No announcement yet.

Truffle suddenly became territorial? Frustrated? fighting with the neighbour dog.

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Originally posted by ihatewetsocks View Post
    OK SOOOOO I've had time to think about this more.

    While I pulled them apart I grazed my knee and foot reasonably well including cutting my foot on something sharp (possibly glass as I ran across the road when my thong came off). Truffle is now constantly coming up with her tail between her legs sniffing the cuts and muzzling my legs now. Is it possible she feels responsible for the owies or am I reading too much into it? She has not once been told off or punished (Except for being held while the couple got the other dog out of the way) and I am trying to settle her down as much as I can.

    No she wont be feeling responsible you are definitely reading too much into that one lol. Just dont fuss too much, thaat also unsettles dogs. Anxious dogs prefer calm owners who dont fuss too much, try and stick to a routine and carry on business as usual. Yes I used to take my fearful dog for walks around the neighbourhood and got to know all the neighbourhood dogs and what to avoid and which dogs I could practice walking past. It is ideal to be always to always keep her under threshold and happy both being aware of the environment and also happy to focus on you. I found treats and a clicker and a good heel were pretty helpful on getting her concentration back on me.


    • #17
      I agree with ‘Kalacreek’ – that you are reading too much into this. It is to do with your body language.

      Our pups’ ability to read our body language is totally mind blowing and is also 100% accurate. Please do not discount this. If you are stressed – your pup will also be stressed.

      Purely and simply - Ruffle is reacting to your body language and behaviour regarding your ‘owies’ !

      Ruffles would much prefer you to ‘have her back’, be upbeat, caring, patient and have your sense of humour intact at all times. It is a good goal to aim for – but life does not work like that and both you and your pup will have good days and some not so good days. Just take it all in your stride and aim for more good days than bad ones !

      Kikopup has heaps of videos that will help you here. Look at ‘Behavioural Interrupter’, ‘Look at me’ and ‘Look at that’ to start off with.

      Most important is that you have fun when you are training your pup ! Why not teach her some tricks ? Teach her to use that nose of hers and find things. What about teaching her to pick up things ? You can find videos of these suggestions in the link above.


      • #18
        Dogs harrassing people and other dogs (or acting menancingly) through fences next to footpaths is illegal in SA.

        I'd consider reporting that one to council. Tho I feel sorry for the dog as the owner clearly has no clue how to train.

        That particular dog - if the owner is nowhere to be seen - would be worth trying the kibble in the face trick. Most of them don't notice the kibble until you're gone but they're much nicer the next time you come round (might take several rounds of kibble but it's worked for me for four or five neighbourhood fence fighters).

        Some people I've told this are outraged that I'd feed other people's dogs. But I'm outraged those people routinely break the law by letting their dog menace people through their front fence. So I figure kibble is better than council.

        If you can avoid going places that take your dog over threshold as much as possible - that will help her learn and a few training drills (can you sit-stand-drop) on the edge of threshold ie where she notices the dogs but can still respond to your cues... that will help her self control and expand her threshold out.

        But I have trouble with idiot dog owners too. They set our training back and then expect me to apologise when we get angry when they break the law (approach and harass off lead in on lead places).


        • #19
          Update ...

          Truffle's training is going well. I had to reschedule the trainers visit as I was called away to work in the riverland again for a couple of days (Took Truffle with me and stayed in a caravan park).

          BUT she is coping much better with other dogs (She will notice them at 50m or so and get visibly and audibly excited but a quick turn around for a few steps and all is good. It just resets her).

          HOWEVER the troubles continue for Truffles ...

          Saturday afternoon we were returning from a short walk (Short due to the drenching humidity in Adelaide this weekend!) and approximately 5 houses down on our street 2 dogs came lumbering up to Truffle from a house across the road (One boxer and one Kelpie I think). The Kelpie almost got hit by a car and the boxer took an instant dislike to Truffle (I really don't know why). As there were no other people around to help apart from the driver that saw it unfolding and almost hit one of the dogs that just kept on driving I tried to keep Truffle calm (I was more concerned that Truffle would start a fight than the boxer) until the boxer jumped on her and tried to grab her on the back. The whole thing only lasted around 3-5 seconds from arrival to jump. At this point I stepped between Truffle and the boxer and picked Truffle up out of reach. After around 30 seconds the owner came out of the house, yelled at the dogs, put them in the back yard, looked at me and walked away. Not even a word. At least when Truffle and I were on the other side of these happenings I stepped in, showed concern and apologised to the others involved!

          Apparently dogs don't like Truffle She was so scared she was shaking with her tail between her legs the poor wee thing.

