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Old 11.10.2011, 13:20
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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one thing the owner said to warn my children was that they shouldn't "play" even with the friendlier one because he tends to bite "involuntarily" while playing. makes sense to me but sounds less than reassuring somehow...
Dogs "bite" when they are playing. My little one gets a little overexcited when we play chase the "mouse" and he sometimes nips in excitement. Not hard at all but he still has to be told off to contain himself as its not acceptable behaviour. As when they are puppies, they play with their litter mates. They learn to control the strength/intensity of their "bites" when the litter mate yelps. All part of play-socialisation.

Maybe the owner wasnt clear that it might just be a play bite but in my opinion, in all fairness, the owner has already warned you what his dog gets up to whilst playing.

Keep all interactions calm for now. Pet the dog, treat the dog calmly and thats it. When you are more comfortable, engage only in games where the child is seen as the dominant. For example: no playing tug of war and letting the dog win. Or wrestling with the dog, or chasing it around screaming and laughing. The child cannot be seen as a "playmate".

Games like "fetch" (if the dog likes it), and treat the dog are ok. Or giving commands which the dog already knows, and treating it can be just as fun for the child
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Old 11.10.2011, 13:52
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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Dogs "bite" when they are playing.
'tis true... dogs don't have hands, something bipedal primates tend to forget.
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Old 11.10.2011, 13:59
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

It's well documented in not just animals but also humans that genes play a role in the tendency toward aggression/violence. Yet rarely do I see people arguing that this genetic tendency doesn't exist in humans the way they argue it over dogs. Emotionally-based argument? I don't know.

What I do know is that a snapping chihuahua certainly isn't likely to inflict the same level of damage that a snapping pitt bull would. And whilst owners play a massive role in how a dog (aggressive tendencies or not) behaves, I still look at it from a risk perception. There's a greater risk of an aggressive breed showing this behavior with a good owner than a non-aggressive breed with a good owner.

Me, I'm scared of dogs and I still simultaneously adore them. I've had a few incidents that have left me uncomfortable with any strange dog and I generally won't go near a dog I don't know. That being said, I avoid some I do know as well. When I visit my parents, I go quickly from house to car to avoid the neighbor's rottweiler. The neighbors are nice enough and they let the dog roam freely, plus I see them walking it regularly. But this beast comes into my parents' yard on occasion and if you happen to be sitting on the porch enjoying some sunshine, it'll growl angrily and stare at you. I've also had it growl at me from its own yard when I'm simply on the driveway.

But still, I adore dogs as a whole and miss mine terribly as he couldn't come to Switzerland with me. Mind you, if you look at my avatar, you can imagine he's probably relieved not to have me braiding his tail and putting pink flowers on it.
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Old 11.10.2011, 21:30
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

dear dog friends,

I wish to thank all of you who contributed in a positive and informative way. I'm feeling more confident now that I have the possibility of not letting the dogs dominate my thoughts.
I will certainly get back to you and to those who kindly contacted me personally if I need some more support.
by the way, my family and I have been "educating ourselves" as someone not very diplomatically put it. the children loved the dog pics and videos.

so I've found out that I had got at least the breed right, for those who were interested: Staffordshire Bullterrier. in case there are different variations of the breed, here are my grinning friends on wikipedia:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Staffordshire_Bullterrier

thanks, and good night (hoping there won't be too many foxes out there in the dark among the gardens, looking again to get chased...)
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Old 11.10.2011, 22:03
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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...by the way, my family and I have been "educating ourselves" as someone not very diplomatically put it...
Is that really necessary? I was actually trying to help. If you don't like the advice, just ignore it. There is no need to be rude (more than once in one thread).
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Old 11.10.2011, 22:12
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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our dangerous dogs


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Ok couldn't resist

Latest pics of ours

Venice, is this what the dogs look like?

Btw, His lip is stuck on the pillow...

