Is this fearful behaviour

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  • #62932
    Aly12
    Member

    Molly and I go to a park to meet friends and their dogs and everything is alright with them.  One of my friend’s dogs is not used to other dogs and always sits on the bench with her owner and does not join in to play.  Sometimes Molly will bark and dominate her and the owner always says don’t bark at my dog.  If other dogs come near us Molly will run over barking then if they so much as look at her she will run away but sometimes if they stop she will have a bark and growl at them then when they don’t react she will then play with them.  I don’t know if she is a bit scared of other dogs coming into our area and wishes to act as though she is the boss and then once she has done that she will play.  I don’t really want her to greet dogs in this way and wonder if anyone has any idea what to do.  We go on a dog walking group with several other dogs and she is fine with them and doesn’t show any of this behaviour.  She also goes out with a dog walker when I am at work with no problems at all.  It’s as though the park we go to is her territory sometimes.  I don’t want to stop going to this park altogether as that is where I meet my friends and as I say Molly is alright with them.  I hope this makes sense.

    #78238

    If she is fine in other situations then at a rough guess id say your reinforcing the behaviour what do you say to her etc when she does it………

    #78239
    Aly12
    Member

    I call her back and tell her “no”.  If I see a dog coming towards us I get her attention on me and get her to sit and give her a treat if she keeps her attention on me.  My friend has told me not to get too uptight about this.   She would never hurt another dog but she can be a bit snappy towards them when they come into her area then once she has established she is boss she will play quite happily with them.

    #78240

    you call her back and say no? so you saying no to her comingback/……?

    telling her no wont help, am no expert so just sit tight and wait for those who can help a bit more – but yep getting uptight wont help  😉  :-*

    #78241
    Justine&Rafe
    Member

    Certainly sounds like fearful behaviour… Make a show of agression to stop other dogs coming too close, then if they still keep coming, running away.

    I’d say that from the start there are two things you could work at, and others (perhaps Bev) might be able to give you more info as to how to go about it.

    First (and trickliest logistically) is to find yourself a stooge dog – one that’s as solid as a rock and would never bite back, but that has no fear issues itself.  Perhaps amongst your dog walking group they know of someone that could help you.  You then want a controlled greet with the stooge dog (for exactly how ask someone more qualified than myself!).

    The point of this is to encourage your dog that 1) barking and trying to scare off other dogs doesn’t work, and 2) not every dog is going to scare/hurt her.  Each interaction that ends positively (her playing or just trotting off calmly) will build her confidence so she won’t feel she has to resort to scaring dogs off before they come close.

    Secondly, dogs occasionally show fear reactions like barking at strange dogs when they feel as if they have to protect you both.  This can escalate to a point where your dog will try to see off anything that gets close to the two of you. 

    You’re doing the right thing by holding her attention, because you’re telling her to listen to you (as you have it all in hand).  Rather than just sit, take it an extra step, get her to perform other things – basically distracting her with training – so that she has to follow your lead, and doesn’t get the opportunity to take control of the situation.  This has the added bonus of improving her training, so it’s a win win situation. 

    If anyone disagrees with the above or has anything else to add, please do so!

    #78242
    Aly12
    Member

    I think I have just realised that Molly is not showing fearful aggression as I took her to a different place today and while we were going back to the car a dog walking group arrived with 8 dogs in all shapes and sizes and they all came over to have a sniff at Molly who was on her lead and she never bothered with them at all.  I gave her lots of praise and a treat for being such a good girl.  I think my problem I have is with a certain dog owner at the park who does not allow her dog to play and sits it on the bench beside her all the time.  As I said before When Molly meets her she always barks at her and the owner tells her not to bark at her dog.  I actually now think Molly is “talking” to this dog and trying to play even if she is boss.  When I think back to when we went into collect coffees at the week-end and the two dogs were tied to the same pole they had no problem with each other until the other owner started to undo the other dog’s lead and that is when Molly started to make a lot of noise.  I am now wondering if Molly was just asking the dog to play but the owner does not understand that and tells Molly off and then lifts her own dog out of the way.  I feel so confused.

    #78243
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Don’t be confused you are spot on in this mail.
    The other owner is the one out of order she should leave the dog on the floor
    Val

    [quote author=Aly12 link=topic=13487.msg258173#msg258173 date=1232469712]
    I think I have just realised that Molly is not showing fearful aggression as I took her to a different place today and while we were going back to the car a dog walking group arrived with 8 dogs in all shapes and sizes and they all came over to have a sniff at Molly who was on her lead and she never bothered with them at all.  I gave her lots of praise and a treat for being such a good girl.  I think my problem I have is with a certain dog owner at the park who does not allow her dog to play and sits it on the bench beside her all the time.  As I said before When Molly meets her she always barks at her and the owner tells her not to bark at her dog.  I actually now think Molly is “talking” to this dog and trying to play even if she is boss.  When I think back to when we went into collect coffees at the week-end and the two dogs were tied to the same pole they had no problem with each other until the other owner started to undo the other dog’s lead and that is when Molly started to make a lot of noise.  I am now wondering if Molly was just asking the dog to play but the owner does not understand that and tells Molly off and then lifts her own dog out of the way.  I feel so confused.

    [/quote]

    #78244
    Aly12
    Member

    Thanks very much everyone.  Val, I agree the dog should be left on the ground to get used to being around others.  She is 4 years old and I don’t think she has ever played with other dogs.  Her owner says she thinks she is a human and not a dog. :whatever:

    #78245
    Anonymous
    Guest

    That should read the owner IS trying to make her human.
    Don’t let her turn you into a worried owner
    Val

    [quote author=Aly12 link=topic=13487.msg258201#msg258201 date=1232484308]
    Thanks very much everyone.  Val, I agree the dog should be left on the ground to get used to being around others.  She is 4 years old and I don’t think she has ever played with other dogs.  Her owner says she thinks she is a human and not a dog. :whatever:
    [/quote]

    #78246
    Aly12
    Member

    Thanks Val. I am going to try to look at it in a different way from now on – I now know Molly is not in the wrong here.

    #78247
    Anonymous
    Guest

    also – she is a terrier and in the main … terriers bark … about everything and anything and just for the hell of it, are super confident and think they are 10X larger than all other dogs  !!

    does this sound like your Molly ?

    if so she sounds like a pretty normal terrier girl to me and just reacting to the strangeness of the situation with another potential dog ‘friend’ – terriers bark for EVERYTHING if shes excited and wants to play she’ll bark and growl because they just do 😉

    I’m with Val – i think it should read “the owner wishes her dog to be a human” its one of the saddest things to see imo.

    Dont be confused – if people ‘bark’ at her of course she’ll bark back – she sounds a polite little lady full of terrier fun and excitement 🙂  i bet those barks are lets play come on and come back oh please play come on play. 

    If you are confused – think about Molly … she’s no idea why her potential friends are being whisked away !!!

    Claire x

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