Monday, January 6, 2014

My Name is Oz and I am...

Leash Reactive.

"Wait-Look" on a recent walk
Please know, I was never this way when I was young.  It has only been the last couple of years that I have taken issue with other dogs while I am on leash.  (And it's not all dogs because I met my good friend Bentley while on leash and we hit it off just fine!)

It started when one neighbor's dog got out of the house, ran across the street and came to greet me.  I knew this dog from the neighborhood so I started the usual greeting.  Then, that dog snapped at me and tried to bite my hind leg (he didn't get me through my two coats of fur, thankfully).  The owner was oblivious that her dog was even out, so there was no one to call that dog home.

Though all seemed fine, immediately after that another neighbor's dog, who was off-leash (in our neighborhood, where all dogs are required to be on leash, by the way), came racing across the street and on to my property just as I was about to set off on a walk.  It was a Boxer and though he seemed sweet (and of course, the owner yelled across the street "he's friendly" but never once issued a recall for his dog), I got scared and started barking my fool head off. 

My crazy barking scared the Boxer away which made the neighbor mad.  He started yelling at Ma to "control your dog" (and other profanities) which Ma countered with "maybe you should control yours since it is off leash and on MY property".  In this madness, my leash reactivity was born.

Now, let me be clear:  I am not a leash reactive biter; I am a leash reactive barker.  A crazy, whirling dervish of a barker.  It is embarrassing.

"Down-Stay" by the lake
It is also embarrassing to admit that I am leash reactive.  Then why admit it, you ask?  Because the first step to correcting anything is to admit that something is wrong. 

So, Ma and I are working on my reactivity this year.  We just read a great post by our friends at BoingyDog - The Prerequisite to Training Any Dog - which inspired Ma to take a long look at how she has been "reactive" as well.  We have started training/re-training ourselves already and are trying to get back to the Ma and Oz before all this hub-bub made me into a barking, whirling dervish. 


Now that we revealed the skeleton in our closet, we sure hope you won't think any less of us.  And if you have any sage advice or suggestions for our training, we would love to hear them.

Nonreactive for 3 days,




98 comments:

  1. Oh Oz I bark like mad when I am on the way to the park and I pull on my leash real hard. Peeps says I am naughty so you are in good company. Hope the training goes well. Have a marvellous Monday.
    Best wishes Molly

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it's nice to know that I am not the only one Molly.

      Delete
  2. Oz, I think you have the perfect reason why you have became leash reactive. Experiences like that would even make me scared. I would suggest your ma to carry a air horn or something so when a dog comes running toward you to scare the dog away. It would not only be for your own safety but your ma's. I have a friend who lost her service dog due to a "He's friendly!" dog. No the dog was not friendly and it killed my friends SD and injured her while she was trying to save it.
    I think the barking is you being courteous to tell other dogs that you will chew their heads off if they mess with your ma but the fact that most humans look at that as bad behavior is a touchy situation. I hope that you can get over this.
    Have a great week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh My Dog, Carma...your friend's Service Dog was killed by another dog?!? That is horrific. I am so sorry for your friend and her dog. My barking tells them to stay away but my spinning like a lunatic really sets me apart!

      Delete
    2. More than one service dog has been brutally attacked by off leash pets. Several have been killed, others had to retire due to PTSD. Since the training is so expensive, many states have larger fines when a service dog is attacked versus another pet. Most civilized areas have leash laws, I don't know why humans refuse to obey them. The leash laws are for everyone's safety, including the dog's.

      I am fear reactive to about 70% of other dogs, so Mom normally tells other owners that I am not friendly. The 30% of owners (whose dogs I like) probably think she is weird when I try to kiss their dog - after she warns them. BOL! For me it is usually a problem if the other dog is hyper or dominant - I view it as a threat and bark, hoping to scare them away before they bite me.

      Hugs,
      Pepper

      Delete
    3. Honestly, Pepper...if people would obey the leash laws a LOT of issues would be NON-issues, you know?! I know we are both a "bit" reactive (BOL) but surprisingly we were able to tolerate each other's "company" (from a distance) at Barkworld. I think it is because you are a Service Dog and have a lot more training.

