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We are not very popular. Advice please.

(61 Posts)
chipstick10 Tue 15-Jan-13 18:49:54

I need some advice as this is new to me. My darling old dog died last June, he had been with us for 15yrs. He wasn't keen on other dogs and was always happy playing with us or just sniffing around in the park.
We now have a new rescue dog and he is the complete opposite and is very sociable. He is still a puppy and loves rough and tumble. In the park I know he is the dog other owners dread seeing. He play fights all the time. He never growls or barks and just pins dogs down and play bites their ears. Some owners are really happy with this and tell me it is nice to see the dogs playing but I know other owners are less happy. They tut and tell me to keep him on a lead. One woman the other morning pushed him away with her walking stick. I absolutely dread going to the park now, every day is a nightmare. Am I over reacting? What is the eticate I have no idea?
I think perhaps I should keep him on a lead but another part of me thinks why the hell should I. Trouble is once he's in play he doesn't recall very easily.

zonedout Wed 16-Jan-13 14:32:49

Thank you scuttlebutter and I'm so sorry about your darling girl. I must say as much as I feel blessed that my doggy has made it to such a ripe old age (she had a very aggressive cancer when she was young) I am finding it really hard watching and waiting and knowing that it won't be long until her quality of life is no longer good enough. I can't imagine her still going by the Summer sad I haven't been without a dog for 20 years and she has been the most wonderful girl.

As for my ds, taking him on dog walks are now horribly fraught. I am such a massive dog lover and I am devastated that he is so fearful. By the same token I am not surprised as the attack on our dog was pretty awful. Her ear and face/head were absolutely savaged and ears bleed a lot so what he witnessed was pretty traumatic sad

Sorry OP, I seem to have done a bit of a hijack blush

groovejet Wed 16-Jan-13 14:29:37

I used to be the one with the dog other owners dread, Flynn was a terror at recall and I used to get a crick in my neck from constantly looking around for dogs on leads so I could spot them before he did. This is despite him having perfect recall at dog training.

It got better, started to meet other dog owners who were happy for the dogs to play together, in this situation I made sure I worked on recall so I could recall him back from exciting situations.

Now walking is far more enjoyable, he has really improved, he now sits and watches other dogs to pick up their signals, me knowing that his recall is now good I am more relaxed and he picks up on that.

He still does have his moments, border collies are his downfall he loves them.

There are loads of tips on here if you search, on how to improve recall and make it more exciting and that has been the key for us I am now (usually) more exciting than other dogs making Flynn want to come back to me -a kong tennis ball helps on this!!

Scuttlebutter Wed 16-Jan-13 13:29:09

Chipsticks, one of the things you might find helpful is to contact your local greyhound rescue. We regularly use a field rented by a local greyhound group which is secure and has high fences - this means we can let our four dogs off the lead and they can have a wonderful hour of off lead play/zoomies etc with absolutely no worries about the local Yorkshire terrier convention coming round the corner at us grin It also allows us to practice our recall in a distraction free zone (well, that's the theory anyway). We also go to Sighthound Playgroup regularly which might be nice for your pup - lots of lovely off lead frolics in an indoor riding school. It's fantastic to see them all playing together and doing high speed Wall of Death!

digerd Wed 16-Jan-13 13:11:47

Same applies if it had been a human female btw

digerd Wed 16-Jan-13 13:10:18

I liked your post, and showed how that puffed up chested worst type of male human is the problem and NOT the dogs.

chipstick10 Wed 16-Jan-13 11:23:50

Dd has taken the dog to the fields today where there are hardly any other dogs. My dog needs a good run and I couldn't face walking him on a lead today. But I might get myself a whistle and try some extra training in the garden. If I can get him back quickly then I will be more able to get a lead on him when the need arises and I will feel in more control. I am not a couldn't care less dog owner. I am acutely aware of others and dog walking has become less and less enjoyable.

