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There is an experiment I want to do with my dog...

(64 Posts)
D0oinMeCleanin Tue 23-Apr-13 11:10:43

Whippy's lead aggression is back worse than ever. We'd almost solved it until training was halted by my broken arm and lead walking stopped.

This means at least once a walk I am forced to shout "Please call your dog back, mine is aggressive" followed by much body blocking by me while they try and fail to restrain their dog, on warmer days this happens on average 5 or 6 times a walk angry

I want to walk her at the same time every day, until people start to recognise her and then walk her off lead, same route, same time, same walkers and allow her to run up to their dogs and note whether there is any difference in the amount of effort they put into restraining their dogs when they believe their dog is danger compared to the amount of effort they put in when it is my dog getting stressed. It would also be interesting to note whether they still believe it is "cute" or "just what dogs do"

Of course anyone who knows me knows that Whippy is the sweetest thing off lead, a completely different dog. They also know I would never do this, it is not fair to allow her lead aggression to go on for longer than necessary for my own amusement. But the mere thought amuses me greatly

PLEASE, PLEASE do not allow your off lead dog to approach leashed dogs, if they can't be trusted to recall immediately, keep them leashed.

trashcanjunkie Tue 23-Apr-13 11:18:17

hi there,

I'm a professional dog walker, so I can sympathise with your position, however, it's not always possible for people to manage what you're asking - even with the best of intentions. I have dogs on my books who are mildly lead aggressive, some with good reason, as they've previously been attacked on the lead by off lead out of control dogs, and even though they and I are well known in the area where I walk, this still happens to us. I have several techniques to deal with this, and I'd be happy to share them with you.

Can I ask what training you were doing with your dog before you broke your arm?


D0oinMeCleanin Tue 23-Apr-13 11:22:51

We were doing a mix of BAT, 3 second greetings and lots of off lead socialising as she is very good off lead, depending upon her reaction to the dog and how close we could get without her reacting. She is far better with dogs who are larger than her than she is with small dogs and very tolerant of fellow pointies.

She was very good until she was attacked on lead, now she turns into a miniture, frothing beast when she spies an off lead dog while she is leashed.

Yes please to the tips. My way of dealing with it involves letting go of my friendly terrier and allowing the strange dog to greet him while whippy and I escape to a safe distance, but this doesn't always work, sometimes they greet the terrier and then follow us sad

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 23-Apr-13 11:32:04

If you find the answer D0oin please let me know.

I am having the same problem with NewDog, other people tell me ooh my dog is friendly he just wants to say hello.

Good for you. My dog would quite like to eat your dog when he is on lead.

trashcanjunkie Tue 23-Apr-13 11:43:40

aaah pointy dogs! I walk several, and loves 'em too.

how exactly are you doing the behaviour adjustment training?

there are two ways I tackle this. One of my dogs, (who's quite old and goes in for nipping the offending dogs face accompanied by loud snarling/ barking - which is terrifying if some ones precious puppy comes gamboling over, or some enthusiastic young 'un) I've had great success with a well fitting cloth muzzle. She is much calmer, and keeps it together so much better, which in turn leads to her having better interactions with strange dogs, and the whole situation eases. I need the muzzle less and less these days.

Another of my dogs is a staffie, who will growl and snap the air near the dog if he feels threatened, but that is all he'll ever do - and it's kind of fair enough in my opinion. He likes to sprint off straight after that, and would never continue any aggression. My technique with him, is if I see a dog approach that I don't get a good feeling from, I slip his lead off and he handles the situation himself as he sees fit.

I would advise against trying to escape, or shouting at any point, as it merely ramps up any tension in the situation. Are you as relaxed as you could be? Are you inadvertantly adding to Whippys' stress in the situation?

