Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I just got finished walking my guys (they get walked separately because Heidi is still working on walking nicely, and she makes Levi misbehave :p ).

My neighborhood has a ton of dogs, but there are about 6-7 that I regularly see being walked. (Oddly enough two of them are walked on flexis and prongs, I don't get it).

On my walk with Heidi, we saw four dogs. Two GSDs, a Westie and a Greyhound. The one GSD is a puppy and gets super excited, so s/he pulls like crazy. It is walked on a prong, so the pulling then makes it go a little crazy. The guy is always super annoyed and just kind of yanks them along. The Westie (who I think is named Reggie), went nuts, lunging and barking and the lady was just like "Oh Reg, come on now". The Greyhound is very sweet. Reactive until he gets to meet the dogs. Heidi has met him before and she likes him a lot.

Then I went out with Levi. Since it was a little bit later, people were getting their kids off to school, off to work etc. We saw way more dogs. Right as we walked off our walkway onto the sidewalk, a Yorkie came from behind our neighbor's hedge and launched himself at Levi, who jumped away because he's a lover, not a fighter. :p We managed to get onto the Boulevard, and this dog continued to go absolutely ballistic as we walked away. (Levi got some hot dog for his traumatic experience). His owner laughed and said "Oh what are you going to do tough guy".

Then we passed an Aussie, uneventful. :p Then we came upon the giant Lab-mix, who started barking and lunging, the lady scolded him, gave him a serious leash correction, and walked on by. To end the walk, some little girl (maybe like 5?) ran out and hugged Levi around the neck. Scared me, terrified the dad, but Levi was pleased.


All in all, it seems to be my experience that if you have a small-reactive/lunging dog, people don't seem to feel the need to address it. Or it is labelled as "big dog in a small dog body" or "thinks he's so tough". Whereas with larger dogs, people seem to think that it is the dog being disobedient, unruly, or aggressive, or correct the dog (usually harshly, but sometimes through redirection).

I guess my question is, does this happen everywhere, have people noticed the same things as me? I find it incredibly annoying. My dogs are getting the same message regardless if the dog is 10 pounds or 100 pounds, so I'm not sure why these dogs are treated so differently. The Yorkie this morning for example, was all teeth, and Levi felt the need to seriously get away from it.

Thank you for allowing me to rant. I'm annoyed on behalf of my dogs.

Edit: I know the members on here are attentive to their reactive dogs regardless of the size, this is more a general thing.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sabina88

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,034 Posts
Ugh, there are so many unrestrained, reactive dogs in my neighborhood, I can't walk Aspen alone. I need my bf to come and play defense when these dogs come charging out at us. There are just so many rude people that have dogs.

One day, Aspen and I were out and a little terrier mix came charging at us. I picked Aspen up over my head (picture it haha) and was trying to nudge the dog with my foot. The dog bit my sneaker. I was yelling to the owners to come get their dog. Never did. The damn thing followed us down the street for a while. When I got home, I called the police and asked them to go tell them to keep their dog tied up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,906 Posts
I participated in a 5K this weekend with Sophie and there were soooo many tiny reactive dogs there. Their owners would usually just say things like "hey" to them - no major corrections, which was probably the best. Overall, I think most of the owners were really attentive, which was great.

I just marched proudly past them, like, "look at me and how well my dog behaves in public!" She was seriously a rock star. (Shhhhh.....they don't have to know about Chisum!)

The funny thing with Chisum is that he's not big, but his bark is scary and he sounds like he means business. So it's hard to just ignore :)

I live in the country now so I don't have to run into it much, but we'll see how things are when I move to town.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,800 Posts
It comes down to a little dog lunging and barking on a lead is no where near as scary as a big dog doing so.

Unfortunately, on my end, I do have a reactive 6 lbs dog and I'm so embarrassed and try so hard to work with her :( But at the end of the day I know people look at us when she has her meltdowns and inevitably blame me, despite all of the time and money I've put into training. Because "little dog owners let them get away with everything" and it's "not the dog, it's the owner." And I'm sure it looks bad that I'm not correcting her but rather feeding her treats...

