There is an experiment I want to do with my dog...

(64 Posts)
D0oinMeCleanin Tue 23-Apr-13 11:10:43

Whippy's lead aggression is back worse than ever. We'd almost solved it until training was halted by my broken arm and lead walking stopped.

This means at least once a walk I am forced to shout "Please call your dog back, mine is aggressive" followed by much body blocking by me while they try and fail to restrain their dog, on warmer days this happens on average 5 or 6 times a walk angry

I want to walk her at the same time every day, until people start to recognise her and then walk her off lead, same route, same time, same walkers and allow her to run up to their dogs and note whether there is any difference in the amount of effort they put into restraining their dogs when they believe their dog is danger compared to the amount of effort they put in when it is my dog getting stressed. It would also be interesting to note whether they still believe it is "cute" or "just what dogs do"

Of course anyone who knows me knows that Whippy is the sweetest thing off lead, a completely different dog. They also know I would never do this, it is not fair to allow her lead aggression to go on for longer than necessary for my own amusement. But the mere thought amuses me greatly

PLEASE, PLEASE do not allow your off lead dog to approach leashed dogs, if they can't be trusted to recall immediately, keep them leashed.

We do the bloody yellow ribbon with NewDog.

No one takes the slightest bit of notice.

I am considering carrying a placard that says "please do not let your dog run up to my dog who is on the lead whilst you are miles away reading the paper" after this mornings fiasco.

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 23-Apr-13 16:56:31

Why anybody has an issue with the OP is a mystery to me.

I don't like dogs. I wish everyone would keep their dogs on leads. I don't want them to come up and sniff at me. Small children are often afraid of them. This is the first time I'd heard of dogs on leads having anxiety over the same thing and it makes perfect sense.

Apparently, it's not only dog-haters who don't want to play with your "friendly" dog!

Marymoo73 Tue 23-Apr-13 17:13:03

I have 2 dogs, my big lad (Rottie) is a rescue. With his usual "playmates" he is fine off the lead, however hates being approached if he is on the lead. Even if I call out to the other owner and ask them to control their dog, its usually a half hearted "Oh its ok, he/she is just being friendly" as I am blocking my dog, trying not to get knocked over by either one. He's going to training but it still doesnt stop him freaking out if an unleashed dog approaches him.

Sympathy, Dooin. We currently have a long term foster who is reactive. This is partly due to the fact that he is elderly, a bit creaky and his eyesight is failing. In the same way I hope we wouldn't encourage a small child to greet a frail elderly relative by flinging themselves at them in an enthusiastic rugby tackle, older dogs are often on a lead because they are either recovering from surgery, arthritic or have other health needs which may not be apparent to the numpty 500 yards away with the phone glued to their ear and a cannonball Labrador that wants to bowl over everything it meets. angry

We use the yellow bandana as part of the Yellow Dog scheme and are making good progress with BAT.

I hope some of the people on this thread realise that a dog that is on the lead and walking peacefully along minding its own business is under NO obligation to socialise with anyone else, and that sometimes non-socialisation is because of very good medical and health issues. I've already touched on dogs who are elderly, but those who are blind, partially blind, deaf, arthritic, etc still have the right to walk quietly along. We also foster rescue dogs and sometimes rescues can be a "work in progress" while they are training.

There are some excellent resources on the net - I commend this poster to all dog owners/walkers. here

Labradorwhisperer Tue 23-Apr-13 18:41:56

Lots of sympathy, D0oin.

I always walk my boys in places where I know they can be off lead safely but will ALWAYS recall them to heel and put them back on a lead for any dogs we come to who are on leads, young children and people who are likely to be unsteady on their feet, because as much as I absolutely trust they ignore people (they really do! - it's quite funny to watch them "blank" people who try fuss them as they go past) and have only 100% friendly intentions towards other dogs, its simply not fair to place others, human or canine, in a position where they are anxious.

The only tip I can give in addition to the great advice already given is to make sure you stay calm. Dogs pick up on your cues (as I am sure you already know) and so when dealing with situation where your dog has been hassled by another, you need to be firm but calm. Anything else could reinforce to your pup that there is something to be worried about.
Hope you can sort it soon

Snugglepiggy Tue 23-Apr-13 20:36:47

Am I misunderstanding something ? You say Whippy is fine off a lead,and only aggressive on the lead and yet it sounds as if you are doing the whole walk on the lead almost to test the behaviour of other dogs and their owners as much as to train her.If it's a safe area away from roads and livestock surely she would get a lot less wound up off lead and getting plenty of exercise,and the less of your walk is spent feeling uptight about how she reacts on lead.
Also in support of the poster with the puppy it's unreasonable to expect every single dog to have complete recall from day one.There has to a training period ,and unless a dog is completely wilful or aggressive off lead - in which case you would be absolutely right to be annoyed - most dogs quickly retreat and move on when given the signals from on lead dog that they don't appreciate company.

blimey, this thread got very busy!

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 23-Apr-13 23:54:22

Now I've finally got a chance to sit down I'll answer some questions...

