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How to handle aggressive dogs on walks

Discussion in 'Labrador Puppies' started by Andrea0408, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Andrea0408

    Andrea0408 Registered Users

    Dec 25, 2018
    There is a park near me where I take Hunter for off-lead and recall training, there's a lot of dogs there and almost all are either friendly or not interested in him.

    However, 3 times now we've come across aggressive dogs off-lead. Curiously they have all been (different) huskies, which I have never thought of as an aggressive breed before. When a big dog runs at him Hunter tends to roll onto his back and the dog will back off.

    These huskies didn't though, even with their owners shouting at them to stop they just ignored them and continued growling/barking/jumping at Hunter. Twice I've picked him up until the owner has dragged them away but he's so heavy. If we try to walk a different way they just follow him.
  2. ayres

    ayres Registered Users

    Mar 5, 2018
    Interested and following to see what people recommend. Alfie got attacked by a staffy the other day. had to pull the other dog off him as it had him by the neck.
  3. Saffy/isla

    Saffy/isla Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Jun 1, 2018
    Hi this really frightens me. Over the years we have encountered several aggressive dogs that attacked our previous lab, who was the softest gentle girl.

    I think if your dog is aggressive it should remain on lead or be muzzled. If it were my dog I would never risk putting other people's dogs or indeed children in harm's way.

    One of the owners of the dog that attacked mine had the cheek to blame it on the fact that I had my small grandson with me and that her dog was protecting him!

    Arghhhhh, rant over
  4. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    May 26, 2018
    Blackmans Bay, Australia
    Hi @Andrea0408

    Provide an incentive for the thoughtless and inconsiderate owners to get their dogs away from your dog. Yell out that your dog has a highly contagious skin disease. From memory a hat tip to @Jo Laurens
  5. WillowA

    WillowA Registered Users

    Nov 21, 2018
    Even more reason to have their dog under control how did they know it wouldn't attack a child.
    This makes me so mad.
    Another excuse is well your dog in on a lead.
    I try to avoid areas where there are lots of dogs off leads.
  6. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

    Aug 25, 2018
    Jersey, Channel Islands
    Yes, you can say your dog has kennel cough or a contagious skin disease - but frankly if it were truly aggressive, I would put my dog back in the car (if nearby) and pursue the person to have a go at them, tell them the dog should be on a leash, attempt to get their name or car registration number and report them to your local dog warden. I would honestly really lay into them frankly - the only way they are going to stop having their dog off leash and able to do this, is this way. I would get your phone out, I would stalk them and repeatedly ask for their number. I would give whatever information and video you get, to the dog warden - who can pay a scary visit to their house and tell them to keep their dog on leash and muzzled.

    I don't walk in locations or at times of day when I'm likely to run into many other people and I am as avoidant and as evasive as I can be. If I see someone coming, I will turn and go in a different direction. If we are walking along a path and going to cross, I will walk to the end of a field on the side of the path until the other person has passed by and I can continue. I take as few risks as possible.

    Even so, today I was Dog-Walkered. This is my new verb for 'being besieged by a dog or dogs that are walked by a dog walker and are out of control'. The comparatively "good" thing is that you know they are likely to have ok temperaments because they are being walked with other dogs. That doesn't mean your own dogs are going to love their attentions. I was dog-walkered from a good 100 yards away by this yellow lab that decided to bolt and visit us as soon as he spotted us. Since the walker had about 555000 other dogs with him, he couldn't even come and get the dog off me and had to go back to his van with the other dogs first. During which procedure, I put his dog on one of my dogs' leads and continued on my walk. I hope he got a bit alarmed when he saw me heading in the opposite direction with a dog in his care on the leash and might think about what he's doing a bit more... I did debate calling the dog's number on the ID tag and telling the owner that I had their dog with me....and he'd run across a road to get to me.

    Sigh. By the way, I absolutely detest dog walkers when they walk packs of dogs off leash. I think it is a hideous practice and it's impossible to adequately control that number of dogs. Let alone pick up their crap.

    Anyway, I digress. Here are some tips:

    1. Until proven otherwise, assume that everyone else walking their dog is irresponsible and stupid and will not make good choices. They may not be, but it's safest to assume that and then filter out who is ok than the opposite.

    2. Avoid, avoid, avoid. Walk at different times of day - most people walk their dogs in the mornings or immediately after work. Drive further to access less popular spots. It takes effort but it is worth it. I live in a highly populated dog area and I choose my times and places for exercise carefully and can safely say that my black lab Moye has not had a single bad encounter with another dog in her 5 years of life. My husband chooses locations and times less carefully and often risks encounters because he doesn't want to (say) walk the long way round or take a big evasive path... and he has had some bad experiences with our older dog. Pick your dog up if still a puppy.

    3. If another dog approaches you, throw food. It might buy you time. Throw a handful at the head of the approaching dog and get it on leash if you can whilst it's eating the treats. (If the dog is not aggressive throwing food can be a less good idea because the dog tends to stick around with you and not go back to the owner. Who usually has no food. Because see 1) above.) Carry a spare slip lead.

    4. If the other owner isn't near, focus on controlling the other dog - not yours. There may be a risk of redirected aggression towards you, here, so take care and do it at your own risk. But you can have your dog on leash and be trying to keep it away and that's not going to achieve anything if the other dog is off leash and determined to get to your dog - then all you're doing is trapping your own dog for the other dog to attack. I feel like my arm (or whatever gets bit) will heal but my dog may carry psychological scars forevermore if she gets bit (or even terrified) so I would tend to risk myself more than my dog and I would use my whole body to protect my dog.

    5. Remember that aggression is contagious. The more your dog is exposed to it, or even if a sensitive dog is exposed to a severe case of it just once, they may become afraid themselves - and so aggressive, themselves, defensively. If you don't want your dog to become aggressive, you really don't want them to experience aggression. See 2) above.

    None of this is a great solution except for 2).... that's where the emphasis should be.
  7. Bud Light/Dilly Dilly

    Bud Light/Dilly Dilly Registered Users

    Oct 22, 2018
    Los Angeles, CA
    :cwl::cwl: This bold part made me laugh. Pretty hilarious lol
    John424242 likes this.
  8. Cupcase

    Cupcase Registered Users

    Jul 19, 2014
    I agree with EVERYTHING Jo Laurens said.
    In your shoes I would no longer walk my dog there.
    The happy boy I once had was fine around other dogs, when he hit 9 months he seemed to attract unwanted attention from other entire males and by the time he turned one year old, he had been attacked 3 times and was now dog/dog reactive.
    Oh and hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    I have a dog that is scared from every strange dog he sees.

    So now I have no where I can safely walk my dog away from the village I live.
    I have to plan a trip to the vets with care, as even on busy roads idiots allow their dogs off lead.

    Oh and just to clarify if my poor boy was taken to a park and allowed off lead, he would be the same as these dogs you have encountered and my dog is a LABRADOR and no he won't go for children. He's just terrified from other dogs.
  9. Johnny Walker

    Johnny Walker Registered Users

    Sep 10, 2016
    Eastern Canada
    This doesn’t happen to us where we live in the country but I always thought if it did I would get Boerboel from South Africa and leave him in the car until such event arises and then let him sort out the huskies for me. Lol.

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