If Whippy is really good off lead, you could try just letting go of the lead as the dog approaches and swiftly marching past the offending dog, looking ahead and chatting in a high pitched enthusiastic tone.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 23-Apr-13 12:09:37

I understand your problem. I'm not sure i could comply though, however much I might want to!
I am the new owner of a 12 week old puppy, obv also in training. All the advice I've been given is to get her off lead ASAP in order to prevent problems in the future with recall. I do call her back every time I see an on lead dog and well, so far so good! But it isn't a guarantee that a young pup will be able to control her impulses, however much we try to!
I'm not being difficult and it's a genuine question......what should I be doing different that will not impair the training of BOTH dogs?

trashcanjunkie Tue 23-Apr-13 12:41:50

ooh I have to go to work now, but that's a great question whoknows I shall return to this thread later and we could all three of us, (and whoever else joins in,) get our heads together and come up with some great solutions I think! A flow chart of doggie excellence

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 23-Apr-13 14:02:53

WhoKnows, the people who are clearly trying their best, especially with young puppies don't bother half as much as the ones who half heatedly call "Fluffy, here Fluffy, oh well...." while shrugging their shoulders at me. A quick apology and high tail out of there afterwards would be nice too.

The ones who really irritate me are the ones who tell me I am the wrong for having an out of control dog hmm She is on a lead and glued to my leg in a heel position you numpty, how much more control do they want?

I'm in a massive rush atm, got fat camp to go to but reply to your posts later when I get chance trashcan.

Ruralninja Tue 23-Apr-13 14:26:39

have I missed something? Your dog is aggressive on the lead and you reasonably expect other, non-aggressive dogs to be prevented from normal doggy investigative behaviour? Weird....

toboldlygo Tue 23-Apr-13 14:45:26

"The ones who really irritate me are the ones who tell me I am the wrong for having an out of control dog hmm She is on a lead and glued to my leg in a heel position you numpty, how much more control do they want?"

Yes, this, a thousand times yes. Winds me up every time.

My reactive dog isn't aggressive in the slightest but he's very nervous and worried. Before we adopted him he had never met other dogs and has very little idea about how to interact normally. He either goes in all guns blazing leaping about, yowling, sniffing and generally being all up in their face or, if encountering another dog doing the same, totally loses his nerve and starts shrieking and leaping about as if he's been scalded.

It's exhausting and easily misinterpreted by other dog owners who think he is lunging and growling in an aggresive manner and is about to attack their dog. He's not, and never has, but it could easily appear that way if you're not familar with him.

It would be a billion times easier and more pleasant to walk him if loose dogs didn't approach him while he's on the lead, causing him to do his shrieky thing. He's improved a hundred times over with variations on BAT and intensive socialisation but a bristly off-lead dog getting all up in his face will still result in him flipping out because he doesn't yet have the capability to deal with it.

I keep him on a lead, I am physically able to prevent him from lunging, I keep him away from the offending dog should the owner accuse him of being aggressive (which has happened - generally they are so far away as to only hear the growly screaming and assume he's started a fight). I only ask that other people would do the same and call their dog off. We have no interest in 'doggy investigative behaviour', we can do that at various clubs in a controlled enviroment. We are out walking for exercise, not socialising.

ditavonteesed Tue 23-Apr-13 14:49:21

I also have a dog aggressive dog and she has perfect recall if I see someone in the distance she is leaded, dogs should never be allowed to appraoch an on lead dog, my other dog is fine but if a dog is on lead I call him back too and either put him on lead or make him walk to heal. dogs can be on a lead for any numbers of reasons and it is just never acceptable to allow your dog to approach them,

ditavonteesed Tue 23-Apr-13 14:50:23

oh and not to mention the amount of times I end up spinning in circles trying to stop dogs getting to her, drives me mad.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 23-Apr-13 14:54:37

Oh dear ruralninja I'm a first time dog owner who knows next to nothing, but even I know that!

