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Rottweiler can be unpredictable with strangers

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by morgz84, Jan 10, 2019.


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  1. morgz84

    morgz84 PetForums Newbie

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    My parents own a Rottie called Duke, who I also think the world of. He has a generally great disposition, lives with a cat and very affectionate towards family. He does have a few bad behaviours such as very insistent begging and stealing food not kept out of reach.

    His most worrying negative trait is with strangers. He is a very handsome dog and attracts a lot of attention from people. Nearly any dog lover who sees him, instantly wants to "say hello" and pet him. Most of the time this isn't an issue and he often initiates the contact himself when allowed. There have unfortunately however been one or two incidents. I think these stem back to his early days. He has always come to pubs with us in the past, but we have found that you get macho idiots who have had a few, and want to look "well 'ard" with "well 'ard" dog. It has ranged from excessively vigorous patting to people actually trying to open his mouth to iook at his teeth! :mad: This resulted in a couple of snaps and nips. We have been closely monitoring him with people now, and stopping contact at any sign of stress, but also rewarding positive contact.

    An incident today though has really wound me up. I took him to the pub after a walk. I was in a quiet part of the bar., however by the main thoroughfare from restaurant to toilets. A couple of people on separate occasions passed and made a fuss, which he was fine with. But at one point, ended up with about five people from one of the tables all stood around. I had noticed he was limping, from the arthritis he gets in one of the back legs. The man started stroking him, quite vigorously, resulting in a curled lip. I told him the dog is in pain and needs to be left, to which he just carried. After repeating that he was in pain and not happy, he left. After witnessing the whole incident, the stupid woman started at it. I said in no uncertain terms, that he is not happy, he is tired and in pain and doesn't want to be stroked. To which she continued, with other idiots ready to join in. I had to almost shout, "YOU NEED TO STOP, RIGHT NOW", before they finally left him alone. I could see Duke's patience deteriorating, but nobody was listening. :mad::mad::mad:

    He has always been a popular dog, but I think being taken to pubs hasn't helped. He definitely seems a lot happier with strangers, if you are out and about with owners and their dogs. I won't be taking him to the pub very often now. If I do, it will be when it's quiet. I think we have decided too, that it's time for him to wear a muzzle in busy situations, such as country shows.

    This is all very sad. He is a great dog. Very happy and playful generally, but I think certain enclosed situations make him quite stressed. Children in the family interact positively with him under close supervision. We mostly keep it to ball games and giving treats so that it's always fun and not annoying. If there are going to be lots of kids at my mum's, I take him out for the day.

    I'm so scared he is going to bite someone badly one day. When he growls, curls his lip, or air snaps, we never correct the behaviour, as we understand this can lead to them resorting immediately to a bite in future. We have done our best to bring him up to be calm and loving, which he is 99% of the time. Unfortunately he has encountered a lot of idiot people. I am pretty sure he has "stranger anxiety" if it exists. Has anyone else had similar problems?
     
    #1 morgz84, Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Why not just stop taking him to pubs, etc. where he is trapped in a room with these numpties?

    Out and about, avoid interactions with strangers.

    Be firm and if they ignore your instructions, turn and walk away.

    With regard to his arthritic pain, has he been given painkillers? If not, take him to the vet.
     
  3. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

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    He is clearly unhappy in pubs, he's showing you that.

    Stop taking him into situations where he feels the need to warn people away.

    How many clear signals from him do you need before you listen to him?
     
  4. morgz84

    morgz84 PetForums Newbie

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    He has Carprodyl for pain relief, but he didn't start limping until he was getting up to "say hello" to people. We will definitely be taking him to pubs a lot less in future. But it has mostly been a pleasant activity for Duke in the past. There are a lot of people who he has positive interactions with and other canine regulars. As for strangers out and about, he is fine if he isn't trapped. But I get him on a lead if they are not walking dogs themselves off leads.
     
  5. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    I agree with @Lurcherlad - you need to stop putting him in positions where he feels uncomfortable. You can’t control what other people do, but you can control what you do. Growling, lip curls and air snaps shows he’s VERY uncomfortable, not just a bit annoyed. You’re right not to punish him for these actions, but by putting him in those situations still, you’re not listening to his communication. Putting a muzzle on him may stop him being able to bite (hard - he may still be able to nip through it) but it’s not helping his anxiety and you’ll still have the ‘well ‘ard’ blokes who want to show off my stroking the dog with the muzzle.
     
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  6. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Look at it this way , would you like a load of strangers patting you ? I know I wouldn,t :)
    The easiest thing to do is to not take him to the pub. Stop putting him in this position , you're responsible for him and if he is pushed to far and does actually snap or bite someone then you could be prosecuted and he would very likely be put to sleep .
     
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  7. morgz84

    morgz84 PetForums Newbie

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    Am a little disappointed by the sanctimonious tone of the replies so far. Am looking for practical advice on improving his experience with strangers, not lectures. I know I've made mistakes. Haven't we all?
     
  8. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Agree with the others, he’s being very good at telling everyone he’s uncomfortable bless him and not biting. I’d stop taking him to places he can feel cornered, or if you do, be very vigilant that no one can approach him or stroke him. I don’t understand why people think they can just randomly pet a dog? If I want to say hello to a random dog I ask if it’s ok first or, if the dog approaches me happily, hold my hand out for a sniff and that’s about it...

    I know you say he’s a big dog but is there anyway you could teach him to lie under a table or under your legs? Then he wouldn’t really be accessible for other people to get to (if you are still going to the pub)
     
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  9. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    I don’t think anyone is trying to be sanctimonious (sorry that you feel that way) just saying that it’s easiest to not put him in that position. I think the way to improve his experience with strangers is to just not have them approach him. He obviously doesn’t like it and if he’s in pain he won’t want people fussing over him. The best thing they can do is ignore him and then he’ll realise that strangers aren’t so bad because they don’t get all up in his face :)
     
  10. morgz84

    morgz84 PetForums Newbie

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    You have been fairly civilised in comparison the initial condemnBOTs.
     
  11. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Ive made mistakes too but I don't come onto a forum and be rude to people who took the time and effort to reply to my query .
     
  12. Linda Weasel

    Linda Weasel PetForums VIP

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    What everybody else says makes sense.

    However annoying and stupid other people are, it's your job to keep your dog safe.

    Don't put him in a position where he feels the need to defend either himself or you.

    You must be aware that Rotts aren't really predisposed to be overly/randomly social dogs, and should be taking this into account with your expectations of his behaviour.
     
    #12 Linda Weasel, Jan 10, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
  13. morgz84

    morgz84 PetForums Newbie

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    Only rude to people who don't read my posts properly, then insult my intelligence dear.
     
  14. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    You dont really have much intelligence to insult.
     
  15. morgz84

    morgz84 PetForums Newbie

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    Drink bleach.
     
  16. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    :rolleyes: Are you actually old enough to go in pubs. You sound about 10 years old.
     
  17. morgz84

    morgz84 PetForums Newbie

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    Yes. Old and oh so tired of sanctimonious pr!cks.
     
  18. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    Well that escalated quickly!
     
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  19. morgz84

    morgz84 PetForums Newbie

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    I'll be banned soon, but obviously this is a very cliquey forum and you like to pounce on the new guy. Well I'm a nice guy until people attack me. Should be the PettyTw*t forum, lol!!
     
  20. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Agreed!
     
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