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Another Dog Problem - How to Deal?
Old 05-08-2010, 12:46 PM   #1
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Another Dog Problem - How to Deal?

The barking dog thread reminded me of something I've been meaning to ask.

We are in a 3-5 acre zoning subdivision, with a horse boarding establishment about 1,000 feet directly behind us. When it was owner-occupied, the owners had a series of nice dogs who policed their own property, and paid the occasional quick, friendly visit to ours for a pat on the head.

The owners sold to an absentee landlord who rents the farm to tenants who have a horrid, stinky, part-beagle mutt (bigger than a beagle, though). This creature doesn't tresspass regularly, but when it does it makes a huge racket and behaves in a cowardly/aggressive way, like it wants to attack but doesn't quite dare. It sneaks up behind me when I'm working in the garden, and startles me with a "BOOWW-OWWW-OWWW" so loud, it hurts my ears. It plants its feet, glares at me, growls, yells, and won't give ground. In fact, it keeps getting closer - that's why I know how bad it smells. Being nice to the thing doesn't help. Shouting "GO HOME" doesn't work. It goes away when it's good and ready, but only after my peace has been thoroughly disturbed.

Is there some secret of canine behavior that can make this dog go away on my, not its, schedule? Dealing with the owners is a separate issue, which I don't want to address in this thread.

Thanks,

Amethyst
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:58 PM   #2
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.......................
Is there some secret of canine behavior that can make this dog go away on my, not its, schedule? Dealing with the owners is a separate issue, which I don't want to address in this thread.

Thanks,

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Old 05-08-2010, 01:03 PM   #3
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Don't mail carriers and police officers sometimes use pepper spray to repel agressive dogs? bbbamI - you volunteer at the PD. How do the officers repel dogs?
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:18 PM   #4
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1. Try carrying a few dog treats; if that doesn't work...
2. Pepper spray. If that doesn't work...
3. Raid- it shoots a nice sticky stream about 25'... great for home defense, too
4. If that doesn't work....
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Old 05-08-2010, 01:33 PM   #5
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You might want to look at Patricia McConnells books on dog behavior. Really good stuff on how to read a dog and how to deal with dog problems.

1st is to determine how much of a threat the beast is. Hard stares is indicative of a real threat. If the dog is not really looking directly at you & looks away when you make eye contact, it is not so serious.

In dog lingo, a friendly approach is sideways. It is a threat to come up directly face to face. You could try to turn your body to the side to see if the dog calms down. If not, I would assume the dog presents some threat to you. It sounds like a fear challenge to me.

A hose turned on the dog is often a surprise & might get the dog to stop. I would be careful with pepper spray. You don't want to get the dog into an enragred painful frenzy that could result in an attack.

Or call animal control.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:16 PM   #6
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1. Try carrying a few dog treats; if that doesn't work...
2. Pepper spray. If that doesn't work...
3. Raid- it shoots a nice sticky stream about 25'... great for home defense, too
4. If that doesn't work....

The first thing to keep in mind in these situations is that there is generally no such thing as a bad dog, BUT there are lots of bad OWNERS. Second, to physically harm an animal (unless you are REALLY in danger) is certainly immoral and most likely illegal AND you immedialtely lose the high ground in any further conversations, whether with the owner or the authorities.

As to one, it will only encourage repeat visits. As to two and three if I witnessed someone doing that I would report them to the police.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:18 PM   #7
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Before you go spray the dog with anything and closing off any communications with the neighbor, you could talk to the neighbor in a friendly way about your experience - should get results...if the neighbor is reasonable. If not, tell them "I wanted to make sure to talk to you first, but if you won't do anything, I'll have to call the city because I can't go on with the way things are."...if still nothing gets resolved you are then free to call the city...because they'll probably ask you if you tried to resolve with the neighbor...
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:39 PM   #8
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The first thing to keep in mind in these situations is that there is generally no such thing as a bad dog, BUT there are lots of bad OWNERS. Second, to physically harm an animal (unless you are REALLY in danger) is certainly immoral and most likely illegal AND you immedialtely lose the high ground in any further conversations, whether with the owner or the authorities.

