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> Rather Long Rant Im Afraid..., but i need advice.
kvs
post 1st Mar 2012, 6:43 pm
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ok so quite a few point in this post, which is why ive put it here and not t&b.

i have just got off the phone to my mum and was telling her about the awful walk ive had this afternoon sad.gif and her response has left me feeling half angry and half stupid because now i dont know if im doing the wrong thing.

* so todays walk. we went to one of the local lakes which has wide paths so you can pass other people without being right next to them, at the start a woman with 4 off lead dogs walked right towards us so i had peppa sit at my feet with the flexi right in so she was under control, the woman then decided it was a good idea to throw her dogs ball past us so her dogs came charging at us, i had my back to the woman at the time because i was talking to peppa in a calm voice saying she was a good girl and that it was alright to try to keep her calm, one of the dogs (looked toy poodleish) walked right up nose to nose with peppa then tensed up so peppa snapped at it and it went away, i turned and looked at the woman who had a smirk on her face. i decided to just walk on and continued talling peppa it was alright and what a lovely piglet she is.
a bit further round she decided to investigate a yummy smell in the bushes, unfortunately it was thorny inside the bush and she pulled her head out and had a bloody ear, she was very brave and stood still while i pulled the couple of thorns out and it didnt seem to bother her so we carried on with the walk.
then all of a sudden a boxer and a staffy came charging out of the lake and right for peppa, the owners were stood talking and even though they could see i had peppa under control in a sit at my feet they did nothing to recall their dogs, and they proceded to bounce all over peppa (and being a white dog she now has many brown paw prints over her back from them) so again peppa was snarling at these 2 dogs using her as a trampoline and the owners finally called the dogs back. i moved about 10 paces before they were back all over her again. the owners were fairly burly looking blokes and i didnt feel very confident in asking them to please leave us alone. so after the 4th time of the dogs being called back and returning to peppa my voice decided it would say something which cant be repeated here but was along the lines of "oh dear i am getting some what miffed" lol.gif
so in all my idea to go and enjoy the glorious weather today has left me feeling guilty at putting peps in a bad situation.

* as i was saying in another topic peppa has made friends with another white staffy girl and they have such fun over in our park, and it is so nice to see them happy and zooming together. so i know the snapping isnt always a problem, and that she can get along with other dogs.

*so back to speaking to my mum, she said i should keep putting peppa into these situations because thats the only way she will learn that other dogs wont hurt her. which i dont agree with. i can see that she wont get used to dogs without being around dogs but i dont think it is right to put her into that situation.

* i am 2 months pregnant and i know this stress isnt good for me, and i know i am hormonal but the amount of tears ive shed the last few weeks over other people not being in control of their dogs and every time i think of the price we will have to pay if anything does happen because of "what" she is.


sorry for the long post but i just needed to get it out, and with people who can understand both sides of the story.
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walkiesandtalkies
post 1st Mar 2012, 6:53 pm
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I'm sorry you had a bad afternoon. I don't agree wiht you mum - she doesn;t need to be put in these situations she needs to be walked sonewhere you can guage space and give her a bit of distance from other dogs and build up positive aqssociatio and friends slowly with other dogs that can be introduced slowly.

Unfortunately you are never going to do this is lake type walking areas with paths and so on as people go there and natter and go there with prmas and dogs off lead and todo and do their own thing. I know how annoying this is to ahve dogs charging up to you but at the same time, it happens so you need to choose walkjing areas that are going to provide less stress for you and for Peppa. This either means wide open spaces where you can see dogs coming and take evasive action or places where dogs are onlead.

This will stop her having the notion that other dogs are rude and scary reinforced like it was today and ill make walks less stressful for you at a time when you don;t need stress. Sadly as annoying as it is it's part of it and we as owners with fear aggressive doggies needs to manage things more than others do. Sad but true.


