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Is there some sort of 'Dog Introduction Ettiquette' I don't know about?

(36 Posts)
ThatGhastlyWoman Thu 21-Mar-13 00:05:53

Because (and I may be being over-sensitive) I have noticed that a lot of people seem to want to hurry their dogs along just when mine begins to amble over for a good bum-sniffing.

It isn't that they're in a special hurry, I don't think, as I often see them bimbling along some time later.

It saddens me a bit when this happens, as my dog always seems to get much less out of a walk when she hasn't had any fun doggy encounters.

A friend has suggested that it's breed snobbery: I don't want to think this, but on reflection it really does generally seem to be people with 'purebred' dogs who do it. Ours is a mutt- a Rottie/Alsatian cross getting on in years, and a real sweetheart (I may be biased).

By the way, I am referring to dogs who are off the leash here- I would tend to assume that they haven't got behavioural issues that mean they need to be steered away from other dogs.

Anyway, I'd be grateful to hear about your experiences with this- or whether perhaps there is something I can do from my end (re-assure the owner by calling across to them that she's already had breakfast?). Obviously, most doggy people are friendly and do stop and chat, but we do have some mornings (like today) where my poor hound comes home looking a bit depressed. Anthropomorphism? Me?! grin

saintlyjimjams Sat 23-Mar-13 10:05:31

He's fine greeting dogs now - the kangaroo ing comes on lead walking to the park or beach when everything is simply far too exciting grin

HelgatheHairy Sat 23-Mar-13 09:41:32

saintly don't say that! I live in hope that the more dogs he meets my boy will settle! I know 3 is supposed to be the magic age when retrievers calm down but I don't want to deal with kangaroos till then!

He lives up to his name in that he LOVES retrieving, I'm lucky to have a 2 acre field where I can let him off lead every day. If I can get him under control there hopefully I can take the training through to walks.

saintlyjimjams Fri 22-Mar-13 12:23:16

Helga - god I had to check and see I hadn't written your post.

I have a 2 year old retriever who people laugh at on account of his kangaroo impressions. He also has no interest in treats at the park, and so was a bit of a nightmare, until he learned to retrieve. Now if we're out with a ball he listens carefully and will do exactly as told - the ball is his reward and it has really helped with outdoor training.

rubyrubyruby Fri 22-Mar-13 12:20:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BrianCoxandTheTempleofDOOM Fri 22-Mar-13 12:18:33

my dog is every puppy's friend - same mental age! grin She is 6.5 to half lab/mutt.

she is a domineering sod though. she has to be the boss and exerts this by standing over smaller dogs - needless to say she gets short shrift from them and never hangs around to be told twice! Puppies, however, instantly lie down and massage her ego, they then play happily together.

Our walks tend to be in a specified dog walking area, so if you go in there it is expected that your dog is a) ok with other dogs and b) well behaved.

aside from JRT straddling, my dog is well behaved and expert ball stealer blush

digerd Fri 22-Mar-13 12:07:51

We met a new dog this morning, who was lovely natured and very bouncy. Bit bigger and broader than mine, but my little miss liked him as he didn't overdo it and ran off chasing a squirrel. Mine would have run with him if I didn't have her on the lead, not that squirrels bother her, she just likes running.

I did meet a lady who said her rescue dog doesn't like any dogs, but as I know how males all love my girl , so far, I wasn't worried. Lady wouldn't risk them meeting up close, though.

Owllady Fri 22-Mar-13 10:03:56

my older dog is just very anti social
she is far too sensible for other dogs you know wink

Floralnomad Fri 22-Mar-13 09:06:00

It's the both owners being happy that is the important bit .

ThatGhastlyWoman Thu 21-Mar-13 21:53:43

Thanks for all the helpful replies- I imagine you're probably representative, and it sounds like a fair mix of good reasons. Most days we do meet one or two dogs she can greet (she's not quite as puppyish as I may have made her sound- she's 7 and only gets bouncy with one or two particular dogs she really gets one with). She's really quite calm and I wouldn't read her behaviour towards other dogs as 'pushy' or 'rude' in any way. She doesn't insist on going up if the dog clearly has no interest in meeting- she just alters course and walks on. Even if not, her recall is good.

