|Barked: Tue May 29, '12 12:11pm PST |
|Trigger and Toto
I don't understand that modern ideal either, Toto. Seriously. Charlie likes some dogs and doesn't like others. I'm the same way with people a majority of the time. Why should I expect him to tolerate every dog that rudely approaches him without consequence? Why should I expect him to be all wagging tails and happy about some strange dog getting in his face? Ideally, dropping the leash or letting him off would be GREAT! If I didn't have a BEAGLE, who, if he felt the need to take flight, would be GONE and I'd never catch him.
Most off leash dogs here are NOT under control. Are NOT friendly. And are VERY dog reactive from what my experience dictates. We also have leash laws as well. There is only ONE person in my entire neighborhood who has his dogs SO well trained to a tee that he has them without leashes constantly - but they DO NOT approach or bother people or other dogs, they're so focused on their owner.
Most of the off leash dogs here tend to be either large mastiff type breeds, or tiny chihuahuas and man, do I NOT want the repercussions if a mastiff decides he doesn't like that Charlie is leash reactive, or if Charlie goes after a chihuahua that runs right up to his face, snarling and snapping.
The funny part? My dog was so well socialized throughout his years, he was a daily daycare dog who was constantly in a pack of anywhere from 10-40 dogs at a given time and he RARELY got in any fights. On leash is a different story entirely. Even if I dropped his leash - which would be a safety hazard with his breed and the sheer number of rabbits here - he'd STILL react to a reactive dog.
My neighbor also has a reactive dog who Charlie is friends with. A little girl of about 12, was walking two big labs. These labs saw Sierra, who began barking and immediately bolted towards her, dragging this little girl. The girl dropped the leash of the female(Sierra has SSA, and is reactive of both strangers and strange dogs) and her EIGHT MONTH PREGNANT owner was trying to get Sierra back into the house while these dogs came running towards her to saw a friendly hi. The girls labs did nothing. But they got in Sierra's face who went into a reactive panic and I'm surprised she didn't topple over her pregnant owner and no fights ensued - mostly because those labs were more interested in my eight week old puppy, who I was using to help the girl get her dogs still enough that she could get control of them - her dogs were friendly - Sierra was not. Oops.
Just because the dog that's running up is friendly, DOES NOT mean my dog is. It DOES NOT mean my dog won't react, or start a fight. I drop a leash, I stay calm, I let it go slack, I let the offending dog get in my dogs face to say a friendly hi and BAM, he goes after the offending dog. Not a situation I like to deal with, ESPECIALLY when I have been working successfully to curb his leash reactivity and that offending dog sends us five steps back. I can't stress how much it would upset me if someone else's dog got seriously injured because an actual fight broke out because, say, that dog didn't back off when Charlie gave it clear signals to. He has NEVER injured another dog, but who's to say that him reacting won't cause a fight that could lead to both getting injured?
I'm not willing to risk my dogs safety, NOR yours. I'm willing to hurt feelings if it means advocating for my dogs safety and comfort. Why should my dog be put in a situation he's not comfortable in because someone else isn't obeying the laws? There's a reason we don't go to off leash parks anymore.
I do not blame OP for telling them how it was and I would have done the same thing - HAVE done the same thing. Sometimes being calm, and letting it happen could be the worst thing you could do.
If I had had one of the many chihuahua's in this area go after Regan(family rottweiler) the same way they've charged Charlie before, they'd be dead, no doubt in my mind, because she would have either thrown all her weight into stomping on them, or she would have left them with one nasty bite that would have been life threatening - and this is a dog who gets along perfectly fine with people and other dogs that DON'T get in her face and charge towards her off leash.
You know your dogs, I know mine. I reserve the right to decide who can and who cannot socialize with my dogs.
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