Other dogs up in my dog's face - what to do?

(46 Posts)
perrieryay Tue 06-Aug-19 17:46:06

My boy hates when dogs get up in his face. He loves a good butt sniff but is clearly uncomfortable if the other dog gets right into his face. My boy is a German Shepherd/Husky mix (rescue) and I've noticed that Huskies' style of play is very physical/energetic (in a play fight-y kind of way). My dog is very low energy and doesn't really enjoy playing as he is a wimp.

Anyway, today we took him out (behaviourist has called him extremely well behaved when outside of the house) to the forest. My boy happened to be on the lead when a Husky and Lab came up to him. Their owner told them to move on but they didn't listen. The husky got right in my boys face (I think he was wanting to play) with a lot of energy. Like I said 98% of the time my boy cowers but today he sort of shoved the dog back with his mouth (no biting at all). The other owner said you have to learn to his Husky. We've met the husky before who is VERY vocal and the person walking him then was literally being dragged.

I'm just at a loss, what can I do? My boy always gets compliments as he mirrors the excitement/interest of other dogs.

OP’s posts: |
perrieryay Tue 06-Aug-19 17:46:38

Of course if the other owner had put his dogs on lead when he saw my boy this would never have happened.

OP’s posts: |
Jouska Tue 06-Aug-19 19:18:21

Avoid other dog walking numpties.

Your dog has a right to walk in peace without being harassed by rude owners and their dogs

namechangedforthis1980 Tue 06-Aug-19 20:08:43

Funnily enough we had a 1to1 session with a trainer last week about just this!

Our dog is little and just can't cope with dogs in her face, particularly if they're bigger/bouncy etc, jump up at me ( big no no) and are off lead when she's on lead. She doesn't bite but does this weird high pitched bark, which I worry will antagonise the other dog and she'll get bitten.

We're working on a few things, the most noticeable thing that's working is having a yellow nervous lead. I've definitely noticed people try much harder to leave her alone/recall their dog

Floralnomad Tue 06-Aug-19 22:48:36

I know you said your dog is husky mix but it could just be that he didn’t like the husky today , lots of dogs , mine included, have issues with huskies and apparently it’s because they appear to have a very aggressive stance to other dogs . My dog doesn’t like other dogs getting in his face and I work on a 3 second rule in that he gets 3 seconds to say hello and then I either intervene or move him on from being face to face .

Fucksandflowers Wed 07-Aug-19 20:19:02

The shove sounds possibly like a muzzle punch.

I think the 3 second greeting a pp described would be a good start but I'd be mindful that while possibly the other dog was just really rude/intimidating and your dog just decided on this occasion to tell it so, it's also possible that your dog really doesn't want to interact at all and if you keep letting other dogs approach him that muzzle punch might be a snap next time.

perrieryay Wed 07-Aug-19 22:48:34

Thanks for the input. I've been doing similar to the three-second rule, unfortunately the husky snapped at my boy the second he ran up to us.

My boy is very happy to circle/sniff dogs bottoms- we've had a behaviourist accompany us on walks (working on barking at strangers in the house) and she called him a "very well rounded and social dog".

Just getting sick of dogs being miles away from their owners and pursuing my boy when he is on lead.

OP’s posts: |


Fucksandflowers Wed 07-Aug-19 23:05:17

Yes, I just keep walking while the owners try, and fail to recall their dog.
Mine is under control, yours is not, not my problem!

Sometimes the dog gives up but sometimes we end up walking so far I am regrettably forced then to walk in the opposite direction back to the owner where I am quick to inform them that if my dog gets too close she will attack (she actually won't but she gets very stressed and upset) so hold it until I'm past.

If it's not possible to walk past I put mine in a sit and physically block the other dog from approaching but I don't like doing that if I can avoid it in case it gets frustrated and aggressive.

TheSandgroper Thu 08-Aug-19 01:25:17

My on-lead terrier also hates other dogs in her face. Particularly multiples as she feels like it’s just her against a pack. I have just worked on continuing walking and saying constantly “let’s walk, keep walking “ as they are commands she knows. I hope the constant litany in her ear, a very short lead and continual movement is enough. So far so good. And there is a treat reward once we have moved on.

SK166 Thu 08-Aug-19 12:17:11

Ah this is such a hard situation!

My dog is, unfortunately, the insolent adolescent who goes for a face-to-face greeting and frequently gets snapped at. Between that and my consistent training efforts you'd think he'd get the message, but no such luck yet. I think as dog owners we can all be very quick to judge each other as being 'irresponsible' if another dog behaves in a way that's difficult for us or our own dogs, but really I think it's better if we assume good intentions and work together.

I stick close to my pup and try to move him on from a face-to-face greeting pretty quickly, but if the other dog is on a lead then it's good for that dog to keep moving so they can't properly face off and build tension.

At the end of the day, the primary goal is your dog's safety and comfort and you can't control the actions of others, only your own, so I'd suggest if your dog is on the lead then walk him on. Or put him in a sit slightly to the side of you and ask the other owner to move their dog on.

If they're both off lead then that's trickier unless your dog has a perfect recall (in which case please tell me your secrets!!), but distraction is always my go-to. I keep a toy on me that my boy only gets on walks and if I'm having trouble bringing him out of a tense situation, I'll introduce the toy to try to diffuse. It's not completely failsafe, but it does help sometimes.

