If your dog has no recall keep it on a lead!(19 Posts)
I was so angry earlier. Took our dog hating medium sized pooch for a walk, she's on lead at all times. Where we were was really isolated but has a gate in and out. As we were coming back to the gate another dog walker enters the field and immediately let's their small dogs off lead. Their dogs make a beeline for mine while he stands chatting to someone and ignoring them. Cue me bellowing at him to recall his dogs while trying to get mine moving before she freezes, she had gone through her pacing states and was now crouching which is one step from freezing to the spot which is the step before she attacks/defends.
He makes a half arsed attempt to recall and of course his dogs have no interest in him whatsoever and carry on their trajectory towards us. So I have to maneuveure myself between the dogs to get and block the interest. It doesn't work. I'm now shouting my dog will bite his dogs if he doesn't come and get them as mine has now frozen to the spot. Eventually he comes over and picks them up and says I'm worrying over nothing as his dogs are friendly. No they arent. They're my dogs worst nightmare and she will go for them if they get too close.
If your dog can't be trusted around other dogs or you haven't bothered to get it to learn recall or you can't be arsed to watch what they're doing. Keep the bloody lead on.
I do agree with what you're saying.
I don't agree with not bothering to call your dog back, or allowing it to approach other dogs without checking it's okay, or not watching it properly. None of that is okay.
However I don't get the logic with owners that have a dog which is unfriendly towards other dogs yet still take it to fields and keep it on the lead?
If my dog wasn't friendly or if it wasn't good off the lead (for whatever reason) I would take her for normal walks - I have my whole town to walk her. I wouldn't take her over the field. What's the point?
You could have a dog who's recall is perfect but 1 time he/she may not come back when they're first called.
There's always a risk that may happen
If you don't want these dogs approaching you (which is fair enough) then why take your dog to a field when you can't let it off?
To me fields are to let your dog off the lead to explore and run. If my dog wasn't friendly and poor off the lead I wouldn't take it to a field.
I hope I don't come across as rude I'm genuinely interested.
"If my dog wasn't friendly or if it wasn't good off the lead (for whatever reason) I would take her for normal walks - I have my whole town to walk her. I wouldn't take her over the field. What's the point?"
Pavement walks get boring, for owners and dogs, plus you still meet dogs both on and off lead, but you're in a confined space. In a field I can see another dog coming, it doesn't just appear round a corner and there's room for me to move my dog away.
Also there's the bonus of not getting unexpected dogs barking at you from behind a fence.
If a dog is a bite risk shouldn't it be muzzled? Always put my dog on lead if I see another dog on lead and her recall is 99% (wouldn't trust her with livestock yet) but it's taken time and training to get there and in her younger days, she could have deaf ears if something like fox poo was involved!
Obviously this guy is a twonk but if there was a risk my dog might bite another it would have a muzzle on
How can a dog practice real life recall if is on the lead?j
Longline and harness, secured areas...
If your letting your dog off lead without being 99%* confident that it'll recall all that will happen is that you'll teach your dog that recall is optional, you basically set them up to have a dodgy recall.
* every dog will have that one random time it just doesn't come back, but that's obvious by the owner's reaction when it's that time.
I think it's extremely unreasonable to say if your dog is on a lead it shouldn't be in a field , half the point of walking your dog is so it can sniff out all the new smells whether it's on a lead or not . Pavements are boring places.
Goodness you can tell some people have never had real experience of a reactive dog.
Why the hell should a reactive dog only be allowed boring monotonous pavement walks (where fyi they still come across dogs and still react)?!? Also if you have a small reactive dog you can use a flexible lead intended for a large powerful dog, to let the dog have some freedom when you are certain no one else is there - which can require being in a field, for you to have a wide enough view to know there isn't another dog around.
