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What would you have done?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by applecrumlin, Mar 7, 2017.


  1. applecrumlin

    applecrumlin Oh Help Oh No it's a Gruffalo

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    A ridgeback and two terriers all came running right up to us in the forest yesterday. They had no malicious intent and Monkey wasn't traumatised but it was still inappropriate and unwelcome.
    My post isn't to complain about them, but to ask what others would have done. I just stood beside her; I thought that if I picked her up or tried to chase them off I'd only make a scene and make her more likely to react next time. If I had thought of it in time, I would have knelt beside her.
    We walk where we don't usually meet many other dogs but it's bound to happen again occasionally.
    What do others think of getting down to her level? (she's 7kg and was smaller than all 3 of the others)
     
  2. Aahlly

    Aahlly PetForums VIP

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    I think it depends on the personality of your dog TBH. I don't let Lola interact with dogs like that. I just pick her up. She gets overwhelmed and flustered when big dogs approach her. But she's only 2kg and really, I think it's understandable. With my other two I just continue walking and call them to my side. We're well practised in this really as this is a fairly regular occurrence especially if we visit the park. I don't make a scene out of it. The way I think about it is the only dogs I can control are my own so their recall away from other dogs is good as I worked on this a lot especially with Ghost who is easily distracted and only 4kg so there is the risk of him being trodden on. I worked hard to get them to ignore other dogs if I ask them to which diffuses the situation as the approaching dogs lose interest when mine don't engage.
     
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  3. Apollo2012

    Apollo2012 PetForums VIP

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    Apollo doesn't like dogs running up to him, unless they're girls. So I would have tried to block them and told them to go away. Might not have worked but better to try than the possible alternative of up to 4 dogs having a go at him.
     
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  4. labradrk

    labradrk PetForums VIP

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    I'd pick my little one up if I wasn't sure on the intention of the dog(s). Then turn my back so they aren't tempted to jump up. Rarely happens though, generally I'm a fairly decent judge of canine character (and intention!).

    With my big ones I usually just stop and hold onto them next to me and tell them to shoo. MOST dogs do back off, although as I found out today that's not exactly easy if they don't back off and you have some little bugger running rings around you!
     
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  5. Jobeth

    Jobeth PetForums VIP

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    It depends on your dog as you suggest that they were just running towards you. My 7kg Lhasa/poodle wouldn't be in the least bit bothered. My 4kg yorkie would not have liked the off lead dogs approaching. I've worked hard at training to build her confidence. In that situation I'd have picked her up and carried on walking. I don't yell etc at owners as my Lhasa/poodle is very sensitive to my feelings and would be more stressed by that reaction than the dogs. I stay calm and ignore and that keeps him calm as well.
     
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  6. Sairy

    Sairy PetForums VIP

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    With my full-grown GSD I definitely wouldn't be picking her up lol! I would probably have stood still and yelled "hello! Can you please come and fetch your dogs!"

    I'll tell you a story though from when Holly was around 5 months old. One early morning I took her for a walk over the woods, just the two of us. No-one else about... Bliss! I seem to remember she was off-lead, but walking close to me. All of a sudden I heard a frantic panting and this big staffie cross came up behind us, going full-pelt and ran straight into Holly, knocking her over and making her yelp. It really frightened me. This dog was all over Holly and I couldn't tell whether he was being friendly or if he was likely to attack. Instinctively, I picked Holly up and held her in my arms to protect her. However, the dog did not give up and now he was jumping up me to get to her. I was terrified that he would hurt her so I clung on and kept shouting "HELLO" and "HELP" at the top of my lungs. Absolutely no-one around. I decided to start heading back to the car, but it would take me 15 minutes to get back to the car and a 5 month old German Shepherd is by no means light so I knew there was no way that I could hold her for this long. I was so scared and my heart was pounding. Holly must have picked up on how scared I was.

    Eventually after about 5 minutes a woman appeared in the distance calling her dog - the dog who was with me. I have to admit that I really laid into her "YOUR DOG HAS JUST ATTACKED MY DOG! I'VE BEEN HERE FOR AGES TRYING TO PROTECT HER! YOU NEED TO GET YOUR DOG UNDER CONTROL!" I can't remember what else I said, but the emotion of the moment definitely took over. She was very apologetic "I'm so sorry! He doesn't usually run off like that, but he just went. He is friendly and he's only a pup himself." she came over and put him on the lead and we started walking our separate ways. Once I could breathe and see him without being in blind panic mode I could see that he was just trying to be friendly, but clearly hadn't learnt any manners. I suddenly decided that I did not want to walk away leaving Holly with the memory of a black dog and me being terrified. I had worked so hard on socialisation up until this point so I thought best to end on a good note, so I asked the woman to wait and I brought Holly over (both dogs on leads) to say a very brief hello so that she knew that the dog meant no harm.

    Thankfully, there was no lasting damage and she did not become fearful of dogs.

    I've not seen the woman or her dog since.
     
