Jack doesn't like handicapped people....
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Thread: Jack doesn't like handicapped people....

  1. #1
    KathyArch is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultJack doesn't like handicapped people....

    He doesn't like handicapped people. With the exception of one friend who is in a wheel chair that he has known since he was a baby. We were in town one day parked by a store and a man with prosphetic legs (both legs) came out. Jacks fur went up and he actually growled. This is the first time I've ever heard anything but a play growl from him. Another time he saw a lady in a wheelchair and he barked and barked. I find this behavior a bit embarrassing. Also, I don't understand it. My husband & I don't walk well. Him better then me. I should be using at least a cane and am probably only a couple years away from a walker. So he should be use to limping, lurching....strange walking. I'm not sure what it is that bothers him. Any one else's dog have this prejudice or have any hints for me? Like I said, he's very accepting of our friend in a wheelchair who he sees often and has known forever. Since those other people were strangers that he'll most likely never see again, just say oh well?

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    mitziandjudysmom's Avatar
    mitziandjudysmom is offline Senior Member
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    Maybe Jack is just reacting to what's out of normal. Then he sees a lady in a wheelchair where your friend should be. Maybe he's thinking "she shouldn't be in your friend's wheelchair."

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    javasmom is offline Senior Member
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    Java was afraid of a man we met in a wheelchair. She wouldn't go near him.
    Moka had no problem with him and actually tried to climb in his wheelchair with him (she loves to sit in chairs).

    We also met a dwarf (little person? midget? not sure of the politically correct term here) and she LOST HER FREAKING MIND.

    There was an old black man that used to walk at the park. Java did not like him, she'd growl and bark at him. He so wanted to pet her, so I did carefully walk closer to him. She sniffed him and seemed ok. Once he shared the banana he was carrying with him she became his best friend and would look for him every day at the park. After that first day of sharing the banana he made sure he brought a banana with him every day. They would sit together for a few minutes and he would share his banana with her. It was so sweet...she was so gentle with him.

    I haven't seen him at the park in quite a while now......I hope he is ok.

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    MicksMom is offline Senior Member
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    I think Jack is just reacting to something out of the ordinary. He's used your & your husband's "awkward gate" and to seeing your friend in a wheelchair, but nobody else. I would carry treats, and use those encounters as a training exercise.

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    HersheyK's Dad is offline Senior Member
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    I believe that they are just responding to something that is different that they do not understand.

    Here is an HK story that I hope no one is offended by.

    For whatever reason, HK and I do not encounter very many black people in our daily adventures. It took a while, but I noticed that HK would raise her hackles and issue a low growl when we would approach or be approached by a black person. I would settle her and go on our way. A few years ago we had a crew in doing some work around the house. Two of the men were black. One of them was scared to death of HK. The other would have liked to play with her. She was on guard and wouldn't go near either, frequently growling or barking. Not a nice bark. On one of their breaks, I asked if they would mind working with me and HK on resolving her interaction. With the one guy that was not afraid, it took less than a minute before HK was leaning into his legs and getting her butt rubbed. It took a little longer with the other guy, I guess that HK sensed he was afraid and she reacted similarly. After about 5 minutes though, both of them were friends and exchanging pats and kisses. We talked about it for a while and we concluded (in our infinite wisdom) that HK saw the dark skin as different and something to be alarmed about, primarily because it was new to her. The guy without fear agreed and was happy to make friends and maybe establish that black people aren't to be feared. The other guy was happy to have made friends, but was quite honest in telling me that he has felt that dogs owned by white people are taught to dislike black people. Then he told me that we were an exception. I told him that I disagreed. He and I had a long discussion about race relations following that, which was very pleasant and informative to both.
    Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.

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    kassabella is offline Senior Member
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    Sweet stories Gina and Ed.

    I too think it is something out of the ordinary. Kass used to be a bit fearful like that. I would have treats and if something or someone made her feel uneasy I asked them if they could pat her and give her a treat. Everyone loved her so no problem. When I helped collect money for the blind, RSPCA, or couple of other charities I took Kassa and this helped her with different sounds and sights in the city. I also collected the most money with Kassa, so worked well.

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    BigBrownDog is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicksMom View Post
    I think Jack is just reacting to something out of the ordinary. He's used your & your husband's "awkward gate" and to seeing your friend in a wheelchair, but nobody else. I would carry treats, and use those encounters as a training exercise.
    Excactly. It's not prejudice - he is reacting to something that is strange to him and he is behaving fearfully. The best thing you can do is counter-condition him so that the experience of seeing someone in a wheelchair, with a walker, with prostheics means he gets a goodie. He will quickly make a positive association and this won't be a problem going forward. You should also be aware, dogs go through "fear periods" and he may be in one now. Not sure how old he is. You can google fear periods in dogs and read more about it.
    Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.

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    joflake is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MicksMom View Post
    I think Jack is just reacting to something out of the ordinary. He's used your & your husband's "awkward gate" and to seeing your friend in a wheelchair, but nobody else. I would carry treats, and use those encounters as a training exercise.
    Great suggestion. I agree, it's because it's out of the ordinary. I used to play with Willy with a laundry basket. After it was empty, I'd stand there and put it on my head. He would go balistic and growl and bark and not come near me. I'd take it off and say you silly boy, it's just me. He'd be all happy, wiggly butt. I'd put it back over my head and he'd react the same way. He knew it was me under there, but it still freaked him out.

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    kaisdad's Avatar
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    When we socialize our pups we often can't socialize them to every eventuality. When they encounter something different, it is an opportunity for us to socialize them to that. They're never too old to become socialized to new things.

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    I think that some dogs are just more sensitive to things that are outside of their normal realm than others that are more laid back to "different things". Skippy was pretty easy going, and noticing something unusual he would just go over to check it out. Emilu would get her hackles up, low growl, stiff stalk towards it (we're talking a plastic bag on a trail), then be OK after she examined it. Baxter won't even go near something - just barks and growls from far away if he notices something "unusual" I have been on crutches for the past several weeks and it didn't take the dogs long to get used to them, except when they kept falling down from wherever I propped them, and even then, they got used to it pretty quickly. Another story from my husbands past - he worked on the real Bob Evans Farm, and had a black lab. That lab really had the ideal "in the past dog life" She was loose and would be able to travel from her house, to the farm, to the creek where she would follow the people canoeing on the creek, and go on the horse trail rides that they had every week. She was used to TONS of strangers and loved everyone, BUT, she "didn't like" black people. I put that in quotes, because it wasn't because she didn't like them, she just wasn't used to them and something made her suspicious of them. Again, she was fine once introduced to them.

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