As to one, it will only encourage repeat visits. As to two and three if I witnessed someone doing that I would report them to the police.
To each his own. I've got some pretty nasty scars on my right forearm from "no such thing as a bad dog... but.. a bad owner" The owner didn't attack me without provocation and without warning, the dog did. Under the same circumstances, I wouldn't hesitate to employ #2 or #3 instead of trying to play "dog whisperer" while the unrestrained dog goes for my throat....which is why the scars are on my forearm; I managed to throw up my arm a split-second before the dog got there. As for the police, I am sure that they deal with enough dog bites to understand someone protecting themselves.
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Old 05-08-2010, 02:52 PM   #9
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Garden hose. Teach it that you = hard spray of water.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:04 PM   #10
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To each his own. I've got some pretty nasty scars on my right forearm from "no such thing as a bad dog... but.. a bad owner" The owner didn't attack me without provocation and without warning, the dog did. Under the same circumstances, I wouldn't hesitate to employ #2 or #3 instead of trying to play "dog whisperer" while the unrestrained dog goes for my throat.... As for the police, I am sure that they deal with enough dog bites to understand someone protecting themselves.

As I said, IF you are REALLY in danger that is a different set of facts. Beyond that you are guilty of cruelty to animals and the police will not take your actions lightly and nor would I as a pet owner.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:09 PM   #11
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Before you go spray the dog with anything and closing off any communications with the neighbor, you could talk to the neighbor in a friendly way about your experience - should get results...if the neighbor is reasonable. If not, tell them "I wanted to make sure to talk to you first, but if you won't do anything, I'll have to call the city because I can't go on with the way things are."...if still nothing gets resolved you are then free to call the city...because they'll probably ask you if you tried to resolve with the neighbor...
This is good advice, some of the nasty ideas above should not be a first response. I have owned dogs all my life, pepper spray or Raid are NOT necessary. Please don't resort to this. If someone sprayed Raid in my dogs face for the circumstances described, they'd probably get a face full themselves...

If you're not used to dogs, you may not realize that showing fear only makes it worse. You may not be comfortable with it, but when a dog barks or growls at me due to territory, I will calmly walk directly at the dog. Seems to work usually, I've never had it make things worse, and sometimes the dog stops and I end up petting him/her for a minute. However, you may not be comfortable, and I can tell the difference between territorial behavior (which this sounds like) and true aggression. You should probably disregard this paragraph.

If talking to the owner doesn't work, water in the face will stop any dog I've ever seen dead in it's tracks. If you don't want to keep a hose handy (I wouldn't), a water bottle (like for biking) that can spray out an easily directed stream will work great, just hit the dog right in the face. I learned this after being chased by strange dogs while riding my bike, worked every single time. You may have to do it several times, but the dog will catch on. Good luck...
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:14 PM   #12
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As I said, IF you are REALLY in danger that is a different set of facts. Beyond that you are guilty of cruelty to animals and the police will not take your actions lightly and nor would I as a pet owner.
Agree- I am a pet owner myself, love dogs. But I don't let mine roam unrestrained, nor will I own a liabilty. I've been on both sides of the fence on this, and I think some folks get so wound up in the "no bad dog" argument that they refuse to recognize that there are some dogs out there that should be put down rather than be allowed to terrorize society. Doesn't matter to me if it was the owners fault or not; the dog that attacked me came from a "no-kill" shelter, andf had been turned in for aggressive behavior. It should have been put down instead of being adopted out. Protecting oneself from a dog attack is not cruelty to animals.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:16 PM   #13
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.............As to two and three if I witnessed someone doing that I would report them to the police.
I've pepper sprayed loose aggressive dogs and then encouraged the owners to PLEASE call the police, as I need to file a complaint. The fact is that with a charging dog situation, you have literally several seconds to decide the dog's intentions. If you guess wrong, you or your dog can really get torn up. If you spray, the aggressive dog walks away, wipes it's eyes for a while and all is good. IMHO this is the more humane approach. I love dogs, but not enough to let them bite me.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #14
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This is good advice, some of the nasty ideas above should not be a first response. I have owned dogs all my life, pepper spray or Raid are NOT necessary. Please don't resort to this. If someone sprayed Raid in my dogs face, they'd probably get a face full themselves...

If talking to the owner doesn't work, water in the face will stop any dog I've ever seen dead in it's tracks. If you don't want to keep a hose handy (I wouldn't), a water bottle (like for biking) that can spray out an easily directed stream will work great, just hit the dog right in the face. I learned this after being chased by strange dogs while riding my bike, worked every single time. You may have to do it several times, but the dog will catch on. Good luck...
This does sound like a good solution IF the dog is not dangerous. I have used a gentle spray of water to break up disagreements between cats and it works well without being cruel or causing injury.

