We are not very popular. Advice please.

(61 Posts)
chipstick10 Tue 15-Jan-13 18:49:54

I need some advice as this is new to me. My darling old dog died last June, he had been with us for 15yrs. He wasn't keen on other dogs and was always happy playing with us or just sniffing around in the park.
We now have a new rescue dog and he is the complete opposite and is very sociable. He is still a puppy and loves rough and tumble. In the park I know he is the dog other owners dread seeing. He play fights all the time. He never growls or barks and just pins dogs down and play bites their ears. Some owners are really happy with this and tell me it is nice to see the dogs playing but I know other owners are less happy. They tut and tell me to keep him on a lead. One woman the other morning pushed him away with her walking stick. I absolutely dread going to the park now, every day is a nightmare. Am I over reacting? What is the eticate I have no idea?
I think perhaps I should keep him on a lead but another part of me thinks why the hell should I. Trouble is once he's in play he doesn't recall very easily.

Grunzlewheek Tue 15-Jan-13 18:57:03

Maybe keep him on the lead unless you know the owner of the dog he is playing with doesn't mind ? I only say that because someone once kicked one of my dogs for going near his dog. angry

How about finding a puppy socialisation class you can take him to, then he can play with other dogs his age ?

Floralnomad Tue 15-Jan-13 19:16:59

I'm sorry but I'm with the walking stick woman . My dog is quite anti social , when he's off lead with his ball he wants to be left alone and despite all the puppy socialising / training classes he is unable to 'play' with other dogs. I get really pissed off when other people think its ok for their little darlings to 'harass ' him and spoil his walk ! I think you do need to keep him on a lead unless you have checked with the other owners and I'm sure most times people will say they don't mind and just occasionally you'll meet someone like me!

Does he get particularly over-excited when he plays? Do people think he's aggressive? Otherwise I can't really understand why they wouldn't want their dog to play - it will tire both dogs out! Recall off a distraction - like other dogs - is pretty advanced stuff, really. Are you attending a training class where you can start working towards that?

Alternatively, bring him to my house. My boy will play with him!

BoneyEm1972 Tue 15-Jan-13 19:35:27

I've got a nutty dog that sounds just like yours !! smile

Most people are fine with my loony but some aren't so for that reason I have gone back to introducing her to other dogs with her on a lead

We are going to training classes but it is sloooooow going sad

I love seeing her playing with other dogs though so it is a tough choice. What actually decided it for me was my lunatic ran up in her usual numpty fashion towards two greyhounds who could outrun her. This threw her completely so she ran off into the car park to escape them, despite me calling her sad very worrying. Therefore leads on for a while yet until she greets other dogs calmly

Roll on the end of the teenage years !! grin

rubyrubyruby Tue 15-Jan-13 19:40:23

I hope he doesn't do this to dogs on leads

My dog is like Floralnomad's. He is only really interested in playing ball, and he will ignore other dogs unless they refuse to leave him alone. Then he will chase them off with a lot of noise. This is because he is actually quite fearful of bouncy, over enthusiastic dogs. I think you need to get the recall nailed and step up the training. Your dog shouldn't be allowed to approach other dogs/people unless you give him permission. Otherwise he could end up getting hurt or you could end up in a confrontation with another dog walker. I am very tolerant of pups/new owners, btw, as long as the owner makes a real effort to recall their dog and doesn't then get arsey if my dog gobs off about it all. How about getting a long line? Then you could let him have a fair bit of freedom but also reel him in if he gets over excited.

Marne Tue 15-Jan-13 19:52:26

Your dog sounds just like my staffie bitch, she loves to play and will pin other dogs down, i now keep her on a lead (after she almost tripped an old lady over whilst trying to play with her yorkshire terrior, i was mortified). We have an extendable lead for when we are in the field so she gets to have a bit of a run).

We got another pup yesterday and my Staffie is not wanting to play at all sad, i'm suprised as she loves playing with adult dogs, she gets quite cross when the pup tries to chase her.

Can you arrange for him to spend time with other dogs where it is a bit more controlled so he can learn some doggy manners? Maybe puppy class, or with friends dogs. Sounds like he needs to realise that not all other dogs like to play in the same way.

Or can you take high value treats or toy with you so he comes back more easily?

I had to tell a man to put his bouncy dog on a lead not long ago as she was jumping up a my dogs and badgering them constantly, I could see one of my dogs especially become upset by it and I was worried that my older one would snap and possibly bite the other dog. Maybe until hes calmed a bit it might be better to keep him on a lead until hes properly socialised.

TwoFacedCows Tue 15-Jan-13 20:04:36

It is a shame that you feel like that.

We have become friends with a puppy and his owner. it is great because my well behaved boys are teaching the pup good manners. His recall is excellent, because he copies my older boys. If the pup and another dog are play fighting and it gets too rough ( like all pups can ) my older dog will tell them off and will get between them until they calm down!

What kind of dog is he? where are you?

Porkster Tue 15-Jan-13 20:08:30

I think you need to keep your new dog on a lead until he learns his park etiquette.

We have a newish young dog, who loves nothing more than wrestling with his 'cousins' (family members' dogs), but he doesn't ever try it when out on a walk.

I would be very unhappy if a strange dog tried this with mine, because it's really quite hard to gauge what is playing and what is aggression in these circumstances.

TwoFacedCows Tue 15-Jan-13 20:09:21

I am very laid back. I believe that pups need to learn from other dogs, they need to be told off every so often so that they learn what is acceptable.

I think that unless a dog is very aggressive, then the pup should be allow to approach, and if he gets told off by an older dog who doesn't want to play, then that is a learning curve for it!

chipstick10 Tue 15-Jan-13 20:22:41

Thanks to all for your replies. I feel quite deflated by the whole thing. We have had the dog since August and I feel I've made a real hash of things by walking him off leash so soon. I must say its going to be hard to try taking him to the park now after he is so used to being free. I will try it tomoz.

rubyrubyruby Tue 15-Jan-13 20:38:11

You just need to work on the recall.

