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Thread: Aaaaaargh!!!

  1. #1
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    Default Aaaaaargh!!!

    I am so upset right now. Dora's being getting heaps better with other dogs, but this arvo I went to the oval with my friend and her Lab (the one Dora previously didnt get along with) thinking that she might be better now that she's so much better with other dogs (sorry for using the word 'better' so much).
    They started off well, with Dora wagging her tail and sort of jumping around him in that position where her butt is in the air. But suddenly something happened, I have no idea what, and she attacked him. I think because he got too in-her-face (he usually does that). He's the most playful dog I've ever seen, and I so WISH that Dora would take a page out of his book.
    But NO, she decided to start growling and attacking and trying to bite his neck, and we separated them. I took her in my arms, careful not to give affection (I heard that giving affection while shes in an aggressive mood makes it worse) but the Lab just tried to play with her again, by jumping onto ME and she full on snapped at him then, and her growl reverberated in her WHOLE BODY, and I'm just so upset because I think her socialising has gone backwards because of this...

    What do I do?? I've found a dog group which involves a lady taking a few dogs that don't mind aggressive dogs snapping at them and the lady tries to make the aggressive dogs more comfortable around other dogs, showing them that there is nothing to be threatened of (in Dora's case) but my parents have flat out refused even though I would be paying for it, saying that they don't want a stranger taking Dora for an hour. They just say to join the local obedience club, but how the HELL am I supposed to explain to them that an obedience club isnt for socialising and cant help Dora?

  2. #2
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    Hi Masha

    Take a water pistol or squirty bottle with you for the place where the lab hangs out. Have a discussion with the lab's owner about what they find acceptable ie if they don't want the lab squirted - then they had better be prepared to keep the lab away from Dora.

    Picking Dora up was less than ideal, but given the lab wasn't backing off - I guess you didn't have much choice. I have told other people when I'm having problems with Frosty (like trying to get her back on lead or get her to drop the stolen ball) - to call their dog away and if they don't or can't - I tell them I'm going to kick their dog. And sometimes I do. Not so hard to damage the dog but hard enough it takes the fun out of jumping on Frosty. And I give it a stern No/Off/Back before I do.

    So owner gets warned, dog gets warned, dog gets kicked. Owners are supposed to have their dog under effective control and if their dog is jumping on yours after you've made it clear you want /need it to stop - well defending yourself, your familiy or your dog is fair (under all the dog and cat law I've read).

    Ideally you have the discussion in advance with the lab owner about what you want to happen if it gets unpleasant. They must grab the lab or you separate them as best you can. Dora, ideally gets squirted and goes on lead but stays on the ground. And I'd tell her "No" as well or first. But one or two (max) serious commanding deep "No". Not the stupid owner's cry of "no no no no no no" because that only makes the word meaningless.

    If you see the lab first, best to keep Dora on lead the whole time he's around. But if he jumps on Dora - you need to have a clear plan - ideally agreed with the owners. It's not appropriate for a big dog like a lab to squish a little one like Dora.

    Having said that, Frosty play wrestles with several of her doggy friends and that often involves a lot of play growling and neck grabbing of the most amazing intensity but us owners can definitely tell when it goes from play to pissed off. Frosty usually runs back between my legs as well. But I'm assuming you know that Dora is not happy when the lab over does it.

    Ideally he goes back on lead if he does but you can't control what the other owners do.

    It is illegal for them to let their lab continue to harrass your dog after you've asked them to make him stop. Companion animal act prohibits harrassment of other animals even if no damage is done. But we really don't want to go there if we don't have to. I think I'd change parks first. Then again... there are some dogs that occasionally show up where I walk Frosty that I hate for being aggressive. If I can make them change parks first - I usually try that.

  3. #3
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    The owner is a good friend of mine, so I was bit hesitant to say anything Bout how I wouldve liked if she controlled her dog (he has a very bad pulling problem... She has no control over him whatsoever even when he's on a lead) or at least didn't follow me when I moved away from her.
    I will try the water pistol and ofc talk with my friend about it. Thanks for the great advice.

    PS. Will using a water pistol make Dora scared of water?

  4. #4
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    great tips and useful info there Hy, I didn't know that cat/dog covered under a law like that.

    Masha I hope Doras next socialisation goes better, i don't think the bottle would make her afraid of water,I thinkits more just to snap her out of her state of mind (so you can correct her) rather then drench her. Good luck and let us know how it goes..

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    Quote Originally Posted by rebec View Post
    great tips and useful info there Hy, I didn't know that cat/dog covered under a law like that.

    Masha I hope Doras next socialisation goes better, i don't think the bottle would make her afraid of water,I thinkits more just to snap her out of her state of mind (so you can correct her) rather then drench her. Good luck and let us know how it goes..
    That's it exactly Rebec, it's supposed to be a short, quick squirt to remove the dogs attention from what it is on so you can redirect elsewhere.

    Masha, if your friend can't control her dog, don't use her for socialisation.

    Some dogs don't like playing with others either. Some dogs prefer their own company and some dogs don't mind other dogs being there but they don't want to interact.

    I hope you find a solution soon though.

  6. #6
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    I think you need to find a more suitably sized playmate for Dora.

    I got to say that if one of the front rowers for the NZ All Blacks was to come bounding towards me, even with a smile on his face I would be suitably apprehensive.

    And as Hyc said dogs do a lot of neck grabbing as part of their play. If you could see and hear the sounds the little pups I have make it would surprise you, and yes it does get out of hand sometimes, one or the other gets hurt, stops the game and sulks but not after a good couple of second scrap.

    My big setter find little dogs amusing. Especially when she was younger and especially when they are getting cranky, she had a habit of putting her big paw out and squashing them, a bit like the way a cat plays with a mouse.

    The lab will probably calm down around age 5, whereas Dora is a small breed and her maturity kicks in early, combine it with her apprehension around other dogs.....

    Maybe the obedience club wouldn't be so bad. She gets to be around other dogs on lead. Sometimes with little dogs that's how it is.

    My mother doesn't live far from the leash free park but she doesn't take her Chi in when the labs, pointers and big dogs are rumbling. She goes at about 1pm with a group of other elderly ladies and their elderly dogs.

  7. #7
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    I think MAC is right. Obedience club would be a far better, far more controlled situation (theoretically) and is better than nothing at all. Plus it opens the door for you to be far more involved in the training and you know what you need to do afterwards. With someone else taking your dog for you and training it, you have NO idea what's happening, what methods are used and how to make it work for you. Not a road I would recommend for anyone.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for all the advice guys. I will look into the obedience club idea then - I was gonna carpool with my friend and Lab to it, but I'm REALLY apprehensive now.

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