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

I’m terrified that other dogs are going to attack my puppy

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by JaneJ65, Feb 10, 2021.


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JaneJ65

    JaneJ65 Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2021
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    10
    Greetings,

    I experienced the worst thing in my life last week and it has left me feeling traumatised.

    I was walking with my friend to a cemetery with her new puppy and it was very quiet and we were having a lovely time just talking and then out of nowhere an English Bulldog came charging towards the puppy and started snarling. My friend and I started screaming and I managed to grab hold of the dog and she managed to turn the other way with the dog. The dog’s owner was just walking slowly as if nothing was wrong and the dog tried to attack the puppy again and my friend had to boot the dog away from her puppy and then the dog’s owner put him on a lead and didn’t even ask if the puppy were okay or not and just walked off. A man saw everything and helped me calm my friend down.

    The puppy was yelping and snapping in defence. My friend took her puppy to the vets and thankfully the puppy didn’t have any bite marks on his body.

    I’m supposed to be getting a puppy in three weeks’ time and I’m terrified that I’m going to experience the same thing when walking the puppy on my own (my husband is often at work until late during the week).

    I apologise if any of the dog breeds I mention are any of the breeds any owners on here own, but I can’t help but get the idea of a staffy, a pit bull, bulldog or similar type of dog going for my puppy. I know that it’s generalising, but the stereotypes of the owners of those types of dogs are true around here 99.9% of the time.

    I want my puppy to be socialised, but how can I do this properly when many people do say “my dog is fine” and then a dog fight happens?

    I’m not interested in going to dog parks, but I do want my dog to leave other dogs alone if he sees any in the street and not be aggressive.
     
  2. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Messages:
    10,917
    Likes Received:
    15,089
    Moved to Dog Chat as you'll get more advice there. General Chat is for anything not related to pets - to give you an idea, some threads include Covid and its vaccines, the weather, books we're reading/TV programmes we're watching,/what we're listening to, petty things that annoy us, etc. ;)

    Now to your OP.

    Socialisation isn't about your puppy meeting and greeting and playing with every dog it sees. It's about teaching your pup that seeing other dogs is nothing really important. "Meh, it's another dog. So what?"

    You do that by making yourself the focus of your dog - see another dog = playtime with Mum. See another dog = treat for ignoring other dog. Same with humans. See human? Meh! Just another human.

    There are idiot owners of every breed - not just the bull breeds, and yes we do have a few bull breed owners on here. Any out of control dog can be dangerous - deed, not breed.

    If you're worried, carry a stick or umbrella. Owners - even idiotic owners - are more likely to be galvanised into action if they see someone waving a big sticks or brolly in the general direction of their dog. ;)
     
    Torin., lorilu, Sarah H and 3 others like this.
  3. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    19,068
    Likes Received:
    16,035
    I would not think screaming helped. I would imagine the poor pup is fairly traumatised by your behaviour. The chances are the dog was not even being aggressive, so body blocking it or getting hold of it (as you did) is the best bet while staying calm so the pup is not aware anything is wrong.
     
    fernlady, Torin., Rafa and 5 others like this.
  4. O2.0

    O2.0 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 23, 2018
    Messages:
    8,729
    Likes Received:
    27,150
    This.
    If you can't stay calm in the presence of other dogs, your own dog will quickly decide that other dogs are scary and you will have a reactive or even aggressive dog on your hands in no time.

    Maybe before you get your pup, spend some time volunteering at a shelter and get some experience under your belt regarding dogs and their behavior, that way you will feel more confident with your own dog.
     
    fernlady, Burrowzig, Torin. and 4 others like this.
  5. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes Received:
    21,134
    I think you need to relax, otherwise your fears are going to pass down to your puppy. The vast majority of dogs, even those who don't like other dogs, do not seek out other dogs to attack. Those that dislike other dogs tend to try and avoid them so as long as you give them plenty of space and don't let your puppy run up to them you will usually be fine.

    Yes there are exceptions of course, but you can prepare yourself for unwanted approaches by carrying a stick, as suggested. Getting wound up and screaming will not help the situation in any way. It is also helpful to lose your pre-conceived ideas about certain breeds as this will neither help you nor your puppy.

    What breed of puppy are you getting?
     
    Torin., Sarah H, O2.0 and 1 other person like this.
  6. JaneJ65

    JaneJ65 Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2021
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    10
    I understand that screaming probably wasn't the best option, but it's sometimes a natural reaction to something that is unpleasant e.g. if people are fighting then quite often people will hear women screaming and shouting 'STOP IT!!!' or something like that.

