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How to get an over-friendly dog to go away?

(34 Posts)
TheDelectationOfSmaug Sun 28-Apr-13 13:24:54

Was recently out in a local park with DC.

A large labrador (or possibly golden retriever) came bounding over - not on a lead - owners nowhere in sight.

It was jumping up at my kids and was taller than them on its hind legs - they were crying and very scared and running away, but it followed us. It didn't seem aggressive but very over-friendly.

Eventually my DM who was with us got it to go away by growling at it and hitting its nose.

I was very shaken (as were DC) and couldn't help thinking what might have happened but for DM (herself a former dog owner).

Have any of you dog owners got good advice about how to fend off a dog like this and get it to go away and leave me and my kids alone?

3kids2cats2dogs Mon 29-Apr-13 14:09:52

this is how we have taught our little ones to behave around dogs (all dogs not just ours)


the end part is about dogs jumping up

pigsDOfly Sun 28-Apr-13 22:58:42

I find it extraordinary how many people do not control their annoying dogs in the park.

My dog likes to chase her ball, but the amount of times we've had other dogs not just trying to take the ball, which is annoying but that's dogs, but dogs that just won't leave us alone. I've been followed from one end of the park to the other by other people's dogs, and not a sign of the owner. Where are these people when their dogs are annoying others?

RedwingWinter Sun 28-Apr-13 19:29:11

Grabbing an unknown dog by the collar (sometimes even your own dog) can easily result in a bite. It's one of those things that ideally you train puppies to respond nicely to, but most people don't. Hitting the dog is also not a good idea because it too could result in a bite.

The 'be a tree' advice is excellent and the best thing to do. If it were an aggressive dog, rather than an overly-friendly one, 'be a tree' is still the best thing to do. It can be hard to remember in the middle of a stressful situation, so it's a good idea to get children to practise it in advance. Some schools have workshops to teach children how to respond to dogs, which is fantastic idea. (Also some dog trainers run these).

If you ever have to back away from an aggressive dog, back away slowly, don't make direct eye contact but do keep watching it so that you can respond to how it behaves and stop and 'be a tree' if necessary.

colditz Sun 28-Apr-13 19:06:52

Your own dog is not someone else's dog, is it? I know my own dog would never ever bite me if I grabbed her collar, but my mother's dog probably would. If you don't know the dog, you don't grab the dog. You don't touch the dog if you can help it.

Of course, all this is a lot easier if the dog in question doesn't have a turnip instead of a responsible owner.

Floralnomad Sun 28-Apr-13 18:25:38

I'm astounded that people on here think that the OP and her mother were out of order . As for saying hold its collar ,that's more likely to get you bitten than slapping its nose . The OP has asked what she should get her children to do in future and has been sensibly advised but TBH the person at fault here is the dog owner ,if you can't control your dog and its likely to jump up people it should be on a lead ,especially in an area where children are playing .

Whoknowswhocares Sun 28-Apr-13 18:23:25

Err but why did the DM mother NOT know if she has had dogs herself? Just how difficult can it be to hold a collar, even if you don't know to turn your back etc?

bubbles1231 Sun 28-Apr-13 18:21:21

No touch, no talk, no eye contact.
Arms in, turn your back.
Unfortunately the squealing and flapping that children do, whilst perfectly understandable, only makes it worse.
It's really important to teach children how to behave around dogs.

colditz Sun 28-Apr-13 18:21:05

Because NOBODY KNEW WHAT TO DO which is why this thread was started. It is not against the law to not know how to control someone else's dog.

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sun 28-Apr-13 18:18:26

Turn back on dog - risk of loss of eye, however minute already massively reduced

Hit a dog on the nose - possible bite from dog trying to defend itself

Whoknowswhocares Sun 28-Apr-13 18:13:51

Your mother should be thoroughly ashamed of herself. As a former dog owner she should know better than to put all of you at risk of being bitten.
Why on earth did she not just restrain the dog by its collar until the owner was spotted?

rainbowslollipops Sun 28-Apr-13 18:05:58

I look after my parents newf sometimes and he's always on a lead. When I see someone coming especially with a dog I pull over to the side, make my dog sit and wait for the people to walk past us. It works and that way if the people want to say hi, they can without having him pull me towards them. There's also a lovely staff who always says hello to me in the afternoons and whenever he jumps up at me I always no jumping and step back. His owner doesn't mind and if anything I think is grateful to feel confident that I'm in control eventhough he isn't my dog.

coffeeinbed Sun 28-Apr-13 18:03:10

A very firm No! should do it.
Then turn away, don't run, don't jump, don't shriek.
And don't hit.

colditz Sun 28-Apr-13 17:51:50

That's odd, because I can see a real risk of a child losing an eye from "he wouldn't hurt a fly"s claws

TheToysAreALIVEITellThee Sun 28-Apr-13 17:21:59

The only risk I see here is your dc thinking its ok to hit a dog to get it to go away because they saw an adult do it

MrsZoidberg Sun 28-Apr-13 17:19:06

Whilst I agree with the majority of advice on this thread, I must disagree with the tone and comments from DaisyDot.

