aibu to expect people to respect my nervous and shy rescue dog on her dog walk by recalling your dog from approaching us?(65 Posts)
Went on a lovely river walk today. DDog is very shy and nervous and doesnt really enjoy her street walks although we do these twice a day to help her get used to all the new noise.
Weekends we have time to walk along the river on her long lead, she gets to go in front and ahead. She is a major sniffer so I always catch her up quickly, she really enjoys the river walk and so do I.
Today, out of no where runs a dog straight towards us with no owner in view. I'll admit I panicked due to not seeing an owner and ended up picking my girl up (not a small breed) and putting my back to this dog. Not sure if that was the right thing to do but that's what I did. Owner eventually came along, failed to recall multi times and wasn't bothered at all.
We went our separate ways and enjoyed the rest of a walk only to encounter them again. And again the dog legged it to us. By now I'm thinking it's a friendly dog and my DDog is ok but doesn't like to be rushed in to meeting new friends. AIBU to think this is just rude and if you can't recall your dog they should be on a long lead at the least?
I spoke to the owner and told him to sort his re call out and get his dog on a long lead but he just said his dog is friendly and happy!
It really nerves me, did I do the right thing by picking my girl up. We live the river weekend walk but I can't cope with that every weekend, any tips?
No sorry, everyone has the right to be off lead especially in an open area like you have described.
Please don't pick up your dog, I know you want to protect her but the best thing is for her to learn how to be with other dogs, all worked out great today if they were friendly with each other. You'll get used to it.
Other dog owner should have been a bit more sympathetic though
I think there's a yellow lead to show your dog is nervous, but I'm sure not everyone will recognise that, so not sure how useful that would be.
If your dog doesn't answer when you call them, they absolutely should be on a lead. YANBU.
Sorry but I disagree: If your dog does not come when you call him/her he needs to be on a lead in public spaces until you have your recall sorted!
Agree with not picking her up though, as you will not help her with her nervousness by doing so.
Sorry but I completely disagree with FerrisDay. Your dog was on a lead, theirs was not and couldn't be called back so therefore theirs was out of control. Dogs can be on a lead for all sorts of reasons - injured, elderly, blind, frightened, aggressive, you never know so it's foolish to let your dog run over to a dog on lead. If everyone's off lead then to me it's fair game, but if the other dog is on lead you need to keep your dog controlled and if there's no recall then that needs to be using a lead.
Your dogs 'right' to say hello does not overrule my dogs 'right' not to.
Thank you for you rely, I appreciate your advice and it is a very open space.
So should I just expect random dogs to run up to us and hope they are friendly then? The fact that our resuce girl is very nervous and shy but we need to accept others aren't?
how do the non lead dog owners know that my dog is friendly enough to be approached in such a manner?
A dog needs to be under control. If you can't see the owner then the owner can't see the dog. It's clearly not under control.
Friendly or not it's not ok.
But no. Don't pick her up. You could end up with the dog jumping up and caught between two sets of teeth.
My girl wear a yellow harness and lead and when other dogs approach she sniffs and decides if she wants to say hello or move on.
No DailyMail you shouldn't as it's rude on their part. I tend to walk my nervous dog at quieter times, or in open places where I can see a dog and head the opposite direction if they look like their not under control. If they do walk over I find a brisk walk quickly in the opposite direction can help.
Organise meet ups with friends who have nice, calm dogs who she can meet in a controlled way. A bouncy over the top dog is likely to scare her more at this point and will do her no good so I would be avoiding those interactions.
So many of these 'friendly' dogs have absolutely no dog manners and think it's absolutely fine to almost send dogs flying and jump all over them. Very rude dog behaviour which will get them told off one day!
"So should I just expect random dogs to run up to us and hope they are friendly then?"
Sadly yes, because there are some owners who refuse to have it that their dog should be under control.
Sorry, and not to be mean, but you come across to me as very PFD*
(*precious first dog)
I am a dog owner.
First tip never pick up your dog, I say this for 2 reasons, first it's the worst thing you can do for your dogs confidence, secondly it will make her and other dogs pick up on your fear and potentially could actually cause an attack.
All dog owners should have good recall it's basic dog training, however I've worked with dogs for many years and even my dog can become distracted, run off and have a wonder
all the while ignoring me
You are the pack leader, so you must be confident when walking your dog, if you show fear and anxiety the dog will pick this up, if every time a dog approaches you pick her up and get anxious it will only enforce her anxiety when meeting new dogs, your trying to boost her confidence, so hard as it is, stay calm and if another dog approaches and you don't feel comfortable just swiftly turn and walk another way, or let them sniff etc and carry on.
Picking your dog up is instinctive as you feel you want to protect her, however if you continue to do this she won't gain confidence and it will increase her anxiety to the point she won't know how to socialise and could become aggressive towards other dogs as she picks up your fear that they could harm her.
