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RANT ALERT - Reactive OWNER

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  • 15-08-2017 4:29pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 14,038 ✭✭✭✭


    :mad: :(. I'm almost at my wits end with a friend who is reactive and prejudiced to certain breeds of dogs that could 'do damage' if her dog barks at it and they react...or dogs that look in the most random way possible like a dog who pinned her dog once.

    I think I'm pretty good at reading body language at this stage and from what I can see it's HER not the dog - the dog is reacting to her freaking out!!! The list of dogs that her dog i.e. SHE is 'not ok with' is growing by the day :(

    Today I fulfilled my ambition to pet this one dog who's owners have always been very careful with and kept him away from other dogs... Well he's allowed off lead all of a sudden and is so sweet and polite. Bold Bailey barked at him as if to say 'aren't you banned from taking to us?!' but once I told him to stop they were all wagging tails and sniffing bums and I got a pet in before he went back to his owner.

    My friend on the other hand was feaking out because he looks too much like the dog who pinned hers for 'her dog's comfort' .. eh no your comfort (which I didn't say)

    Having 2 retrievers I'm used to the whole OMG they're going to eat my small dog/child crap but if that's a starting point my friend would be 10 notches higher :mad:


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭Bells21


    Borrow her dog some day, head off to meet some 'ferocious beasts' and take pictures of her dog having great fun without her? Although, I'm guessing If she's that precious about who/what comes near her dog, it's unlikely to be allowed out of her sight.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,038 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    I keep meaning to ask her if she's iffy with all these other dogs when the OH walks her? Because I know the answer will be NO!! :mad: I just want to have a nice relaxing walk!

    OOOOOH wait - she does go to a minder so I'll ask how she is when they walk her too ;)


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Sounds like she had a bad experience and is suffering from a bit of anxiety now? Or am I reading that wrong?

    I'm gonna put myself out there a little here and say if that's the case, I actually understand. This sounds so ridiculously dramatic but I think I have some mild form of PTSD from Khali being attacked. It's so terrifying and the feeling of powerlessness is so overwhelming that I feel a bit damaged from it.

    If Im out walking on my own and any dog of any shape or size or breed runs at me, I'm thrilled. I think nothing other than "yay a dog!" But if I have my own dogs with me and that happens I have to work really hard these days to keep totally calm so I don't pass my fear onto my dogs (especially since one already has his own issues).

    The other evening, I was up the mountains and just as I was getting back near the car I could see a big dog just hanging around it on his own. I've been fine for ages now but I suddenly had a bit of freak inside myself because I felt trapped not being able to just get to the car without him in our path.

    I hate that I feel this way. It goes against my very nature. Having had dogs my entire life and never experiencing any fear, this really hurts my heart.

    So I kinda might get where your friend is coming from. And I get where your coming from. Must be really annoying on a walk and it's certainly no good for her dog to have that anxiety being shown to him. I dunno.. maybe she needs some reassurance? Maybe she feels safer when she's with you and your dogs as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,688 ✭✭✭VonVix


    I totally get you, BuileBeag. I haven't had many (touch wood) bad experiences walking my dogs, I tend to be very cautious about where I bring them, but after working with dogs and know certain breed typical temperaments/play style/general body language, there are some breeds I can get a little panicked by if I see one off leash. For example, Boxers. The Boxers I know tend to be VERY playful and often misunderstood by other breeds (including two of my own) so when/if I see one off leash making his/her way towards my dog(s), my heart starts thudding. It's an awful feeling.

    Similarly, seeing ANY large dog off leash when I'm walking my Shepherd often freaks me out as well, because I have come across a ton of dogs who simply do not like GSDs and I don't want my boy having a bad experience.

    It can be very hard to shake off those feelings and understand a dog is an individual at the end of the day, I have been trying to 'get over it', but it's tough!

    [Dog Training + Behaviour Nerd]



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭Bells21


    I do understand from the owners point of view. I used to be(probably still am at times) the owner that used to be on edge, mostly because I was afraid of how my dog was going to react to others encroaching on his space. But it did him no favours as he picked up on my feelings, it was only one evening when my OH was walking him and I was distracted with our other dog that I saw a different side to him and that it was clearly me that was causing his over reaction. It's hard to keep our own feelings in check and I was guilty of not understanding what affect it would have on the dog.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,038 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    Ah I feel bad now even posting about it now It's just... I dunno!?! :o I guess I have more of a dust them off and move on approach so it hopefully doesn't have a lasting effect... because so much has had a lasting effect on Bailey and we've enough on the list(!) For example - Lucy used to be the best of friends with a GSD.. until he was old enough for a prong collar :( and snapped at her when she approached him one day - cue her being afraid of GSDs.. I could see she was afraid so when I had the chance of a positive experience I passed a few times so she could see everything was ok and next she was greeting them and then playing with them.. I expected Bailey to maybe bark at that dog this morning because he just appeared out of nowhere like he did last week..but that was it and they said good morning to each other and he was off on his way so (I hope i get to pet him again - he's like a golden GSD - not white - GOLDEN!! :) )