It's not a perfect world and dogs aren't robots - they're living creatures with will, personalities and complex social dynamics. We all have to work together to try to mitigate risks, whilst also being understanding of each other.

howdyalikemenow Thu 08-Aug-19 12:26:57

I have similar op. My dog is not interested in socialising with other dogs on a walk as all she wants to do is chase the ball. When other dogs run straight up to her and won't leave her alone/chase her/cut off her escape route when she tries to avoid them she eventually gets pissed off and snaps at them. I ALWAYS tell other owners she doesn't like being chased and if necessary I recall her and put her on lead and as other pp's stand between her and the overly familiar dog whilst asking the owner to recall their own dog.

The amount of dogs who completely ignore their owners is shocking and I've got cross on a few occasions recently when another dog just would NOT leave my girl alive in spite of weakly calling it to her with zero effect. I'm afraid I snapped and told her if her dog had no recall it shouldn't be off lead. You have my sympathies op. It's a tricky situation.

SK166 Thu 08-Aug-19 12:43:09

Training recall is a process. One you can't undertake without a dog being off-lead. It's a bit daft to say a dog should never be off lead until they have a failsafe recall.

My dog's recall was totally bulletproof until he hit 7 months and the dreaded adolescence. He's nearly 2 now and we work on it every single day and on every single walk. It's still far from perfect. He will ignore us if he wants to. We just have to keep working on it and he has to grow up a bit and out of the excitable phase. I get really bloody fed up of people making blanket statements about just keeping a dog on lead if they can't behave perfectly at all times, and just assuming that owners aren't working on it.

I could equally argue that my dog is very friendly and submissive, has never snapped at any other dog but has frequently been snapped at and attacked, and that any dog that has snapped or shown any kind of aggression should be kept on a lead. That's as dangerous, if not more so, than a failed recall.
I don't make that argument because I understand that it's stupid. A dog that's being annoyed by another one will snap. I understand that other dogs behave differently from mine and aren't perfect. I assume that other owners will, as I do, manage their dog to keep them and others safe. I assume that other dogs are also in processes of training, as mine is, and that if we're understanding of one another we can all enjoy our walks and keep our dogs safe.

I wish I met more owners with similar mindsets.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Thu 08-Aug-19 17:59:08

I think this is good.
Oddly though, content includes imagery of violence against women so miss out first few Para if you're feeling raw in that regard.

howdyalikemenow Thu 08-Aug-19 19:37:30

SK - I agree but the dog in question was long past the adolescent stage.

Screamqueenz Thu 08-Aug-19 20:04:25

SK please, please put your dog on a lead until recall is perfect. You are exactly the kind of dog walker that is being criticised.
Can you really not see that?

Screamqueenz Thu 08-Aug-19 20:05:52

You know you can hire fields for recall training, or do it in the garden?

Walney Thu 08-Aug-19 20:50:15

As long as the person is trying to train and practise recall I don't see the problem. Mine will never have perfect recall but she isn't aggressive and I know she enjoys running and freedom of playing off lead. It's quite unfair doing a blanket statement of keeping dogs on lead until recall is perfect, there are fields etc but those aren't always convenient and you need to practice in busy areas.

My issue is with owners who don't recognise the importance of keeping their dog away from on lead dogs and make no attempt to stop their dogs.

Screamqueenz Thu 08-Aug-19 20:59:51

A friends on lead dogs killed an off lead dog when it ran up to them, so forgive me if I seem quite black and white about this. I've seen the repercussions for everyone, it was a horrible situation which left everyone devastated, and the owners with a very difficult decision to make.

Fucksandflowers Thu 08-Aug-19 21:08:06

If your dog is so aggressive that it will properly bite another dog it needs muzzling irrespective of whether it's leashed or not.

Absolute common sense and only l a complete and utter moron would choose not to.

I hope the others dogs owner took further action.

Screamqueenz Thu 08-Aug-19 21:10:48

They had no need to take it further, the owner did.

Screamqueenz Thu 08-Aug-19 21:14:24

And the dogs responded instinctively, to what they perceived as an attack.
As far as I know (from what my friend was advised) the police don't respond to a dog on dog attack.

Walney Thu 08-Aug-19 21:14:59

Agree, I'm sorry but it sounds like the on lead dog should have been muzzled. I assume there's more to the story, but the on lead dog should also have been controlled if it was able to do that whilst being on a lead.

Screamqueenz Thu 08-Aug-19 21:30:36

It was two large on lead dogs and a small yappy dog who ran up to them barking and snapping at their legs. No previous issue as far as I know (but given the speed of the decision, perhaps).
Also, other small dogs in the close family.

Screamqueenz Thu 08-Aug-19 21:42:36

Sorry, I'll back away from this thread, my experience is extreme and probably clouding my judgment.

SK166 Thu 08-Aug-19 21:58:39

That does sound like a very extreme example with fault on both sides. Very traumatic for all involved, but very different from the situations being described. And yes, I’m well aware that I’m the type of owner being criticised above. I don’t agree with that criticism and have defended my position. No, I won’t keep my dog on a lead until his recall is perfect. It never will be perfect if he’s always on lead. I will continue to do the responsible thing of educating myself on dog behaviour so I can better understand his interactions with other dogs, and I will continue his training. The only dogs that I believe should be kept on lead at all times around other dogs/people are those who have shown aggression in circumstances that they might reasonably encounter on their walks. Dogs with bad habits and poor manners don’t need to be leashed forever, they need to be trained, which is an ongoing process.

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