AJ Just Bit a Basset

I can't trust him around other dogs! When I see another dog approaching, I let the owner know to not allow their dog to rush AJ, but half of them allow it anyway, saying, "It'll be fine…" Most of the time, I'm quick enough to keep him from biting, but this time, the Basset came in so quick he latched onto her nose and broke the skin. She's a very sweet girl and only wanted to play. I feel awful!

I looked at her nose. It's bleeding, but not deep. I'm ready to get a muzzle for him!

I don't get it...he's not a resource guarder. I just now reached into his mouth and took a very nice bone from him and he didn't turn a hair. He's great with people and kids, he can play nice with smaller dogs, but when a big dog rushes him, he gets them. BTW: This is why he's a truck dog...he kept fighting with the other dogs in the house and has the scars on his muzzle to show for it.

Suggestions are welcome. I have thus far only figured out that he hates being rushed and I try to avoid those situations. I was at a family member's house who had a huge German Shepard and an enormous Samoyed/Retriever mix, he got along with them just fine.

This post is not well ordered, but I'm a little upset with him right now.:mad:

A fight of any sort is very upsetting, at least she only got bitten a little, broken skin but no stitches needed. Hugs to you, and a hug for AJ as well, you may be the resource he is guarding, especially if he is on leash.

I'm sorry to hear about this. Will AJ do that when he's off leash? He must see that rush up on him as an aggressive attack. He just doesn't like it. If a big dog slowly walks up to him he's OK?

It seems we're in the same boat…Kairoe, does this sometimes and what can be a great walk can turn into a walk where we're shaking our heads, thankfully he hasn't hurt a dog yet. We're still trying to figure him out and it can become frustrating and almost infuriating. DEEP BREATHS...

We were at the races this weekend with a bunch of B's and this female B wouldn't let him sniff her, so he growled a bit until we corrected him and had him sit. THEN, two seconds later, they're both playing! He generally does this to larger dogs as well, but if they're showing signs of submission; like play bowing then everything is ok. However, when we see him go into hunting / crouching mode, then we stop and have him in a down stay position. Hard as heck to pull this one off

What we generally do, when being approached by another dog is have him sit with a loose leash and have him stay. However, if it's at the beginning of our walks and he's hyper as hell we try and avoid the other dog. IF, he's pulling on his leash, then it's 50 / 50, he may just sniff and be polite or he'll pounce and we're pulling him off. Lately, we've been trying to distract him by doing a 'watch me' but if the other dog comes in too fast, then we try to at least have his behind to the other dog and ensure that we have him facing us. This gives us that half second to at least see a sign of aggression.

Hope this helps and great thread!

The rw, Ringo I had (92-07) did not like larger dogs coming up to him and would jump them. I had to be very careful. I got him at 2 so I don't know what happened to him. When I first got him and he was laying on the couch I could not just walk up and stand over him as he would growl like I was a threat. It took a few years and he calmed down when he felt I was not a threat.

Does he just not like big dogs while on leash? if so it could be leash aggression/barrier aggression which isnt uncommon.
I would suggest hiring a good behaviourist to help you figure out what causes the behaviour and what can be done about it.
If you tell me where you live I may be able to find one for you.

I would recommend the article "He Just Wants To Say Hi" by Suzanne Clothier, http://www.nesr.info/images-english-shepherd/He-just-wants-to-say-hi.pdf

Ms. LVoss:

Thank you for that article. It does explain quite a bit and calls my attention to a few mistakes I have been making. Most often the trigger for AJ is a "big gallumphing idiot" and yes, Labs have been the most frequent problem. It has been when another dog rushes in at him with no sense of personal space, and yes, the owner is usually of the opinion it is my dog who is being rude. I will have to be more vigilant in watching how he is being approached and what he is telling them.

I got a little giggle out of the Mr. Rude story, the Lab who marked everything he had time to lift his leg on. I have a friend with a Boxer-Spaniel (?) mix who has not been neutered and not socialized with dogs at all who does this. The owner let his dog off lead while I was walking AJ. Well, here comes Gallumphing Idiot. He was bitten on his ear for his trouble. I tried to explain to the owner, who is my friend, how obviously rude his dog was, but his response was similar to that of the title of the article. He said, "All he ever wants to do is play." So his dog rushes AJ, stops every 15 feet to pee on something, and even body slams people. But that is a blatant case of rudeness and I am able to respond appropriately by removing AJ from the situation.

Last night, I missed the rudeness of the Basset and inadvertently placed AJ in a box. He was between two trucks and I was behind him. He didn't have anywhere to go. That was my fault. When the Basset approached, she had her head low and tail wagging, but she approached at a half run and came right up to AJ, stuck her nose in his face and he latched right onto it. Again, my fault for first giving him nowhere to go and second for missing the behavior of the Basset. Thank you for helping open my eyes.

BTW: It must be instinct or something, but I did not yell or punish AJ for what happened. I put on a show to calm the other dog owner, but AJ knows when I'm serious about something and ignored me. I walked him away from the Basset, he did his business and he still got the Really Good Bone when we came back to the truck.

I would look into a behaviorist if I was going to be in the same place for more than one or two days at a time and know where I'd be in three weeks. My job prevents this, but thank you for the advice. I will pay closer attention.

