German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so arthur has been doing really well. He is currently 22 weeks, or about 5 1/2 months old. I have just been enjoying him while he is a puppy and trying to get a better bond. But tonight, I was freaked out, and now I can't stop worrying.

I went on our normal walk, which is usually about 40-50 minutes long(I read 5 minutes per month, but 25 minutes does NOT seem like enough for that little fluffball of energy) Anyways, we left and our walk was going smoothly. This was our first time going that far that way(There are 3 ways we could go when we leave. Left road, right road, or up towards the more of main road<- this is the one we went on) and everything was great. We passed some cows and their calves, which was new to Arthur(seeing them that close and not from 500 or more feet away) He did raise his hackles and bark, but I was able to get him to calm down and look at me, so we continued. Then we saw a few horses right when we got to the end of the road, and again, he raised his hackles and barked a few times, but he stopped and we turned back and headed towards the house.

On our way back I heard this loud growling, and I see a big huge black dog charging us. Easily twice Arthurs size. My immediate thought was a young/adolescent black bear. They aren't super uncommon this time of year. It was the last light of day, so it was super hard to tell. I was holding Arthur by the collar behind me and boy was my adrenaline pumping! It started barking when it got around 20 feet away and I let out a sigh. I was still frightened though, as I did not know this dog and It definitely did not look very friendly. This whole time Arthur was growling(no barking though) and trying to get towards the dog. I had him by the collar and just kept going straight. I had my pup growling trying to get to this other dog, and another dog, right at my dog's tail growling and barking following us down the road. Obviously, Arthur was scared. Hackles raised and tail tucked way under him. I was scared too! But I just kept going. I didn't look at the other dog, I didn't talk, I just kept going at a slightly faster than normal walking pace. About 5 minutes, the dog stopped following us.

That was his first experience like that, and the first-ever non play growl I have heard. On our way back we passed by an Idaho shag(popular local breed) that he was normally happy to see and be around even if he(the other dog) was barking at him. This time his hackles went up and he growled and tried to get to the other dog. Now I am terrified this experience might have scared him too much. Obviously, it's too early to tell. We won't be going out again until tomorrow, and probably on the calmer road with no dogs. But what if this has scared him too much? What can I do to try and prevent him from becoming reactive after this? And most importantly, what can I carry around in case this(the off-leash dog) happens again? I heard pepper spray works, so I can try and get that. But he(other dog) charged right up to my pup and my worry is, if another dog did that again, I would be worried about spraying my own pup's eyes and injuring him.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,278 Posts
If you're scared your dog will pick up on that and be reactive.Some people carry a walking stick to block a charging dog.Just having a sturdy stick to carry gives many people a feeling of bravado and control and you may walk along in a more confident manner.That's half the battle:)If you want a spray(just in case) hornet spray or bear spray shoots a very long thin stream.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aly

·
Registered
Joined
·
995 Posts
I agree with everything @dogma13 said. Just so you know, the advantage of hornet/wasp spray (don't know about bear spray) is that they shoot a long stream that lets you hit the target at some distance from yourself. (Great for discouraging human attackers, as well). If you're worried about hitting your pup, practice shortening up the lead quickly and teaching a prompt 'Sit' and 'Stay' which you can do at home and, later, on walks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thank you! I didn't know you could use wasp spray. I stockpile that stuff up every summer. I'll have a make a little carry bag or something for it. I will also start working on shortening the lead and getting him to sit better out on walks. He knows to sit whenever I stop, but that situation just took us by surprise and my mind went blank, I wasn't thinking at all about anything except getting away as quick as I calmly could.

On a great note. It doesn't appear he is reactive at all. He was probably just scared so he was on alert the rest of that walk. I saw a beautiful GSD walk right by my house! I have lived here a long time and never seen another GSD before. When they came back I brought Arthur out and they released their pup(They were teaching/proofing off-leash heel) and let him smell their pup. He didn't react once. He didn't pull the leash. Didn't growl, or bark. And he looked calm as could be and just wanted to play. That was so awesome and relieving to see. I can't wait to get him into BO classes. I couldn't find anywhere that takes pups under 6 months and without their rabies shot. He is getting his rabies shot in 2 weeks right when he turns 6 months and hopefully I can learn some more, and get some more walking confidence that way too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,941 Posts
Whew! All's well that ends well!

He was probably picking up on your anxiety when he reacted badly to the friendly dog the previous time. They DO pick up on our emotions! And you certainly can't blame him for still being scared/anxious, after meeting that huge dog!
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top