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etiquette, how should I react?

(9 Posts)
ditavonteesed Wed 21-Sep-11 19:05:48

when my terrier who is a little bit snappy at the moment is on the lead and perfectly under control is approached by 2 other terriers (it is always terriers that she ssnaps at) and I shout to the owners that she is snappy, they reply it'll be ok she needs teaching.
That may be the cas but I am trying to get past the snapping, I am keeping cherry on a lead unless there are no ther dogs around so i can control her interactions and train her.
So anyway their dogs approach cherry who is on the lead and she snaps at thhem, what shoudl I actually have donne, obviously I just pulled cherry away and carried on walking.
This seems to happen a lot, I tell people that she is snappy and they dont mind, well i do.

Tchootnika Wed 21-Sep-11 19:16:47

At what point does 'snappy' become 'bitey'/aggressive?

I think that if you're confident that she's not going to make unprovoked attacks on other dogs - i.e. she might growl at them but wouldn't bite them when approached 'reasonably', then you just get on with it: you've warned other owners, they should be more careful OR they're confident that their dogs will get away rather than being drawn in when 'told off'.

If, though, you think she's actually dog aggressive, then a muzzle would be useful.

It seems like the problem that lots of city dog owners have unless they're 101% sure that their dog is a canine angel - the question of who is potentially invading whose space and at what point? IYSWIM.

Tchootnika Wed 21-Sep-11 19:22:38

Also, if you're confident that she's not dog-aggressive, why the pulling her away when other dogs approach?
I know it's annoying when other owners ignore what you say, and I think it's a bit rude to allow your dog to approach other dogs on leads unchecked, but it's what a hell of a lot of people do...

ditavonteesed Wed 21-Sep-11 19:33:52

i pull her away after she has snapped, she has never biten another dog, but I have always stopped her when she shows aggresive behaviour, i dont want to test whther she would bite another dog or not. she is friendly with all the dogs she knows, can just snap at other small dogs that she doesnt know.
She did cathc another dog on the npse when my friend was looking after her, whether she meant to or not I couldnt say as \i wasnt there. she is much better of lead but then if something did happen \i dont have the option of her being in control iyswim. I will let her off if i cant see any other dogs as herrecall is excellent.
plese excus typing am ill.

Tchootnika Wed 21-Sep-11 20:08:42

I think if you've made it clear to owners whose dogs are off lead and who say it'll be OK, and if you're basically confident that she's OK with other dogs (and ultimately you want her to be sociable), then don't pull her away unless she's really growling, hackles up, etc.
You've warned the other owners - they're saying they're happy with the risk. Unless you think they seem to be completely off with the fairies, accept their confidence...
Your dog's more likely to stay snappy and defensive if she's pulled away from other dogs more often than not.
I think if you're in doubt and don't feel confident to do this, then in the short term a muzzle might be a good idea - at least that way you can let her get on with meeting other dogs, knowing that she's not going to hurt them.

I'm naturally quite cautious about these things, but more and more I see that a confident approach - assertive rather than wishy-washy - really works.

Vallhala Wed 21-Sep-11 20:36:26

I may be corrected here, I'm no trainer, but my take would be that by pulling back you are telling Cherry that there's reason to be concerned and communicating what she might see as your fear too her, plus making her feel more trapped and confined and thus more in need of getting a warning snap in to approaching dogs.

I'd take the line of distracting Cherry rather than pulling her away from nutty terriers. Take something which is of high value to her on every walk, be that her favourite toy, a ball if she's mad into chasing them or treats if food is her motivating thing and get her to sit then get her attention with the toy/treat, praising all the while, really sounding like a fruitloop to passers by enthusiastic. The aim is to get her to focus on you and the item and not the other dog/s... teaching the "watch me" command is excellent for this too.

Just my take on it, this worked with younger GSD who developed the habit of going mad on a lead to play with other dogs. No aggression at all in his case but other dogs were less than impressed, I was at risk of going arse over elbow, he was at risk of breaking free of my grip and running across roads so it had to stop and that is how I managed it.

Something I saw at a dog show recently impressed me too - a lovely big chunky Staffie with a green collar reading "FRIENDLY", designed to reassure other owners and passers by. You can get amber and red collars too, obviously denoting the appropriate outlook of the dog. Might be worth looking into as an extra measure for those who have dogs with issues or who are working on situations like yours.

ellangirl Wed 21-Sep-11 21:35:04

I agree with valhalla, if I can't avoid another dog coming up to my dog aggressive collie (because people don't listen!), I find praising her and sounding really happy and encouraging sometimes avoids her being aggressive. If I am worried and hold the lead taught, it makes her worse. You could also try getting between your dog and the approaching dogs- I think someone on here recommended I try this.

ditavonteesed Thu 22-Sep-11 07:33:18

thanks for the responses, she was like this for a while ages ago and we got her through it with positive work, watch me and look dog commands. for some reason she never growls, you can see a change in her body language as she is about to snap but she doesnt growl or give any obvious warning. I am confident that she wouldnt hurt another dog as when this has happened off lead it has usually turned into a game of chase with the other terriers. i think you are right about pulling her back, but once her teeth are out I dont see I can do much else.
On the other side she is a really well socialised dog and sees and plays with other dogs on every walk, as well as going to 2 training classes, I have also started to unnderstand since we got the puppy that what looks a bit scary is often play. I just really dont think it is play when she is on the lead.
I actually try to avoid taing her to the park too often as these situations often arise, but it is at the bottom of the road and I had a migraine yesterday so couldnt drive anywhere. Shee is fine in the aprk in the morning where we know most of the dogs in there.
Also I wonder if the park which is in the middle of a fairly urban area is thought of a their own territory bu far too many dogs as they are all walked there often, I know if we go there too often cherry starts to ignore me.
I do the sounding like a nutter really enthusiaitic. I want to get her a bit more toy oriented, she never really has been but is much more into balls since we got the puppy (is a spaniel so loves balls).

diddl Thu 22-Sep-11 10:02:27

How is the recall so that you can let her off more?

I know it´s quite a "Catch 22"

When we first got our dog he was always on a lead whilst he got used to us, the area & recall!

The amount of people who did an over dramatic sigh when calling their dog & putting a lead on.

Then if we let them "greet" & the were a bit growly-"oh it´s so much easier when they´re both off a lead"

Well yes, but we can´t let him off yet!

Then he was attacked whilst on a lead by a "don´t worry mine won´t do any harm"

(I think mine my have growlwd first as he was pissed off at being approached whilst on a lead...hmm)

So other than letting her off more & distraction I think the only other thing would be to ask them to get hold of their dog/put a lead on.

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