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 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.
A dog on a lead is deemed under control. It’s then down to the other owner to recall or leash their dog.
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.
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.
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.
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