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Hello, my Lab X, Lucy, does not get along well with other dogs and, although I think her response to them can be improved, the best thing for both of us is to keep her away from them on walks. She is always on a lead and wears a muzzle at all times.

The problem I'm having is other dog walkers who let their dogs come bounding up to her, then just stand staring at me as Lucy starts growling and lunging. I try to change direction but, often, the other dog follows. How do I ask another dog owner to help me by controlling their dog? Is it really rude? I've had to shout over a couple of owners now and they've all been quite annoyed...
 

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totally agree. you are being totally responsible - having your dog on the lead and muzzled...................

if the owner of the dog is too far away to do anything about their own dog, it is not under control.
 

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I think you're already doing a good thing by muzzling, avoiding dogs and calling over to ask people.
I don't think there's much more you can do than ask them really and turn and walk the other way.

It's disappointing to hear that people are annoyed at calling their dogs back from a muzzled dog :roll:
 

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One option would be to try to walk her as much as possible in places where all dogs are on lead, or, if you can, at times when there are fewer dogs around.

Have you thought about talking to a trainer about this, maybe going to training sessions and working at a distance from the main class to help with her socialisation? People with dogs with socialisation problems attended the class I took Jed to, they arrived a little later than the main body of the class, and walked around the area at a distance, helping to increase the dog's confidence.

The way you're handling it at present sounds very responsible, and I would say it is unreasonable of owners of other dogs to get annoyed with you, but there's always people who get irate for stupid reasons. As a rule if I see an unknown dog approaching me on the lead I try to put mine on as well, (that's if he will cooperate, which he doesn't always!) but to me it's common courtesy, and safer both for me and both dogs - but that's just my way of doing things. I do get cross myself when my dog is on the lead and a loose dog comes up and growls at him and the owner says, 'Oh, it's because yours is on his lead, he's fine usually!'

Others on the same walk let their dogs roam free long distances in front of them so they have no idea what the dog may be getting up to. I try to keep mine in sight, but again, he doesn't always cooperate.

When she lunges at other dogs, you could get a lead with a loop just above the collar, that gives them less leeway to misbehave, or try standing on the lead to use your body weight to help to control her.

Hope these suggestions help.

Liz + Jed
 

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Discussion Starter #6
thanks so much for your support. I've only taken her on recently (she's been at the Dogs Trust for a couple of years) and she just can't handle being approached for a sniff. I had to shout at a girl with an ipod to help yesterday when her dog took offence at Lucy's growling and started to circle us, snarling. Scary stuff!
 

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If I was walking with mine and saw a muzzled dog coming towards me I`d leash my pair and would hope other dog owners would too, as Kaladancer says you are being totally responsible with your girl and you have the right to expect others to be the same.
 

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I always assess what the other owner is doing before I approach. If I see another dog coming off lead then I always call Alfie back. If the other dog is ok then they can say hello to each other, but if the dog is on a lead then we usually grab hold of Alfie until we have passed or put him on his lead.
 
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You see I can see both sides to this one.

I grew up with a dog aggressive dog...not just one who growled or snapped but one who truely wanted to kill any other dog. Walking her anywhere was a nightmare, as she would start as soon as she saw a dog in the distance. So walks were always on lead well away from other dogs and at unsociable hours. There were rarely any owners with their dogs then, as most dogs just roamed the streets by themselves, so there was little else we could do really. I imagine if back then we had complained to anyone about their dog approaching ours, they would NOT have been very understanding, after all their dogs didn't have the problem, ours did.

I do think a lot of people do still have that attitude and (now I'm going to make myself look like the bad guy here) I'm not entirely convinced they are wrong either. Of course there is no need to be rude to you or to ignore the fact their dog is pestering yours....but really when a well socialised dog comes over to say hello and have a sniff, it really isn't their fault your dog has a problem with this. As long as they at least try to call their dog away (obviously some don't come because that's what dogs are like) or come and get it, there is little else they can do and really why should they....after all their dog is just being friendly. Ok to be polite and considerate most, myself included, would try to get their dog on lead before it even saw an on lead or muzzled dog but if their dogs are running around enjoying themselves, often they will come round a corner and it be too late, as they are already upon the other dog. All you can do really is to ask them politely to come and get their dog.