Plus this whole 'if I had a reactive dog I'd definitely have it muzzled' thing. As long as you keep dog on lead, can hold your dog in close and prevent it lunging, tell people to recall theirs, preferably have a no dogs lead, you don't need to have them muzzled - you are already being responsible. So if a muzzle distresses your dog why put it through that? For my bro's rescue dog a muzzle actually means she can't be walked - FULL STOP. She is a tri-paw, who is fear based aggressive (appears from the scarring she has she was badly attacked in the past). Despite extensive training to try to get her to accept a muzzle she panics tries to drag her face across the floor to get it off, which, as she's a tri-paw, causes her to face plant the floor and she has injured herself in this way. She also shows far more aggressive behaviour to other animals when muzzled because she is far more frightened.
I walk her now (bro too disabled to handle her if she reacts). I can keep her under control right into me, but yes if someone refused to recall their dog / their dog wouldn't recall - yes she could bite it. And no I wouldn't feel bad about it - it would be their dog being out of control that caused it.
She is just as entitled as any other dog to have her basic phycological and physical needs met - which means she needs walks to get chance to sniff around, as well as exercise.
Oh and conversely I own an 'over friendly' dog, who's recall is only about 75%. I am under no illusions that if I loosed him off the lead and he got bitten because he wouldn't recall and was "just being friendly" that it would be entirely my fault and in no way the fault of the reactive dogs owner. So I keep him on a flexi-lead. It means if recall fails I have a way of forcing him to come back to me - which he is required to do when any dog comes along. I only let him say hello if he's calm and the other owner says it's ok.
I agree with op up to a point but think a reactive and aggressive dog should clearly be muzzled. When walking in woods we often happen upon other dogs, suddenly, what happens then?
Whilst I tend to agree with you somewhat OP if your dog is that aggressive then maybe you should muzzle it or keep to walks that aren't open fields where others go for the sole purpose of taking them off the lead.
"When walking in woods we often happen upon other dogs, suddenly, what happens then?"
Well I tend not to walk places without a clear view because my dog is very very reactive, but, um, why is it different?
With non reactive dogs if I was walking in woodland (oh I miss those days, lol) yes they might be out of sight for a few seconds behind trees or because they've gone round a corner first - but if they were gone long enough to be getting up close and personal to a dog I couldn't see yet I'd have called them back by then anyway because I'd wonder where they were and if I saw an on lead dog call them then.
Though if a dog is likely to kick off just at the sight of another dog (mine does) then yeah somewhere with obstructed vision is a fairly silly place to be if there's likely to be other dogs using it.
Very annoying when dogs are allowed to bound around with zero recall.
In the park the other day, greyhound type dog leaping around all over the place, bounds up to my small dog almost jumping on top of her. My poor dog's looking at me in a sort of 'get this horse type creature away from me' manner, when greyhound sees an, on lead, very large rotti; rushes over to that a starts leaping around it.
Rotti's not happy and start pulling towards greyhound, fortunately rotti's owner is in full control and gets rotti to walk away calmly; whole time the greyhounds owner is calling it's name and it's completely ignoring him.
Clearly my feelings must have shown on my face as he starts explaining they've only had the dog for a short while; well keep it on a lead then as you clearly have no control over it and if it gets bitten it's your fault. Stupid man.
Having said that, I don't understand why you wouldn't put a muzzle on a dog reactive dog. If your dog was likely to be reactive to people surely you wouldn't take it out without a muzzle on, why is reaction to other dogs different.
My dog's not reactive but he's got no recall (ex racer) and so is only let off in enclosed spaces. He loves a sniff round a field though. I also find it frustrating when other owners let their dogs off and can't get them back/are so far behind that their dogs are uncontrolled. Most of the time they're just being friendly but the odd couple of times they've gone for my boy who is an absolute gent and wouldn't hurt a fly. If you can't get your dog to come back to you and it attacks or gets attacked by a dog on the lead, it's your fault because you're the one whose dog is out of control. I really feel for you, OP.
I've been on both sides of this - our old girl could be very reactive to what she perceived as a 'rude' greeting. I could tell which dogs were likely to upset her. Not breed or size, just an over enthusiastic approach.
