The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

    Default Spinoff - best behavior around fear-aggressive dog?

    I have been in two situations with aggressive farm dogs, where I was not sure what the best strategy was for dealing with the dog. In one case, I was visiting a farm. The first three times I walked by the barn, the resident rottie came out, barked, and I acted gentle and talked soothingly to him, and he left me alone. The fourth time I walked by, later the same day, I was carrying some heavy poles, and he seemed very upset by this, came right up to me, growling with the barking. I stood still, but I was really pissed off having to deal with the dog (I was at the far side of the farm, and there were no people nearby), and I know the dog was sensing my "aggression". He stood six inches from me for a while, then finally left.

    I've had to deal with a somewhat similar situation with a dog on a friend's farm. It is not hers, but belongs to a tenant. I visit regularly, and for the first several months the dog would bark and follow my car, then wander back to his house. Lately, though, he has been running at me as I get out of the car, crouching and snarling. He is (unlike the above rottie) definitely fearful, not "up" in his aggression. I am starting to get annoyed and today I got big on him and chased him away. The situation with the dog is being worked on between the owner and tenant, and I'm not asking about that part.

    I'm just wondering if people with dog experience out there recommend trying to be soothing to this kind of dog, versus kicking him in the head next time he gets near me, which I am getting seriously inclined to do. I don't want to get bitten, and I love dogs (just not this one), but I am wondering if giving him a good knock will teach him to keep his face out of my space, or if I'll just open a bigger can of worms (with the dog - again, leaving the people aside for the hypothetical purposes of this question) if I do that.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 22, 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,987

    Default

    I truely fear based aggressive dog is not going to approach you, he's going to be cowering in the corner or even just holding his gound while croutching and growling. A fear based dog will often have larger eyes, and the tail down or tucked.

    A dog that approaches and growls with tail raised and head up, often eyes slightly narrowed is being downright territorial aggressive, usually they think they are protecting their farm and space.

    In any situation the worst thing you can do is square your shoulders(think puff up) and stare at them. This to dogs is a challenge, and to a dominant dog it is a sign for them that they need to up the ante so to speak, or progressively worsen their behavior to make you back down. To a fear dog it will also make them feel challenged, which they are trying to aviod, so to them it will reinforce that they have a reason to fear you.

    Any type of physical confrontation in these situations is likely to make things much worse, and likely cause the dog to bite you if it wasn't going to before. For a fear dog I would ignore them, and give them a large space bubble so to speak. Make a large circle to not invade their personal space, which will help them to realize that there is no reason to fear you. An agressive dog is best delt with by slowly backing away, still avoiding eyecontact completely, and without getting upset/angry.

    And as much as you would like us to leave the people out of it, I think they really need to be very actively involved, as neither dog should be allowed to have run of a farm with the behavior you described. It's a huge liability for them, as well as hazardous to not only visitors but the dogs themselves, as many places are really cracking down on 'dangerous dogs' or dogs that are known bitters. These dogs should only be allowed loose if there are no visitors on the property, and the owners are there to supervise their behavior.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    7,017

    Default

    There is no reason to ever put up with an aggressive dog snarling at you. The bloody thing needs to be locked up. "Oh, that's so mean!" I hear people whine....too bad. Dogs always place behind people when it comes to safety.

    Get a can of hornet/wasp killer (the foaming kind), tell the dog's owner the next time his dangerous and uncontrolled dog runs up to you growling you will spray him in the face.

    Fear aggressive dogs (more commonly called "Sharp/Shy") are dangerous dogs...They've got the doggie version of psycho...they're scared, they're scared, they're scared....they attack!...and you don't know when the attack will come. Cocker Spaniels are classic sharp/shy biters.

    It doesn't matter why a dog is growling at you from 6" away...they growl and are a threat...they need to lose big time. Don't physically deal with the dog...it can escalate his fear into action...with bad results for you.

    Get that spray and warn the idiot owner and idiot barn owner.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    Hm.

    Most times I am confronted with a dog that has no supervision, it is on a road or somewhere and the dog has a fixed territory, and will rarely leave the perimeter of the property. (I am way out in the country, so this scenario can happen while walking on a dirt road, or past a farm, etc.)

    But on (fairly rare) occasions when I am *on* the dog's territory, and for one reason or another there are no people around - I am curious about strategies for dealing with the dog itself, at that moment.