In a 'wild, natural' environment do you think wolves interact as playmates with those outside their family pack? Or do they fight?????? Especially when provoked (eg. Uninvited dog charging up to them) or frightened
And feeling threatened. On a lead a dog does not have the choice to run away, confrontation is his only option. Idiots who do not attempt to keep their dog away from such situations are the CAUSE of the fight, not the scared animal restrained by its sensible owner
<walks away from thread shaking head despairingly>

Ruralninja Tue 23-Apr-13 15:01:28

I think if you have an aggressive dog, regardless of on/off lead, it is you as the owner who has responsibility for your own dog. It isn't the dog's fault of course that is responding to a perceived threat, but it's up to you as the owner to walk the dog and control it's behaviour if it it's aggressive. It's a bit silly to suggest that all the other dogs in the world should be trained to perfect recall - most dogs enjoy interacting with other dogs.

Ruralninja Tue 23-Apr-13 15:03:14

And what 'wild, natural' environment has got to do with it is precisely nothing!

ditavonteesed Tue 23-Apr-13 15:04:56

all dogs should have perfect recall.

ditavonteesed Tue 23-Apr-13 15:05:29

dogs should only ever interact with other dogs when both owners have agreed to it.

Whoknowswhocares Tue 23-Apr-13 15:05:36

Perhaps a dog, with its natural instincts not having been eradicated for the convenience of mankind, would be prepared to disagree with your less than expert view!

Ruralninja Tue 23-Apr-13 15:13:12

Oh god another thread full of dimwits! I don't know what's up with MN today, honestly...

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 23-Apr-13 15:13:18

RuraIninja. dogs should not be off the lead if they do not have good recall, not around other dogs anyway.

And owners should not allow their dogs to approach any other dog/person unless they are told its ok. Thats basic courtesy.

notsoyoniface Tue 23-Apr-13 15:24:31

Have you heard of the 'yellow dog project' I have only seen it on FB, but it looks quite good. I think it's only just taking off in the US so it may come over here yet. It means that you put a yellow ribbon on the dogs lead to let other dog owners know that your dog has issues with other dogs or people. I really hope it takes off here as one of my dogs is terrified of other dogs and people as she was abused as a puppy.

mistlethrush Tue 23-Apr-13 15:33:08

D0oin - you would hear me bellowing as mistlehound spotted you as a speck in the distance and I would do my utmost to get her back before getting near Whippy - of course it is not sensible to let your off-lead dog approach an on-lead dog unless invited by the owner - why on earth do people think that it is on the lead in the first place?

I have seen the Tshirt option recommended as helping to calm dogs down a lot and help them with stressful situations - will try to dig you a link out after school run.

cq Tue 23-Apr-13 15:51:48

Watching with interest. I always TRY and recall my dogs before they go charging up to another dog, whether on or off lead. Not always possible when you suddenly come upon someone round a corner.

But if an on-lead dog was bothered by my dog, I would immediately grab her, pull her away and apologise profusely.

IMO, the dog on the lead is 'in the right' as the owner has it under control, however it is reacting. If my loose dog caused a problem then it is totally my fault.

Sadly not always possible to avoid these situations but if all owners are reasonable then hopefully the situation will not escalate.

Really like the yellow ribbon idea, but not sure how easy it would be to spot a yellow ribbon from afar. Guess any warning is better than none.

ditavonteesed Tue 23-Apr-13 15:58:44

the yellow ribbon is a good idea, although the lead in itself should be all that is needed, what if my dog was on a lead becasue it is recoveing from a major operation, would it still be ok for your dog to come and play with it? cq that wouldnt bother me in the slightest the thing that would bother me is people who think I am in the wrong for having an on lead and under control dog that doesnt want their dog sniffing round it. Ruralnija it is just common courtesy never to let you dog approach an on lead dog, and if you do your dog is the one that is out of control no matter how the on lead dog reacts.

pinkbraces Tue 23-Apr-13 16:00:52

Oh god another thread full of dimwits! yep, just take a look in your mirror!

My dog just doesnt like to be approached, off or on lead, and no matter how many times I ask people not to approach its as if Im talking another language.

I really like the idea of a yellow ribbon

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