Behind the Scenes of my "Horrible Little Barking Dog"

My Horrible Little Barking Dog

 To the owners that refer to, or view, my lovely Timon terrier (pictured right) as that “horrible little barking dog” 
Terrified, vulnerable, unsafe, scared, frightened, are all words that describe my little on lead terrier Timon when approached by a ‘keen to interact’ dog.  
We saw you coming, we tried to escape but rather than help us you continue to approach. Frustrated, trying hard to avert a meltdown is what I, the human at the other end of the lead, am trying to do.  
Your very lovely but keen to interact off lead dog who has trapped my on lead Timon causing him to feel the need to defend himself by shouting at your dog, is really not helping my “horrible little barking dog”.  
My “horrible little barking dog” didn’t have a good start to life. He spent a good chunk of early life in rescue. And I suspect previous to being in rescue had lots of traumatic experiences with dogs. I have spent nearly 3 years helping him to feel better about dogs so rather than him reacting to them at a 200 metre distance he now copes until they are less than 5 foot away. So allowing your dog to stand and stare at him having a meltdown or approach him when we have very obviously tried to avoid you is really not helping me, him or indeed your dog much. 
It is so lovely that your dog loves every dog. I would love it if Timon were the same. But he isn’t and not only would I like you and your dog to respect his need for space but I’d like you to stop judging him based on your own dog’s disappointment at not being able to get close enough to him to say hello. 
My HORRIBLE dog is extremely frightened and whilst on lead and whilst confined when off lead he uses ‘fight’ as ‘flight’ isn’t an option to deal with a threat (your dog) that is approaching or indeed has already arrived. 
My HORRIBLE dog has back pain and hind leg pain occasionally so your bouncing playful puppy who is friendly might bounce in friendliness onto his painful back and therefore he wants to prevent this from happening.  
My HORRIBLE dog has an owner who works exceedingly hard with him to protect him from fearful situations involving other dogs. An owner who endures daily snide remarks, unhelpful comments, dirty looks, laughing (at the little dog barking at the big dog) and tutting from other owners who decide my little boy Timon is just a “horrible little barking dog”. 
He may be a “horrible little barking  dog” to you but to me he is the most loving, brave, gentle and non-vocal terrier I have ever had the pleasure to share my life with.  
So next time you throw the owner of a “horrible little barking dog” a dirty look, or indeed label a barking on lead dog a “horrible little barking dog” please remember there is more to this dog than initially meets the eye. 
To those of you who have dogs who are also labelled “horrible little/large barking dog” you have my sympathies and my support. 
And to those of you who already understand my “horrible little barking dog” is actually just very worried of your dog and you have already moved your dog out of our way THANK YOU. You will have made mine and Timon’s day. 
Written by Kris Glover, with help from Timon Terrier, of Pets in Practise (