And, I think he is still sleeping off a heavy night, always was a sucker for a good merlot
Aaaww guys, your pooches are gorgeous!
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Old 11.10.2011, 22:16
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

ok, JLF, sorry if I overinterpreted. the message I received was "your fault if you're afraid, that's because you should inform yourself more". since this is something you get often told if you admit to being afraid of something, I was maybe oversensitive. what you also get told a lot is: the problem is just in your mind, you should be working on yourself and not on changing the situation.

if you didn't mean it that way - and you obviously didn't, I see - I apologize. I appreciate your taking this seriously anyway! I hope we're OK??
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Old 13.10.2011, 11:09
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

I've known quite a few people who roughhouse with their large dogs. Their dogs know THEM and know what signals they may give (consciously or not) about when "enough is enough" - this often includes "mouth play" aka playful biting.

This MAY be something that your neighbor engages in with his dogs, in the right situation, under control, it can be a thorough workout for the human and the dogs. Alas, it does make it tough for others though, if the dog is accustomed to some certain leeway with roughness and someone else (who doesn't know the dog, doesn't know the signals) engages in rough play with the dog. A lot of times the mouth play is misunderstood as actual biting (which is why it is generally discouraged) and the "new" playmate panics and does something which triggers prey drive.

This isn't the fault of the dog, it isn't the fault of the new playmate, both are acting on instinct... the fault is that of the owner. I can easily see this as a reason for your neighbor to caution you about playing with his dogs, for both your protection and theirs.


As someone else mentioned though, there are still fun (and safe) ways to engage with the dogs. "Tricks" for treats was a game I often allowed my niece and nephews with my dog. The kids enjoyed that she would sit, lay down, catch, etc etc for them, and she (of course) loved the treats and pettings.
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Old 13.10.2011, 11:14
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

I wont trust on an animal like that, you never know. And when something goes wrong the owner will say: "that´s strange, it´s the first time"
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Old 13.10.2011, 11:47
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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I wont trust on an animal like that, you never know. And when something goes wrong the owner will say: "that´s strange, it´s the first time"
If an owner says that, then it is his fault. In my opinion, if something bad happens involving a dog, it is always the owners fault. Owners need to be held more accountable. In addition, by passing judgement, without even knowing the dog, you are continuing the cycle.

Dogs did not domesticate themselves. We domesticated them. As a result, it is our responsibility to be the responsible ones. It often irritates me when people adopt a "possession" (i.e. nice and fun to have around but if a difficult situation arises, oh well lets get rid of the dog and blame them) mentality with regards to dogs. Actually, dogs are far more predictable than their human counterparts. Dogs will always and I stress ALWAYS let you know when something is wrong, you just need to learn to read the signs and react accordingly.
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Old 13.10.2011, 12:15
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

I think it's great that the OP tries to overcome her fears and inform herself on what to expect from dogs.

A tragic accident happened in Lausanne two days ago: a 4 year-old child was walking with his mommy on the sidewalk. The child got scared of a dog (on leash, with his owner) coming from the opposite direction. The child jumped on the road to avoid the dog, straight under a bus that was coming. He died on the spot.

I have a son almost the same age, and after reading about it in the newspaper I felt bad all day for all those lives spoilt because of a lack of info and education: the child of course, but also the mom and the bus driver whose lives are changed forever.
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Old 13.10.2011, 13:15
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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one last question: can a dog "sense" your fear and attack you because of this, for some kind of "natural" rule?
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Old 13.10.2011, 13:53
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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Its nice to see you think dogs have intricate anatomical knowledge of vermin, personally I've never seen any of our dogs go for main arteries, they normal just catch the mouse and crush it, maybe I should train them more.
So you not having witnessed such a situation is enough for you to explain that this breed isnt dangerous? You never read the paper in the years toddlers being ripped to pieces? I have another question for you - if i put Santas Hat on a Kalashnikov and point it at you with a smile, not at all understanding your concerns and ignoring the true identity of what I am holding in my hands - would it also be as cute for you as your dog is to others?
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Old 13.10.2011, 15:18
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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So you not having witnessed such a situation is enough for you to explain that this breed isnt dangerous? You never read the paper in the years toddlers being ripped to pieces? I have another question for you - if i put Santas Hat on a Kalashnikov and point it at you with a smile, not at all understanding your concerns and ignoring the true identity of what I am holding in my hands - would it also be as cute for you as your dog is to others?
Now I have a question for you. Do you think they will blame you or the AK-47 (with a Santa's hat)? We can identify what you are holding in your hands, but the danger lies with the person who holds the gun (even if he has a smile on his face).
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Old 13.10.2011, 20:03
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

