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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure if I reacted appropriately

Yesterday, coming home, as Brody and I walked from the car to the door of my apartment building (Brody on leash) a fairly large dog came running over (fast), it was off-leash and barking at us. Brody went running out and barked back.

I wasn't sure if the dog was aggressive to a small dog or not as I don't know the dog. It didn't really seem threatening (more exuberant), but my reaction was to pick up Brody (which I did) because I just didn't know and I didn't want to risk him.

After I picked up Brody, I saw a female jogger who apparently owned the dog and called him to her and he immediately left. Now I totally think she should NOT be jogging with her dog off-leash in a residential area like that (but that's another issue entirely).

Chances are, Brody wasn't in any danger, but I just didn't know.

Anyhow, now I'm worried that maybe I shouldn't have done that. I don't want Brody to be afraid of other dogs. My reaction was more of a better safe than sorry sort of thing.

Did I over-react?

Tracy and Brody


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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 12:49 PM
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better safe than sorry; i would have done the same. you should have said something to the woman that she should have her dog on leash. try introducing your dog to large dogs that you know and know they are good with small dogs, in a controlled setting.

My big dog loves little dogs. She goes to doggie daycare and they use her to help socialize small dogs and young dogs that don't know how to play well with others. With timid little dogs she lays on her back and begs them to play with her. With puppies she dangles her floppy ears and tries to get them to tug! it's amazing to watch. She's not so good with big dogs and I often pick her up at daycare and find her with the small dogs inside instead of outside with the big dogs. This is part of the reason I bought her a havanese puppy!
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 12:50 PM
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Tracy ,you did the right thing. We just can't take chances with a dog you don't know. Yeah the girl should not be doing that. No manners from her , probably means no manners for her dog. Not to worry, Brody knows you'll protect him, that's important too. Now I don't recommend what some people do is picking their dog up all the time when another dog is around. This won't hurt at all. Good for you.

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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, Brody is pretty good around other dogs so far (he is always happy to meet and greet) and so far isn't afraid of them (at any size). I just worried afterward that maybe I was introducing fear to him by being overly cautious and second guessed myself.

Brody wasn't acting scared at all, I was just a bit cautious for him.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misstray View Post
Yesterday, coming home, as Brody and I walked from the car to the door of my apartment building (Brody on leash) a fairly large dog came running over (fast), it was off-leash and barking at us. Brody went running out and barked back.

I wasn't sure if the dog was aggressive to a small dog or not as I don't know the dog. It didn't really seem threatening (more exuberant), but my reaction was to pick up Brody (which I did) because I just didn't know and I didn't want to risk him.

After I picked up Brody, I saw a female jogger who apparently owned the dog and called him to her and he immediately left. Now I totally think she should NOT be jogging with her dog off-leash in a residential area like that (but that's another issue entirely).

Chances are, Brody wasn't in any danger, but I just didn't know.

Anyhow, now I'm worried that maybe I shouldn't have done that. I don't want Brody to be afraid of other dogs. My reaction was more of a better safe than sorry sort of thing.

Did I over-react?
I don't think you had a choice. A big dog can grab, shake, and kill a small dog in a split second. NOW you think the dog might not have been a threat, but in the moment, you had to make a decision about the safety of your dog, and you made the right one.

Even if the big dog was borderline, Brody charging at HIM and barking could have precipitated an incident. My guess is that Brody was anxious, and trying to warn the bigger dog away, but in big dog/little dog altercations, the little dog can lose big time.

What the big dog did was rude, and Brody was just telling him so, but as the creature with the bigger brain, it was up to you to assess the danger and act accordingly. I think you did exactly the right thing.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 03:45 PM
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Being a big dog owner, of all my dog owning yrs (125+ lbs) I have the opposite problem with anything from a pitbull off leash to a chihuahua off leash trying to get to my big dog.

yes, you absolutely did the right thing. I personally would report the jogger, to the police, if you know the dog breed and the intersection it happened at. then there is a record, and if it happens again (and it will), she has a history of being a violator.

You don't know what would have happened if your dog was still on the ground. Obviously a hav on the ground was tempting enough for the dog to run away from it's owner, so yes, do whatever it takes.

A neighbor recently told me that the offleash dog is always at fault, independent of size. To me, it's not comforting, b/c the damage is already done if that other dog gets to your dog.

My little Ollie always stands his ground, and often I react (and get him out of danger), when his calmness does the trick. and he looks at me like, I had that under control!
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 03:54 PM
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Back when I had my last little schnauzer, my DIL was keeping her and went for a walk with Pearl on a leash. A pit bull ran out and grabbed Pearl. My DIL who is greatly afraid of dogs, tackled the pitbull and hit it until it releashed Pearl. Her mother's instinct took over her fear of dogs--she also was pushing a baby stroller. We called animal control of course. The point of this is when you start feeling guilty about an incident like a big dog (or liittle dog) running up to your dog, think what you would do it if were your child that the dog was running toward. I treat Rosie like a toddler and guard her the same way that I did and do my toddlers in the family. Once you take a dog into your family and your heart, you can do nothing else.

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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 08:28 PM
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wow Lucile, that's all I can say. that DIL is a keeper.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 10:04 PM
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I too would ahve done the same. Protecting our dogs is more important than anything. It so bothers me when people go off leash with their dogs. I've said somethinmg on occasion but somehow I don't think people really understand how potentially dangerous it is until....

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-10-2012, 11:54 PM
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I've done the exact same thing. Walking early in the AM, an off-leash weimaraner came barreling around a corner toward my then 6 mo old Hav. I picked up my Hav, trying to be as calm as possible so he wouldn't sense too much of my fear. The owner appear a few seconds later (felt like a lot longer). The dog had somehow escaped from his leash and he was trying to chase him down. He apologized profusely.

My Hav wasn't scarred at all from the incident. He still LOVES all dogs - to the point it's a bit worrisome because he doesn't get the "back off" signals and just wants to play with everyone all the time. I think if Brody had had a negative interaction - the dog had snapped or lunged at him - he could have some not so great big dog memories that could affect his behavior.

I was really worried too about picking up my pup like that and talked to my trainer about it. She assured me that the whole dogma about don't pick up your little dogs and comfort them when they're scared or you'll just make them scared of everything is more for times that they shouldn't be scared/anxious (a puppy play session, new people, leaving them in the crate by themselves) -- not when a big unleashed dog is running full speed at you and could attack them. You've seen the episodes of It's Me or the Dog and The Dog Whisperer. The picking-up/coddling behavior you want to avoid is not happening in this situation.

Last edited by marlowe'sgirl; 08-10-2012 at 11:57 PM.
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