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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys!

I am looking for advice. My puppy is 4 months old and we enjoy taking him to the track while my son practices football. This is my 1st dog so maybe I am paranoid but I do not let him go rushing to every dog he sees. I try to teach him to sit and look at me when other dogs are going by or approaching. Especially bigger dogs. However, we have been having issues where people with extremely large does ( German Shepards and Pit Bulls ) let their dog drag them to our puppy and then want us to let them sniff. I usually just try to contain Pinto which is hard as he is only 4 months and then just say he is still working on his manners. However, my son enjoys walking him around the track and yesterday someone started to approach so my son walked the opposite direction so they would not interact. And the lady ran towards him as her dog dragged her to Pinto. My son was nervous and just stopped and let the dogs sniff at which point the larger dog pinned my dog. It scared my son and my husband had to come get the bigger dog off Pinto. Pinto was fine as he went submissive on his back but now my son is nervous about walking the dog. The lady blamed my dog saying that the puppy was at fault for being excited (my son says he was wagging his tail and sniffing but did not touch the other dog). And was upset at my husband for getting her dog off Pinto.

So I am trying to see what we should have done better in this situation and the others as it seems to be a recurring problem where larger dogs are dragging owners to our puppy and we are having to spend a lot of time avoiding situations rather than enjoying our walk.


Thanks for the advice. As a minimum I think we are going to stop having my son walk the dog in populated areas such as the track to avoid him having to deal with another confrontation.
 

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You were unlucky and met a dog owning idiot.....there are lots out there. You are doing the right thing with Pinto, teaching him to look to you and therefore improve his manners. Sadly many other owners do not invest this time and etiquette in to there dogs and the dogs suffer for it. No way was your son or your dog in the wrong here! Totally was the other owners fault.
You need t get back out there with your son and pinto so that they can both build confidence again. However I would always supervise your son and dog on walks, not because he isn't capable but just to safeguard against situations like these. He would be in no way capable to cope if an over zealous, rude greeting escalates in to something worse. He could get hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Karen. I have been pretty upset about it and probably over analyzing things I just wanted to make sure if we are doing something wrong we make the best adjustments. New dog owners nerves I guess. lol

I will take your advice and walk with my son and Pinto so they remembers that it is ok.

Thanks again.
 

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You will have a very well behaved dog, and I agree with karen about you supervising. It would be good to let him socialise a little with other dogs too so he does not pick up on any nervousness you may be feeling. Do you know anyone with a well behaved dog you can exercise him with for him to have a little playtime with? Not sure what you should do when meeting people who's dog pulls towards yours, ideally you should both get your dogs attention then say 'ok, say hello' let them have a brief sniff and then get their attention back to you, I have to confess I have not been such a good owner and have been a typical owner who lets her dog say hello to another dog straight away, (usually just have time to ask the owner if its ok) usually ending up with them in a tangle of leads, but i think I am a pretty good judge at telling if the approaching dog is friendly and if I i'm not sure i'll keep him close by my side. And if its a young pup I keep him close until i have asked the owner if they would like the pup to say hello.
 

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I'm wondering if this is another issue that depends what side of the pond you are on? Amanda, Barb, Renee, Donna etc....please chime in here if I am wrong but wouldn't it be a rarity to have a dog walker here have so little control of their dog they'd barge right up to a puppy? Most dog people I meet are quite solicitous and will call out "does your dog like dogs?" before any approach, especially with a puppy.
 

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I'm wondering if this is another issue that depends what side of the pond you are on? Amanda, Barb, Renee, Donna etc....please chime in here if I am wrong but wouldn't it be a rarity to have a dog walker here have so little control of their dog they'd barge right up to a puppy? Most dog people I meet are quite solicitous and will call out "does your dog like dogs?" before any approach, especially with a puppy.
Most people here are like that. I've only run into two who didn't and I had to save their dog from Miles.
 

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That's really interesting! Maybe it is a cultural difference. I must say, my 'default' mode would be to allow my dog to go and say hello unless I could tell it would be unwanted. I'm in the UK.
 

