Honest opinions please

(15 Posts)

Ok. My dog was attacked at 13 weeks on lead. He has always been nervous of other dogs. Last summer, when he turned 1, he started to get a bit narky with other dogs if he had his ball. I stopped taking it out. This then progressed to jumping at the face of approaching dogs and making a lot of noise. I have worked hard since we saw a behaviourist last October to avoid him getting over threshold (basically, we've used BAT, treats when passing other dogs on lead and the ball as a distraction). This has gone really quite well, and I accept the fact that my dog will never really be the type to play happily with other dogs. He really would rather be ignored. He's a cocker/springer cross with bags of energy, so I do run him off lead. Today at the park (which was empty when I arrived), a small terrier came flying across the field towards us. Jas told it to naff off. It didn't. He tolerated another two minutes of being harrassed (owner was too far away to recall and made no move to come over) before really telling it to sod off. The other dog yelped, then barked in a pissed off way before finally leaving. Now, because my dog is reactive when approached, and I can't control other people and their dogs, do I need to muzzle my dog? I hasten to add that he never approaches other dogs, or people, but is very friendly to people if they attract his attention.

I wouldn't muzzle, no. If he had seriously wanted to hurt the terrier he would have done so. As it goes he used the amount of aggression required to make it piss off. It really shouldn't have been allowed to run around pestering other dogs and as it did, it's fair enough that a dog it hassled would give it a warning to back off.

If you muzzle a dog it has no chance of defending itself or reacting to an attack in way that allows both dogs to settle their differences in a natural way.

J doesn't go looking for trouble. he just reacts when it comes looking for him.

Floralnomad Thu 21-Mar-13 11:14:35

No , IMO ,which you already know as we have the same dog , you and Jas have not done anything wrong and the other dog owner should have removed their dog . The bottom line is even if Jas had been on a lead this dog would have harassed you and it would have been the same outcome . Jas told the dog to go away ,it didnt get the message so he followed it up with a stronger message ,can't see the problem .

No I agree with others.

And I have that terrier. Mine would do exactly that so I am the one taking the preventative measures at the moment which sadly means he is mostly in lead because I know that it is my problem not yours.

I love you guys <snogs doghouse>

gymmummy64 Thu 21-Mar-13 14:36:39

Agree with the others, you and Jas did nothing wrong and it would be hugely unfair to muzzle. However, I always worry that these sorts of encounters, even if he's not the one in the wrong, will make Gymdog quicker to snap the next time - so, in the end being right doesn't really help or make you feel any better sad

True, gym sad It's a tricky behaviour to manage.

idirdog Thu 21-Mar-13 17:14:58

What does "before really telling it to sod off" mean?

Lots of noise and snapping at the other dog's head, in a lunge. He then immediately retreats. He doesn't chase or attempt to pin etc.

idirdog Thu 21-Mar-13 18:56:41

No then I would not muzzle. He was being hassled and did ask politely, then needed to up the anti when the dog did not listen. He did not bite just shouted a bit!

I would work really hard at preventing this from happening though. Don't be afraid to stand up to the dogs yourself.

I have 5 dogs who were reactive ( I choose them especially!) and grew a very thick skin and would always give a very loud away command to dogs who came too close. One step towards them with hand out and a loud away will work on 99.9% of all dogs.

Your dog will relax when he realises that if he is too close to a trigger you will step in.

idirdog Thu 21-Mar-13 19:01:47

A great website with some good resources for managing a DINO (dog in need of space) is
Dogs in Need American Site Articles

and the English site less articles and advice on this one.

RedwingWinter Thu 21-Mar-13 19:09:03

I do what idirdog does. If another dog is coming and hassling mine, and the owners aren't paying attention or aren't there, I tell the dog to go away. Or if I'm in the village, I point in the direction of their house and say 'go home'. This usually works. I think you have to help your own dog out sometimes because you don't want things to escalate.

(In the case of a very aggressive dog I would instead back away slowly keeping my dog behind me. I have had to do this).

I tried to recall Jas to put him on the lead so we could escape, but the other dog was coming to me as well. I need to develop a thicker skin blush

Thanks idirdog for the links. I'll take a look smile

mrslaughan Thu 21-Mar-13 21:18:48

I have a huge 8 month old, and I am teaching him not to rush up to other dogs - and he is getting it. On the occasion that he has been over enthusiastic, and has been told off, and the other owner has gone to apologise, I have said that it is Bigpuppies fault - he needs to learn boundaries.
On the other hand, I have been only letting him off lead for a week, previous to this, my pet peeve has been little yappy dogs, running up to him (he's on a lead and 45-ish kg), snapping barking and jumping up at him.....just because they are not a large dog, doesn't mean they don't need to learn to be polite.

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