Dunno why I told that story, as it isn't really relevent. Ahem. I was just musing on the madness that is dog ownership <slinks away>

I was in the field the other day with my dog and a couple of friends' dogs. All was fine, the dogs were all pootling, mainly ignoring each other. Then, shattering the silence, came Knob Man. He had his dog on lead and was storming towards us in a right fury. He bellowed that his dog was dog aggressive, so we needed to put all of our dogs on leads. We all did this hmm at him, and my friend politely enquired why he was storming towards a group of dogs happily snuffling under hedges instead of, you know, avoiding them. Well, he puffed up his chest and went in to one about how his dog had the right to exercise too and the world didn't revolve around us. He totally didn't get the irony and was quite pissed off when we started laughing. His dog was stood next to him the entire time, seemingly relaxed, ignoring the other dogs as they ignored it. Bonkers. He eventually stalked off after giving us the hairy eyeball for a minute. This is a large field, btw, holding four football pitches.

mistlethrush Wed 16-Jan-13 10:13:42

I am aware that there are some dog trainers who work with their own dogs and their client's dog to get the client's dog to understand a bit more about doggy language and etiquette - if you could find something like this that you could get to it would be well worth it, because your dog needs to learn what the signs are for a dog saying 'stay away, I don't want to play' compared with 'play with me'.

I've just recently got a rescue - and she's just learning. She got roundly told off by a collie the other day for chasing him whilst he was going after a ball - she wanted to play with him, he wanted to get the ball - she got told off in no uncertain terms. She backed off, and all was fine - lesson learned.

Floralnomad Wed 16-Jan-13 10:11:00

Where I walk ,which is a quiet local field / trim trail , there is a man who walks a Chow on a lead and I just tell my dog to leave him and he simply walks past , I don't feel that I need to go as far as putting mine on a lead. I agree with chickens that no one is perfect and as long as people try to remove their dog then that's fine ,its the owners that are nowhere in sight or simply can't see the problem that I take issue with. Equally whilst I'm on my soapbox I get mightily cross with people who's dogs take my dogs ball and then they can't get the dog back to get my ball back. Also whilst I'm busy outing myself I'm also cross with the woman who told me not to throw my ball because if her dog got it she wouldn't be able to get it back ! Bloody dog owners !

Gomez Wed 16-Jan-13 09:58:11

I think maybe the amount of space / circumstance matters. So in a park, limited space dog walking circuit I would put my dogs lead on if the dog approaching in on theirs, or move in another direction or do something to prevent the dogs walking past each other.

In a field no, out in the country I probably don't. Generally cause she won't approach other dogs and when there is space she darts around hunting imaginary rabbits so few dogs actually bother her/can catch her.

But really dogs are all different and sometimes it will work and other times it won't. Mose people are doing their best. There is a poor woman around here who has a vicious to other dogs terrier thing she has spend years trying to sort it out. Now just walks on a long lead and warns you not to come close.

Christ, I sometimes think that people have stronger opinions about dog ownership than they do about parenting grin

OwlLady Wed 16-Jan-13 09:57:55

I know, I do agree with you

It is hard, the recall thing. Because they have to be off lead to learn, and sometimes you think they have learned and the buggers show you up. I remember vividly being stood in a field as Jasper hightailed it over the horizon towards a football match. No point yelling, the wind was howling and he wouldn't have heard me. And he really loves balls. I ran/hobbled/wheezed my way across the field to find him sat in the middle of the field lying across the football. Luckily, the players hought it was funny and no harm done, but I grovelled and apologised like mad. Everyone slips up sometimes, no one is a perfect owner, I just think that everyone should be responsible for their own dogs behaviour. You can't expect other people to be tolerant, although of course it's lovely when they are. For the record I am always understanding and polite when a boisterous dog gets away from its owner as long as the owner gives a shit. I only get narky when they don't seem to care that my dog is now cowering and shaking between my legs.

OwlLady Wed 16-Jan-13 09:50:17

grin @ dogs with manners!

