It’s OK- My Dog is Friendly!

I hate those words.

They always seem to come from a dog owner that means well, but doesn’t think past their own nose.

Sure, your dog is cute, and happy, and obeys ALL of your commands, right?

No. Your dog never comes when you call him or her away from me. But it’s OK, because your dog is friendly.

The Dangerous Breed dog out for a morning walk.
The Dangerous Breed dog out for a morning walk.

And so is Rumpy. But Rumpy is a very strong dog. He could jump up on you and knock you down. And I’ll be the first one to tell you that Rumpy doesn’t always mind. But that’s because I’m honest with myself about that, unlike those of you out there with those “friendly dogs.”

To be sure, your dog may be well-mannered much of the time, but if your dog runs up on Rumpy, Rumpy may perceive your unleashed dog as a threat. And if a fight breaks out, it won’t just be the dogs that will be injured. I’m at the other end of that leash, so I’m going to be injured as well.

In case you haven’t noticed, there’s not many owners of Pit Bulls or German Shepherds walking their dogs off-leash. Why? Because we know what time it is for our beloved companions. Who do you think is going to be blamed for a fight between your dog and mine? You, the dumbass walking your “friendly dog” off-leash? Or Rumpy, the “dangerous breed” dog that was on a lead and minding his own business?

Yeah, it’ll be Rumpy.

Me, dangerous? Says who?
Me, dangerous? Says who?


Down here in the South, folks don’t like being confronted with their problematic behavior. They like to throw up that “I got my rights, dammit!” But your rights don’t include the right to ignore local ordinances, including leash laws.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking now. It IS my fault for owning a dangerous breed dog in the first place. But I’ve gone above and beyond in ensuring Rumpy is not a threat to anyone. Should Rumpy die because YOU are a bad actor?

Really? You'd blame me dog for your bad behavior?
Really? You’d blame me for your bad behavior?

Sorry, I know that I’m  preaching to the choir, and that those “friendly dog” owners aren’t going to change. They believe they are right and it’s the rest of us that should mold our lives around them and their friendly dogs.

That’s why I have pepper spray in my pocket. Let that friendly dog of yours try to start something with Rumpy, and I’m gonna fill your dog’s eyes with cayenne pepper. If he STILL doesn’t stop, any injuries incurred will be on your dime, and I WILL do whatever it takes to make sure you pay. I may not be able to change your mind, but I can hold you accountable.

Last I heard, leashes were cheaper than vet bills, but hey, it’s just money for you. For me, it’s my dog’s life at stake.




55 thoughts on “It’s OK- My Dog is Friendly!

  1. Easy is friendly but he is as big and strong as a tank, so he has to stay on his leash and I always pray that we will meet no dog without leash, no kids, no humans who want to say hell-o. It’s not easy to manage 80 lbs of tnt after a devils-girl thought easy’s nose is a chewing bone :o( maybe pepper spray could be a good idea :o) I agree with you, at the end we have to pay a bill and the dog has to pay for all :o(

    1. Weimaraners are strong, happy dogs. Our Sage once pulled me down trying to play with a little dog off-leash. Fortunately for all, my injuries were superficial, and she never got away from me. I did give an earful to the owner of that dog though.

  2. It’s when they shout ‘my dogs friendly’ and I shout back ‘good, mines not’. Then you see them panic. I have to laugh a little, but it annoys me too, My dog is friendly. My dog is so friendly, but if your dog gets all up in his face he can’t cope and so reacts. But it is your dog that has initiated this, not mine. Yet mine gets stuck with the ‘un-friendly’ label!

    1. I say the same thing! What are those fools expecting? Maybe there’s a reason my dog is on a leash, besides common courtesy and local leash laws, of course. Gaaaahhhhhh!

  3. Molly Malamute was an abuse rescue and unpredictable so we are cautious. She looks like a large plush toy and people always stick out a hand and want to pet. Standard line is “Molly is very sociable, but she has large muddy feet and will happily knock you down.” If we chat a bit and she sits and relaxes, makes a nose forward to sniff…maybe I’ll let them pet. But beter cautious. Now if they have a dog on a leash, she assumes they are good people. She has good sense.
    The big problem here is small dogs not leash. Some are vicious and bad tempered and sometimes there are 2-3 with one owner. One maybe be friendly – but the other not – or get jealous if Molly makes friends with the other one. I have kicked dogs and screamed at owners. (They always say “my dog is friendly I cannot believe they did that.I am so sorry”. To which I respond, “dogs in a pack behave differentIy – especially if the owner is not right with them. There is a leash law here for a reason.”)
    I carry pepper spray sometimes a bat as we do have (bad owner) pit bulls who do get loose and have attacked dogs. I will unclip Molly/the German in that situation not to hinder efforts to protect herself – and yell very loudly “get you dogs.Now. Or else.” Molly while gentle, can protect herself. And the owners have learned I am not fooling. It is so irritating.
    Your last paragraph is so true. It’s a battle here, too. (Oh, ps. We do have a very good friendly pit bull in the neighborhood – delightful. Always on a leash. A pink one with rhinestones)