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nikirushka
post 1st Mar 2012, 6:59 pm
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QUOTE(kvs @ 1st Mar 2012, 6:43 pm) *

*so back to speaking to my mum, she said i should keep putting peppa into these situations because thats the only way she will learn that other dogs wont hurt her. which i dont agree with. i can see that she wont get used to dogs without being around dogs but i dont think it is right to put her into that situation.


You are right. What your mother is talking about is flooding - forcing the dog to confront its fears. It doesn't work - it only makes them worse.

That's especially true if the other dogs leap all over her - that is far too much for a worried dog to cope with and will simply confirm to her that other dogs are scary and should be kept away however necessary (i.e. aggression).

The human version of it would be trying to cure someone of arachnophobia by putting them into a bathtub full of huge spiders (think of the reactions on I'm a Celebrity) - it only makes things worse.

The best approach is slowly slowly - work however far away you need to be that she is relaxed and not worried about the other dogs, and reward good stuff there. Have you looked at Grisha Stewart's BAT? Very effective and a very useful tool, using distance from the dogs as a reward for good behaviours/signals.

Other things can help - giving her a quiet day or two (I would definitely do that after today, a few days at least of avoiding dogs if possible) to allow her stress levels to drop back down after a reaction to a dog, I also do this if a reactive dog has seen a number of dogs in a day even if they haven't reacted because they will still be worried, and the stress builds a little with each sighting (pushing the dog closer the the level that causes a reaction). I said it in a similar post in T&B the other day, when I first got my last dog she could cope with one dog every other day to begin with. Any more and she was pretty much guaranteed to react because the stress hangs around. As time went on, with me keeping the stress minimal inbetween encounters, she was able to cope with more until she could walk with big groups and meet pretty much any dog without a problem.

Also if you see a dog coming that's likely to be a problem, having Pep sit as you do can help - I've used it to great effect to stop keen dogs running over as it makes my dogs instantly boring. But my dogs aren't reactive - with a reactive dog in that situation, I just get out of there (hide if necessary).
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pangolin
post 1st Mar 2012, 7:00 pm
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My mum and stepdad give me dog advice - I nod, agree then forget it all as soon as the conversation ends lol.gif Perhaps you could explain it to your mum in a way she'll understand, one example I refer to for reactive dogs is a spider phobia (because many people understand what it's like to be at least a bit afraid of spiders, if not completely phobic). Trying to overcome a spider phobia, or Peppa trying to overcome her fear of dogs, can vary on how you deal with it. If someone marched you into a confined room with a big spider hanging from the ceiling, your first feeling would be panic. As you get closer to it, your anxiety levels will rise. Once you get nearer, if the person can drag you that far, you'll instinctly react - you may pull away from the person holding your arm, and if they manage to hold on to you then chances are you may end up hitting or kicking at them. If they manage to get you so near that the spider lands on your shoulder, you will flail and jump around and hit at the spider in an attempt to get it off you/away from you. Chances are, your phobia will now be twice as bad, and next time that person tries dragging you somewhere, you'll be a lot less likely to trust them! Not to mention that your reaction to a spider next time you see one is likely to be more extreme - and the more bad experiences you have, the more extreme it may get.
If the person was to start dragging you towards a spider and stamped on your foot every time you started to react, you may soon learn to hold your panic in, but would you actually feel any better about the spider? For a while, the fear of pain may outweight the fear of the spider but as they're not addressing the fear of the spider, eventually the balance will shift and you will react to the spider - but pre-empt the foot stomp and move out of the way first.

However, if the person was to take you into a large room and warn you that there's a spider sat in a closed jar on the table, you're likely to start off feeling a little anxious but not too bad. If they tell you to approach the spider at your own pace, you may cautiously walk towards it. They keep watching your face and see you getting anxious at 5 metres, so they turn you around and walk you out of the room. They repeat this the day after, and you manage to get 4 metres away before they lead you out. The next day it may be 3 metres, then 2, etc. until you can finally walk up to the table and look in the jar. Even then, they continue to take it slow. You stay at the table for 10 seconds and then they lead you away. The next day it's 20 seconds, etc.
With all those slow steps, OK it will take you longer, but you will remain in the right mental state to process this desensitization. Your fear actually decreases. You may eventually reach the stage where you can actually touch a spider! You may not ever be completely cured but you may be able to knowingly walk through a room with a spider, and even brush it off your shoulder if it lands on you, because you have been shown that your phobia is irrational and that the spider won't hurt you.

