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

Problem with Ferdie this morning

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by newfiesmum, Apr 13, 2011.


  1. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    This may turn into a long story. Had my dogs on the heath this morning and as usual, they like to go say hello to all the other dogs. I am always careful about letting them both go up, as they can be intimidating. This morning there was this border collie and for the first time in months, Ferdie tried to mount him. I grabbed his collar (not easy with all that fur) and got him off straight away, the collie growled and snarled at him and this is where it gets unusual. Every time another dog goes for Ferdie, he will run back to me. This time, he started growling back. I pulled him away and got his lead on, led him away, but all the time he was looking back and whimpering to get at the collie. This is so unusual for him.

    Now I think I am going to have to keep a brightly coloured lead on him (so that I can find it in a hurry with all that fur) just in case it happens again. I don't want to just keep them away from other dogs, as that rather makes the situation worse, but I need to be able to get this under control in a hurry. I cannot risk a fight with a dog this size.

    I have been racking my brains and this is the best I can think of. I could just keep his lead on, but again that would not be easy when there are lots of other dogs around. Sometimes if he has his lead on on the heath he just does not want to walk at all. Does anyone have any other ideas?
     
  2. murphy21

    murphy21 PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2010
    Messages:
    372
    Likes Received:
    30
    Bless him. I dont have much help to offer, i just wondered if he was castrated? Also my old english sheepdog cross is a massive hairball and i can never find his collar :rolleyes:

    Unrelated but... there is a newfie here in saffron walden, quite young i would guess just under a year as roughly same age as my old english cross. But ive always loved newfies and as its a big dog like mine ive always thought they would make good, evenly sized etc playmates. But the girl who owns it wont let it meet other dogs? surely thats only going to end in tears? Its never off lead and only road walked, if she sees another dog she turns round. i just feel sorry for it as it is stunning. sorry for randomness!!
     
  3. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    Yes, he was castrated when he was two; he is five now. He was an oversexed nightmare of a dog before that! It is not unheard of for him to try to mount another dog, but does not happen often and I can always see it coming. It was the way he retaliated and then whimpered to get back to the collie that worried me. I thought it could so easily have been dangerous, and I can't always find his collar in a hurry.

    There is a bloke round the corner with a newfoundland, completely out of control, and he tells me he does not like other dogs. Now this is unheard of for a newfie, they love other dogs. I think what happens is that they go up to say hello, other dog gets intimidated by their size and the owner doesn't want the hassle of letting them mix. One reason I got Joshua was so that Ferdie had someone his own size to play with. I think that must be the problem with the girl you know.

    But I am in Royston, so if you want to meet up, perhaps at Magog Downs which is ideal, let me know and we can introduce them. Just pm me, it would be good.
     
  4. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,401
    Likes Received:
    29
    If you already had hold of Ferdie, how could he "run back to you"? Perhaps from his point of view, it seemed like the Collie was threatening the 2 of you?

    My Collie, won't let dogs mount him similarly and shows he'll resist by snarling and showing teeth, just like Bitches tend to do out of season, and that's been the end of it so far, though obviously I distract and defuse the situation, if the dogs stand off. Normally he avoids a dog showing any sign of what would be labelled dominant-aggressive tendency; so it's rare.

    Other way round, "Off!" works or calling him away from small dog that's looking "bothered" by his attention (generally bitches who greet him, but then show nervous avoidance). There is an overweight, neutered Lab who isn't agile enough to play, but just ignores the mounting and doesn't seem bothered by it. No lipstick involved, so I've interpreted it as playful, especially given the eager friendly interactions they have in general.

    Be interesting to see how others handle this sort of thing, with those adolescents and young adult dogs, that are prone to do this.

    I wouldn't buy too much dogs being intimidated by size of other dogs. They may be unused to Newfie's, but mine met huge Mastiff as a pup and is unphased by another we pass occasionally, OTOH first encounter with a Leonberger was at 11 months old and he showed caution around her. Smaller dogs often invite quite boisterous play with the Collie to, a min-pinscher proved particularly agile to make up for low top end speed, for example.
     