    The part about dealing with the people I know about (and there is much about it in the other "dog bit someone" thread). But since it can sometimes happen that it's just you and a dog, alone together, the best strategy might be to be calm and non-threatening, but also carry mace, just in case?

    Further opinions?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2004
    Posts
    7,017

    Default

    If it's between your safety, your horse's safety and the dog's safety...the dog loses.

    A nice can of foaming wasp/hornet killed works from 20' away (dogs are fast and can cover a lot of area in a second or two...you don't want them close). The foam will physically blind the dog temporarily giving you time to leave.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
    Posts
    1,569

    Default

    I'll be honest - I'm not a fan of loose dogs. Like most people, I grew up with a dog who lived to a ripe old age going where ever he pleased. Now, though, I don't do that because personally, I think that unsupervised interaction allows them to practice bad behaviors. Frankly, I'd tell the owners that I didn't really feel comfortable with the loose dogs (and I'd call them from my car if necessary). That way, the owner can restrain the dog. No one is doing the dog any favors by allowing this.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,305

    Default

    My dog is very territorial, and barks and growls at anyone who comes on to the property. I like this in him (when I'm alone at the barn at night I'm happy he'll let me know if anything is up). As a side note, because he is this way, I NEVER leave him unattended. If he's loose I am there (and the barns are completely fenced off from the road).

    The absolute worst thing you could do to my dog is act aggressive. He already perceives you as a threat, and if you try and kick him, shoo him, shout at him, he will think you have just confirmed his opinion, and he'll (as the previous poster said) up the ante.

    When people come to our property I hold his collar for a moment so he can see I think they are OK, and I tell the people to IGNORE him. Most people, understandably, want to stare at him, which of course a dog interprets as being aggressive.

    Is this a public barn? I actually don't think the dogs are doing anything wrong, they are protecting their territory. Of course, even though you don't want to talk about it, the PEOPLE are the ones that need to manage this situation.

    Coming back to your question: I would stay still and ignore the dogs until they left you alone. I'm not sure I would talk soothingly etc, but I most certainly would not kick one or act aggressively in any way. If you do I'm afraid you'll get bitten.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    The wasp spray is something I never thought of. A good thing to keep handy in the car! Probably does a good job on hostile people, too, eh?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2004
    Posts
    1,829

    Default

    http://www.topdogtrainingsolutions.c...tion-tips.html

    I don't know about the wasp spray/mace/pepper spray or anything like that. With my luck, a burst of wind would blow it back in my face, disabling me. I've heard it can make dogs more aggressive or provoke and attack, but like I said I have no idea.

    I used to do home visits frequently as a child welfare worker and encountered many dogs, friendly and not. Being able to remain calm (not just a poker face since dogs know if you're afriad...truly have to remain calm) is a big help. I can't run worth crap. No point in even trying. A 3-legged amputee dog would have no trouble catching me on my fastest day. If they belonged to a person, usually I found they responded to a sharply said "sit." Now there's a very good chance the dog has no training, but if they have any at all odds are they might know sit. I also kept pig's ears in my bag. I found that treats got snapped up and didn't provide enough diversion. A pig's ear takes time to eat and they'd trot off with their prize. I'd also keep my bag in between me and the dog just in case it did escalate.

    Now, if you ever encounter a pair of dogs or a pack, well that changes everything. They are tons more aggressive in their little hunting groups and at that point I'd try to make a slow steady retreat but be prepared for failure.

    As for your situation, I don't think it's a bad idea to let the dog know that you are not going to be subservient (maybe not by kicking it, but by being firm in the least confrontational way possible, and then rewarding the dog when he backs down) since it sounds like you have to deal with the dog on a repeated basis.

    But if it's a JRT, go ahead and boot it. They're football shaped for a reason.
    (I know I'll get flamed seriously for that, and relax people, I'm kidding...sort of....but I have known many JRTs that were seriously asking to be kicked and I bet others have too).



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
    Posts
    2,260

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Trakehner View Post
    There is no reason to ever put up with an aggressive dog snarling at you. The bloody thing needs to be locked up. "Oh, that's so mean!" I hear people whine....too bad. Dogs always place behind people when it comes to safety.

    Get a can of hornet/wasp killer (the foaming kind), tell the dog's owner the next time his dangerous and uncontrolled dog runs up to you growling you will spray him in the face.

    Fear aggressive dogs (more commonly called "Sharp/Shy") are dangerous dogs...They've got the doggie version of psycho...they're scared, they're scared, they're scared....they attack!...and you don't know when the attack will come. Cocker Spaniels are classic sharp/shy biters.

