/Behaving around strangers: Down, Grumpy!

Our special guest

Say hello to Grumpy.

Full name: Grumpy Mumpy.

You may have seen him skulking around my Instagram from time to time, possibly with his tongue hanging out and drooling all over the ferns along the driveway. He’s my condominium’s resident Bulldog, and he reminds of Tom and Jerry’s Spike and Tyke more than anything else.

Each time I see him lolling about his walks, he inevitably brings to mind of 6-year old Tish glued to her Saturday morning cartoons with her bowl of Honey Stars and milk.

Good times.

Grumpy’s Plight

His name’s rather self-explanatory. Only a year old (and counting), but Grumpy’s kind of a biter. Not just to his owners or food handlers, but to everyone around him that falls within a 2-metre radius. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a real sweetheart. But the bulldog blood that runs within his veins tends to land him in heaps of trouble. From nasty ear-bites to long scratches that trail down your leg, Grumpy has a little trouble…. expressing himself. 

The 30kg monster in all his blubbery glory.


How to deal with unfriendly dogs

1. Approach with caution

Slow and easy does the trick. Don’t bombard the poor creatures with overly-friendly pets and hugs and promises to love them forever. They won’t thank you for that. Approach them as if approaching The Hobbit’s Smaug. Don’t be a fool, going crazy ain’t cool.

2. Come with food

Personally, I use scooby snacks – They’re biscuit treats that my dad gets from his overseas hauls – and they’re ever-effective and never fail to get Grumpy’s guard down. Ever watch Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? Unfriendly dogs are essentially Buckbeak. You’re Harry Potter. Maintain eye contact and approach at a low angle. Army crawl if you must.

3. Cultivate a sense of zen

As mentioned in the first point, it won’t be much help to you if you’d be barging in with a “you have to like me” attitude and way of life. Dogs are independent creatures, and their love for zen makes them similar to cats in a way. Stay calm, and let them come to you. The picture above of Grumpy was taken after my evening run; heavy panting, sweat, the whole she-bang. I had to consciously slow my breathing before approaching the huggable monster.


What about you? What are your tips for befriending an unfriendly dog? Let me know in the comments!