Real Life Dinos May 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!


I’m Sammy, I love other dogs and I am more than happy to meet them!  But strange people make me very nervous.  I need people to ignore me until I have built up my confidence with them.  Once I know I can trust you then I am fine.  Please don’t make me resort to barking at you.  Just give me space and ignore me.


My name is Max and strange dogs cause me to feel anxious.  When they get too close I bark at them and if they keep coming towards me then I can lunge.  If the dog gets in my personal space then I may feel the need to bite.  I have many doggy companions who I like to walk with.  But I need time to get used to them.  If you see me behaving like this, it is just because I feel anxious and I am telling the other dog to stay away.  I live with 3 other dogs.


My name is Lilly and I am frightened of many things, but the main one is strange dogs.  When they approach me, I try to run away.  If I’m on a lead then I attempt to hide behind my owner.  If the dog comes too close then I turn my back and just shut down.  If you see me acting like this, please call your dog back as I don’t know how to deal with it.


I’m Dexie, I was a stray and pretty much grew up in kennels. Then I found my family and life became exciting, very very very exciting. The most exciting thing in the world is other dogs, I just want to rush over and say Hi, but I am not allowed, as this is bad manners. This makes me very frustrated indeed and I lunge and bark and scream in an attempt to go say Hi. This might make me look like I am aggressive, but I’m not, I have lots of doggy friends that I walk with, and I am actually very patient with other dogs who have issues.  Sometimes I even help out at my local rescue kennels, by walking with other dogs to help them build up their confidence.


Mia is a DINOS dog. Mia was adopted from a rescue when she was 9 weeks old.  The breeder gave her up because she is nearly blind.  She needs her own space due to her disability.


Hi my name is Ringo and I spent 3 of my first 4 years in kennels, 2 of them isolated from other dogs. When I see other dogs I am pleased but if they are over enthusiastic greeting me I panic and may bite. Mum now avoids busy off lead areas and muzzles me for walkies which makes us both feel much more confident. I love walking with my friends and once I know and trust them then I am happy to play with them.  I also live with another dog.

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