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Is my dog RUDE?! Argh
  • shirapup32shirapup32
    Posts: 100
    So I realized on our walk today that Shira may very well be that rude, annoying dog that terrorizes other dogs. She hasn't annoyed any of the neighborhood dogs too much, aside from a gorgeous Weimaraner that gave her a bit of a growl when she wouldn't stop jumping on her head.

    I was so worried about curbing dog aggression in the beginning that all I cared about was that she wanted to sniff/play with other dogs. I completely forgot to consider how she approached them.

    Whenever Shira spots another dog, depending on her energy level (which is usually sky high no matter how much exercise we get), she will:
    a) pull towards them, panting, until she starts choking,
    b) pull towards them, until I reel her in and pick her up,
    c) pull towards them, until drag her past, or
    d) pull towards them, until I ask the other owner if they can sniff, and allow her to meet the dog.

    Commence jumping and mauling.
    I know Shibas are wrestle-players, but the other dogs seem hesitant about it because she skips the "Good day to you sir!" sniff and just dives right in to the wrestle. Misbehavior of pulling the leash aside, I'm thinking this is rude.

    What do you think? Did I create a monster?
    What steps could I take to correct her greeting process?
    Thanks in advance!
  • ShawnaShawna
    Posts: 20
    Dogs are the best at teaching other dogs. Our shiba got a wake up call when she jumped on an elderly dachsund. He gave her paw a good pinch along with a growl. There was much shiba screaming and she was extremely well behaved with other dogs for the next week. She's gone back to being rather pushy but a few other not so traumatizing incidents at the dog park have taught her that randomly jumping on strange dogs is not a good idea and you should wait till they are ready to play.

    I would also stop the leash pulling and diving at the other dog. Work more on a good sit so you can get her to stop and be still. Carry something really interesting if you need to and reward her as soon as she sits still for even a split second. Start out far away from the other dog. Gradually increase how long she stays still and how close the other dog is. Do not let her greet another dog when she's pulling and bouncing on the leash. Only let her greet another dog after she sits even if it isn't for very long. Letting her get all bouncy excited and out of control is only building up her energy and anticipation for getting to the other dog which makes it even more likely she'll just pounce on them instead of greeting calmly first. Sometimes if I have to I'll stand there holding Haru just out of reach while she pulls up on her hind legs and flips around trying to get at a person or dog. We'll stand there as long as we need to until she starts to chill and then she gets to go see the dog or person. However if you haven't previously worked on what's appropriate calm moments and what's appropriate hyper time that exercise could take a very long time with a shiba.
  • tsukitsunetsukitsune
    Posts: 6468
    I think there are two things you need to do

    1. As Shawna said - allow other dogs to 'teach' her what is appropriate. As she is still a pup, now is the BEST time for this. It is absolutely true - nothing teaches your dog 'manners' more effectively than another [older] dog.

    2. Also like Shawna said - Work on focus training - redirecting her attention to you when she starts to get all pent up at the sight of another dog. Especially if you cannot or do not let her approach, getting her to focus on you instead might help her calm down and give her self control when she sees other dogs on her walks. Rewards can be treats or a toy that she really loves, anything that gets her to look to you to release that tension she feels seeing another dog and not being able to greet it.
  • yes but...Nice dogs only! Letting the wrong dog "teach" your dog can result in fear of dogs. Sage was "taught' by a reactive springer spaniel who pierced his throat at the field when Sage went up to the springer's owner- all wiggly and excited. Not jumping, just TOO excited. That was overdoing it. I let this happen because I thought the dogs were just teaching their own kind, so please, even if your dog IS rude, remember that you know her best and you want her to learn from appropriate solid dogs who will correct but not hurt her. There's qualifiers here. Find friends' dogs you know are nice and let them teach. Or in a puppy class with the trainer refereeing. Dont risk grumpy stranger dogs correcting yours. My Reilly is an appropriate correcter- she gives plenty of information, and if it is unheeded, she roars at them. She doesn't bite dogs, she uses body language. Find dogs like that, stable temperaments.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    Great advice above. I can't add more, other than to say that a good training center that uses positive method will help you out greatly.
    Take it step by step.

