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Strange behaviour with other dogs

(8 Posts)
permaquandry Fri 21-Feb-14 10:09:24

Ddog, 18 months, been going to a secure field for a few months, interacting beautifully with other dogs. Albeit, mostly dominated by others.

Went this morn and met a bouncy 5 mth old, lovely dog, bigger and much thicker set than her, but very sweet. Ddog started playing nicely and then got a bit aggressive, snarling and jumping on them. I have NEVER seen her behave like this before.

I pulled her off then, she went back to play and got submissive. This dog was very powerful and perhaps playfully nipping her, then she yelping as if hurt, separated them again.

She then went back again (no filter) and she started getting a bit shouty again, then the pup laid right down very submissive, wagging her tail.

I think the weight and bounciness of the dog stunned her and the owner didn't seem concerned, which I was relieved about.

It confused me, I'm sure experts can explain. I was a little embarrassed, particularly as she behaved quite shouty and jumpy with other dogs after this. She bats other dogs faces, which must be very infuriating.

What I suppose am asking is not just why, but what should I do about this kind of display? Should I socialise her much more, or keep her on lead if she starts getting aggressive, or should I just watch and wait it out hoping she'll learn what to do and what not?

She has only really socialised with dogs off lead in the last 6 months, so am wondering if I've left it too late?

permaquandry Fri 21-Feb-14 10:16:38

I realise the above sounds quite dramatic, but what I'm asking is how best to handle dog interaction, if the other dog isn't happy about it, or if she isn't.

HoneyDragon Fri 21-Feb-14 10:18:17

Sounds like she was just communicating in doggy style to a boisterous pup to me smile

And the pup listened.

permaquandry Fri 21-Feb-14 10:29:02

Trouble is, she is normally the one being incredibly boisterous but as she's small, she doesn't have much impact, except with the face batting. I take it she has no idea how annoying she is herself? Blissfully ignorant grin

Whoknowswhocares Fri 21-Feb-14 13:26:46

Bit hard to say without having seen it, but my best guess from what you've written is it sounds as if she was telling the pup off for being over boisterous and rude.
Pup got the message loud and clear by laying down and stopping the rough play.
As an isolated incident, I'd not be concerned at all tbh. Perfectly normal dog interaction imo.

nuttymutty1 Fri 21-Feb-14 13:29:20

If she is showing signs of submission (hate that word)/nervousness when interacting with dogs choose very carefully the dogs you let her meet and greet. Do not let the dogs sort it out themselves.

Its a bit like getting a very shy child in year R and plonking them in the middle of a secondary school playground to fend for herself.

Your dog is unsure around dogs and that is fine do not put her in a position where she has to fend off dogs herself the only way she can do this is to get snappy and lungy. She will then learn that this keeps dogs away and do it to all dogs.

Let her have a lot of positive interactions with dogs that are not full on or bossy . Avoid dogs you do not know for a while to get her confidence back. Watch her like a hawk any signs of stress move away.

moosemama Fri 21-Feb-14 13:52:16

It's hard to say without seeing what happened. It could well have been her just putting an upstart pup in his place, but without seeing it would be wrong to speculate.

I would second what nutty said though. Socialisation is so much more than just letting dogs play together off-lead and many a canine social problem has been caused by allowing dogs free reign and not managing/curtailing inappropriate interactions. Yes, well socialised, sociable, sensible dogs will usually sort themselves out, but the chances of finding a group of such dogs conveniently walking in your park are slim to none.

To improve shyness and lack of confidence I find finding people with well socialised, sensible dogs to go for lots of parallel lead walks and have short supervised play sessions with is the best. I do know this isn't always easy though.

I am currently in the situation of having a rescue pup that needs exactly this process, but not having anyone to walk/play with. I tend to pick times when I know certain dogs will be in the park or over the fields to walk him, so that I can control which dogs he meets and interacts with. There are times I avoid certain parks/walks like the plague, as I know it's when particular 'problem' dogs are usually walked and I don't want to expose my boy to their behaviour.

I would also recommend signing up for dog training classes, as not only is it good for both of you, it's also another place she can meet dogs under controlled conditions with very little likelihood of her having any bad experiences. My boy has benefitted so much from puppy, then training classes and despite being a shy-boy by nature, can't wait to get in there and see his canine friends each week. He hasn't generalised the confidence he has developed at club to being out and about on walks as yet, but by controlling the dogs he does get to meet and interact with, we will get there eventually.

Blistory Fri 21-Feb-14 20:06:00

Mine bats too but only with known dogs and its part of her play routine. She also shows her teeth which looks scary and worries other owners but is clearly play behaviour and other dogs act accordingly.

Took a bit of getting used to but you get more confident once you learn to read your dog and you then start to be able to read others dogs. Plenty of owners don't bother but if you watch the dogs interact then you'll learn when to intervene and when to let them be.

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