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How Much Correction Of Other Dogs To Allow?

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Hester has always been a serious, no nonsense dog when it comes to meeting other dogs. He will correct transgressions with a deep growl. Repeat offenders (rare) get some snarling and occasionally a show of teeth. This usually does the trick, we've never got to three strikes. When he first arrived I used to intervene until I realized that he was so far ahead of me in sizing up and dealing with potential problems that I was just getting in the way. Other owners have been 100 percent supportive, no one has ever complained that he has gone too far.


However, a few days ago we encountered a pair of mixed breeds one of which (a female) was vocal and agressive/defensive. Hester usually ignores this type but on this occasion he seemed to linger and size up the situation for a moment and then made a quick lunge/snarl/snap toward the dogs hind end. The dog tucked its rear, made a quick spin and then sat between its owners legs. Hester went back to sniffing the ground and peeing on everything completely unfazed. The owner commented that his dog is a bit of a pain and did not seem the slightest perturbed by Hester's behaviour. Nonetheless, Hester's behaviour represented a new high watermark for correction of other dogs.


The question is: does this cross the line of acceptable? If another dog ever did this to Hester I would be very concerned. I am reluctant to intervene, but I also want Hester to be a good doggie citizen. My gut tells me there is no risk of escallation but I really have no idea. I just base this on Hester's track record.


FYI all of this only applies to medium and large dogs. Small dogs and puppies can do pretty much anything without a reaction from him.

Edited by KickReturn
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Not a problem, Hester went immediately back to non-confrontational calming signal activity because the other dog showed respect.


It's when you get an idiot dog that doesn't 'do' calming signals or sometimes one without a tail that can't signal clearly that issues arise. Obviously you don't want a fight to start.


Read the short article in the link... it may help you spot delinquent dogs.



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If another dog ever did this to Hester I would be very concerned.

I'd have to ask myself what was MY dog doing to CAUSE another dog to correct my dog instead of me correcting them.


The other owner admitted that his dog is a pain. He was possibly unconcerned because he was aware that Hester just finished telling his dog off in Canine language.

Edited by Gryffenne
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Lung at the hindquarters isn't very fair IMHO ... even in the dog world! but to 'correct' it you need to catch it before it actually happens really.... so aside from taking him away from the offensive dog not sure what else you can do

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I think the problem comes *after* the initial correction. If your dog lunges and corrects another dog (even if it looks terrible from a human perspective), it's not really that big a deal to either dog. BUT - if your dog then keeps on going after the other dog, long after a correction is issued, then your dog becomes a "dog bully." That isn't ok, IMO. That's when you need to remove your dog from the situation and keep a close watch and short leash on him during meetings with unknown dogs.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)


Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Hard to say without having seen it in person. Was the other dog actually being annoying to Hector at the time ? What was she doing?


I think it's fine for dogs to tell off other dogs or even to set limits (and each dog has their own limits) but maybe just watch out for any reasons why their tolerance level might be lower than normal eg old age, pain, arthritis, a series of negative encounters with other dogs etc and then perhaps pick and choose which dogs they can meet and greet.


For example, try to avoid close encounters with dogs who display poor body language or rude behaviour. Well this is what i try to do anyway.

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