So true about the Hav running like bouncing bunnies. Some large dog owners laugh and think it's funny that their dogs would see our little dogs as prey. Maybe they have larger dogs because it makes them feel powerful. A co worker with a Basenji laughed when she saw photos of my dog and said her dog would think he is prey. I did not find that comment funny. And Sergio had a larger black dog grab his tail with his teeth. The owner was getting off the elevator and her two large dogs were practically leading her out of the elevator. She also said her dog thinks my dog is a fluffy white toy and her dog nips. She also just had a new baby. I wouldn't want those two large dogs near an infant.
Michele, thanks so much for your post and your very perceptive comments. In fact, thanks to all contributing to this thread.
I'm learning SO MUCH here on the forum. First, that my Camellia's default behavior with other dogs - she tries to scare them away (bark-bark-bark, and lunge - like a fish on the end of a line - as she's on-leash when we're outside the house-and-yard) - isn't that UNUSUAL in Havanese.
Well, it's common enough in small dogs, and can easily occur in larger dogs as well. The term "reactive" fits very well.
I have some opinions on preventing reactivity in the first place - that is, ABNORMAL reactivity, as SOME reactivity, if you ask me, is to be expected from dogs - for various reasons, including genetic tendencies, how a dog is raised in the first place, and numbers of other reasons. Dogs are very sensitive creatures anyway, and they have their own sets of rules. Well-bred and well-raised dogs will make every effort to avoid conflict, both among themselves, and with us, their humans.
There's a lot of information on the Internet about this; some good, and some Rather Bad - in the sense that it's distorted, or otherwise not all that helpful. Often enough, actively mistaken!
We humans tend to interpret events as power-plays, but in my experience, dogs don't DO power-plays; that is, they have no particular concept of rank, status, nor hierarchy. Their social system is different from that. They may not want to share, but then also, they have rules-of-the-game that allow them, first, to keep what they have, and second, to relinquish stuff to other dogs, given certain circumstances. Such as, when they abandon some object, it becomes fair game for other dogs. And for humans as well.
Anyway, Michele, I share with you a horror at humans who think dogs going after our little ones is FUNNY! And agree, the attitude may very well come about because the humans get a vicarious sense of power from having their dogs scare (then, often, actually INJURE) other dogs.
I love this forum, partly because its members are so exquisitely emotionally sensitive, and because, no question, we share an immensity of love for our dogs - these fabulous Havanese.
I'm lucky to live in a neighborhood where there are lots of dogs, but most of the owners behave pretty well; there are a few exceptions.
Our local Animal Control isn't really local; their offices are 30 miles away. Their services are very good, considering how far away they are. I've lived here nearly 40 years, through large amounts of development; when I moved here there were 4 houses in a large subdivision; now there are over 100 houses in the same space, and most have dogs.
Because Animal Control does serve us well, we have a much lower percentage of free-roaming dogs than we used to have.
But we do sometimes have free-roaming dogs; that doesn't help. A few are unaccompanied by humans; that's the most difficult situation to cope with.
I wish everyone here well, and hope that none of us meet more than a few of these insensitive humans. Best if we meet none, of course!
Sun, 4 Mar 2012 08:41:40 (PST)