Many years ago, while visiting a friend in NW Rhode Island, I got a call from the local Animal Control Officer. She knew that I was very familiar with dog aggression and called me to say that a police officer was in a stand-off with a Rottweiler. Literally, they were on the center line of a street in a small community nearby. Without any more information, I jumped into my car and drove to the location, with a total elapsed time of about ten minutes. On the way I found out that this standoff had been going on for roughly five minutes before I was alerted, for a total time of fifteen minutes.
Apparently, the dog had been reported as a stray and the officer had been sent out to find out what his status was. When I arrived, the scene broke down like this: the police officer had his sidearm drawn, pointed at the head of this Rottweiler, who was literally about five feet away on the opposite side of the yellow center line in this small community street. The dog, in all his black and mahogany glory, was a full grown male, probably 80-85 pounds. There were about a half dozen community members on the sidelines, watching the spectacle. The Rottweiler, for his part in this, was barking in a half-hearted attempt to elicit (what I recognized to be) play from the officer. After each bark, his little stub tail would wag six or seven times, after which he would bark again, and then his tail would wag again.
In sizing up the situation, I was comfortable that this Rotty just wanted to play, and was trying to be understood. However, the public servant misunderstood and wasn't playing at all. My choice of action was to climb out of my car, sit down on the ground, and laugh like a fool.
The big goofy puppy immediately turned away from the officer and ran to me. He totally turned himself upside down in my lap, and became my instant friend. All he was looking for was a friend. I put a leash on him, and put him in my car, never speaking to the officer. I then turned him over to the animal control officer, and that was the end of that.
It’s not at all uncommon for good folks, and public servants, to be intimidated by some breeds of dogs, and the Rottweiler is certainly one of those breeds.