...accept not meeting other dogs onleash? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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...accept not meeting other dogs onleash?

Hi!
First-time dog owner with a shepherd/husky mix rescue. As we have gotten to know him, we find that his personality is more shepherd.

I'm confused about meeting other dogs onleash! I've seen that friendly smiley owners like their dogs to meet other dogs, and their dogs are friendly and smiley. They think it's weird when you're steering your dog away. Then there are the in-training owners and their dogs trot by in Heel. They don't look up and are instead issuing quiet commands to their dog (meanwhile, your dog is panting and straining to get to theirs... I don't know what kind of owner I want to be! I think I'm making him confused.

In the first weeks we got him, neighbors (especially dog-owners) wanted to meet him and they introduced their dogs ... So now he has some neighborhood "dog-friends" whom he greets peacefully on leash, and we know their names and their owners' names.

Then in obedience class, the teacher said, "It's not a good idea to let your dog meet other dogs on leash." In class, he was never allowed to "Say Hi" to any other dog- we practiced sit, stay, leashwalking, near the other dogs while ignoring them.

So I thought it's best to train him to not meet other dogs on leash... like in class. But it's not going well!
He is OK if they're going by on the other side of the street, but in the real world we get surprised going around corners, or walking on a narrow trail, and when I hold him back, he lunges and whines and howls and rears up in the air! With a 70 lb dog, that gets pretty frightening for people and their dogs. Also I think he might be confused because when we're in our own neighborhood, I do let him greet the neighbor dogs...I think neighbors would think it was odd if I dragged him by on the other side of the street!


What did you train your dogs to do?

Do you lean towards easygoing friendly (just let them say Hi!) or trained (never meet other dogs onleash) or something in-between (meet some dogs, if I say it is OK - but I think that is confusing for the dog?)

Thanks for any thoughts.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 04:28 PM
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Here ya go - seven reasons why meeting on leash is a BAD idea!

https://medium.com/@armandomorales_2...a-33616c8c17de

And here is something else to think about - In some European countries, dogs are allowed just about everywhere in public, yet they remain well-behaved, primarly because they are discouraged from rushing up to every dog they meet to greet it:

https://healthypets.mercola.com/site...l-behaved.aspx
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 04:29 PM
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I dislike on leash meetings. Causes frustration. I don't care if my dogs don't have friends. To me that's dumb. That doggies need friends.
My male could care less. He wants to be with me. Even with my other dog.

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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 04:32 PM
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I want my dog to walk nicely by my side and ignore other people. If I am constantly allowing him to meet and greet other dogs or people, he is going to expect this every time another dog or person passes. NOT a good idea - what if the person is afraid of dogs? What if the other dog is dog-aggressive? Even dog-aggressive dogs need to get out for a walk, you know!
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 04:43 PM
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I went through a very similar thought process (my trainer is 100% no greeting at class). I like being social and meeting/greeting people on the trail and many have their dogs with them.

When my pup was very young (3-5 months) I was busy working on loose leash walking and would not let her go up to other people/dogs. At about 7 months we started walking with a prong collar and rapidly her leash behavior became excellent. After that we started "proofing" at places like Home Depot and she was doing so awesome that I started letting her great other people and other dogs (if asked). I found that 8 out of 10 "greets" went great, but 2 out of 10 a dog would growl or snap and my girl would bark back or some idiot would think slap fighting an unknown pup was a good idea. I decided not to risk it anymore except on VERY rare occasions. I'm a firm believer that my number one job with my pup is to protect her from bad situations, that means I need control of the situation.

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Originally Posted by GSDchoice View Post
He is OK if they're going by on the other side of the street, but in the real world we get surprised going around corners, or walking on a narrow trail, and when I hold him back, he lunges and whines and howls and rears up in the air! With a 70 lb dog, that gets pretty frightening for people and their dogs.
I think everyone goes through this, but it needs to be put to an end quickly. If you do not have complete control of your dog, "greets" would be a definite NO. Plenty of ways to train out this behavior, I worked with a trainer and a good/quality prong collar and quickly ended leash antics. Age of the dog, maturity, seams to help quite a bit too.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 04:50 PM
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Hmm. I walk a lot on narrow city sidewalks in an area with a TON of dogs (many of whom are reactive). Mine is very dog-friendly, but plenty of other dogs are not.

I slow up when I'm approaching a corner and make a wider turn if i can, so I can get a read on if someone is approaching.

If I'm on a narrow sidewalk or trail and another dog is approaching, I pull my dog over to the side, put her in a sit in heel position, and tell her "wait." We let the other dog (or wide stroller, or pair of humans, or whatever it is) pass, then release and praise. This took time to build, but it is helpful. It also puts me in a position to body block if the other owner has poor control or lets their dog approach without my permission.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 05:49 PM
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[QUOTE=Sunsilver;8770570]I want my dog to walk nicely by my side and ignore other people. If I am constantly allowing him to meet and greet other dogs or people, he is going to expect this every time another dog or person passes. NOT a good idea - what if the person is afraid of dogs? What if the other dog is dog-aggressive? Even dog-aggressive dogs need to get out for a walk, you know![/QUOTE]

THANK YOU!

I control my dog, by whatever means necessary. I have a reasonable expectation that others will do the same.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Then in obedience class, the teacher said, "It's not a good idea to let your dog meet other dogs on leash." In class, he was never allowed to "Say Hi" to any other dog- we practiced sit, stay, leashwalking, near the other dogs while ignoring them.
If this is how you're training him there, I'd stick to it outside of class too, to be consistent. Ask the trainer how to apply what you're doing there to your casual walks, and at least for now, plan on being aware enough to keep yourself at a little distance. Calmly move away, don't be abrupt and nervous about it.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-17-2017, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunsilver View Post
I want my dog to walk nicely by my side and ignore other people. If I am constantly allowing him to meet and greet other dogs or people, he is going to expect this every time another dog or person passes. NOT a good idea - what if the person is afraid of dogs? What if the other dog is dog-aggressive? Even dog-aggressive dogs need to get out for a walk, you know!
They do, but from the other side of this, I really appreciate when the owner of a dog-reactive or dog-aggressive dog is watching and controlling their dog and crossing the street if necessary. I put the onus on myself to pull over and give them the sidewalk if I don't want a meeting (which I don't) or if the group/stroller/what have you is too wide for us to pass each other, but I put the onus on them to discern if their dog can handle that, to cross the street if it's going to be too stressful (rather than glare at me for not having done it), and to control their dog as they pass. That's just courteous on both sides. (And I'm not directing that at anyone here but speaking to my own experience in a dog-dense neighborhood.)
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-18-2017, 08:11 AM
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I've had a dog (ridgie mix) that I let greet other dogs. I hadn't really dealt with dog aggression and I never gave it much thought. She was a great dog and I never had trouble with her and other dogs.

I had a little mix of something (maybe beagle / whippet ) and she was hit or miss. Some dogs she liked, some she didn't. We used a 3 second sniff. I allowed a dog she was interested in to greet for 3 seconds and then we moved on. Oddly, other dog owners seemed more accepting of no meet and greet than when I say that about my GSDs.

My guys don't meet and greet at all out on the street. I nearly always cross to the other side or move off of the walk. Or we just bring our dogs up close and walk on by. We did do play-dates with dogs we knew, but those were far and few between. My two dogs mostly play with each other. I do have an old gal GSD on the other side of the fence that my boy meets and greets. My gal-dog wants to talk smack with her. Most annoying.

So I side with the "no greetings on the street" group. If you make friends in your neighborhood, you could go for walks together. I find that is more productive.

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