      Delete
  3. My sissy Cinderella is the same way. Momma worked and worked with her, and now she's to the point where she can see other dogs on leash and NOT go crazy. She'll still bark if they're around too long, but she's gotten so much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Casey, what did your momma do to help your sissy? We would love to hear!

      Delete
  4. WE do NOT think less of you... it was totally NOT your fault that this Issue came to be... it was the Squirrely Dawg that caused it... NO WORRIES as they say Down Under.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks pals, that means a lot. It just so embarrassing but I am set on working it all out this year!

      Delete
  5. Oz, the same thing happened to me too. I was on the leash as the crazy old Malinois-girl came. I wagged with my tail to say hello and she? She came and bit me in my cheek without a warning. The worst was that she bit my dad in his hand as he tried to came between us. I hope you and your Ma can manage the problem, I'm sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear dawg, Easy. It sounds like she got you and your dad good. I'm sure glad you both weren't injured worse. I hope we can manage it and get back to walking as we used to.

      Delete
  6. Lots and lots of dogs have this problem. My Jimmy is 50/50 so I never know when he is going to react badly. So I always have to assume he will, and keep him away from other dogs when he is on the leash. It doesn't help when other dog walkers ignore your warning that your dog isn't friendly and still get up all in your space.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it is rare in my neighborhood that anyone walking their dog gets up in my space any more. They think I am a nut-job and try to steer clear of me, which is sad because I can be such a sweet guy. At least I am consistent though, unlike Jimmy...that would be even harder, not knowing what was going to happen.

      Delete
  7. Thanks for sharing your experience. I find it interesting how so many things can lead to our dogs being leash reactive. Rodrigo is leash reactive towards cyclists and it drives me nuts and means that I'm unable to walk him on trails popular for cyclists. I've tried to get him more exposure, but it doesn't seem to help. I know with patience, he'll improve, but the cyclists aren't very patient and I don't blame them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading about my experience, Miss Kimberly. It seems there are many ways to become reactive and many things to react too. Such a shame Rodrigo is reactive to cyclists - that could be really dangerous if he ever got away from you and tried to chase one. I know Ma used to try and avoid situations where I would become reactive but many trainers say that is the wrong approach. Cyclists may be impatient but so are uninformed dog owners as well...they can be quite mean about it sometimes.

      Delete
  8. It is funny the things we remember and what can bother us

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is exactly what mom is going through with me.
    Lily

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh really Lily? You seem like such a sweetheart; I cannot imagine you would be nutty like me. BOL

      Delete
  10. My Ruby is reactive to pedestrians, dogs, bikes, skateboards and motorcycles...we have our work cut out for us. It took about a month for her to exhibit this behavior after I adopted her. I think in part I overwhelmed her too soon (thinking I was doing the right thing) by taking her to the dog park and doggy daycare, and also that she had so many changes in her young life as she was transitioning from puppy to adult. I think her breeds (JRT and Border Collie) are also fairly prone to being reactive. It's a very common issue! While we'll never stop working on it, have tried to shift my focus to all of Ruby's wonderful qualities, and prefer to think of her as a good dog than a reactive one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear, you do have your work cut out for you and Ruby. She is reactive to so many things, the poor dear. Ma focuses on my good qualities, of course, but she would love to work out this issue so we can move forward.

      Delete
  11. Your reaction seems logical. We tend to bark more in the house and less on the leash oddly enough. Everyone tells Mama how quiet we are and we quietly chuckle because we are not so quiet indoors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BOL! Now that is kinda funny, Bailey. I bark indoors sometimes but it is to be expected, especially when a delivery man is coming to the door (and the package is not for me). BOL

      Delete
  12. You be safe Oz! Luckily brofur Ku and sisfur Nalle don't bark. They woooooooo! Me-Ommmmm

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oz don't be embarrassed. I am the same way, and for similar reasons. We have an "on leash" rule here and there is one woman who refuses to obey it. I go NUTS barking when I see her dog coming towards me. I also bark when on leash because I am afraid that other dogs want to pee in my area. I am looking forward to seeing how your Mom works with you to solve this issue. Barks and licks and love, Dakota

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Dakota, it sounds like we are in the same boat...or neighborhood! We may do update posts to let everyone know what has/has not worked...and also to see if anyone has any suggestions. I will keep you posted, my pal.