She had great recall so I could call her back and leash her and she would ignore the friendly dog for 5 mins or so while we walked on but it would take a toll on her and she'd be very worried for the rest of that walk.
If, as often happened, the owner would fail to get control of their dog after 5 mins (which is quite a long time to be followed & pestered tbh) she would erupt quite badly & be much more reactive for a while after.
I felt like I was failing to protect her by playing nice so, if the owner really wouldn't or couldn't recall, and I could see her reaching her threshold, I used give a quick spray of travel deodorant over the 'friendly' dog's head.
Worked a treat!
One of my current dogs is very bouncy & friendly (teenage greyhound )
She can be called away from onlead dogs - as long as it's not the first dog we meet on our walk.
Been fine until last Monday when she bounced up to an onlead shepherd cross doing her 'chase me' dance.
Yes he wanted to chase her. No, he didn't want to play.
It was only a moment and she came straight back when called but I felt dreadful. The shepherd was thoroughly unsettled. I know exactly how it feels and will be more vigilant in future
Years ago, I would agree with the people saying you should muzzle and keep a reactive dog on lead. I used to be Miss Insouciant, strolling leisurely round the woods while my very well behaved dogs bombed round ignoring other dogs and occasionally being attacked.
Fast forward to now and I have an extremely reactive dog. He wasn't always like this but he was attacked and became very reactive. He is very energetic. He needs to run, fetch balls or he's frustrated and naughty. I time his walks, I avoid other dogs, but other owners know better and tell me to 'let him play' with theirs and theirs are 'friendly, it's ok', let them sort it out together'. Dear lord, absolutely not!
My dog needs exercising properly, his recall is 100%, as is his leave it command when faced with other dogs. Why should he be on lead just because other owners haven't bothered to teach a decent recall?
Meant to add: I'm extremely careful, my dog has had no incidents bar one where he got beaten up by a massive lab since he became reactive.
I have a reactive Labrador, unfortunately because she is a lab, lots of people think she is friendly to all - she is not as she is scared witless, she has fantastic recall and can be off lead where no one is about but that's rare as I'm aware people/ dogs can be hidden.
Im astounded by the amount of fellow dog owners who have no idea how to behave responsibly!
I also have a large Airedale who is bouncy and enthusiastic but loves everybody and everything - he might but we ( his owners) know others might not be so keen on him so as his recall is rubbish he is never off lead unless enclosed private space
Just to add our lab became reactive due to a combination of a relatively minor attack by another dog at the exact same time as a severe phantom pregnancy following a very late first season - no issues at all until after these events when she was about 18 months - she now has almost panic attacks in the house when we have too many visitors and runs and hides 😢
I hate it when people can't control their dogs but try to justify it by saying 'but he/she is just friendly'!
I used to have a reactive dog, his recall was 100% and he was always under control off the lead. He was scared of other dogs due to being attacked, whilst he was on the lead walking on a footpath next to a main road. The other dog ran out the house and attacked him before I could do anything.
When we were out on walks, if it was an enclosed footpath, I would call him to me and either put him on the lead or he would walk to heel until we were past the other dog. If it was an open space, I'd only call him to me if the other dog was going to approach him, he'd try and keep away but some 'friendly' dogs don't get the message. If a strange dog tried to play with him, he would attack them. If I called him to me, he'd really try hard not to react and I'd ask the other owners to call their dog away but not all of them had control. I had to grab so many dogs and march them back to their owners. Luckily my dog would sit and wait for me to come back to him.
As for muzzling reactive dogs, if the other owners had control, there would be no issue!
I now have a 6 month old pup who thinks every person and dog is a potential play mate. When we are out, I'm teaching him to stay close and if we see another dog or person, I get him on the lead until I've asked if the other dog/person is ok to say hello. His recall isn't 100% yet, which is why I keep him close so I can get to him quickly if we do meet another dog and he doesn't recall. (He's only done this once)
Its not just reactive dogs that don't appreciate being jumped on, old dogs can have joint issues which may mean they don't want to play and small dogs can get scared.
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