If you see a dog wearing a muzzle...

(33 Posts)
Stefoscope Sun 18-Aug-19 14:31:22

Then surely you don't allow your dog to approach it without speaking to the owner? My rescue greyhound isn't friendly with other dogs, always wears a bright yellow muzzle when we're out and about. I've done a lot of work with him over the 4 years I've had him and he's so much less reactive than he used to be. If we see another dog when out walking I stand between myself and the other dog and tell him to 'leave'. We've got to the stage where he just ignores the passing dog most of the time, sometimes he'll have a little whine if we see two dogs in close succession.

Today a family approach us with two dogs on extender leads (stretched out nice and long). I heard them barking before I saw them. Did our usual routine of me stopping, taking my hound to one side and standing in between him and the other dogs, allowing as much space as possible for them to pass and speaking calmly to him. The owners of the other dog are laughing about and imitating their dog's barking and looking at my dog. They let their dog come right up to mine barking in his face and then the other starts jumping on his back. Obviously my dog goes into complete panic and starts jumping and barking and trying to defend himself. The other dog owners make no attempt to pick up their dogs or rein them in. With all the commotion, my dog slips his harness which has never happened before right next to a busy road.

Without thinking, I dive in trying to get hold of my dog to get his harness back on, bearing in mind my dog is muzzled and the other two aren't. Dopey other owners just all stand there. I quickly get a hold of my dog and the other owners are still stood there with their dogs. I had to actually ask them to walk their dogs on. Fortunately neither me nor my dog got injured, but it was still a frightning experience. I keep thinking I did something wrong and would never have forgiven myself if harm had come to my dog. He's also my first dog so it was scary to watch him jumping up and growling at the other two. I've never seen him behave like that before, so I'm assuming he must have felt very threatened.

OP’s posts: |
Saucery Sun 18-Aug-19 14:39:15

Some people are just really, really thick. We had 3 different sets of dogs run up to ours this morning (on lead, stepped well to the side in a Sit, me nearest the path). Couldn’t be clearer unless I had a massive STOP , REACTIVE DOG sign held up in front of me. I was fucked off by the 3rd time and told the stupid woman that no, it wasn’t funny and that her dog should be under control enough for it to walk on past or be on a lead. She was genuinely mystified why I was cross.
I refuse to muzzle my dog because some owners are thick, it would stress her much more not to be able to react.
I hope your boy is ok. He would have felt threatened and scared, yes. Not your fault though, completely the fault of the other owners.

billhubbard Sun 18-Aug-19 14:39:40

They were assholes and you did your best for your dog in the situation.
No advice sorry but feel for you , as the owner of a reactive dog I am always suprised by these type of owners .
Don't blame yourself , look at the positives of today like it could have been worse when yours slipped his harness BUT it did t and you dealt with it .

Walney Sun 18-Aug-19 14:40:50

The yellow is a massive indicator to me to give a dog some distance, so it's awful that this family didn't recognise this.

I really hate when owners just don't understand about reactive dogs. I'm lucky that mine is generally sociable but I still take great care around on lead dogs, and I wish people recognised what it means when dogs have yellow collars, leads etc.

PolkadotLollipop Sun 18-Aug-19 14:41:14

They sound like total morons, OP. I’m glad no harm came to you or your dog today. Muzzles aren’t exclusively used for aggression but that does not excuse the behaviour of the other dog owners. Did you communicate that your dog was nervous/dog aggressive as soon as the owners were in earshot.

I can understand an accidental approach if the other dog is off lead and it takes a moment or two for the owner to realise that their dog has approached a nervous dog and to recall him/her. However, for dog owners to see their dogs behaviour and encourage it/laugh about it/do nothing to stop it, is unacceptable.

PolkadotLollipop Sun 18-Aug-19 14:42:53

Ah, yes, the yellow does signal somewhat.

userxx Sun 18-Aug-19 14:44:12

What a pair of complete arseholes. Your dog was feeling threatened and as he was muzzled was panicking more. You did absolutely nothing wrong here, i really hope this hasn't undone all your hard work.

