A dog walking one...(31 Posts)
Out for a family walk, I had my 2 kids, family member bought their dog.
Dog was mostly off lead. It's a large dog, but more of a pastoral breed than a guard dog breed. Every time we saw an on lead dog, dog was recalled and placed on lead. Every time we passed anyone else, dog was recalled and brought to heel or told to sit until they had passed.
All was going well until we passed a smaller off lead dog going the other way, our dog was called to heel but the other dog approached and tried to play/sniff etc. Our dog turned quickly, barked and pounced on it, but let go when we commanded it to leave. The small dog ran off and our dog was called back to heel and he obeyed.
The owner of the other dog swore at us and said our dog should be on a lead. We think that as their dog approached ours, they were in the wrong (after all, if our dog had been on lead their dog could still have approached ours)
I think reading your comparison between humans and dogs you’ve got it wrong. Humans and dogs are different. There greeting of the butt sniff is equivalent to waving across the street to someone you vaguely not. It’s not as intimate as a hug. I have a dog who hates having his butt sniffed by little dogs so I’ve trained him to sit down when they approach. Your dog needs more training to ensure their defensive moves don’t come across as aggressive.
I think they shouldn't have let their dog approach yours without explicitly asking. But it's worth, especially if there is a size difference between the dogs, completely avoiding interactions with other dogs by either clipping a lead on or taking the dog off the path and placing in a sit. Because people WILL let their dogs approach if you try to be subtle. I do a big, obvious recall and take mine off the path into a sit whenever I meet other dogs so the owners (usually) get the drift that we don't want interaction.
I don't think you were in the wrong (their dog approached yours) and I don't think you should have been sworn at but I do think you have better information about your dog now and it isn't good for it to pounce on and pin a smaller dog so I think you need to be more explicit about making it clear to other owners you do not want your dog to interact with theirs. I think calling into heel is too subtle. So clip on a lead or place the dog in a sit and if those actions are ignored ask them to recall their dog and use body blocking to prevent an interaction that ( you now know) might be too rough.
However, try not to mull on and overthink today's problem. Take a breath. Figure out what you've learned and what you can change in future. Box it up and move on.
General dog walking etiquette is that if a dog is off lead it is fine to allow your dog to approach it. If your dog had been on a lead the other owner probably would have called it back. I don't let my dog approach dogs on lead but if the dog is offlead I leave him to it. My dog likes other dogs and is well socialised and I don't want to deprive him of doggy interactions. For me the lead is a signifier as to whether the other dog is up for that.
A dog on a lead is deemed under control. It’s then down to the other owner to recall or leash their dog.
I can't see how putting our dog on a lead would have changed anything
If your dog was on a lead you could have pulled it away and stopped it pouncing on the other dog.
Other owner was an idiot. If that happened to my dog, he’d attack. I pick quiet times and avoid other dogs assiduously.
I can't see how putting our dog on a lead would have changed anything? Our dog would have been in the same physical position
No, but you could perhaps have stood between the dogs and maybe blocked it as you walked away?
Or stood between the dogs and put your dog in a sit while you asked the other owner to remove their dog just while you pass?
I'm upset that we were sworn at in front of the kids, and I'm probably overthinking the whole thing but I can't see how putting our dog on a lead would have changed anything? Our dog would have been in the same physical position as it was so the other dog would still have approached (the other owner made no move to get the lead or recall their dog when we did).
I think it's 50/50. Maybe more so the little dogs owners fault.
They shouldn't have let their dog approach yours. But maybe they wouldn't have done if yours had been on a lead. But then plenty of dogs are more nervous/possibly aggressive and they're on a lead and the other dog isn't. So if you felt the other owner wasn't going to put their dog on a lead I can understand a reluctance to put yours on.
I put my dog back on a lead every time because she is nervous and might bolt if badly spooked by an approaching dog. Winds me up the amount of owners who still don't put theirs on a lead and let them approach.
Happened last week and my dog was terrified I always try to make a fuss of the other dog to show mine they're ok and the other woman yelled at me not to stroke her dog as it might bite me! Why on Earth it was off a lead, unmuzzled and allowed to run up to me I have no idea.
Read your update, I think you are massively unreasonable!
To pick apart some points:
- it turned suddenly, barked and pinned the other dog with its paws.
Whatever the intention was, whether it was a warning (most likely I think) or possible over exuberant play behaviour this is dangerous behaviour, particularly for a little dog who could be injured.
