German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Lucy and I live Downtown. We were on a verryyyy leisurely walk at a park in our neighbourhood. I emphasize this, because she was being uncommonly mellow, not noticing anything, just relaxing.

Well, there are storefronts at the entrance of the park, a few restaurants, etc. As we are leaving the park, and making a turn around the corner to the next block, I start to hear shouting and commotion.

We look back, and (2) 40-50 lbs. mixes (resembled Pitbulls, but I think they were another breed) were charging straight for us. They had come from the patio of one of the restaurants. I, unfortunately, go into a slight panic mode. Usually, I am more calm, but I also tend to see these situations before they have started to unfold. Ofcourse, she goes into defense mode, so I quickly put her behind me and move to the front lines to address the approaching dogs.

As I prepared for an attack, they stopped about 3 feet from us. Suddenly, they went into a 'waggy tail/curious mode.' Well, Lucy has anxiety triggered aggression and was not in the mood to play. I held her back, and thankfully the dogs did not decide to go in for a handshake. By this time, the (presumed) owner had gotten up from his dinner table (and cocktails), walked over, (still about 20 feet from us, his dogs, and the entire situation) and called his dogs back.

At this point, Lucy is twisting and turning, yelping at the top of her lungs, wanting to protect both of us, and ultimately...just plain scared. I felt so bad for her. We are working with a behaviourist to learn to trust other dogs, and this is not the type of situation she (or anyone) needs.

I just glared at the party. The owner of the dogs never addressed me nor apologized. Furthermore, his companion for the evening, the table's waitress (who was within 10 feet of the incident), and even the restaurant owner all said nothing. They just looked at Lucy and I, smiled, actually laughed with each other, and went back to conversing/drinking/eating.

I did not feel as though I could approach the party or the restaurant. I did not know if the owner had actually secured his dogs. Furthermore, I did not want to take Lucy closer to them. We went back to the park, hung out for about 10 minutes, I cleared my head, (Lucy had already forgotten about it) and we finished our walk.

Their entire handling of the situation was: Classless. No apologies. No accountability from the dog owner or restaurant owner. Apparently off leash charging dogs are welcome at this establishment.

Thanks for reading my long entry.

I was lucky on this walk. The dogs could have attacked. Thankfully, Lucy, myself, and the charging dogs were not hurt in this incident.

However, to better prepare myself, I would like input on what you carry on walks, (walking sticks, mace, etc.) I feel as though an extra line of protection is a good idea. Hopefully I will never need to fend off aggressive dogs, but I have already had enough experience, and read enough entries on this forum, to realize it is a good idea.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,921 Posts
A club about 3' can come in very handy if you really need it and are willing (but not too quick) to use it.

Probably could also use a spray can of something, but it is awfully likely to hit you and/or your dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
Do you have a cell phone?
Can you put AC on speed dial?
I'm assuming that as you live downtown, there is some form of AC & officers will actually respond ...
if not, have the police on speed dial & report that you were fearful for yourself - as you should be - if an altercation ensued, chances are you would be bitten as well!

It's unfortunate when something untoward happens with dogs but especially frustrating (& dangerous) when no responsibility is shown by the human companions
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,006 Posts
Even air spray or citronella spray will often redirect approaching dogs IF you can trigger it before there is physical contact.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16 Posts
Hi,
This seems to happen to us a lot, i think off leash dogs sense that Poppy has a fear of them.
I find that the dog owners here in the UK find it fine to let their dogs just charge up ( because of course their dog is friendly )but as soon as Poppy snaps their dog will turn out to be not so friendly, anyway i got so fed up with this keep happening, that i started to carry pet corrector spray ( a can of air )& this works well, the only thing is it doesn't last long & is quite expensive ( for air ), so sometimes i use a small empty water bottle filled with small stones & shake it towards the dog running at us, i have to be careful not to frighten Poppy with it though.
Other dog owner look at me like i'm the devil, but iv'e got to the point where i don't care anymore, i used to be the one always saying sorry, even though Poppy was on a leash, but this forum has helped me get stronger & take control.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
I would write the restaurant a letter and explain the situation. We are actually discussing this topic on another forum I belong to. Dogs off leash in a nonconfined area are just not okay no matter how nice one parties dog is. I would have yelled get your dogs immediately as well. I had a doberman who just did not like certain dogs and a neighbor who though it was okay to allow his to roam the neighborhood at all hours. We tried talking to the man nicely, complained, and wrote letters but nothing changed. One day on our walk he must have let him out (we always looked for him before leaving to avoid him) and his dog charged in as usual. I was pregnant at the time and tried to get away but finally just let my leash go. Needless to say aftter our dog injured his he has NEVER been seen roaming again. An unfortunate lesson to learn but he had been warned numerous times our dog would bite.

