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Old 17.01.2019, 00:21
meloncollie meloncollie is offline
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Re: Careless dog owners

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Another case i encounter very often and with i have to face many times: Dog owners who don't respect the distance from other dogs, or don't take into account the warnings of other dog owners that their dogs are not always very friendly with all dogs (or their dogs). Some of them (owners) even have aggressive behavior regarding others with their intentional proximity to other dogs, although the other dog owner explicitly urged to not to approach, to wait for taking a reasonable and safe distance. What can be done in this case if the problem is repeated?

Standard etiquette says to respect others. That would translate into asking before allowing a dog to approach another, keeping control at a distance or re-leashing when asked, understanding that not all dogs are the same as mine and so deferring to the other person's request.

But there are a lot of idiots out there, folks who don't/won't/can't practice standard etiquette. It's the world we live in, exacerbated by the far too crowded spaces we need to share.

And in defense of some of those folks - until you have a reactive dog, many people honestly do not understand why you are asking for consideration, do not understand that not every dog is as perfect as theirs. It's a lesson many of us only learn by living it.

Realistically, in the absence of direct harm sufficient to warrant a complaint to the authorities*, there is little you can do to make another dog owner behave as you would wish him or her to.

A more practical and realistic approach is to proactively protect your dog. And by protect, I mean doing what you can to first avoid the situation, or if that is not possible to diffuse the situation. It's up to me to ensure that my dogs are not put into situations they cannot yet handle.

I have had whackadoodle dogs with various 'ishoos' for the past 30 years, mixed up mutts are kind of my thing. My current freakin' nightmare challenge is perhaps the most difficult dog of all... I fully understand how unpleasant it can be to run into an unempathetic or irresponsible fellow owner.

But if I have learned anything in 30 years o' mixed up mutts, it is that I can't change anyone else's behavior. I can only work on mine, while helping my mutts to learn how to deal with difficulties. It's up to me to take the measures necessary to keep my dogs safe and the walk enjoyable.

So... before I start on one of my long winding missives discussing de-escalation with a reactive dog, perhaps it would be better if you could tell us what you normally do in this kind of situation. Knowing how you usually handle these situations we can then give more relevant advice.

Been there, done that, still doing that - I certainly empathize and wish you and your dog all the best.


* If harm is done, a complaint can be made to either the police, local animal control officer if there is one in your community, or to the cantonal Veterinäramt. Be aware, though, that it could end up that both dogs owners are deemed at fault with resulting consequences, even if yours is on lead under control and the other running wild. So think carefully before going that route.

Avoidance is generally the better path - for your dog's sake.
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