After owning a reactive dog, I try not to be judgemental of other owners and their dogs, unless they're being irresponsible and letting an untrained or reactive dog off leash or something. Owning a dog with issues has really changed my perspective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
I definitely agree with this, as an owner of small dogs
I think part of it is just that a small dog behaving poorly isn't as scary
I've thought about this with jumping on people too
Most people won't get too upset if your 10 lb dog jumps on them
And they are less likely to knock a child over due to weight, that kind of thing
I agree though, small dog owners should be just as aware as larger dog owners
I had a very reactive small dog before this one and I was hyper aware and worked with him a lot, as well as used management techniques
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I should clarify: If I see you ACTIVELY working with your dog (adding distance, redirection, etc.) I assume you're an excellent owner who has a reactive dog, and you're working with it.

If you either jerk your dog around (regardless of size!), let them continue to stress, or worse, get to/interact with other dogs people I just assume you're a jerk. Like the Yorkie trying to bite Levi, not cool.

There are two reactive dogs in my intermediate class. They both roughly the same size, under 20 pounds. Both white and fluffy. :p Their owners are very different. The one is proactive, ready to interrupt, and rewarding for good choices (looking and not barking, being in proximity without flipping etc.) The other is reactive to her dog. Her dog flips out, she is slow to respond, and gets annoyed frustrated, so she puts her hands on him a lot, which stresses him more. So then she leash corrects him.
As a result, one is getting much better, one is getting worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
871 Posts
Most people don't see it as something needing to be addressed if its a little dog. Little dogs bark and bite ankles, its just what they do. It really bugs me that people think its okay. Not that it happens, because a reactive dog is hard to change, but that people think its an acceptable behavior.

I used to walk a reactive lab/border collie and she was reactive to people and dogs. The only place I would walk her was this trail and half the people always had their dogs off leash. Most of those would leash up their dogs when asked. Some would say 'they will be fine' when I'm panicking because half of the time my dog would try and attack.

One time I had a small dog run up and the people were laughing at it charging at my dog, when my dog was snarling and barking. I was trying to back away but the dog kept coming. I grabbed my dog's muzzle and neck, because I knew she was going to nail the little poodle. The people just laughed. The dog bit my shoe and bit at my dog's back legs. I got bit by my dog three times (luckily no punctures, but left bruises) and eventually smacked the little dog with the end of my leash when it was clear I was going to not get any help. I just kept swinging kept swinging, it ran off. The people still kept laughing even though I had just had to hit their dog to get it away from me.

Another time I saw a huge shepherd come around the corner with no owners. I pulled my dog into the bushes and up on a side trail. The dog slowly tracked us down by scent. I was cornered, for once my dog seemed more relaxed and wagging her tail. I kept the leash as loose as possible and told her what a good girl she was as I tried to body block the Shepherd and shoo it off. It didn't stop. Both dogs greeted while I saw people come around the corner (a good minute after their dog) and I shouted that my dog was not friendly and to call their dog back. They called and the dog went to them, the worst part was that they responded "Wow, he isn't friendly either, I'm surprised there wasn't a fight." I almost throttled the lady and threw her off the cliff. 100lbs dog aggressive dog allowed off leash and out of sight on a very popular trail.

So I guess it happens for all sizes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
Discussion Starter #9

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
@Besoeker - I hear you. Everything about it looks medieval.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
880 Posts
I think that people have misconceptions about small dogs, not scary; however I think they are terrifying when they are actting like they want to rip my face off or my dog to shreds. 9 times out of 10 their owners pick them up so now they have height advantage over the larger dog and they are closer to my face. No thank you. I have known 2 people with dog bite injuries to the point of plastic surgery to repair the damage . One was by an APBT and 1 was by a Chihuahu. The worse injury was by the smaller dog as it just relentless went after the boy's face where the APBT bit twice and when called off the child who had wandered on to their property stopped.

While I don't want to encounter any reactive dog , I find I encounter more smaller/medium sized ones who are being coddled (by picking them up, etc). then I do larger dogs.