I don't know if your mum is likely to listen to something like that, I don't really bother explaining things to my stepdad but if I go into more detail with my mum then she actually listens and then understands the logic behind it.
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woodysmum
post 1st Mar 2012, 7:04 pm
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Sending you some hug.gif and hope your feeling a bit better for writing it down.
I agree that your mum is wrong as yes she needs to get used to dogs but if all she gets is bounced on then that's never going to help.
Would it be possible in the short term to walk with Peppa's new friend so she gets lots of positive walks in your park and maybe then build up to other dogs?
Are here any training classes near you that are more socialisation as my boy was helped a lot by them...not intended to train obedience , just getting him used to other dogs being about and not "needing " to be scared of them.

We're really lucky now that we have fields where we have a wee doggy gang who meet up and it's great for our dogs who mill around sharing balls and treats and fusses and any newbies are welcomed and shy dogs helped become part of the fun .But having had one scaredy boy who'd woof very loudly and freak at bouncy dogs running up I know it's hard to break the cycle.


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LaraMark
post 1st Mar 2012, 7:24 pm
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Congrats on your pregnancy! Sending you a hug.gif as I'm afraid I'm always learning off the other dogpages peeps and don't have any advice. But well done for keeping your cool!
Lara and Coco x
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Colt's Mum
post 1st Mar 2012, 7:27 pm
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hug.gif sorry to hear you have had a tough day, congrats on the pregnancy too.

I do understand what you are going through having spent 3 years living with Mabel, I had to give up walking on the heath opposite where we live, which is why we bought this house because there are only a couple of paths running around it and so every dog out there you are likely to meet and many of those do not have recall and manners. I used to love walking in a group with a couple of friends and their dogs and at first I did try to get Mabel used to them but she just got worse and ended up biting one of my friends dogs. Who needs the stress. We are lucky and can jump in the car and be in the middle of nowhere in 10 mins and have a lovely peaceful stress free walk away from dogs. However on the odd occasion we do have to walk in local woods where there are more dogs I am not shy about asking politely (or less politely if necessary) for other owners to please keep their dogs away. Its as much about protecting their dog as yours but ultimately your dog only has you to depend on for protection so don't be afraid to speak up. flowers.gif
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K9LOVE
post 1st Mar 2012, 8:31 pm
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Personally to me it sounds like you handled the situation very well considering.
I think I would have lost my temper alot sooner.


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Jenny.Wren
post 1st Mar 2012, 9:06 pm
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QUOTE(K9LOVE @ 1st Mar 2012, 8:31 pm) *

Personally to me it sounds like you handled the situation very well considering.
I think I would have lost my temper alot sooner.
hug.gif



Yes I agree, I think you are far too polite lol.gif

Ellie doesn't like other dogs in her face and reacts so I have no problems asking people to call their dogs back and I've even had strong words in some cases. As Coltsmum said, our dogs only have us to protect them so I'm never shy with what I think.

I too have learnt to take my dogs to quieter places, it's not ideal as I have some lovely walks near me but it can get busy and I really cant be ars*d with lazy dog owners. Only yesterday I saw a man walk his 3 dogs around the park and the whole time he was on his mobile ohmy.gif and I spent my walk staying out of their way.

