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If you have to keep your dog on a lead around other dogs....

(17 Posts)
babyblackbird Thu 28-Jul-16 09:08:37

How do you find this works in terms of how much exercise they need ? I am just beginning to worry that my dogs behaviour towards others is meaning he may need to be kept on a lead. I am prepared to do this but it will mean only really walking the pavements with him as there are too many off lead dogs in our open spaces.

I am worried that he just won't get enough exercise this way as he loves having a run and chasing a ball and our garden is not big enough to allow him to do this.

Interested in people's experiences.

Lilly948204 Thu 28-Jul-16 09:11:31

I'd either try to find him somewhere quiet to walk where he can be off the lead, or try and walk him at unpopular times of day so it isn't busy, again so he can be off the lead. (I know that is difficult with dog walkers, they are always out!) what behaviour is he exhibiting that makes you think he can't be off the lead?

Whitney168 Thu 28-Jul-16 09:15:12

Lots of places now have secure fields that they rent out to people either for training, or to allow freedom for unsociable/fearful dogs. You could try googling for your area, or ask on a dog forum? They are normally quite reasonably priced, and even if it was only a couple of times a week, at least he will get a free run.

Have you tried getting him used to a muzzle, so he is comfortable with it? Dual purpose, in that it will relax you a little as you know he can't do any damage if out walking and a dog approaches him - but other dog owners are also more likely to keep their dogs away.

Shizzlestix Thu 28-Jul-16 09:47:49

One of mine is appalling with other dogs, so we go to places where we're not likely to meet others or I occupy him with training. Have you tried a 50ft longline? They're useful if you don't mind the heart stopping jerk as they reach the end. Don't forget to only ever use it with a harness.

babyblackbird Thu 28-Jul-16 09:49:18

He has been attacked quite a few times in the past which has made him wary of unknown approaching dogs, and has more recently begun snapping at a couple of dogs who have approached him too fast or been very boisterous.

But yesterday he really went for another dog who approached him and wouldn't leave him alone and it was more than just a warning growl and snap. He didn't do any damage but it has really shaken me as he never used to retaliate if he got picked on.

He is still entire as I had been advised that his fearfulness would be made worse if he was done. I am planning to get him vet checked but practically won't be able to do that for a few weeks

TheoriginalLEM Thu 28-Jul-16 09:51:09

whoever gave you that advice was wrong!

Shizzlestix Thu 28-Jul-16 10:04:08

Neutering will not help, I tell you this from experience. The behaviour will not miraculously stop because he doesn't have his balls.

Socialise him massively with other calm dogs: find a local dog walker and see if you can join the walks, calm walking behind or alongside. Dogs bouncing in his face will still probably cause a reaction.

Train the 'look at me' thing, so he has to stop and focus on you rather than the other dogs. You could try treats to distract him, this worked well on a huge lab I know who went for one of mine every time he saw him.

In theory, other owners should be heeling their dog past an onlead dog. Irl, tho, few do. The only incident in recent years was because of a loose dog bouncing up to my on lead dogs despite telling the owner mine weren't friendly.

Whilst I don't wish to control other owners, I do think I have the right to walk my dogs in peace and I'd rather not have other dogs hurt because the owner refused to keep their dog away from mine. I only take mine to places where I can see approaching dogs and get out of their way.

Bubble2bubble Thu 28-Jul-16 10:43:49

It depends. If he is going to seek out other dogs and pick a fight then yes, he needs to be on the lead. If he is scared of other dogs and will come back to you when called, then he dosen't necessarily need to be on the lead.

One of my dogs was attacked last year and is now likely to snap if an unfamiliar dog gets in his face. He is wary of strange dogs and will avoid if possible, so my problem is usually lead walking on paths where he has nowhere to get way. I tend to walk him at quiet times offlead in a huge park where there is plenty of space and he can have a decent run. I also have no hesitation in calling out to other owners to keep their dogs away, or if necessary grabbing the other dog and holding them until the owner turns up if the dog can't be called off. It's unfair, none of this was my ddogs fault sad bastard agressive labrador who turned on him

babyblackbird Thu 28-Jul-16 10:45:13

Thanks for replies. I feel so upset we are at this point. I had actually thought he was getting better as I had done some walks with a friend and her dog in a real high dog traffic area and he was amazing and completely unfazed and relaxed by other dogs approaching him.

I walk him in the same place but not same route every day and I wonder whether he is a bit territorial as I find when we go elsewhere he seems less likely to react to other dogs. I am reluctant to walk him in other locations as my daily one I know well and know where I can avoid other dogs if I need to.