    PS: Here is the Suzanne Clothier article called "He Just Wants to Say Hi". I bring it up here since it is pertinent in regard to behavior.
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2009-08-15 15:24:01
  • Patience...your shiba is still a puppy. Everything is still new to her & she just wants to play & explore everything the world has to offer. It's great that you are aware that this is undesirable behavior & you've been given great advise . But be patient as she gets older she will calm down.
  • wliu003wliu003
    Posts: 222
    Mine is a big bully. When dogs are to teach her by growling she seems to want to antagonize them more cause shes usually a lot quicker than the dogs at the dog park. So she'll just run up to them and jump on them or bump them and then bolt away. But mine is still one year and 4 months. I have a hard time correcting her at the dog park cause shes running all over the place so I try to do it at home. When shes playing with my sisters dog or my friends dogs shes still a big bully but I really take advantage of close quarters to teach her to play nice. Just to give you some idea of bullying... she walks over dogs even if shes stepping on them, she will bump other dogs out of the way if they are in front of her, she would hog ALL the treats even if she has the biggest one, she will then put the treat in front of the other dog and bait them, when they come in to get the treat she snaps..
  • shirapup32shirapup32
    Posts: 100
    I'll be sure to bring good treats along and see if my friends can help out with their dogs. And the article was very helpful! She just got her rabies shot so we should be enrolling in puppy classes soon. Thanks so much everyone!
  • ShawnaShawna
    Posts: 20
    Actually it just sounds like your shiba is trying to get other dogs to play and run with her but is a bit confused how to go about it. We had a run in with a boxer kind of like that at the dog park last week. He bounced around baiting my akita and trying to get her to chase him. When she did he growled like he wanted to start a fight but kept running away. When she stopped chasing he'd dash up to her with an aggressive stance growling again and she'd puff up thinking he was coming in to attack only to have him suddenly play bow and run off. Luckily she read his behavior correctly and figured out he wasn't actually threatening her but she quickly got tired of his odd responses. After a few short runs with him she retreated back to me and started to curl her lip at the boxer so I called her off and we left the area. Oddly our shiba who usually plays with anyone would not go near this boxer.

    Both Haru and my mom's shelter mix will bait other dogs with treats or food. That's not abnormal. Then they'll make play growls as they try to keep the item away from the other dog. The difference is they pretty much know the line between when it's being taken as play and when it might be taken as serious. I've never seen these games turn into an argument and someone always gives before the other gets upset. To me it really sounds like your dog is making normal attempts to initiate play but is adding a bit too much aggressive response and being a bit too pushy about it because she doesn't know what is appropriate and respectable behavior and what may start a fight. Haru started to have the same problem and I worried about it but like I said she quickly learned after being properly disciplined by other well socialized dogs.
  • Your description actually made me laugh because I could see exactly what you were talking about. Ki has had the same problem. Luckily your pup is...well...a pup! So you will have a lot of opportunity through training and playing with other dogs to have her learn the right way to approach and play.

    Ki was almost 2 years old when I adopted him so he was a pretty hard nut to crack.

    My advice would be:

    1. Training classes, training classes, training classes! Young dogs, especially, benefit from being in an environment where they can learn commands, learn to relax around other dogs, and learn to play (as was said) with a trainer as a referee.

    2. Exercize! I'm not going all Cesar Milan on you but high-energy dogs (like my Ki) are easier to work with when they don't have so much pent up energy. I also walk him with a pack to help him keep focused (he gets into work's awesome). If he hasn't been out for awhile or is too excitable, I'll wait on letting him approach other dogs until we've finished a very decent walk to work him out. Then he can usually approach in a bit calmer manner. The pack also deters him from jumping as much since the weight can make that awkard.

    3. Don't reward pulling! Your dog pulls on the leash because there is another dog. You reward this behavior by bringing them or being dragged to the other dog. Good leash behavior is very important. Work on having your dog be able to walk on a loose leash. Know how to get your dog's attention. Ki used to pull to go see another dog. I would stop the behavior by stopping the walk. I would stop and he would have to sit to wait. When he calmed down I would give him his release command ('okay!') and then we'd walk. If he pulled ahead we would stop, if he behaved we would make progress to go see the other dog. I would also make him sit/stay before approaching the other dog...*even* if the other dog approaches him he is supposed to wait until I tell him it's okay.

