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other dogs don't seem to like mine :(

(15 Posts)
Dieu Tue 08-Dec-15 23:13:00

And very lovely he is too. He's a 7 month old male Shih Tzu, non aggressive and friendly. I can understand why older dogs might get a bit annoyed by his puppy playfulness, so give him a sniff and move on. That's fine.
However he recently seems to provoke a bad reaction in other dogs for no reason. He is kept on the lead most of the time, so it's not like he's running up to them and getting in their face/arse. The only exception pretty much is fellow pups, who like him just fine.
So today for example, we were having a nice walk by the river. Another dog (yappy wee shite, it tends not to be big dogs who have a problem) that was off lead just went for him and launched a full on attack, while Teddy was on the lead. Not even a word of apology or 'is he ok?' from the owner, though she did look quite shocked.
I just don't get it. Could it be that he's still 'entire', so other males feel threatened by him?
I remember reading somewhere that for every negative experience your pup has (with another dog), you should offer a positive one to make up for it ... but at this rate, we're not actually meeting any friendly dogs!
Any thoughts or advice?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 08-Dec-15 23:23:32

I don't know, sorry, but how annoying. I think he might be a bit young to be giving off mature entire dog signals but don't quote me on that, I might be wrong about that.

Is he very socialised with other dogs? Perhaps he's giving off signals to other dogs because he's not used to them?

PseudoBadger Tue 08-Dec-15 23:24:09

If he's on the lead make sure it's loose enough for him to display natural and calming body language. If you tense up and pull him he can't diffuse situations himself.
Also make sure his hair isn't obscuring his eyes, trim if necessary so dogs can see his face.
Do you know any friendly dogs he can play with off lead? Does he get off lead much?

potap123 Tue 08-Dec-15 23:29:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CrabbyCockwomble Tue 08-Dec-15 23:40:51

Why is he on the lead most of the time?

Whatamuckingfuddle Tue 08-Dec-15 23:47:38

My dog can react badly to dogs on leads, particularly young ones. He's not aggressive but I always keep him away just in case, he's never reacted badly to a dog when they're both off lead, I'm no dog psychologist but I've heard dogs feel more confident when on a lead and can exhibit dominant body language?. I'm sure someone who actually knows what they're talking about will be along soon - if not, maybe some training classes for socialisation and behaving in a safe environment around other dogs?

Dieu Wed 09-Dec-15 00:02:16

Thanks everyone. I keep him on the lead for this particular walk, as the river is very swollen at the moment due to the extra rain we've been having. He recently fell headfirst into the duckpond, so I'm not sure I'd trust him not to fall into the river! And he'd be a goner due to the speed at which it's running. The path alongside is just lovely though, and close to our home, so perfect for wee short walks.
He has recently been to the groomer, so the area around his eyes is all neat and trimmed. I had thought when his fur was longer that other dogs wouldn't be able to read his eyes, but if anything it's worse now it's short.
I'm a pretty laid-back first time dog owner, not precious about him at all really, so I'm not sure how it could be him or I eliciting this response from other dogs. Maybe the other dogs would be aggressive with others anyway, I don't know. With one, it started as soon as he saw Teddy from the other end of the street. Think I'll leave it to their owners to get the behaviourist in wink

Dieu Wed 09-Dec-15 00:04:39

And good idea about the socialisation classes. I never saw this as a problem from his point of view, as he loves meeting other dogs, but I'm sure it could only help.

Dieu Wed 09-Dec-15 00:10:25

And it never occurred to me that we might be getting this reaction because he's on the lead, so will look into this too. It's interesting stuff, this dog psychology business! Thanks.

Noitsnotteatimeyet Wed 09-Dec-15 06:38:21

My dog became a bit of a target at the same age - they're losing their 'puppy licence' so older dogs are less tolerant of them to start with plus they're starting to smell different if they're entire which can put some dogs' backs up

It got a lot better for my dog once he'd been neutered but 7 months is a bit early

babyblackbird Wed 09-Dec-15 11:09:48

My dog went through this at about 12/13 months. He is a lab so they mature later so it may correspond with your dog. It felt like nearly every walk a dog went for him. We have come out the other end now although occasionally a dog will still go for him and without fail it has been dogs approaching him that go for him. He now will never approach another dog as a result and is pretty nervous around other dogs. I suspect neutering him would avoid some of this unwanted attention but I also suspect it could tip him over from nervous to aggression so am not neutering hi just yet.

Anyway what I'm trying to say is try to get in as many positive experiences as possible and don't avoid other dogs, although I accept it is difficult if you don't know them and don't know if they will be friendly. Hopefully he will come out the other end like my chap.

CrabbyCockwomble Wed 09-Dec-15 11:36:47

The problem with him being on lead is, as others have said, that he can't so easily display natural social body language and calming signals. Most dogs also feel at a disadvantage when they're on lead (in terms of interacting with other dogs) and may display that in their body language (which other dogs then react to). Especially if he's been snapped at on lead and is therefore feeling nervous - the other dog may react to that and it creates a vicious cycle, iyswim. I understand why it's important for him to be on lead on that walk (I'm very wary with my dog around water!), but might it be possible to walk him where he can be off lead for a while, while you build up the good experiences again?

I agree with pp that this is where their puppy licence is starting to run out, too. Even my incredibly grumpy/defensive cocker is more tolerant of puppies, but a half grown bounder who bounces up to her wanting to play gets very short shrift. grin

There are some great websites and books about calming signals (the way dogs avoid conflict). Google Turid Rugaas, calming signals.

CrabbyCockwomble Wed 09-Dec-15 11:42:28

By the way, the other owner sounds like an arsehole - she should have been very apologetic if her dog went for yours, especially if yours was on lead!

Dieu Wed 09-Dec-15 12:00:38

Thanks all! Glad we haven't been the only ones to go through this, and that it's clearly not personal to him grin. Spooky Crabby, but I was on Amazon in the wee small hours ordering the Calming Signals book. My behaviourist said that reading it will make me want to throw Bailey's 'Perfect Puppy' book in the bin, so that's quite some endorsement grin
Thanks so very much for all your insight - it is proving enormously helpful to me as I don't know what I'm doing half the time

Dieu Wed 09-Dec-15 12:01:52

Oh, and will definitely start having more off lead time now that I've recovered from that humping incident

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