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Puppy lunging at other dogs already

My dog Ace and I were out for a stroll and we saw a woman approaching with what looked like a red-colored Lab puppy – five months old or so. The pup was already wild and strong, probably 45 pounds. And as we approached them on a narrow sidewalk the woman could not prevent her dog from pulling up to us.

This sort of thing happens to Ace and I all the time. It’s not a big deal. Most of the dogs are friendly, and so is Ace.

So although the woman had been trying to reel her dog in, she ended up saying something like “OK, say hi.” I’m sure she could tell Ace seemed friendly, but of course it’s still best to ask.

So this young pup got on its hind legs and threw itself at my dog’s face with so much energy and excitement. I should’ve done something to intervene, but it was one of those situations where I just tried to keep moving with my dog and get by the woman as quickly as I could.

My black Lab mix Ace

Anyway, in the two seconds or so that our dogs were touching I saw my dog was very uncomfortable and he had his lips curled and his hackles were up. I used my body to get between the dogs and kind of bumped my dog out of the way and we continued on. Perhaps I should’ve let him tell the puppy off, since no one else was going to.

The reason this situation was significant is because I kept thinking about that puppy and all the behavioral problems he’s likely going to have. If he’s already triggering negative reactions from the mellowest dogs, I can just imagine what happens when he walks by and jumps at even mildly reactive dogs. It causes a chain reaction, I’m sure. The pup does not seem at all aggressive, but he’s obviously very forward and determined. I hope he doesn’t develop some serious barrier frustration and leash aggression. I hope some poor dog like Ace doesn’t get blamed for growling at the puppy and throwing him to the ground – “Do not like!”

We’ve all had those moments where our dogs are totally out of control (at least I have). Maybe that’s all that was happening in this situation. I hope the woman normally uses some sort of training collar instead of the flat, buckle collar I saw. I hope she’s committed to training her dog and getting some help if she needs it. I hope the pup maintains he’s friendliness even when he’s set up to fail.

Susan Carroll

Wednesday 18th of December 2013

Oh the joys of a Halti! It really does teach dogs to walk nicely on leash. It is not painful, it is not a muzzle and will not damage your dog. Even with a strong willed dog, they will learn to behave (6-12months) and you may not need to use it again. It also saves you from physical therapy for a pulled shoulder.


Thursday 12th of December 2013

My old lady pup Bella will jump on a dog that approaches her face. At 110 lbs, I am very careful to always wear sneakers and always have both hands free in case Bella reacts to another uncontrolled dog. I tend to confront (pretty negatively) people who let their dogs come up to us. Bad things can happen and I don't want to risk it (and I want others to be aware).

Lindsay Stordahl

Thursday 12th of December 2013

I hardly ever confront anyone, but I probably should. Just because my dog is friendly doesn't mean the other owner knows he's friendly. They shouldn't assume it's OK.


Thursday 12th of December 2013

Maya was very much like that Lab puppy. I did not introduce her to strange dogs on leashes but I did take her to the dog park often. It took two scuffles at the dog park to get her to understand that greeting a strange dog like he was her best friend was not a good idea. Today, she still likes other dogs. Her leash reactive behavior is because she wants so badly to go meet the other dog. But she is much more cautious about it now than when she was a pup.

Incidentally, I did not purposely let Maya learn the hard way. And she was not hurt. But I do think she learned quicker by being put in her place by the dogs she was bothering. No, I was not upset at the other dogs or their owners. The dogs were simply defining their space, and rightly so.

If I had to do it again, I'd begin by introducing my puppy to other people and their dogs that I know instead of in a public setting. This way we can control the situation better. What methods would you recommend for introducing an exuberant puppy to new dogs?


Wednesday 11th of December 2013

Poor Pup. Reminds me of what happened yesterday morning at the hotel. (LOL living 90 days in a hotel tells you real quick what you need to work on) I came out with the dogs for our usual morning potty break. There was a gentleman outfront smoking with his German Shepherd. The dogs of course saw each other, and I'm giving the easy, on by cues and little tugs to reign in my two. This person physically laid on his dog to make the dog stay and try to make it not bark... Which at 6:30 in the morning I understand, but still this person did not have as much control as I did and I can tell you if I had sliped it would have been over! But Belle, my leash reactive dog definitly behaved the best she's ever been, She was tight on the leash but she didn't bark and she listened to me. I was shocked seeing this person phsycially on his dog. Once we were by my dogs were there happy go lucky self. Ready for the day! :-)

Lindsay Stordahl

Wednesday 11th of December 2013

That is interesting! I'm glad your dogs did so well. I'm sure the guy was just trying to keep everyone safe.


Wednesday 11th of December 2013

Some people are really unaware of their dogs and other people's dogs...they just blithely go their way not thinking.........grrrrr

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