My dog got attacked. Her response surprised me.
I knew it would happen sooner or later. We have so many off-leash dogs in our neighborhood and people who think they should just let their dogs run wild and "sort it out themselves." I was walking Gypsy on the sidewalk and we got attacked by a teenager's brindle mix who was getting out of a vehicle off-lead. It was just loud and frightening, no injuries whatsoever so that's good. My dog (female, spayed, age 4.5) has a bite history with other dogs so I was fully expecting there to be a bloody battle. She usually enters a situation with ears and tail up, has always shown very offensive posturing rather than typical fear aggression. A couple of months after I adopted her, we started working diligently to curb her reactivity. It's been about eight months since then. She still shows the same body language if another dog gets in her face but has stopped trying to bark, lunge, or bite. When this dog attacked, she acted differently than I have ever seen her: ears flat, tail tucked, just trying to get away and crying. I hope this doesn't affect her progress or change her personality. I am not sure if she has ever been aggressively confronted before in this way. Most of the time the dogs that bother us are not serious, just barking at a safe distance or being annoying. I have got her to the point that even little chihuahuas have come up to us on the street and she will not attack them.
It makes me so sad that most of her experiences with other dogs have been negative since coming to live with us. She has a very sweet temperament and I feel like what she really needs is structured exposure and socialization. I have been trying to do this through classes and it helps, but one good experience once a week doesn't outweigh what happens during the week. When other dogs show submission or fear she becomes a bully, so I never let her interact. I just feed her treats for ignoring the other dogs and paying attention to me. This post doesn't really have a question associated with it, just sharing a story. I thought my dog would be the type to escalate a fight, but it turns out she is not like that at all. I wonder what was different, if it was just that the other dog was more confident or because he came at us so suddenly.
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