Friday, September 11, 2009

My dog aggressive? No, he just wants to play!

Today we had one of those days on the trail thatmakes me realize how many people have absolutely no clue of what their dog is communicating or how they should behave around other dogs. Jeff and I were hiking 5 dogs today. One of the dogs is dog reactive. We met a woman and a man with three little dogs on the trail. The moment the little dogs approach us they are already growling. We stop and make our pack go into a sit and look at us, while we are waiting for the two and their three dogs to pass us. The man picks up one of the dogs and the woman walks directly towards us. At the end of her leashes two terriers that show no sign of peaceful intentions towards our pack of five.

One of our dogs gets out of a sit. Her hackles are up and she clearly responds to the aggressive intentions of the other two little dogs. The woman still makes no intention to move over and pass us at a distance. Her dogs start growling more, their bodies are stiff, the dogs are walking on their toes, their ears are pointed forward and their little tails are straight up in the air. She starts laughing as she approaches and I’m clearly working with Lola, trying to calm her down and get her back into a sit. Still totally oblivious of what she was causing she is about 4 yards away from me when she says: “Yeah, they sometimes act this way.” And exactly at that moment I turn and face her. I asked her friendly: Please just pass us and keep control of your dogs. Totally shocked by my request she barely manages to pass us. “they are not aggressive”. And the only thing that came out of my mouth was: “that is not what they were communicating to the other dogs.”

We walked on. The woman on the trail today had no clue what was going on. Even worse, she was showing bad dog ownership. We clearly made our dogs sit off the side of the trail. We clearly showed no intention to have to dogs interact. Her dogs showed no peaceful intention and while 4 of the 5 dogs patiently looked at us and waited for a command, one of our dogs clearly wanted to react to the situation.

Know your dog’s language. Learn it. It is not that hard. I will focus on basic dog body language on our K9Consultant site. I just have to finish the drawings to make it clearer but once I have that done I’ll post it. Just need more hours during the day. As always!
Life is good!