Same goes for the dog if you havent noticed! Both can go off and hurt / kill others no matter how much control you think you have. Self-assurance of certain dog owners seems to be settled above the legislative of physical integrity of each citizen.
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Old 14.10.2011, 10:33
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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Same goes for the dog if you havent noticed! Both can go off and hurt / kill others no matter how much control you think you have. Self-assurance of certain dog owners seems to be settled above the legislative of physical integrity of each citizen.
Please excuse this, but now you are just "taking the piss". I fail to see any logic in this. Are you trying to bait me? Or is there a purpose to your ramblings that I am missing here?

Do you have any real knowledge of dogs?
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Old 14.10.2011, 11:27
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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Same goes for the dog if you havent noticed! Both can go off and hurt / kill others no matter how much control you think you have. Self-assurance of certain dog owners seems to be settled above the legislative of physical integrity of each citizen.
Well, I suppose you're right...

If you pretend you're in the Rifle Corps, doing fancy tricks with a gun, flipping it around and bouncing it off the floor, etc etc... and it is loaded and live... Hey, it's not your gun, you don't know what might happen, right? Maybe you'll "accidentally" shoot yourself or someone else with the gun. Totally out of control of the gun's owner.

Likewise, if you walk up to someone's dog and start playing rough, slapping it around, wrestling with it, perhaps the dog will behave in some other way "unexpected" by either you or the dog's owner. If the dog's owner says not to "play" with dog because you might get bitten and you choose to do so anyhow, imho it's YOUR fault if you feel some teeth - although if it were me, I'd probably add some of my own if you endanger my dog by behaving irresponsibly.

Run at a dog, run away from a dog, scream and shout, throw stuff... I've seen all this happen, and not only by kids. The dog's owner is responsible for dog's behavior but YOU are responsible for yours as well.
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Old 14.10.2011, 13:19
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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How could anyone be scared of a staffy?

They're soft as shite.

Most of them probably are. I understand that people want to counteract the "killer dog" reputation, but it is going a bit too far to the other direction now. I have often heard claims that all staffies are cuddly nanny-dogs and it's ridiculous to be scared of them. But see, I am scared of a particular staffy and I have reasons to be - again, not saying it's the breed, but this particular one is certanily not a big softie.

also, venice here says that the owner admitted that there have been "incidents". If the dog has actually attacked someone then it is a perfectly good reason to be wary of this particular dog, even if it is a softie-staffy.
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Old 14.10.2011, 13:35
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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Now I have a question for you. Do you think they will blame you or the AK-47 (with a Santa's hat)? We can identify what you are holding in your hands, but the danger lies with the person who holds the gun (even if he has a smile on his face).
A dog has it's own brain that it can act on unlike the AK47.
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Old 14.10.2011, 13:58
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Re: Problem with neighbour's dangerous dogs

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A dog has it's own brain that it can act on unlike the AK47.

That's kinda the rub though, isn't it?

People who want others to fear dogs espouse that dogs, as they have their own brains, are completely unpredictable. This is not true. While it is true enough that some dogs that were not socialized with others well may act in undesirable ways and some who are unfamiliar with dogs will find these ways unpredictable, dogs who ARE treated properly, who are familiar with people and other dogs, will behave in pretty predictable and safe ways. This is why the blame ultimately comes to the owner as the owner is responsible for making sure that the dog IS properly trained and socialized.

Much like we are taught and taught and taught to treat guns with respect, so it must go with dogs (or any living being really). IF you wish a dog to act properly, YOU must also act properly yourself. If you act irresponsibly with a gun, you will get hurt or cause someone else to be hurt - if you behave irresponsibly with a dog (whether it is your own or one who is strange to you), you can cause harm to yourself or others.

The comparison of dog to gun feels to me like an attempt to absolve "yourself" of blame.
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