Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about your pet's health, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Arrgh why does my dog DO this!?(17 Posts)
Seems to ignore some dogs, ambles past them with no reaction or a brief sniff, but then other dogs does that "standing stock still, staring then suddenly rushing at them" thing. She's not being aggressive, just a rude arsehole (in dog terms) and it's embarassing when she does it. Why only some dogs and not others!? There's no apparent rhyme nor reason to it (the dogsshe does it to are not a particular breed or colour etc). I try and distract her when I see her starting to do the staring-from-afar thing but she is very focussed. Any advice?
Nobody is rude without a reason.
She is either:
a) super attracted to dogs and so is rushing forward in an attempt to greet and play (I suspect not)
b) worried and trying to give signals that she wants them to go away
There will also be a trend, even if you cannot see it. Maybe it's in the way the other dogs stands or moves or smells, for example.
If it's b (and I would guess it was) then you need to create the distance she wants before she has a chance to take matters into her own hands. She needs to learn and trust that she is not going to be forced to be near/interact with a dog she doesn't like or is worried about. If you cannot distract her then you are too close and need to increase the distance first.
I think it’s just a dog language thing.
Our beloved last dog was a gorgeous boy who adored us and we adored back. But he must have been a total dog arsehole, the amount of dogs that had really strong reactions to him. We literally lost count of the amount of embarrassed and shocked owners who would apologise profusely and say they’d never known their dogs react that way before!
I'm pretty sure it is over enthusiastic greeting missbattenburg. She has never shown any aggression to other dogs and has tended to try and encourage them to chase/play with her.
Funnily enough, worgust, our dog also seems to attract all or nothing behaviour! She is 20 months old and a rescue. Training has been hard and is ongoing. We did do clicker training for a while around her over the top behaviour and she had completely cakes down. She's just had 2 weeks with a dog boarder, maybe she's reacting to that too!? God, dogs are complex
I do agree there is probably some unseen (to me) trigger which makes her think she can do it.
Cakes =calmed cake would be good tho.
standing stock still, staring then suddenly rushing at them" thing. She's not being aggressive, just a rude arsehole (in dog terms)
I think this is almost certainly fear as a pp said and unchallenged I suspect she will start making her fear more obvious with aggression soon.
Standing 'stock still' is a very bad sign in dog language.
Aggression frequently follows it and staring is also a very bad sign.
It's a direct threat.
Sounds like fear to me - mine does it too. However, he only does it when on-lead and around un-neutered males. That's his trigger. He's absolutely fine on-lead around every other type of dog, and if he's off-lead with entire dogs he's fine too. It only happens when he's on-lead because he's restricted. Believe me, there will be a trigger there somewhere. It took us a good number of months to find ours, but it's definitely there.
Ask yourself the following - what breed are these other dogs? Are they male/female? Neutered or un-neutered? A specific colour or size? Do you meet them in a particular place? Are they dogs she's met before or "strangers"? Do they greet in a certain way or act in a way she doesn't like? Are the owners male/female? Are they on/off lead?
If she won't be distracted she's too close to the trigger - you need to direct her away as soon as she starts to react. We're slowly narrowing the window with ours and he can now pass within 5 metres without reacting but it's taken months to get there!
Standing stock still is what my dog does when she's unsure of a dog that is heading our way.
Rather than rushing at them though, she will resist going towards them - she's small and it's usually large dogs - and she will usually stand still while they're still quite some way away.
She will generally be okay if I reassure her, but if she's still not convinced we will just make a bit of a detour in order to pass the offending dog, not that most of them have done anything to offend her apart from being big.
It's definitely a fear behaviour in my dog's case has only ever happens while she's on the lead. Off lead in the park, big dogs don't seem so much of a threat.
I also think it's to do with the other dog coming at her from directly in front rather than moving all over the place as would be the case in the park.
Mine (now a 9 month old cockerpoo neautered male) stands stock still, lies down, wont budge, until the other dog is very close, then launches himself at them. He did this when he was very young and I started doing 'on me', insisting that he concentrate on me until the dog went past, but I guess I got lazy and he's reverted back - should I go back to insisting that he concentrate on me when other dogs get near or is there another way to stop this behavior?
Not an expert, but just from experience I would say that getting your dog to look at, and focus on you makes sense.
When my dog was a puppy she would lunge at passing motorbikes, which was obviously a very rewarding behaviour as they would always 'run' away, so the barking and lunging, as far as she was concerned worked every time.
Whenever I saw a motorbike nearby I'd get her to look and me and treat her when she was focused on me. It took quite some time to overcome the very rewarding lunging but eventually it worked.
Obviously, at some point I decided that she was reliable enough not to need the reinforcement from me - can't remember how long it took - but she now never shows any interest in motorbikes.
However, it was a long process to get to that stage, but well worth the effort.
Sorry, my last post was in response to foxbasesecular43's post.
My dog does exactly the same thing! I wondered if it was due to unneutured males. Amazing, I honestly thought it was just mine that did this!
Sorry I've just seen more replies. Yes I can accept it's probably fear based - it does make sense what you're all saying. I've started clicker and treat rewarding when she focusses on me rather than other dogs. We did this when she was younger and it did help. Iv e noticed she's more likely to do it in a certain walk. Maybe we should avoid it for a while until the association fades? Obviously no-one can ever say for sure but I don't feel this will escalate to full on aggression and especially now I'm working on it and aware.
Bettereatcheese- if that was a question to me, she's a 20 month old small staff cross.
Had a bit of a light bulb moment today with my dog.
You say your dog is okay with some dogs OP so I'm wondering if your dog's behaviour is, in part, to do with the messages other dogs are giving your dog.
We were coming towards another dog today, not much room to pass. The owner of the other dog stopped and it was obvious she was unsure so I asked if she'd like me to move out of the way so she could pass - we were standing still looking at ducks and she was walking.
She said her dog was okay but inclined to bark as he had been attacked as a puppy and could be reactive. Anyway, the two dogs walked towards each other and her dog didn't make a sound.
Afterwards, it occurred to me that I know someone else with a very reactive dog and the dog is also fine with my dog. The owner and I can stand and chat and his dog will be fine until another dog comes along.
My dog is pretty much uninterested in other dogs, apart from the odd one that makes her stop, and I can only imagine that her lack of interest and the fact that she's very calm, means that the messages she sending out to these fearful, reactive dogs means that they know she is no threat to them.
It doesn't help your situation, I know, but I just found it interesting that perhaps the problem doesn't just lie with the reactive dog but is aggravated by the way other dogs are towards them.
Whatever, the issues, focusing on you sound like the way to go.
Maybe we should avoid it for a while until the association fades?
I absolutely would do this, whilst also keeping distance on other walks and using the clicker/treats to reinforce good behaviour. When you have rock solid good behaviour on other walks you could start to think about going back to the 'troublesome' one.