          There was no damage at all and Truffle bounced back quickly enough but still had her tail between her legs when we got home. Pigs ear came out and the tail was back up

          Not sure if I should be proud of Truffle or not here but she showed restraint not to bite back OR maybe she was just TOO scared.

          Either way I will know not to walk past that house if his garage door is open again. I never even knew he had dogs until Saturday.

          Only bad thing to come out of it really now is that I have a pulled muscle in my back from fending the boxer away and picking Truffle up quickly and awkardly and it feels like the screws holding my left elbow together got a good work out. It's a wee bit tender!

          It's all over now and Truffle has bounced back. Our walks today were good with no upsets so all's well that ends well.

          It's a bit disappointing that there are so many untrained and unsociable dogs in the area. I never had this problem with Bailey because we never walked the streets in this neighborhood. His arthritis prevented it so we just went to the beach or the park.

          I have thought about reporting the Mastif I mentioned a few posts ago to the council but it's not fair on the dog. Why punish the dog for the owners failings? It's a difficult situation though because on the surface the dog does not have a good life and could have a better one if it did get reported but most likely would just be given away on Gumtree or surrendered to the pound because training is just too hard.



          • #20
            Aww poor Truffle Yes, nothing like walking your dog locally to discover all the shitty dogs in the neighbourhood. Had my own encounter yesterday with a couple of angry smalls and their utterly indifferent owner. Very frustrating.

            Re: reporting, i think something to consider is - does it seem like this dog will be a repeat offender? and does it seem like this dog could cause some damage to the next dog or person to come along?

            So dogs I've reported before have included a toy poodle that ran up and bit me and has previously harassed me and the dog i was walking, a JRT that kept trying to bite thistles legs as we walked away. Nothing too big yet, those tend to be locked up in front yards. But my deal breaker is when they dogs try to make contact + an indifferent owner (versus one who clearly apologises and seems horrified or upset).


            • #21
              Good to read that Truffle’s training is going well ! Keep it up !

              LOL – I bet she loved going to work with you and staying in the caravan park !

              The quick turnaround does work very well - if you are dealing with dogs on lead.

              When you are dealing with off lead dogs that are intending to attack – get Truffle to sit up against a fence or a solid structure, you stand in front of her and do the following:


              A little old lady that I used to walk with many years ago - used to take one of these out with her that is in the link below - when she walked her very cheeky little black mini poodle. If anyone questioned her about the lunge whip – she just said she was tired of the birds attacking her and the pup on their walks !
              All the dogs in the neighbourhood where she walked never attacked her little poodle !


              If you believe that other dogs don’t like Truffle – then that is how she will react to your body language.

              My question is – Why does she have to like every dog she comes across ? Do you like every person you come across ?

              As far as reporting problem dogs to the relevant authorities – I don’t muck around anymore. It is time these negligent owners get hit in their back-pocket and pay for their laziness, irresponsibility and stupidity.

              Most times these sorts of people think they are ‘grey people and are under the radar’ of laws.

              So, are those 2 dogs and the Mastiff registered with the local council ?


              • #22
                Originally posted by RileyJ View Post
                If you believe that other dogs don’t like Truffle – then that is how she will react to your body language.

                Yes I am very careful (well I try to be anyway) with my body language. Truth be told I was very nervous when the dogs approached Truffle because she hasn't actually had any direct contact with any other dogs since the Maltese (Matilda). I really wanted Truffle to say hi and move on but it wasn't to be.

                I do like the analogy there about whether humans like all humans they meet but while I don't like all people I meet I rarely if ever bite them

                At the end of the day All's well that ends well. I've been here in this house for 4 years and never even knew he had dogs (He's been there the whole time and actually come to think of it I've never met him and rarely seen him before) so I don't think it will be a repeat offender. The Mastif though ... he has a serious attitude problem and will continue to be like that. I doubt very much he is registered with the council but if the owners surrender him due to my complaint which they're likely to do I don't think the poor thing will pass the screening for adoption at the pound. That's not fair on him (I live in a low socioeconomic area with a lot of housing trust homes etc. You know the type of area where even your rubbish gets stolen. I had to call the police last week because the neighbour directly opposite me pulled up to his house and started yelling at his passenger about a girl they had just run over - turns out it was a domestic argument gone seriously wrong! Then I have my nappy slinging ferals next door and 2 houses down a house full of hoons who do burn outs out the front of my house all night long despite already having been arrested for it twice). I should really just move house shouldn't I ... After all the work I've done to this place They'd have to kill me first. I tell ya sometimes it feels like I live in a Mexico prison!

                Once Truffle's threshold is high enough I might try Hyacinth's suggestion of kibble in the face. The old turn a foe into a friend situation.



                • #23
                  I don't trust dogs approaching out of their yards unless I know the dogs.