My dog is reactive but we have developed a coping mechanism. Put yourself on the opposite side of the scary thing and keep going like nothing happened or in the case of being cornered just sit/lay down behind "your person".
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
283 Posts
I think that people have misconceptions about small dogs, not scary; however I think they are terrifying when they are actting like they want to rip my face off or my dog to shreds. 9 times out of 10 their owners pick them up so now they have height advantage over the larger dog and they are closer to my face. No thank you. I have known 2 people with dog bite injuries to the point of plastic surgery to repair the damage . One was by an APBT and 1 was by a Chihuahu. The worse injury was by the smaller dog as it just relentless went after the boy's face where the APBT bit twice and when called off the child who had wandered on to their property stopped.

While I don't want to encounter any reactive dog , I find I encounter more smaller/medium sized ones who are being coddled (by picking them up, etc). then I do larger dogs.


My dog is reactive but we have developed a coping mechanism. Put yourself on the opposite side of the scary thing and keep going like nothing happened or in the case of being cornered just sit/lay down behind "your person".
Sounds like an owners's problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
880 Posts
Sounds like an owners's problem.
Their dogs, oh yes, very much there is a problem with how the owner reacts to the dog's reaction. That is true the majority of the time with reactive dogs. Dog reacts, Owner reacts more, Dog loses their mind.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Maybe somebody already posted this but to me there is no difference between a small or large (and everything in between) reactive dog. Too many people think it's funny when a small dog is going off on a larger dog and that is where the problem lies. I guess it's all in perception.

Only once have I released my dog ( still on lead ) to curtail an off leash smaller dog's reactive behavior because the lady who owned the little dog thought it was funny how her little dog could intimidate much larger dogs. I asked her to recall her dog and she either couldn't or wouldn't as she continued to gloat about her tiny "tough dog". I told her this type of situation might not end well for her dog but she remained smug. I released my dog from her sitting heel position and she advanced a few steps forward and "spoke" some language which sent the little dog scurrying. I offed my dog and put her back in a sitting heel position and looked at the lady and shook my head. Hopefully, she learned a lesson but I wouldn't bet on it.

I somewhat think larger dogs get more handler attention when it comes to reactivity because of the simple forces at play. Small dogs don't drag handlers into the fray and therefore it is tolerated all too often.

I'm all about peaceful coexistence and that includes dogs as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Maybe somebody already posted this but to me there is no difference between a small or large (and everything in between) reactive dog. Too many people think it's funny when a small dog is going off on a larger dog and that is where the problem lies. I guess it's all in perception
Agreed. I don't care what your dog weighs, if you're letting it lunge, harass, and potentially bite any other dog, you're a jerk.

Levi has a tremendously long fuse, and tolerates all manner of rude dogs. We were playing fetch in a park, and this pug would tear after him, biting him and snarling to get him to drop the ball. Which he would. Satisfied, the pug would go on his way. We kept moving away, the owner and the pug kept following us. She thought it was hilarious. Finally, Levi reached his boiling point, and told this dog off. The owner told me that I "shouldn't bring aggressive dogs to the park".
 
  • Like
Reactions: TruckersMom

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Levi has a tremendously long fuse, and tolerates all manner of rude dogs. We were playing fetch in a park, and this pug would tear after him, biting him and snarling to get him to drop the ball. Which he would. Satisfied, the pug would go on his way. We kept moving away, the owner and the pug kept following us. She thought it was hilarious. Finally, Levi reached his boiling point, and told this dog off. The owner told me that I "shouldn't bring aggressive dogs to the park".
Kind of makes you wonder what "channel" she was watching???????
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,613 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Right? I smiled and told her to have a nice day. It's the Canadian way. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: DriveDog

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
I agree, a small dog lunging and barking is much less scary and dangerous than a big dog. Plus, pulling along a small dog lunging takes almost no effort, while a big dog will take you down the street and put you in danger. It can be cute to some people when a small dog does it, never a large dog. I'm NOT saying that's how it should be, just that that's how it is. I have 3 small dogs, and I would never ever allow that behavior. Big or small, it makes life harder for everyone.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top