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post #1 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Question Handling a strange dog approaching you?

How do you handle the situation when a strange dog approaches when you are walking your dog?

Last night, Houston and I were on our nightly jog/walk when a large Golden Retriever approached. I slowing picked up Houston and put out my other hand so the dog could smell me. He didn’t seem aggressive but he wanted to smell Houston’s butt and I wouldn’t let him. Ever time he ran to jump at me I would say “NO” sharply and sort of tapped him on his nose.

Well, then he followed us and followed us. All this time I had Houston in my arms. I was talking loudly saying, “Who do you belong to boy?” Hoping one of the neighbors would come out and notice. No one did or didn’t seem to care!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So I decided to make another lap around the block because I didn’t want the dog following me home. Plus, he was a beautiful dog and I didn’t want something to happen to him. So, we walked back towards were he first approached us. In the meantime, I asked a few neighbors on a different block and no one knew to whom the dog belonged to. I sort of had an idea.

So, I started ringing doorbells. Say the least, the first person wasn’t really nice to me at all. Then it happened. The dog decided he really really really liked me and tried latching on to my leg. All 100 lbs of him. I firmly grabbed him by the hair on his neck like a Mommy dog (he didn't have a collar) and said NO, SIT. He did listen but was getting more aggressive.

Finally a car came down the road and it turned out to be the owners of the dog. They didn’t know how he got out of the fence. They said Thank you and Houston and I started on our way but he still continued to follow. The owner finally got him to come to his house.

After it all happened and the adrenalin was gone I thought “What a fool!!!!!!!!!!” We both could have been hurt. I kept thinking of the stories on the board “How neutered dogs attacked unneutered dogs and Tom’s story about the owner trying to protect his Hav from a Mastiff. Yikes. The reality set in.

So, how should you handle a dog when it approaches you and follows you? My one friend said have treats but I think that only invites then back. Although if you get a rawhide you can throw it and hopefully the dog will go after it and head off back home. Others suggested I should have pepper spray just in case it is an aggressive dog.

So, I was looking for input from you guys. Any ideas? I guess one encounter out of three months of walking is not bad but I guess I should be prepared.
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post #2 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 09:35 AM
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Rita, my trainers always said (as well as Ceasar) to let the dogs sniff each other as it is their way of greeting & establishing who is in charge. But I can see why you were nervous & picked up Houston. I am not sure that there is a surefire answer to this as the dog might be very friendly or aggressive, you never know. I would be interested to hear what others have to say.
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post #3 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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I usually do the sniff thing when another owner is walking their dog and we run into each other. That way we are both present to control our animals. I was very afraid without his owner around even though he seemed harmless enough. That is a big dog to try to control if things went crazy.

Obviously, he was trying to establish a relationship with me or dominance over me. LOL
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post #4 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 09:45 AM
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He must have thought you were Pretty
I just find it hard to believe that people can be so careless with their animals. Did you tell them that he frightened you?

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post #5 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 09:57 AM
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But what I dont get about these scenarios is - WHERE are the adult owners???? of these dogs??? If that bulldog did that, I am sure it is not the first time, so why would they put their daughter through that? Again, just irresponsible owners!! Makes me mad!

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post #6 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 10:07 AM
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Laurie, read Paige's post again. It was her daughter not the bulldogs owner. ( I guess I'm the one who should read more carefully. LOLOLOL sorry)

I think I would have done the same thing. Pick up Sam. Sam has been attacked three times, two of them labs. With owners near by but dogs loose. Sam was not hurt, but I do pick him up now. Depending on the dog coming at us. I don't make eye contact. Or you can try what Julie did (in another thread) she yelled at the dog and it backed off. I think it really depends on the situation. But "animal control or police" should be called if your dog or child is hurt.

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post #7 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 11:02 AM
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I think every situation is different and a dog attack can happen in a heartbeat . You just never know and you do not want your dog attacked harmed or killed .
I agree some people are very careless with their dogs I see it as well especially up in Tahoe where there is supposed to be a leash law .
I have heard the thing about treats in the pocket and throwing them for the dog to run after it .. I do not always remember treats it is enough to remember dogs , harnesses, leashes and poop bags ..
I try and be calm and watch the hair on the approaching dog - is the hair standing on end near its ruff .. I just usually say Hi and let them smell . It is normal and natural .
Cosmo is OK now he is better and does not bark . Ahnold is still very protective and he barks so sometimes it is not an ideal situation to meet and greet as most of my focus is on Ahnold not the other dog .. Sometimes the two of them just rush up to the dog to say Hi and everything is fine ..I never know what to expect so with us it is a work in progress . They are both young dogs and still learning the ropes ..
It is more challenging with two dogs so sometimes I take a hike .. not literally but if the dog looks menacing and too big for me to handle . I mean I go another route or cross the road . I know you tried to do this but the dog was out cruising the neighborhood .
I think the one thing I learned from our trainer was that you stay calm let the dogs you are in charge and you are handling it .. If handling it means you have to pick up the dog and leave so be it ..
Some dog training books say do not pick up your dog but I think you need to evaluate the situation . Tulip was almost killed by a lab that came out of nowhere and my friend was able to save her because of the halter and lifting her up into her arms out of harms way .. .
I think you were incredibly patient and understanding and you handled it well ..
On behalf of the owners I have to say every dog is different and some dogs do get out without you knowing it . Ahnold tries it a lot he squeezes between the bars of my lower gate fortunately because we have another car gate so he can not get on the road . In the desert he jumps up over the stone wall and goes into the neighbors yards . I am in the process of making fencing changes because of this
Asta never tried to escape he just wanted to be with me and he was good on recall . Cosmo is too afraid to venture out very far but he will follow his buddy . Ahnold pretends he does not hear and just takes off .. So you have to watch him and leash him or tether him or adjust the fencing .. Constant challenges ..
Never a dull moment !!
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post #8 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 11:06 AM
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If the owner is present, I usually ask, or they will ask, if it's OK for the dogs to approach.

However, maybe we should all be carrying some Bitter apple spay on our walks. Not onl could this loose dog have done harm to your dog, it could have bit you, or knocked you down. I think it is unfortunate, but dogs do get loose. It's not always the owners' fault. We just need to be better prepare for these things. So the Bitter Apple could help.


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post #9 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 11:34 AM
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I think bitter apple is a good idea, or a little binaca tube.

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post #10 of 69 (permalink) Old 06-08-2007, 11:39 AM
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I always scoop my dog up if I don't recognize the approaching dog. It isn't worthwhile for me to try to get control of the situation after something has already started. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention...

I also carry a small pocket-sized airhorn (easily found at any fitness/sporting supply store) and a can of pepper spray. I have had to use the pepper spray one time and it was on a neighbor's dog that I knew. He is a nice German Shepherd normally, but something got into him as we walked outside (across the street from his house) and he became overly territorial. He never bothered me again after that. Dogs remember.
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