    #4 RobD-BCactive, Apr 13, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2011
  5. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    I said normally he will run back to me. This morning he decided to retaliate, just as I had got hold of his collar. Not all dogs are intimidated, but I think it is wise to be on the look out. Some dogs, even tiny ones, will come along to play. I am just a bit concerned that if something like this happens again I may not be able to grab him in a hurry, because of all the fur hiding his collar.
     
  6. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,502
    Likes Received:
    48
    Even when dogs are social with other dogs but have a tendency to cower or hide behind you in more stressful situations, it's almost just as important to carry on positive associations and counter-conditioning as when an issue like yours arises, and he's been fearful before (but decided to run to you), it doesn't take much for that fear/uncertainty to go up a notch, equalling in Ferdie's more adverse reaction. Well, this is how I see it anyway!

    I would do two things (if your not already):

    1) Work on an 'Off' or 'Leave it' or even 'Dismount' (for comedy value!). Does Ferdie ever hump Joshua in play? If he does, it would be a good opportunity to build on a 'Dismount' command, along with a 'Mount' command. By putting a behaviour on cue, they can cease to be a problem. If he doesn't, just build on an 'Off' using food/toys/objects but it may take a while before it's strong enough to use in a mounting instance, unless you can really catch his intentions early by reading his behaviour.

    2) Plenty of positive association on walks, using his meal food. Rewards when he sees a dog and rewards in between socialising, even if it seems unnecessary.

    Hope this helps some!
     
  7. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    Thanks for your input. Ferdie is not fearful of other dogs, he goes up to say hello to all of them. It is more a case of "I don't want an argument" with him. He doesn't run and hide behind me, just comes in front of me, which is a newfie's protective instinct so perhaps he is trying to guard me. Normally also, I tell him off, and he gets off. It was just this one dog who turned on him and he retaliated, which was a bit scary as I am not expecting that from him and it could have been disastrous.

    Thinking about it, though, although he was whimpering to get back to the other dog, I only had his lead clipped to his collar so if he was desperate to go, I would not have been able to hold him. He didn't pull me toward him as we walked off, just stayed beside me. So perhaps there was something about that particular dog that scared him?

    Joshua came back straight away, as he always does, bless him, and I think I panicked a bit to be honest. The idea of Ferdie retaliating is a bit daunting. I just thought if he had a short lead that I could see it would be easier if it happens again. He never starts an argument, but this time he did retaliate.
     
  8. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    No, he never jumps on Joshua, more the other way round. On reflection, he may well be a bit scared when they go for him. It is hard to say really, as he has always done this, but not cowering or hiding. I will try what you suggest and see how we get on. He is fine normally with any dog, it is only if they object that he gets a bit of a mummy's boy. I don't want him to go the other way and start aggressing if it is a fear. And then the way he walked along beside me on the lead was odd, too, thinking about it. He normally won't walk on a lead on the heath unless we are heading back to the car. You could have something.

    Oh, dear, and I thought I knew him so well.
     
  9. catz4m8z

    catz4m8z PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    22,457
    Likes Received:
    9,765
    Hopefully it was just an isolated incident, although an easy find collar sounds like a plan!!:D
    Maybe he got confused by the collie's reaction. My boy Chihuahua for some reason shows up on some dogs radar as an in season bitch! Ive had to pick him up before so he wasnt humped into the ground!!:eek:
    Maybe it was a case of mixed messages??
     
  10. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    I don't know if he is trying to hump when he does it - I've never let it get that far! He is so heavy he could easily hurt a smaller dog, so I am always careful, but until just now, although he always comes back to me when they object, I have never thought of him as being afraid of that. I thought he just didn't want to be bothered with an argument! Now it is going to be difficult because, as I said, he only shows this reaction when they start on him, otherwise he is fine.