I am infuriated by people with that little regard for the safety of their dog and others, but Im glad this time things went well. I find screaming get your dog mine attacks is a wonderful tool if you don't mind the strange looks:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,199 Posts
I agree with DanielleC~
I ask every person I see in the park every time I see it happen, to Please leash their dogs! Not that it does me any good, but I still make it a point. There is a leash law here, and charging dogs prove that the owners have no regard for their pets safety. They are uneducated and ignorant IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,858 Posts
I'm so sorry this happened, especially when you are working this very issue!!! grrrrr. I also think you should write the restarant.......maybe cc to animal control as well????
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,368 Posts
I know it happened really fast, but I probably would have been a smart *** and said something like "GEE thanks for having control over your dogs"..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
This bugs the crap outta me. I currently have the same situation just walking through my neighborhood. One of the times I took Kaiya out for a walk, we ran into 2 dogs that were just allowed to roam free. One came running towards us growling and Kaiya was only 13 wks at the time. We couldn't get out of there fast enough. Eventually, the dog turned back and headed back to its house. The owners were nowhere in site. Now when I walk her, I feel like I have to be on as much alert as she is because of irresponsible owners.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
27,461 Posts
I've owned dogs for over 15 years now and this has happened to me MANY times all over the USA.

So I decided long ago that this will CLEARLY happen again. Since I have no control over the oncoming dogs (generally) I deal with the dog I do have control over. The one on the other end of the leash in my hand.

I socialized my dogs. I train my dogs. I have them around tons and tons and tons of dogs. So not only do my dogs know how to behave and what I expect and how MY DOGS can contribute to a situation escalating or de-escalating.

But me.

ME

There is so much I can do, when I learn how to manage these situations.

First, I have learned how to get my dog behind me so it's ME that is going to confront the dog(s) first. So I AM IN CONTROL and my poor dogs don't think it's all up to them to figure out whats going on.

Second, I have become so much better at reading other dogs language. My dog is safe behind me so I focus on LOOKING at the oncoming dogs and reading their doggy language (friendly, neutral, looking at me? looking at my dog?)

Third, I look at the owners of the OTHER dogs and how they are reacting. (This is a huge clue) if they are watching and calm, then guess what? Usually their dogs are friendly. Brace yourself for this one...............ok, you braced? I don't give them dirty looks hoping my ESP is working well. Instead I open up my big fat mouth and ask 'Are your dogs friendly?'

GO FIGURE, I ask! If they don't immediately say 'yes' then I know I may have an issue and then (brace yourself again) I may then 'My dog will fight if they get too close' and I look to make sure they HEAR me! (actually my dogs won't fight unless they are attacked,, they know WAY better to take control of a situation without looking to me, cueing from me, taking and reading the info FROM ME.

How WE act in situation is key. If I panic, pull in the leash, voice goes up, get angry, let MY DOG pull ahead and have to feel they need to react cause I have lost my freaking mind....................then it's nothing but trouble.

Can't state enough, though there are bad dogs out there, the vast majority of dog meetings go EXACTLY like yours did. Uh, nothing happened FROM THE OTHER DOGS!

Seems like alot was happening with your dog and you. STress, anger.......................But the other owner was calm watching his 2 friendly dogs come over for a meet and greet. His dogs didn't start a fight. Nothing happened. They were well behaved and did the doggy greeting hi. I'm thinking they were smart enough to see the panic you and your dog were in and they said 'WHOA THERE, don't go in to say hey cause they are acting pecular'.

THOSE dogs actually acted appropriately in dog language in the meeting.

The law is that dogs need to be leashed. The reality of the world is, I can either prepare my dogs for the real world where normal happy dogs may be off leash and come greet us, or be paranoid everytime I go out because my dog is NOT going to behave well.

