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Thread: Grumpy bitch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012

    Default Grumpy bitch

    One of Maggie's daily exercises is the beach run with and without the ball thrower. Maggie weighs in at 15 kgs and has in her 2 ½ years had some unpleasant experiences with badly socialised larger dogs. Until she was 2 she would roll over but now when they approach, really any dog bigger than her (plus boxers and a particular grey terrier) she shows her teeth. It never amounts to anything and they scamper off 99 out of 100 times. The 100th time was an equally grumpy cattle dog and it was a small scrap even then.
    However after her doing it again today we discussed what we can do to calm her response. From her point of view it is reasonable and I can see why as they tower over her and she is telling them to back off.
    1. It is not a good look on a public beach
    2. What if the big dog goes for her after the teeth snap?

    We thought maybe putting her on the lead, but it would always be after it had happened and I am not entirely sure she would connect the snap with curtailing her freedom.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    Hi Farrview

    excellent subject line...

    I think I have one of those and I am one sometimes.

    With my dog - she's taken an immense dislike to anything that is a pale coloured poodle cross... I've got a badly bruised finger to show for last weeks effort - serves me right for paying more attention to my friends than her distress.

    She doesn't tear them to shreds (she'd be muzzled and never off lead again) but she does sometimes nip and I'm pretty sure it hurts.

    So these days - I try to keep an eye out for trouble and put her on lead and as long as she remains calm (no grumpy behaviour even starts), I will chain feed her treats - unless the approaching dumb dog shows an interest in the treats, in which case I ask her for a stay - leave the lead on but let it go, and take a few steps back so the dog can sniff me but not get in her face.

    The dumb dog gets no treats from me. I sometimes can tell the owner to come get their dog if it's really obnoxious but if I sound the tiniest bit commanding or angry about making the request and I'm not all playschool happy toned about it - my dog will take it upon herself to herd the other dog off.

    Which is not a good look anywhere. Except my brother's place - he seems fine with it. But I think my dog is learning bad things doing it there. Used to be ok back in the 80s to let dogs sort themselves out but there weren't so many rude dogs then, and it was just bad luck if the other dog got killed.

    A lot of other owners if they see you look up at them and their dog - and then put your dog on lead - they will do same with their dog. I do that - if I see someone up the beach putting their dog on lead as we approach - I will do the same.

    And more people - if they see you trick training your dog - doing stays or change of position (sit-stand-drop-stand-sit-spin) etc they will also avoid you.

    We had one naughty puppy barrel across 100m of beach to say hello to me and my dog - and I just put my dog in a drop stay, took three steps back and waited for naughty puppy to get bored. And it went zooming back. once it was back I praised the hell out of my dog and fed her some really good treats - because that puppy was all over us in the worst way... and my dog just sat there and waited. It's a game to her. But if that puppy had surprised us, she would have seen it off.

    So bottom line - protect your dog in whatever way works - from bad experiences. And try to get in first. Sometimes throwing a big handful of kibble in the face of the approaching dog gives you time to get away...

    And the reactive dogs group suggests telling the other dog owner that your dog has some sort of disease that's infectious. Like canine flu or ring worm... but you have to do it in the happy playschool voice...

    And you can be pretty sure a cattle dog is not going to take rude dog from anyone. But probably won't hurt the other dog if it backs off. There's a lot of roaring that only escalates to pain if the other dog is really slow on the uptake / departure.

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