Yes, these walks are all on lead. No, it's not to prove a point, in part it's due to retraining loose lead walking in both dogs, partly because Whippy being off lead and the other dog on lead would wind the other dog up to the point of distraction and while his recall is fairly good around game, it is not perfect and we walk on a nature reserve/outdoor center, where there are often groups of school children studying rabbit warrens and fox dens, the last thing they want to see is a stubby little terrier making lunch of their project and lastly it is down to time limits, they get huge off lead walks on my days off, I don't have time to get to our usual off lead place on days I work. There are certain areas in the outdoor center that are far enough away from the rabbits and foxes and they do occasionally get off lead there, but I often don't have time.

We are not doing BAT atm. I've only just started lead walking again now my arm is healing up and started off avoiding other dogs and taking short walks around the streets, so her lead aggression only became apparent to me on Friday, Sat we went off lead, Sun my Dad walked her and Monday again was off lead. Today I was back at work. We will begin training at the weekend when I have a few days off in a row so we can really get into it before I need to fit it in around work. When I train for things like this I only take the dog in training with me so all of my attentions can be focused on that dog.

mistlethrush Wed 24-Apr-13 00:30:43

this is what I was wondering about I have heard that an old Tshirt wrapped tight can do a similar sort of job to see if its worth getting one. What you really need is a nice light up board that you can write rude instructions for other dog owners that think it is quite OK to let their dogs run up to on-lead dogs without first finding out if its OK to do that....

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Wed 24-Apr-13 01:14:04

i am completely confused by ruralninjas logic. very entitled indeed to think your dog has a right to not only be off lead in public but to also be off lead and out of your control so that it can approach other dogs who are on lead (a dog on lead should be enough of a sign for you to recall your dog without the owner having to shout warnings or reasons to you). your dog must be in your control in public and that means either on lead or have reliable recall so that when you see another dog,(whether off or on lead) you recall, lead or hold your dog and ask the other owner if their dog would be happy to interact. to assume that all other dogs will either be happy or if not happy be removed by their owner. my dog weighs almost 50kg-i'm about 60kg if he decided he was going to eat your dog i'd stand little chance of removing him tbh- (thankfully he has no agression issues with any human or animal.) it's actually quite irresponsible and puts your own dog at risk through your own arrogance if you dont recall first and then ask the other owner if they can meet. the person with the dog on lead would not be at fault if your dog got hurt because it was off lead and approached the on lead dog without checking first.

tabulahrasa Wed 24-Apr-13 02:15:12

How much more effort do they put in restraining their dog when they think it's in danger from your dog? Most people blooming loads, but you still get the odd one.

As you know my puppy is a rottie, he's now 9 months old and 40kg - he's massively undersocialised and under exercised because he has a dodgy leg, he's very friendly, so friendly that he does a fantastic kangaroo impression when he sees another dog hmm yesterday an offlead dog came over and barked in his face for a good five minutes before its owner decided to do anything about it...so mine has now added barking to his bag of attention seeking tricks when he sees a dog.

I know he's a stupid puppy going, oi, oi, I'm here, come play with me - other people aren't so impressed by the big rottie jumping up and down and barking while I try to distract him.

Get her a rottie mask - you'll be amazed how fast people jump out of your way, rofl.

tabulaI need that rottie mask, noone ever believes that my incredibly cute tiny border could be anything but a fluffy wuffy teddy bear

ceres Wed 24-Apr-13 07:34:31

"Oh god another thread full of dimwits!"

i wouldn't say full - i've just read the thread and only seen one.

saintmerryweather Wed 24-Apr-13 07:44:00

Agree ceres but then there seems to be one on every thread lately

judir Thu 18-Jul-13 08:09:57

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

KittensoftPuppydog Thu 18-Jul-13 08:30:03

It does seem that mn is populated by dog owners with whose dogs have 'fear agression' and who expect too much from other dog owners.
Dogs are not wolves, they have coevolved with humans for thousands of years, and my experience is that most are excited to see another dog and want to say hello.
Most quickly get the idea when another dog isn't friendly and move on. That's because they can read signals from the other dog as a result of having been properly socialised. This involves interacting with other dogs.

quoteunquote Thu 18-Jul-13 08:50:12

how much more control do they want?

Well I hope that you are making sure the dog is wearing a muzzle until you get this under control. If you use a framed one, the dog can still bark, pant and bark, but will be unable to bite.

I would make sure you get some professional, l advice you join a local behaviourist course, and follow the advice to the letter.

It is fairly quick to cure but you do have to be totally consistent, with a relentless program.

D0oinMeCleanin Thu 18-Jul-13 09:10:52

Whippy only became fear aggressive being attacked on lead by a JRT, actually KittenSoft. She was and still is, when off lead, very well socialised and interacts regularly with other dogs. She has no choice but to interact with other dogs, we foster for a local rescue, she often has strange dogs trying to sleep in her bed, she has done since she was a puppy, she is fine with this. She panics when she is on lead a) because she was on lead when she was attacked so is often tense on lead and b) she knows she cannot get away if she needs to.

I'm aware of calming signals and often use calmer dogs to walk with Whippy whenever possible, their behavior calms down both Whippy and the on-coming strange dog, which makes things easier for all.