    It doesn't matter why a dog is growling at you from 6" away...they growl and are a threat...they need to lose big time. Don't physically deal with the dog...it can escalate his fear into action...with bad results for you.

    Get that spray and warn the idiot owner and idiot barn owner.
    Thumbs up to you!!!! Great post!!!!!!!
    Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
    Gifts Black Gold Knight



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by meaty ogre View Post
    http://www.topdogtrainingsolutions.c...tion-tips.html

    I don't know about the wasp spray/mace/pepper spray or anything like that. With my luck, a burst of wind would blow it back in my face, disabling me. I've heard it can make dogs more aggressive or provoke and attack, but like I said I have no idea.

    I used to do home visits frequently as a child welfare worker and encountered many dogs, friendly and not. Being able to remain calm (not just a poker face since dogs know if you're afriad...truly have to remain calm) is a big help. I can't run worth crap. No point in even trying. A 3-legged amputee dog would have no trouble catching me on my fastest day. If they belonged to a person, usually I found they responded to a sharply said "sit." Now there's a very good chance the dog has no training, but if they have any at all odds are they might know sit. I also kept pig's ears in my bag. I found that treats got snapped up and didn't provide enough diversion. A pig's ear takes time to eat and they'd trot off with their prize. I'd also keep my bag in between me and the dog just in case it did escalate.

    Now, if you ever encounter a pair of dogs or a pack, well that changes everything. They are tons more aggressive in their little hunting groups and at that point I'd try to make a slow steady retreat but be prepared for failure.

    As for your situation, I don't think it's a bad idea to let the dog know that you are not going to be subservient (maybe not by kicking it, but by being firm in the least confrontational way possible, and then rewarding the dog when he backs down) since it sounds like you have to deal with the dog on a repeated basis.

    But if it's a JRT, go ahead and boot it. They're football shaped for a reason.
    (I know I'll get flamed seriously for that, and relax people, I'm kidding...sort of....but I have known many JRTs that were seriously asking to be kicked and I bet others have too).
    That's brilliant. I was just thinking about the idea of treats. And like I said, it's really less about this current dog (which is going to be dealt with, because I am not the only one who has complained about it) but about meeting dogs like this in general. I'm not actually afraid of dogs, and I have used the "sit" or "go home" tactic on dogs that are bothering me on the road or other areas that are not so clearly their own territory (or are at the edge of it). In the case of the two examples I gave, I really ended up pissed off, which is probably just as unproductive when dealing with dogs as with horses!

    A friend told me about dealing with packs of dogs when he was traveling abroad in college. Twice in rural parts of foreign countries he was chased or cornered by packs, and in both cases managed to injure the lead dog, which made the pack scatter. In Latin America most rural dogs (except the protection dogs in rich people's yards) will run away if you pretend to reach down and pick up a stone. In the US they don't seem to have that reflex!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    1,316

    Default

    If you came on my property when I wasn't there and sprayed my dog in the face with wasp killer I'd have you charged with animal cruelty. Jesus H Christ people- why on earth would you do that? If you know you're going to be working on someone's property tell them to lock their dogs up or you're not coming over. No sane person will have a problem with that.

    If you run into a loose aggressive dog out somewhere on public property that's different and bear spray does a mighty fine job of handling that situation I must say. I carry it riding my bike and have used it twice. Bear spray, not wasp spray- it won't blind the animal but will disable it. Buy some at REI, it comes with a handy belt holster. If the dog comes on your property feel free to shoot it. But to go to someone's house, planning to spray a caustic substance in an animals eyes?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    Guess what, silver? You have no legal right to have an aggressive dog running loose on your property threatening people! Animal cruelty charge my ***. The cops will charge YOU!

    The dog is allowed to bark from a distance. If he gets up in someone's face and bites them, guess what! You're going to be the one who gets charged, NOT the person on your property doing his job!

    People, get real, and please do it quick before you wind up in court. You have no right to have a dog that bites and threatens people, on a farm, in the city, anywhere. Tie your dogs up, train your dogs or get them put to sleep. That you have a farm does not change things one jot from you walking down the street in a city with a dog lunging at someone else.

    To the OP. Carry pepper spray. Set up your area. It can be about five feet - as far as the pepper spray shoots well. The dog can bark, growl, posture all he wants. If he comes within that range, shoot him with the pepper spray. Do it every time.

