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Old 03-18-2017, 07:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Crouching Beagle (Hidden Dragon?)

Our beagle recently began crouching (flat on her belly) during our walks in the neighbourhood - whenever another dog approaches. It seems like a stalking-type posture to me. She typically will then begin barking at the other dog and, most often, will then lunge at the end of the lead. Today, she lunged, then jumped up on the other (smaller) dog, putting her arms around its neck.

I was appalled at her behaviour, so am struggling with how to manage this. I'm not even sure whether this is anxiety, actual aggression, or something else (doesn't seem like play language to me). I've tried keeping her favourite treats in my coat pocket, and give then to her whenever a dog is approaching (to make it a positive experience), verbal praise, etc. I have also just avoided an approaching dog (cross the road, etc.), but wonder if this isn't preventing her from the opportunity to learn HOW to properly greet another dog.

It is noteworthy that she was attacked by another larger dog during a visit to the dog park about 8 weeks ago. Although she wasn't physically injured, she was terrified by the experience (defecated all over me when I finally freed her from the other dog). The crouching behaviour started after this attack, although she has always strained at the lead when another dog or person approached. Prior to the attack, though, she never did the crouching behaviour.

Any help around training/interventions would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd bet that the dog park experience is the cause of this. Your girl was traumatized. Please don't go to the dog park any more. Most are not good for dogs. We are their pack. They don't need other dogs to be their friends.

Natty Boh was rolled by a large off leash dog. It really has changed his response to other dogs - especially other 'male' dogs. Here is my best advice....

Avoid ALL strange dogs. Your dog does not need to greet other dogs on walks. You never know how those dogs are going to respond. If they respond negatively to your dog, it will increase her anxiety and reaction to other dogs. If your dog responds negatively to another dog, she is the one causing problems. Allowing your dog to show poor manners toward another dog is grossly unfair to that dog and the owner. So - no greeting strange dogs.

Avoid other dogs, on walks. Go in the opposite direction. Cross the street. Keep walking. Don't put your girl in a position to be uncomfortable. What should you do? Reintroduce your girl to a dog she has met and liked in the past. The dog should be calm, neutral and have good doggie manners - a nice stable dog. Perhaps a friend, neighbor, or family member has such a dog. You and your friend could take the dogs for a walk together. Don't push your girl, but give her a chance to see that all dogs are not scary.

If/when your girl does express fear toward another dog, do not feed her fear and anxiety. If you baby her, you will reinforce her fears. Immediately, after my 2 dogs were rolled (same off-leash dog, same event) I hurried them along. Let's go. Walk, walk, walk. Fortunately, when we got back to our house, there were two large dogs coming up the street. They belonged to my neighbor and were known to my dogs. My dogs were able to have a nice meet and greet with their old friends. So - it immediately resolved some of those ill feelings. If you can do something like that for your girl, it should help.

Just be careful about the timing of the treats. If she is focused on you and ignoring other dogs, she deserves a treat. But do not give her any treats, if she is in a fearful state. You don't want to reward that mindset.
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Don't go to dog parks, so many bad things can happen there. A lot of owners don?t know how to manage their dogs there. Dog on dog bites are dangerous and can cause trauma and severe injury.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't go to dog parks, so many bad things can happen there. A lot of owners don?t know how to manage their dogs there. Dog on dog bites are dangerous and can cause trauma and severe injury.
I disagree with this. Without daily trips to the local 25 acre dog park there is no way Piper would get enough exercise. You do need to watch for problem dogs, but 99% of them are good play pals for any dog that understands how to behave.

Most of the issues I see at the park are with beta dogs that charge full grown adult males, rather than showing submissiveness before some mutual butt sniffing. Most Dogs instinctively know their place in the pecking order.

As for the crouching thing. Is it only a leashed behavior? My dog is the friendliest thing in the world at the park or outside our yard. When in the yard or truck she acts like she wants to kill any dog regardless of size. The leash behavior could be an extension of your dog protecting territory.

