What do you do if an off-leash dog approaches you while you are walking a dog?
Aggressive dogs with other dogs during the walk: causes and solutions
It is time for the walk with Toby and its owners, far from enjoying a moment of relaxation, they get tense every time they cross with another dog. The strap pulls, teeth displays, barking, and defiant attitude are the behavior patterns of a challenger dog with his peers. Following are guidelines to ensure that the walk with the dog does not become a pitched battle, such as use harness instead of the leash, allow the dog to observe other dogs in the distance, avoid overprotection and intervention with regarding their behavior during the walk and have confidence in their ability to follow proper functioning.
Tense owners during the walk, dogs fighting with other dogs
A nervous, stressed or scared dog is the ideal candidate to cause street stubbornness with other dogs
“Most of the time, it is the owners themselves who unconsciously cause the dog to be disturbed when it encounters other dogs during the walk,” explains Helena Bat, ethologist. The fact that the dog notices that at the other end of the leash, its owner is insecure and nervous when another dog approach cause it to surface its territorial face with other congeners and challenge them with a sample of teeth, grunts, or barking.
Fear and stress are other causes for which a dog can be aggressive with other dogs during the walk. A nervous, stressed and tense dog is more likely to get out of control when an unexpected situation occurs during the encounter with another dog, such as running in front of him. An unpleasant or traumatic experience with other dogs during the walk, such as an assault, can also cause the dog to develop aggressive tendencies with their peers.
But all is not lost, specific guidelines help the walk does not become a pitched battle with the challenging dog with other dogs. The following are a sample:
1. Use a harness instead of a neck strap
When the dog is held by the neck at the time of the walk, and the owner pulls on the leash, more tension originates, and “the dog feels more threatened, in addition to being hurt,” says Bat. However, the harness is more comfortable and allows the owner to handle the dog with more precision and smoothness.
Image: Jim Kelly
2. Let the dog contemplate other dogs in the park
The observation of other dogs in the park, without approaching them, is a way that the dog who is the challenger with other congeners during the walk acclimatizes to their presence, as well as their body gestures and their way of interacting.
In this way, the reeducation of the dog is softened with this relationship problem, and the tension that can be involved in a dog meeting in the street is minimized. This practice of contemplating other dogs at a distance is not the substitute for the melee relationship with other dogs. Still, it can be alternated with the usual walk several days a week.
Some dogs are not well socialized since puppies and, as a consequence, ignore the communicative patterns of their peers. These dogs don’t know how to interact with others appropriately because they don’t remember the canine language. The fact that they witness how other dogs relate helps them to learn.
3. Do not intervene regarding the behavior of the dog
Cases of dogs with inappropriate conduct about other dogs are common, says Miguel Velasco, canine educator. “Especially those that are small in size, because the owners intervene too much to protect them and are too aware of them,” adds the dog educator.
“Since the dog’s behavior is not always rewarded or reprimanded correctly, it is advisable not to intervene in this regard during the walk,” Bat warns.
If the dog has attacked another dog during the walk and we reprimand him and quarrel, we will create more insecurity, tension, and fear, so it is advisable not to fall for this behavior.
4. Avoid overprotection with dogs
The owners of small dogs tend to protect them more from the account when an encounter with a more giant dog occurs during the walk. However, when the catcher who has the attention and unconditional favor of their owners, whatever happens, tends to be encouraged and draw attention at the cost of facing all the dog that crosses their path.
For this reason, it is advisable to be as impassive and carefree as possible about the dog. In reality, it is attentive to the reaction of the dog during the encounter with other congeners while walking.
5. Transmit confidence to the dog during the walk
Sometimes, after a dog that is too territorial and reactive with other dogs during the trail, there is little confidence on the part of their owners regarding their ability to interact with other dogs.
The dog detects that insecurity and fear of his human family and interprets the message as an alarm signal, which results in the confrontation with the other dog.
The barking of a dog that meets another does not have to imply a possible rifirrafe between them. Occasionally, a dog issues a warning to another that is approached inappropriately because it invades its space without permission.
It may be the case of a teenage dog or a puppy that behaves in an uncontrolled manner and does not respect the protocol of the rules of relationship between dogs, such as emitting calm signals: lick their nose or look the other way.
Prevent problems derived from fighting between dogs during the walk
Avoiding major evils with the dog with other dogs in the street is the responsibility of the owners. A rifirrafe between dogs during the trail can get out of hand and end up injured. The culprit must compensate for damages, so it is advisable – and in cases such as dogs of potentially dangerous breeds, mandatory – have insurance that covers these risks.
Other safety measures when walking with the dog are the restraint on the public road with a leash and the use of the muzzle, if the owner considers that there may be a risk of aggression to other dogs.