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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I get it. Reactive dogs need to live their lives. They need their walks and exercise. It takes time. It takes a mental toll on the owner. I've been there.

But I'm so @##$$! frustrated. Because all the reactive dogs Pup and I come across are making it so incredibly hard for her to not escalate into leash reactivity (or more so).

In 9 months we've had:

3 pairs of dogs run up on us or corner us.

4 dogs charge out the open front door at us. Though I will give credit that a pair that did this was immediately grabbed by their owner and brought back in.

Who knows how many have repeatedly body slammed themselves against their house windows. Or exhibit barrier frustration from 3 blocks away.

Pup has not been physically harmed in these encounters. We've been able to keep these encounters from escalating.

I think it is such a testament to Pup's temperament and breeding that the most reactivity she has shown has been huffing and the occasional (1/7) hopping-barking stint despite all of this. That she even likes (friendly) dogs still. She is phenomenal with shy dogs and confident with her training class groups, actually. Even tolerates friendly but rude dogs. And thanks to a new work schedule, we're taking walks earlier in the morning-so it's usually just us out and about now.

But I'm still frustrated because I don't want her to be reactive. Or for her not to trust me. Because I've noticed that when I call her she has been checking her surroundings for reactive dogs in the vicinity. That no matter what different routes or trails we find we can't seem to have one walk that isn't part of our new schedule without a reactive dog encounter. That even if I walk into the street, or cross the street, or take us behind parked cars, or whatever; that the reactive dog still doesn't feel like that is enough space. And while I'll do what I have to to keep.Pup.safe, I also feel.angry that dogs that aren't mine sure do seem to be impacting my life an awful lot.

So that is my vent. And anyone have any recommendations? Because short of waking up at 2AM or carrying a walking stick in suburbia, I just feel out of ideas.
 

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I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I don’t have anything helpful to suggest, because you already know what you are doing. But to offer a grain of encouragement, we are currently spending a few days in an area of the UK that is very, very out-door sports focussed - hiking, sailing, rock climbing etc. And, that means a LOT of dogs. T can be a bit antsy with other dogs if they are too bold, but this weekend he has been great, because all the dogs we have met have extremely good dog manners. So if you can find any places that have dogs with good dog skills, use them as much as you can.
 

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I've had similar experiences. If I can, I get in front of my dog and stop poorly behaving dogs from approaching us. That could be just interposing yourself and yelling loudly at the other dog, or something more dramatic. (Obviously this is possible only if you can see the other dog coming from a distance away.)

My dog seems to view this as me protecting her, and she trusts me as a consequence. Even if you decide to do something different, it's important to let your dog know that he/she is not let to fend for him/herself. You're not just a post that the leash is attached to. You will take appropriate actions to make sure everyone is safe.
 

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I take a little different view (i know, shocking right?!). The fact of the matter is, most of us have to deal with these types of encounters. So rather than let it irritate you, since that really doesn't do anything to change anything but your attitude and blood pressure, consider them training opportunities!

I want my dog to walk by a fence with dogs actively barking and snarling and carrying on, calmly. So we practice it over and over and over until she understands.

Of course, loose dogs charging you is a bit challenging. But again, it happens, so use these situations to teach your dog how you expect him/her to act.

Personally I play these by ear. If I can step in between and keep the loose dogs away, I do that. If not, I unleash my dog - which gives her a better chance to move freely, and to communicate with these other dogs more effectively. NOTE: my dog has very very good off leash recall, otherwise this latter move wouldn't be an option!

Anyway, I totally understand that it can be frustrating! Few of us, though, have perfect environments to work in, and getting angry does influence your dog too, so finding an alternate strategy is hard but beneficial...
 

