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Meeting Other Dogs On Walks


Guest aowam

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Guest aowam

I adopted my Gable about 3 weekends ago. Besides dealing with the food issue (still attempting to find that magic kibble) he has been an incredible sweetie pie.

 

I want to socialize him with other dogs but he gets really leash reactive. When my brother walked him the other day apparently he sniffed butts of another dog. Sounded good. I walked him last night and our neighbor dog (a 9 month old bichon frise) was walking too. Gable dragged me over and got nose to nose with the bichon and i think he went for the neck.... not good.

 

My question is...what is the correct way for dogs to greet and is this a prey drive thing? Otherwise whats a good eay to socialize him?

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My dog (Freddy) was tested as not cat-safe and this worried me a bit since I visit my folks often who have 2 small dogs (maltese/bichon frise). What helped us out was walking with another dog owner of a smaller breed a few times a week. I feel like this helped him understand that these little breeds are not to be chewed on like a stuffy and should be treated as an equal. We also live in a multi-unit building with lot's of smaller breeds and I think that helped as well. We kept interaction short and he received a treat after a positive interaction with another dog. We would ignore yappers or aggressive breeds and could usually identify those before an interaction could occur.

 

Did he bite the neck or was he just sniffing? Freddy sniffs smaller dogs head to toe and gets this wide-eyed, excited look on his face along with the tail wag. I originally thought that was an indicator that he wanted to latch down on the other dog but I feel like it is him just getting excited. I'm sure you'll start to pick up on visual indicators of how your dog is feeling as the weeks progress and you'll be able to understand Gable's mannerisms and effectively react to how he is feeling. Good luck and congrats! B)

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Guest 4greys4me

I have to avoid anything little and moving with two of mine, even a leaf or a plastic bag will cause them to want to chase it and stomp on it!

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JJ is very leash reactive. (Though, when a neighbors dog got loose and ran after us and bit JJ aggressively on the leg, he wouldn't fight back.) However, I would not want to take the chance that he would grab hard.....

 

My biggest advice is to be extremely cautious as you are attempting to socialize him. Others with more experience could give you ideas.

 

To make every effort to avoid disaster, my hounds are walked with a collar and harness. One of the leashes is tethered to the belt loop of my jeans (the one for the harness, as the collar leash is really the controlling one as it pulls on the martingale).

 

Best of luck with your new baby!

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Robin, EZ (Tribal Track), JJ (What a Story), Dustin (E's Full House) and our beautiful Jack (Mana Black Jack) and Lily (Chip's Little Miss Lily) both at the Bridge
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Guest mariah

I wouldn't let him greet dogs head on. I'm actually not a fan of on-leash greetings in general, the leash can constrict the dog's natural body movements and send out mixed signals to the dog he's greeting. If you want to continue to allow him to greet dogs, make absolutely sure that there's plenty of slack in the leash, approach the other dog in a curved fashion rather than straight on, make sure they're sniffing each others' butts rather than their faces, and keep a close eye on the body language of both dogs. You want to see loose, waggy, happy and calm. If either dog tenses up or stiffens, if you see any tightening at the corners of the lips, or if one of their tails goes up or ears go back, pull away immediately. Greetings shouldn't go on for more than ten seconds, ideally less than that. Keep it brief.

 

Though it doesn't sound like the greeting with the Bichon went well, (and I'm sure that was very alarming for you!) I'm not sure that I would have interpreted what he did as predatory behavior. Still, I wouldn't allow him to greet small dogs until he's proven that he's capable of doing so politely. Good luck with him, and congratulations!

Edited by mariah
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Guest dougbb

I adopted my dog two months ago and notice a distinct difference between his Bichon Frise-type encounters and close encounters of the cat kind. With cats, it's full-on, out-and-out prey drive: ears up, nose a-quiver, stalking walk, and I basically have to use my whole body and the yummiest treats to get him back on track and away from the offending feline. (We're still working on this :blush ) With little fluffy dogs, he reacts with tail-wagging and gregarious greetings, but nothing leading to a snap. (And if the little dogs are yapping at him -- he speeds up!) This is basically how he reacts to most dogs on walks. I stay on high alert during little dog encounters though and always keep them short, and I would never leave him unsupervised with a small dog since he loves to chase. I like the idea of going on walks with smaller fluffy dogs so your hound doesn't get quite so excited about their appearance.

 

Edited because I misunderstood your initial post -- did your hound actually bite the dog's neck? Or was he just anxious to say hi?

Edited by dougbb
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Two leash reactive hounds, one high prey drive here. It's gotten better but now its been nearly five months. PK (high prey drive) is now not too bad about small fluffies though we have good days and bad days. Booster is still very reactive to all dogs, and PK sometimes is.

