Unfriendly dogs

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    I have encountered several situations in which I have been barked at and shown the teeth of at least one dog, when I did not antagonize this dog. I was at a Nursing Home waiting for a taxi to pick me up and drive me to my home. All of a sudden a dog started barking at me and showing its teeth at me. The owner of the dog called the dog, and the dog left me alone. Let me preface this by saying I have a fairly long beard, and I was told by a dog owner that dogs don’t like beards. That they feel uncomfortable and not at ease. I don’t plan to cut my beard as I am Frum and Shomer Shabbos. My question is have other men had a similar experience, not being overtly aggressive with a dog but creating such a reaction being in a dogs territory?


    A dog is a dog.

    Keep away.


    Dogs smell fear or a threat like if you dont like them. Just chill out and look at the dog in a friendly loving way and it will like you. Smile at it I’m serious.


    Dogs do that. It happens to me and I’m a woman. Don’t take it personally. 😉


    Carry pepper spray. Next time, just whip it out and spray in the dog’s face.


    wiy- i learned to never smile at dogs because bared teeth is a sign of aggression to dogs. Also dont look a dog directly in the eyes, as it is threatening to them.

    Pba- yes, if you want to get attacked.



    I think all domesticated dogs know what a smile is and that it is unthreatening.


    In almost all cities it is required to have dogs on a leash or fenced in. The city government should enforce this law. Responsible pet owners don’t let dogs go wandering on their own. If a person is in control of the dog, and the dog is allowed to threaten someone, the person is criminally and civilly liable.


    Popa are you insane? I grew up with 3 pit bills, sweetest animals ever. I have dogs now and I always will. Dogs smell fear and can tell if you don’t like them. If you don’t, then stay away. Remember that dogs bark, it’s what they do. Have you ever actually sprayed pepper spray? My mom had to once at a person trying to mug her and the spray back hit her in the eyes as well and she was temporarily blinded as well. So yes, please spray pepper spray at a dog doing what dogs do.


    Morah Rach,

    Come now. OP says that he is often menaced by dogs who their owner is apparently not controlling with a leash. It would be an entirely appropriate response to kill the dog. If you think pepper spray is ineffective, he could try carrying a club.

    And yes, I also like dogs. But not when their owner does not leash them and keep them from menacing people.


    It would actually be illegal for you to spray pepper spray at a dog just for barking at you. It would be animal cruelty.


    The OP never said the dog was not on a leash. I can call my dog and it will come back to me but the leesh has a lot of slack. My dogs bark all the time and not in a menacing way. Maybe the OP has no experience with dogs so he finds them to be threatening. My dogs happen not to like men other than the ones in my immediate family. BH they have never attacked anyone but it a man comes up to them they bark and walk backwards in a defensive mode. The frum world is inherently petrified of dogs and I don’t understand it.


    I guess it wouldn’t make sense for us to argue about what happened in this story, since neither of us know.

    But if there is enough slack that the dog can still approach people, that seems like a problem.


    MorahRach: I am a frum woman and i am not afraid of dogs, provided they are not off their leash in a public area. I dont get scared by animals noises, ie: barking, growling…, if they are behind fences or on a leash. I love petting zoos/farms, i love horsback riding. I know i am not the exception and that there are many more like me. Whether or not one is frum or not, or whether one is male or female doesnt affect ones fear of animals.

    Being afraid usually stems from a past experience. If a child (or adult) gets startled by a dogs bark, chased by a dog, etc.., could make one afraid of dogs for life.

    Or one can just not like dogs (or people) due to always getting barked at.


    Thanks everyone for your responses. I said in my opening post that I have a rather long peppered black/white/grey colored beard. I think the problem is that dogs feel uncomfortable with men wearing beards especially a long one with several different colors. Dogs acting unfriendly aggressively when I am in their territory, has happened too many times to me. I am fairly laid back, and don’t generally provoke dogs. I have a dilemma as I think my beard may be the source of the provocative behavior in dogs. I don’t want to shave or cut my beard, because I am frum. I asked if other posters(men with beards)have had a similar experience with dogs. Today(from my own personal experience)too many dog owners let their dogs go unleashed. People have called their dogs off when it appeared their unleashed dogs were acting too aggressively towards me. I like animals in general, but do not like incessant barking and growling. I live in Australia, but I agree with akuperma that leash laws are almost probably the same worldwide. I would appreciate your feedback.



    There is a segulah (I think it is mentioned in the Gemara but not sure so don’t quote me on it) that when faced with a barking dog recite the pasuk “Ul’chol bnei Yisroel lo yecheratz kelev l’shono” and it will cause the dog to back down. People say it works.


    Miritchka, I don’t know exactly how many more there are like you, but I’m happy to give you my vote. Love dogs, love animals. But MorahR is absolutely right- “the frum world is inherently petrified of dogs.” Not sure I understand it either, but I’ve seen it many times. And I sometimes see young Jewish mothers pass on that irrational, exaggerated fear to their kids too.