    I know that socialisation isn't about making sure that your puppy/dog greets every dog he/she sees, but I do want my dog to be friendly towards other dogs if they come towards her and she will also walk happily past other dogs without any negative reaction.

    I'm getting a female Golden Retriever.

    I grew up on a form and my family had Border Collies and Labradors (quite a few actually), but we never really saw any other people or dogs because we lived in the countryside miles away from people. But I do know that my auntie and uncle used to bring their dog to our home quite often and all of the dogs got on with each other without any problems.

    I'm not entirely convinced that most aggressive dogs will avoid other dogs at all costs. I've seen videos on YouTube and on TV with regard to aggressive dogs (or dogs behaving very badly) and as soon as the dogs were let off their leashes they went straight for other dogs.

    I know that it's wrong for me to generalise and stereotype (I mean, we all do, whether consciously or subconsciously, but yeah...), but I haven't had any positive experiences with any bull breed and the owners of the dogs have all conformed to the stereotype of owners of such breeds. I know that any dog of any breed can be aggressive, but some dogs are more prone to aggression than other dogs.
     
  7. JaneJ65

    JaneJ65 Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2021
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    10
    I've been watching plenty of videos on YouTube and I've read a few books on dog behaviour. At the moment I'm busy watching a Cesar Millan season.
     
  8. Jason25

    Jason25 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 8, 2018
    Messages:
    1,558
    Likes Received:
    4,641
    The blokes an *******, I wouldn't listen to the rubbish that comes out of his mouth lol.

    If you want something to watch you could check out kikopup: https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup
    Susan Garrett has some good content on her blog: https://susangarrettdogagility.com/

    You want to be watching/reading stuff that uses positive reinforcement, not stuff about being the alpha pack leader etc lol.
     
  9. JaneJ65

    JaneJ65 Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2021
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    10
    I watched a Millan video once and he punched a dog in the throat and said that he "touched" the dog. I must state that I was taken aback when I watched it.

    I came across Zak George on YouTube and I found plenty of his videos to be very informative.
     
    kimthecat and Jason25 like this.
  10. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    15,420
    Likes Received:
    26,549
    Caesar Millans harsher methods would not suit a golden retriever very well at all (won’t suit any dog in the long run). Goldens are sensitive dogs underneath all that waggy friendliness and need kind treatment when training, positive reinforcement with treats suits them very well as they think via their stomachs.
     
    cheekyscrip, lorilu, karenmc and 3 others like this.
  11. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes Received:
    21,134
    That's not actually what I said. I actually said that "the vast majority of dogs do not seek out other dogs to attack" which IME is true. Some fear reactive dogs will run up to other dogs and put on a display, which is usually all noise and slobber and doesn't usually cause harm. Yes there are dogs who will run up to other dogs intending to cause harm, but these are in the small minority and most people do not encounter them, but you can prepare yourself for such an encounter by carrying a tool such as a stick just in case.

    Watching videos of dogs being aggressive on YouTube or that dreadful program "dogs behaving very badly" is not helpful. Of course videos on YouTube and TV are more likely to be dramatic, otherwise noone would watch them. You are hardly going to find videos titled "Dog walking past and completely ignoring my dog" are you? "Dog attacking" is going to get far more views.
     
  12. LinznMilly

    LinznMilly Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Messages:
    10,917
    Likes Received:
    15,089
    This. 100% this.

    YouTube has its place, but not if you're anxious about taking a puppy for its walks and watching dog attack videos.
     
  13. JaneJ65

    JaneJ65 Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2021
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    10
    I want to walk my puppy and socialise him with other dogs, but I don't want her to have a bad experience which could jeopardise her temperament for the rest of her life.

    I'm a very quiet person in real life, so I'm not interested in going to dog parks or anything of that sort. On the contrary, I still do live in the middle of nowhere (about 20 minutes in a car away from a beach) and I want to walk my dog early in the morning and later on in the evening (especially during the summer), with my dog being well behaved and not showing any aggression towards any other dogs.

    I'm not against my dog socialising with other dogs, I just don't want her to be attacked or any trouble to happen.
     
  14. Jason25

    Jason25 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 8, 2018
    Messages:
    1,558
    Likes Received:
    4,641
    It wouldn't surprise me, I don't watch any of his stuff now that I'm a dog owner who enjoys training lol.

    I like Zak George, he has a really good attitude towards dogs and some really good content. I learnt a few things from him when I first got mine :)
     
  15. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes Received:
    21,134
    If you allow your dog to play with other, unknown dogs on walks then there is always going to be the risk of injury, whether deliberate or accidental. Of course, many would consider this a risk to be worth taking if you want your dog to run and play with other dogs, whilst others prefer to keep their dogs away from others apart from perhaps a few dogs that their dog already knows. There is no right or wrong way as long as you are respectful to others.