      Delete
  14. We think you are just being normal Oz and we know you don't like being that way. You can do it pal, we are all here to support you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Brian. That means a lot...I thought everyone would avoid me now but blog friends seem to be the best!

      Delete
  15. OZ OMC(YES I'M YELLING) I DON'T BLAME YOU FOR ONE NANO SECOND! DANG THAT IS JUST POOR MANNERS FOR A DOG TO RUN YOUR PROPERTY BARKING AND SNAPPING AND WELL LIKE THEY SAY FOOL ME ONCE MY SHAME ON ME FOOL ME TWICE I'LL BARK UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME!!!
    ANYway I'm glad you and mom are working on improvement but you know we all have our limits...like well for instance
    I only hiss at one person in this entire world...My human sis. Mom says I smell her cat Harley on her but I say I smell her Diva DNA and there is only room for one Diva here
    hugs long winded madi your bfff

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madi, now this is a new side of you I am seeing! BOL Yes, I think we all have our limits but I am hoping for some improvement. I will keep you posted. In regards to there being more than one Diva...YOU are the only diva that should be allowed in your home. Period. Take that diva DNA smelling sister and throw her out the front door! BOL

      Delete
  16. Oz you and Torrey can go through therapy together. She is a whirling dervish when we see dogs on our walks. She wants to lunge at them, mostly to play, but still. Now, what I do if I see a dog coming our way is make her sit. She then just sits and watches the other dog walk past. This works best for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that would be wonderful. A therapy buddy! Ma tried the old "sit" trick but then I just wait in anticipation and bark even more when that dog finally gets close enough. I wish that worked for me but I am glad it works for Torrey!

      Delete
  17. I am too sometimes. I don't like dogs that are bigger than me, so if they come along I have a howling fit which send my big sister Katie into kill mode. Mom knows us and we don't cause any harm, but people do get scared. Being on a leash is scary sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, people get scared of me too but I just bark and I LOVE people (and little kids). It is scary being "trapped" on a leash sometimes. I totally agree.

      Delete
  18. Lee is a reactive barker until she can smell other dogs. Unfortunately it is very challenging to work on it where we live as we only see other dogs a few times a year! Good luck. Lee and Phod

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is challenging when you see dogs every day too!

      Delete
  19. Sometimes I try to give other dogs what for if they come up to me while I'm on my leash. My person says she never knows which dogs I'm going to do that with, but it's usually the ones walking off leash (on my trails where leashes are required) where somebody yells "He's friendly."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course. Why don't other owners appreciate the needs of all dogs and not just "their" dog?

      Delete
  20. We can certainly understand why you became leash reactive, Oz. That must've been scary! But we are glad you and Mom are working on things. We know you can do it, buddy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess it was scary. Thanks for the moral support. I sure hope we can get things better too.

      Delete
  21. Brychwyn is also leash reactive but he didn't have any bad experiences to cause it. We have found that no matter how often and hard we work on the reactivity, his threshold ebbs and flows and so does his reaction. It's an on-going process but we wish you the best of luck... It is embarrassing. You should add this post to today's Posetive Pet Training blog hop at Dachshund Nola, Tenacious Little Terrier or on our blog. Lots of people on that hop would enjoy this post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We are not expecting miracles (though wouldn't that be nice). We expect things will ebb and flow as you say they do with Brychwyn but we have to try. Oh, and thank you...I will go see about joining that blog hop!

      Delete
  22. Oh Oz, I think you have a good reason to be reactive. That must have been scary for yourself and a dog has to protect himself right? Good luck with your training. BoingyDog has some great training tips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BoingyDog's training tips are pawesome, Miss Ann! I guess it was really scary to affect me so. I sure hope Ma and I can overcome this together.