A huge number of dogs would react very badly to this and your have a fight on your hands.
- no growling
Some of the most dangerous dogs are silent, dogs that mean to do real harm often don’t vocalise, you really can’t rely on this.
- our dog was out of control, but so was theirs!
It is YOUR responsibility to control your dog.
- why expect another dog to tolerate rudeness?
Because most dogs do not want to be put in the position of defending themselves/chastising others and if allowed to happen and the dog learns that it’s owner never backs it up and it has to handle conflict itself you can end up with a dog that offers more and more severe aggressive behaviour with less and less provocation.
Oh the clobber paw! That’s a play move too.
Sounds like the other dog approached and initiated play and yours started to play. Little dog found it a bit too rough though.
Not a big deal.
The out of control bit is that the dog didn't come back when you called him
No biting, I meant let go with its paws- it had one paw on top of the smaller dog, so the smaller dog was kind of pinned down on the floor, but lifted the paw and came away when it was told to 'leave'. There was no growling either.
As for it being under control, possibly it wasn't but neither was the other dog because it approached without permission.
I am autistic so I might have got this a bit wrong. But with people, hugging is an accepted form of greeting like sniffing is for dogs. But if you ran up to a stranger and hugged them without warning, you'd expect at the very least to be shouted at or pushed off. So why do we expect a dog to tolerate another dog running up and sniffing, and say they're out of control when they do something back?
Overall sounds a bit of a non-event in dog interaction terms. There was no reason for the other owner to get arsey - don’t give it another thought.
If the dog is aggressive enough to lunge and pin, I am presuming this is what you mean by ’pounced on it but let go when commanded’ then yes I think you are massively unreasonable!
The dog should definately 100% be leashed OR have reliable recall and compliance to commands.
If asked to heel you heel, straightaway, irrespective of distractions, you don’t lunge and pin first..
I suggest you speak to your family and advise that they proof the heel command with distractions before the dog does that to the wrong dog.
I speak as the owner of an aggressive dog.
Dominance is bollocks.
Sounds like a play bow. Head down and bum in air. Tail wagging and normally smiling.
Let go? If it had hold of the dog then that’s not ok.
Define pounced on. You say he had to let go- did he bite the other Dog?
Your dog wasn't under control if it pounced on the other dog, though. A sniff hello is not the same as pouncing.
Little dogs can be so irritating and aggressive but because they’re small people assume the bigger dog is the aggressor.
Ours never approaches other dogs but occasionally a terrier or Spaniel will approach and persist. I tell owner to call them off and usually get told they aren’t bothered, they like playing. I explain mine doesn’t want to play and wants to be left alone. They ignore me. I say he’ll bark in a moment and upset yours. Still I’m ignored. Daft really because there is a point at which mine refuses to suffer yapping, nipping little critters any more and barks very loudly to warn. If ignored he’ll chase them off and as a faster, bigger dog he’ll trample them to squeals as he runs over them. Owners look appalled as their dear fluffy cockatoo yelps. I usually point out they have fair warning to call their dog back.
Oh, and just to reiterate the dog doesn't belong to me, I've called it 'our dog' because that's easier than writing 'my family member's dog' each time!
lostelephant our dog was walking at heel- next to owner, nose level with owner's knee- when it was approached.
'Pounced' means a bit like a cat with a mouse- back end up, paws down on top of the other dog. I can't work out if it's meant as a playful gesture, or whether it's asserting dominance over the smaller dog. Either way, the other dog was unharmed by it (no yelping and sprang up as soon as it was released).
Our dog gets nervous when he's on lead and other dogs are off lead.
In this instance, owner could see that we had recalled dog, surely etiquette would be for him to do the same?
Was it a playful pounce (that just happened to hit the smaller dog) or an aggressive lunge? If it's the latter I'd have just apologised and put your dog on a lead personally. It's a tricky one. Generally people assume off lead = friendly, but friendly doesn't mean they will always tolerate another dog approaching playfully. Only you know your dog and know what it will do with bouncy dogs. If it'll give a warning growl and go off on it's own, fine. If it'll pin the dog and aggressively growl, it might be best to keep it on a lead so other owners know to do the same.
our dog was called to heel but the other dog approached and tried to play/sniff etc. Our dog turned quickly, barked and pounced on it
You called your dog to heel and it didn't. Stop trying to put the blame on the other dog and put yours on a lead.
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