This being said, I wouldn't hesitate to use something stronger if the situation called for it. When I was a child, a neighbor dog killed my cat right before my eyes. He was a little butterscotch tabby I named Tommy. Tommy was very young and gentle and did nothing to provoke the attack except try to run away. The entire neighborhood was shocked because it didn't seem like a bad dog. Something just snapped in his brain. I would be inclined to try the water spray first but have the pepper spray for a back up just in case the dog turned vicious.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:28 PM   #15
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You might try making friends with really good dog treats, like raw hotdogs. Toss him a few and he may start to mellow out as he associates good things with you. I did that with a dog down the road from our farm that would chase me on my bike, barking wildly. Finally I brought really really good treats and started tossing them to him when I biked by. After a few times he was wagging his tail, waiting for me, rather than nipping at my ankles.

Got the idea from Patricia McConnell who was mentioned above. I called her radio show and she suggested this course of action.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:38 PM   #16
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Agree- I am a pet owner myself, love dogs. But I don't let mine roam unrestrained, nor will I own a liabilty. I've been on both sides of the fence on this, and I think some folks get so wound up in the "no bad dog" argument that they refuse to recognize that there are some dogs out there that should be put down rather than be allowed to terrorize society. Doesn't matter to me if it was the owners fault or not; the dog that attacked me came from a "no-kill" shelter, andf had been turned in for aggressive behavior. It should have been put down instead of being adopted out. Protecting oneself from a dog attack is not cruelty to animals.
I agree.

Still, I stand by my original post that "generally" there is no such thing as a bad dog. Clearly, there are dangerous dogs, but they are the exception not the rule. And I'd be willing to bet that in 99% of the cases where the dog is "bad", the dog's behavior can be directly linked back to a bad owner.

In most cases, where a dog wanders onto your property as outlined by the OP, it is a case of bad owner and not bad dog and hurting the dog with pepper spray or Raid is not fair to the dog. On the other hand, you have my endorsement to pepper spray the owner!
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:43 PM   #17
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You really need to learn what the dog is saying. There are bad dangerous dogs. Most of them were abused into that but like some people some are born with poor impulse control. Patricia
McConnell has a lot of free info on her web site ontheotherendoftheleash.com and is expert on how read a dog. Most of what people have learned is wrong and has aggravated a fearful dog resulting in bites.

The kitten running triggered the prey drive in the attacking dog.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:54 PM   #18
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Don't mail carriers and police officers sometimes use pepper spray to repel agressive dogs? bbbamI - you volunteer at the PD. How do the officers repel dogs?
Well I'm not at the pd anymore (retired the first of April ), but yes, that is what they use on aggressive dogs. Folks have to understand even if the dog is small and might not do much damage with its teeth, it could have rabies.

I'd try the water jet first...you need to stay away from the animal. If that didn't work, I'd call the animal shelter.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:17 PM   #19
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I have in the past jogging had run ins with aggressive dogs that were poorly trained by their owners and usually my best tactic is just find another route that doesn't go near that dog anymore. My sister was attacked by a neighbor dog and I've seen others attacked where there was no obvious provocation. I'm all for trying to mellow out a neighbor dog that you have regular contact with, but am reluctant to sign up for ME having to keep near a hose, carry a water bottle, carry dog treats, carry pepper spray and some of the other solutions presented. I'M just wanting to go about my business, not have to pack a case of dog items everytime I go out. Whether it's a good dog or a bad owner really makes no practical difference to me. If I'm attacked, it's still an attack.

My understanding of "dog language" is that a focused staring dog making unrelenting face to face eye contact and quiet or growling can be trouble indeed. It is not reasonable for you to have to wait for an actual attack on your own property before the owners take action to secure the dog. My suggestion is contact them first (immediately) and escalate to authorities if they are uncooperative.
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Old 05-08-2010, 04:18 PM   #20
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You really need to learn what the dog is saying. There are bad dangerous dogs. Most of them were abused into that but like some people some are born with poor impulse control. Patricia
McConnell has a lot of free info on her web site ontheotherendoftheleash.com and is expert on how read a dog. Most of what people have learned is wrong and has aggravated a fearful dog resulting in bites.

The kitten running triggered the prey drive in the attacking dog.
It is true that most dog problems are the result of an irresponsible owner but blaming the victim for "aggravating a fearful dog" or the kitten for running is a little silly.
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