 

What's helped is lots of socialisation - we go to mixed breed obedience and although everyone else is progressing nicely, my two are beginning to learn that it is possible to simply ignore all other dogs. This seems to be translating into other situations as well.

 

Time has been my friend, and also embracing the realisation that you need to take each day as it comes and celebrate every small achievement. My two are also muzzled at all times on walks, but that's because its the law here. It does give me slightly more confidence though.

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I would not worry about socializing with other dogs until you know each other a LOT better!

 

If you know some other folks with Greyhounds, normally they all get along well right off the bat, so you could perhaps meet up with them.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Guest aowam

I'm sorry I wasn't clear before about the encounter. Gable saw the bichon from the distance and the moment he saw it, ears straight up, neck and head straight up, dead stare, pulling on leash in their direction. Other dog was interested too. He dragged me across the street and they initiated the furious nose to nose. I said hello to the owner and she was already trying to pull the bichon away. As she pulled away, I decided to pull away too. The bichon yelped all of the sudden and I looked over to see Gable right over top of it (who was on its side amd hunched down) at it's neck.

 

I guess my first fear was that he was attacking, so I was freaked out. I can definitely say that there were many factors contributing to the problem: the owner was definitely very nervous, and I was tense. All around, the situation was ripe for a bad result.

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Yep. Avoid close encounters. At least for a while.

 

And be calm and firm with other dog owners who push their dog on you, like "oh, my dog is ok... she thinks she is a big dog." Nope, don't fall for it.

 

My guys have mellowed toward small fluffy dogs over the last couple of years, but I still try to avoid encounters when we are walking. However,

Heisman and Alex act like lunatics when they see another dog running with its owner, but that is another story. (sigh)

Cheryl - "Mom" to RUNNER (Gunnah, born 6/15/2012) and FARGO (Ridin Shotgun, born 8/21/2015). Missing my Grey-Angels HEISMAN (RX Heisman) (3/29/2005-2/1/2016) and ALEX (Bevenly) (4/15/2005-6/7/2018).

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You have to be extremely careful with little dogs, especially white ones. Don't forget your grey is still getting use to you and the environment. From what u say, it sounds like he has a very high prey drive. I wouldn't even have him go up to any little dogs right now. He probably doesn't even know they are dogs.

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We avoid close encounters with other dogs that we don't know well. You really never know what's going to happen. Riley has a low BS tolerance, and I don't want him hurting a dog (or getting hurt). Another dog once tried to mount him and he responded by ripping off part of its ear. Now we just steer clear.

 

It sounds like your guy may not be safe with little dogs. I'd certainly be cautious.

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Well, firstly, congratulations and best of luck with your new grey. I, too, would lean toward the cautious side when meeting other dogs. I have had two greys before my current guy, and one was not other dog friendly at all. I always kept him away from other dogs because although he wasn't ready to start a problem, if another dog got in his air space he would react suddenly. (I loved him dearly, though.) Both of those two are now at the Bridge, but I recently rescued another and have him for 6 months. He is a sweetie and appears to love all creatures great and small. However, I do notice that if he and another 'unknown' dog are together for more than say '30 seconds' of sniffing, things can get touchy. Usually the other dog decides that it wants to escalate things in an overly friendly way, so I have learned not to go longer than a 'hello, how are you?' and then on to our walk.

 

The best way, in my opinion, is to learn your grey's feelings. If he/she is uncomfortable with other dogs, keep moving, but if he/she is curious, a quick hello and then onward is the way to go.

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Guest Angelique

Congratudaltions on getting Gabble! You should post a few pictures.

 

Try introducing him to other "fluffy" dogs, with a muzzle on, in a controlled environment and with dog-savy owners/non aggressive-well socialized dogs. His reaction will let you know if it was interest, prey drive, aggression, etc. Sometimes, they just need time and a few encounters to realize that that "fluffy" sounds like a dog, smells like a dog, acts like a dog... so it must be a dog. He may never learn that they are dogs, and should not be chased/eaten. We started out with small black/tan dogs, and slowly moved to the lighter "fluffy/white" dogs. Sniff introduction, long walk, more sniffing, more pack walks, hanging out together, with the grey muzzled. Cassy is now small white dog safe... if and only if he has smelt the other dog first. After he "knows" it smells like dog, he is a great pal. If he sees a small white dog away on the other side of the field, its still 100% prey instinct. With cats he is ok as long as its not white. Still working on this one. Cassy will never be 100% white safe, but now i know he does not want to eat every small dog he meets.

