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Dog Reactive Shiba and Dog Walking Etiquette
  • My dog Quake is dog reactive and has been since he was attacked by another dog. Slowly I am trying to ease his fearsby giving him the command "be nice to the pooch" as soon as we see a dog and he gets a treat. If he does not negatively react to the other dog he gets a second training treat. We live in an urban area with alot of dogs and he is doing much better. I live in a pet friendly condo and there are many dogs. Quake has even made friends with some of the dogs. However, there re a couple of dogs that Quake still hates. The Pet Parents of these dog know Quake's history because I have explained it to them. One Pet Parent takes his dogs in another direction if he sees Quake and if Quake starts to react negatively. I always say thank you. I do the same thing with dogs that react negatively to Quake. I think it is common courtesy to take your dog in another direction or at least stop and make your dog sit while the reactive dog's pet parent has the opportunity to calm their pet. There is a couple that owns a really aggressive dog that has bitten other dogs and Quake hates that dog. When they are walking their dog and they see Quake reacting they keep walking towards us as fast they can while I am trying to pull Quake out of there so I can help him calm down. I would appreciate suggestions. I would like to calm down and have a talk with those people and ask them if they could please stop and have their dog sit so I can take care of Quake. I would have this talk with them when I am not with Quake. Am I being unreasonable?
  • @Antoinette - That is absolutely not unreasonable.

    I think it's common courtesy, a good dog owner should always make other owners that live within the same community aware of what obstacles your dog has and plan accordingly. It's crucial for the safety and mental well-being of both your dog and the neighbor's dog.

    I think it would be unreasonable for dog owners not to be considerate of your dog because it will ultimately affect theirs. Just approach the owner one day without your dog to talk to them. Maybe bring a treat for their dog to open up the lines of communication? That's what I'd do, at least if it were me.
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  • I completely agree with Kira_Kira.... We haven't had to deal with reactivity, but we also live in a pretty urban area in a very dog friendly community. When Nym was sick we made sure that every other dog owner we encountered knew... it's just common courtesy so that they can keep their dog from running to greet her in case they also get the bug.

    Most times if I was walking by myself, I'd have to shout it to the other owner, but what we found to be the easiest solution was Hubs and I would walk together and whichever one was not walking Nym, they would go ahead and inform the other dog owner to let them know. Most owners were completely understanding and would take their pooch in another direction (like the Pet Parents you describe). So maybe you could make it a point of walking with someone else at the time you normally run into that one dog.

    The more concerning thing I find is the fact that their dog has bitten other dogs in the community and shown aggression, and there's not any repercussions... Has there been any? Our community has a two strike - muzzle rule... add a third strike - the dog has to be removed from the property within twenty-four hours. It's part of the condo associations bylaws, in order to protect other condo owners and their pets.

    As an aside, I like the command you're using!
  • @Kira_Kira-thanks for a very good suggestion.
  • @lauratherose-Yes the dog's owners have been warned that if he bites again he will need to be muzzled. Thanks, I am hoping the new command continues to work.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8456
    @Antoinette - As a reactive dog owner, I feel your pain. That being said, it is YOUR responsibility to make sure that your dog is safe, not other dog owners'.

    And while I say that, I do feel that if it is already known or obvious that another dog that you are coming upon is reactive, that you should do your best to avoid interactions with that dog unless invited by the dog's owner/handler. It is the polite thing to do. But we all know how polite DC people can be... :-/

    So here is my suggestion:
    Talk to the other owners, but try to make it as non-confrontational and about BOTH dogs as possible. Do not take your dog with you when you speak with them.

    In the meantime, if you see another dog coming and they are not being polite, you have the ability to change directions, too. I do this quite often if I see another dog coming down the sidewalk. I will get off the sidewalk onto the grass and let the dogs sniff a tree or something while the other dog passes us by.

    If there is nowhere else to go, then pick up your dog. Walking on a Ruffwear Webmaster harness is helpful for suddenly having to pick up a reactive dog (there is a nice handle at the top and the harness is very supportive).
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  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    There is a reactive dog in my neighborhood about the same size as our dog and his owners are very aware and conscious of the situation. We often see them in the morning walking - usually on opposite sides of the street though. On occasion, when we have been on the same side, they immediately cross when they see us and sometimes wait behind a car or other object so their dog doesn't see mine.

    They are very courteous dog owners IMO and we've talked several times. Their dog, like Quake, was not reactive until he got attacked one day as a puppy.

    As a side note. My dog was attacked as a pup as well. "Fortunately," it happened while we were still taking puppy classes and we were able to consult the trainer (who does some behavioral stuff too) and she gave us some basic advice and kept an eye on our dog's interactions with other in the class.

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