Before Ellie, I never had to worry about other dogs or where I went but with Ellie I have had to change my whole walking management.
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Doglovinglou
post 1st Mar 2012, 9:25 pm
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As the owner of a dog aggressive dog i know exactly how frustrating these situations can be. However, i never walk in areas that are heavily dog populated. Walking around ponds on a nice sunny day spells disaster for me as there is no guarantee you're not going to run into an irresponsible owner or two. I stick to familiar places as much as i can and isolated fields for our walks and this has also helped my Missy because she has come to recognize many of the regular dogs that also walk in these places and this in turn has helped build her confidence with all dogs anytime we do walk in unfamiliar places.

I don't really agree with your mum, especially if your dog is fearful. Your Peppa doesn't sound aggressive, just reactive, and i would be wary of forcing her into situations she can't control or cope with through fear her behaviour might escalate to aggression.

The BAT technique is great. Without realising it i was using quite similar methods to that of the BAT training and it really does help to allow your dog to make their own choices. Personally i'd quit with making Peppa sit everytime you spot a dog, it's going against what she naturally wants to do and i found myself this made absolutely no difference with my Missy. If anything it made her even more agitated as she knew as soon as i asked her to sit that a dog was on the scene. The best method for me has been mainly ignoring a lot of Missy's behaviour and NOT reacting to her or another dogs approach/behaviour. When i see a dog approaching, we keep on walking straight by too, no hesitation. I will sometimes give her a gentle good girl praise after we've passed the dog, and if Missy herself shows interest in a dog ( in that she's smelling the air, seemingly wanting to approach ) i'll also vocally praise her. I don't use treats anymore as the idea of treating her to teach her dogs = good things was not working for us and we tried this for well over 2 years. I allow Missy to decide on what she wants to do really. For instance sometimes she'll refuse to pass by a dog, and she doesn't like dogs approaching from behind, so i'll stand there and wait with her until she's ready to move on again. I've seen massive improvements in her behaviour since allowing her more freedom to make up her own mind smile.gif Not to say this will work for you, but i'm just sharing my experiences.

I think you acted well under the circumstances. I've never understood the need to be rude, it puts peoples backs up and the few times i have spoke up and asked people to control their dogs it's achieved absolutely nothing from the other owner! You can't get through to the irresponsible regardless of how you act, but a polite manner always works for me with the responsible owners who do try their best.

Hope you have a better walk tomorrow.
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kvs
post 1st Mar 2012, 11:10 pm
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couple of bits i forgot to say,
we dont have a garden so we have to go for walks rather than a quick play in the garden. so because of having the park on our doorstep it is where she goes first and last thing and we have found there is no set time (other than between midnight and 5am) for other owners being there, there are 3 different black labs that are never on lead in the parkand even when oh took peppa out at midnight the other night one of the labs and owner was there so she ends up wound up before going to bed at night. but i know these owners will not change their was, after several times of asking them not to let their dog approach peppa, in fact one says "go say hello then" mad.gif

peppa's background.
we rescued her from an elderly woman who had to rehome her because she was living somewhere she could only keep one dog, she had peppa from a pup and peppas mum was owned by the womans grandson. he was a drug dealer and not a very nice person (i believe he is the reason we were told she dont like men but we have never actually seen evidence of it, our neighbours are mostly male and they all love her and she happily sits on their feet untill they give her a belly rub!)
anyway, the grandson got into a lot of trouble and the old lady took in peppas mum. now wether this dog was made the way she was because of status or whatever i do not know but she was not nice, she did not like anyone or anything. when we picked peps up i could hear the dog snarling on the other side of kitchen door (i will confess i was worried that door wouldnt hold!) the rescue staff said that they wouldnt even attempt to go near her and that she had bitten the old lady more than once. when we got peppa she had several cuts on her face which i believe were from the mum dog. so the only dog i know she has been around was a mean one. this i feel is the root of the problem.
the way i see it is that peps had a nice home and all of a sudden this bigger dog turned up and started to bully her.
perhaps i am being a bit anthropomorphic with that, i dont know.

but now ive got other things to think about, the way i see it is we have a few months to try to make this situation better, i am so worried about being out with with the pram and things being the way they are now i am very scared of the consiquences.

