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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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43 Replies. 3 pages. Viewing page 2.
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23. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 13:23 nin
 
The blame game isn't productive, but letting his poodle run off and get in the face of a bigger dog (particularly if it happens often) is like dropping bloody red meat in front of a shark. Both animals get excited and your chances of something being bit dramatically rise.

Yep.

 
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22. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 13:00 BobBob
 
Waiting for the lawyer story next round.  
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21. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 12:59 sauron
 
It might also be a good idea to have a vet check out the smaller dog. Due to bruising, some dog bites can look worse after a few hours than they do initially.

You also want to make absolutely sure there are no skin punctures. Even a small one will get infected, and toy breeds have thin skin. I had to PM a case once where a small puncture from a canine tooth went into the abdomen and caused peritonitis.

This is just a precaution and is not meant to scare, but it's good to be careful.

 
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Kittens!
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20. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 12:31 Jivaro
 
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.

There is also the fact that while some dogs are still very trainable regardless of age, others are not. If something like a "let go" command was going to be taught, the time to do it would have been early on. Not impossible later on, but usually more difficult. I am sure different breeds and different personalities all factor in to that, but the cliche "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" isn't born out of nothing. It isn't absolute, but there is some truth to it.

It sounds to me Blue like you did what you could and the other guy needs to learn how to hold onto his dog. The blame game isn't productive, but letting his poodle run off and get in the face of a bigger dog (particularly if it happens often) is like dropping bloody red meat in front of a shark. Both animals get excited and your chances of something being bit dramatically rise.

I give you bonus points for restraint. Someone kicks my dog in the face, there had better be a human life at stake not some unleashed poodle. Otherwise my boot is going straight up their ass. Then again, you sound like a much more patient person then I am, just in general.
 
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19. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 11:53 Verno
 
Yakubs wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 10:18:
Poodles are the definition of a dog that deserve to get whooped on. I would never be caught dead walking in public with one of them.

Animals have their own personalities, we had a poodle when I was a kid that was a very playful and fun dog, not a yapper at all either. It only speaks to your own insecurities that you would not walk one in a public place and I think you have the wrong perception of what the public thinks about them in general. Go walk a small dog at a dogpark sometime and you will likely be chatted up by some fine looking women provided you don't look like a weirdo or something.
 
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18. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 11:45  Blue 
 
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.
 
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Stephen "Blue" Heaslip
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17. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 11:45 Burrito of Peace
 
"No" has always been the verbal cue to stop everything immediately with my dogs. With the Chow Chow, that took longer than usual to teach her because while she's not overly aggressive, she is very assertive in protecting her territorial boundaries and her "pack". Also, I do not live in an urban or even a suburban environment. Any other non-family canines she is likely to meet on the property are going to be either coyotes or feral dogs, both of which are rightly considered threats. I think that, the environment, makes a massive difference in both the approach to, and the reasons for, training.  
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16. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 11:30 nin
 
Hoop wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 11:29:
Let me list all the problems I have had with cats over the years.
.....

Yeah! YEAH!!!!!!


 
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15. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 11:29 Hoop
 
Let me list all the problems I have had with cats over the years.
.....
 
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Um .. Behind you...
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14. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 11:13 Creston
 
Burrito of Peace wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 09:35:
Thunderdome. The right way is ALWAYS Thunderdome.

Seriously, though, I was taught to step in, take control of my dog's head and become the alpha immediately with a firm, commanding "NO!" It's worked with my German Shepherd I had growing up and my Chow-Chow that I have as an adult.


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.

If that fails, then I'd just grab his mouth and jaw, pull them apart and, like you said, tell him NO loudly.

It's been a long time since I had a fighty dog, though, and he would only ever go after bigger dogs (the idiot.) I've fortunately never had to deal with one of my dogs grabbing a little yapper.

Creston
 
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13. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 11:09 Creston
 
Dang, scary story, Blue...

I'd recommend walking Hudson with a harness. There's no way for them to get out of a harness, so that may just be safer.

Stupid little dogs always barking at dogs that weigh 10 times what they do. I think dogs are about the only creatures alive that are that oblivious to relativity.

Creston
 
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12. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 10:41  Blue 
 
xXBatmanXx wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 10:24:
Anyway. Maybe time for collar/clasp upgrade.

Yup. The clasp on the leash needs to be more foolproof.

/edit: Gentle Leader works on 2 of my 3. The 3rd is just a brute. I rarely walk them on the leash anyway - it is 99% free range dog park time for them.

Hudson doesn't really tug on the leash, so she doesn't have to wear hers. Gunnar, on the other hand, who wouldn't hurt a fly, needs a gentle leader to keep him under any sort of control. He's just a nut.

And true confession for Yakubs: The Gunnar-man is a Standard Poodle. We named him Gunnar to try and inspire him to be more macho. No, it didn't work. Image aside, you have never met a more awesome dog. He has converted every poodle hater he's ever met. Basically he's a gateway dog.
 
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11. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 10:40 Malachii
 
Sorry to hear about the animal situation. That's an extremely bad situation for the pets and humans.

I jog in my neighborhood and cannot tell you the number of times animals unleashed or escaped have chased/nipped/bitten me and it just sucks. One involved the animal being put down after a serious bite to my leg :-( I felt awful.