                  Most dogs (including mine) think they own their house and the street in front of it and defend it accordingly.

                  So if I saw those dogs coming - I'd be trying to get as far away as possible.

                  If you don't report and those dogs harm someone - how are you going to feel. But if you don't think they will do any serious harm (they didn't hurt your dog) then maybe don't report. temping to print out the relevant page of the state law tho and stick it in the person's letter box.

                  Feral neighborhood indeed. Sigh. There's a few around. When I've lived in areas like that - I try to make friends with as many of my neighbours as possible so I'm part of their tribe and not the enemy... I can gift them my rubbish...


                  • #24
                    PS there are few dogs that broadcast "attack me" to all the other dogs at the park...

                    When I see one of those - I keep my dog on lead - cos she's only too happy to scare the crap out of an already terrified dog.

                    Mostly the dogs are either born nervous, anxious and scared of everything (police dog trainers call it "weak nerved) or they get that way because they've had some honestly bad experiences in being attacked and frightened. A pet dog owner would have to work very hard to make sure a dog like that has all good experiences with other dogs, and build its confidence and trust in the owner to keep it safe.
                    Last edited by Hyacinth; 07-02-2017, 06:17 PM.


                    • #25
                      @ the OP: Was the other dog on the leash when the fight started? I see quite often that dogs start a friendly sniff and suddenly they feel the tension in the leash and the behaviour changes to more aggression. This - in most cases - is nothing else than a (of course unwanted) trainings result of leash walking where the owners are not aware that they transfer their fears and worries through the leash to the dog. The end result is that the built up of tension in the leash is nothing else than the cue 'ATTACK', and reinforced over years the dog just does this. Now when 2 dogs met, and they both have friendly intentions and start playing and sniffing, restricted by a leash (requires that one of them is on leash of course) it will be unavoidable that at sometime in this game this cue (tension in leash) is given - and off they go.

                      However, your dog was off-leash without a reliable recall, hence the responsibility is solely with you if the other dog was on leash. Your dog might not have started the fight, he might just have taken it on, but off-leash it is clearly your responsibility.

                      Wrt the food guarding: that is IMO a total different issue. The instinct of food guarding is still present in all dogs, some show it more, some less. It has not much to do with dominance behaviour: even a low ranking dog will fight off a higher ranked dog if his hunger tells him to do so, and the higher ranked dog - or stronger dog - will happily walk away if he is not hungry. I adopted the following rule for our dog: once the food (whatever it is) is in the bowl it is hers. At the early age I noticed some food guarding (just growling when she thought someone might take her precious bone), but now I can sit beside her and even touch her without any signs of growling while she is eating a bone - she never experienced that she had to guard her precious bones so this behaviour just faded.

                      It looks for me that your dog needs a lot of socialization training, but it needs to be with dogs that have the matching energy level and are already very stable (mentally). You shouldn't do this under no circumstances with other dogs that have similar problems. And of course you have to work on the recall if you like to give your dog the freedom to run off leash.
                      Last edited by outlaw; 25-02-2017, 11:43 AM. Reason: spelling errors


                      • #26

                        to clarify the first instance Truffle was off leash (again I will state that I never did and never would argue the responsibility point. Truffle was supposed to be inside but ran out under my feet). Truffle's recall is actually reasonably good considering she has only been with us for 3 months. She is 3 years old but came from the AWL as an adoptee (previously a stray).

                        In the second instance roles were completely reversed (Truffle on leash very quiet and the other dog was off leash). Truffle did not bite back the 2nd time.

                        Truffle is a very anxious and reactive dog and in the first instance was WELL over her threshold; there was zero point trying a recall.

                        Truffle wears a thunder shirt when outside and during storms etc and uses adaptil in a diffuser inside the house and a spray on her bandana when out of the house in an attempt to calm her down. There are a LOT of unsocialised dogs in my local area and it is very hard to find a route to walk where she will not be harassed. I have found a route that works at the moment. Time will tell if it stays that way.

                        It would be irresponsible of me to take her to group classes at this point in time so I have one on one sessions with a good trainer at home. She has an assistant with a small very un-reactive dog that is used to start the socialisation process.

                        The biggest stumbling block at the moment is Truffle's anxiety. This will take a lot longer to get to the bottom of. I shudder to think what her former life was like.

                        She won't take meat from my hand (Will happily take treats etc) but no chunks of meat. She is very nervous. My guess is that her former family thought it was a good idea to give her food, take it off her and see how she reacts. I assume when she reacted badly they returned it multiplied.