If the OP and her children are not dog savvy (and it's not a crime to not be) then a large Lab bounding over is very scary. I was attacked by a lab when I was a child, and have never liked them since. I do not know the ages of the OP's children, but I was 8 when it happened and it was bigger than me.

One of my dogs wouldn't bite anyone, she is the softest thing ever - but she does jump up in excitement, and she curls her claws (like a cat - don't know if this is a husky thing or just her but I don't know other dogs that do this). It really, really hurts when she does it. She has left massive welts on me, that bruise horribly.

So the dog in the op may not have been aggressive, but this does not mean it didn't hurt. It also doesn't mean the children were wrong to have been scared.

OP, as many have said. Stand still, turn back or sideways on, no eye contact or vocals, no screaming and definitely no running. Try and stand between the dog and the kids. I would then have got your Mum to issue a command such as sit - it's usually the first (and sometimes only) command that owners teach.

ChewingOnLifesGristle Sun 28-Apr-13 17:18:17

'What exactly did you think an over friendly dog would do to you? It was hardly going to lick you to death.'

Hmm..How many times do we hear Oh, don't worry he wont hurt you..! As doggy slobbers and deposits mud everywhere.

It's not just about being scared. Some of us just don't like it. The mud and slobber all over my coat/dc for one thinghmm

daisydotandgertie Sun 28-Apr-13 17:13:31

But which is likely to do the most damage?

An over friendly dog who is being at best irritating or an over friendly dog which has been HIT on the nose by a stranger and growled?

With no prior knowledge of the dog, I'd put my money on the HITTING and growling being the most dangerous way of dealing with that situation. Over friendly is likely to knock over a small child, frighten a child, maybe even scratch it. Not savage it which is the serious risk the DM exposed them to.

The dog itself did nothing badly wrong. Yes, badly trained, badly controlled and too excited. Sounds like a fabulous dog tbh, to take all of that and not turn nasty.

BUT it is worth remembering it is impossible to 100% guarantee the behaviour of a dog, no matter how well trained. 99% maybe, but that's optimistic, tbh. All dogs have the potential to forget their manners and training at any time. It would therefore be handy to know how to react safely to a dog at any time by following the 'be a tree' advice on this thread.

I'm afraid I can't agree with the statement upthread which appears to suggest that agressive treatment of a non aggressive dog is in any way acceptable.

HoneyDragon Sun 28-Apr-13 17:12:53


I feel your pain sad

And it's bloody hard to recall a dog from fuss, praise and attention.

DeepRedBetty Sun 28-Apr-13 17:07:17

Stand still. Fold arms, turn your back. Train your children to do the same. Sadly rather too many dog owners think it's ok to let their friendly big hairy muddy pawed pet charge up to anyone they see.

Try to persuade DM not to hit dogs, not because it's cruel (although it is that too) but because she's lucky, the dog could have reacted badly, and in any case it's engaging and therefore 'rewarding' the unwanted behaviour.

Meanwhile, if you ARE the sort of person who doesn't mind dogs, please don't 'reward' dogs for jumping up. I'm trying so hard to persuade the younger Retriever not to do this, and it's very depressing when someone appears from behind a bush and immediately starts petting him, holding his paws, or even giving him biscuits.

saintmerryweather Sun 28-Apr-13 17:00:04

I would probably try telling.the dog to sit as well, in a firm voice.

idirdog Sun 28-Apr-13 16:54:11

If you hold your hand up, with arm outstretched and take a step towards the dog and say "away" in a firm loud voice 99.9% of dogs will pause and turn away.

Do encourage your DC to stand still when a dog approaches as running away, screaming etc will excite most dogs.

I actually think over friendly dogs are more of a menace than aggressive dogs. Aggressive dogs are usually on a lead they may be barking and lunging but are usually controlled by their stressed and embarrassed owners, however the "he will not hurt you, he only wants to play" brigade can cause a large amount of fear in children and other dogs.

flowery Sun 28-Apr-13 16:10:09

Stand still, ignore and make yourselves as boring as possible. Screaming and running not a good plan as dog will think its a game.

rainbowslollipops Sun 28-Apr-13 16:07:44

Your dm put you all at risk by hitting and growling at it. As previous posts have said you ignore the dog. No speech. No eye contact you simply turn and ignore.

MrsPeeWee Sun 28-Apr-13 16:07:29

Your DM should be ashamed. There was no reason that warranted the dog needing to be hit. Unbelievable.

colditz Sun 28-Apr-13 16:05:56

Also the vast majority of dogs DO nderstand "no"

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