No, she is not currently muzzled, although at the start of our training, before I injured my arm, I used a muzzle to prevent other dogs running up to her. Ime people see a muzzled dog and automatically assume dog-aggressive and make a bigger effort to stay out of our way, even though with a muzzle she cannot hurt their dog confused She does not need to be muzzled, she is leashed and under control, if another owner cannot control their dog enough to keep them out of our space, then frankly that is their problem, as my dog is leashed the law is on my side, although given that she is the size of a large cat and weighs as much as wet dish rag, there's not much damage she could do anyway, plus she doesn't actually want to bite, she air snaps, she snarls, she barks, but she has no intention of actually fighting, all she wants is space to enjoy her walk in peace, which we are both entitled to. If you cannot call your dog back before it says hello to a leashed dog, then you need to keep it on a lead.

This thread was from ages ago. I'm not quite sure why it has resurfaced. After trying and failing with BAT (because the other dogs inevitably followed us) we have gone back to other training methods including me treating her the second she spots another dog, then jogging past while talking to her in a bright sing-song voice and treating again when she has passed without reacting (we still get other dogs following us, but generally because Whippy is paying no attention what-so-ever to them they sod off pretty quickly) and utilising the calmer more confident dogs I have access to (a recently rehomed foster and one of my Dad's lurchers) and getting them to greet the strange dogs first, which gives Whippy more confidence, because as I said, these dogs give out very clear calming signals which calms both Whippy and the excited new-comer along with extensive off lead socialising. We have made massive improvements within the last couple of weeks.

The I Need Space coats look great, though, I will keep them in mind if I ever need one for a foster/sick dog.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Jul-13 09:23:52

Glad Whippy is making progress, dooin.

Beats me why a few people just don't seem to get that they need to have their off-lead dogs under control. Sure, wanting to greet other dogs is natural - so, for a lot of them would be chasing runners, bikes and small children. You've got to have sufficient control for those situations (I hope no-one disputes that!), so just do the same around on-lead dogs, especially if you've been warned. Simple really.

megsmouse Thu 18-Jul-13 09:29:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KittensoftPuppydog Thu 18-Jul-13 11:27:53

Hi doin, I have also had this conversation before on mn and got a lot of abuse.
All I can say is to repeat what I said before. Our dog got agressive after she was attacked. She is now completely placid, and will run back to me and hide behind my legs if another dog shows aggression.
All I did was to say a very firm 'NO' and yank her lead if she got naughty, ignore her and take her home immediately. I think that there is a lot of nonsense out there about discipline and how dogs don't understand it. They do, but you have to do it immediately. Usually they will want to please.
I also made sure that she met other very placid dogs for a while and got used to playing with them.
All the best with your dog and the fosters. Ours was a foster who stayed...

GrimmaTheNome Thu 18-Jul-13 11:36:39

>I has never hears of the yellow lead project either so a yellow ribbon would mean nothing to me.

me neither - yellow tags/leads etc signify that the dog is a rescue from Dogs' Trust to me.

Turniptwirl Thu 18-Jul-13 16:50:22

I'm glad whippy is doing better

I agree that if you let your dog off the lead you should at least be making some efforts to control it! Of course not everyone has perfect recall and even the best trained dogs may suddenly become selectively deaf and ignore you, but as a dog owner it's our job to try!

One friend has a yorkie who is dog aggressive due to a lack of socialisation, separation anxiety and being generally old and creaky. She is always on a lead of course, but it is annoying when people let their dog bounce up to her then get upset if she growls or goes for them (being an elderly yorkie obv her people are stronger than her fortunately)

Another friend has an overexcitable but very well socialised boxer. She's not aggressive in the slightest but is big, strong, lunges and barks loudly at people and dogs inspire of having has regular training all her life (still goes to school). Off the lead shes submissive but friendly and reads signals from other dogs pretty well, sometimes she stays well clear if a dog without any overt aggression from it, but something must've warned her! On the lead its like she forgets how to speak dog and she lunges and shouts indiscriminately! However, we always make efforts to restrain her and apologise. I do tell people she intends it as friendly but I don't let this stop me holding her back! She is mostly on the lead as her recall is only good as long as nothing more interesting like a rabbit or another dog is around. If she is off the lead or even in a long lead we make her heel if we see another dog on a short lead.

somewheresomehow Thu 18-Jul-13 17:39:43

put a muzzle on the thing or a halti if it cant be trusted

You may call me a dimwit if you like but I still do not understand why my lovely well behaved dog should be on lead all the time because we may come across an aggressive dog.

My dog is old, she likes to walk along slowly at her own pace. She likes to have a good old sniff about and really isn't interested in other dogs, children or bikes. She is old, has some health problems and has no interest in jumping up on anyone even if she could. She just wants to be left alone to do her own thing. She also has selective hearing when there is something interesting to smell.

Why should she have her freedom leashed because there are other dogs out there that are not socialised?

She also was a rescue dog and had a very difficult start to her life. I believe she has earned the right to have her freedom whilst on a walk.

So go on then, call me a dimwit if you like, but my lovely old dog will be going for her walk off lead. She should be able to do so without the threat of aggression from other dogs.

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