      Delete
  23. Interesting story, Sheba was a confident pup until she got attacked exactly the same way as Oz I sympathise with you, I've been told Sheba is out of control and should be put down by people who don't know her, she's not a bad dog she just doesn't trust other dogs when on lead she hasn't attacked another dog but creates enough fuss to scare them off, with dogs she knows she's fine and off lead she's fine with other dogs, I'm sure I'm part of the problem though because every time I see another dog I automatically tense up now expecting Sheba to react. She was great on holiday and never had a growl out of her apart from once probably because she was always off lead. Maybe this is something we could work at together as we gather more information on the problem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ian, for someone to say that Sheba should be put down is just ridiculous. It's probably those owners who let their dogs scare us, bite us or invade our space that say such ignorant things (since they have no clue about their own dog's actions). I would LOVE if we work on this together and I will leave you a message on your blog about it! Thanks for the support.

      Delete
  24. That's terrible about the owner that was mad at you for his dog. (head shake.) Pierson is leash reactive too. He's aggressive about it, though, and not just a barker. I've been working with him a lot this past year and he has gotten much better. But we still have a long way to go. Don't be embarrassed about your issue. I think it's great that you recognize it and are trying to work on it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are several idiot, first-time owners in our neighborhood...they don't train their dogs with a recall or any other command but yet believe it can be off leash and have the run of the block because they are "friendly" (in their own home!). We try not to be embarrassed but it is embarrassing at times. We would love to know what you have done to help Pierson!

      Delete
  25. Hope the training goes well Oz. i don't bark, but I do like to drag mummy with me to say hello to every other doggy I pass:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. BOL Misaki! You are such a good girl. Thank you for your support. It is most appreciated.

      Delete
  26. We think it is great that you are doing a training refresher OZ, and are sure that you will get over this little "skeleton" in no time!! :-)
    Smileys!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We sure hope so! Thank you for not judging us and offering your support.

      Delete
  27. Mr. N is leash reactive too. He's improved since we first got him but it's slow going sometimes! Plus I feel like it's doubly embarrassing with small dogs. People give you looks. I have some books I can recommend if you'd like.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would love to know of the books you recommend! I will contact you to find out what they are. Thank you!

      Delete
  28. When I'm on a leash and walk with my mother, I also barks if I see another dog except when we are camping.

    There I could not care less about the other dogs. I think it's because, when I was at the camp for the first time, my mom gave me a treat every time I would start barking. Then I was so busy to see if she had more treats that I completely ignored the other dogs and has not barked at the camp since then.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Say what?!? At the campsite, I feel like I am "on guard" the whole time! I bark at all the dogs, no matter what. I do however, allow the raccoons a pass as they grab edibles out of our cooler (no idea why I am so nice to them).

      Delete
  29. There's very little that ruins a walk more for Rita and I than an off-leash dog! We live in a leash-law area, with windy narrow roads with no sidewalks in a lot of spots, yet there is this idiot that walks her dog and lets it go off leash. When I ask her to hold it while we pass, she yells that she can't and "she's friendly!" as her dog charges us. Since Rita has already been bitten in the face, and charged at by another snarling, barking dog that was off leash, she is definitely leash reactive. It makes me crazy that people act like the rules don't apply to them! I've been working with Rita on this for the 2 years we've had her, and she is better in a lot of ways, but run-ins with these dummies with the off leash dogs always set her back. I definitely try to avoid walking past off-leash dogs, and we avoid certain dogs that make her nuts. She's not very treat motivated, so I gave up trying to distract her with treats. (Now I only carry them to throw at the off leash dogs!) I praise the heck out of her the moment she looks away from another dog. (Otherwise, she focuses on them like crazy and - depending on how the other dog is - turns into a whirling, barking dervish.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK...1) that idiot owner needs to take some responsibility and hold her dang dog!!! What does she mean she "can't" hold it?! Does she not have hands?!? 2) We have been the same way, trying to avoid off leash dogs, but it isn't easy since they have free-range. I can be distracted by treats sometimes...other times, the whirling dervish is too strong to contain. We feel yours and Rita's pain, Miss Jackie.

