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Should I volunteer at a shelter if I am somewhat scared of giant

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Should I volunteer at a shelter if I am somewhat scared of giant dogs such as pic related? These dogs weigh more than I do.
>inb4 ask in /an/
File: pangolin_3180820b.jpg (147KB, 620x387px) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
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Yes, they're adorbs
It's maybe a good way to get rid of that fear.
Just tell the shelter staff about it first, they might even help you getting used to bigger dogs.
It'll help you get over your fears. They're just big fluffy pups though. I've never been afraid of a dog so I don't know what it's like though.
File: aggressive dog.jpg (568KB, 850x565px) Image search: [iqdb] [SauceNao] [Google]
aggressive dog.jpg
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Not even this?

I've had dogs snarl and bark like that at me and I've opened their cages and let them out. Turned out fine.

I did have one dog bite me and draw blood though. It was a jack russell that was just smelling my hand and just lunged at it. No idea why it happened.

But honestly at a shelter I doubt this stuff happens very much except for new dogs they bring in. Most are very happy to have human contact.
So I shouldn't be scared of these giant dogs?

You should be CAUTIOUS, not scared. AND THIS GOES FOR EVERY DOG, NOT JUST BIG ONES. You've probably heard it before, but they honestly can sense fear and it makes them nervous. A nervous dog is much more likely to bite you, big or small.

What helps is a calm energy. Letting them come to you, smell you, check you out etc. If they shy away from contact don't force it.

This really shouldn't be much of an issue with dogs that have been at a shelter for a while. They see almost all humans as their main source of food and affection. If a dog has his tail up and wagging, it's going to be safe. If it's down in between it's legs with it's hindquarters lowered it's scared. Try to gravitate towards the happy, big dogs. It'll help you get more used to them and chances are even if you are afraid, if the dog is just overjoyed to see you it won't even mind you being nervous.
>You've probably heard it before, but they honestly can sense fear and it makes them nervous. A nervous dog is much more likely to bite you, big or small.
It's difficult not to be scared of a growling dog though.

Try to understand WHY it's growling though. That dog doesn't know you from anyone else. Maybe it had bad experiences and people really hurt it. It's doing the only thing it knows to do in that situation. Unless a dog is specifically trained to hurt people, it really doesn't want to. If you show that dog that you mean well, that you will just give it food and affection, all of that growling and hostility normally disappears.

Don't see a dog growling as anger, see it as being afraid. This is mostly what you'll see with shelter dogs. Once they know your smell and you just give them food and take them for walks, they'll love you. Guaranteed.
So how should I approach a growling dog?
go for it
How much do you weigh? If you're really tiny they might just let bigger people handle the bigger pets, it'd make sense.
I weigh 98kg.
That's fucking 216 pounds. You'll still weigh more than most dogs that come through the shelter.

>some of these really fat dogs weigh more than I do

Sorry the unit should be lbs
I try to use American units on this site but I forgot to switch the units
Take it up /an/.
Gonna post some dog body language pics, this one is 1 of 4

In my experience at shelters, they try to be accommodating with who handles what dogs. I was comfortable with all kinds of dogs so I usually got the nervous, big, or hyper/strong ones. New people who came into the shelter would usually handle the predictable and chill ones. If you volunteer at a shelter you will probably start with dog walking or feeding, and both of these are pretty simple. Dogs are usually more interesting in walks or food than you. A good shelter wouldn't give a problematic dog to a new person.

Be up front about your discomfort, and if you feel in over your head, ask for help. But do use this time to try to expose yourself to big dogs. Approach big dogs with an easy temperament and interact with them a bit. Push the limits of your comfort zone. Don't throw yourself into a situation that will get overwhelming but little pushes beyond what you're comfortable with will help you overcome fear.

This dog is fearful but is trying to appease you and make friends. These dogs should be safe to approach, but do always keep a lookout for defensive behavior. You never know what shelter dogs have been through. Some of them have been through horrors, and they're in a new place with new people and lots of dogs and it can be very, very scary. Understand that bad behavior is usually because they're frightened.

This dog is feeling cornered and can be dangerous. If you have to approach, do your absolute best to move slowly and nonthreateningly. The best approach with this kind of dog is to not interact unless absolutely necessary, and allow the dog to become used to your presence and recognize that you're not a threat.
As the picture says, this is stress and anxiety. While a dog in this state is probably not a threat, it means they are more hair-trigger sensitive to stressors. Be aware of their mood and watch for a shift to defensive or aggressive behaviors.

This dog is aggressive and not afraid of you. A display like this is an attempt to get you to back down.

Dogs will oftentimes adopt postures like this when they are protecting their territory from strangers, e.g. a growling dog behind a fence.

A lot of dogs also experience something called barrier frustration, where dogs are unable to interact with other people or dogs due to being tied down or having something like a gate or fence between them.

Barrier frustration does not always correlate to aggression, it can be said that it makes positive or aggressive reactions more extreme.

Regardless, the defensive posture in 2, and this aggressive posture, and the ones to be most aware of, as those are where the dog is most likely to bite.

Dogs are always telling you how they feel, though, and it's important to learn how to read it.

A dog that is happy will be loose in their body. You will not normally be able to see the whites of their eyes (though there are a couple breeds that make it more likely to see white even when they're happy). Their tail will be wagging loose, not trembling.

Also a bow-like motion, with hind legs straight but both front legs down on the ground, butt in the air, means the dog wants to play and as long as they keep reiterating that posture, any growling is simply a part of play. Play growls are also shorter, and higher pitched than warning growls, as are play barks.
Oops, forgot pic.
dude is this from ETYNKE?

4chan info library ?

where m8
I'm not sure where it's from. I just had it saved in my references folder. A reverse image search didn't seem to pull up a source.
as someone who actually works at a shelter kennel, let me give you some advice

first of all, the largest dogs that would be regularly coming through are lab, pit, and mastiff mixes. getting in "Giants" or XL dogs (dogs like st Bernards or newfoundlands which is in your pic, and Great Danes) aren't an every day occurrence

and second of all, you likely wouldn't even be dealing with new arrivals that staff doesn't have a good idea of their energy level/temperament, and if a dog does show signs of aggression they likely will be staff-only anyway

And you will NEVER be forced to interact with a dog you don't feel comfortable with. the staff won't think you're a sissy or anything, even some of us come accross dogs we don't feel comfortable with for whatever reason. hell, we just got in two doxies that I don't feel comfortable handling because they just don't like me and give me warning signs that they would bite me if I tried, so one of my coworkers takes them out for potty breaks instead. it's really no big deal and no one will pressure you or anything. hell, if you WANT to try and get comfortable with it when one is in the shelter then one of them would probably be willing to help you out

and if starting out interacting with them directly seems to be too much, you could just start with kennel cleaning or something and work up as you get more comfortable
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