    I think something bright enough to see and grab quickly would be a good idea, myself. If I keep his lead on I have the same problem, because that is black as well. I need something in fluorescent pink, I think:eek:
     
  11. DogTrainer01

    DogTrainer01 PetForums Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    136
    Likes Received:
    0
    Did you get hold of his collar (even) seconds before he started growling? If so, that slight constriction could have made him feel uneasy and could be a reason as to why he growled.

    In all honestly, determing on how he acts with other dogs on his next walk, I wouldn't be that worried about what happened (easier said then done, I know). I think sometimes, dogs are expected to get on with every dog it meets which is a tall order I think.
    These situations happen so fast that really, we would have only really seen all of what both dogs were showing if we recorded it and played it back in slow motion :D its mind boggling really haha.

    Fleurescent pink collar sounds like my idea of a collar!! :D
     
  12. Rottiefan

    Rottiefan PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Messages:
    1,502
    Likes Received:
    48
    Yeah, I would say that this could be a one off and we can't expect dogs to get on with every dog they meet- just like humans meeting other humans!

    There's no harm in doing some more positive association though, it always helps!
     
  13. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    I got his collar before the other dog started growling, but I doubt that was what caused his reaction. I am always grabbing his collar and he takes no notice. Anything, of course, could have changed his normal attitude so it needs careful observation and sorting. He is 12 stone (about 75 kg) and I cannot risk a fight.

    Fluorescent pink it is!
     
  14. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,618
    Likes Received:
    79
    Yep a brightly coloured collar may be an idea. Also one that is quite wide.

    I would suggest that his humping behaivour is linked with arousal and that grabbing him in the face of another dog becoming aroused also may have contributed to things escalating.

    Self control exercises in the midst of other dogs are always a good idea and particularly here.
    Teaching a distance behaviour e.g. sit so as to divert humping or indeed arousing situations.

    Also, if you 'grab' your dog's collar in any situation that involves ending his access to something he wants or indeed if introducing him to something he doesn't like practice lots of positive colalr grabs.
    A very common cause of dog bites and other escalating behaviours are collar grabs.
    Teach your dog that collar grabs are great and even better teach them that collar grabs mean to give their attention to you. More on this here: Essential Exercises for Cerraazzzy Canines: Getting Outta Dodge | Pet Central's Pawsitive Dawgs Blog!
     
  15. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    thanks, Tripod. Usually he is good if I tell him "off". I think I will hunt for a shortish canvass bright coloured lead - I won't be able to get a collar to fit him. It could be that it may never happen again, but I want to be prepared. Don't want some poor dog squashed by his over enthusiasm, and I certainly don't want a fight on my hands.

    Thanks for all your comments.
     
  16. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,401
    Likes Received:
    29
    This sounds like great advice!! You should charge ;)

    Might a non-collar grab positive interruptor help to? There's always an advantage if something works at a distance, rather than relying on you catching up with the previously nicely playing dogs.

    Can hardly blame a Collie for objecting to Ferdie's weight!
     
    #16 RobD-BCactive, Apr 14, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011
  17. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    I have managed to get two very smart, bright red leads only about 12 inches long. I thought I would have to get longer ones and cut them down, so they have a wrist loop and are strong. I shall just leave them on when we go out from now on so I have something to grab in a hurry. I couldn't get shocking pink!:D
     
  18. grandad

    grandad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,589
    Likes Received:
    25
    just out of curiosity, What did the other dog owner say to you?
     
  19. newfiesmum

    newfiesmum Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    19,251
    Likes Received:
    1,728
    She told me her dog was a grumpy guts and laughed. I am sure it would not have turned into anything and had mine been the same size or smaller I wouldn't have worried.
     
  20. grandad

    grandad PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2011
    Messages:
    1,589
    Likes Received:
    25
    Lucky you, If it was my dog that your dog tried to mount, I think I would have been a little miffed.
    It's a bit similar to a 15 stone bloke running up to you and trying to mount you. Would you think that was allowed?
     
  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