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Thread: After a bit of advice.

  1. #1
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    Default After a bit of advice.

    Hi all, I'm new here so I may not be posting this question in the right place....anyway here's the problem.

    I was walking my dog a few days ago and a dog ran out from a house we walked past and started attacking her. I fell over and my son's pram tipped over and it was pretty much a horrible experience all round. Although my dog was not physically hurt I'm worried because she is now acting strange, well, very out of character when another dog approaches us. She has always been very friendly and she is also very obedient, I walk her down the beach almost everyday and she plays off the leash with other dogs all the time with no problems. I have a feeling she is unsure as to what another dogs intentions may be after being attacked. She is still obedient and always comes when called and walks next to me off leash if asked but at the dog beach dogs do run around off leash all the time and that's understandable because that's what it's for. She goes very stiff when a dog approaches and although she doesn't bite she puts her hair and and stiffens up. She is also not interested in playing with any dogs anymore which is so unusual for her. I'm worried that the changes in her will be permanent and any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Hi Blooeyes!

    Sorry this happened to your dog. It is something I am quite worried about happening to my dog actually. I have no experience with this (fortunately), but an important question to start with is probably: How do you react when your dog stiffens up when another dog approaches?

  3. #3

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    Your dog has been through an unpleasant experience which has made her associate approaching dogs with negativity. In order to reverse this, you're going to want to make it very nice for her whenever she's approached by a dog she doesn't know - give her and the other dog some liver treats and a nice pat. Show her that you're not afraid of dogs who approach by welcoming them and patting them.

  4. #4
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    Thankyou for your replies. My dog is on a strict diet due to her allergies and the fact she takes cortisone tablets every second day which make her super hungry and put on weight easily so treats are probably out. She was trained using positive re enforcement and her reward was never food just lots of "good girls" and belly rubs. I have been relaxed when these dogs are approaching us mostly because I know most of them as we are regulars down this dog beach. I will continue to do what I usually do and just keep a close eye on her. As we are regulars I most of the time stop and chat to the other owners and give the other dogs a scratch. What worries me most is she doesn't want to play? I'm hoping this will pass as time goes by, considering this only happened a few days ago maybe I am expecting too much too soon? She also seems anxious when the other dogs are sniffing me etc. which is not like her normally she just runs around and tries to get them to go play, rather than the hovering she is doing at the moment. I have a feeling she may be worried about me? Hopefully time will make a difference and she can go back to the gorgeous, playful fun loving girl she was! Once again thankyou for your replies and suggestions, it's much appreciated

  5. #5
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    I think it would also help if you reported the house with the dog that attacked yours. So it's less likely to happen again to you or anyone else.

    So many people don't report and then the next time the bad dog gets out - the attack is much worse.

    For your dog - you may want to get help from a dog trainer in your area or maybe visit many different places where lots of friendly dogs hang out - on lead and under control - like dog obedience clubs. Don't rush your dog. Let her figure out for herself when she's safe again.

  6. #6
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    I would be using the methods Mosh suggested. Use part of her special diet as her treats, treats are meant to be very small so the dog can basically swallow them.

    I train fat dogs and dogs on diets all the time and what I give them during training is deducted from their meals.

    A bad experience like your dog had that upset everyone is a lot for it to get over. One of my dogs was chased by a couple of large black Danes. From that day forward he never liked large black dogs, despite me trying to get him over it, despite how positive I was when a large black dog approached us.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    I think it would also help if you reported the house with the dog that attacked yours. So it's less likely to happen again to you or anyone else.

    So many people don't report and then the next time the bad dog gets out - the attack is much worse.

    For your dog - you may want to get help from a dog trainer in your area or maybe visit many different places where lots of friendly dogs hang out - on lead and under control - like dog obedience clubs. Don't rush your dog. Let her figure out for herself when she's safe again.
    I had my mobile in my bag and stood outside the house and rang the ranger as soon as it happened. They have been charged with a first offense dog attack as well as a fine for having an unregistered dog. When the ranger came she went to see them before hand and was telling me the dog isn't aggressive to people so there's only so much she can do, which I find ridiculous because if my dog was a little dog it would have been dead now. What if I was an elderly person and had fell over as I did, it would have likely been a lot worse. Either way there's nothing more I can do, I actually don't blame the dog I blame the owners (firstly for allowing the dog to be out the front of their house off a leash and secondly for not training/ having any sort of control over their dog and a serious lack of socialization).

    Today's walk down the beach went a lot better. Amber was wanting to play a bit and seemed to recognize her doggy friends straight away and seemed happy to see them. I think perhaps I was just jumping the gun so to speak because she was much happier today, which is great news!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAC View Post
    I would be using the methods Mosh suggested. Use part of her special diet as her treats, treats are meant to be very small so the dog can basically swallow them.

    I train fat dogs and dogs on diets all the time and what I give them during training is deducted from their meals.

    A bad experience like your dog had that upset everyone is a lot for it to get over. One of my dogs was chased by a couple of large black Danes. From that day forward he never liked large black dogs, despite me trying to get him over it, despite how positive I was when a large black dog approached us.
    I personally prefer not to use food reward for training but that's just me, I've had success training without food reward so see no need to start now. Each to their own I suppose as long as the end result is the same I find with Amber the few times recently after being attacked by that dog, if she is looking uncertain or tense when a dog approaches I just call her to me and keep walking, I don't want to cuddle her or make a fuss when she is in that state as I believe it is just telling her that behaving that way is ok and it's really not. She is very obedient and will instantly come when called so for now that's how I'll proceed I think.

  9. #9
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    Food reward is usually the most effective, the fastest - depending on the dog and their favourite things.

    Eg a sheep dog in front of sheep - just wants to work the sheep, and a ball obsessed dog - would rather have the ball.

    You can use other rewards - but in the end - you have to find something the dog likes or it's not rewarding. The advantage of food in this situation is it releases all sorts of feel good chemicals in the dog's brain and helps over come bad experiences. It's also a good guide of whether your dog is stressed out or anxious as few dogs will take a treat when they're frightened. And that would mean - you're too close to the scary thing to train. Ie dog is too freaked to learn and you need to get further away from it.

    So - end result same - only applies if your dog finds the whatever else you've chosen - equally rewarding.

    If you pair your dog's favourite reward - with your preferred reward - you can sometimes transfer the value of one to the other. This is a popular thing to do in agility training as a tug is a much more useful and convenient reward than a food reward - but some dogs won't tug until they're trained to. All dogs gotta eat.

  10. #10
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    The choice of reward is always the dogs as Hy has pointed out. Pats are fine if this is what they love most, and I've trained many of my dogs that way (and combining both food and pats will equate them with each other.)

    Totally agree, I never console a dog if it's showing fright or uncertainty as you don't want to enforce the wrong behaviour.

    glad things are getting back to normal.

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