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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just noticed a thread on here about a Staff attack and am looking for some advice.

I'm a Dog Walker and one of my clients is a 18th MO Staff x, neutered who spent 8 mths in a re-homing centre before being taken on by a lovely couple who've had him for 8mths now.

He is a smashing dog but very DA!! I have him on my group walks and once the initial nerves and anxiety are over, he gets along fine with the other dogs. It's new dogs he's scared of and will chase them away by growling and charging them. His owners say he was fine up until his previous Dog Walker's German Shepard was playing with him and pinned him to the ground :eek: and now he's very anxious meeting new dogs.

His threshold is quite high - only if a dog comes over to greet will he react. Dogs in the distance don't bother him. He's also a shocking resource guarder with balls. If we're playing with them, he'll play fine with everyone and then decide to keep a hold of it. No amount of coaxing/treats/new ball introduction will make him drop it.

I've taken to muzzling him quite recently in busy dog parks which is not great as other dog owners (understandably!) avoid me like the plague:rolleyes:. His owners didn't tell me how bad he was when I took him on and when I informed them I had to start using a muzzle for safety issues, they explained they tried using one before, he didn't like it and were surprised he let me put one on him??:confused::cursing:

So, he's pretty much ruining my walks because I have to watch him like a hawk but especially when I'm introducing a new dog to the group. When we play ball games and he gets the ball and won't drop it - he ruins it for the other dogs.:(

To me, the owners are in denial bout how bad his behavior is and aren't showing as much concern as I would be if he were mine. They take him to Staffy Socialization classes every week which is run by a local person who has staffies but is not a trainer/behaviourist - she just runs an evening class for staffies to meet up!

I have been gearing myself up for a 'chat' with them about possibly getting him to a trainer/behaviorist to nip this in the bud as I know I'm making it worse by using a muzzle and lead in proximity to other dogs. I can't let him off though.

How do I go about this?? The last thing I want is to exacerbate his fear of dogs and I don't want to upset his owners but if they don't take on board what I'm saying, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.:(
 

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I own a rescue staff cross- he gets walked with 2 diff dog walking companies- they would not take him out at all if he was aggressive in any way.

He was under socialised and excited when we got him but never aggressive as such- they do not take any aggressive dog and personally neither should you- other owners are not paying for their dog to be socialised by you- they need to do it themselves - if he's aggressive and a danger then no amount of socialisation and walking by you will change this.

I think it's decent of you to care but you have a responsibity to the other dogs and owners- if my dog ever caused any problem and had to be removed form a group for starting nonsense i wouldn't blame the walkers at all- just last week they had to remove a spaniel as the owner said it was ok and it fast appeared it wasn't!

You are not a socialising/training tool- you are an exercising service!

Good luck, i hope you get something sooted soon, fingers crossed
 

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p.s i should add we worked with him for months and months before i even thought he was up for his 'trial' walk with the girls... i never ever used them as a training tool
 

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I'm glad you are responsible and muzzle him. Don't be surprised if this thread is closed, seems anything Staff aggression related is eventually is! :rolleyes:
 

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I agree,

You are there to provide exercise for the dog not cope and train for aggression issues this is something a professional should be taking on.

I would have that chat with your clients and explain tbh this is something that you are struggling to handle and you may not be covered by your insurance.

I state on my website that I do not take on aggressive dogs human or DA its just not worth the risk. Good luck
 

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I don't think you should be walking a muzzled dog in a dog walking group- how many do you walk at a time? mine take max 3 per human (there's either both of them or 1 on)- we have come across the huge dog walking groups 1 woman has 12, just her some wee annoying dogs muzzled but causing havoc in the park because they just run about because a muzzle feels 'safe'- hmm

Malmum, pretty sure the thread was shut because of the low blow sniping and name calling towards the ned- not cause of your topic?;)
 

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I have a dog who is aggressive towards other dogs and he's NEVER off-lead except at the Dog Obedience Club when he is muzzled.

I would never let him play in a park, even muzzled he could hurt/terrify another dog.

With the staffy I think that the most you can do is a brisk on-lead walk. Having him loose IMO is just an accident waiting to happen and I don't think letting him play with other dogs and a ball when he has resource guarding issues is a great idea.

It's up to the owners to work on his problems with a behaviourist. I think you should just be walking him as safely as possible. I just don't think it's fair to you to have to do any more and it's dangerous. I think you are absolutely wonderful to have done so much for him but it's the owners' responsibility not yours.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You risk other peoples dogs? :confused:
I know, I really shouldn't. He is muzzled and cannot bite but obviously being bitten is only one way he could damage another dog. Psychological damage is just as bad as this is exactly what happened to him by being pinned down by another dog.:(

I should have said at the very beginning that I would only walk him on his own.:rolleyes:

I'm not trying to pass myself off as some kind of 'dog whisperer' and making grand claims of working miracles on difficult dogs but I had hoped that by introducing him to a number of different dogs, he would realise other dogs are nothing to be afraid of.:rolleyes: Not so far!!And even though his owners never said it, I know they're hoping for that too. So yea, I guess they are using me as a socialization/training tool incorporated into an exercise service.