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Now I always assumed that Char NC was in the USA - US - NC - North Carolina?
I think that there may well be a cultural side to it - the other side of the pond it seems to me that either you are walking in the wilderness or at dog parks where there has to be or should be an observed dog etiquette because of the probability of higher concentrations of dog in a an area.
In the UK for the most part dogs are an accepted part of the hurly burly of day to day life - you see dogs with kids being walked to school, with OAPs mooching around estates - with country folk, jogging with fitness freaks, in cities etc. In some places I guess there is more worrisome aspects of status type guard dogs, but also in those areas you are probably at least as worried by what is on the other end of the lead.
My experience generally is that dog people are nice people -there are exceptions, but I'm generally ready to believe the best about people I see walking their dogs. If a dog is on lead - I will endeavor to keep mine under close control - as it is never good if an anxious/fearful/aggressive dog on lead is mobbed by over friendly sociable mad dogs - even if they do not have a bad bone in their body. Off lead dogs I allow mine to meet and greet - they generally sort out between themselves how to interact - some grumpy dogs might make their opinions known - in which case my three fall on their backs with legs in the air - at which point we all move on. I've owned dogs in this country for 27 odd years as an adult - none of my dogs have ever caused injury to another dog nor needed vet treatment for injuries sustained by another dog. Puff my JR got picked up and shaken by a staffy one time - fortunately around her rib cage, not throat - she was brusied and had a couple of shallow holes - but no long term damage. Kiki got grabbed by a grey hound but fortunately although she screamed blue murder the other dog only got hair. On both of those occasions the owners of the other dogs were not in sight :( and had no control :(
Sadly there will always be the occasional idiot.
 

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I am with Marzi my dogs prefer walks off lead and generally meet other dogs also off lead and in many years of dog ownership my dogs have neither injured another or been injured (although we have had the odd scrape with canine insults exchanged) I do generally avoid them approaching on lead dogs though and on lead greetings are brief as dogs are usually more tense on lead.

It does not sound like your son did anything wrong at all - but I would try and let your pup greet others as much as possible once you have established they are friendly
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Yes, I am from NC in the US. The only thing I have noticed here is we have a large concentration of Pit Bulls. At least that is what we run into most of the time out and about. I am in the country so we do not have any dog parks, etc. Its children's playgrounds, football practice fields, and wooded trails that we get to get him out for walks in.

Dogs here are either pets kept outside or used for hunting. You find people with them inside but I would say for every 1 that stays inside 4 stay outside.
 

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I was just in holiday at Topsail Island and was stunned by the number of pitbull like dogs down there. On the beach we met other breeds but they were all visitors like us. It is a totally different dog situation than most of us here are used to. Meeting really friendly nice dogs when he is small is key to a well socialized dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did some research yesterday and found a dog park that is about 45 minutes away that we were going to try to start visiting on the weekends. I have never been to a dog park before is there anything in particular I should be prepared for or any advice?

I am hoping that this will get the exposure he needs. Do you guys agree?

Thanks as always for the advice.
 

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Lexi and Beemers mum is the dog park pro here. We seldom go to them anymore but what I do know is that all dog parks are not created equal. In some people are very quick to intervene and stop thuggish behaviour in others there is a live and let live mentality. Hopefully the one you've found will have a designated area for small dogs, it makes a huge difference to a small easily overwhelmed puppy at first. Watch from outside for a bit if you can and steer clear if there are too many really boisterous big dogs playing. When only a few quieter looking dogs are there I'd carry him in and say hello to the other owners and explain you really want a positive introductory experience for him. With any luck you'll find another puppy or a dog who really loves puppies to introduce him to. Good luck and let us know how it goes.:)
 

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I've noticed a lot of pitbulls in the US, a lot of strange undefined multiple crossbreeds and a lot fewer 'designer' dogs. Over there, from what I've seen, a lot of people just assume that all designer dogs come from puppy mills and have been badly bred and badly treated. More people are willing to adopt from shelters, and while our shelters are filled with staffies, ones in the US are overflowing with pitbulls.
 
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