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Out of the Blue

I had another unfortunate incident walking our pooches yesterday, though the outcome could have been far worse. Hudson the wonder dog, the Gunnar-man, and I were approaching a corner when a neighbor's toy poodle came rushing up, barking his head off. His owner ran up and re-secured the leash he'd lost, as somehow he had more trouble with one dog weighing six pounds than I did with two totaling 120. Just as I started to joke that his dog has been trying to teach my guys a lesson for years (as he always barks at us as we pass his house) Hudson's remarkable telekinetic abilities kicked in, as she managed to get her leash to unclasp with a simple shake of her head. In a flash that defies her age she covered the five or six yards between us and grabbed the poodle in her mouth. As I reached the scene and grabbed Hudson's jaws to save the dog, my genius neighbor decided to help by kicking her in the face, which was one of the surest ways to escalate this into a situation that would result in his dog's death. I shouted at him to stop kicking and freed his pooch from her grasp. As he stormed off I called after him to ask if his dog was okay and he just repeated my command to "stop kicking her" to indicate he didn't like how I handed this. I tried to explain that this just was for his dog's protection, but he was just pissed. I stopped by their house and apologized to his wife and got reassurances that no injuries were suffered, so hopefully this won't result in any ill will.

There is a lesson here: There are right ways and wrong ways to deal with dog fights, and a surprising number of dog owners don't do any research on how to deal with such problems before they occur, something I would strongly recommend.

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27. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 15:22 Creston
 
Blue wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 11:45:
Creston wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 11:13:
It's always wise to teach your dog a "let go" command. Practice it with toys, etc, and then when they do well with those, even occasionally practice it with food or a treat. Then when something like this happens, you can just order them to "let go" and they should drop whatever little mutt they happen to be chewing on.

Keep in mind that Hudson is a terrier, and terriers are bred for a certain degree of independent thinking, in particular when it comes to disposing of vermin. I'm sure it's possible: She's good at listening when told to drop inanimate objects, but I am not nearly enough of a dog whisperer to trust being able to command her to drop prey.

Yeah, I realize it's tough if not almost impossible to go against her instinct. I can't get my Blue Heeler to stop trying to herd me when I walk her, no matter what I try. That's just what she is.

If nothing else, such a command would help when you're putting pressure on her mouth to open up.

As for the back legs thing, that seems pretty scary to me when they have something in their mouths that you absolutely do NOT want them to bite. If anything, to me a dog would bite down just out of fright (as they really don't like it when you mess with their rear legs.)

Even so, it's still better than kicking. Making the dog more aggressive doesn't exactly help.

Creston
 
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