I think he's a lovely wee boy and really grown fond of him but as I said, the last thing I want is to make this worse.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I own a rescue staff cross- he gets walked with 2 diff dog walking companies- they would not take him out at all if he was aggressive in any way.

He was under socialised and excited when we got him but never aggressive as such- they do not take any aggressive dog and personally neither should you- other owners are not paying for their dog to be socialised by you- they need to do it themselves - if he's aggressive and a danger then no amount of socialisation and walking by you will change this.

I think it's decent of you to care but you have a responsibity to the other dogs and owners- if my dog ever caused any problem and had to be removed form a group for starting nonsense i wouldn't blame the walkers at all- just last week they had to remove a spaniel as the owner said it was ok and it fast appeared it wasn't!

Good luck, i hope you get something sooted soon, fingers crossed
Thanks for that. :001_smile:

You are not a socialising/training tool- you are an exercising service!

No - I'm a pushover and way too nice. These traits do not go hand in hand with running a business.:( I need to man up I think.:001_smile:
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I agree,

You are there to provide exercise for the dog not cope and train for aggression issues this is something a professional should be taking on.

I would have that chat with your clients and explain tbh this is something that you are struggling to handle and you may not be covered by your insurance.

I state on my website that I do not take on aggressive dogs human or DA its just not worth the risk. Good luck
Thanks for that. Your absolutely right, it really isn't worth the risk and to be honest it does make me look bad. I've not had anyone approaching me (staffie with a muzzle on - figures) but I wouldn't be too happy to let people know that I'm a dog walker and this one on a harness with a lead on and sporting a muzzle is a client and yes, I walk him with other people's fur babies. Oh god, I now feel truly awful.:(
 

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Thanks for that. Your absolutely right, it really isn't worth the risk and to be honest it does make me look bad. I've not had anyone approaching me (staffie with a muzzle on - figures) but I wouldn't be too happy to let people know that I'm a dog walker and this one on a harness with a lead on and sporting a muzzle is a client and yes, I walk him with other people's fur babies. Oh god, I now feel truly awful.:(
oh no don't feel awful- look at it the other way- it's brilliant that you care about your charges but equally you can't change in an hour or however long you walk him a day something that is not being rectified in his home. Don't worry- just see if they want the single walk- if not well it's out of your hands
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't think you should be walking a muzzled dog in a dog walking group- how many do you walk at a time? mine take max 3 per human (there's either both of them or 1 on)- we have come across the huge dog walking groups 1 woman has 12, just her some wee annoying dogs muzzled but causing havoc in the park because they just run about because a muzzle feels 'safe'- hmm

Malmum, pretty sure the thread was shut because of the low blow sniping and name calling towards the ned- not cause of your topic?;)
I walk 3/4 max at a time - depending on breed. So, he gets walked with a JRT/Hound cross and a cocker spaniel. As I said, once he gets to know the dog and realizes they're with me and not going to go away :rolleyes:, he's absolutely fine with them. Very playful. And I'm talking about literally 5 minutes after meeting them for the first time. I've seen Dog walkers with packs up here in Aberdeen and there's no way I could walk more than 4 at the same time. Unless I grow a couple more arms overnight and a hell of a lot more patience!:D
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have a dog who is aggressive towards other dogs and he's NEVER off-lead except at the Dog Obedience Club when he is muzzled.

I would never let him play in a park, even muzzled he could hurt/terrify another dog.

With the staffy I think that the most you can do is a brisk on-lead walk. Having him loose IMO is just an accident waiting to happen and I don't think letting him play with other dogs and a ball when he has resource guarding issues is a great idea.

It's up to the owners to work on his problems with a behaviourist. I think you should just be walking him as safely as possible. I just don't think it's fair to you to have to do any more and it's dangerous. I think you are absolutely wonderful to have done so much for him but it's the owners' responsibility not yours.
Thank you. I agree with everything you've said. I just hate walking dogs on-lead because I know he gets more out of being off-lead and I want to make his walk as enjoyable as possible, just not at the expense of other people's dogs.

He also loves playing a game of fetch but I'm starting to lose patience with him when he decides to keep it all to himself. This normally happens when a new dog comes into the vicinity and he thinks this new dog is going to steal the ball away from him so he keeps it. He just stands there with the ball in his mouth, shaking. Once the dog goes away he refuses to join back into the game so I get out another ball for the rest of the group and he stands on the sidelines watching.

Breaks my heart to see him like that, he comes across as so confident with his wee swagger but I know he's a soft touch and seeing a dog get anxious and fearful is upsetting.:(
 

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I've just noticed a thread on here about a Staff attack and am looking for some advice.