I have massively massively lost my confidence in walking him and my trust in him. I use to happily say that he would never start something and now I am just not so sure ( although he never approaches other dogs, but obviously if he is off lead other people are entitled to assume their dog can approach).

babyblackbird Thu 28-Jul-16 10:58:18

Yes Bubble he would never seek out trouble and usually sticks his head in a bush if another dog approaches him. He does his utmost to avoid direct contact with other dogs but is quite happy to be in very close proximity with them eg sniffing under same tree but if they are bigger than him or very bouncy he is nervous and has begun snapping occasionally - not every time, but it's the unpredictability of it that really worries me.

I literally didn't sleep last night worrying as I also have my young ish children with me on walks now ( although thankfully they weren't with me yesterday).

Bubble2bubble Thu 28-Jul-16 11:04:28

It's very tough . So often it feels like one step forward, two steps back sad An incident like you describe yesterday can set him back a lot.
Sadly if you are less confident, then he will also be.
Neutering will not help and may make his fear a lot worse.
Mixing with nice, calm dogs who leave him alone can boost his confidenece ( and yours )
Parallel walking with dog friends on lead is also good. Someone on here once suggested walking on lead behind strange dogs, which I have also done with a lot of success - means your ddog can watch the other dog without feeling threatened.

BleakBetty Thu 28-Jul-16 11:10:11

My dog has always been aggressive to others - with the exception of one small dog that he accepts - and has to be kept on the lead.

He's the loveliest, daftest, softest thing around people and kids (if a little energetic at times), but just won't tolerate other dogs at all. I don't know why. He was young when I got him as a rescue, and most of his story is unknown. At first, I let him off the lead, until he badly attacked another dog whilst walking. In the early days, I tried to socialise him a bit (with close supervision and lead or muzzle), but he will absolutely go for others if they look at him the wrong way.

But - it's not the end of the world! Grab a muzzle and a longline lead. Pick quiet times. Try not to react with panic if your pup side-eyes another dog. Protect other pets by keeping yours on the lead and look for free fields if you feel he needs a good run out - some have some great deals. Your dog will be okay!

If you choose to muzzle him, other dog owners will be more wary. Even if you're not sure it's necessary, it's a great deterrent for peace of mind. If I walk mine without, people will just let their dogs approach as I try to prevent it. All I get is, 'Oh, don't worry, he's fine!' and I'm like, 'Yeah, it's not yours that concerns me!'

tabulahrasa Thu 28-Jul-16 11:28:19

Longer walks, varied walks, longline or flexi with harness, running with him and the occasional drive off to the middle of nowhere to let him off lead completely.

That's what I was doing with mine, while he was sound enough (he has joint problems).

I also do a fair amount of stuff with him inside, because it's mental activity more than anything that they miss out on, so trick training and some scentwork.

Greyhorses Thu 28-Jul-16 12:26:12

We do loads of different things, luckily we found a place to walk that I can see for miles so I can let her off and recall her well in advance.

When I recall I ask her to sit and wait for the other dog to be recalled. If it isn't i usually shout a warning to the owner and if that fails I send my other dog to block it as he looks like a huge black wolf and usually makes owners a bit nervous and more likley to come get hold of fluffy. I also body block the strange dog so it can't get close to her.

We also run, attend agility classes and walk at quiet times of day so she gets plenty of excersise.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking your dog must be bombarded by dogs to improve. It's okay for your dog not to like other dogs, he just needs to learn he is safe with you and that other dogs aren't a threat and his behaviour will improve. Sometimes I find forcing my dog to be friendly is worse and actually it's easier to accept she does not want friends and it takes the pressure off.

Socialisation walks I found were a nightmare, full of out of control off lead dogs running riot. A structured training class is much better as the dogs are focused on owners not other dogs and so are leaving your dog alone.

Springermum1350 Fri 29-Jul-16 17:28:10

My dog was one u couldn't let off the lead unless u knew there was no one else around. During the brighter mornings I went at 5 am to the woods. No one there and we walked for miles. Do I have somewhere where u can go like that really early. Or really late?

babyblackbird Fri 29-Jul-16 22:10:31

I have really taken on board everything you have all said . I have armed myself with loads of treats and took dog out today with children in my usual walking spot and taken a deep breath to calm my own anxieties.

He was fabulous - 2 dogs came over but very politely and he didn't react at all so I treated like mad. I saw one much larger lurcher type which I have found typically charge over very quickly and we hung back until they had passed far enough away. He was generally so calm and relaxed I actually enjoyed the walk.

Obviously today was a good day and there will be days when things don't go so well but I am taking it one day at a time at the moment.

babyblackbird Fri 29-Jul-16 22:13:55

Springermum - i can't really do very early or late walks as I have 2 young children and my husband works very long hours so is usually gone by 7:00 am and not back until after 9:00 pm.

That's part of the stress that during the week all the dog walking is my responsibility and all these incidents have happened on my watch.

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