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Just wanted to say that I empathize with you - it is rough out there sometimes! Even though we rarely come across loose dogs, and my pup can be 'that dog' ( reactive) at times, it is annoying as heck to have to repeatedly deal with dogs behind fences, on balconies, even on leash, that react with growling and barking as soon as they hear or see us. (Where are their owners?) I try to stay focused on him, working on keeping his attention off of them, 'find it' works great for this, and reinforcing him for not reacting to them as we move away- helping him learn that all that 'noise' they make just means more good stuff for him.

I think though, that because Pup has the opportunity and enjoys playing, interacting with non-threatening dogs it may help to build that 'social padding' that can help to minimize the impact the less social dogs may have on her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone.

While it is an ongoing issue, yesterday was just extra.frustrating because we went from a gorgeous, happy time, to abruptly running the gauntlet of reactive dogs in different settings halfway through. In the moment I'm too busy checking the environemt, checking in with her, watching my actions and timing to be angry. That comes after.

And the frustration builds internally. Because I know and can see Pup is trying to be calm, to listen to me, to give these dogs space, to ignore them. To signal, "We're cool," on a longline. But that isn't enough to make it stop. And just when we make headway, something new is thrown at us. And I'm angry at myself that I can't seem to protect her more. It's been enough so far, and in two cases, I've dropped the leash. She could have run, but decided to stand her ground next to me. I just wish I could.do.more than I do to protect her, and assure her that I've.got her back. But I'm out of ideas, and it is hard to prove I'm trustworthy when listening to.me still gets her (us) cornered by dogs on a bridge.

And besides temperament and breeding, as @CachetheBC put it, she does have some social.padding. Dogs and puppies from our training center. Alas, last week kennel cough started making the rounds. Though we still have her neighbor dog friend.

For good news, I've got: I've recently taught her "around." Nothing fancy, just circle me and sit at my left side. She has decided to incorporate it on her own in a few instances where we had to suddenly pull off the path for runners and a bike. Just a really beautiful flow there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not yet, but I've seriously been considering one. I've also toyed with a collapsible baton. Would provide less distance, but is more convenient. And who knows, the whole show and noise of it extending could be a deterrent.

On this morning's outing, Pup found an abandoned baseball. While not a fetch enthusiast, she had great fun chasing it and bouncing around it, throwing bites. And don't let the lighting fool you, this was the crack of dawn. Ah, if only I had her joy of life.

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Liver Grass


Dog Dog breed Carnivore Liver Rough collie
 

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For good news, I've got: I've recently taught her "around." Nothing fancy, just circle me and sit at my left side. She has decided to incorporate it on her own in a few instances where we had to suddenly pull off the path for runners and a bike. Just a really beautiful flow there.
It is always a good feeling (and pretty amazing) when we see them choose on their own to use the skills that we have taught them.

On this morning's outing, Pup found an abandoned baseball. While not a fetch enthusiast, she had great fun chasing it and bouncing around it, throwing bites. And don't let the lighting fool you, this was the crack of dawn. Ah, if only I had her joy of life.
Nothing like starting your day with a bit of 'sunshine'!
They have a way of reminding us to make sure we take the time to have some 'serious' playtime in our lives!!
 

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Hi. I sooooo get the reactive. I have lost count of how many times we have run into this situation. I have an unneutered male springer. He is an other dog bark at me magnet. I am constantly turning direction. Or if I have no choice, make him sit a good distance away from incoming, give him biscuits. Make it a training exercise. But it is not 100 % effective yet against him learning to leash lunge, because he has been lunged AT so often. It can be soo stressful. I have him on a four foot leash. While the other people have their dogs on these 12 foot recoiling leashes. Which btw is a hazard and a prelude to a fall. Saw a 15 lb French bulldog take out a 150 lb lady while she was picking up his poop and he lunged at me snarling and wanting to fight. Ever try recoiling one of those leashes in a hurry? Reeks havoc on the hands like a rope burn. People don’t understand their animals. They particularly don’t understand the threat they are to other people and their dogs. I just keep a safe distance and control my end of things. I tried asking a woman to please put her pair of snarling golden retrievers on a leash so I could pass. She said no. When I got back to my car there was a long note telling me she has lived here for 30years and she never had to leashher dogs. When there are leash law signs all over the place. I do what I need to do to stay safe. Talk about frustrating.
 