I tend to think dogs with poor recall shouldn't be off the lead yet in very busy situations confused but maybe I am shy and sensible too

Problem with that OwlLady is that you don't always get time, and putting your dog on a lead won't help if the other owner can't recall. You end up with a scared dog, on lead, unable to escape the off lead dog bouncing on them. I think that there would be more chance of aggro in that situation, tbh. If a dog runs up to mine to say hello, he will just avoid them. Dogs with manners take this as a sign and leave him alone, but obviously young dogs who have yet to learn their manners carry on regardless. That's why I tend to walk away while distracting my dog rather than automatically lead him.

Floralnomad Wed 16-Jan-13 09:47:33

Thanks chickens , I'm beginning to feel like a minority here!

Floralnomad Wed 16-Jan-13 09:46:43

If my dog is playing ball and minding his own business I think the onus is on the person with the dog that wants to play to remove it , if they don't then I move my dog on to another part of the field . I'd be mightily pissed off if the other dog then followed us . I may well be in the wrong here ( I don't actually care) but IMO my dog has a good recall and doesn't approach other dogs so its the person who's dog wants to play and won't respond to being recalled that should be taken away by its owner . I've no problem with them being off lead just take them away if they are a nuisance to other people . I'm not suggesting that the dogs should never be off lead as has been shown in my previous posts.

I agree with Floral (unsurprisingly). Tbh, I think most people are really good at 'reading' both the dog and the owner. They notice if you do an about turn and start moving off in another direction, and they distract their dog from approaching yours. If that doesn't work, most will apologise and remove their dog if mine starts panicking. If they seem oblivious (thankfully reasonably rare), I ask them politely to recall their dog as mine is nervous. Most people are fine about it, apologise and fetch their dog. Occasionally I meet someone who despite all of the above, thinks their dog should be allowed to bounce on my dog's head. My dog will then jump at the other dog, mouth at their face and make a lot of noise. I try not to automatically apologise, and they generally don't let it happen again. The issue for me is that every time we have a negative encounter, it sets back our training which is a pain in the arse. I don't walk my dog in a park, though, or take him to environments where dog 'play' would be expected.

OwlLady Wed 16-Jan-13 09:40:54

the putting them on/off a lead is signal to other dog owners I have always found

I know it sounds simplistic, but if you don't want bounding dogs near your dog put them on a lead and 9 times out of 10 the other person will too. I do realise sometimes this doesn't happen and it depends how busy the place you are walking is

OwlLady Wed 16-Jan-13 09:38:29

why don't you put him on a lead then when you see another dog? I do find if you do that the other dog owner usually will put theirs on a lead.

My older one is a quite a shy sensible dog and if off lead she walks past any dogs that try and play with her and gives them the look confused

Sorry if I have completely misunderstood what you mean but I have only read a few posts regarding on/off lead and old ladies with walking sticks

Gomez Wed 16-Jan-13 09:38:27

But Flora my dog off lead won't approach another dog either she is too busy doing her thing.

But if the dog approaching is on their lead I assume it is for a reason and so will reciprocate.

Gomez Wed 16-Jan-13 09:36:07

Doh - on a lead. No ahead.

Gomez Wed 16-Jan-13 09:35:33

Aye me too owl lady. Does remind me of a rather interesting encounter however. Huge Alsatian coming towards us on lead, so I stick my working cocker spaniel on her lead. Say hello to owner usual chat. Note that seeing as she was holding lead quite tight, dog straining a bit that we would move on.

At which point horse sized dog gets out of slip lead and lands on top of our dog and has a nip!

Owner than adds she's not sure what she is like with other dogs (or presumably people/small children as my friend and I are moving the 5 small children out the way) as she just rescued her that day...

There was no real harm down but it did reinforce my dogs fear when on ahead which now manifests itself in much noise if an other dog gets too close when she is on the lead.

Floralnomad Wed 16-Jan-13 09:34:49

But with respect owllady that is the issue ,just because my dog is off lead it doesn't give other dogs the right to jump all over him , my off lead dog would simply walk past another dog because he doesn't want to play so why should he be forced to . My dog is off lead having his exercise ,he is not a plaything for other people's dogs!

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