I am not as seasoned a dog owner as you all sound, I admit; my partner has had dogs over the years but I've only had this one, and she came to us as a foster placement who stayed. We've learned together though, over the last couple of years but there are definitely some gaps in my education! Which brings me to the puppies thing: we meet a lot of boisterous pups, and my dog tolerates them very well. If they go too far, though, she will give them a maternal cuff, without hurting them. (I usually stop things before this happens, though it happens fairly rarely.) So... I kind of thought that this was part of the socialisation of dogs. Puppies want to jump up and play, and older dogs put them in their place if they get over-excited. I've approached this as a managed encounter, with both owners properly engaged and aware (if that makes sense?).

Any tips gratefully received!

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 21-Mar-13 20:13:21

Feels like catch 22 doesn't it? But I can't risk it because he is a menace when it comes to bothering people.

tabulahrasa Thu 21-Mar-13 19:00:29

fan - mine is the same, he's actually allowed off lead now, but he has no recall and no blooming manners, so I don't let him off. He's also still not allowed to play roughly and that is all he wants to do, so even with dogs I know well and who would play with him I can't let him anyway. So I've been using a harness and a flexi lead and sticking him on his real lead when another dog or person comes along.

Because mine is so big, I can't risk him bouncing on other dogs or a person, it's just not fair to them, so it's just a case of making sure he never gets the chance to.

I'm more than happy to get the chance for him to say hello to other dogs - I just keep a tight hold of him so that he gets to sniff and the second a paw leaves the ground I have him away, but people see him from about 200 yards away and quickly round up their dogs and go the other way, lol.

HelgatheHairy Thu 21-Mar-13 18:58:11

fan I honestly think we have the same dog!! I'm just about to start on Total Recall as well. My boy will do anything for treats at home but once we're out he doesn't care. Luckily we do meet a few dogs that let bailey say hello but I do feel bad for him when every dog ignores him.

Branleuse Thu 21-Mar-13 18:42:45

lots of dogs don't like exuberant puppies and lots of people don't find your puppy particularly adorable or cute when its terrorising their dog.

Jayne266 Thu 21-Mar-13 16:43:35

I would walk away from you but mainly because my dogs are nervous of dogs and I would worry they would start.

But I know what you mean I have staffies and they always get walked away from.

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 21-Mar-13 16:38:20

It was the dog who was unhappy btw not the trainer! He didn't even give up with a warning air snap. I'm hoping if I keep up preventative measures to stop him having too much freedom he'll grow out of it but fear I am mistaken.

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 21-Mar-13 16:33:09

He won't pause for anything Floral. We have only just managed to get him to do a quick watch me for treats. At puppy class he wouldn't touch chicken or cheese even if he didn't have to do anything for it. He is not interested in toys or balls uf he is out. He just wants to runs like maniac jumping up at dogs and people. Everyone always comments how friendly and good natured he is but unfortunately this manifests itself as him wanting to go and say hello to anyone and anything in an excitable manner.

He really isn't that food motivated. It worls well for clicker training commands at home and for instance out and about for lead walk training if no one else is about. I have been working through Pippa Mattinsons Total Recall book but we hit a brick wall as soon as meals were the reward for responding. He looked at me like I was mad and sauntered off and went to sleep. Since then he is reluctant to get off his bum even for hot chicken. He comes, but only after he's spent a minute or two assessing if it is really worth his effort. The trouble is it works on the premise that food is your dogs ultimate goal but he's not fussed. He regularly leaves meals.

He loves to play and I have tried special toys only appearing at the crucial moment. Our puppy trainer did bring her adult dog in to do some one on one but he drove her mad to the point where she was getting unhappy. The only dog he has 'listened' to is my uncles barky spaniel where he instantly offers calming signals and respects his space though they did play. Trainer just said to keep distracting and walk away if he continues to be impolite. Trouble is if he sees a dog he just takes flight and nothing will stop him

He is lovely natured in every other way but is such an attention junkie. I think he would be an outrageous and very cack handed flirt were he human!

gymmummy64 Thu 21-Mar-13 15:52:13

Just looking at your post again, I think the answer lies in what you have written.

good bum sniffing

fun doggy encounters

For Gymdog (and therefore by extension for me) bum sniffing is not 'good' and doggy encounters are not 'fun'.

