“He’s got to learn“. That’s what one very lovely elderly woman told me as her hyperactive young dog jumped all over Mity as I tried my best to keep her dog from jumping all over him. Mity is getting am old man (which I hate to admit) and his eyesight and speed aren’t what they were and so he does not enjoy being ‘played with’ by other dogs as much as he once did.
I bent down to try and separate the two dogs and then she said “don’t worry if he retaliates, he’s got to learn.”
Which I completely agree with, but it isn’t up to me or my dog to teach her dog how to interact with strange dogs. That ones on her!
Now Mity is as close to trust worthy as a dog can be so I was confident that her dog was safe jumping on his head, pissed off but confident that it wouldn’t turn into a fight. But had I been with BD the situation would have been completely different. In that situation Mity would have given a warming followed by an air snap, and then if the lesson isn’t learnt he may have taken it further (which is why he is muzzled when around strange dogs).
Firstly, I do not go into the whole ‘dogs are dogs so let’s just leave them to sort it out’ attitude. To that I say “hell no”. I am not ok with letting my dog ‘fight it out’ with anyone or anything. I want me dog to look to me for guidance in a situation and to feel confident that I will keep them safe. To have them trust me that I know what I am doing. I will assess how my dog will interact with your dog. I will assess when repetitively jumping on a strange dogs head that is trying to walk away is appropriate (FYI it isn’t ever!!) and I will allow my dog to interact as I deem appropriately.
Secondly, going back to the feeling safe point above. BD has fear aggression. If a dog gets too up in his face and he can’t get away he reacts….and then we both take a step back in our training. I feel like a failure for not getting him out of the situation in which he felt threatened. We both become more edgy when we meet the next dog. It takes weeks of hard work to get to the place we were in before you let you ‘un-trained’ dog learn a lesson from my dog.
If you commit to having a dog. You are committing to everything that comes with owing a dog, the cuddles, the fun, the kisses, the bed sharing, the squeaking toys just as your favourite TV programme comes on, the ‘scooping of the pooping’ and the training. Take some god damn responsibility!!
(This incident has annoyed me so much I have pulled my phone out mid walk to write my thoughts down. This means that I have been slightly distracted from Mity while I rant. Don’t worry, he’s on a long lead and there is no one else on the field, so I know he is safe – I’m not completely neglectful.But I feel bad he’s not had my full attention however Mity has never been happier as he has spent this time puddle dancing… however he may not enjoy his now much needed bath quite as much!!)