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Thread: GRRR other dog owners

  1. #1

    Default GRRR other dog owners

    Hi everyone,

    New puppy owner here. I have a 15 week old 3/4 lab 1/4 standard poodle pup. He is so lovely and clever. We have sit, come, down, and roll over down pat and is also now house trained..
    We do have issues with being a bit scared on walks which is getting better at as I try to do three 20 minute ones a day, in different areas....BUT

    The other day he got barked at very aggressively by a yorkshire terrier on the other side of the road, the handler had to drag it down the road snarling. I made him sit and did not pat or talk to him until he stopped shaking and visably relaxed (so hard to do) Then whn he relaxed and lay down I gave him a treat. Then the next day, a Jack RUssell owner introduced her dog and the dog growled at him, so I pulled him back and made him sit behind me, which he did. The lady let her dog keep coming forward on the lead and the dog growled again and nipped him.

    Now he is very worried of small dogs. He seems to be fine with large dogs, as our encounters with a great dane, german shephard, golden retriever and two English mastiffs has all gone very well. Its just the little dogs that keep getting us, so now we are scared. He has started barking at them when he sees them, which I correct quickly. we have puppy school in a week for 4 weeks so hopefully that will help.

    I wanted to now what people do when they are out on a walk and you don't feel comfortable with the way people are handling their own dogs. I want him to love other dogs and be happy on walks.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I have a dog who is reactive towards large dogs... Walking can be difficult to say the least...

    If I see an owner who is being an idiot (walking uncontrolled dog off leash, ignoring other owners requests to stay away etc etc), I'll usually tell them exactly what the situation is and that they need to get control of their dog or there will be a fight.... because that is the truth... If someone is going to let their large dog rush up to mine and get in his personal space, it's not going to end well!

    From my experience, you can't make people you don't know change the way they handle their dogs, but you can ask them to keep away from you... some people listen, some don't.
    In your situation, perhaps you could tell people that he is in training and you need people to keep their distance? Maybe even get him an 'In training' vest. My dog wears a vest that says "Please give me space"... Most people listen to that.

    I'd probably also recommend watching the body language of the dogs your pup meets. If they look like they're not happy (like the Jack Russel who was growling) then perhaps tell the owners that you can't risk your pup having any bad experiences, and then continue on your walk.

    Puppy school should be good, just make sure he doesn't have any more bad experiences... keep him at a distance (and under threshold) if needed.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    I go by the pulling on lead - if the other dog is approaching directly and pulling on the lead (or worse - there's no lead), I cross the road or get as far away as possible. If it's not possible, I will stop and ask the other owner to keep their dog close to them as mine has - kennel cough - or an injury and I don't want their dog to get it. I often say "bad idea" if people are letting their dog approach... I don't know why that works when "keep your dog away" doesn't - they go "my dog is friendly" never mind - that mine isn't - she's very "dog selective" ie some dogs are ok and some aren't and I can't always tell which is which up front.

    Sometimes I turn around with my dog and go the other way. I really don't want her having bad experiences or repeating inappropriate defensive behaviour either.

    And she hates poodle crosses. Mostly because they're allowed to barge up into her face and some of them try to hump her as well and one would nip and nip and nip until she'd chase him... she'd get more and more hard with him until he gave up... but then she thought she just starts at hard nip - which causes most other dogs to yelp if she connects. Some dogs scream even if she hasn't touched them... after getting in her face... sigh.

    Some dogs just attract bad attention from other dogs. Not sure what they do but poodle crosses - usually the smaller ones - often have this trait where every single dog big or small, at the park, wants to harass them. I think maybe they were taken away from their litter too small and have no idea how to broadcast "I'm a friendly safe dog" to the other dogs, and broadcast "I'm weak and need to be culled" instead.

    made him sit and did not pat or talk to him until he stopped shaking and visably relaxed
    I would absolutely comfort and protect my dog in this situation but I would not give her any food. Sometimes I use food as a test for how anxious she is - if she's calm enough - she will take the food, otherwise no way. I don't understand how some people say you can reward a frightened dog - you can't really. If there is something scary coming at you - would you feel better if you were comforted and protected or all alone and ignored?

    Some tricks you can do to make other dogs (like the yorkie) feel calmer and more polite. Ask yours to lie down, and give him little bits of food on the ground so he has to turn his head away from the other dog. This is for not too close ie well out of lead range 20m, the other side of the road, not for when the other dog is very close. What this does is mimic calming signals a normal dog sends to say "I'm a friendly dog and mean no harm".

    Just turning side on to an approaching fear - aggressive dog and putting mine in a drop can completely calm down an approaching dog. So there's no growling match across the road.