Try early mornings when there are less dogs and make every encounter as positive as you can, even if you don't feel it, act it
If you have friends with good natured dogs introduce them while out walking (not in the home as it's territorial so until her confidence is good avoid this), keep her on a shorter lead for now so you set the pace. Walks are to release energy and to be enjoyed, if your dreading taking her out she'll pick up on this, interact with her a lot while your out, take some treats, lots of positive praise while waking, especially when approaching another dog.
Sorry I'm rambling but I can't stress enough that dogs follow their owners and you need to be the role model of confidence, not timid and terrified
I have a nervous rescue dog too and have done a lot of 1 to 1 training with a dog behaviour expert. She would say that the other dog should have been on the lead and YANBU. I think it is not best to pull your dog away or lift it up -it will be good for her to meet other dogs - maybe distract your dog with treats. What I would have done in that situation as soon as I saw the owner was to call to him that my dog was nervous/a rescue dog and would he mind calling his dog back. Most owners are fine with doing that. You will probably find that if you do the same walk regularly then you will meet the same people/dogs and your dog will get to know them. Maybe take someone else with you next time. Your dog's confidence will grow in no time but it just takes a lot of time and patience. My wee dog likes to sniff away at other dogs and can be very friendly but then other times can take against a dog for no reason and would snap or bark. I know its mainly fear on her part but it can be frightening to others so she will always be firmly on the lead for the moment and I walk her always with one eye ahead on what is coming x
Thank you for all the advice I will take it on board.
To stress, my girl is not a small breed that I can pick up at a whim. I picked her up today out of fear and proved I'm mad enough to put myself between her and an Alsatian, off lead with no recal.
If I see a dog on a lead in an area where dogs would usually be off lead the I assume that the owners don't want their dog to be approached for whatever reason and call my dog off. So no YANBU.
My girl has got off the lead before and ran away from me at high speed ignoring me until eventually she felt like coming back. Sometimes this can happen and owners are not intentionally letting them off the lead. The dog may have ran off from the man chasing something or gotten spooked. Nervous dogs need a lot of TLC but you will get there. I'd defintely recommend contacting an expert -it has helped us loads and my girl is so much more settled by just doing small things. I would echo what other have said in that you need to be confident and the leader and they can sense fear down the lead. Hopefully that was a one off today don't let it put you and her off x
Out of curiosity, what breed is your dog, OP?
My girl is a Romanian street dog and I've had her with us for a year. It's taken time, love and trust to get to walking on the river run on a long lead,sniffing onlong
Aww Keep going as you are. You're not the one in the wrong here, they are. (Although I would take the advice about not picking her up!)
In terms of whether to pick your dog up then no, the best thing to do is keep walking, ignore the unknown dog and try to keep your own dogs' attention on you so there is nothing for the other dog to react to in your dogs' behaviour. I talk to mine in this situation in one of those slightly silly high voices trainers use (makes me cringe but it works) and give lots of praise for looking at me rather than the other dog, more often than not the loose dog realises we're not very interesting and trots off.
My dogs aren't nervous or reactive but they are bull breeds so I live in fear of any trouble with other dogs because I know mine are more likely to be deemed aggressive even if it's the other dog who causes the trouble. I only ever loose them when there's no one else around and lead them the second I see anyone coming in the distance, their recall is excellent so it drives me mad when people with less controversial breeds don't pay me the same courtesy.
Your dog looks to you for reassurance OP so it's important you don't panic in that situation, if you appear confident it will help build your dogs' confidence so he becomes less anxious. Until every dog owner trains and controls their dog properly (i.e. never) you will continue to have these encounters unfortunately, it's taken me ages to get confident with how I deal with them but I'm pretty good now if I do say so myself
if you can't recall your dog they should be on a long lead at the least?
Yes, but unfortunately in the real world you have to accept this doesn't always happen. Our dog is fairly small, most other dog owners have the sense and ability not to let a larger boisterous dog overdo it, but yesterday he got 'playfully' trodden on (the owner was apologetic and belatedly got hold of the collar).
YANBU but you will get people telling you that you are and that your dog just needs to deal with it. Carry something to defend the pair of you just in case, you can get anti dog alarms from Amazon.
Picking her up might cause the other dog to jump at you, a better strategy is to throw your coat over her. To the other dogs POV, she will just disappear. You can then scoop her up inside the coat and turn your back.
I think others have covered the reply I wanted to give already. I just wanted to add that you can get "I need space" leads and harnesses if they are likely to be of any use?
Aww mine is a Romanian dog too. I think they do have a lot of fear/nervous issues. Mine has come on a lot in the past year and a half but it has been a lot of work and the 1 to1s were the best thing we ever did. Mine is a bolter and will run from anything and won't come back till she is ready. But she is also a very loving little dog with us and we hope time love patience and training will all help xxx
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