And before anyone says they should have better control over their dogs, well probably they are right.....but in the REAL world the vast majority of dog owners don't have 100% recall, some have precious little at all but if their dog is well versed in doggy etiquette, then apart from when it meets an aggressive dog, this really shouldn't cause a problem.

So yes I do feel for you, having been in this situation myself, I know it's horrid and no I don't think the other owners should be rude.....but don't be surprised if they are a bit put out because they can see nothing wrong with their friendly dogs behaviour.

Can I ask, just out of interest, what made you take on a dog aggressive dog? Was it that you fell for her as soon as you looked at her? Was it that you have experience in behavioural problems and you felt you could put her right? Was it that the Rescue was economical with the truth about her problems?

I always find it fascinating that some people will choose to take on a dog with real problems when there are many others in rescue with no problems at all, especially in this day and age when any aggression is often seen as the dog being "Dangerous". Of course love or simply love of a challenge do come into these decisions but it still makes me curious. You say she had been in the Dogs Trust for a couple of years, are they giving you advise and support with her problems? For any dog to be in rescue for that long, they must know she has big problems and it would be unfair of them to just let you take the dog and not give you any back up. Did they try at the centre to introduce her to other dogs and if so how did this go? Did they tell you how to control her, what they had tried, what they found successful and what they didn't? As all of these things could be a help to you. Did they recommend a Behaviourist you could talk things over with?

Sorry for all the questions but I'm hoping I'm wrong in thinking they may have just told you she had a bit of a problem but if you kept her on lead and muzzled you could still take her, without telling you the full story and giving you the support and advise you need.
 

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I agree with Jules.
I know my dogs and although they are very well socialised I would not risk it. I wouldnt put William on the lead because he does "read" other dogs very well and would not cause any problem. Forrest, however, has no idea and thinks that everydog is a friend and to be on the safe side I would put him on the lead.
But I would not like to be told off for not putting my dos on the lead. :roll:
 

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My mum's dog is very dog-aggressive and needs to be walked with a muzzle. We walk him almost always on the streets as there is very little chance of a dog being loose and free to run up to us. We also walk last thing at night (about 10.30pm) to minimise seeing other dogs. I totally sympathise as it is very hard to have an aggressive dog.

If we are in a situation where a dog runs up to us and is really heightening the situation by being either very 'in your face' or just not going away then I will shout the owner to get their dog. I don't mind dogs running up as they are only being friendly and you can't blame a dog for being inquisitive and wanting to see a new potential play mate. However, what I do mind is when an owner clearly could not care less where their dog is or what dog it is meeting. It annoys me when they have headphones in as anything could be happening and they are oblivious to the situation.

I let Roo run up to all off-lead dogs, and try to recall him if there is an on-lead dog but it's not always possible. I like him to meet all types of dog - friendly, shy, snappy, boisterous etc so as he learns to read a dog's body language. If I see an owner who clearly does not want their dog to meet Roo, I'll pick my pace up, recall him and if necessary grab him and take him away.

So try not to get upset when a friendly dog runs up to you, but I agree with you when owners don't make any attempt to get their dog back or who are 10 miles behind their dog with headphones in :roll:
 

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My mum's dog is very dog-aggressive and needs to be walked with a muzzle. We walk him almost always on the streets as there is very little chance of a dog being loose and free to run up to us. We also walk last thing at night (about 10.30pm) to minimise seeing other dogs. I totally sympathise as it is very hard to have an aggressive dog.

If we are in a situation where a dog runs up to us and is really heightening the situation by being either very 'in your face' or just not going away then I will shout the owner to get their dog. I don't mind dogs running up as they are only being friendly and you can't blame a dog for being inquisitive and wanting to see a new potential play mate. However, what I do mind is when an owner clearly could not care less where their dog is or what dog it is meeting. It annoys me when they have headphones in as anything could be happening and they are oblivious to the situation.