Some people are so just ignorant and stupid.


Anotherusefulname Sun 18-Aug-19 14:46:08

I am not a dog owner and I keep myself and my children well away from all dogs we don't actually know.
So my comments probably don't have any weight but I had no idea yellow means reactive dog (nor do I know what reactive dog means for that matter). I would think, dogs trust dog, and would probably (if I wasn't terrified of dogs) think more approachable as had been behaviour vetted.

dudsville Sun 18-Aug-19 14:46:50

Yeah, you can't presume everyone around you can read information around them clearly AND know what to do with it. I'm sorry about your experience, that would have frightened me and left me jittery and it was the last thing your poor pup needed.

Pipandmum Sun 18-Aug-19 14:50:26

This from Amazon

Stefoscope Sun 18-Aug-19 15:23:58

I do feel a little guilty about not saying he's a reactive dog, although I doubt this family would have understood what I meant given they were actively encouraging their two to walk along barking. They didn't exchange a single word with me or themselves/their dogs throughout the whole ordeal, it was quite surreal really. I only usually speak up if the other dog is off lead to give the owner a chance to recall their's. I stupidly assume dog on a lead, owner won't let it jump on mine. Normally with on lead encounters I try to interact as little as possible as I'm trying to get my dog to focus his attention on me. That's what I was advised by the behaviourist at Dogs Trust, although I may rethink that after today.

I didn't know that yellow means nervous dog either until I adopted mine. Ironically I've had zero issues with children approaching my dog without asking, it's always been other dog owners. The children are very polite and normally want to know why I'm walking my horse on a lead and why he has a funny yellow thing on his face! Hopefully that means the next generation of dog owners will be better educated and more responsible.

OP’s posts: |
userxx Sun 18-Aug-19 15:31:15

I didn't know that yellow meant nervous dog but it's pretty bloody obvious that the dogs muzzled for a reason. So glad he wasn't seriously injured, I love greyhounds, they are the best dogs ever but some can come with quirks.

Stefoscope Sun 18-Aug-19 15:33:00

I've considered getting him clothing/lead advising he's nervous and needs space. I'd be interested to know if any reactive dog owners have used them and thinks they've made a difference. I've always assumed unless the other dog walker recognises yellow = reactive dog, then the other person would need to be pretty close to you and paying attention to read the message. Maybe the answer is to go the other way and get him one of these: wink

OP’s posts: |
villainousbroodmare Sun 18-Aug-19 15:39:22

Unfortunately the (few) people who will register the lead/ muzzle colour and act accordingly are not those likely to pose you a problem.

userxx Sun 18-Aug-19 16:05:09

Yep, I'm pretty sure anyone would keep a decent distance with one of those 🤣

Itsjustmee Sun 18-Aug-19 17:47:53

To be honest I find stopping and waiting and hoping for the idiots / other dog owners to pass by is absolutely the worse thing I can do
If I carry on walking any possible problem
will be over much quicker and my girl will walk past calmly no matter what the other dogs do
By stopping I’m stressing myself out and my dog and signalling to her that there is a problem so she gets anxious and starts kicking off

And my dog is a big 11 stone type that is very aggressive and wears a muzzle that would make Hannibal lecture envious grin

My dogs not nervous though just a bad tempered bitch who dislike other dogs and she been like that since we got her a a year old

MiniPanda Sun 18-Aug-19 19:46:06

We also have a reactive hound so totally feel your pain here. I think the only thing I would have done differently is when I realised the barky dogs were on flexi leads I would have asked the owners to shorten the leads as they passed as my dog was nervous/unsure/reactive of others. From my own experience I wouldn't assume muzzle would necessarily translate to them giving us a wide berth as some dog owners really are clueless sadly.

missbattenburg Sun 18-Aug-19 20:22:58

I honestly think this is one of those situations where a loud "get those f*cking dogs under control" wouldn't go amiss.

