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My lovely dog growled and snapped at another dog today - feel awful!

(10 Posts)
theresnoonequitelikegrandma Sat 19-Mar-16 22:35:11

Our rescue dog, Meg, has been part of our lives for just over three months and we feel incredibly lucky with how well she's settled down. She has met several local dogs and their owners and although she generally stalks anyone walking towards us with a dog (which can look a bit scary) she's always greeted the dogs and people really politely and gently. Until today...

We met a lovely chocolate Lab this afternoon (both dogs on leads) and they just had a sniff at each other and then we went our separate ways. Meg had a good run around the field, we did some basic training homework and then we started walking home. She was off her lead but then she spotted a dog coming towards us and stopped, so I put her lead on. The other dog was off lead and came trotting over and I realised it was the same dog we'd met earlier so I assumed they'd be pleased to see each other again. To my horror, Meg started growling and snapping at the other dog's face! The owner called her dog and apologised, saying that it was her fault, although it turned out that she and her husband know my husband and our dog well and the two dogs have often met before.

Why did this happen? I was horrified to see my lovely girl being so aggressive and it has really worried me.

babyblackbird Sat 19-Mar-16 22:54:11

From a totally knee jerk reaction the only thing that jumps out at me from yr description is that your dog was on lead and the other wasn't. Mine definitely feels more vulnerable when on his lead and will behave differently as a result. That is also I would guess why other owner apologised.

LilCamper Sun 20-Mar-16 14:41:24

Being on a lead took away the flight option of fight or flight. She felt trapped.

Costacoffeeplease Sun 20-Mar-16 14:57:47

Yes, she was on the lead and the other dog wasn't

starjumper Mon 21-Mar-16 19:27:57

Yep definitely a lead thing. They can't display their normal body language.

MidniteScribbler Mon 21-Mar-16 22:15:00

Worth reading.

starjumper Tue 22-Mar-16 07:41:28

That article is great. Thanks for posting.

BadDoGooder Tue 22-Mar-16 08:00:51

Second all other pps that it was because she was on a lead, and couldn't do any of the things that she needs to in that situation, like body language, and the ability to fight or flight.
Leads are interesting things. My lurcher is much, much happier meeting other dogs off lead, because she knows she can run if need be. When she is on the lead I tend to place myself between her and other dogs, especially if they are off lead and she is on, as she gets nervous and does yelp if another dog shows too much interest.

BadDoGooder Tue 22-Mar-16 08:01:31

Oh and Midnite that's an excellent article, thanks for posting that!

Lokibuddyboo Tue 22-Mar-16 10:07:32

Like other posters have said it's because she was on a lead.
My ddog is the same when off lead he is great with other dogs but if he's on a lead he will bark and growl at other dogs and try to hide behind me.

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