    (MorahR, I’d love to meet your dogs, but I know I’m not allowed to ask where they go for a stroll.)


    the frum world is inherently petrified of dogs.

    Most frum Americans are descendant of holocaust survivors. Maybe that’s why.


    I am a bit afraid of dogs – I don’t really like them. I don’t really trust them.

    I do have 3 cats, and they are great.


    I dont feel comfrotable with a decent size dig sniffing my feet and coming to close to me.


    I don’t know you but it seems to me you’re looking for an excuse to trim your beard or cut it off chas vesholom. Dogs don’t look at you, they smell you and hear you. They can hear your heartbeat and your organs churning around and they can smell what you had for dinner last night. Their eyes are way down the list.

    There’s no easy answer to this depending where you live. I live in the western US and I carry a sidearm all the time. There’s no question how I handle it. In places like NYC you can’t do that and you usually wind up being sued or possibly arrested. Your life comes first. Larger members of the terrier/mastiff breeds such as pit bulls, American staffordshire terriers, bull mastiffs, American bulldogs not the English ones, Italian mastiffs etc. are fully capable of killing people and breaking any bone in a human body because of their jaw strength. Sorry for the graphic discussion but you asked and heres your answer. Dogs like Dobermans, German Shepherds and Rottweilers and Boxers can do a lot of damage but are less likely to result in fatality. All this doesn’t mean much if you don’t know dogs, but if you do it can help a teeny bit how you react to various situations.

    There is no good way to deal with a bad dog. The dog might be rabid or it might be misinterpreting something or it could be a hundred different things. Do not smile at any strange dog or make eye contact. Do not run! The slowest dog on earth is faster than you and even a tiny little yapping chihuahua has sharp teeth if you don’t put your boot down his throat first. Walk away as calmly and nonchalantly as you can. Call the sheriff or police or if the owner shows up and gets the dog on a leash tell him you’re going to file a complaint for him letting his dog run loose. Then file it.

    This is serious stuff dangerous and possibly life threatening. A big bad dog running loose is nothing to joke about.

    As far as your beard goes I have a pretty long red beard and I’m a big guy and I’ve had my share of meetings with bad dogs bad bears and bad people. Try to stay calm and remember HKBH is running the world and animals and every thing else is totally under His control. Daven and work on your bitachon. That is worth more than anything.


    2sents, sniffing is just their way of sizing you up and deciding if you are friend or foe. Not being human, they can’t judge you by the location of the creases in your black hat, the length and style of your sheitel, or the exact coverage provided by your snood.

    Or (gasp!) the complete absence of any of the above.

    The RBSO has provided them with a superior sense of smell, and that’s what dogs use to get acquainted. If you stay calm and let them do their job, they usually won’t bother you.


    2 scnts, a dog sniffing is not aggression, its the dog’s way of getting to know you, and where you’ve been. Their sight is not too keen, but the nose is something like three thousand times more sensitive that ours and the ears are also much sharper. My dogs in chul, mutts, just happened not to like black people maybe just their mannerisms, and they would set up a racket when the folks were a block away.


    Dank, the chances of you running into a wild rabid dog in the US are almost non existent. Btw my father carries a gun at all times too.

    Yes big dogs such as mine can cause a lot of bodily harm , but they won’t unless provoked. My pits are the most gentile and loving animals out there , but of someone threatened me infront of them.. Good luck. Thanks golfer! I’m sure they would love to meet you, or any animal lover.


    miritchka -“Being afraid usually stems from a past experience. If a child (or adult) gets startled by a dogs bark, chased by a dog, etc.., could make one afraid of dogs for life.”

    Yup. As a kid I went to visit a Frum neighbor who owned a dog and I was scared to get too close. Me and the dog had a staring match and then all of a sudden the dog started chasing me and I ran and then the dog jumped on me before the Frum owner was able to call it off. Ever since then I’m petrified of dogs.


    PBA -“the frum world is inherently petrified of dogs.”

    “Most frum Americans are descendant of holocaust survivors. Maybe that’s why.”

    Nope. The reason is – there is an Inyan not to own dogs. I actually think s/o once mentioned this here in the CR.


    WIY -“There is a segulah (I think it is mentioned in the Gemara but not sure so don’t quote me on it) that when faced with a barking dog recite the pasuk “Ul’chol bnei Yisroel lo yecheratz kelev l’shono” and it will cause the dog to back down. People say it works.”

    If the dog was loose -I’d be too scared to think about this because I’d be in the mode of “Flight or fight”.

    But it does work. I once had my car parked next to a police car in a parking lot. He wasn’t there, but his dog was. The dog saw me and started barking and yelping through the car. It was very loud -so I said the Posuk you mentioned. All of a sudden, the dog was quiet. I didn’t think it was a coincidence.


    Some humans don’t like dogs. Some dogs don’t like humans.

    ED IT OR

    My k9 is really unfriendly ill be browsing the world and it starts woofing

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