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Thread: How to Deal with Dog Aggressive Dogs - and Their Owners

  1. #1
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    Default How to Deal with Dog Aggressive Dogs - and Their Owners

    Hi guys,

    We had a bit of an incident a few days ago in a nearby park. I was throwing sticks for Nero, minding my own business when another dog appeared. He was a Staffie or Staffie X, I had never seen before. Initially I only saw the dog - no owner. From a friend whose dog was attacked a few weeks ago I knew that there is a dog aggressive Staffie x roaming in the area. So I called Nero and just started walking slowly away in the other direction.

    When I looked over my shoulder I noticed that the owner had disappeared meanwhile and since she clearly saw us and made no attempt to put her dog on a lead, I figured that this must be another dog and turned around again, waiting for him to approach so they could have a play.

    They said 'hello' ok and started playing a little but Nero seemed uncomfortable, which he hardly ever is with other dogs. I noticed that the other dog, while kind of playful, seemed to start pushing his boundaries. He is a lot smaller than Nero. I just had the feeling he was trying to push things a little to see how far he can go. His owner didn't react and Nero is far too big and heavy to be picked up so I just walked off. Nero followed me but so did the Staffy X. In fact he ran after Nero and bit him. While Nero yelped loudly I don't think he bit him hard. I couldn't see any broken skin or else and think Nero yelped probably because he was scared rather than hurt. Again. No reaction of the owner but at least her Staffy ran off when I yelled at him.

    Today we met them again. Again he was off lead and didn't come when she called him. We (I was with the friend whose dog was attacked) called on her to put her dog on a lead, which she did with difficulty as he avoided her. All three dogs on the lead, they had a bit of a sniff but again the Staffy got more and more bold after a short while. There was a lot of clanking teeth, not much tail wagging but raised hackles. His owner seemed completely oblivious while to me and my friend it was obvious that this is not all just friendly play and that her dog was trying to get an angle on Nero (my friends dog is a girl).

    I confronted the owner and reminded her that her dog bit Nero the other day. She was genuinely surprised!! She hadn't noticed at all, which I found a bit surprising since Nero had yelped loudly. Anyway, she brushed it off saying "It's just the way he plays. With his brothers and sisters they always play by biting each other". I actually don't think she took it in at all and I'm a bit worried now to walk there if she continues to not put her dog on a lead.

  2. #2
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    Staffies (at least all the ones I've met) have really looked aggressive when they play. Snarling, hackles raised, biting (mouthing), but they are just playing. The dog you met doesn't really sound aggressive to all to me, more just a pushy young dog.

  3. #3
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    I have no other suggestion then to possible chose another place to walk, thou these days offlead parks are hard to find.

    My Ruby is a rough head when she plays, also being a bulldog when she is wrestling she can make some god awefull noices like she is choking and growling at the same time.

    I have met some owners that dont appreciate Ruby's way of playing and some that actually appreciate it. Its usually always people that own boxers or neo's. Just rough dogs that are very vocal when playing.

    Anyway bit off topic but yes, I have been on the recieving end of owners thinking Ruby was killing their dog and its not nice but i have also been on the recieving end of a dog aggressive dog (With my roomies little dog) Both I pretty much told them to pull their heads in.
    Rubylisious


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    Quote Originally Posted by silvershadowwolf24 View Post
    Staffies (at least all the ones I've met) have really looked aggressive when they play. Snarling, hackles raised, biting (mouthing), but they are just playing. The dog you met doesn't really sound aggressive to all to me, more just a pushy young dog.
    Sorry just a note that thats pretty much how Ruby plays, I have found YOUNG boxers are very similar too
    Rubylisious


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by silvershadowwolf24 View Post
    Staffies (at least all the ones I've met) have really looked aggressive when they play. Snarling, hackles raised, biting (mouthing), but they are just playing. The dog you met doesn't really sound aggressive to all to me, more just a pushy young dog.
    OK fair enough. So what happens if they're not being put in their place? Nero is a bit of a wuss and tends to run away if things get too heated for him. Definitely not the kind of dog who stands up for himself and (play-) fights back. He does playfight of course - but not really rough. When Nero ran away from this dog, he chased after him and bit him and more importantly he did not seem to leave him alone when Nero yelped. If Nero playfights with his playmates he backs off immediately when one dog yelps. But this dog didn't. So if I had not stepped in and yelled at this other dog, it might have gotten more serious. Well, perhaps ... perhaps not. I don't know.... I don't know this dog after all.

    Anyway I'm just wondering...where does it stop and when do I step in. And actually I think I shouldn't have to step in. If Nero is bugging another dog I make sure he stops. Or not?

  6. #6
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    Put them in their place for what? If someone gets hurt accidently, they yelp and it stops. Or if they're making too much noise while we're trying to watch tv, we tell them to stop it and they stop xD

    If you don't want another dog near yours, then send it away. Even though this dog may be playing, I can understand why you wouldn't want it near yours.

  7. #7

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    Yep sounds like play to me to. Phoenix air snaps when she is excited and her hackles also raise with the higher her arousal levels get. Just seems a bit like typical Bull breed play.

    I am sure Nero is fine, if he is a wuss then usually he will just give off calming signals if he feels the dog is starting to get over the top. Most of this stuff you will miss as it happens to fast for us to catch, some of it you will see.

    Walking away was probably the problem as it looked like you and Nero were retreating. Next time you see the Staffy just ask the girl to leash it before you walk away so it can't follow you. The Staffy might have also just been trying to get Nero to come back and play and Nero was caught off guard hence the yelp.

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    By 'put them in their place' I just meant Nero would not set boundaries in a friendly dominant doggy manner. For whatever reason he just tends to be quite insecure about a whole range of things. So he would not put the other dog 'in their place' like some other older dogs have done to Nero when he got too rough. If another dog is too pushy Nero just tends to run away, which usually solves the problem too. You say they yelp and it stops... that's exactly my point. This dog followed Nero when he ran away and didn't back off even after he yelped.

  9. #9
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    My dog has only "put the other dog in it's place" about twice in her entire life. She'd rather leave.

    With rude dogs and oblivious owners - I try to avoid. If it's my dog that is making the other dog or owner or both uncomfortable - I call her away and put her on lead if necessary - that's the polite thing to do. If the other owner does nothing when I ask - I contemplate calling the ranger. It depends how bad I think the play is.

    One dog I should have called the ranger on - I managed to get the owner to hold off releasing it until I'd gone, two other dog owners were fawning over his dog but it had previously attacked my dog - I warned them but they didn't believe me - and as I went around the corner I heard dogs screaming - and I haven't seen the bad dog or owner at that park again. I doubt the ranger would have come quickly enough in this particular case. On previous visits they'd only been there 30 mins tops, and the ranger usually takes an hour or two to show up.

  10. #10
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    My two dogs play in a similar way to what you experienced at the park. My Staffy x boy, Buckley plays in what could be perceived as aggressive. snarling, mouthing, hackles up, stiff tail. On the other hand, my pointer, Abbie is very calm, submissive and will bow her head, snap, snarl and yelp in an attempt to stop Buckley. More often than not her attempts don't work...but when she truely has had enough, she lets out a huge all mighty snap and that's when Buckley knows enough is enough.

    The dog you described sounds like it's young..probably still a puppy and likes to test the boundaries as they do at that age. I am amazed though, that so many people are willing to unleash they're dogs when they have no form of control over them. I like to think Buckley is quite well trained but i turn into an over protective mother when i take him out and never would let him out of sight! Probably not much you can do though, short of not going back to the park.

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