Training and socialization prepare my dogs AND PREPARE me so I can help make these situations work out well. I can manage them and do well. Or not.

I know I help my dogs by EXPECTING them to do well in situations like these (click here) and these (click here) because, after 15 years of dog ownership I KNOW that strange dogs will greet us. So I can prepare myself and my dogs for when this happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
This is a great post and very informative. I am starting with a new trainer on Monday for issues with Kaiya's reaction to new dogs, and one of the initial things she told me was that Kaiya was feeding off my reaction. Makes me think a bit... thanks!
s
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,495 Posts
I carry a mace/pepper spray/UV dye combo (and a pocket knife). My brother has something called a "bad dog cane" which is a walking stick made of strong material.

I know some people carry an umbrella. While it would not provide actual protection, a lot of dogs are scared of them... Opening an umbrella in their face can surprise and startle a dog enough that they will decide to leave you alone, as well as being a (temporary) barrier between you or your dog and the strange dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,829 Posts
Originally Posted By: JakodaCD OAI know it happened really fast, but I probably would have been a smart *** and said something like "GEE thanks for having control over your dogs"..
^ this and which colorful adjectives would have depended on my mood.

One phrase I've learned works quite well
'Come get this dog right now becuase I'm not paying your vet bills!'
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,368 Posts
Jenn thats a good one to ! I'll have to save that to my "file" LOL

I actually just got back from a walk thru the woods, onto the beach, into a neighborhood,,we head around a corner, there is a lady with two labs OFFleash heading for the beach...I put the breaks on and stop,,she is frantically calling her dogs and has NO LEASHES! carrying a poop bag tho :)))

I stood there with a disgusted look on my face waiting,,she finally got one dog by the collar, and turned around took off running yelling for the other dog, who did follow..

I mean come on, all it would have taken was to bring a leash with you,,, no they didn't come near me or masi, (thank goodness, it wouldn't have been pretty if they decided to charge me:)) but the lady could have saved herself some time and energy if she even just carried a leash :))))

so this time I didn't have to say a word:)))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,884 Posts
I know it's agravating to have loose dogs around. I have a string of posts in my history complaining LOUDLY about that. As for the leash, sometimes you just get out the door without everything. I've gone to the barn & discovered that I needed to borrow a lead once I got there.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
21,368 Posts
well I am pretty sure this lady didn't just forget her leash,,she lives right there, and probably just figured no one was around so why leash them??

it's amazing how fast some will stop and avoid you when you have a gsd with you:))
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
82 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the input and advice everyone.

MaggieRoseLee, very good points, I appreciate your input. I am working with a behaviourist/trainer to better understand many of the points you outlined.

I must stress, that I was 'stressed' because I did not know the initial cause of the commotion. You must keep in mind, that we had already turned the corner of the building, and were alone as we headed down the next block. We were out of sight. I did not even know the direction of 'where it was all coming from' until the charging dogs were already turning the corner.

It turns out that the sudden outburst of shouting (which already shows that the other dog owner was not in a calm state to begin with) happened to be about "dogs."

Honestly, approaching dogs was not the first thing to enter my mind given the temperature of the situation and the nature of the shouting. Given that I did not see any dogs at all that night, I thought it more likely that the shouting (which was really just shouting, not a "hey watch out for my dogs") was about a human fight, a human charging, someone with an active firearm, etc. In these cases, yeah, I am stressed, processing the situation, looking for cover from the insane intangibles brought on by humans...fighting, firearms, etc. I do not calmly wait around to see what happens next, but rather (most likely in panic mode) 'get out of dodge.'

In our case it turned out to be a "dog situation." Once I realized this, and saw the approaching dogs, I knew we were not going to be able to get away from the situation. Once they got to us, I was stressed.

We have been approached by dogs jogging over before with waggy tails, wanting to play...I understand this approach. I just was not ready for the element of humans shouting from restaurants, with dogs darting from patio's, rounding corners, lining fences, and then making a straight B-line for me, and Lucy.

It may be that this approach means "hey I want to play, everything is cool", but it is a new one to me. I had taken the owner's shouts as a warning. Perhaps, I need to better understand that this is normal. It's new to me, because, well, I just never let Lucy off a leash to charge anyone. I admit though, that I still have a lot to learn about how other "friendly" dogs and their owners behave.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top