    If you boot a dog or kick it you run the risk of getting bitten or injuring the dog, if you act aggressive to the dog you run even MORE risk of getting bit, and it's not the dog's fault, it's the irresponsible, lazy, blame-everyone-else arrogant owner's fault who doesn't train, supervise or pay attention to their dog. Have they even heard of a leash, or putting the dog in the house? I guess not! Come on, this is a simple problem to solve! Tie the dog up, people!

    And please ignore that idiotic advice from Cesar Milan about 'showing positive energy'. It'll get ya bit.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,305

    Default

    Even though I completely disagree with some of the posts, upon rereading there is actually consensus here: the people need to put the dogs in the house or tie them up! The End.

    slc -- every situation is different. However, at my farm, my dog is absolutely allowed to bark at someone who's on the other side of the driveway gate. If that person was stupid enough to open the gate and come on in anyway they would be *trespassing*(and as I said above, I am always around if the dog is loose, once the dog starts barking I go investigate, and usually am shouting "I'll be right there!").



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    1,316

    Default

    Absolute bullshit slc2. If someone trespasses on my property or breaks into my house and the dog bites them I am NOT going to be charged with anything. If someone trespasses and maims or kills the animals I own in the act of committing another crime they WILL be charged.

    I might be sued but given all the break ins around here that's a risk I'm willing to take to have the reputation of the "place with that dog". I prefer not to be robbed and the dog is supposed to bark and look scary when people show up unannounced. That's why I have the damn dog.

    Little do they know she won't bite, she does a damn good job of growling and frothing at the mouth.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
    Posts
    1,569

    Default

    I'd be hesitant to spray a dog with anything unless I had no other choice (and I do carry pepper spray when I walk my own dogs just in case I encountered either an aggressive person or an aggressive loose dog). However, if I went somewhere to work or as a guest, and there was a dog acting aggressively there, I just wouldn't get out of my car until the dog had been contained. That's just me, but I think it protects me from getting bit much better than risking spraying the dog and having the spray come back on me, or perhaps making the dog even more aggressive if the wind is blowing and just a little bit of the spray hits him.
    As for containment, there are lots of options. The owners can bring the dog out on a leash so that they have more control or put the dog in the house. Personally I wouldn't be without a dog run. I would never leave a dog in a run all of the time, obviously, but they work great for containing a dog when you can't supervise in specific situations, and are much less apt to cause *more* aggression than tying the dog. I don't think there is anything wrong with having a dog who barks at strangers around your house, but it sounds like the OP is being asked to come on the property - in which case the dog's owner should make sure the dog is under control.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000
    Posts
    24,408

    Default

    BS yourself, silver, your rights are not what you think they are - people have in fact sued when they were injured during the commission of a crime - from a legal website re your dog bites someone on your property:

    if the owner has homeowner's or renter's insurance, it usually covers damage from dog bites. A standard homeowner's policy covers any legal liability the owner incurs as a result of negligence. Usually, a homeowner's policy provides $100,000 to $300,000 worth of liability coverage; the larger amount is becoming common.

    That's the good news. The bad news is that insurance companies typically have their own "one-bite rule." That is, a company will pay for the first occurrence, but will then either cancel the insurance or add a "canine exclusion." The next time the dog bites, the owner must pick up the tab. It follows that if an insurance company knows a homeowner has a dangerous dog - something that may be rudely discovered during a routine pre-insurance inspection of the home - it may refuse to issue a policy in the first place.

    Some companies refuse to cover certain breeds - pit bulls, Dobermans, rottweilers, chows - that show up on lists of breeds responsible for a disproportionate number of injuries.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,590

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twofatponies View Post
    I have been in two situations with aggressive farm dogs, where I was not sure what the best strategy was for dealing with the dog. In one case, I was visiting a farm. The first three times I walked by the barn, the resident rottie came out, barked, and I acted gentle and talked soothingly to him, and he left me alone. The fourth time I walked by, later the same day, I was carrying some heavy poles, and he seemed very upset by this, came right up to me, growling with the barking. I stood still, but I was really pissed off having to deal with the dog (I was at the far side of the farm, and there were no people nearby), and I know the dog was sensing my "aggression". He stood six inches from me for a while, then finally left.