      Delete
  30. Yay for you for posting this! When Nola was around 1, we had an aggressive off leash golden run up to us and snap at Nola (didn't make contact, thankfully!). She was leash reactive in the same way Oz is for a very long time. It took a solid year of training for her to ignore other dogs, and even now she will occasionally bark at Goldens and labs when they get too close.
    Nola's Mom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Nola's Mom: I had NO idea Nola was reactive. Gosh, I so thought I was the only one but now, after all these comments, I know I am not alone and that feels so much better. I am so glad you were able to work with Nola to help her. Ma and I would love if you would share what you did.

      Delete
  31. I'm so glad that dog didn't hurt you! I remember my dad taking his really ancient beagle for a walk in the neighborhood several years ago. She was on a leash and some loose dog came up and attacked her. My dad rushed her to the vet, but it was nothing serious. He also made a police report, but nothing ever came of it as far as I know.

    My boys are both really bad about barking at other dogs. It can be really embarrassing sometimes. I try to get them to quiet down, but they don't always listen to me. When we go to the vet's office, I sit way in the back of the waiting area to keep them away from the other animals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yikes, I am glad your dad and his ancient beagle weren't hurt badly, Sprinkles. We hear you on how embarrassing it can be; that's why we really want to work out our issue.

      Delete
  32. Leash reactivity seems to be one of the most common problems with dogs, wouldn't you say? My own dog, a Lab mutt, gets pretty excited and pulls when he sees other dogs even though he's pretty good otherwise. So we have some work to do as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I didn't realize until I wrote this post how common it is. Wow! We should all find a way to work together and support each other, because it surely will not be easy to make the necessary changes.

      Delete
  33. Howdy Oz! We understand and fully support woo:) LIttle sisfur Isis can be the same way, take care mate,

    RA

    ReplyDelete
  34. oh buddy it is sad when stuff like that happens and it makes normal dogs have issues. I still love you and I know that you can overcome your fear with lots of help from momma and others.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure hope so, Miss JoAnn. I'm going to try my best.

      Delete
  35. Oz, you will overcome this and return to your former self confident self. My former shelter has a precious woofie who has shown leash reaction signs to other dogs so he is in a training program so he will have a much better chance to be adopted. You have the best of humans to work with you....paw hugs, Savannah....peeEss YOU WON MY GOTCHA DAY WOOFIE TOY GIVE AWAY!!! Please send Mom Linda your snail mail address ASAP lcrodgers at sbcglobal dot net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw Savvy, you are such a good friend. Thank you. I did email you with my address!

      Delete
  36. Rooooooo you're in good company my friend. Many of my best buddies are leash reactive, and I've been known to let out a rooo or two myself when there's people on skateboards around *waggy tail*. Also sounds like a good 'train your dog month challenge!

    Woofs from Alfie
    www.alfiesblog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It does sound like a good challenge, doesn't it? We are working on it and I am sure it will take more than a month to overcome this.

      Delete
  37. Oz, I am working on my leash reactivity, too! It's so stressful for me! We try to go out when there are less likely to be dogs around and when we do see them, Mom plays Look At That with me. :) That makes it a better, but we still have more work to do!

    I hope you are able to make some progress! If you ever want to chat about it, you know where to find me!


    Champ

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I think we have a whole bunch of friends that can get together to chat about this topic! I had no idea so many were affected with this. You keep working on it my pal...we both can do it!

      Delete
  38. I just love it when people let their dogs wander off leash but then have the gall to blame the owner of leashed dog in these kinds of situations. Niles was attacked by a dog a couple months ago and ever since then has been a bit more reactive. It also hasn't helped that we had to keep her cooped up for 2 months. We are now working on these issues and hopefully she'll be back on track soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I sure hope you can get back on track sooner than later. It amazes me all these people who let their dogs wander off leash who clearly need to be ON leash.