I suspect you and your dog look around your field in a friendly and welcoming manner. That would be enough to send us to the other side grin

Floralnomad Thu 21-Mar-13 15:05:40

fan can you not get him back if he is going to harass other dogs by use of a toy /ball/ roast chicken ? Perhaps hire a trainer with a dog they can bring to practice with ?

foolonthehill Thu 21-Mar-13 13:52:30

we quickly move on as although foolishdog has improved greatly with much training...she still gets stressed if a dog won;t leave her alone when she has had enough. With dogs i know who will say hi then potter along beside us i can be less pro-active.

digerd Thu 21-Mar-13 12:27:39

Many females don't like too much avid bum sniffing which usually is done by the males.
I find a dog's body language is very clear. But sometimes a new dog can be uncertain. Like yesterday.
I am never worried when my little female dog meets a male dog < she is a little wary of all dogs> and until yesterday all females have been fine, except another small dog - Bichon Frise- was a bit off with mine as mine is not boisterous and perhaps has an aloof posture, and didn't respond to her play invite.
The Bichon barked and put her head low and pointed her nose towards her. The tone of her bark was " so, I m not good enough to play with then!!"

Both 2 years old. Mine didn't say a word. We both decided they didn't get on so moved on.

fanoftheinvisibleman Thu 21-Mar-13 12:22:25

I have 'the pup who just wants to say hi'. I am aware that this is a huge problem for other dogs but I am now at a stage where I am struggling to know what to do.

We did puppy classes and he spent half his time on a time out. I can now get him to do a watch me and sit before greeting another dog on lead but the second he has his treat he is swinging on the end of his lead. I am at a stage now where he is only off lead a couple of times a week when I can take him into the woods where I find him easier to manage. I can spot other people approaching and lead him. If I don't he hares off to leap on dogs a great distance away and I can't manage the situation. We are in catch 22 now where he gets little or no off lead play as I have to have him on lead before dogs arrive as he is just in their face otherwise.

The watch mes and walking away only break his attention in the moment and he is 0 - 60 again if allowed to reapproach. He is so bright at learning commands but other dogs are his holy grail and I am starting to wonder if we will spend our whole lives on lead unless really isolated.

Anyone have any advice?

gymmummy64 Thu 21-Mar-13 11:57:52

My dog does not Do Play and gets very irritated by dogs that do. If I see a dog I don't know who looks bouncy or over interested I walk in the opposite direction. Prevention is so much easier for everyone involved. Bouncy dogs that we do know where I know the owner can and will call them off are fine and good for Gymdog's continuing socialisation though I too stick to the 3 second rule.

A lot of my assessment of an unknown dog will also concentrate on the owner and if they are wearing earphones/talking on a phone/taking no notice of their dog then I will steer clear. (not suggesting you are one of these owners!)

westcottcitizen Thu 21-Mar-13 10:32:38

My dog only likes to be briefly sniffed. Too long and she gets cross especially if it's a small dog. She has certain dogs that she likes and will sniff and play. I don't let her be sniffed on lead - she really hates that!

HelgatheHairy Thu 21-Mar-13 10:29:20

I have an 11 month Golden Retriever who does a kangaroo impression on the lead when he sees another dog. I think this worries people a bit! Which is really unfortunate because he is sooo friendly and loves to meet other dogs. He is a bit wary of smaller dogs (especially westies as the local one tends to just bark and growl at him) but loves big dogs. (On lead as recall is a work in progress).

Is there a way to train him to be a bit calmer?? I think I just thought it was how he is.

I'd hurry away because my dog hates having his bum sniffed and would be very vocal about it. He has behavioural issues but still needs to be exercised.

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