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Advice needed ref my dog who doesn't react well to other dogs

(10 Posts)
ScaredyCat42 Wed 11-Jan-17 14:27:06

My rescue lurcher is very nervous with other dogs, I don't let her off the lead (recall non existant) and I never know the best way to handle the situation when other dogs that are off lead come up to her. When a dog does come up to her she stiffens and tolerates their sniffing for a few seconds then growls/barks and sometimes gives a warning snap. A dog snapped back at her yesterday and I was really worried it would turn into something more as I don't know what I'd do 😦. I stay away from parks to avoid as many of these situations as possible but when I'm walking her down the path and there is a dog quite a distance from their owner I'm never sure if there is certain action I should take, apart from trying to call to the owner that my dog is not good with other dogs. I do end up standing still (more rooted to the spot with indecision!) when another dog approaches. This probably all sounds very daft but I always feel I'm in the wrong as the other owners reaction always gives me that impression. If I am I want to correct my actions. Lots of ramble, sorry!

TrionicLettuce Wed 11-Jan-17 14:39:45

I've got a reactive dog and I tend to take evasive action where possible. If it's not then I call to the other owner to get their dog back whilst shovelling treats down my reactive boy's neck. If the other owner doesn't (or can't) get their dog back then a handful of treats chucked at them will often stop them in their tracks so either I can make a getaway or their owner can get hold of them. People can sometimes be quite arsey whatever you do when you've got a reactive dog, the best thing you can do is remain unfailingly polite/reasonable (easier said than done, I know!!) and ignore it as much as possible.

For the reactivity I can highly recommend the CARE method, I've made great progress with my boy using it.

Tinkletwinkle Wed 11-Jan-17 14:42:22

I would keep walking.
I think the standing still lack of action opens you up to the other dog approaching.
My dog is elderly and irritable around other dogs, I keep her walking and shoo off other dogs with a cheerful tone. It is the responsibility of the other owner to control their animal, not you. Don't let them make you feel like you don't know what you are doing. They should have their dogs under better control if there is an issue.

Tinkletwinkle Wed 11-Jan-17 14:43:31

*because yours is on the lead, theirs isn't. blush

BoxTurnBaby Wed 11-Jan-17 14:46:37

My girl has a YellowDog bandana, which says "I need space".
She's never on lead as she is less likely to react if she can move away, but she does not like dogs approaching at speed as she was attacked a few years back.

ScaredyCat42 Wed 11-Jan-17 14:58:44

Hello, thank you, that is really useful advice. I've had a quick look at the CARE link and will study further tonight. I'm going to go on the walk tonight loaded with treats and a plan to keep walking! I've thought about the yellow bandana but not sure how many people know about it. May invest in one anyway though as it can't harm.

BoxTurnBaby Wed 11-Jan-17 15:12:18

My feeling is that if it kicks off I've done everything I can to avoid the situation - like in a supermarket the yellow cone might not stop someone slipping on a wet floor but the supermarket has covered itself. IIRC under the latest control of dogs legislation it hugely mitigates if you can show you have done as much as you can to avoid a situation

I get a lot of people asking about mine, which helps spread awareness.

mum2be88 Wed 11-Jan-17 15:27:21

I have a rescue husky who is like this. We have made great progress in the last 6 months, however I'm definitely going to get a bandana from the charity mentioned above! Thanks for sharing smile

TattyCat Wed 11-Jan-17 22:39:38

I'm sure there will be those who disagree, but I've used treats with my rescue dog (3 months in now) every time she meets another dog, whether they interact nicely or ignore each other. I don't treat though if there's any sign of disgruntlement from either dog. Not sure whether it's right or wrong to do this but it works on mine as she's very food orientated.

If treats aren't your dogs thing, find out what her 'currency' is and see if that works. Also don't forget that she will pick up on your anxiety and different behaviour.

luckylambchop Thu 12-Jan-17 12:50:13

My dog growls at any dog that gets in his space. If I suspect we're approaching a persistent sniffer, I keep him on a short lead, on the opposite side of me to the dog (if I can) and just keep on walking, saying loudly (for the owners benefit) "You're OK! Let's keep going!". It mostly works, not always but mostly!

I find some owners of off-lead dogs infuriatingly thoughtless but that's another rant for another day!

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