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Old 03-19-2017, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Our Lucky does exactly the same thing on walks -- crouch and get ready to attack. He is around other dogs all the time at doggy day care and he is fine. Only when he is on a leash does he get extremely aggressive. I have been told by a dog trainer that it is insecurity and fear that causes the behavior. We try to avoid other dogs on walks but it is not always possible. I have no idea how to fix the problem.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I disagree with this. Without daily trips to the local 25 acre dog park there is no way Piper would get enough exercise. You do need to watch for problem dogs, but 99% of them are good play pals for any dog that understands how to behave.

Most of the issues I see at the park are with beta dogs that charge full grown adult males, rather than showing submissiveness before some mutual butt sniffing. Most Dogs instinctively know their place in the pecking order.

As for the crouching thing. Is it only a leashed behavior? My dog is the friendliest thing in the world at the park or outside our yard. When in the yard or truck she acts like she wants to kill any dog regardless of size. The leash behavior could be an extension of your dog protecting territory.
Sorry, but I disagree about dog parks. Too many owners ignore their dogs, in dog parks, or 'think' they are just playing, and cannot read dog behavior at all. Some dogs are dog aggressive or bullies. I know of dogs who have suffered serious injuries and/or been killed in dog parks. At the very least, an attack can leave a dog mentally traumatized. He/she loses his self-confidence. He becomes dog aggressive himself. Being attacked can permanently change a dogs' personality and behavior.

Sure. I have heard of some smaller, well regulated, and decent dog parks. But it only takes one time for something to go tragically wrong. In my opinion, it is not worth the risk. Set up play dates with another dog you know well. My shepherd is a very high energy dog. The best ways to tire her out - flirt pole, big solid ball, fetch with two tennis balls, and obedience training.

Dog parks are definitely at your own risk.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Remember what happened to poor Buddy???

Dog Parks:Good or Bad?
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:49 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses so far. :-) I hadn't considered it being an issue with on vs. off-leash. I do have a couple of neighbours with dogs that I could speak with (one is even another beagle!). Shiloh just barks and runs back and forth at the fence with them at this point :-) We could supervise their play to see how they make out ...

Based on our (mine and Shiloh's) experiences (including the owner of his dog not paying attention at the dog park), and some opinions here, I think we're going to avoid the off-leash park. Still not sure about the greeting of other dogs on walks at this point - should likely wait and re-assess in a bit.

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Old 03-19-2017, 12:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses so far. :-) I hadn't considered it being an issue with on vs. off-leash. I do have a couple of neighbours with dogs that I could speak with (one is even another beagle!). Shiloh just barks and runs back and forth at the fence with them at this point :-) We could supervise their play to see how they make out ...

Based on our (mine and Shiloh's) experiences (including the owner of his dog not paying attention at the dog park), and some opinions here, I think we're going to avoid the off-leash park. Still not sure about the greeting of other dogs on walks at this point - should likely wait and re-assess in a bit.
That is definitely up to you, of course. I would not. The reason I say this, I have had several bad experiences with other dogs on walks. When Shelby was a puppy, a lady with a little dog, wanted it to greet Shelby. I had kept my distance, because I was unsure of the little dog, but no - the lady kept coming right at us. You think, "Oh, she knows her dog and it's friendly." Nope, the little sucker nipped Shelby in the face. A few other times, owners have proclaimed their dogs 'friendly', when they were not. Due to past experiences, I do not allow my dogs to meet strange dogs on walks. Now, neighbor dogs, who are known to my dogs? Sure, if we meet them on the street, or they are walking past my house, everybody gets to say, "hello." And just remember, now that your dog has proven himself to be reactive, you have to be very careful of his behavior toward other dogs.
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Old 03-19-2017, 01:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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A well publicized incident happened where I live. A dog attacked another dog and killed it and attacked and injured the owner trying to save her dog. I found that owners of "newly aquired" dogs brought their dogs to the park...they didn't know their dogs behavior yet. One such woman said to me, when her rescued dog went aggresively after Cassie, .."oh, he hasn't finished all his obedience training classes...Really? Cassie ran to a stranger for protection.
It's a risk I'm not willing to take anymore. And by the way my friend's dog was attacked as well at a dog park and I heard that the attacker's owner didn't even realize what was going on.
When a dog bites another dog, the fur curls under the skin and if not well treated could become very infected.
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