    I guess I've maybe put more time into observing with my two in so much as I know how they'll react... so if a friendly staffie rambles over to us I have as much concern as any other breed of dog. I've never scolded my two for politely telling another dog to get out of their face either - I told Bailey to leave that dog alone this morning because he wasn't doing any harm and that was it... I wonder sometimes if my friend's dog is expecting to be scolded and is associating that with the other dogs.. so is telling them to get lost before she get's scolded.. which in turn gets her scolded.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,099 ✭✭✭Bambaata


    Sounds like you need a new friend


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    tk123 wrote: »
    Ah I feel bad now even posting about it now It's just... I dunno!?! :o I guess I have more of a dust them off and move on approach so it hopefully doesn't have a lasting effect... because so much has had a lasting effect on Bailey and we've enough on the list(!) For example - Lucy used to be the best of friends with a GSD.. until he was old enough for a prong collar :( and snapped at her when she approached him one day - cue her being afraid of GSDs.. I could see she was afraid so when I had the chance of a positive experience I passed a few times so she could see everything was ok and next she was greeting them and then playing with them.. I expected Bailey to maybe bark at that dog this morning because he just appeared out of nowhere like he did last week..but that was it and they said good morning to each other and he was off on his way so (I hope i get to pet him again - he's like a golden GSD - not white - GOLDEN!! :) )


    I guess I've maybe put more time into observing with my two in so much as I know how they'll react... so if a friendly staffie rambles over to us I have as much concern as any other breed of dog. I've never scolded my two for politely telling another dog to get out of their face either - I told Bailey to leave that dog alone this morning because he wasn't doing any harm and that was it... I wonder sometimes if my friend's dog is expecting to be scolded and is associating that with the other dogs.. so is telling them to get lost before she get's scolded.. which in turn gets her scolded.

    Nooo don't feel bad. It's definitely annoying and not good at all. Sounds like she's lying to herself and projecting her fears onto her dog , making out he's the one with the problem. Or maybe she's embarrassed and lying to you.

    We all agree that while it's understandable if you've been a bit traumatised by a bad experience that you can be fearful but you absolutely have to face up to that and try to move on from it or you'll just pass it onto your dog or make him worse if he's already reactive.

    I work really hard to be calm and not tense up break step etc and apart from that incident the other evening with the loose dog at my car, I've been doing really well.

    I just wanted to point out that I get where she's coming from and you shouldn't give up on her but maybe you need to point it out to her, talk to her, reassure her. It must be very restrictive for if she's afraid of all these breeds. Imagine what she's like if she's alone?


  • Registered Users Posts: 750 ✭✭✭Ashbx


    TK I am like you. If my dogs had a bad experience, if they aren't too traumatised, I would do what I can to try rectify that.

    A husky went for my terrier one day (thankfully both on leads so nothing happened) but since that day she was always very weary of huskys. She would make a bee line towards them in full attack mode whenever she saw one. Once day, new neighbours moved next door with a husky. Within a couple of days I was knocking in seeing if I could introduce our dogs. Over time my dog made good friends with this husky and has since completely removed this fear she used to have. She wouldn't be the most social with huskys today but definitely does not have the reaction she used to have.

    I am sure the fear 100% comes from your friend and not the dog. Keep going for walks with her and keep doing what you are doing. Overtime, if she sees that you and your dogs are ok, she might get a little braver!


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,038 ✭✭✭✭tk123


    Ok I've decided she's afraid and I didn't realise how bad until the last few days with a few new (to her) faces popping up - just dogs that I'd be used to seeing out and about with my two at certain times .. I'll have to have a think on how to approach the subject with her :confused:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭Bells21


    She's probably going to need some happy/positive experiences with some new dogs, minus her own dog first. It's quite possible that she doesn't even realise that it's an issue as such.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,920 ✭✭✭TG1


    Be super tactful!!! I broached the topic of a friend constantly picking up a tiny dog every time a bigger one came close and then wondering why the tiny dog was so reactive wrongly and it took a while to repair the damage!

    I thought it was the most obvious thing in the world and approached it as such and it turns out she had genuinely never made the connection, and took my bluntness quite personally! Softly softly can be useful in situations like this...


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