If the family included very young children I may have moderated my language a little. grin

Stefoscope Sun 18-Aug-19 23:53:39

Thanks for the feedback, today's events have certainly made me re-consider how I should handle interactions with other dog owners in the future. I do think I should assert myself and speak up on his behalf more. He does well for himself to say he's spent the majority of his life in rescue centres and is pushing a decade in years old! I think having lived in a small village with my hound and having purposefully avoided busy dog walking areas for pretty much the whole time I've had him, I've rested on my laurels a little with his training. I feel confident that my dog wouldn't start an altercation with another. The worst we've experienced so far is other yappy dogs on a lead getting a little too close to him and a few barks on each side being exchanged. If the other dog is quiet and walks calmly on their own, this isn't an issue.

Thankfully the majority of dog walkers see a muzzle and think to keep a little distance and rein their dog in. Stopping and allowing the other dog to walk past generally works best for us. I used to just carry on walking but he would try to lunge at other dogs (moving target I guess) which I didn't want to allow at all. He is very food orientated and knows he gets a treat for passing another dog without barking or creating a fuss. In the future, I will tell the other owner to, in no uncertain terms, rein ther dog in next time I feel they are allowing their dog to get too close to mine.

OP’s posts: |
PoppingOneOutIn2020 Mon 19-Aug-19 00:00:09

Some dog owners are just absolutely bonkers. You sound extremely sensible.. they sound like prats.

My mums spaniel has to wear a pully harness, that looks like a type of muzzle, but is only to stop him pulling when walking. But alot if people dont asking it's ok to stroke him, I was always taught that no matter how friendly a dog looked, even if they're free roaming off the lead, always ask the owner if they friendly and if you can pet them.

Funnily enough ive never been bitten or even warned by a dog grin

Defender90 Mon 19-Aug-19 00:04:38

I would see a muzzle and think depending on breed please don't judge me

That dog eats everything and what a fab owner.

That dog isn't keen on other dogs, what a
Fab owner

RightYesButNo Mon 19-Aug-19 00:33:54

I don’t want to make you feel badly, since done is done, and it sounds like everything is all right and he won’t have any lasting trouble. For the future though, yes, this was absolutely the time to use your voice. If a dog was going to jump on my dog and I couldn’t guarantee it was friendly, and my dog’s safety was my responsibility as I made the decision to muzzle them, you can be sure I’d be yelling at the other owner to curb their dog before it could touch mine and making it clear verbally that I’d keep their dog away if they couldn’t. When your dog is muzzled, you are responsible for their safety as you have taken away their ability to defend themselves. Now might be a good time to make a plan of what you’re going to do next time, if you can’t get a dog to stop approaching your dog and you don’t know the unknown dog’s intent. You sound like a very conscientious owner, but that unfortunately means you sometimes have to counteract the behavior of idiots.

missbattenburg Mon 19-Aug-19 08:54:01

Stopping and allowing the other dog to walk past generally works best for us.

Absolutely keep doing what works best but do be on the look out that stopping and waiting might be interpretted by your dog as being forced to stay in scary situation, i.e. near another dog. That can sometimes make things worse over time, not better.

I'm not saying that's what's happening as much depends on your specific dog, the distance from the other dog, what else is happening (.e.g treats) etc. Just thought it worth a call out, just in case.

missbattenburg Mon 19-Aug-19 08:56:56

p.s. I keep thinking I did something wrong

No you didn't. You were put in a scary and unsafe situation and got you and your dog home in one piece. That's a success, not a failure.

SlothMama Mon 19-Aug-19 10:52:06

If I see a dog on a lead mine goes on hers, and if that dog was wearing a muzzle I'd keep her close. My last dog was reactive and other ignorant owners drove me mad so I make sure that mine isn't a problem.

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