Is there some sort of 'Dog Introduction Ettiquette' I don't know about?

(36 Posts)

Because (and I may be being over-sensitive) I have noticed that a lot of people seem to want to hurry their dogs along just when mine begins to amble over for a good bum-sniffing.

It isn't that they're in a special hurry, I don't think, as I often see them bimbling along some time later.

It saddens me a bit when this happens, as my dog always seems to get much less out of a walk when she hasn't had any fun doggy encounters.

A friend has suggested that it's breed snobbery: I don't want to think this, but on reflection it really does generally seem to be people with 'purebred' dogs who do it. Ours is a mutt- a Rottie/Alsatian cross getting on in years, and a real sweetheart (I may be biased).

By the way, I am referring to dogs who are off the leash here- I would tend to assume that they haven't got behavioural issues that mean they need to be steered away from other dogs.

Anyway, I'd be grateful to hear about your experiences with this- or whether perhaps there is something I can do from my end (re-assure the owner by calling across to them that she's already had breakfast?). Obviously, most doggy people are friendly and do stop and chat, but we do have some mornings (like today) where my poor hound comes home looking a bit depressed. Anthropomorphism? Me?! grin

Mine is a staff x and everyone keeps their distance from us sad there is only 1 walker that we see that let's the dogs play and she has a Yorkshire terrier! They play lovely. We even had a Labrador owner throw us a dirty look yesterday.

My staff x is only 7 months and very lively but she means no harm and does stop when told, but unfortunately they judge as soon as they see her.

It bothers me more than her though because she is more than happy running about with the kids and a tennis ball, the slide and roundabout are currently her best things! (Dogs are allowed at our park)

MothershipG Thu 21-Mar-13 07:06:44

I really don't think it pedigree snobbery, much more likely that they are nervous of big dogs and both rotties and GSDs have had bad reputations.

I admit I am very cautious around huskies I don't know since one killed a yorkie in our park. sad I know in my head that not all huskies are like this but I'm sure you can appreciate why it would alter my behaviour around the breed.

Also many dogs are happy to pass another dog at a distance but get grumpy if expected to greet.

So don't take it personally and maybe arrange to walk with your dog's friends?

Allfurcoatandnoknickers Thu 21-Mar-13 07:38:17

My rescue dog is grumpy if he can't get a good old sniff of another dog. The worse is when joggers go hurtling past with dog in tow. My puppy is also becoming the same. If there is no one to play with, or she cant get a sniff, she jumps all over mr grumpy!

Pizdets Thu 21-Mar-13 07:54:30

Awwww, my puppy is the same too. He visibly perks up when he's had a chance to play, even when he's been roughoused and cried about it! Because he's teeny and wimpy I love it if the owner shouts out 'don't worry, s/he's fine with puppies/little dogs' as their dog runs over to make friends because big, tough breeds can look a bit scary, so definitely think that's worth a try!

Unfortunately, it's the actions of irresponsible dog owners that make many people wary. If every offlead dog that came over was guaranteed to be friendly and well socialised with other dogs then that would be fine, but sadly not all are and they still say "Oh, he/she's friendly, don't worry!" while their dog tries to take chunks out of mine.

I like it when a dog owner recalls their dog when they see mine hunched up trying to get away. She only does this on lead and is quite happy to make friends off lead.

It's not breed snobbery in my case, just the fact that I know my dog is highly unlikely to ever feel comfortable playing with a GSD as she was attacked by one with an arsehole owner when she was 6 months old. It wouldn't be fair to put a nice GSD (and I know lots) in the position where it would be faced with her fear reaction.

I've been on the receiving end of it too - she was blamed for getting a Bichon Frise muddy in a park once hmm.

I do go out of my way to tell owners that it's not the breed of their dog but the hang-ups of mine that means I prefer to keep her on lead and sat quietly rather than play.

This wonderful article should be pinned - I think it explains things beautifully.
here

idirdog Thu 21-Mar-13 08:12:10

I do not ever let me dogs play with dogs that I do not know. So I would be the owner that walked on past you. Not because of your breed of dog just that there are so many numpties who have no idea of dog behaviour and just let their dogs bundle, sniff, annoy, pester other dogs.

However my dogs have loads of doggy interaction as I walk with friends at least once a day. But these are dogs I know, dogs that are sociable and have been introduced to dog interactions in the correct way.

If your dogs do want more interaction than build up a support network of dog owners that you can walk with.

I personally believe that the "he only wants to play dogs" causes more trouble than the aggressive dogs.

colditz Thu 21-Mar-13 08:14:14

I keep my dog well away from all others because is horrible with other dogs, despite my very best efforts.

tabulahrasa Thu 21-Mar-13 08:31:17

I have a poorly socialised, overly excitable 8 month old rottie who is always on lead because of a dodgy leg (which is why he's poorly socialised and excitable) people spot us in the distance, see him start bouncing and gather up their dogs and almost run in the opposite direction...I sometimes feel like I have a giant plague warning above my head, lol.

Floralnomad Thu 21-Mar-13 09:18:33

I use the 3 second rule when my dog is on lead because he's not brilliant with dogs when he's on his lead . When he's off lead he ignores all other dogs ,so I'm useless for anyone who has a dog that wants to play . I do avoid interaction with certain dogs , some because I know they don't like other dogs and a couple of local huskies because 1 of them attacked my friends JRT and I'm not sure which ( plus neither owner looks in control)

I'd hurry away because my dog hates having his bum sniffed and would be very vocal about it. He has behavioural issues but still needs to be exercised.

I have an 11 month Golden Retriever who does a kangaroo impression on the lead when he sees another dog. I think this worries people a bit! Which is really unfortunate because he is sooo friendly and loves to meet other dogs. He is a bit wary of smaller dogs (especially westies as the local one tends to just bark and growl at him) but loves big dogs. (On lead as recall is a work in progress).

