Just one thing after another....now it's big dogs?

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Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 1:40pm PST 
I swear every time we get somewhere with one of Rigby's "quirks" a new behaviour shows up out of the blue.

She's always had a fear of GSDs (mainly, I suspect, due to the poor behaviour and ownership of the ones in my area...resulting in her being pinned by them on numerous occasions). That was manageable. Keep an eye out when at the park, and sort of mediate when necessary. She would cautiously walk past these dogs.

Now, we've gone to the park twice in the past week where she has behaved incredibly skittish of any dogs larger than her.
The first time it was 2 or 3 Golden Retrievers. None of which even gave a glance in her direction, but as soon as she saw them, she bolted the opposite way.
She ignored my calling for her and simply ran and hid.

I approached her and was able to get her under control before these dogs got too close, and I walked her past them no problems.
That was the only incident that day.

Now today I took them back to the park (I should mention that this is an un-fenced hiking park). Everything was fine until these 2 Great Danes were on the trail ahead. Now these were considerably more rambunctious than the GRs, but again she started bolting at the very sight of them. I got a hold of her, and these dogs did have interest in her, but were called off by the owner.

I encountered them again on my walk, and leashed Rigby before they noticed us. Luckily they paid no mind and continued walking. I then let Rigby off leash again seeing only a black s-poodle looking dog, I figured they would be fine.
I was wrong.
Again Rigby tried to flee back and ignored me.


It's only been within the past week or so that she's done this.
Previously she would just give the dogs she did not enjoy a wide berth.

Nothing that I know of has happened directly for her to act this way. No ill encounters or anything...

Thoughts? I'd really hate to stop taking her to this park. They get such a good run there, and there's nowhere else in the area that I know of like it.
Today is what I would have considered to be an "off" time too, 3pm as the kids get out of school, and freezing rain fog...

With the poodle today, the dog barely looked in her direction, but Rigby let out this awful screeching noise combined with snarled teeth

A little scattered, I know.
Rigby and Cobain spent the weekend at my parents the 18th-20th. My mother says nothing out of the ordinary happened.
However, here my SIL brought her untrained large mix that has previously "menaced" Rigby, and apparently she urinated all over my floors when the dogs and I weren't home shrug Dunno if that would have anything to do with it.

Edited by author Tue Jan 29, '13 1:57pm PST


Member Since
Barked: Tue Jan 29, '13 8:01pm PST 
How old is she? Is she in a fear stage? Maybe you could work on over all confidence.

Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 3:10am PST 
Best guess is she's around 2 years old.
I've been working on her confidence building for just over a year.
We will seem to make progress, then all of the sudden a new behaviour - like this one - shows up when it wasn't present before


Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 6:24pm PST 
Well, we just got back from class not too long ago, and even her behaviour there was a little off.
Our trainer shows/breeds Aussies, and Rigby is a huge flirt to her young males laugh out loud
Today she was acting a little strange with them as well. Not entirely evasive, but not her usual bouncy flirty self lol...

We did get a chance to encounter a black s-poodle in class though. It went quite well, but this one was just about Rig's size so that may have been a factor.

Since she looks so young, many people have asked about her age and the fear stages. I only wish it were that simple shrug

Member Since
Barked: Wed Jan 30, '13 6:52pm PST 
If she's neurotic and/or fearful and/or high strung (I'm saying IF, not that she is), this can just be one of those problems that you always run into. Sometimes it's just always something is wrong for one of these kinds of dogs that are poorly adjusted for whatever reasons to life in general. They can bounce from one problem to the next. Happens with puppy mill survivors a lot.

Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 3:57am PST 
That's something I considered, and was a afraid of.
Her background is pretty unknown aside from that she was found as a stray.

I'm not sure that she was a previous mill dog...because I can't really see her breed/mix selling too well in a store or other poor methods.
I do speculate *some* form of neglect, although which kind exactly, I have no idea.

This is my first extended experience with a more "troubled" dog, while she has made leaps and bounds from where she started with me, I guess I am expecting too much and ignoring my own knowledge of genetics here.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 1:36pm PST 
Is she on leash when she reacts? Off leash? Both? Sophie is nuts when she sees other dogs on leash but fine with almost any dog off leash, except in the dog park...she's very leery about other dogs her size or bigger in the dog park, but with tiny dogs she's very comfortable. Sometimes it is a certain breed-we avoid GSDs and min pins, she goes ballistic with min pins more than any other dog...no idea whyshrug

Barked: Fri Feb 1, '13 10:13pm PST 
Off leash is the main issue.
On leash she pays the majority of her attention to me, her last on leash encounter was with quite possibly the most polite black lab I've ever met (and on a properly used flexi, I almost died LOL).
The owner said to me "he wont move until he meets the other dogs I am SO sorry, you can keep walking if you like he will get over it eventually"
I stopped, for her, and his politeness was astonishing me.

On leash she either displays an impeccable ignore or implies great evasive technique without being jumpy. Unless I "ok" the greet and she's quite polite (too polite if he's an intact herding breed IMO)

Funny how GSDs are also a breed that you have had an issue with Ophelia. I know so many great GSD owners online that I only wish I knew in reality (hey Sabi, on your way through stop in Oshawa to show Rig what a properly owned GSD looks like?laugh out loud )
Because the vast majority here buy from bybs and raise them as labs. Which we all know doesn't work.

Edited by author Fri Feb 1, '13 10:18pm PST

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Feb 2, '13 12:45am PST 
Hmm... Odd. I really don't have much advice, but to start doing some confidence building, and perhaps if you know of anyone with larger dogs that may intimidate her, work on her on leash at a distance and start doing some counter-conditioning? Maybe even on a long line?

That said..

I've noticed an over-abundance of MANY ill-behaved dogs of varying breeds. I wish I knew more of the owners on here in person, and not the people I actually know.

That said, Charlie has issues with bully breeds. Namely Pibble types. Not Mastiffs(at least not the females he's met, no idea about males as he's never met males). They can be intact, altered, any age, male(dunno about female as he's only ever encountered Kia, a female Bull Mastiff, never female pibbles), and he ALWAYS feels the need to make a huge show of things.

I'm talking, he'll be fine walking through a pet store, meeting various other dogs and breeds. But we walk out of the store, and there's a pibble passing us on the sidewalk as we're heading to the car and BAM, he turns into Cujo! It's ridiculous. And it's ONLY with pibbles!

He usually just avoids them or ignores them at dog parks, but it's not often I see many of them there anyway, and it's rare I go anymore. Not sure what he'd do in an off leash situation with them trying to play with him at a park. It's the weirdest thing. And he's never had a bad experience with one that I'm aware of. Granted, he had four homes prior to me at eight months old, so who knows.

It can be so difficult to figure out the underlying cause if you don't know their history... confused

I hope things improve!

Barked: Fri Feb 8, '13 6:11pm PST 
Thanks Charlie hug
It's strange how they randomly have issues with other breeds like that.

Tomorrow (permitting the roads are ok) a friend of ours with a Sibe will be coming to stay the night.
This dog loves to try to get Rigby to play. And this is the ONLY dog I've ever seen Rigby stand up to. She gets snarky with him, opposed to running away. While it's not ideal, she does show confidence to him which I see as a good thing.

So we'll see how that goes I guess shrug