    1. Oh, Rumpy can more than hold his own as well, and if a large dog came after him, I’d let him at ’em. But I know as a “dangerous breed,” he’ll be seen as responsible, so I have to prepare now so I’ll know how to act when called upon to make split-second decisions. Any actions I can take to avoid there being a fight can only help Rumpy in the long run.

      1. I agree planning and avoiding conflict is the best choice. Those little snappers are such a problem – Molly is so confused when they nip her nose or toes. And they circle behind to sneak in. Bad owners.
        Keep those dogs up or leash ’em for everyone’s good.
        Paws up for Rumpy!

  4. AMEN! You go right ahead and preach it my friend. I’ll even give you another AMEN! Me and the little guy here Houdini, if we go out we are leashed. End of story – no questions asked. If not, we stay inside. And my mom is just as demanding. If YOUR dog is unleashed and tries something with us, there will be hell to pay. XOXO – Bacon

      1. Exactly. My mommy feels the same way about me. If I’m startled and I don’t know you, I could react. And don’t even get me started about that six pound terror here called Houdini. He’s ferocious – snorts. XOXO – Bacon

  5. It’s not other dogs who need to be leashed, it’s kids. No, just kidding (official disclaimer). But I’ve had so many kids run up on Jack, often from behind – and the dog has fear-aggression issues. We can’t help the horrible things that happened to him in his puppyhood – things that scarred him for life. We work as hard as we can, to help him understand those things will never happen again. But a month of work can be blown in a minute, when a kid screaming “Doggie!” comes running up behind him. And in Massachusetts, Jack would be put down for biting a kid, regardless of the circumstance.

    When we had Tippy, I was at a party in Connecticut. My wife and I took Tippy along, and tied her in the shade in front of the house. She was fine, until one of the other guests’ kids did just that. Ran up on her, yelling “Doggie!” She did what any dog-parent would do when her pup misbehaved. She gave him a little nip. She didn’t maul him like a Colorado cougar mauling a jogger, she just gave him a little nip. Well, the parents were out for blood. Mine, Maureen’s and Tippy’s. Nope. Like Bonnie and Clyde, my wife and I beat feet outta Dodge – Bluegrass chase music playing on the car radio. Because she came from out of state – and because she had had all her shots – Connecticut had no legal recourse other than to ban her. They don’t have animal extradition – yet.

    A few days later we received an official court document saying poor little – harmless – Tippy was persona-non-gratta in the great state of Connecticut. 🙂

    When I’d take her down, after that, I’d sing stuff like – “I Fought the Law and the Law Won,” “I Don’ Wan’ no Sugar in mah Co-o-ffee.” or “Hammer-Ring.”

    “♫ Come on somebody, why don’t ya run? Ol’ Red’s itchin’ to have little fun. Git mah lantern. Git mah gun. Red’ll have ya treed ‘fore the mornin’ come. ♫”

    1. Tippy lived to 15. When she was about 13, one of those friendly dogs you speak of, charged her in a friend’s back yard. It really was a friendly dog, and he really was just playing. But Tippy was a senior dog, and she had already begun showing signs of the neural degeneration in her back legs, that Shepherd and Shepherd mixes are known to develop. The Lab sent her flying, side over side, in an aerial somersault. Again, there was no malice on the part of the dog, and we didn’t hold the dog’s master to task. But Tippy – for the rest of her life – never walked again.

      1. There really should be some sort of required curriculum for children to understand companion animal behavior, especially now that animals are considered a part of the family. Unfortunately, it’s the youngest that are the most vulnerable. Toddlers do what toddlers do, and dogs do what they do to wayward children. But it usually doesn’t end well.

    2. I hate that everyone blames the dog.

      The kid did something wrong, the parents should tell the kid “and that’s why you don’t approach strange dogs”. End of story. Lesson learned.

      You may have been kidding, but I am seriously all for leashes for children!

      Chase does not like kids, I am glad he has a fairly deep bark because when they see him he barks and they stop dead in their tracks! They think he is a mean dog and I am okay with that, better than me having to stop the kid myself!

  6. There’s someone who walks their rottie near our house off leash. I have a brother who still struggles with a fear of dogs. I’m sorry, it’s great your dog is friendly. My brother is friendly too but he’s also afraid as I’m sure some other dogs that dog may encounter are. Surely the responsible owners would keep their dogs on a leash unless in a secure area where it is labelled as safe like the dog parks round here?

