Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Husky challenging me?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by TetraLinz, Apr 12, 2011.


  1. TetraLinz

    TetraLinz PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all. :)

    New to the forums, just said hello about an hour ago over in Introductions. :D

    I was wondering if someone can help me with the following (long post alert. :eek:):

    On Saturday afternoon, I was walking home from my dad's with Max, my dog. Coming in the opposite direction was a husky on an extendable leash. The dog was in front of his handlers, probably about as far as the leash allowed.

    The husky's handlers reigned him in as they approached, but he seemed to be seeking direct eye contact, either with me or my dog. Being on a fairly narrow path, I moved to one side with Max, to allow the husky and his handlers to pass. The husky still sought eye contact, though it seemed he was looking at Max more than me so I assumed it was dog-aggressive. Max is fairly nervous and looked up at me for reassurance.

    Last evening, there was a similar scenario. Max, this time was off-leash, a few yards behind and to the right of me, sniffing out his ball, when the same husky came around the corner. As soon as the husky saw me, his hackles went up. This time, I'm certain it was me that the husky reacted to. Again, I moved to one side. Max came closer and I clipped his leash on him, then stood in front him. One of the handler's companions must have said something to him, because he said "I can handle him". I don't think so. :confused:

    Both times, I remained calm and stood my ground apart from giving them room to pass. I'm not scared of this dog, and have nothing against huskies or any other breed, though this is the 2nd time I've been in this situation with a husky (1st time was about 13-14 years ago, I was a teenager, and had a dog phobia). The dog is kept on the leash, but not mussled. He never uttered a single sound.

    Is it aggression, or is he challenging me?

    I know the onus is ultimately on the owner to get the dog under proper control, but I was wondering if there's anything I could be doing as a passer-by to help the situation, or to protect myself and my own dog?

    TIA,
    T.L :)
     
  2. chianya

    chianya PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    405
    Likes Received:
    9
    sorry dont know if its just me but u sound paranoid lol. If he wanted to show aggression he would of but not even a sound or snarl. Maybe he wants u to say hello lol let him sniff your hand or u can just carry on walkin past and ignorin him lol
     
  3. TetraLinz

    TetraLinz PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    If it wasn't for the direct eye contact, I'd be tempted to agree with you, but I know eye contact in dogs is seen as a sign of aggression. If he was interested in sniffing us, we were close enough for him to.
     
  4. Helbo

    Helbo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,164
    Likes Received:
    119
    Theres not a lot in your post that would suggest to me that this Husky has any kind of problem

    Seeking eye contact, or even raising hackles, could just be signs that the dog is interested in your and your dog, or even excited by you.

    Hows the rest of the body language?
     
  5. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    39,244
    Likes Received:
    713
    Must agree with the eye contact...Kilo seeks it when he wants attention, once he gets it, he thinks it must be playtime or whatever he was after!
     
  6. TetraLinz

    TetraLinz PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    Seemed tense.

    I've been around other huskies before and haven't felt as though I was being challenged, like I did with this dog.
     
  7. TetraLinz

    TetraLinz PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know there's different types of eye contact, because Max seeks eye contact with me when he wants to play, but that's not the impression I was getting from this dog.

    You know something, I feel I'm wasting my time here.
     
  8. Dogless

    Dogless PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Messages:
    39,244
    Likes Received:
    713
    I hope you aren't, but I don't have enough knowledge to give an informed opinion on the whole situation; think it's also hard without being able to see the dogs for yourself. Don't think people are being deliberately unhelpful.
     
  9. LostGirl

    LostGirl PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,430
    Likes Received:
    139
    It could be anything although I think maybe if you have a feeling the dog is tense it could be that he is and it could be your clothes? Have you worn the same thing?
     
  10. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,726
    Nobody is being unhelpful, really. It does occur to me though that you had a problem with dog phobia and at that time you had a problem with a husky. You may think you are remaining calm, but is it at all possible that you are still, deep down, a little afraid of them? Dogs can always pick up on your emotions, no matter what they are. Huskies in general are not known as aggressive dogs but they do sometimes give off different signals. I would not worry about eye contact, certainly, and I am sure that if there were any fear of this dog becoming aggressive, the owner would have reeled him in.

    I have not met many huskies, but the ones I have met will automatically give that eye contact; they are curious about you, that is all. I am not saying I am right, because I was not there, but I do believe that you are seeing a challenge where maybe there is just curiosity.

    Next time you see him, why not try asking the owner if he is friendly? That would be the way I would go.
     
  11. sailor

    sailor PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    5,954
    Likes Received:
    167
    If I was you and come across the this husky again, I would ask the owner if his dog was ok too let Max say hello too and have a fuss.

    Dogs looking for eye contact could be for any reason... like max was looking up at you for reasurance, like my Sailor looks at me trying to suss out if Im up for a game of tug or indeed if a dog is eyeing up his opponent.

