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Out of the Blue

I had a nightmarish experience with the doggies yesterday out on the doggie trail, though things didn't turn out nearly as badly as they could have. We saw some people walking in our direction, so I leashed Hudson the wonder dog, since she has developed a bad habit of getting into scrapes with other alpha dogs since she was attacked herself some years ago. The people turned out to be a mother and daughter with this teeny little poodle mix that was maybe all of four pounds. The dogs started playfully chasing each other around, so we de-leashed them and stood around a bit talking about how cute the scene was, when it stopped being so cute: Out of nowhere, Hudson picked up this small dog by the back of her neck and started shaking it back and forth. Thankfully, she was just playing, and I was close enough to get to her pretty quickly, but this went on for a couple of seconds, which seemed like a year at the time. The reason I know she was playing is that the other dog survived, it actually didn't have a scratch (in fact this was a gentle form of play, because she shakes stuffed toys far more vigorously than this). Anyway, the woman was amazingly chill about this, she refused to even take my phone number in case it turned out the dog needed veterinary care, and very graciously accepted my profuse apologies. Meanwhile, her little daughter was all traumatized, and it breaks my heart to picture her all teary-eyed. Hudson and I are pretty traumatized as well, as my scolding has her acting sheepish ever since (she's very sensitive for a cold-blooded killer). I guess I'll look into some remedial training for her, but she's pushing 10, so that probably won't be easy. Meanwhile I'm afraid I can't trust her off the leash even when I think we are the only ones on the trail, and I cannot figure out how I can run enough for her to get the exercise she needs (she's easily twice as fast as me). I may need to get a bike and ride with her on the leash or something, which sounds like a recipe for a different form of disaster. Man this sucks.

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41. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 29, 2010, 18:02 brother19
Blue: it's obvious that your dog prefers her playmates "Shaken, not stirred." Seriously, she may not have intended to kill the little dog, but this is instinctive behavior. Large terriers are well known for this. Keeping dogs on a short leash is the best way to avoid problems. (She may shake toys more vigorously because they are smaller and lighter than this dog.) Riding a bike with a leashed dog would be bad for both of you. How about fetch and frisbee?  
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