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How can I help her?

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by elizabethdavies, Nov 6, 2012.


  1. elizabethdavies

    elizabethdavies PetForums Junior

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    While walking Ffion (18 month old Miniature Schnauzer) last week she was almost attacked by a Staffie who had run out of her front door ... the owner caught and stopped her before she could do any harm. He apologised and explained that it was an oversight and I accepted this. Ffion was shaken but seemed to be fine until today when she ran up to a very friendly Stafie and became agitated, barking and "nasty". This is totally unlike her, and I'm wondering if the two events can be linked and if so what can I do? My inexperience is evident again !!!
     
  2. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Could be that the staff that run out even though he was luckily stopped in time has unerved her, just the approach and the dogs body language may have been enough if she thought he was a serious threat. The "nasty" barking was probably not nasty as in agressive, it was probably more out of defence and anxiety I would have thought.

    The best thing to do is to give her as many positive experiences with laid back calm non reactive dogs as much as possible for her to regain her confidence, try to keep her away from over boisterous in her face dogs, that rush up for a little while, until she gets her confidence back. As she might at the moment associate the specific breed at the moment with negative associations might be for the immediate future and for a little while to try to avoid them.
     
  3. ouesi

    ouesi Guest

    I wouldn’t allow her to run up to any dog, regardless of if they seem friendly or not. Many dogs - friendly dogs - don’t appreciate being run up to, and definitely don’t appreciate a dog barking in their face. Its a good way to get your dog attacked again. Keep her leashed or on a long line until you have better control over her interactions with other dogs.

    In the meantime how about a class with some well behaved dogs to get her used to being around other dogs without necessarily having to interact with them?
     
  4. elizabethdavies

    elizabethdavies PetForums Junior

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    Thank you for these helpful responses. Firstly, I have to admit that I didn't realise that dogs distinguish breeds to this extent. Ffion was on the lead as we passed by the house where the Staffie escaped ... did this make a difference? Should I have picked her up?
    We were on the beach (off lead) when she ran up to the Staffie. I realise that I did not understand the possibility of her reaction and now need to be more pro active.
    Once again, thank you for your help.
     
  5. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    If she was on lead when the staff run out the house, that can sometimes make it worse still, as in that situation dogs feel and are at a disadvantage as they are just literally stuck there, they have no option to exercise flight often theit first choice as they cant run away and distance themselves. They also dont have the time or space to exhibit any calming signals or body language to try and defuse the situation either usually also an early choice in a situation. Thats why you see a lot of dogs resort to barking, lunging and showing teeth because on lead thats their only option, a version of fight, hope they look scary and convincing enough to make the other dog give up and go away. Trouble is it can become a habit if thats what they do, it isnt agressive as such more defensive, but you usually remove them or the other owner removes the dog or they were going to pass on by anyway, but to the dog it does work, so in the same situation again on lead they will use it again, it becomes a learned behaviour as they think it works and gets the desired effect.

    Not picking her up was probably the right thing, it can cause problems in itself not only that you are at risk too if a really intent agressive dog jumps up trying to bite at the dog, or it can get re-directed on you. Often owners even get bitten by their own dog in such situations trying to break it up if they are not careful.
     
  6. elizabethdavies

    elizabethdavies PetForums Junior

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    Again thank you. I've learned a lot from this and understand the behaviours a little better.
    I've spoken to the owner of the Staffie who is a neighbour and he told me that both his Staffies are very territorial and agressive to dogs who approch his house. He also admitted that had he not managed to catch the bitch in time she would have hurt Ffion, possibly very badly and so there is no hope of him helping me to resocialise Ffion with his two dogs. We've been back to the beach again this afternoon and all was well, Ffion played happily with the dogs we met (no staffies though, sadly). Her recall is very good and I will continue to call her back so she doesn't approach dogs on leads.
    Do you think the memory of the incident will fade or will she always have a "thing" about Staffies?
     
  7. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    The good news is shes played happily and confidently today, as regards to staffies hopefully in time, or if you meet a really nice laid back one or a staffie pup, she will gain confidence with those too. Its just something that you are going to have to play by ear at the moment. The good news also is that whilst the staff scared her the neighbour managed to grab the staff in time, before her hurt her that could have mae a more lasting impression.
     
  8. elizabethdavies

    elizabethdavies PetForums Junior

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    Your advice and support has helped me enormously and I am grateful ... thank you so much.
     
  9. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    Your very welcome, its a horrible experience, happened to me too not so long ago when two run out of a house, and I had two on lead of my own. So I know what its like.
     
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