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Just a confrontation in the park

(44 Posts)
GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 11:22:36

I have a greyhound, we got her 3 months ago. She's ok with dogs on lead, I don't let her sniff we just walk straight past.

Dogs off lead however are another matter, she feels very intimated by them bounding over. We were in the park opposite our house at the end of our 2 mile walk, I spotted a Doberman off lead so I walked round the edge of the field, he came bounding over and I waited for the owner to call him. He didn't, Doberman was very friendly, no aggression and wanted to play. Mine however reacted and snapped and was barking at him, I think she would have nipped him if I wasn't holding her so close.

I yelled at the owner to call his dog, nothing. I called again, nothing. He started strolling over shouting it's ok he's not aggressive. I asked again for him to call his dog away, I was shouting and becoming quite angry. I wasn't sure what to do, I was holding my dog tight so she didn't pounce on him but this dog wanted to play and wasn't getting the hint.

The owner eventually came over and said again, it's ok he's not aggressive. I said I know that, but you can clearly see my dog is distressed. She's not on a lead in a big park for no reason. He still didn't call the dog away! He was close enough to grab him at this point but didn't.

I said he needed to control his dog etc and he apologised. I apologised too as I swore at him when I was calling to him blush.

We actually ended up talking and he was a nice guy, but for some reason didn't understand that he had to control his dog because it wasn't aggressive.

Anywho, I get home and tell DH what happened. He said the exact same thing happened to him with the same dog about a week ago.

So what do I do in these situations? And how do I stop my dog barking and snapping at other dogs that come near? She's ok with dogs she knows, but strange dogs she's not keen on. She also doesn't react when we see other dogs, she's not interested and just walks past. It's only when they come up to her, she seems anxious and doesn't know how to react, so barking and snapping is the default.

As an aside, this Doberman was quite honestly the most striking dog I had ever seen. He was stunning!

puttingthegenieback Sat 28-Jan-17 11:28:49

As a dog owner and dog lover, my initial reaction is to say that you probably shouldn't take your dog into a park where there are dogs off lead - friendly dogs, as you say - until your dog can handle the situation appropriately.
Is your lovely greyhound a rescue? Good on you! They often have a number of issues that can take some time to deal with, as you are no doubt aware.

CommonFramework Sat 28-Jan-17 11:29:10

Training for your dog?

And training for the other dog's owner?

Sounds frustrating.

GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 11:37:54

We have to walk through the park to get home, it's directly opposite my house. So on this particular walk we went on it was unavoidable. And it's actually where I take her every day, she pees and poops the second we get there which is very convenient! And yes she's a rescue, perfect but just this little thing that holds her back slightly.

I did look into training classes when we first got her, the man said to wait a few months until she has settled, which she has so maybe I'll look into that again. I think she just needs to be properly socialised.

Once the Doberman eventually ran off she was wagging her tail and wanted to play. It's just her initial reaction I want to change.

Blackfellpony Sat 28-Jan-17 11:38:11

You weren't in the wrong and I wish people would control their bloody animals friendly or not. My dog has bitten a dog in this situation before (he has sore hips and it jumped on him!) and it's practically impossible to train your dog to ignore a dog when it's being harassed.

I would walk somewhere quieter away from the idiots smile

averylongtimeago Sat 28-Jan-17 11:38:52

I don't think it's helpful just to tell the OP to avoid the park - she is keeping the dog on a lead, and perhaps there isn't anywhere else suitable for a walk nearby?
Why not try something like this.
It might help keep the idiots away!

BiteyShark Sat 28-Jan-17 11:42:30

I do sympathise as I am trying to train my DDog to ignore other dogs and people and getting other dog owners to understand the when I put my dog on the lead and move him to the side means I don't want our dogs to meet and play is very frustrating as they just don't get it.

As you had called him to control his dog and he didn't means he was just an arse as any sensible person would grab their dog and not ignore a direct request.

JigglyTuff Sat 28-Jan-17 11:44:29

Oh god how frustrating for you. I always call my dog away if there's another dog on a lead as I assume they're on a lead because they're reactive.

The yellow dog scheme is really good as averylongtime suggests.

The guy is clearly an idiot, even if he wasn't horrible!

GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 11:45:33

Thank you all, I'm new to this and sometimes I don't know if I'm in the wrong or not. Part of it is me, my DH said I tense up as soon as I see an off lead dog, and she's picking up on that.

I like those yellow coats, I'd read about them but not seen them. I'll look into perhaps getting one. Thanks

cowgirlsareforever Sat 28-Jan-17 11:48:02

I don't think you should've shouted. That would make your dog feel very stressed and she sounds like she's already very anxious.

Floralnomad Sat 28-Jan-17 11:48:26

Agree with everything said by jiggly , and there is no reason why you should avoid the park , why should your dog be deprived of having a nice sniff around on the grass when he is perfectly under control , it's for other people to keep their dog away .

picklemepopcorn Sat 28-Jan-17 11:52:40

Distract your dog with really great treats and an excited voice and quickly walk away. By looking at the approaching dog (and owner?) you are signalling interest and to your dog, anxiety. Look at and fuss your dog while moving away. Other dog should quickly lose interest.

The thing is, it's normal and healthy for dogs to socialise. Not all breeds/dogs will be 100% bomb proof, so they will occasionally greet where they are unwanted.

GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 11:52:45

cowgirls how would you recommend I got the mans attention? I physically shouted because he was so far away, and then I got angry when he ignored me.

Part of the reason as well was because I had my autistic daughter with me who was behind me freaking out. In hindsight I should have been calmer, and part of the problem is me tensing up. But if I didnt shout there is no way he would have heard!

picklemepopcorn Sat 28-Jan-17 11:53:55

There is a group near us which organises activities for dogs to help them socialise. They gently introduce them to reliable dogs and help them overcome their anxiety. Can you look for similar?

GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 11:56:11

Thanks, I always stop when a dog approaches. Should I just carry on walking and ignore the dog? So if I take treats and dog approaches, I just completely ignore it and distract mine with treats and carry on?

Forgive my ignorance but how will she learn if she never has contact with other dogs in terms of just ignoring and walking away? Will that then come with time in terms of just ignoring and carrying on walking, then eventually it will become a non event to her?

cowgirlsareforever Sat 28-Jan-17 11:57:21

You have to focus on your dog. Turn it's head away from the other dog. Move away. Make it feel relaxed when another dog is around her. The aim here is make your dog begin to enjoy other dog's company. My dog isn't a barker, but I know for certain that if I shouted every time a dog approached she would get very stressed and also probably start to 'join in' with me.
The other dog will lose interest. The owner will come over to find his dog. Shouting over a long distance wouldn't help in this situation imo.

GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 11:57:55

I'll have a look pickle, thanks.

I did recently meet a lady who had 3 greys on a walk recently, we exchanged numbers and she said we could meet up soon at a local indoor riding school and let them have a run around. I'm assuming stuff like this would be good for her too? I have quite a few friends with dogs, maybe I should make an effort to socialise her more.

Stuffedshirt Sat 28-Jan-17 12:02:19

I honestly think that dog training classes should be compulsory for anyone wanting to own a dog. Part of any good class will include training for the owners, advice and socialisation for the dogs.

Your greyhound would benefit from being properly socialised so she's not scared when another dog approaches. The classes we went to started every week with this. Everyone had to stand in a circle with their dog. We all took a turn to walk around past every dog. The owners had to talk encouragingly to their pets as the other dog walked past and give them a treat for behaving.

Two dogs that came were a bit aggressive and the trainer paid them and their owners special attention, giving loads of advice.

We also did spent a lot of time on recall, which is another really important thing for owners and dogs to learn. It's all very well another dog bounding up to play but what if your dog is old/sick/frightened etc. Every dog off the lead should be under control.

If you see this man again I would gently suggest that even though his dog isn't aggressive and just wants to play, lots of dogs don't want to play.

Our dog is only interested in chasing and bringing back her ball. She doesn't want to play with other dogs but she's learned to politely tell them to get lost. I have had the odd ignorant owner who thinks my dog is out of order but most owners understand that dogs have a language of their own and if they've been socialised the dogs understand each other.

GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 12:03:58

cowgirls this is the first time I've ever shouted. And I've already said in hindsight I knew I shouldn't have, it just happened. I normally just say 'oh it's ok, don't worry' and get annoyed with myself for not speaking up. This is the first time I have ever been confrontational. I've read on here that other people call for the owners to recall their dogs in this situation, so I gave it a go!

I'll take your advice though in terms of turning her head and moving away. What do I do if she snaps at the dog? Tell her off or ignore?

exLtEveDallas Sat 28-Jan-17 12:08:12

Def a Yellow Dog coat, most owners will have an idea of what that means.

However I have to say. My friend has a rescue Lurcher mutt that sounds like your dog. She was a 'mare for chasing other dogs and barking her head off - she's not a bad dog, she wants to play but goes about it totally wrong. That came to a head when she was me, lurcher-ing all over the bloody shop and ignoring my calls until suddenly she came running back, tail between her legs howling her head off... She'd lurchered the wrong dog, a Great Dane, that chased her back and put her in her place!

Following that day she has been much easier to control smile

averylongtimeago Sat 28-Jan-17 12:13:17

I first saw the yellow dog coats at our local dog training class.
The class is more of a "dog club" than a class - we learn lots of stuff, but have fun too. I would recommend you try to find this sort of class, where your dog can gradually learn that not all dogs are a threat and you can learn how to teach her, iyswim!
This FB group is also very helpful:

GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 12:14:55

That's funny, we often pass a Great Dane and funnily enough he doesn't even get looked at grin.

Do people actually pay attention to the yellow coat? I'd like to think they do, but in this instance the owner was so far away he physically wouldn't have seen it. It's an excellent idea though, I'll have a look on their Facebook page and give it some consideration.

GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 12:18:31

Yes that's what we need, a dog club rather than training type classes.

I've requested to join the FB group, so will have a look there too.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Sat 28-Jan-17 12:19:49

Do you know any other dogs who are calm that your dog could 'practice' meeting?

I met a lady with a fear aggressive dog, he had been attacked and had to be on lead as he barked at all dogs. I put my dog on the lead, they had a slow calm introduction, and now he doesn't bark when he sees her. We always take care, she stands back and wags her tail until he notices her and decides what to do.

It has helped him as he no longer looks at every dog as a threat, and has started to change his behaviour after lots of 'good' meetings.

GreenieGables Sat 28-Jan-17 12:40:43

Yes, my friend has 5 dogs, we introduced mine to her spaniel who is calm, obedient and just lovely. It all went well and slowly we introduced the other dogs on other meet ups, but for some reason it has gone a bit backward. And I fear I could be the problem blush. She was fine with a sniff, but if they sniff too long she snapped. So I went to walking past dogs on leads and no sniffing, then it has come to this with dogs off lead.

I just need to chill out and ignore off lead dogs. We did have a very aggressive dog approach us, barking and snarling his teeth whilst growling. I walked briskly on (owner not in sight until a few minutes later) and eventually it left us alone. Maybe my fear has come from that. Who knows. All I do know is I need to nip it in the bud.

I'll give some of these techniques a go and go back to basics.

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