If you think of yourself as quite insightful about dog behaviour...

(23 Posts)
lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 01:50:26

then what would you do in this situation?

On a country walk, walking quickly down a quiet country lane, when 2 medium size Labrador-ish dogs come running towards you up a driveway that crosses the lane. The dogs are agitated barking loudly and might be aggressive (or might not). If you keep walking fast the dogs will reach you when you're about 10 feet beyond their driveway.

Do you keep walking fast or do you stop to say hello? You have 5 seconds to decide.

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 01:50:58

ps: should say you're alone on this walk, nobody else to consult or think about.

Boudica1990 Sat 28-Jun-14 02:02:18

As stupid as this sounds I would need to hear the bark, you can tell the difference between a "omg I am so happy, new person" bark and a "get away from my property now, I am warning you" bark.

Happy bark continue walking, not so happy bark stand my ground, wait for dog to either approach me at which point dependent on what they do I will chose a second action.

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 09:51:16

ta. anyone else?

Catsmamma Sat 28-Jun-14 09:57:46

I'd carry on...as boudica said, I'd want to hear the bark, but unless they were slavering rabidly I'd carry on, send them away with a firm "NO!" or "Go Home!"

When you are firm with strange dogs they generally look at you horrified cos you know the rules and they don't expect that. grin

SnakeyMcBadass Sat 28-Jun-14 11:28:21

It would depend on their body language. Ate they loose and wagging their tails? Or running full pelt, heads forward and with purpose? Barking can be a hello or a warning.

Floralnomad Sat 28-Jun-14 11:30:46

I'd carry on walking at a normal pace and ignore them .How does a driveway cross a lane?

WeAllHaveWings Sat 28-Jun-14 12:16:10

If they were running towards me looking as if they were going to attack I would scream like a big girl try to alert the owner.

If it looked like they were guarding their property and I had enough space (opposite side of the road/lane) I would walk on, hoping they were just barking. Wouldn't stop to say hello, doesn't sound like they want to play.

Either way they are out of control dogs if they are running free and unsupervised and I would consider reporting it.

PitchSlapped Sat 28-Jun-14 12:20:12

I would keep walking if they seemed friendly barking. Otherwise I would stand my ground and try to get them to back off. Definitely wouldnt run. It could either prompt an attack or they might think I wanted to play and chase me anyway.

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 12:37:58

I never thought of shouting. Is that effective? Does it make some dogs more aggressive?

The dogs were running not full tilt & snarling but certainly not wagging tails, either.

I guess I could have just said out of "a driveway", instead.

catbus Sat 28-Jun-14 12:47:44

Did you have a dog with you also?
I've been in a similar situation and spoke to the dog in an upbeat friendly manner, walking quickly on whilst inwardly shitting myself and hoping it didn't show
The dog carried on barking at me and followed me for a bit, but I just carried on walking and told it firmly to go home, without looking back.

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 12:52:30

No dog with me. 6pm on a sunny summer evening.

mousmous Sat 28-Jun-14 12:54:42

I would keep walking but very alert, prepared to stand and turn my back to them if they come too close or seem to change mood.

throckenholt Sat 28-Jun-14 13:46:17

I would have said calmly, loudly and firmly. "Hello dogs. go HOME now" and walked on calmly (edging to the other side of the road smile).

As others have said - it would depend on body language of the dogs. Normally most dogs will have their limits on how far out they come - most won't chase you down the road.

LairyPoppins Sat 28-Jun-14 13:53:23

Depend on their body language. Probably stop. Then say hello.

bubblybox Sat 28-Jun-14 13:55:59

I've been in this situation while taking a friend's DS out for a walk (he was 4 at the time). The lane was very narrow too with walls on both sides of the road so there wasn't much room to escape the aggressive pitbull that came out of nowhere running towards us.

I picked up friend's DS and told him to be quiet and not wave his arms around and told the dog to GO HOME loudly and firmly, while walking away at a slightly faster than normal pace away from it. I made sure not to look into the dog's eyes at any point. The dog hesitated, started trotting after us for a few seconds, then seemed to get bored and turned around.

That all came from instinct, I didn't think about whether it would be effective or not. Luckily it was. And luckily it didn't make me scared of dogs - I love the majority of them smile

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 15:27:11

This says not to shout at an aggressive dog you don't know.
This reports shouting to be effective.
This also advises against yelling.

Am still confused about shouting, would like more opinions on whether shouting is good or not, specifically when you KNOW that the dog is approaching or already close with aggression in mind.

bubblybox Sat 28-Jun-14 17:11:05

I think firm and loud, just like you would do with an errant toddler running off, but not snarly. Snarly would be seen as aggression to dogs rather than just dominance.

SnakeyMcBadass Sat 28-Jun-14 18:23:03

Shouting a clear command shouldn't be a problem. A loud, firm 'SIT!' for example. Most dogs will automatically drop their arse to the floor through sheer habit. Shouting aggressively could aggravate the problem, especially if you're frightened. Humans get squeaky and fast when scared, and dogs get excited about squeaky and fast.

moosemama Sat 28-Jun-14 19:16:51

I was at a behavioural workshop last weekend where the trainer said something interesting.

Think about how you would feel with a large/big man approaching you on a narrow pathway. He looks relaxed, is walking at a steady pace and doesn't change his pace as he approaches. In this scenario most people would notice the man, make a mental note he's there and carry on walk as they were before he appeared.

Now imagine the man deliberately slows his pace and stares right at you - what would you think then? You'd probably feel menaced/threatened and want to get out of there asap or start getting ready to defend yourself.

This is what happens when either we, our dogs or us with our dogs approach another dog, especially if the other dog is already nervous or aggressive.

If on our approach we are calm, confident and keep on walking forwards without slowing or staring at the dog, we will look far less of a threat than if we deliberately slow our pace and stare directly at the dog or even stop, in which case we instantly appear more threatening.

The point of the exercise was to understand what happens when you slow down and gather up your dog's lead as you approach another dog ie, you instantly appear more threatening to the dog you're approaching and are more likely to cause a negative interaction to take place - but the principle is the same, even if you are walking without your dogs.

I would say the best thing to do is to carry on walking confidently in the direction you are going and ignore the dogs completely. If you do speak, you have to be really sure that you're not going to convey either aggression or anxiety/nerves through your voice and it's therefore better to ignore completely, whilst keeping a sneaky eye on what they're up to out of the corner of your eye.

muttynutty Sat 28-Jun-14 19:32:08

Depends on the bark and body language of the dogs. Also if I had to walk past them or if there was an alternative. I would be concerned for their stress levels rather than mine.

If they were fearful and barking I would walk in an arc rather than straight towards them. If they continued to charge at me I would throw food away from me towards them. Turn around and walk away slowly.

I would then post my business card to the owners suggesting my behavioural services smile

lljkk Sat 28-Jun-14 20:24:18

I didn't have any food. t really didn't want to turn my back on them. There wasn't anywhere else to go except back or forward on the narrow lane (stuck between agricultural fields). Their home is down a long farm track where I have good reason to believe there are menacing dogs so you might want to rethink the business card drop off! wink

muttynutty Sat 28-Jun-14 20:33:53

I love a menacing dog - they pay my wages grin

I always have treats in my pocket - sad dog lady

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