Can you use an extending lead for a while?

Porkster Tue 15-Jan-13 20:43:26

But, Chipstick, you've done nothing wrong! The teaching is to let them off as soon as you start taking them out.

My saving grace was that our dog met a few boisterous, aggressive dogs which had made him a bit wary ( a couple made him yelp)- otherwise he'd be wanting to wrestle and play with every dog he meets.

It's still early days. I think focussing on perfect recall really helps. I had so much great advice on here about this and I have finally (he's 2 in March) reached the point where I can whistle and he'll fly back to me 99% of the time, no matter how much 'fun' he's having.

digerd Tue 15-Jan-13 21:00:41

I have a new 2 year-old who was living in the house with several others and she was the smallest. I have had her a week now, and found she is very nervous of stangers and strange dogs. But lovely with me. As she is very small, she doesn't need a lot of exercise, and I have space to walk her at the back of me where no other dogs can get to. At her age, I shall not be walking her where other larger dogs are running free as would be too traumatic for her. She is a quiet very well-behaved and loving dog - just what I wanted. She does not want to chase a ball, just be walked and cuddled and fed. She is not afraid of cats, strangely, and they are slightly taller than her.

Bubblegum78 Tue 15-Jan-13 21:04:40

My Daisy Doodle is like this, we have to keep her on a lead unless we check with other owners.

Shame you don't live near me, Daisy could do with a playmate!

RedwingWinter Tue 15-Jan-13 21:05:51

I am very relaxed about other dogs coming up to play, but if you see another dog on a lead then you have to remember there might be a reason for it (i.e. dog not friendly). It sounds like you need to work on your recall with him, and meanwhile be proactive about keeping him away from those dogs whose owners don't like him playing with them (if you see the woman with the stick, put him on his lead right away, just temporarily). One thing about recall is that in the early days, it's much easier if you spot the exciting things first and call him back before he's already set off to investigate them.

As a young pup, he won't have worked out his manners yet, and it sounds like he's being rather rude to some of the other dogs. He does need to learn so it's great that you are socializing, but the other dog owners have to be okay with it too.

Don't be disheartened - setbacks are a normal part of training a dog and we've all got embarrassing stories of when we got it wrong. The thing is just to keep working on it. Then before you know it you have a really good dog.

chipstick10 Tue 15-Jan-13 21:10:13

Thanks porkster. When I think of how far we have come. He didn't do cuddles or kisses or any responding much apart from sit and paw when we first got him. Recall was a no no but nowdays he will come after a few stern shouts of his name. I will practice recall for sure.
I am sure my dog is not aggressive.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Tue 15-Jan-13 21:29:50

Who was it who had to tell another dog walker to keep his dog away from hers, as hers was on a lead, and when the man said his dog was ok she said but hers wasn't and would kill his given the chance? Or have I dreamt that?

Anyway. Don't let your dog learn the hard way not to go for other dogs. They might not be very friendly! My dog ran up to a pair of collies that we pretty much bumped into round a corner of a hedge and before the poor lady could recall them they went for my dog and if I hadn't had him on the lead and literally pulled him back and picked him up they'd have had him.

I have one like this too. I recall her immediately if I see a dog on a lead and ask the owners if she can approach once I have control of her. For dogs off lead they will generally match her play or tell her off (she's good at doggy language) but if she does get too full on and won't recall then I wade straight in and get her.

If he won't recall once starting to play (which mine does not do well) then can you recall before you approach other dogs and keep him with you until you can ask the owner whether it's ok?

chipstick10 Tue 15-Jan-13 21:55:31

Thanks everyone appreciate muchly all the good advice. It seems I really need to work on him/with him. He's lovely but yes he is rude. When we got our first report on him from battersea they said he was quite rude when meeting,other dogs (not in an aggressive way) but just a bit bold and overly excited. He doesn't have any manners really. He totally licked my glasses off my head today even when I was telling him no and to get down. (I do luffs him though). I must say I do find it a bit hard to swallow when other dogs are off lead. I can understand if they are on lead aNd my pest approaches though. But I will take all of this on board and will walk him on lead in the morning. Wish me luck he's going to hate itgrin

Floralnomad Tue 15-Jan-13 22:08:10

Can't you just find somewhere quieter to walk him off lead or go at a different time when there are less dogs . I rarely see anyone on our dog field. I feel a bit mean now about my response but TBH I think if another dog 'pinned mine down and played with his ears 'he'd be quite likely to bite and then may get bitten back and I don't see why I should keep mine on a lead as he would never approach another dog although could potentially be left looking like the aggressor !

OP, I must admit when I read your post my heart sank. One of our long term fosters is an elderly reactive dog. We've been working with a professional who has recommended BAT. We are painstakingly working on this, to gradually accustom him to seeing other dogs at a distance he feels safe at, and to build up his confidence. Guess what completely fucks it up? Off lead dogs who come charging over (owner about five miles behind, who then smiles weakly and says either "oh, he only wants to play" or "He's very friendly") angry ON LEAD dogs should be given a wide berth.

The other isssue is that the on lead dog may be ill, frail, elderly or recovering from an operation - again, it is bad manners and wholly inappropriate to go charging up all guns blazing. Imagine for a moment you were visiting an elderly relative. Would you kiss them gently or immediately wrestle them to the floor in a playful rugby tackle? This is the same.

On lead walks are still great fun - you can do lots of different games and training while you are out, vary speed, DH likes to run with ours in a kind of mad interval training - it really doesn't need to be boring.

Good luck smile

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