  4. #4
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    Maggie is reactive to dogs small/medium as they are the ones that often have bad manners and belt up into her space.We do a lot of beach off lead walking.
    She is not at all interested in them so would prefer no contact. Have spent considerable time learning to read body language and some things that help me are
    Good advice from Hyacinth.
    1. Walk in curved line around other dogs as this means they are not wanting contact ( hard on a footpath but sometimes effective in other places)
    2. Watch the tension in the body and lip licking, a wagging tail is not necessarily a good will signal.
    3. As a rule I never greet other dogs on a lead as mine feels she can't get away. If someone wants to talk I stop and sit her behind me slightly to the side and wait and see.
    I can't recall any occasion when it has been a good idea to respond when people insist by saying oh they will be fine, they are usually wrong.
    I did all the right things like you are doing, puppy school, obedience training, lots of exposure. Unfortunately bright dogs remember and you have one. So my strategy is to be the protector without being neurotic! I avoid situations whenever possible. You will work out which dogs are friendly and that your pup is comfortable around she will take heart from positive interaction and regain confidence again.
    Unfortunately some owners of reactive dogs seem to think shoving/allowing their dog to get in other dogs faces will somehow fix the issue, strange. Or maybe they don't care and some think its funny.
    I have just completed a series of pack walks with a trainer and ten other dogs to get my Maggie less reactive. Had to laugh as she and an exceedingly grumpy chihauhau walked parallel for an hour without acknowledging each other while often sniffing the same blade of grass. Badly behaved dogs do mess things up for the rest of us and there are always some out there it seems so avoiding issues makes walks more pleasant for us.

  5. #5

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    Thank you everyone for all your advice and I will take it on board! Its hard not being a bit nuerotic about things. SO much info out there and I want him to be a calm and well mannered dog

  6. #6
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    3/4 lab and 1/4 poodle. Of course you have a smart dog! neither of those are known special cases.
    Lots of counter training. For which you need a willing helper with a small dog. Or sod it, just do it without their consent.

    Stalk small dog walk and times of business.
    Work out what is a jackpot treat for pup, and have lots of it, in tiny bits.
    walk toward offensive dog (according to your pup), training calm settle behaviour. Once dog can do this with dog 30foot away, do it again, at 25foot proximity to other dog, then 20 etc etc

    Join a dog club. Where all dogs will be on a leash, and under control to a certain extent at least. As you really now need all social interactions to go well for your pup to overcome the fear. So that's available to you in 4 weeks. Should come good.

    What i do when people are mistreating IMO their dogs.
    1. old git, shouting at his dog to come, and for me to 'get off my property' when it clearly was not his property, as it was across the river. I used treats to keep his dog walking with me, and kept walking, for about 2 miles, before old git buggered off. That's me being really angry and mean. and enjoying sweet cold revenge.
    2. I ignore what folks do to their kids or dogs, unless i feel i can prove maltreatment in a report to authorities. Ive got enough dog business of my own, to get involved in other peoples.
    3. I have reported my brother in law, to the RSPCA for cruelty. As dog was left behind again, alone, whilst they went on holiday for 2 weeks. I had insider information regarding their absence, so dobbed them in.

    Im fortunate, in having giants, so most folks are cautious about letting their small white fluffy attack us.
    Mainly, i ensure MY dogs are under control. As that's all i have a say in. I will put mine in a down stay. This really shows the other owner, who is being the aggressor, and ask them to put their dog on the leash please. Mostly, we ignore untrained dogs and the feral on the end of the leash.

  7. #7

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    Other dog owners *sigh* can be so, so frustrating.

    My aim for Asha (as has been with every dog I (or my mother) have ever owned/fostered) is to be RESPECTFUL. Of both people and other dogs, the same thing you are trying to do with your pup. It's a good attitude to have.

    I find myself disliking almost every other dog I meet. I've put this down to the dogs being rude (without even knowing that they are being rude, as their owners are blissfully unaware that they have created a monster)

    I remembered why I don't go to leash-free parks yesterday. It was Asha's first (and LAST!) visit to my local dog park - 2 Owners let their dogs run after other dogs and hunt them crazily - Blocking them against benches and fences - Not ONCE did either dog get re-directed or controlled. Another small terrier was constantly trying to hump some of the female dogs and again, the owner (I didn't even know who his owner was) ignored it.

    The couple of us who had young larger dogs (a great dane, shepherd and Asha - people who I'd never met before) left, as it's just not something you want your dog to experience.

    What I find is that people who don't know how to control their dogs, just let the dog do whatever it likes - at the expense of your dogs enjoyment or training. They take them to a dog park "because it'll get rid of all their energy and they'll be a good doggy at home" but it's always at the expense of every other dog who is young, or well behaved.

    I am aiming to have Asha as non-reactive as possible, to try and get her to a point where other dogs don't bother her as she has the tools to help her ignore the behaviour (or reprimand a rude dog in a small way, without launching at them - It's something I really really don't want her to do, as she's going to be a big girl - and we all know what happens when a big dog bites a little dog - it's the big dogs fault - even if for the previous 20 minutes the smaller dog has been a harassing little grub)

    Some tips in this thread are already helpful :-)
    Asha - 22/05/15 Wolfhound cross a Dogue De Bordeaux X American Bulldog.

  8. #8
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    In my 50's, ive actually accepted, i dont like people much. So people with other dogs, is already covered lol

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bernie View Post
    In my 50's, ive actually accepted, i dont like people much. So people with other dogs, is already covered lol
    "Oh yes says I " wiping tears of laughter from my eyes.

  10. #10
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    If I saw an aggressive dog on the other side of the road I would keeping walking with my puppy in a happy way and would have treats or toys at the ready for a fun heeling session away from the action. I teach my pups a lot of obedience and focus work and will happily run in the other direction with my dog if I am not liking what I am seeing. At that young age I try and avoid any interaction with rude or aggressive dogs. I will talk to an owner at a distance before I decide and then watch the body language carefully.

    Dog club is a good place to start. I do not take my pup out and about to meet all and sundry, in those early months I try and put my dog in happy situations all the time while working on its focus with me.

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