    4. Pick good playmates! When Ki is in sit/stay, I ask the owner if it is okay for Ki to say hi and *explain* that my dog likes to jump and pounce (yes...Ki i the bastardy dog that superman-leap-punches your dog with both paws and then runs away in the hope that he'll be chased). Some dogs don't tolerate this *at all*. Hopefully the other owner knows their dog well enough to let you know that so you can let them say hi from a distance and move on to the next playmate if you know your dog can't adjust their play level. Be a good judge, correct, reward and don't be afraid to talk to other owners and be honest. And until you have basic commands down, it might be best to skip the dog park. :)

    Your dog is still young so this will likely be a lot simpler than you think once you get into puppy classes, but just remember that if you are consistent and patient you can make it work even with older dogs.
    Post edited by amesylph at 2009-09-04 13:20:12
  • starrystarry
    Posts: 187
    toki is rude too, he runs right up to a dog and gets all over them, i think he wants them to chase him
    i do the sit and stay and he listens but then i say okay and he runs up to the dog just as excited, so looks like i'm not following through with the idea behind the training
    to add my question to this thread,
    I notice toki will invade a dog's personal space, bypassing the sniff hello, if the other dog barks then he starts growling and snarling barking but if the other dog is okay toki is okay
    so how do I get him to learn to back down from the other dog's threat and back away? rather than challenge it by remaining and barking?
    or am i reading this whole thing wrong?
  • I have a similar question, my guy is rude, and I tell owners beforehand my puppy is rude, is yours well adjusted enough to properly correct him? Most say yes, and then I let Banjo get "corrected" (another dog growls, he backs off as he should). My dog walker has a VERY well adjusted rotweiller that is Banjo's role model. I let him teach banjo social manners and he is getting better. That being said.....

    as we all know, Shibas LOOK aggressive (in dog world)... they have the curled tail, pointy ears, and alert posture that many dogs see as threatening. (my guy isn't dog aggressive except to the extent he wants to play play play. He plays a little rough, but always responds properly to corrective actions from other dogs). How do you deal with this? Specifically, new dogs look at him as a threat because of his natural look. DO other people notice this in their dogs actions? do you try to mitigate it?
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
    @BanjoTheBetaDog, I usually tell people up front that she's not being mean, she is trying to play. Like you said, Shibas can look mean, and Sansa often curls her lip when she's being really playful which has scared owners of others dogs in the vicinity. I don't try to get her to stop because...she's a dog. That's how she expresses herself, and if others perceive it (incorrectly) as aggressive, that's on them, but I do make sure I let people know so they're not concerned.
  • Yeah, i do my best to communicate it.

    Problem is he plays SO rough I can't always tell if when he puts his jaws around another dog's head (as he did this morning with a loving mutt puppy his age who couldn't get enough) or around another dog's legs if he is aggressive or not. I assume until I hear a corrective noise, I should just let it happen. Most people "get it" and I am totally okay with bigger dogs correcting him (I encourage it, so long as its done with the right amount of energy). He now even lets "little" dogs correct him (I find it funny when a bijon frese who Banjo could surely eat if he wanted to, corrects banjo and he actually steps back).

    Does the "I wanna play with the new XXXXX" thing go away after puppyhood?

  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    I definitely think there is a difference between the body language of a puppy and an adult. Puppies tend to skip all decorum and just want to play, while adults have established rules.

    I have found that Kouda is actually very good at using and reading body language. However, he is just not tolerant of other dogs that don't do the same! When we meet new dogs he is quick to decide if the other dog is acting appropriately or not and will make it known that he does not approve (snark). Because of this, I avoid casual greetings while walking him.

    As for letting strange dogs meet each other, it is generally not a good idea to let them approach face to face, and especially not while on leash. Proper etiquette will have dogs approach from the side and at an angle, avoiding a staring contest. When on leash, dogs can feel restrained and are more prone to feel defensive.
  • ArcticArctic
    Posts: 513
  • ivesives
    Posts: 23
  • @ives, if you want to have another dog park session, let me know. I am not worried about my dog getting into a fight.

  • Kira_KiraKira_Kira
    Posts: 2482

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