Another time I was on the other end of the issue when our 2 labs got out and found a pet goat down the street and attacked it :-(

 
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10. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 10:32  Blue 
 
InBlack wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 09:52:
Does Hudson have a standard leash & collar or is it one of those thingies that go around the dogs front legs and upper chest??

It's a regular leash and collar. The leash has one of those spring-loaded clasps: What I obviously need is one of those that closes like a carabiner so that pulling or shaking the leash won't be able to open it.

To answer other questions: Yes, this guy and I had always been particularly friendly before.

As for the right way to deal with a dogfight, yelling is bad, as is trying to beat on one of the dogs. I told my wife that my assessment of his kicking technique is that if it was going to influence the situation, the greatest likelihood was getting his dog killed, the second greatest (albeit unlikely) likelihood was him getting bitten himself, while the chances he would get her to let go of his dog were practically nonexistent.

For larger dogs, pulling them apart by the rear legs is apparently ideal... when their hindquarters leave the ground they lose a lot of their options, and tend to focus on getting free. Properly done, a dog can't actually bite someone holding its rear legs, so it's fairly safe to execute (I did this once to a dog that attacked Gunnar when the attacking dog's owner froze, and it worked like a charm). In this case with a 60 lb dog holding a six lb dog, separating them this way would probably result in the smaller dog being torn to pieces, so I took advantage of Hudson's uncanny instincts to not harm humans (and me in particular), by prying her jaws open: Just getting getting a taste of my fingers in her mouth caused her to open her mouth. Reading up on this will also show techniques for using the leash as a lasso when necessary.

I believe the other dog's owner actually had the chance to prevent all this, as there was a point amid the initial scramble that he clearly could have scooped his dog off the ground, but my take is that he's afraid of big dogs, and was not going to risk also becoming the object of Huddy's aggression.
 
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9. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 10:24 xXBatmanXx
 
Was bitten pretty bad a couple years ago when I stepped into a dog fight between 2 full sized puppies - mine and another lab. Mine was playing but his wasn't. The dog ended up chomping my hand pretty good, but that is what happens when you grab a dog that isn't your own - which I felt I had to do since he wasn't doing much. I had a pretty good grab on each of their mane, but slipped in the snow and his dog broke free to get my hand. Luckily my wedding ring now covers it.

oh well. Have dogs, get bit. No foul on either owner's part. I asked for his vet info and checked for shots. No need to get police or the pound involved. All shots up to date, I called him and we had a nice talk. I can't imagine putting a dog through that crap "rabies quarantine" and I hate having to do it when I am working. Rabies in domestic dogs is damn near a farce.

Anyway. Maybe time for collar/clasp upgrade. I use leather with the hole in it and keep em pretty tight. Also use leather leashes with brass clasps. I check them regularly as my dogs have broke many a leash over the years - I am slow to learn I guess.

I find it funny his little fluff got chomped, I get tired of the yippers and sometimes it is best to put them in their place on the food chain. I am apologetic when need be at the park - but most of the time I just walk away and the pups follow....it is a dog park, dogs get into it the same as kids on a playground - they work it out most of the time. I step in when mine get aggressive - which is very rare. Pretty easy to tell if a dog is playing or fighting by watching the tail, ears, and body language.

Anway. Good luck Blue.

/edit: Gentle Leader works on 2 of my 3. The 3rd is just a brute. I rarely walk them on the leash anyway - it is 99% free range dog park time for them.
 
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8. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 10:18 Yakubs
 
Poodles are the definition of a dog that deserve to get whooped on. I would never be caught dead walking in public with one of them.  
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7. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 09:52 InBlack
 
Does Hudson have a standard leash & collar or is it one of those thingies that go around the dogs front legs and upper chest??

I ask because my dog has the same damn uncanny ability with regards to these new 'safety' harnesses and I decided to put her on the leash & collar for good now after she managed to slip away after a cat and got nearly run over by a car.

Im kind of sorry that I never took the time to properly train her to go walkies without a leash but I doubt that would be even possible with a Terrier/Pinscher mix
 
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6. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 09:36 Verno
 
It's an emotional situation for both of you, I'm sure he thought he was just doing his best to save his companion from harm, albeit in a stupid way. Instinct takes over sometimes, just like with the animals. Do you guys have a good history apart from this incident?

Anyways sorry to hear it happened and hope both dogs are doing ok.
 
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5. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 09:35 nin
 
keithnyc wrote on Jan 9, 2013, 09:33:
That guy sounds like a big ol pouty wuss. Walking a poodle and then storming off like a little girl.

Your dog shoulda eaten both of them.


Great, now I have this mental image of Zach Galifianakis in Due Date.

Maybe this will make you feel better, Blue?

 
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4. Re: Out of the Blue Jan 9, 2013, 09:35 Burrito of Peace
 
Thunderdome. The right way is ALWAYS Thunderdome.

Seriously, though, I was taught to step in, take control of my dog's head and become the alpha immediately with a firm, commanding "NO!" It's worked with my German Shepherd I had growing up and my Chow-Chow that I have as an adult.

 
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