You're right, I'm sure, about the GSD not 'attacking'. Can you give me a better word to describe/explain it's behaviour? It was - barking, snarling, teeth snapping, jumping, had it's hackles and tail up. Do you mean it was all a big threat/bluff on the dog's part? Are you saying that if a dog is in 'true' attack mode, it can't be scared off?
I will take your advice and report the dog to the local animal officer.
As for the husky and jrt, I don't agree with the husky owner being rude about the small dog, but can understand the frustration at being ignored, because he/she probably realises the potential for things to go wrong and at the end of the day, it is up to him/her to say whether they're dog wants to play/greet, rather than have the issue forced by well-meaning folk.
Wow, so much to think about....... I wonder if I was a dog, if I'd want to be a swf, or a big GSD, lol......
The GSD in question is not a well-socialised animal, that much is clear. It's behaviour is also not that of what the standard temperament of the GSD should portray.
The owners are morons, I'm sorry to sound obnoxious about them, but reality is -they are. They need to be made aware of what they own, and what their responisbilites are not only to society, but to their dog!
I can only push again that this occurance really should be reported. No dog should be off their premises unless in the controlled supervision of their owner, little own a threatening GSD.
Okay, let's change the dog. Let's say it was a pit-bull. I would think everyone would be up in arms because a pit bull was loose in the street threatening not only other dogs, but a human being as well. It should make no difference!!! A ruddy great GSD with a temperament like the one you have described has the ability to do just as much damage.
The attitude you have relayed here from the owner of that dog is a perfect example of why I often harp on about the fact that I truly believe there are ppl out there who should never own certain breeds. Those ppl are the ones who help attach a stigma to a breed.
Sorry to turn this post into all about GSDs, but this scenario you have unfortunately experienced really angers me on your behalf.
I agree with DA
Attacking means going beserk tearing dog/person to pieces and no amount of yelling will stop the dog. A police dog that grabs a person by the arm, can be called off, but it's not in true attack mode. It's a level or two below that where it is still responsive to commands. And the bite that it may put on the "offender" is unlikely to do serious damage unless the "offender" tries to pull away.
This dog - barking and growling and hackles was in a step or so before attack mode. Most dogs will do what they can to avoid a fight. One of their options is to put on a big growly show, to encourage you to back off. You have several options - and for me they would depend on what the dog was doing.
Your worst option would be to run away - because that might trigger "prey drive" in a dog, in that it will suddenly see you as something to be chased and killed.
Other options would include standing still but looking at the dog, or looking slightly away from the dog ie avoiding eye contact. Or avoiding direct eye contact, and walking away slowly always watching the dog for signs of increased aggression. Even walking away backwards. My dog rolls over and puts her paws in the air, a completely non-threatening pose, and if that doesn't work - she runs. But she's a lot faster than I am. On approach, she's indirect and hunches to make her self seem small and does a lot of lip licking.
A human doing some indirect eye contact, lip licking and yawning can calm a dog that is in threat mode. But it depends why it's in threat mode. It helps if the dog is in a defensive / fearful threat mode eg I'll get you before you can get me... but may not if it's in "I want to rule the world" mode or "you look like dinner" mode.
But no matter how good or bad your dog skills, there is no excuse for the neighbour to allow a potentially deadly dog to be making menacing moves on a public footpath, or even inside its front fence. The dog may - having successfully driven people away - extend its territory to the point where you can't get into or out of your own house, and it may increase its aggression beyond bluff. And then people and their dogs will get shredded.
Thanks D.A and Hyacinth for your valuable information re - threatening vs. attacking in dogs.
And once again, it is the owners, not the breed, at fault. I know this, but others may not and from what has been said lately, even council rangers are ignorant of what a dangerous dog is......
Further to the discussion on misconceptions re - breed, I spoke to a young guy on the weekend who owns a GSD x. He told me the dog snaps at him for which he 'flogs it'. When I asked him why he thought the dog was snapping at him in the first place (I was hoping to trigger some self-reflection, lol), he replied that snapping is in 'them' (GSDs) because of them being bred as police and guard dogs. Frustrating conversation.......
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