    I know you don’t need me to tell you this but you are absolutely in the right!


    1. You make an excellent point. Off-leash dogs, no matter how “friendly,” can be terrifying for those with a fear of dogs. If the law says be on a leash, the dog should be on a leash.

    2. With all the Police on Dog shootings in the news these days, I’d say your neighbor is taking a risk for his bestie, as well. Especially a dog like a Rottie. A cop sees a Rottie barreling towards him, off-leash – and out comes the Glock. Then where would your friend be?

      1. We don’t have police carrying those sorts of weapons here in the UK and I’d be very surprised to see any police out anyway but it’s very true. People do tend to be more nervous of some breeds

  7. I consider myself a very friendly person, but not everybody is going to like me. Why can’t owners of “friendly dogs” get that same rationale through their thick skulls?
    Pretty much everybody surely knows the “fight or flight” options available to dogs. If your dog is off-leash, and my dog is leashed, and my dog does not like your dog …… he has no flight option (he is leashed), so anticipate an aggressive response. It’s his only option in those circumstances!!! Duh!

    1. And neither of those options are good for a dog. If he flees, Rumpy could become lost or hit by a car. So it’s much better all around that leash laws be followed.

  8. Kevin was attacked by off-leash dog twice when he was alive…one was Golden retriever and another was Akita Inu that they are much much bigger than Shiba Inu, like Kevin. Their owners insisted that normally their dogs were very calm….I didn’t mind if they were or not….just they needed to keep their dogs on leash…

    1. The breed doesn’t determine whether the dog will attack or not. Any situation can become stressful for a dog. So I agree with you that all dogs need to be kept on a leash.

  9. I write tickets the owners of those “friendly dogs” off leash all the time. And I’ve been called everything but a child of God. I run across those owners when I’m not in uniform as well. I walk a very large German Shepherd. When people tell me “my dog is friendly” I always respond with “Mine isn’t. Please put your dog on a leash now.” I get nasty looks, but it usually works.

    as an animal control officer, I’d like to give you a couple pieces of advice.

    #1 if a dog approaches yours and a dog fight is about to ensue, drop the leash. You don’t want to get entangled. And if that dog was off leash and your dog is on leash more than likely you will not be considered liable. You did everything that you could. And a lawyer would be able to argue that.

    #2 Be very careful with pepper spray. it can easily blow back and get in your face as well as your dog’s face, making you both vulnerable. Professionally I carry pepper spray. I have a one with a special cone nozzle to minimize blowback, but there’s always the risk. Also, before I was allowed to carry I had to go through training where I was sprayed so that I had an idea what to expect. It’s awful!

    1. I’ve had training in pepper spray as well, and you make a good point about blowback. I personally prefer the foam. And I would drop the leash, but let’s be honest, these things usually happen fast and I may not respond quickly enough to prevent injury to myself.

      Thanks for your work to keep us all safe, especially the animals. I can imagine you don’t get much appreciation for your efforts, but you are sorely needed.

  10. For us people are afraid of our Boxer/Bull dog that was mistaken as a pit as a pup and was going to be exterminated when we adopted her, I would be more afraid of our Border Collie Mix who does the Army crawl and sneaks in behind you. We live in the country and our dogs are kept in our store by a baby gate on nice days so they can lay in the sun. People just do not think.

  11. AMEN! My dog is old and pretty much just lays around and she is not often on a leash in our large yard (now that we can outrun her) but there are so many owners that just let their dogs walk freely in our neighborhood, where small children are playing outside – it’s just not safe. As far as the “dangerous breeds” thing goes – I call crap on it every time. Yes, their instincts are to be protective and yes their breed has a history of being a little temperamental, but it’s all in how the dog is raised – I’d take my sweet, large, multi- “dangerous breed” mutt over any obnoxious, small “timid breed” any day.

  12. When did Rumpy become a dangerous breed? The sled dogs — all of them — are among the least aggressive breeds, at least in my experience. I wish my neighbors wouldn’t let them roam loose. Too many cars … and they like to stand on the other side of the fence while our dogs get crazy trying to get to them. Not to mention the sanitation issues … but aggressive? Not.

  13. Common sense isn’t so common and I hear yah about the Southern take on things like this. It’s all fun and games, pleading ignorance or just ignoring until someone gets mauled or a dog has to be put down. Not everybody is Cesar Millan!