    I have seen some dogs that look like they are all set for a friendly play fight, but soon realised they were wagging their tail through nerves and it was a real fight they were spoiling for.... and vice versa... a dog that looked all tense and posed for a fight.... but ended up bounding all over like a puppy and was as daft as a brush really.

    Your best bet is to ask the owner and approach the dog in a friendly calm manner,if the owner says its ok to ofcourse.
     
  12. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    39,822
    Likes Received:
    10,365
    On the Saturday you said the dog made eye contact, Did it leap about,change facial expression, vocalise,growl, snarl, posture by pulling itself up to its full height to you or your dog? If not and all it made is eye contact personally I cant see it being a threat. Siberian Huskys if you are sure thats what it was, are pack dogs and in the main non agressive to other dogs, they have no guarding instincts either, and are usually friendly to people. Because they are quite a primitive breed theit body signalling tends to be pretty defined too. Just because a dog makes eye contact doesnt mean its aggresive.

    Tonight you saiD the Husky came round a corner, and his hackles went up, if it was a blind corner and he didnt see you until he was right on top of you, then you may have caught him by surprise. Did he change facial expression,leap about, vocalise,lunge growl or snarl tonight? Did she just look at you again. If he didnt react at all apart from raising his hackles when he came round the corner I would think you may have spooked him and it was the element of surprise thats all, if he didnt anything else either times. When the guy said I can handle him, it could possibly mean in the context of physically holding him, If sibes want to take off and start pulling they can have a lot of power and need some holding, maybe thats all the handler meant.

    You mentioned the dog is on a leash, but not muzzled. Husky owners keep their dogs on leash, for the simple reason their instincts are to run and hunt,
    therefore if they see a bird, rabbit, or just for the pleasure of running they take off and dont come back.
     
  13. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,726
    I have no wish to start an argument, but when a new member comes along asking for advice and gets called paranoid in the first post, what do you expect?
     
  14. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,726
    People new to forums, especially older people, don't know what lol means. I know I didn't when I first started using them, or all the other initials people use. I just think we have to be more careful not to scare away new members who obviously don't have as much knowledge as everybody else. There is an old wives' tale that dogs making eye contact means aggression.
     
  15. sid&kira

    sid&kira PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5,272
    Likes Received:
    92
    Sibes are VERY direct when it comes to meeting other dogs, they do stare, they do raise their hackles, they normally bounce about at the end of their leads pulling and jumping, sometimes growly wooing/howling or crying

    Doesnt mean they are agressive, its just the way they are, my girl keeps her hackles up for about 15 minutes at the beginning of playing with another dog, and she will stare at dogs and make direct eye contact, all 3 of mine are friendly with other dogs and people

    next time you meet ask if its friendly, its quite upsetting when people avoid you because they assume your dog is agressive :(
     
  16. Helbo

    Helbo PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2010
    Messages:
    4,164
    Likes Received:
    119
    Or they DO know what it means and they feel like you're 'laughing out loud' AT them - not very helpful Chianya
     
  17. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    22,271
    Likes Received:
    9,267
    Sad, and strange, they would post that then not stick around!:confused:
    I would of advised just crossing the road and avoiding them. Life is too short to stress about something if you can avoid it, esp if its just one dog you arent sure of.
    (there is a couple near me, unfortunatley a Rottie and an Akita, that I always avoid. They are always pulling on the leads and they give you such a homicidal intense stare that they are best avoided.) There is a difference between a 'Im interested/want to play' stare and a 'I want to rip you limb from limb stare'..;)
     
  18. Milliepoochie

    Milliepoochie PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Messages:
    10,128
    Likes Received:
    1,480
    Haha I had to check you location there , thinking please dont live in Bedfordshire! Maybe you saw me walking them yesterday when we saw 7 cats in one walk! :D Phew panic over though as your in Kent hehe :D
     
  19. raindog

    raindog PetForums Senior

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    Messages:
    952
    Likes Received:
    151
    I don't think it was any post in particular the OP was upset about. I think he/she was fairly typical in that he/she probably knew the answer he/she wanted and got frustrated when it didn't come.
    We get it all the time on husky fora when people come on asking for advice, but what they actually want is confirmation that they were right. When they actually get advice, they get upset.
    People!!!! I much prefer dogs!

    Mick
     
  20. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    39,822
    Likes Received:
    10,365
    To be honest I was wondering if this was an Akita, Ive found they do tend to make eye contact and have very little facial expression and ways of signalling.
    There was one in the vets once, the owner said it hated other dogs except the other Akita it lived with, but it didnt do any of the things you would expect, just stood and intently looked. The several I have met seem too, which were more the American lines rather than the japanese akita inu. I personally find them very hard to read, you cant tell what they are "thinking" where as a sibe you deffinately can because their facial and body language is so distinctive. Even my Mal gives warnings his ruff stands up before he does anything else, which will then be followed by a growl, so if he meets a dog he doesnt like I know instantly. Ive had people think my sibes and Mal are an Akita in the past and People with Akitas have told me that theirs get mistaken with sibes and Mals, so it could be possible the OP did get his breeds mixed up.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice