Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Pet corner  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 10.01.2020, 13:13
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 32
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
VizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthy
Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

We love living in Switzerland (been here about 4 years), and overall it's a really nice place to have a dog. However, we've encountered one issue which really is quite frustrating and puts a hamper on our dog fun. There seem to be, relative to where we lived in the States and have experienced in places like Germany, a lot of dogs that are aggressive around other dogs. It seems like almost every time we are on a walk, we encounter one or more dog owners with their dog on a leash, pulling hard to keep the dog under control on the far side of their body as we pass. This is particularly frustrating in areas where lots of people allow their dogs to play off-leash. You have to constantly be on the lookout for these ill-tempered dogs on-leash when your dog is enjoying running in the beautiful outdoors.

I have a fairly well-developed theory on why this may be the case. In essence, many dogs are not properly socialized as puppies in Switzerland and thus never learn how to interact with other dogs. If you read the literature, it is critical to socialize dogs before they are ~24 weeks old, as this is when so much of their behavior develops. A fair amount of emphasis is put on training here, which is of course good, but that is only one aspect of raising a well-adjusted dog. And when I say socialization, I just don't mean going to a few dog classes with other dogs (although this is important and good). I mean frequent (ideally virtually everyday) interactions with other dogs, off-leash, allowing interaction, play, and learning social rules (e.g., how to read other dogs' behavior, when to scale down play arousal, etc.), especially during those first 6 critical months.

A major challenge to properly socializing dogs is the obvious lack of dog parks in Switzerland (at least central Switzerland where we live). But equally the issue seems to be that there is not enough of an emphasis on socialization and there is a lack of general understanding that this is critical to having a well-balanced and friendly adult dog. And maybe some people don't care about this - they just want a dog that obeys commands and aren't concerned if their dog can't behave well with other dogs. But this seems a real shame, as dogs are social animals and well-adjusted dogs are happy dogs. My dog absolutely loves meeting other dogs, playing with them, and it is disappointing when over and over we get near another dog, my dog happily wagging, and the other dog starts aggressively barking, bearing its teeth, etc. This is not a normal reaction - dogs shouldn't feel the need to become so aggressive every time they pass another dog. If a dog is getting this aroused with negative energy multiple times a day as they pass other dogs, this is not a happy and content dog! It's suffering unnecessary stress over and over again, and of course this then causes stress for otherwise well-socialized dogs and their owners.

I don't have any immediate solutions to this - it seems a cultural thing as much as anything that will take time to change. I simply find it a shame because in so many other respects Switzerland is an amazing place for dogs and so many locations are welcoming to dogs. Maybe if you agree with me, we should all start lobbying our communities for dog parks, which would hopefully provide a natural and convenient place for dogs to socialize?
Reply With Quote
This user groans at VizslaMoose for this post:
  #2  
Old 10.01.2020, 20:25
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: na
Posts: 10,900
Groaned at 34 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 25,573 Times in 7,955 Posts
meloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

OK, Lots to unpack here... let's start with the easy stuff first:

Quote:
View Post
Maybe if you agree with me, we should all start lobbying our communities for dog parks, which would hopefully provide a natural and convenient place for dogs to socialize?
Unless you are willing to donate the land and many millions to your Gemeinde to fund such a project the chance of this happening is, well, the words snowball and hell come to mind.

You have to understand that Switzerland views dogs as a luxury - and the average Swiss taxpayer will not look kindly on requests to fund someone else's luxury hobby. A dog owner is expected to be able to provide for his own dog, out of his own resources.

There is little acceptance of single use public space - largely because there is so little public space to begin with. We all have to share, often with competing needs, safely and respectfully.

Because we dog owners are engaging in a luxury hobby generally not well received by the majority, that often means as a dog owner it is encumbent on me to find a way to fit my usage needs in with the area's majority attitudes, I cannot realistically ask others to accomodate my wishes/needs. We can't forget that the majority has the power to ban dogs from our favorite places altogether.

(Already happened in my area - some years ago dogs were banned altogether from my favorite trail because of complaints about the unwillingness of a few owners to compromise.)

The power imbalance between dog owners and the rest of the population is one reason why you don't see a lot of 'banding together' of dog owners. The vocal majority where I live tend to not like dogs all that much - dog owners here know that the best way to keep our dogs safe is to keep our heads down.

Another example of why there are few dog parks: Some years ago canton SZ cracked down on non-agricultural use of Landwirtschaftszone properties - and I know of at least one dog school forced to close down, have heard rumors of others. They were renting a fallow field, a win-win for the farmer who got a good income and for the community since the dog-friendly space was far out of sight and sound of any residential area. But nope - dogs are not agricultural use, so the dog training ground had to go.

Who knows, you might live in a Hundeparadis of kindred souls and get lucky if you petition your Gemeinde. But do make sure you have your pulse on public attitude first and make sure you understand the finances. Also make sure you understand the liability issues surrounding a public dog park, another significant barrier.

---

So what's a dog owner to do?

1. Identify areas where the prevailing attitude is that off lead dogs are welcome. There have been several threads discussing various places - I know there is one in ZH, perhaps along the Sihl?, but I can't remember what the name is. A quick search should bring up those threads.

2. As is most things in Switzerland, reach into your own pocketbook. Join a Hundeverein or Hundeschule with it's own training ground that offers free running play sessions. This will cost you, but likely not all that much. Investing a few hundreds a year your dog's well being is not much to ask.


---

As to interaction with other dogs:

If you are allowing your dog to approach another without first recalling your dog to heel at your side and without asking the other dog owner's permission, you are part of the problem.

Your dog must be under your control at all times. Unless otherwise signed, or in canton SZ with it's general leash law, voice control is considered fine, but if you chose voice control reliable instant recall is a must. If you have trained your dog to that standard it should not be a bother to take a few seconds to recall and ask. If the other owner says no, walk on to heel, only releasing your dog when you are well clear. If the dog owner says OK, then go ahead and have fun.

There are many reasons why an owner might not want interaction - it's not for you to judge. The dog's owner know what is best for his individual dog; please respect the other dog owner's wishes.

If you want more interaction with other dogs while you are out and about, plan that interaction. (TIS, where everything is planned. ) Why not make arrangements with dog-owning friends and go on walks together?


---

Bottom line:

You know what is right for your own dog. And you are right to seek out what your dog needs.

But you cannot possibly know what is right for anyone else's dog, to think so is presumptious. So just as you know what is right for your dog, you must assume that other owners do for their dogs as well. You must respect their choice, and if their choice does not align with yours then look for your doggy companionship elsewhere, with those who would welcome the interaction.


All the best...

Last edited by meloncollie; 10.01.2020 at 21:45.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank meloncollie for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 26.01.2020, 13:24
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 32
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
VizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthy
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Yes, I know that dog parks aren't suddenly going to start springing up across Switzerland. In fact, the only place we've found a good dog park in Switzerland was in Geneva (and it is quite large and nice - highly recommended).

The main premise of my thread was about dog socialization, which I think is a critical and frankly an ethically necessary activity for dog owners. I think you've hit on a number of related topics, some of which arise because dog owners are not socializing their dog.

I don't accept your premise that having a dog is a luxury hobby. It is neither a luxury (many lower and middle class families still have dogs, not to mention the homeless), nor is it a hobby. Dogs are family members. Hobbies you can get bored with or lay dormant. You have to love and take care of a dog every single day for their whole life. Horses probably better fit the definition of luxury hobby (although if you own a horse, hobby here is probably not the right word either).

And I fundamentally disagree with this assertion in the context of socialization:

"But you cannot possibly know what is right for anyone else's dog, to think so is presumptious."

Poorly socialized dogs become a problem for everyone. They at any moment could be a threat to the owners and their family, other people, and other people's dogs. There is no such thing as perfect recall, and it's impossible to be prepared for all situations, such as a dog pulling out of a collar, a dog pulling a leash out of the owner's hand, another dog suddenly coming around a blind corner close by, a dog on a flex-lead (or long lead) suddenly extending before the owner can react, a child running over unexpectedly, a leash being mis-clipped and coming undone, etc., etc. If you don't believe me, do some reading with folks like renowned dog behavioralist Ian Dunbar on socialization. And not only do poorly socialized dogs represent a threat, they also lead to stressed and sometimes crabby dog owners. If a dog is aggressive around other dogs or even worse, other people or kids, then that makes the owner anxious and apprehensive around other dogs. It's not always the owner's fault, of course, but they play a critical role when the puppy is young.

At the end of the day, I love dogs. I want dogs to be happy and to be able to do what brings them contentment, which includes high on the list running and playing with other dogs. I do call my dog to me when others approach. Nevertheless, if you have a poorly socialized dog, please be mindful of where you take your dog.

All I'm saying is please, please socialize your dogs during the critical phase of their puppyhood and encourage anyone else you know who is getting a puppy to do likewise.
Reply With Quote
This user groans at VizslaMoose for this post:
  #4  
Old 26.01.2020, 13:35
Island Monkey's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wallis
Posts: 5,740
Groaned at 95 Times in 60 Posts
Thanked 6,300 Times in 2,884 Posts
Island Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
Poorly socialized dogs become a problem for everyone.
My dog has always socialised with other dogs. He loves playing off-leash with other dogs, and is friendly to most dogs on-leash. However since he was about 14 months old, is is sometimes aggressive towards large dogs when he is on the leash. No idea why, but it is not due to socialisation, so I don't really see your point.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 26.01.2020, 14:42
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: na
Posts: 10,900
Groaned at 34 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 25,573 Times in 7,955 Posts
meloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post

I don't accept your premise that having a dog is a luxury hobby. It is neither a luxury (many lower and middle class families still have dogs, not to mention the homeless), nor is it a hobby.
VizslaMoose, it's not MY premise, it's the prevailing Swiss premise.

If you read my myriad posts, my dogs are indeed my family, my life, necessary to my fundamental being. But I've been here 20 plus years - including the years of the anti-dog campaigns following the Oberglatt tragedy - and if there is anything I have learned in that time it is that I cannot change Swiss attitudes to dogs.

So in order to give my dogs the best life possible here I have to understand the prevailing social norms, respect them, and find a way to co-exist within those parameters.

You need to do what is right for your own dogs, as you see it. Run, play, have fun... with other dogs and their owners you know, who have agreed to interact as you wish, in places where free running is appropriate.

But please - understand that your dog does not have the right to interact with random other dogs - analogous to you not having the right to demand interaction with random people on the street.

I'll say it again - there are many reasons why an owner would not want interaction with a stranger and his dog. Many have nothing to do with the dog's lack of socialization.

Keep a sensible distance, recall when necessary, and ask first. Respect others - it's that simple.
Reply With Quote
The following 14 users would like to thank meloncollie for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 26.01.2020, 15:11
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 32
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
VizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthy
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
My dog has always socialised with other dogs. He loves playing off-leash with other dogs, and is friendly to most dogs on-leash. However since he was about 14 months old, is is sometimes aggressive towards large dogs when he is on the leash. No idea why, but it is not due to socialisation, so I don't really see your point.
My point is I don't see enough dog socialization happening and I also meet an inordinate number of aggressive dogs. I think those are almost certainly linked. I guess that wasn't the case in your situation. Sometimes dogs just get traumatized by something out of our control.

I remember a dog that used to play with a bunch of other dogs including ours from a very early age, but the owner would never allow the dog to play off-leash, while the other dogs were off-leash. It was really sad to watch. Over the course of about 6 months, the dog became more and more reactive and aggressive. The dog simply felt vulnerable being on-leash while the others were not and it led to a serious behavioral problem. For proper socialization, being off-leash is really a must. By the way, I'm not saying this is your situation so please don't misunderstand. I'm just reflecting on what I've read and also seen firsthand.
Reply With Quote
The following 2 users groan at VizslaMoose for this post:
  #7  
Old 26.01.2020, 15:29
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 32
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
VizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthy
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
But please - understand that your dog does not have the right to interact with random other dogs - analogous to you not having the right to demand interaction with random people on the street.

I'll say it again - there are many reasons why an owner would not want interaction with a stranger and his dog. Many have nothing to do with the dog's lack of socialization.

Keep a sensible distance, recall when necessary, and ask first. Respect others - it's that simple.
I think we generally agree. I realize I am not going to change many opinions and I try to be respectful. I'm mostly just remarking on my experience, disappointment at times, and hope for the future.

And it's of course not just Swiss. Not everybody knows about the importance of socializing dogs, especially in those critical early months.

I do feel sad for dogs that want to play with other dogs (because of course they do - dogs are social animals and love to play) but their owners don't let them. And I especially feel sad for dogs that get anxious and aggressive when they pass another dog. And that does represent some risk to my dog, because you never know when my dog is a few yards ahead of me off-leash, rounds a corner, and comes across an aggressive dog (or a myriad of other potential scenarios). One of which includes my dog having been bit at no fault of his own in a consensual off-leash situation by a dog I have reason to believe wasn't well-socialized.

Apologies that I misread your comment about luxury hobby - I understand now that you were reflecting other's attitudes, not your own.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 27.01.2020, 11:17
summergirl's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Zürich
Posts: 324
Groaned at 12 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 585 Times in 200 Posts
summergirl has a reputation beyond reputesummergirl has a reputation beyond reputesummergirl has a reputation beyond reputesummergirl has a reputation beyond reputesummergirl has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

I think your post is a bit generalizing. Having lived in 6 countries, my personal experience is actually that most dogs are very well behaved here. I always believed that as Switzerland allows dogs almost anywhere, they train them well from young.

Most dogs/owners we run into during walks are happy to interact and once in a while we meet owners that avoid. This has never bothered me as I find it a personal choice (1. you never know what the person is going through and is not in the mood to small talk with a stranger 2. the dogs might have some issues and the owner rather not provoke the problem) and there must be a reason. What we do and other people with dogs that we run into, for example on the other side of the street, we simply ask each other "ist er/sie lieb?" and if the answer is yes, we let the dogs meet and interact.
It is also not fair to judge that the owner has not socialized the dogs since young, maybe the dog may have been adopted and has problems from the past.

Needless to say, there are aggressive dogs in EVERY country. Plenty in the US as well. You can't say there are more here than XX country.

I've seen dog walk/play groups in meet up, maybe you should try that. I think Switzerland is pretty much dog heaven being able to take them almost everywhere, with countless beautiful hiking trails!
Reply With Quote
The following 10 users would like to thank summergirl for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 27.01.2020, 11:45
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
I do feel sad for dogs that want to play with other dogs (because of course they do - dogs are social animals and love to play) but their owners don't let them.

How do you know who you dog wants to play with, you speak "Dog"



You say your dog wants to play, but it is you who decides with which other dog, for how long and what they can do in their "play"....


At the end of the day, it is an animal we are speaking about, a dog, that is kept entirely because you want to keep it imprisoned to yourself.



Ever asked the dog if he fancies getting divorced ?


The dog has zero choice, you make all and every decision for the dog
Reply With Quote
This user groans at for this post:
  #10  
Old 27.01.2020, 17:48
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 32
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
VizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthy
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
It is also not fair to judge that the owner has not socialized the dogs since young, maybe the dog may have been adopted and has problems from the past.
Yes, I agree with this. If I gave this impression, it was not intentional. I am speaking to a general trend I have observed. You are right, one never knows the specifics of an individual dog and shouldn't judge any single encounter.

Although with that said, I have also passed many dogs who showed lots of signs of wanting to greet and/or play and the owner pulled them away. I observe this again and again. Yes, sometimes they are in a rush or what have you. But I see lots of people out in a popular dog walking area where dogs can run free and still not allowing their dogs off-leash or to meet other dogs. If I pass 5+ dogs on a walk, and not a single owner allows their dog to meet or play, that is sad both for me and my super friendly dog.

And yes, as I said, Switzerland is overall a wonderful place to have a dog. Totally agree with that. And we have made some great friends through our dog. And yes, there are parts of the US that are horrendous to have a dog - no dog parks or places to run a dog off-leash. People just leave their poor dog out back in the yard all day alone. There are also wonderful places in the US to have a dog, where dogs are very friendly and dog parks abound.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 27.01.2020, 17:58
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 32
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
VizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthy
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
How do you know who you dog wants to play with, you speak "Dog"
You do realize dogs are incredibly communicative, right? If a dog is happily crying or barking, energetically wagging its tail, and/or play bowing, yeah, call me crazy, but there is probably a good chance that dog wants to greet and play.

And as to imprisoning, that's exactly my point! Thank you for making it. I think it's unethical not to allow dogs to run and play with other dogs (notwithstanding behavioral or health reasons that would proscribe this). They absolutely should have opportunities to not be imprisoned to the dog owner. And no, dogs aren't just animals. They have a unique bond with humans that no other animal has, and this has been shown in a variety of scientific studies. After all, they co-evolved with humans for thousands of years. (With all that said, I recently saw an article where a couple ethicists were suggesting dog ownership, even really good dog ownership, is unethical. Of course, the article ended with the kicker that they were both dog owners, so there you have it).
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 28.01.2020, 15:33
summergirl's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Zürich
Posts: 324
Groaned at 12 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 585 Times in 200 Posts
summergirl has a reputation beyond reputesummergirl has a reputation beyond reputesummergirl has a reputation beyond reputesummergirl has a reputation beyond reputesummergirl has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
If I pass 5+ dogs on a walk, and not a single owner allows their dog to meet or play, that is sad both for me and my super friendly dog.
I can understand your sentiment here too. Maybe I am just fortunate having lived in the same neighborhood for almost 8 years, many dog owners "know" each other by their dog's names and they do get to greet.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank summergirl for this useful post:
  #13  
Old 28.01.2020, 17:43
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: na
Posts: 10,900
Groaned at 34 Times in 30 Posts
Thanked 25,573 Times in 7,955 Posts
meloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond reputemeloncollie has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
I think it's unethical not to allow dogs to run and play with other dogs (notwithstanding behavioral or health reasons that would proscribe this). They absolutely should have opportunities to not be imprisoned to the dog owner.
I certainly agree that dogs shouldn't be imprisoned by owners. Of course free running and play is a good way for many dogs to meet their social needs. But again, I urge you not to presume anything about the dogs and owners you encounter.

A dog owner might not want their dog to play with a random person met on walks - but that does not mean the dog is 'imprisoned'. Quite likely the dog gets plenty of play and interaction with people and dogs the owner knows.

For me, walks are not about play.* Walks are a training and bonding time. Play happens in my garden and at the Hundeschule - with dogs who are friendly with mine, whose play style fits mine, and people I know and trust. Walks are only a small portion of the daily routine.

Seriously - you should not expect people you don't know to allow you to interact with their dogs. If you are constantly running into people who have decided that interaction with your dog is not right for them, then simply go out with your friends. Your dog would have plenty of chances for free play then.



* Of course walks are not about off lead play - I live in SZ, where there is a general leash law.

But even in other cantons people simply might have another agenda for their walks. You cannot judge what goes on 24/7 by a 2 minute interaction. Or lack of interaction.
Reply With Quote
The following 7 users would like to thank meloncollie for this useful post:
This user groans at meloncollie for this post:
  #14  
Old 29.01.2020, 12:43
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: VD
Posts: 392
Groaned at 6 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 422 Times in 214 Posts
AnnaSophiaA has a reputation beyond reputeAnnaSophiaA has a reputation beyond reputeAnnaSophiaA has a reputation beyond reputeAnnaSophiaA has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

I would say like many things (every thing?) in Switzerland, this varies from commune to commune.

In my village, there are literally three out of 30+ dog owners who are willing to let their dogs off leash to play. All the others immediately leash up when they see another dog and if I ask if we can let them interact they say no. This is a very good way to cause do aggression for the dog who is never allowed to interact with other dogs. I have heard them give various justifications but I have watched several puppies become leash reactive towards other dogs during our time here.

Go ten minutes north to another commune where I walk my friend’s dogs from time to time, and everyone is off leash and allowed to greet other dogs. Not a single dog aggressive dog.

Of course what came first we shall never know. Perhaps in my village there was a mean old dog a few years back and everyone got in the habit of keeping their dogs on a leash and disallowing contact with other dogs. Who knows. But I actively seek out friends in other communes with dogs so that I can give my girl her doggie social time. Our training club does “pack walk” type activities too. If t weren’t for that she would be leash agressive herself lol.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank AnnaSophiaA for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 29.01.2020, 12:56
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

If you want your dog to socialise and play with other dogs get to know other local dog owners and organise doggie play dates or find someone who organises off leash play in a secure area. It is irresponsible and inexcusable behaviour from you to have your dog off the leash running up to a dog who is on the leash and forcing unwanted interaction. Correct behaviour when you meet a dog on a leash is call your dog to heel and immediately put him/her on a leash and then ask from a distance whether the owner of the other dog would like their dog to play. If they say no then accept it and allow them to walk away while you keep hold of yours. If you do not have the level of control over your dog where you can stop him from running up to another dog your dog should not be off the leash.
There are many reasons that dogs on a leash become reactive and it is certainly not because they are always ill-tempered, aggressive and aroused with negative energy as you claim. The dog could be uncomfortable and fearful when another dog comes bounding towards them. Perhaps they had been bitten by a strange dog, perhaps the dog on a lead is a bitch in heat and your dog hasn’t been castrated or vice versa, perhaps it is a rescue and the owner is slowly training it, perhaps the dog is ill or recovering from an operation. The list is endless and that you believe you know more about what is best for a stranger’s dog than they do is astounding and arrogant.
My one-year old GSD walks on the leash and it is frustrating when we meet inconsiderate idiots who refuse to control their off-leash dog around him. It is not the leash or my family that causes him stress but the irresponsible dog owner who insists their dog must play
Sometimes I may let him off the leash to play but only if I decide circumstances are right. For example, the size of the dog, if the area is safe for them to run around without risk of mine running off into the forest following the other dog, if there are no roads etc. I am my dog’s advocate and that is my decision alone
My dog is still very young and has had some serious health issues which has interrupted his training. That means his recall is not to the point where I can rely on him returning to me, especially when excited. If he were to get lost, run into a road and get hit by a car then it would be my family dealing with the devastation not the irresponsible person who insists all dog must be off-leash or they are imprisoned. He also has hip issues which mean that I very carefully monitor how much jumping around he can do, especially after physio.
While I agree that socialisation is extremely important, far more permanent harm is done by abusive dog training and tools such as e-collars and prong collars which is the norm in the USA. Rather than crusade against responsible Swiss dog owners who choose not to let their dogs off a leash, look to your own country and educate them about their out of date and aversive training methods. I am working with a dog group in UK to stop a well know abusive US dog trainer (Jeff Gellman) holding training seminars in UK and I have been disgusted at what I have witnessed in the name of training
Reply With Quote
The following 7 users would like to thank for this useful post:
This user groans at for this post:
  #16  
Old 29.01.2020, 14:19
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

And I can only state one important reason.......the law!!

In Switzerland the law is such (as I think meloncollie already pointed out) that as a dog owner you have to have control over your dog at ALL TIMES!!

Unfortunately in case of incidents, the law is interpreted GENERALLY to mean that the dog must have been on a leash!

If your dog was running free, you're up shit creek and say hello to a lot of legal hassle and costs...been there and got the t-shirt as some 'old' Ef'ers might remember. On a public place at the shore of the lake, my free running dog, was attacked by two italian cane corso and bit so hard that she had to have stitches.
My dog was not the first one to be attacked by that pair and I had several witnesses that the attack was unprovoked by my dog!

I have a bit of a problem of the generalisation of your statements.....dogs are just as different as we humans are. Dogs don't like, just because they are, other dogs....same as with humans.

And by the way, since the incident, my dog (a labrador mix) is scared of bigger and dark dogs and I really love the idiots who let their dog run at full speed towards mine, who shows with body language that she is scared...because theirs only wants to play!!
Reply With Quote
The following 7 users would like to thank for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 29.01.2020, 20:58
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: ZH
Posts: 7,781
Groaned at 91 Times in 72 Posts
Thanked 11,932 Times in 4,844 Posts
doropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond reputedoropfiz has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
It is irresponsible and inexcusable behaviour from you to have your dog off the leash running up to a dog who is on the leash and forcing unwanted interaction.
This. Although I believe that OP doesn't see it as "forcing unwanted interaction", since OP believes that the interaction is wanted... at least by both dogs. However, I agree with you, Mr Dog, and others who have posted saying that it is up to the dog owner to decide whether or not the interaction is wanted or unwanted, and that there are myriad reasons why an owner may decline.

Quote:
View Post
Correct behaviour when you meet a dog on a leash is call your dog to heel and immediately put him/her on a leash and then ask from a distance whether the owner of the other dog would like their dog to play. If they say no then accept it and allow them to walk away while you keep hold of yours. If you do not have the level of control over your dog where you can stop him from running up to another dog your dog should not be off the leash.
This. Yes. Thank you.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank doropfiz for this useful post:
  #18  
Old 29.01.2020, 22:31
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 32
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
VizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthy
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
But again, I urge you not to presume anything about the dogs and owners you encounter...

Walks are a training and bonding time. Play happens in my garden and at the Hundeschule...


* Of course walks are not about off lead play - I live in SZ, where there is a general leash law.
I tried to already make this point, and I'll try again. I'm not making a presumption about any single interaction. I'm basing my general observation on probably thousands of encounters over multiple years. Do I expect every dog I would like my dog to play with do be allowed to do so? Of course not - I think we agree that would be absurd and I've never made that assertion.

We have a friendly, high energy dog. He needs almost daily romps off-leash. A garden would be wholly insufficient, as would occasional visits to a Hundeschule. Your mileage may of course differ if you have a low energy or older dog.

SZ has particularly strict leash laws that seem unnecessary. We find this disappointing because we live near SZ but rarely go there anymore, despite lots of beautiful hiking options, because we can't let our dog off-leash. I would advise anyone with a dog, especially a high-energy dog, to think twice before moving there because of these rules, especially since there are better options in nearby cantons. I've also had experiences there that would only reinforce my original thesis that the less opportunities to interact and socialize, the more likely a dog will end up with behavioral problems. With that said, of course your situation and experience may differ.

I'm sort of surprised this is seeming a bit controversial. Socialization is well-supported by the literature and by renowned dog behavioralists. If we accept this foundation, then the question becomes: are dogs offered enough opportunities to socialize and do owners recognize (and are they appropriately educated on) the importance of socialization before 6 months to result in a balanced and well-behaved adult dog? If you disagree that socialization is critical, than we have a fundamental disagreement about the responsibilities and ethical obligations of dog ownership. My general observation is socialization could be better. The lack of dog parks and the common attitude of not allowing dogs to meet and play naturally reduce the opportunities for easy socialization with lots of different dogs. Nevertheless, Switzerland is still a wonderful place to have a dog and we have met may wonderful dog owners and made some great friends through our dog.

Here's a good article I quickly found on this topic that references Ian Dunbar as well. The author notes that the problem I am highlighting is quite common in parts of the US, and as I noted in an earlier post, the problem is actually much worse in some regions of the US.

https://positively.com/contributors/...th-each-other/

I think the final paragraph really sums up my point well. The author observes that the situation seems to be getting worse, and that's a real shame.

"There are still many dogs in North America and Europe that are dog friendly, but, the scales are starting to tip towards a new “norm” where dogs have no practical social skills when it comes to getting along with other dogs. We are our dog’s guardians. We take on the responsibility to create lives for them that are safe, happy and productive. We need to become the facilitators of a good social education. We owe them at least that much."
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 29.01.2020, 22:37
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 32
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
VizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthy
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
The list is endless and that you believe you know more about what is best for a stranger’s dog than they do is astounding and arrogant.
I'm not making this claim so I'm not sure where this is coming from. You seem to agree with me that socialization is critical, so I think we agree on the core point I'm making.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 29.01.2020, 22:51
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Ägeri
Posts: 32
Groaned at 11 Times in 7 Posts
Thanked 8 Times in 2 Posts
VizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthyVizslaMoose is considered unworthy
Re: Dog Socialization a Real Problem in (Central?) Switzerland

Quote:
View Post
On a public place at the shore of the lake, my free running dog, was attacked by two italian cane corso and bit so hard that she had to have stitches.
My dog was not the first one to be attacked by that pair and I had several witnesses that the attack was unprovoked by my dog!

I have a bit of a problem of the generalisation of your statements.....dogs are just as different as we humans are. Dogs don't like, just because they are, other dogs....same as with humans.
I'm sorry your dog got attacked - that sucks. My dog has been bitten both in the states and here. Luckily he didn't need stitches. Technically we should have reported the bite here but we agreed to give the owner a break. Nobody is perfect and dogs can be unpredictable. Although as noted before, what happened was not indicative of a well-socialized dog.

With that said, I'm not sure what is wrong with making generalizations. Of course I can't judge any individual dog without knowing it and of course they are all different. But socialization matters and makes a dog more likely to be better behaved. It's no guarantee though. I'm speaking to an environment that could be more conducive to good socialization, that's all.

Last edited by VizslaMoose; 29.01.2020 at 23:05.
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Self Catering in central switzerland bobo_97 Travel/day trips/free time 1 16.01.2015 15:26
Problem with the real estate company from my old house saeed Housing in general 90 03.05.2014 00:13
Dell Latitude E6410-problem with Webcam Central Molula General off-topic 1 06.11.2011 03:12
Spas in Central Switzerland? The Finn Travel/day trips/free time 11 03.08.2010 12:18
Hi from Central Switzerland UKPenguin Introductions 0 27.04.2007 09:11


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 13:05.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0