I'm a Dog Walker and one of my clients is a 18th MO Staff x, neutered who spent 8 mths in a re-homing centre before being taken on by a lovely couple who've had him for 8mths now.

He is a smashing dog but very DA!! I have him on my group walks and once the initial nerves and anxiety are over, he gets along fine with the other dogs. It's new dogs he's scared of and will chase them away by growling and charging them. His owners say he was fine up until his previous Dog Walker's German Shepard was playing with him and pinned him to the ground :eek: and now he's very anxious meeting new dogs.

His threshold is quite high - only if a dog comes over to greet will he react. Dogs in the distance don't bother him. He's also a shocking resource guarder with balls. If we're playing with them, he'll play fine with everyone and then decide to keep a hold of it. No amount of coaxing/treats/new ball introduction will make him drop it.

I've taken to muzzling him quite recently in busy dog parks which is not great as other dog owners (understandably!) avoid me like the plague:rolleyes:. His owners didn't tell me how bad he was when I took him on and when I informed them I had to start using a muzzle for safety issues, they explained they tried using one before, he didn't like it and were surprised he let me put one on him??:confused::cursing:

So, he's pretty much ruining my walks because I have to watch him like a hawk but especially when I'm introducing a new dog to the group. When we play ball games and he gets the ball and won't drop it - he ruins it for the other dogs.:(

To me, the owners are in denial bout how bad his behavior is and aren't showing as much concern as I would be if he were mine. They take him to Staffy Socialization classes every week which is run by a local person who has staffies but is not a trainer/behaviourist - she just runs an evening class for staffies to meet up!

I have been gearing myself up for a 'chat' with them about possibly getting him to a trainer/behaviorist to nip this in the bud as I know I'm making it worse by using a muzzle and lead in proximity to other dogs. I can't let him off though.

How do I go about this?? The last thing I want is to exacerbate his fear of dogs and I don't want to upset his owners but if they don't take on board what I'm saying, I'm not sure what I'm going to do.:(
I have to agree with everyone else and say you are getting too involved. You are paid to walk the dog, not to train him. Just try to explain to the owners how much more the dog would get out of life if a behaviourist could sort him out, only do make sure they get someone qualified.

You need to be taking him out separately really, then perhaps you could put him on a long line so he still gets his run round but you don't need a muzzle, which is probably making his situation worse.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
oh no don't feel awful- look at it the other way- it's brilliant that you care about your charges but equally you can't change in an hour or however long you walk him a day something that is not being rectified in his home. Don't worry- just see if they want the single walk- if not well it's out of your hands
True. When they rang me inquiring about my services, they described him as a bit 'grumpy' towards other dogs. Understatement.
I've met up with them when out walking and his mammy is great-if another dog is around she gets him in a sit position and treats him constantly to divert his attention but also to associate the presence of other dogs with positivity. Dogs=yummy treats. And it works with him. He doesn't react even when they're sniffing him! Just sits, kind of looks at them sideways and she will say 'be nice' and treat.

However, It's not possible for me to do this when I've got two/three other dogs I'm walking with him. I'd need eyes in the back of me head to check for approaching dogs!

His daddy on the other hand is way too hardhanded with him, he forces the Staff into a sit position whilst other dogs sniff him and if he grumbles in any way, he gets a smack on his bum:eek:
This is only reinforcing what the staff thinks-new dogs=bad things
How do I say this without coming across as overcritical-I know the guy pretty well to anticipate an argument if I bring this up. He doesn't take criticism lightly.
 

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Im torn here. Not many walkers will take on a dog like him as a client, so if you stop or they turn down a solo walk the owners may struggle to find another and he could go without.

However, I dont know the owner, are they likely to take you up on the offer of a solo walk? or just not bother? It's great that he's getting to know other dogs, but at the same time if I was the owner of one of the other dogs I wouldnt be happy about my dog being put at risk.

Im assuming that at some point this dog is offlead and unmuzzled? as you mention games of fetch? this is a huge risk to both the other dogs in the group and others that could be walking in the same area. A dog aggressive dog should at least be on a lead, muzzled aswell if around offlead dogs.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have to agree with everyone else and say you are getting too involved. You are paid to walk the dog, not to train him. Just try to explain to the owners how much more the dog would get out of life if a behaviourist could sort him out, only do make sure they get someone qualified.

You need to be taking him out separately really, then perhaps you could put him on a long line so he still gets his run round but you don't need a muzzle, which is probably making his situation worse.
This is true. I'm going to suggest professional behaviour modification to them and put it exactly like this - I can't imagine it's much fun for them walking him either!

As for the long line- his recall is 100%. If I call him back to me, he comes straight away. He never approaches another dog for a go, just waits for them to come to him to throw a wobbly. :rolleyes: The problem is walking him by another dog, I have to pop his lead back on and hold onto him as he lunges, snapping and snarling. I know his muzzle is making him worse:( Hate putting it on him.

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