want to be left alone. Because inevitably, they will let their dog run up to you, uninvited.

And it’s all apparently okay in their bizarro world… as long as they run behind their dog, yelling: “My dog is friendly! My dog is friendly!”

Are there legitimate reasons why I don’t want somebody else’s dog running up to mine? Yes, of course. I’m sure you’re creative enough to come up with many reasons, but let me share with you one that I recently learned about that you’ve probably never thought of: Oral doggie warts. Humans can’t catch ’em, but they are transmissible from one dog to another.

The dog blogger community is alight with stories, anecdotes and articles about this type of irresponsible dog owner. They’re abbreviated as, “MDIF’s.” (“My Dog Is Friendly”) Who– like Zombies– transform themselves into “HNDTB’s”. (“He’s Never Done That Before!”) about two seconds after there is an altercation with their dog and your dog.

Sometimes dogs that aren’t introduced properly can get into fights. It doesn’t matter if both individual dogs are male or not.

But there is a solution:

  1. Be assertive about claiming your own space.  Use your own body language to make the MDIF understand that they need to stay away!  (It helps if you already look like you’re two sandwiches short of a “crazy picnic!”)

  2. Master effective dog training techniques that allow you to keep 100% of your dog’s attention on you… and not on the stranger/other dog. When your dog has 100% of his attention on you, he can’t engage in the back-and-forth dynamic that takes place when dogs begin to interact that can sometimes leads to a dog fight. And since the other dog isn’t getting a response, he’ll very quickly disengage and leave you alone. If you take a look at the video I did last week, you’ll see what I mean: