How to deal with a dog that's hurting my dog?(12 Posts)
On a local dog-walking field today with my dog. It's a good wide open space which is fenced in, so it's popular with owners of dogs who aren't great at recall. Most of the local dog owners are well aware of this and make allowances for exuberant dogs - me included. My dog isn't boisterous and has a very good recall, but we use the field as it's local and convenient.
Today we were playing fetch. My dog is friendly and likes other dogs, but after saying hello to other dogs, she prefers to get back to playing fetch with me. This other dog - twice the size of my dog - ran up to us and jumped up at me. The owner said, 'oh ha ha, he thinks everyone is his friend'. I was polite, said I didn't mind - which I don't really; I do expect to get a bit muddy on dog walks. The other dog then wanted to play with my dog - leaping around her and so on, so my dog had a brief run-around with him, then came back to me as she wanted to play fetch again.
This dog then just wouldn't leave us alone. He was constantly jumping up at me, then in turn jumping at my dog. My dog didn’t want to play with the other dog – she was trying to ignore him, wanting me to carry on playing fetch. The owner did nothing to stop him. I walked away from the dog, knowing my dog would follow me and stay with me, which she did - hoping the dog would get bored and go back to its owner, who remained at a distance just watching and not doing anything to stop the dog jumping at me or my dog.
Then the owner left the field, through the gate, closing the gate behind her, but bizarrely left her dog in the field with me and then watched us through the gate.
I continued to ignore the dog and just walked away with my dog, putting the ball away in case the other dog was excited by the ball throwing. But then the dog started jumping on my dog. It was so boisterous though and so much heavier than my dog, that he hurt her - she yelped, started whimpering and her tail went right down. She was clearly frightened. I pulled the other dog off my dog, crouched on the ground between the two dogs, and held them apart, and then called to the owner to come and get her dog. The owner just stood there!
I carried on calling to the woman to come and get her dog, and eventually she came back into the field, but strolling really slowly to us. In the meantime, I'm crouched on the ground, protecting my dog from the other dog who continued to jump at me - my coat was covered in mud! I shouted to the dog owner to hurry up and get her dog, and she continued to stroll really slowly. I was really quite annoyed by the time she got to us and I snapped that she needed to have better control of her dog. She replied that she came to this field because the dog is boisterous. I said, I understand that, but if you can see your dog continually jumping up at someone, getting their clothes filthy, and also jumping on a dog half its size and frightening and hurting it, then you need to intervene or get it on a lead at that point - not stand there watching it and then strolling over really slowly. Her reply - 'it's not my dog; it's my son's dog'.
Is there anything I should have done differently when the other dog jumped on and hurt my dog? I thought about picking my dog up, but thought the other dog would continue to jump at us, risking me dropping my dog. Walking away wasn’t working as it followed us and carried on jumping at us.
I can certainly appreciate how frustrating this must have been. Over the years, I've simply developed a rhino skin and now simply will not tolerate this. I would have kicked up a fuss the first time the dog jumped up - owners need to understand that it's simply not acceptable to jump all over strangers like that.
I would also have asked owner much sooner, firmly but politely to call her dog away (you can always say you want to do some training, if you want to be polite!) . If she doesn't, then simply move away and take your dog elsewhere. If the dog follows, escalate from Firm and Polite to PG Wodehouse style Aunt (think it's Aunt Agatha, who bellows like a mastodon in a swamp).
I've had a number of vulnerable dogs over the years including one who had recovered from spinal paralysis and was incredibly fragile so I had to be super protective with her from this type of numpty. I also can't have heavy dogs jumping over my legs because it triggers post cancer lymphoedema, and I used to have a very good friend who had a post cancer op stoma bag and also disliked being bounced over. Neither of these are "visible" disabilities and not necessarily something you should have to explain when out and about, never mind the damage to clothes.
My dog likes playing fetch instead of playing with other dogs so I just say to the other owner as soon as the dog has said hello that my dog doesn't like other dogs and they tend to then take them away . If necessary I put mine on a lead and walk a bit away before taking him off again to indicate that I've done my part to keep him separate and that they need to do the same . Some of the regular dogs we meet know or ignore him so we can walk with them as they just let him get on with his own thing .
Thanks both of you for your suggestions. I've been lucky so far - I've had her 18 months and this is our first bad experience really. Your suggestions are all really sensible and I'll store then away for any future encounters like today's. I definitely should have asked her to recall her dog sooner in hindsight. I suppose I just kept expecting the owner to intervene when she saw what a nuisance her dog was being!
You should have told her to get her dog away as soon as it started bothering you!
"That's enough now, call him off, please."
"Call your dog off now."
"Call your fucking dog off or I'll photograph it and you and report you to the police." Then get your phone out.
I'm afraid I am just plain rude in situations like this.
I usually recall, ask my dog to watch me and wait for the person to pass making it really obvious I am not interested. If a dog approaches I block it and walk away.
Funnily enough it rarely happens when I have the barking German shepherd with me
I probably would have put the other dog on a lead and taken it back to her
You were far more patient than I'd have been.
My gsd has dodgy, painful back legs especially now it's cold and damp (both cruxiate ligaments done) and he's fine saying a quick hello and sniff, but after that he's just not interested especially if they're young and bouncy. If they persist, especially around his legs and bottom he can get a bit grumpy so it's just not fair for him to be in that situation.
I put him on the lead if it's a dog or owner I don't recognise, as well as immediately asking them to recall past the first 30 second hello. If they don't or the dog is too overwhelming I'll hold it by the collar, make my boy sit and stay and take the dog back to it's owner.
Slightly off topic but my dad is like this with his dog. It's like she's a bloody princess. My kids can't pet her too much because she doesn't like it. My dogs have to be fed separately when parents visit as dads dog gets scared (she doesn't. She's a vicious little jack Russell ). She fights with one of my dogs and it's always my dogs fault! She barks at everything and is never reprimanded. In fact she growls and fights with nearly every dog she meets and dad will always make an excuse 'she wanted to play and other dog didn't'. BOILS MY BLOOD!!!!!
Thanks everyone. Definitely a lesson learnt. Thinking about it, it could have been worse - the dog could have injured mine, so I was lucky the first incident like this was just with an overwhelming and over-exuberant dog. I've been lucky so far and have mainly encountered considerate dog owners. I'm going to put on that rhino skin and do the 'firm but polite' thing in future!
If she does it again and you're feeling bold, you could try going up to her and get right up in her face saying loudly and repeatedly "Hiya! Really good to see you again! I love meeting other people! I'm a really sociable person! Give her a big really really tight bear hug then start grabbing her arm hard enough to hurt and asking her to come and practise a bit of touch rugby with you. Then if she objects tell her you're just being friendly.
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