                        Overall she is a very sweet and smart dog who did not get the best start in life but has a good home now. She does not go off leash anymore (I had started taking her to the beach at night when no-one was around and letting her off but I can't justify the risk now that I now she has this struggle. I now still take her but with a long line attached all the time and still at night when there is no-one around. I don't see it as fair to only allow her off leash at home. Obviously I keep a VERY close eye on her at all times and still hold the other end of the long line (Slip knot around my wrist). I give her 20m to run usually but if it's still light and I can see there is no-one else for miles she gets the full 35m.

                        Thanks for your comments.


                        • #27
                          you didn't answer my question whether the Maltese was on leash or not ? or it was mentioned somewhere and I might have missed it.

                          wrt the former life of your dog: that is all speculation - the same symptoms and behaviour are also typical for some de-sexed dogs (especially the fear of storms) - in the meanwhile there are quite some scientific studies out there confirming this. If she is de-sexed, her behaviour could also be a result of this. But it's all speculation and there is no way to find out, so I wouldn't waste my time with those thoughts.

                          wrt not taking meat from your hand: that is actually also a normal reaction following her instincts; you as the leader own this meat, or the bone - carrying it in your hand is like another dog with a higher rank would carry it in his mouth, and she just doesn't want to challenge it. Put it on the ground and she recognizes that no one owns it and she goes for it. That's all normal. So why do they take treats from the hand? Because the smaller size allows for repetition, repetition, repetition, and the smaller size might also minimize the likelihood of triggering those instincts.

                          wrt long lines: I'm not a friend of such long lines - they allow the dog to accelerate, and once they reach the end of the line the sudden stop can cause severe injuries (for dog and handler). You also have to consider that by doing so you restrict your recall training to a somehow very unique scenario. Plus there is all the tangling, again with the risk of severe injuries (burn marks, ligament injuries when tangled around legs etc.).

                          wrt group classes: IMO it is not irresponsible to take her to group classes, however, it depends on how you approach it and on the quality of the instructors. What your dog needs to learn she can only learn in an environment with other dogs, not during lonely nights at the beach! I doubt that even the one on one session at home will achieve real progress. Hence what she needs is a controlled environment with other dogs. The control would be achieved by picking the right area (in our dog trainings club we luckily have 2 fenced big ovals), the right dogs for the group as decoys and buddies, if required leashes and muzzles, and the distances (sooo important to control all the thresholds). Consider, dogs are not so good in generalizing: how often do we hear that dogs are so obedient at home or in the backyard, but the proof is in the pudding. Dogs associate even simplest cues like sit etc. with the environment they have been trained in, so people are again and again surprised that the dog doesn't automatically follow the cue once the environment has changed.

                          If there is a dog trainings club in your vicinity, I would talk to the guys and find out what is possible. Good luck.


                          • #28

                            Yes I mentioned it a couple of times earlier. The Maltese was on leash.

                            Re long lines. I secure the end to my wrist and hold it with 10m or so slack behind me. That way when she does run I control how quickly she can run and how far. I put more pressure SLOWLY on the rope with my hand (I have always been around and on/in/handling boats and the lines that go with it so my hands are tough and do not burn. re tangling herself in the rope I have never had this issue with her or Bailey.

                            Re group classes; I say it is irresponsible due to the level of her reactivity at this point. Once this and her anxiety is under control she will certainly get to group class. At this point a dog 50m away sets her off well over her threshold. It would be very unfair of me to place her and the other dogs in the group in that situation now. There are a couple of training clubs around here and a soccer pitch which is well fenced off. I can let her run on the grass there with the line attached too.



                            • #29
                              wrt getting the reactivity and anxiety under control: nobody can learn to swim without water - some creatures can do it by instinct, but if the instinct doesn't work, there is no way learning it without getting wet.


                              • #30
                                OK so say for example you were the full forward on a local footy team. On the opposing team the full back had just been released on bail after attacking the full forward on the team he played 2 weeks ago. This man is mentally unstable and has not received any counselling or treatment. Just taken out for a week and put back in. No-one knows what set him off and no-one has done anything to combat this happening again.

                                Are you comfortable?

                                This is the situation the dogs and other owners are in with Truffle if I take her to a group class now without learning how to manage this.

                                The old sink or swim approach is only going to escalate issues.

                                As I'm typing this Truffle has spotted a dog walking past through my open front door (screen security door closed and locked). I managed to get a video of her reaction for 15 seconds or so. She started by growling and then started whimpering and pacing back and forth. This is due to her anxiety. As she is over threshold she couldn't have been controlled via command. Once I had taken the video I closed the door and took away the distraction. She has calmed down and is now lying down at my feet.

                                In my opinion It is not fair on anyone and will be totally unproductive to everyone if Truffle was in a group class right now.

                                Last edited by ihatewetsocks; 25-02-2017, 06:09 PM.