  14. I have neighbors that allow their dogs to “roam” the neighborhood. They think it should be fine that their dogs be allowed to pee all over my plants and mark “their” territory even though it’s MY yard. It’s what dogs are supposed to do after all. I don’t blame the dogs. I blame the owners. Pepper spray should be for said owners not the pets! I do know what you mean though. But really it’s the owners that allow their dogs to go untrained and unmannered. Sad. Love your pooch! I’ve got five. 🙂

  15. Ah, yes, I know that ‘my dog is friendly’ breed of owners. Alas, one of those ‘friendly dogs’ attacked my girl because she is by nature frightened – fortunately I reacted instantly with a very loud and aggressive voice which had the ‘friendly dog’ and his owner running – still the damage was done and she needed stitches. [an 11 year old rescue dog who still feels insecure after 10 years and 7 months of royal pampering!] A leash is elementary.

  16. Loved everything you said, I have said a lot of this to myself. Oh the dreaded “it’s okay, he/she is friendly”. I’ve heard that FAR too many times. Then I have to respond with an excuse for my dog like “but he is nervous, but he is scared, but he does not like strange dogs”.

    I use to enjoy walks with Chase, but they have become more and more troubling because of irresponsible dog owners. Now I’m afraid to take him out because of the plethora of off leash dogs out for walks and off leash dogs that will leave their yard to come after us.

    When I was a kid one of my neighbors’ golden retrievers took off from their off leash walk on a nearby trail and mauled my other neighbor’s terrier, who was tied out in her yard, to death. It was one of the most horrific things I had ever heard. The golden retriever was ultimately put down. If it’s owner had just kept it on a leash, both dogs would not have lost their lives.

    To me, any off leash dog is a threat to my dog’s safety. Chase has leg conditions that make him incapable of protecting himself (like running away, he can’t run) which worries me even more because I know the only protection he has is me.

    P.S. It still baffles me that people think malamutes are a dangerous breed!

  17. I make it clear to most people that my miniature schnauzer is NOT very friendly. He’s small, 25 lbs. max, but has an aggressive temper with a powerful bite to match. He’s actually meaner than the German shepherd I had years ago. I guess it’s that “small dog mentality.” Regardless, when people ask, “Does your dog bite?”, just tell them, “Yes!”

  18. I have had the same issues with other people’s dogs. I have rescued a couple of dogs who were dog reactive and find it extremely difficult for me to walk them anywhere because someone’s dog is loose but “friendly”.

  19. I have had the same issues with other people’s dogs. I have rescued a couple of dogs who were dog reactive and find it extremely difficult for me to walk them anywhere because someone’s dog is loose but “friendly”.

  20. Here here! my boys do not like other dogs they had been rolled and roughed by off leash ‘friendly’ dogs as pups…I made the mistake of then protecting them from this and in turn they now adore each other but have fear reactions to other dogs..i know a woman whose dog was always off leash but mad the mistake of rushing another dog who found this rude (which in dog language is the equivalent of me running up and getting in your grill) the fight that ensued ended up with her ‘friendly’ dog losing a leg…any creature pushed into a corner,rushed at,rolled or rumbled will fight back….I make sure my boys are in lead even on our property due to snakes and roos…free range only in our house yard..i will never put my boys in danger as I know with Forrest he would get the blame …a labx staffy and all muscle..manners are needed by owners and their dogs..

  21. I think people still have to leash the dog while walking him/her. Kisch, my neighbor’s dog is a small dog (I’m sorry I can’t remember the breed name) but she is such a strong pal that would jump on my lap until I fell down to earth. Not hurting but surprising enough to make me learn that excited dog can cause me a trouble if I’m not alert. And, now I am careful in treating dogs because I still don’t know when they are in the mood or not.

    And, the phrase “friendly dog” might apply only to dogs my friends belong to – not a stranger that would say his/her dog is friendly.

    1. I am calling friendly dogs those that owners claim are not vicious, and therefore do not restrain. I think it’s more a delusion on the part of the owner than a judgement on the dog.

  22. I can totally relate since I was a victim of one of those so-called friendly encounters and yup, the one who got pulled down. Thankfully both dogs were ok, but I was scraped up from having my dog completely blindsided by this overzealous pooch and his idiot owner. I wish I’d had pepper spray with me; I’d have used it on the owner. 🙂

    1. This past weekend as I was leaving for work, I saw a woman walking through our alley with two labs on retractable leashes, followed by a small dog unleashed. I’ve never seen her before, so I doubt she lives in this area. I’m just grateful I’ve never run into her while walking Rumpy, because that is a disaster waiting to happen.

  23. Can I pepper spray the children who don’t listen when we say our dog doesn’t care for kids? Neko slipped Her collar and ran out into the road once when some kids wouldn’t leave her be – the ONLY reason we now use a choke-chain (just for walkies, no collar at all in the house).

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