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Oh. I forgot to say. With the charging off leash dogs without or with owner in sight. I simply say a loud and stern NO. Go home. And usually the dogs listen. The owner stands there dumbfounded. If I wait until the owner makes the command it could be to late for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Haha, my 50' leash would be a heart attack. Though Pup is running to me, it's used where I have a bigger than 50' radius clear, and she is not running at people.

But it is a wild ride out there some days.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How far we've come! The barking-hopping stint has reduced to 1/10, AND something big happened. So, while walking last night, we could see a woman on her raised porch stop, look, and go inside. Not a big deal.

What was a big deal was that she left her dog out on a long line. Who we couldn't see because of the terrain and some shrubbery. Who then paused before charging us full speed and choking itself on the line a couple feet back. Pup only barked once during this fiasco.

I'm irked by the whole situation by several principles. But very proud of how far she's come. While I'll keep an eye out for fall-out in the coming weeks, thought I'd take progress where I can.
 

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I feel your 'pain' - Oakley can be 'that' dog who loses it sometimes and totally get the pride and joy when he doesn't make a scene when he sees another dog (though I can tell it is tough for him - lots of praise and rewards). He does remember those spots where he has experienced an upset and tends to be a little more vigilant the next few times we travel that same path.
Absolutely, sometimes success can be only measured in baby steps, but there is every reason to be proud of them, and so much to be thankful for!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, we probably just had a huge setback. And I'm a touch nuts.

Long story short, dog got loose, ran up behind us, and scared the s#@$ out of us. Kaiya yelped and there was a lot of noise. For some reason instead of using the baton I stuck my hand in there and collar grabbed the offending dog. And the #$%& owner first only walked up and then had the audacity to ask why I "was mad." And to boot, I hand the dog over and he lets his dog slip the collar. Wherein I then have a standoff with the dog. While he watches.

This was supposed to be a "relaxing" pre-vet walk. What is with it? I've run into more of these situations with Kaiya than all the other dogs--and even my parents' dogs-put together. I almost think it's us, but we're literally just walking and minding our own business.
 

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This was supposed to be a "relaxing" pre-vet walk. What is with it? I've run into more of these situations with Kaiya than all the other dogs--and even my parents' dogs-put together. I almost think it's us, but we're literally just walking and minding our own business.
Sorry that happened! I understand your frustration! Similar things have happened to me, it seems when I am out with one of my pups who is having difficulties that I am trying to help them with, the 'worst' dog owners come out of the woodwork - the regulations, leash laws don't apply to them. There are some dog owners who do 'get it' and make a point of allowing/giving some space- which is really nice, but there are those who don't understand (and/or they just don't care) which can make things miserable for everyone.
 

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Awwww that is an awful pre-vet visit, I'm so sorry it went that way. It's like when you have a sore finger and it's always that finger you keep banging 😖

I really hope Kaiya can move passed this without too much issue, she might surprise you! Maybe she sees you as her protector when you had the stand off with the other dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It would be nice if she saw this scenario as me being her protector.

True that when you want to avoid something it seems to be worse :rolleyes:

There was a time where there were 3 of us, all with dogs who needed space; it was surprisingly coordinated for 3 strangers who didn't speak a word to each other.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, about a month past....and it's been very zigzag. Kaiya has gone back steps where a pug statue made her lunge/hop while hackling. She's also stood her ground and not barked when we got charged by another dog that crossed the street.

But overall, I think we are about the same and moving [shockingly] forward. I'm also coming to terms that a completely wariness-free Kaiya may not ever be in the cards. But she is doing so very well. So we'll keep walking and training and see what happens.
 
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