Real Life Dinos June images added to main page

Dogs in need of space (DINOS) are dogs who for whatever reason struggle to deal with other dogs, or sometimes people, in their personal space. This can be for a variety of reasons. It could be down to poor socialisation as a puppy, nervousness, anxiety or fear towards other dogs, or a huge over excitement or lack of self control towards other dogs.

For dogs who feel threatened by humans in their personal space, this can also be down to poor socialisation, a bad encounter with a person, or some kind of human inflicted abuse.

DINOS are not nasty or aggressive, in the true sense of the word but if not managed correctly, then some DINOS can display aggressive behaviours, or behaviours which to the untrained eye may seem aggressive. It is down to us as human’s to try and avoid putting our dogs in a situation in which they feel the need to react, or are uncomfortable with.

Many DINOS enjoy the company of other dogs and actually feel more confident walking as part of a pack. They are just unable to deal with the initial meeting and require a more controlled introduction.

This website has not been designed to give you behavioural advice, but to educate, raise awareness and offer support to those dealing with DINOS. You are not alone!

Meet some real life DINOS!


Hi, my name is Tinker. I was a happy go lucky 13 month old when I was attacked by a GSD. Since then I have been wary of strange dogs and petrified of all shepherding breeds. Please don’t let your dog(s)charge up to me on or off lead. Onlead I freeze, offlead I will try to avoid by trotting behind my owner or a tree. Please don’t let your dog chase me. My humans are working hard to help me be brave again, but even friendly dogs that are too enthusiastic can set my progress back.


Rhianna is lead aggressive.  Only on lead!  Mostly she is off the lead in the park as she mixes brilliantly with all her friends and has fantastic recall.  She shares her toys and will allow any dog to come into her house.  But everything changes for Rhianna when you put a lead on her.  She cant choose her distance and so she becomes very afraid.  When she is afraid she lunges and growls and barks to try and tell the dog to stay away.  Unfortunately Rhianna also really likes footballs, so sometimes in the park she has to go on the lead (we try and avoid this at all costs) and also when we are walking near roads.  We will turn and try and avoid you, but please understand why we are doing this and dont follow us.  If we are in the park please call your dog away if they start to come over, she is only on the lead because of her popping footballs, but she can not handle dogs approaching when shes on lead. Rhianna gets very stressed and makes a horrible scene and then people dont like her, when actually she is fantastic with other dogs, just scared on the lead.


My name is Shannow and I am happy to meet other dogs but I am nervous of Humans and I’m terrified of men. If I am on my lead I will hide behind my human and try to slip my harness if people don’t keep their distance. It’s better when I’m off lead because I can avoid people by giving them a wide berth or scooting behind a fence/hedge until they’ve passed. I wish people would not try to befriend me because I’m scared. They try to touch me and say ‘It’s all right I’m not going to hurt you’ but this makes me even more frightened. Please give me my space and interact with my brother & sister instead because they are not DINOS


I’m Herbie – i love walking as part of a group of calm dogs and have several special doggie friends that i enjoy walking with on a one to one basis but i am not comfortable with off lead dogs invading my space and jumping all over me!  This is because I was attacked when I was young.  Please give me space.