    I've had to deal with a somewhat similar situation with a dog on a friend's farm. It is not hers, but belongs to a tenant. I visit regularly, and for the first several months the dog would bark and follow my car, then wander back to his house. Lately, though, he has been running at me as I get out of the car, crouching and snarling. He is (unlike the above rottie) definitely fearful, not "up" in his aggression. I am starting to get annoyed and today I got big on him and chased him away. The situation with the dog is being worked on between the owner and tenant, and I'm not asking about that part.

    I'm just wondering if people with dog experience out there recommend trying to be soothing to this kind of dog, versus kicking him in the head next time he gets near me, which I am getting seriously inclined to do. I don't want to get bitten, and I love dogs (just not this one), but I am wondering if giving him a good knock will teach him to keep his face out of my space, or if I'll just open a bigger can of worms (with the dog - again, leaving the people aside for the hypothetical purposes of this question) if I do that.
    Can you carry an umbrella with you? Most dogs are startled or frightened if an umbrella pops open in front of them.

    However, I'd be more proactive and refuse to come onto property where dogs are loose and approaching the way these two are.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2008
    Posts
    4,266

    Default

    An umbrella - always useful for rain. Never thought about it for dogs. I think I'm going to go for keeping a stock of mace and pig's ears in the car, for these odd occasions!

    And yes, of course, the human side of things can usually be dealt with, but it's always nice to have a plan B...



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,590

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by silver2 View Post
    Absolute bullshit slc2. If someone trespasses on my property or breaks into my house and the dog bites them I am NOT going to be charged with anything. If someone trespasses and maims or kills the animals I own in the act of committing another crime they WILL be charged.

    I might be sued but given all the break ins around here that's a risk I'm willing to take to have the reputation of the "place with that dog". I prefer not to be robbed and the dog is supposed to bark and look scary when people show up unannounced. That's why I have the damn dog.

    Little do they know she won't bite, she does a damn good job of growling and frothing at the mouth.
    Good luck with that attitude.

    in PA, state law requires that dogs be under reasonable control at all times. Had a guy I worked with find out the hard way. He had an aggressive GSD, he was talking to the neighbor, neighbor was on outside of fence but leaning on it, elbow on the other side. Dog jumped up and grabbed his elbow. A hearing, medical bills and a hefty fine later, dog owner found out that it doesn't matter if the guy was "in his yard".

    Laws may vary from state to state.

    And here is another tidbit from Dept of Ag in PA: Section 502-A.

    Court proceedings, certificate of registration and disposition.
    (a) Summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog.--Any person who has been attacked by one or more dogs, or anyone on behalf of the person, a person whose domestic animal, dog or cat has been killed or injured without provocation, the State dog warden or the local police officer may file a complaint before a magisterial district judge, charging the owner or keeper of the a dog with harboring a dangerous dog. The owner or keeper of the dog shall be guilty of the summary offense of harboring a dangerous dog if the magisterial district judge finds beyond a reasonable doubt that the following elements of the offense have been proven:
    (1) The dog has done any of the following:
    (i) Inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property.
    (ii) Killed or inflicted severe injury on a domestic animal, dog or cat without provocation while off the owner's property.
    (iii) Attacked a human being without provocation.
    (iv) Been used in the commission of a crime.
    (2) The dog has either or both of the following:
    (i) A history of attacking human beings and/or domestic animals, dogs or cats without provocation.
    (ii) A propensity to attack human beings and/or domestic animals, dogs or cats without provocation. A propensity to attack may be proven by a single incident of the conduct described in paragraph (1)(i), (ii), (iii) or (iv).
    (3) The defendant is the owner or keeper of the dog.
    (a.1) Effect of conviction.--A finding by a magisterial district judge that a

    a couple of points....what is severe injury? That is probably left up to the judge and most judges aren't dog handlers. So even one bite with puncture wounds might seem severe to the DJ.

    but whatever. Know that if your dog does bite someone, you are probably looking at a new home owners insurance policy....if you can find one.



Similar Threads

  1. Spinoff: How would you handle this/Gift of Fear
    By threedogpack in forum Around The Farm
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Oct. 27, 2012, 10:47 PM
  2. aggressive foal behavior - suggestions?
    By karynk in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: Aug. 1, 2012, 11:51 PM
  3. Replies: 20
    Last Post: Mar. 12, 2010, 04:54 PM
  4. Stopping aggressive stall behavior
    By mybeau1999 in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 72
    Last Post: Sep. 8, 2009, 10:48 PM
  5. Spinoff: What's YOUR irrational fear?
    By Equitate. in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 105
    Last Post: Mar. 26, 2009, 12:26 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
randomness