@lvoss:

I would recommend the article "He Just Wants To Say Hi" by Suzanne Clothier, http://www.nesr.info/images-english-shepherd/He-just-wants-to-say-hi.pdf

Exactly…I was just trying to remember where to look for this article!

He is just being a normal dog, in an abnormal position of being on a leash (which is a necessity!)...don't be angry at him...I know that is easier said than done. If you wish to try to change his behavior, there are definitely ways to do it. Check out "Click to Calm" by Emma Parsons.

Perhaps in the past he's been 'rushed' by a bigger dog and that is where the behaviour stems from? I know Kai has been 'rushed' by a bigger dog and invaded his space, as well as my Shadow who was also 'rushed' by a lab. I'm very careful when I take mine out because of the residual effects from this event.

People don't think dogs are rude and tend to have the attitude that 'all he wants to do is play', but most dogs don't see it that way. The think, IMO, that they are invading their 'space'. Dogs, as people, need to be taught manners. Shadow seems to be fine if a dog is not overbearing, but if a dog rushes him or is just goofy, he definitely doesn't like it.

Wow, just read that article. It is very imforative. Thanks for posting it.

That's an excellent article - I've 'favoured' it on my computer so I can refer to it in the future. I handle my sister's chow, who is so incredibly mellow. Any dog that rushes up to her is not a problem. She just waits for them to stop and do their sniff, and then usually just walks away with an attitude like "okay, now leave me alone". She is the ipitome of aloof. But I have seen scary confrontations at the dog park we go to. In those situations, it is up to all of us to know what to do.

First Basenji's

I, too, read the "He's Only Trying to Say Hi" article with interest, as my shiba is exactly as you described AJ. He is quite protective of his personal space, primarily when he is on leash and rushed by bigger dogs or hyper puppies. Unfortunately, as I gather from the article and from my own interactions as well, the onus is on the owner of the "rude" dog to realize their dog is crossing unacceptable boundaries. And unfortunately, you can't just hand out a copy of this .pdf to every owner who lets his dog gallumph all over yours!

It does irritate me when other owners walk their dogs off leash, and their dog comes charging over to my restrained dogs. I can feel my shiba's tension very clearly in such situations, and I try to put myself between their dog and mine and calmly keep my pace, while making sure that my dog doesn't feel contained (which only heightens his anxiety). If the dog is charging with enough speed/mass, I'll stop and call out "Stay back," more for the dog owner's benefit than the dog or my own. If the other owner says "Don't worry, he's friendly," in regards to their own dog, a very terse answer from me, "My dog is NOT" is usually enough explanation to get them to call their dog back.

Not that I have to get into detail about how absolutely sweet and cuddly and even-tempered my baby can be at home, or off-leash, etc. The other dog-walker doesn't need to know all that. They just need to know why they should keep their dog under control, hopefully without a big lecture and hopefully before anything spins out of control.

Interesting article in that I have been mostly on the don't bother me side. Now with Buddy I am on the other side. He's calming down as I use calm control on him. I see at the dog park that he's getting better. He's definitely improved with the small dogs in that he doesn't overwhelm them but is just standing there. He can get overly excited, loves other dogs and has no fear. He's learning that all dogs do not share his excitement. Buddy when he's excited will jump up on me or people at home and grab their hand or sleeve. It's hard being on that side of the fence. I am using calm control and making him sit or stoop down with him to calm him down not using a raised voice or anger. We still have work to do.

Even though we can't change every owner of every rude dog, I think understanding why our dogs react they way they do is important. When people use the "My dog is friendly" line on my husband when he is walking the dogs his response is "I'm NOT!" Which seems to get people's attention more than when he says the dogs are not.

I usually shout that we are either in the middle training or that my dog was recently attacked and was traumatized. That works for some. Sometimes I end up having to just put myself between my dog and the rude dog and sternly tell it to "Go home". My dogs are reactive, several have been attacked by so called "friendly" dogs and even if they hadn't my experience is that adult basenjis have zero tolerance for rude behavior. Mine use body language and their voice to tell the other dogs in no uncertain terms to "move out of my space, you bleeping bleep bleep". Basenjis curse like sailors when they are PO'd. I am sure that some people think my dogs are aggressive and probably think I'm no peach either but sometimes politeness gets no response from the owner nor the dog.

And I am not above yelling… "The owner bites"!!! to people that are like that.... So I love lvoss's husbands response... it is too perfect

First Basenji's

@lvoss:

Basenjis curse like sailors when they are PO'd.

Sorry, this is off topic, but it always amuses me to hear of how people imagine their dog's "voice." Dogs with pottymouths are funny to me, not that I imagine either of my own having that kind of vocabulary. My shiba can be grumpy and prone to "yelling" in a loud and offensive manner, but I never imagine him swearing… at least nothing beyond what one would hear on the radio. And my B-girl has been far too much of a lady so far for me to to imagine her swearing at all! 🙂

Houston

Sorry to hear about AJ's incident. Needless to say I wish I had the perfect advice..but I don't. That article sure was interesting and good though.

@tanza:

And I am not above yelling… "The owner bites"!!! to people that are like that.... So I love lvoss's husbands response... it is too perfect

I love that too!! I am gonna start using it! I hate to say my dogs aren't friendly, because they are…but me...not so much 😉

@Quercus:

I love that too!! I am gonna start using it! I hate to say my dogs aren't friendly, because they are…but me...not so much 😉

Wow, there's some mean a.. women on this forum,. 😃

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