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Forum > Miscellaneous > Help dealing with aggressive dogs? ( Moderated by Deepika, EleanorSews, CynthiaSue)

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Help dealing with aggressive dogs?
Lady_Mame
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Lady_Mame
Intermediate
Washington USA
Member since 3/11/07
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Date: 11/1/12 3:32 PM

Ugh, moving always comes with unexpected challenges, doesn't it?

I have a Big Black Dog who is, for being a rescue, and only with me a hair over six months, pretty well trained. She's very owner-oriented, but having been fixed late in life, is very adult in the way most neutered dogs aren't. She is OKAY with other dogs, but not GOOD so she mostly socializes with people and that seems fine to her. (ETA: My dog is NOT an angel. There are times her manners are beastly. But mostly, she's okay.)

The problem we're having is that in our new neighborhood, we have quite a lot of small dogs with Small Dog Syndrome. They aren't trained, they are very dog-aggressive and very reactive, and their owner makes no effort to control them. Worse yet, they are often on the end of those flimsy retractable leashes. Half the time, their owner is distracted (on a cell phone or just plain ignoring the dog.) I am having an issue where my dog is pretty good right up to the moment where the other dog raises hackles or pounds the alarm. Yesterday, one of these little dogs with a loser 'tude decided to half strange itself on the end of the leash while offering my dog quite the high-pitched insult The owner didn't retract the leash, offer a correction or pick the dog up. They didn't even pause their cell phone conversation.

(My dog is 65 pounds. I've picked her up when her behavior sucked. They can manage it, I'm sure with 5 pounds.)

This ballistic behavior made getting my dog out of the situation difficult and potentially, had I not had help, dangerous. My dog wanted to stay and defend, and teach the other dog a lesson. We've worked really hard on the 'ignore' command and lots of leash training, but this isn't really an 'ignore' situation any more than a bully at school would be.

As a wiser person had pointed out -- when we drag our dog away, yelling ignore, or smacking them on the nose to get them to ignore someone else screaming the doggie equivalent of obscenities, we are basically telling them that they must put up with harassment. This isn't a good lesson, for so many reasons. But right now, it's the only option. I hate it now that I've completely thought it through. It just doesn't seem like since I have the bigger dog that any bad interact is all my 'fault'.

Is there a simple phrase I can yell out? "Please reel your dog in, we don't want a fight?" It seems like that would only be responded to with "oh, but Fluffy can't hurt anyone." (Yo, yer dog has bared teeth and it's hackles up, I don't want to take my chances....)
-- Edited on 11/1/12 4:17 PM --

------
Needle Needle Straight and Slim, Dust and Sweep the House for Him! --Grimm Fairy Tales

Changma
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Changma  Friend of PR
Advanced Beginner
New York USA
Member since 2/20/12
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Date: 11/1/12 4:09 PM

Your phrase is simple enough. Use it often, and add...I won't be legally responsible as your dog is the aggressor.

cinca
cinca
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In reply to Lady_Mame <<
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Date: 11/1/12 4:32 PM

What I finally realized with neighbors' dogs in a situation yrs. ago...It does not matter who is at fault, we still had to take total responsibility for keeping our dogs safe, and out of trouble, because the neighbors would not participate or cooperate in any way.

I will never home another dog without taking them to obedience classes to learn how to "leave it" or any phrase you want to use. The stress in an out of control dog situation can be so great that it can effect the dogs' reaction. They need positive reinforcement for "leaving" another dog.

It is not easy or quick, but the time spent in this training is worth it.
When the training is done in a simulation situation with other dogs it is more effective than trying to do it with just you and your dog.

Thanks for rescuing a dog and giving her a loving home. We need lots of folks like you.

Lady_Mame
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Lady_Mame
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Washington USA
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In reply to cinca <<
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Date: 11/1/12 4:40 PM

Well, I'm there with you.... it is my job, but .... it's still their dog harassing my dog.

BTW -- thanks for your kind words regarding rescue. All of my dogs have been from the humane society or similar groups. They are very good about picking me out of the crowd and explaining how they'll be coming home with me. It works much better, IMO, than trying to pick a puppy from the parent's temperament.

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Needle Needle Straight and Slim, Dust and Sweep the House for Him! --Grimm Fairy Tales

quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf  Friend of PR
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In reply to Lady_Mame <<


Date: 11/1/12 4:44 PM

I can so relate. My late sammy was big yet afraid of other dogs, even small ones. And people are such asses when it comes to dog behavior. We usually went out of our way to avoid other dogs, crossing the street etc. Unfortunately there is little you can do about other people's behavior except to call them on it. Maybe "My dog doesn't like other dogs so would you please give us some space"? And maybe try to socialize him more with someone you know and trust and know and trust their dogs to get him more used to being around the smaller dogs and ignoring them.

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quiltingwolf.blogspot.com

Valerie Jo
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Valerie Jo
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Missouri USA
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Date: 11/1/12 5:28 PM

http://www.cesarsway.com/

Cesar would have the answer. He is awesome.

Coconuts
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Coconuts  Friend of PR
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Date: 11/1/12 5:28 PM

I would spray them with a water filled squirt bottle or a can of air. It won't hurt them, but it should be enough to get them to back off.

Now, I wouldn't try that on a big dog, but on an ankle biter? Definitely.

a7yrstitch
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a7yrstitch  Friend of PR
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In reply to Lady_Mame <<


Date: 11/1/12 5:48 PM

You have my sympathy. I know that you will continue to work with your new 'little' girl but it is so unfair for the good behavior to have to be one sided. You'll have to stand on your head training your dog as much as possible for her own protection.

I'm wondering if it might be helpful to carry an old fashioned type umbrella or a cane that can be anchored forward and to the outside of your foot to buy a little more of the sidewalk when you step aside to let the offender pass.

This is extreme but I might even try including an old style narrow track umbrella stroller in the walk as a more aggressive way of claiming half the sidewalk and having a bigger barrier on hand. I realize how I might look pushing an empty stroller down the street (and yes, I might put a dummy bag of groceries in it) but I wouldn't care about appearances if it meant my dog would be safer.

If I were to issue any cautions it would be a gentle reminder that your rescue dog is still in training and not accustomed to being approached.

You could carry a spray bottle of water for emergency use but you know that the offending dog owner will go ballistic if you use it.

I hate the little reel type leashes for my own reasons. Dogs running in front of bicycle tires is high on the list. And, again, it is the owner and not the dog that is the offender.

------
I have no idea what Apple thought I was saying so be a Peach and credit anything bizarre to auto correct.

kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
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In reply to a7yrstitch <<
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Date: 11/1/12 5:56 PM

How about an air horn? You could wear ear plugs, so the main effect would be on the dogs and the other owner. Evil. I know....

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Viking Lily 545
Viking Ruby
Bernina Activa 210
Brother 1034d

Lady_Mame
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Lady_Mame
Intermediate
Washington USA
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In reply to kkkkaty <<


Date: 11/1/12 7:25 PM

I think that would scare my dog more than anything else, but gosh, its fun to think about! :devil:

I wish there was some sort of non-toxic, odorless to humans but revolting to dogs odor I could dose myself in. ZugZug would be used to it after a bit and other dogs would clear the area.

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Needle Needle Straight and Slim, Dust and Sweep the House for Him! --Grimm Fairy Tales

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