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  7. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    I tend to head off in the opposite direction or block if I can, otherwise I've taken to waving my hiking stick in the direction of the approaching dog which generally galvanises the owners to try and recall their dogs (they rarely actually can! :rolleyes:) or stop the dog long enough to get away

    Tbh if Jack was small enough there have been lots of occasions I would have picked him up and walked away.
     
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  8. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

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    We avoid where possible.

    I struggle with blocking. Phoebe panics when a strange dog approaches.. she wants to see what's going on, so when I stand in front of her, she shuffles around so she can keep her eyes on the other dog the whole time.. which kinda defeats the purpose of me blocking.

    What's working really well for us at the minute is using a super duper happy voice and saying "oh look at that lovely doggy" which seems to calm and reassure Phoebe that they're not going to eat her, and then we can quickly walk on and completely ignore the other dog. So far, the PITA's have all got bored of us pretty quickly because they aren't getting any interaction and they move on to annoy someone else.

    If I can't read the approaching dog, or if I'm unsure of its intentions, I pick her up. I use an "up up" cue for her to jump up into my arms. She puts her front paws and elbows over my shoulder and I support her bum with my arm. I haven't needed to do that in ages thankfully as she's put on a few kg's :eek:
     
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  9. applecrumlin

    applecrumlin Oh Help Oh No it's a Gruffalo

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    Thanks for the replies everyone, there obviously is no one-size-fits-all response. The whole thing just happened so quickly - it was dusk, we were almost back at the car, I'd seen the dogs up ahead but thought they were on leads, I was concentrating on Monkey as she was off lead, and has got much better about not running up to other dogs herself, but sometimes needs to be reminded .... and then suddenly they were all barrelling towards us. Luckily she's a confident - even cocky - little tyke, but I did think that 3 dogs including a ridgeback might be too much for her. They did suddenly chase her but only for a few seconds before she turned to face them, and at that point I did pick her up and they ran off again.
    Sairy, that sounds flippin terrifying! My heart was in my mouth just reading your account! It's a real credit to you and Holly that she had no ill effects.
    And Nettles, don't be surprised if you get stalked some time by us...I'd just LOVE to hear your super duper happy lovely doggy voice with Phoebe over your shoulder! Maybe you should carry a small piece of tasty wall in your pocket for emergencies? ??
     
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  10. Mercgirl

    Mercgirl PetForums Member

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    Wookie generally isn't bothered by big dogs approaching her, but one of the benefits of walking her in our local park is that we tend to meet the same dog owners and dogs all the time, and she has her regular buddies that she mills around with every day and is perfectly relaxed with. They are all much bigger than her, of course, but all really lovely dogs. I've only ever seen her nervous twice. Once when a strange staffy made a beeline over to her, and once when a large Dalmatian did the same. The first time she shot between my feet for protection. The second time she obviously decided I was too far away, and ran to Humph, who is the biggest Dogue de Bordeaux I've ever seen, and sat between his front paws. Not daft, Wookie! :)

    As it turns out, both the Staffy, Kira, and the Dalmation, Domino, are now part of the regular group, and both also lovely dogs.
     
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  11. McKenzie

    McKenzie PetForums VIP

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    This is an everyday occurrence, usually multiple times per walk, so it doesn't even register on my radar anymore. I just stop and wait for the greeting to occur. Kenzie (5kg) would sometimes find it intimidating if the dogs were particularly large or 'enthusiastic' so I'd get her to focus on me for treats and the other dog(s) would usually sniff and carry on. Elliot's a social butterfly so now he does all the greeting, leaving Kenzie to avoid or greet as she sees fit. I just stop and wait for the greeting to happen, and then carry on walking, calling my dogs along with me*. I find if I don't wait for them to meet, the other dog(s) start following us.

    I can't really see what getting down to the dog's level would do except make it slower for you to react if something flared up as well as putting your face in the 'firing line'.

    Obviously this is for the dogs that you can tell 'just want to say hi'. If I had worries about a dog I would take alternative action.

    *Unless Elliot decides that he simply must do everything in his power to get them to play with him!
     
    #11 McKenzie, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017
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  12. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    Have you tried carrying a pocketful of kibble to throw down in front of the approaching dog to stop them long enough to make your getaway?
     
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  13. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

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    Wall treats :Woot If you see me using my super duper lovely doggy voice and my pocket is dragging the floor, you'll know I've brought a handful of wall to reward Phoebe.

    I always carry kibble as a low value reward but Phoebe RG's food so I'm wary about throwing food, especially if she's off lead, in case it turns into a scrap.
    Not too long ago I was doing some on lead training with Phoebe in the field.. a collie was stalking us so I decided to leave. We'd ignored it and kept walking but it was relentless. The owner was at the far end of the field so I shouted to her to call her dog away but she waved and shouted back that he was friendly and won't touch us :Shifty I only had homemade tuna and cheese treats left in my pocket so I chucked a handful in front of the collie.. which it completely ignored! I was livid LOL
     
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  14. Blitz

    Blitz PetForums VIP

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    I think it very sad that so many people who walk in areas where there are other dogs are so worried about them. Unless you have a dog that has a reason not to interact why not just let them meet and greet and carry on after the greeting. My dogs seldom meet others localy but now we have a holiday cottage they meet loads of dogs. Some people obviously do not want their dogs greeting which is up to them but the majority let them have a moment to say hello and then walk on and I find it very refreshing after reading so much anti greeting on here. Toffee is far too in your face so I try and make sure she does not make the initial move but I am happy for her to play with a dog that approaches.
     
