HI MY NAME IS EWE- AND I HAVE SQUIRREL BRAIN.
This is an excellent article written by Kristina Ava von Born. She is talking about people walking their dogs on or off leash that feel that their dogs need to greet every other dog out there and that as their dogs are friendly with others that every dog is like that. Not every dog that is being walked is going to greet your dog with happiness. Please be aware that some dogs have issues with other dogs greeting them. They deserve a walk as much as your dog does. For me this is personal. I have a bitch that walks fine on a leash, is a happy girl, greets people like they are part of her long lost family. She however does not like any dog to approach her face, in fact she will attack them as soon as they get in her bubble. I show her and as my show friends know this about her they keep their dogs from approaching her face on. No problems. We do however no longer go on a walk in the neighborhood, too many people do not listen when I tell them to keep their dog from greeting mine. They say things like oh my dog is really friendly and would like to play with yours, then they release the leash, not giving me the chance to even say no. Please read her article it is very well written and worth the read.
There are a lot of things that Ewe doesn’t do well with.
Dogs on leashes.
Dogs whom assault his personal space.
Loud random noises coming from weird people who think it’s funny to bark, screech, or randomly yell at him.
Out of control small children.
He’s got banana brain syndrome. Or squirrel brain syndrome. Or whatever seems to fit in that moment. He’s a reactive Aussie-tard.
He’s friendly. But he’s reactive.
And that also means that he’s extra sensitive.
That dog at the dog park that you just know shouldn’t be there because it’s over anxious, overly assertive, a bully, or just an ass? My dog picks up on that before the dog is even in the gate. He’s already feeding off of that dogs banana brain syndrome and making his worse.
That person whom is dealthy afraid of dogs? My dog feels that before they even walk in the door or his line of sight and is going to be even more squirrely than he usually is.
Ewe isn’t a bad dog. There are just things he can’t handle as well as the other dogs.
But regardless, I treat Ewe like he is a dangerous dog.
He is my responsibility. I am his owner and as such I am his protector.
I am hyper alert about others and their dogs while we are out on walks. I make sure I have ample time to create an escape route for us in my head as I also simultaneously create a plan to make this “interaction” as much of a learning and training opportunity as possible. While also making sure he is safe from the ever-obnoxious yet ever persistent “my dog is friendly” owner. Or “my child loves dogs” parent. Or anyone whom I can’t control personally.
I understand you mean well. But Ewe means more to me than your insistence of a physical interaction with my dog. I don’t care if I come off as rude.
He has grown leaps and bounds from where he was a few years ago. He is no longer in the same spectrum he was in the beginning. But he’s still learning. He’s still being managed. And he still has the capability to do something “stupid” and be condemned for it. So- we take precautions. Always.
Unfortunately there are some who don’t feel the same about their dogs. They allow potentially dangerous interactions to take place in effort to “socialize” the dog. They let others (whether strangers or well-meaning friends) pressure them and their dog into doing things they shouldn’t. Or putting their dog in situations they can’t or shouldn’t even be expected to handle.
Your dog bites a kid. Or another dog. Or a adult. Woah! OK. Time-out. You obviously missed some major signs going on that the dog was either not stable or not comfortable. Or perhaps hasn’t been comfortable for some time and you ignored it (punishing growling, ignoring body language, physically forcing the dog.) But now you have another chance. You know there is something no so cool going on with the dog. That has been made BLATANTLY obvious. It’s time to go in to management mode. Muzzles, leashes, limited interaction with whatever the trigger or recipient of the bite was.
To ignore the initial signs is something that is unfortunately way too common these days- but to continue to put the dog in poor situations after your huge red flag warning- that’s sad and irresponsible. And it’s going to be very sad and very tragic for you in the end but especially for your dog who more times than not loses his life over it. Granted there ARE those dogs whom are just extremely unpredictable and whom ARE a liability. I do not doubt those dogs exist. I have seen those dogs. And I have seen those whom relentlessly and a bit naively feel the dog is “fixable” and continue to pour time, money, and resources into a dog whom continues to bite and lash out. (But hey- that’s another story.)
Does that sound callous? Probably.
There have been too many instances lately where a dog is wrongly euthanized because of a problem caused and exacerbated by it’s owners. And that hurts and sucks and seriously ticks me off because YOU if not anyone else but YOU were supposed to be there for that dog. That is part of being a dog owner. And you weren’t.
Kristina Ava von Born