I let Roo run up to all off-lead dogs, and try to recall him if there is an on-lead dog but it's not always possible. I like him to meet all types of dog - friendly, shy, snappy, boisterous etc so as he learns to read a dog's body language. If I see an owner who clearly does not want their dog to meet Roo, I'll pick my pace up, recall him and if necessary grab him and take him away.

So try not to get upset when a friendly dog runs up to you, but I agree with you when owners don't make any attempt to get their dog back or who are 10 miles behind their dog with headphones in :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks very much for all your comments. To answer your questions, Jules, I wasn't mislead into taking on a dog-aggressive dog. I have known Lucy for a year and a half through volunteering at the Dogs Trust and have seen her transform from an excessively fearful & aggressive dog into a more confident and controlled potential pet. She's only been with me for a very short time and her behaviour around other dogs was far better in the (familiar) environs of the Dogs Trust (she'd been there 2 years). In this new world, dogs are off leads, which she finds very frightening and has no idea how to handle. I'm pretty sure her reactions will improve with some work but - for now - I just want to keep well clear of all friendly doggy hellos!

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I am totally with you on this one, I am both of these dog owners. One of my girls is fear aggressive and I try to do all of the right things, walk her seperately, keeP her on lead unless we are in a totally deserted area but we do get lots of dogs coming over to say hello and the owners don't do anything, even when she gets agitated.

It is frustrating but I just try to get away as quickly and quietly as I can.

I can also see the other owners oint of view too though, I would never worry about my Millie and call her back when she is saying hello as she is so submissive that I know she'd never get into a scuffle. I would try to get her back if the dog was leaded but she so wants to make friends that she gets selective hearing I'm afraid!
 

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kaladancer said:
if the owner of the dog is too far away to do anything about their own dog, it is not under control.
Ohhh how I agree :roll:

Can we have this hanging from the sky over favourite dog-walking places?

Apart from the dog attack my worst time was when I took Ash out for his first "lead" walk* after his op when he was to stay calm and not burst hisstitches - and we happened upon the "ladies who walk" as opposed to the ladies who lunch :evil:

Dogs having a high old time going everywhere especially the one who thought it was great fun to dance circles round us barking and darting in for a nip. Ash was on his back legs dancing and I?? - well, this is a family programme... :oops:

But they didn't see a problem with THEIR dogs. I shouldn't have taken my dog to the park!!!

*ps Should maybe add I couldn't have taken him down our lane as the tractors were doing 90mph to get the silage in :evil: :evil: :evil:
 

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If the other dog is on a leash and in clear range of a Luna rhino charge friendly greeting then she gets leashed until I can ask if their dog is ok with meeting off leash. If the other dog is off-leash then fortunately so far all dogs have socialised in a normal doggy fashion.

I had problems when Luna was on very short leashed works after spay and on rest because unleashed dogs would dance around working her into a frenzy - difficult to avoid them all where we lived at the time and even harder to communicate due to living in Belgium!!!

Well done for working with Lucy and I hope one day she will welcome friendly sniffs!
 

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As a novice dog owner, I have worked on the principle that if another owner has their dog on a lead then, for whatever reasons, they would rather their dog stayed close and didn't run off to meet other dogs or people freely so as soon as I see them approaching, I call Bailey back and put him on his lead until we have passed. If we approach another dog off lead, then I work on the assumption that the dog must be friendly and allow Bailey to run up and say hello. This seems to me to be complete common sense and basic manners!!

Of course, it is beyond Bailey's comprehension that any dog or person wouldn't want to be his friend but if I am not quick enough to recall him or he employs 'selective hearing' then I at least run up to grab him and apologise when I do so.
 

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We're taking Jess to puppy trg....there's been a Jack Russell there for the last 2 weeks who has "issues" with meeting other dogs - would bark and growl etc...first week he was just sat in the corner with his owners and last week he did a bit of trg too and walking past us without growling and barking. It's amazing how in 2 weeks how much he's changed, so as already suggested it may be worth seeing if there's a trg class you can go to.
 

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Well done for taking her into your home. :D

If I see another dog on the lead, I always try and call Jayda back and put her on the lead also. This is because I think that they must have their dog on the lead for some reason, like they may have an agressive dog or they are training on lead etc.
 
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