my mental health problems do make it hard for me to be assertive with other dog owners, and some of the reactions we have had from people regarding "her type" i get very anxious about human behaviour.
and i do worry that she picks up on it and that i may be making her worse.

tbh i am feeling sopoo about it all i just feel a bit out of my depth. (but that is also prob because of my m.h problems.)
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walkiesandtalkies
post 1st Mar 2012, 11:30 pm
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QUOTE(kvs @ 1st Mar 2012, 11:10 pm) *

couple of bits i forgot to say,
we dont have a garden so we have to go for walks rather than a quick play in the garden. so because of having the park on our doorstep it is where she goes first and last thing and we have found there is no set time (other than between midnight and 5am) for other owners being there, there are 3 different black labs that are never on lead in the parkand even when oh took peppa out at midnight the other night one of the labs and owner was there so she ends up wound up before going to bed at night. but i know these owners will not change their was, after several times of asking them not to let their dog approach peppa, in fact one says "go say hello then" mad.gif

peppa's background.
we rescued her from an elderly woman who had to rehome her because she was living somewhere she could only keep one dog, she had peppa from a pup and peppas mum was owned by the womans grandson. he was a drug dealer and not a very nice person (i believe he is the reason we were told she dont like men but we have never actually seen evidence of it, our neighbours are mostly male and they all love her and she happily sits on their feet untill they give her a belly rub!)
anyway, the grandson got into a lot of trouble and the old lady took in peppas mum. now wether this dog was made the way she was because of status or whatever i do not know but she was not nice, she did not like anyone or anything. when we picked peps up i could hear the dog snarling on the other side of kitchen door (i will confess i was worried that door wouldnt hold!) the rescue staff said that they wouldnt even attempt to go near her and that she had bitten the old lady more than once. when we got peppa she had several cuts on her face which i believe were from the mum dog. so the only dog i know she has been around was a mean one. this i feel is the root of the problem.
the way i see it is that peps had a nice home and all of a sudden this bigger dog turned up and started to bully her.
perhaps i am being a bit anthropomorphic with that, i dont know.

but now ive got other things to think about, the way i see it is we have a few months to try to make this situation better, i am so worried about being out with with the pram and things being the way they are now i am very scared of the consiquences.

my mental health problems do make it hard for me to be assertive with other dog owners, and some of the reactions we have had from people regarding "her type" i get very anxious about human behaviour.
and i do worry that she picks up on it and that i may be making her worse.

tbh i am feeling sopoo about it all i just feel a bit out of my depth. (but that is also prob because of my m.h problems.)


Bless you, having a dog with special needs behaviourally can be hard without everything else you ahve going on. I used to be a bit like that with regards to not saying what I wanted to other dog owners, honestly, if you can brave it once, it gets easier ninja.gif


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kvs
post 1st Mar 2012, 11:53 pm
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other half is much more upfront and not worried about speaking out.
in fact he once followed a man across the field and asked him if he knew what a poo bag was as he was far too busy talking on his phone to watch his dog do its business on the pavement, and walked him back to the scene of crime and watched him pick it up! yay.gif
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bix
post 2nd Mar 2012, 8:23 am
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Sorry you're upset, but don't be. Agree with other posts. Also, on subject of partents and advice. This applies to pregnancy and child-rearing too. Listen and be polite, but then make your own decision. lol.gif
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walkiesandtalkies
post 2nd Mar 2012, 8:52 am
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QUOTE(kvs @ 1st Mar 2012, 11:53 pm) *

other half is much more upfront and not worried about speaking out.
in fact he once followed a man across the field and asked him if he knew what a poo bag was as he was far too busy talking on his phone to watch his dog do its business on the pavement, and walked him back to the scene of crime and watched him pick it up! yay.gif


lol.gif I'm not that brave but have called out to people to ask if they'd like to borrow a poo bag when they just look the other way pretending they haven;t seen their dog pooing!


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