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  15. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    Tbh, i tend to do nothing. Dogs pelting over is an almost daily occurrence where i walk.

    I have picked Ned up once and thrown him over a stock fence when it was clear the other dog was a **** and intent on being the biggest one it could.

    The only time i have truly blocked and stood my ground against a dog (a BIG WHV) it went ape shit at me and i had to fend it off with my Flexi (thank god i have the hefty giant one!).

    I think being able to body block etc depends on how much control you have over your own dog. Mine gets really bloody stupid with other dogs when on the lead; he is initially unsure, then gets a nice adrenaline rush, then starts throwing himself around trying to play or trying to do some zoomies whilst still on a short lead. I tend to concentrate on trying to keep him calm and under control, as i fear his sudden movements and tense body language could kick things off.

    Sometimes i think intervening can just make things worse. Ive come across very few dogs that were aggressive. Most are just irritating and out of control, but friendly enough.
     
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  16. Tacey

    Tacey PetForums Senior

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    Tbh I just carry on walking and don't do anything at all. Neither of mine are that bothered by approaching dogs. Sometimes they say hello, sometimes they don't. Occasionally I have taken other dogs by the collar back to their owner if they're being a PITA though.
     
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  17. MontyMaude

    MontyMaude PetForums VIP

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    I haven't yet picked my dogs up although I was tempted the other week when we got rushed by a mastiff x and bully x apparently they've never done it before :rolleyes: but his worried wavering voice as he was talking to them trying to get their attention before they charged at and bowled Hector over led me to think he was a liar liar pants on fire :Rage

    My reactions depend on the dogs that have approached but I find standing still and blocking whilst keeping my two in close to me helps when it's an over eager rude playful dog as we aren't really exciting if we don't move and it usually spurs the owner into coming and collecting their dog and we will then quickly make our escape, if they aren't bouncy or overly interested in my two then I tend to just keep walking keeping my two close, although I did help grab a ladies dog the other week as she had been trying to get his lead on him for over 30 minutes but he just kept bouncing around her just out of reach and she looked utterly defeated so I made a little fuss and grabbed his collar for her.

    @Nettles I hate being stalked by collies, I had such a row with a chap whose collie was stalking me and a young Hector who was on a lead to the point it was properly herding us running in tight circles around us and I asked him to get his dog off which he did only to let go of it again and it legged it over a five bar gate and across a field to get to us again, I got very shouty :oops:
     
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  18. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

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    I find walking Phoebe with my sisters dog Meeko so much more relaxing. Meeko is like Elliot and happy to do all the greetings which takes the attention off Phoebe and she doesn't panic or freak out. Quite often she'll decide to say hello herself once she sees Meeko hasn't been eaten.
     
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  19. Nettles

    Nettles PetForums VIP

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    It's not very often a dog spooks me, but collies stalking me really unnerves me.

    We see a lady quite often with a rough collie who is really bad for stalking. She silently creeps up behind you and before you know it, she's at your ankles (the dog, not the lady :Hilarious) I don't mind so much anymore as I've got used to her now, and bizarrely, Phoebe really loves her! Phoebe thinks it's the best game EVER to chase a ball while your collie friend stalks you at the same time :rolleyes: But I really cringe when I see the dog stalking other people. I've mentioned nicely to the lady a few times that it unnerves some people, but her answer is always "I know, but she's a rescue working dog and stalking is the only thing she knows" :Banghead
     
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  20. shadowmare

    shadowmare The dog doesn't bite, me on the other hand...

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    Carried on walking. I don't let Axel play with random dogs because I don't see much purpose in it and I'm working hard on his focus on me so that would be just counterproductive. If we are passing other dogs on or walk - he goes on lead. If we are standing somewhere and I see some other dogs coming our way - I will evaluate if they will pass far enough for me to just keep Axel focused or if I need to start moving further myself. If we're walking and some dog starts following us - I just keep walking because it's not my problem if the owner can't get their dog back. Why do I never stop to let the dogs play or just greet each other?... because I hate rubbish small talk chit chat. It always goes something like "Oh she's beautiful! Is she a merle/ collie/ insert any random breed? My aunts has one" "No actually he's and Australian shepherd..." "Aah? Never heard of them before! Looks like a collie. How old is she?" "He's almost 4 now..." and blah blaah blaaah :rolleyes: I have no interest in other dog owners or their dogs on my walks unless it's a breed that I am interested. So I'm less bothered about random dogs than their owners ;)
     
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