    No-one can guarantee you that your dog won't be attacked in its whole life, but what I am saying is that in the grand scheme of things the risk is quite small as long as you don't allow your dog to run up to other dogs uninvited. And how you react to any situation is incredibly important as it could influence how your dog deals with other dogs in future.
     
    O2.0, Torin., tyg'smum and 5 others like this.
  16. Siskin

    Siskin Look into my eyes....

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    15,420
    Likes Received:
    26,549
    If you have bought your golden from a good ethical breeder who is breeding for temperament as well as health and type, then one or two incidents are unlikely to have a long term effect. I think you’re overthinking this due to this incident with your friends dog and following up by watching videos relating to dog attacks and dogs behaving badly. As said above most videos will showing something bad happening as that is what takes people’s interest.

    My current golden has a robust temperament and despite a dog attacking her badly and another biting her she bounced back and hasn’t become scared or frightened of every dogs she sees, nor has she become aggressive towards other dogs and this is largely down to her good temperament.
    A previous golden who was bought from a breeder who wasn’t breeding for a good temperament and had allowed poor temperament into her breeding dogs (I found this out later). This dog was chased once by a lurcher who do have a particularly style of playstyle that other dogs may find unacceptable. She never really recovered from that incident and was not good with other dogs from then on, this was due to her nervous poor temperament rather then anything to do with the other dog. It’s a lesson that I learned and I paid a lot of attention to temperament when assessing breeders dogs when looking for the dog I have now

    Hopefully the breeder you are buying a puppy from is one of those good ones who pay attention to breeding for temperament, not all do.
     
  17. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    22,363
    Likes Received:
    9,490
    As well as the other advice here Id make sure you train a really solid recall (esp in the face of other dogs/distractions). That way you can control any greetings between your puppy and other dogs.
    Its going to be extremely rare to come across a truly aggressive dog (most people with unfriendly dogs will have them on leads/muzzled/or walk at unsocialable hours). What you have to watch out for is the 'only friendly' dogs who will steamroller over a puppy or nervous dog and bully and harrass them...the owners invariably dont see a problem (they think their dog isnt a problem and never see the damage they do to others dogs). IME those are the ones that cause problems!
     
    Douglas’ Dad, LinznMilly and Sairy like this.
  18. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes Received:
    21,134
    To be honest, I imagine the biggest problem you are likely to have with a golden retriever (providing you are getting a puppy from a responsible breeder who breeds for tenparement) is it being a little over-friendly and wanting to go and say hello to all and sundry.

    As mentioned above, teach a good recall to stop your pup from being a nuisance to others. They are lovely, lovely dogs but they do have a tendency to want to make friends with everyone which can cause issues sometimes.
     
    O2.0, Torin., Sarah H and 2 others like this.
  19. JaneJ65

    JaneJ65 Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2021
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    10
    Thanks everyone for your advice.

    I admit openly that I'm thinking about the incident I witnessed a lot, but it's because I don't want it to happen to my puppy and the fact that the dog came from nowhere is what is upsetting me the most.

    One of the reasons I'm getting a Golden Retriever is because I know that the breed is well known for being friendly and generally having a good temperament.

    In an ideal world all humans would get on with each other, but we know that is unfortunately never going to happen. The same can be applied to dogs or any other species. Thus, I know that my dog isn't going to get on well with every dog she meets, but I just want her to be able to walk past other dogs without any negativity and to tolerate greeting other dogs. I have a few friends who own dogs and I want my dog to be friends with their dogs, I don't want her to be every dog's friend because I know that is wishful thinking and simply not all dogs are going to get along with each other.
     
  20. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2016
    Messages:
    6,698
    Likes Received:
    21,134
    Whilst the incident obviously worried you, it doesn't sound like that big a deal to me. The puppy was unharmed other than perhaps a little shaken. If that is the worst experience of your life then I'd say you're doing pretty well!

    There is no way of predicting whether or not your dog will like your friend's dogs, but it would be a good idea to educate yourself on reading dog body language so that you can look out for signs that your dog (or other dogs) may be uncomfortable in situations. Most dogs I meet are pretty OK with other dogs though, certainly not wanting to come and attack. Some may not want to be approached, but that's fine. Their owners just keep out of the way and everyone goes about their business.

    I really think you might be over-thinking this and worrying over nothing. Focus on getting ready for your puppy's arrival and what training you are going to do etc. Do you have any pictures?
     
    O2.0, lorilu and Sarah H like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  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