laurajv: Fanor the Mighty! (fanor)
This is inspired by a comment on Captain Awkward from someone who didn't care for dogs, but who assumed that dog owners LIKE jumpy dogs and think jumpy dogs are great, and that:

- dog jumps
- owner tells dog not to jump
- jumped-upon person protests it is ok and pets dog, regardless of their personal feelings on the matter

is the proper, polite exchange that you do in this situation.

IT IS NOT. It is really, really not. If you are not a dog person, please, please, don't think this; what is happening is that by trying to be polite, you are actually being rude and doing the opposite of what the dog owner would like. You are making that dog more dangerous (even a nice dog can hurt people badly by jumping on them -- imagine an 80 lb dog jumping on a toddler or a person with frail bones), you are making it harder to train, and as a bonus, you are having to put up with something you don't even LIKE.

Very few dog owners want their dogs to jump on people. I promise you, we don't think it's cute, and we don't think people enjoy it. Most of us want our dogs to be well-behaved and polite; we want them to be safe around all people and around other dogs; we want people who don't particularly like dogs, or are afraid of dogs, to find our dogs calm and unthreatening.

If a non-aggressive* dog jumps on you, the best, politest response is to keep your hands at your sides and turn your shoulder to the dog. Don't speak to the dog if the owner is there and is telling the dog not to jump; if there is no owner there, or the owner is being a dick and not saying anything, you can say "NO" in a deep, serious voice.

Except in the case of the rare, dickish owner, this is what the dog's owner would prefer. You are helping the owner and the dog AND yourself! You are helping all the people the dog will encounter after you! I am not joking not even one little bit.

* If you are attacked by an aggressive dog, try to sacrifice your non-dominant arm. If at all possible, get your non-dominant arm across your body (back, bonier-side out -- remember you have arteries on the soft side!) and into the dog's mouth. You do NOT want an aggressive dog getting your throat, dominant arm, either hand, crotch, face, legs, or feet. Your non-dominant forearm is your best chance for getting out of the situation with wounds that will impact your life as little as possible.

August 2017

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