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If his ear were up at just the sight of the small dog my guess he is not small animal safe and was in full prey mode

 

 

That's not always the case. My grey Sailor greets all other dogs, including greys with ears full up and that's about the only time his ears are up. I have cats and as long as the dog doesn't act like prey, he sniffs then ignores it. He doesn't care if it's playing, running or jumping just if it acts like prey.

 

As far as Gable, what kind of dog did he meet with your brother? A bichon and say a lab will get very different reactions. It does sound like prey drive, but it could be he's still trying to figure things out. It's hard for me to say because it sounds borderline. You will have to be very careful especially with little dogs. Something you can do is go outside and when you see small dogs off in the distance, if he starts to show interest, call him. When he focuses on you, give him a treat. He'll start to learn that when there's little dogs around to focus on you for good things. Make sure to do this from a distance and not near the little dogs.

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Guest WhiteWave

Rebel is giving me issues with small dogs. He wants to grab them. We were at an adoption event and he tried to pick up a Dachshund. I would think in this case with the Bichon, it is prey drive. Some cases, you can work thru it, others you will just have to avoid small critters and use a muzzle when you think you may encounter them.

 

Rebel has tried to grab my small white fluffy guy a few times, but is learning he is not prey. We still have the occasional relapse where he gets all excited when he sees Pongo and will mouth him, but a sharp "NO" and of course Pongo's teeth are teaching him otherwise! If Pongo was younger, one time would have learned him! We had 3 young males straight from the track who all made a beeline for Pongo when they saw him and he took out all 3 hounds! He might be small and fluffy, but he is 1/2 JRT and the terrier shines thru the fluff! But he is almost 15 now and not as feisty as he once was.

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Just letting you know that it does take time but it can work. Yesterday we headed out for a walk as a family and as we left our garage and walked towards our neighbours, their garage door was open and their two horrible little fluffy things charged straight at us barking. In the past PK in particular, would have attempted to kill them, and Booster would have exploded. This time, both girls were a little surprised and reached out to sniff the horrible critters who were eventually called away by their owner. The owner claimed that they had 'never done it before'. Yeah. Right. These are the same sdogs who go insane whenever we go into our backyard. It's something they do - undersocialised and under-trained. They are also owned by an 'animal communicator'.

 

BUT aside from my small issues wither her and her business, which doesn't match up to her dogs behaviour, I was so proud of my two. But then later in the walk, a big black pup caused a couple of issues. Small steps, small steps.

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Guest aowam

I was at my first meet and greet after the adoption and the other greyhound owners helped me pick up on certain signs and evaluated his behavior towards the other small dogs that walked into the store. Accordign to them, he is more curious than anything about small dogs being unsure of what to make of them. Under their watchful eye (and good cues from the experienced greyhounds) he successfully greeted some a teacup poodle and another small dog thing. Apparently he started baring his teeth a little when the greeting lasted too long, so I guess we have to work on it.

 

He has really good behavior with greeting dogs closer to his size, and there was no contention there. After the event, I noticed that while most other owners tend to cross the street when they see him (it's funny that the big dog owners tend to cross the street while the small dog owners tend to walk right up to us), he seems much more calm (definitely not 100%) around the smaller ones. I guess I just need to get him around the little fluffies some more.

 

With that said, there is a brown teacup poodle puppy that keeps getting out the door from the people across the street. It runs directly to our side of the street up to random people. I had Gable tethered out with me while I was doing some yardwork so that he could have some fresh air. Something nagged at the back of my head to take him back in. Lo and behold, the moment I came back out after putting him in, the poodle puppy ran over to our side again. That thing would look exactly like a tasty bunny to him...

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Guest Giselle

Apparently he started baring his teeth a little when the greeting lasted too long, so I guess we have to work on it..

Nah, there's nothing to work on. Head-on greetings should never last more than a few seconds. Very stable dogs with impeccable social skills do this on their own. After a few seconds of greeting, they'll avert their gaze, turn their heads, and basically tell the other dog, "Okay, stop. I'm done." In other words, after a few seconds of head-on greeting, they voluntarily disengage.

 

Fights and squabbles only occur when one of the other dogs does not stop or disengage. So, I would say that your dog is perfectly normal. And if HE doesn't disengage after 5-10 seconds, then you do it for him. Say, "Okay! Here Gable!", click/treat (or give a slight tug and treat as soon as he turns towards you). I would say that there are way more dogs who DON'T disengage properly than there are dogs who do. So I'd recommend erring on the side of safety and stopping the greeting for Gable all the time. Hopefully, by the umpteenth time you've done this, Gable will immediately turn back towards you when he hears you say, "Okay!" :)

 

Also, I recommend click/treating for the voluntary turn towards you instead of a leash tug. Sometimes, physical pressure can induce frustration = aggressive behavior. Just do whatever is most efficient and safe in that situation.

Edited by Giselle
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