Is there a way to train him to be a bit calmer?? I think I just thought it was how he is.

westcottcitizen Thu 21-Mar-13 10:32:38

My dog only likes to be briefly sniffed. Too long and she gets cross especially if it's a small dog. She has certain dogs that she likes and will sniff and play. I don't let her be sniffed on lead - she really hates that!

gymmummy64 Thu 21-Mar-13 11:57:52

My dog does not Do Play and gets very irritated by dogs that do. If I see a dog I don't know who looks bouncy or over interested I walk in the opposite direction. Prevention is so much easier for everyone involved. Bouncy dogs that we do know where I know the owner can and will call them off are fine and good for Gymdog's continuing socialisation though I too stick to the 3 second rule.

A lot of my assessment of an unknown dog will also concentrate on the owner and if they are wearing earphones/talking on a phone/taking no notice of their dog then I will steer clear. (not suggesting you are one of these owners!)

I have 'the pup who just wants to say hi'. I am aware that this is a huge problem for other dogs but I am now at a stage where I am struggling to know what to do.

We did puppy classes and he spent half his time on a time out. I can now get him to do a watch me and sit before greeting another dog on lead but the second he has his treat he is swinging on the end of his lead. I am at a stage now where he is only off lead a couple of times a week when I can take him into the woods where I find him easier to manage. I can spot other people approaching and lead him. If I don't he hares off to leap on dogs a great distance away and I can't manage the situation. We are in catch 22 now where he gets little or no off lead play as I have to have him on lead before dogs arrive as he is just in their face otherwise.

The watch mes and walking away only break his attention in the moment and he is 0 - 60 again if allowed to reapproach. He is so bright at learning commands but other dogs are his holy grail and I am starting to wonder if we will spend our whole lives on lead unless really isolated.

Anyone have any advice?

digerd Thu 21-Mar-13 12:27:39

Many females don't like too much avid bum sniffing which usually is done by the males.
I find a dog's body language is very clear. But sometimes a new dog can be uncertain. Like yesterday.
I am never worried when my little female dog meets a male dog < she is a little wary of all dogs> and until yesterday all females have been fine, except another small dog - Bichon Frise- was a bit off with mine as mine is not boisterous and perhaps has an aloof posture, and didn't respond to her play invite.
The Bichon barked and put her head low and pointed her nose towards her. The tone of her bark was " so, I m not good enough to play with then!!"

Both 2 years old. Mine didn't say a word. We both decided they didn't get on so moved on.

foolonthehill Thu 21-Mar-13 13:52:30

we quickly move on as although foolishdog has improved greatly with much training...she still gets stressed if a dog won;t leave her alone when she has had enough. With dogs i know who will say hi then potter along beside us i can be less pro-active.

Floralnomad Thu 21-Mar-13 15:05:40

fan can you not get him back if he is going to harass other dogs by use of a toy /ball/ roast chicken ? Perhaps hire a trainer with a dog they can bring to practice with ?

gymmummy64 Thu 21-Mar-13 15:52:13

Just looking at your post again, I think the answer lies in what you have written.

good bum sniffing

fun doggy encounters

For Gymdog (and therefore by extension for me) bum sniffing is not 'good' and doggy encounters are not 'fun'.

I suspect you and your dog look around your field in a friendly and welcoming manner. That would be enough to send us to the other side grin

He won't pause for anything Floral. We have only just managed to get him to do a quick watch me for treats. At puppy class he wouldn't touch chicken or cheese even if he didn't have to do anything for it. He is not interested in toys or balls uf he is out. He just wants to runs like maniac jumping up at dogs and people. Everyone always comments how friendly and good natured he is but unfortunately this manifests itself as him wanting to go and say hello to anyone and anything in an excitable manner.

He really isn't that food motivated. It worls well for clicker training commands at home and for instance out and about for lead walk training if no one else is about. I have been working through Pippa Mattinsons Total Recall book but we hit a brick wall as soon as meals were the reward for responding. He looked at me like I was mad and sauntered off and went to sleep. Since then he is reluctant to get off his bum even for hot chicken. He comes, but only after he's spent a minute or two assessing if it is really worth his effort. The trouble is it works on the premise that food is your dogs ultimate goal but he's not fussed. He regularly leaves meals.

He loves to play and I have tried special toys only appearing at the crucial moment. Our puppy trainer did bring her adult dog in to do some one on one but he drove her mad to the point where she was getting unhappy. The only dog he has 'listened' to is my uncles barky spaniel where he instantly offers calming signals and respects his space though they did play. Trainer just said to keep distracting and walk away if he continues to be impolite. Trouble is if he sees a dog he just takes flight and nothing will stop him

He is lovely natured in every other way but is such an attention junkie. I think he would be an outrageous and very cack handed flirt were he human!

It was the dog who was unhappy btw not the trainer! He didn't even give up with a warning air snap. I'm hoping if I keep up preventative measures to stop him having too much freedom he'll grow out of it but fear I am mistaken.

Jayne266 Thu 21-Mar-13 16:43:35

I would walk away from you but mainly because my dogs are nervous of dogs and I would worry they would start.

But I know what you mean I have staffies and they always get walked away from.

Branleuse Thu 21-Mar-13 18:42:45

lots of dogs don't like exuberant puppies and lots of people don't find your puppy particularly adorable or cute when its terrorising their dog.

fan I honestly think we have the same dog!! I'm just about to start on Total Recall as well. My boy will do anything for treats at home but once we're out he doesn't care. Luckily we do meet a few dogs that let bailey say hello but I do feel bad for him when every dog ignores him.

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