      Delete
  39. We don't think any less of you, Oz! It's not your fault. I'm glad you shared your struggles and that you're working on them. Petal goes totally bonkers when she sees other dogs. I'm not sure why, but I do think it might be from all the loose dogs that have run up to her out of nowhere. Petal's friendly and once another dog comes up to her, she'll politely and silently sniff them, but as they're running up to her or walking away, she goes nuts. It's very strange.
    I started carrying a long, thick walking stick with us when we walk and I use it to chase away any loose dogs. It's one thing to have had your dog accidentally escape your control, but it's another when you just willingly open the door and set them loose with no training. Drives me crazy!

    As for Petal, I try to remember to bring loads of treats with me on every walk. Treats of high value, like meat or cheese. This helps me get Petal's attention. If her favorite treats aren't working, we turn and walk away from the distraction and then we do a few commands, easy ones like sit, down, shake, etc until she has calmed down. Then we continue with our walk, walking away from the distraction. I'm not sure if it's the right thing to do, but it's what we're doing until we find a better way. I also use a Gentle Leader at times.

    I hope you and your Mom can get past this! I'm sorry you've had some rough experiences with loose dogs. That's not fair at all. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ma brings high-value treats too...but I am stubborn and will actually ignore her AND the treat sometimes. I have heard of others using a gentle leader but we have never used one. I wonder if that would help?!? I wish you and your mom much success at this...it appears to be harder to accomplish than one would think! Thank you for sharing your experience.

      Delete
  40. Oz we are impressed with you! All five of us are leash reactive, mom is horrified to even say it. When we are one on one we are pretty good but in a group forget about it. We have tried treats and other techniques with some but certainly not total success we also avoid other dogs on our walks. Loose dogs can really be a challenge and we have had simoilar experiences

    retro rover

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your impressed with me?!? For being reactive or for admitting it?? BOL It is horrifying to say out loud; I feel your pain there. But I really felt like I needed to admit it so I could move on. It's amazing how supportive Blogville friends are. Maybe we could all work together and help each other through this. I have an idea....

      Delete
  41. Great post! Nobody will think any less of you!!!!! I think more of our dogs then people realize have the same issues. My Lexus is a crazy puller....like crazy!! The worst leash puller I have ever seen! It got so miserable trying to walk her, I literally gave up.mi tried all the positive training methods I could find and nothing worked.....I got Frustrated and gave up trying to loose leash train her. My oldest husky Mika walks beautifully on a leash, always has! She took to the training perfectly...not Lexus though.
    Thanks for sharing this!
    ((Husky hugz))
    "Love is being owned by a husky"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, please do not give up on Lexus! I think if we all work together we may be able to help each other.

      Delete
  42. Ah yes. Storm used to be a pistol on a leash. I just did a lot of walking with her and got her into obedience classes that stressed heeling. That is how she got over it. I know you can do it too Oz! Good luck. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heeling, eh? We tried that but maybe it is something we should really concentrate on. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Delete
  43. Oz, no need to be embarrassed and its not your fault. We don't like those dogs too and it's their owners fault. A German Shepard bit me when I was 2. It left a mark on my face and a reminder for my mom. Did you try using a shorter leash? Lots of positive talking and of course some tasty treats will help. You'll overcome this Oz. Good Luck! Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A dog bit you, Sugar?!? NOOOOO! I would've protected you. A shorter leash...BOL...you know how small I am. Any shorter and Ma and Daddy would have to walk slumped over. If only I was a big dog on the outside.

      Delete
  44. No need to be embarrassed. None of us are perfect and it's a normal doggy reaction to react to a dog charging at you - that's extremely threatening to you and your momma. Have you read my mom's post in DoggyWoof called Dog Behavior and When the Problem is You? http://woof.doggyloot.com/dog-behavior-and-when-the-problem-is-you/ So often we dogs react to what our humans are doing. When mom got all stressed about dogs getting in my space, I felt like I needed to protect her, so I snapped at the dogs and told them to back off -- which got my momma even more stressed. We think you're awesome, barky or not barky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Garth. I am not sure if I read that article by your mom or not. I will have to go check it out!

      Delete
  45. I think I may have your same problem. I bark a lot at other dogs when I'm on leash. I also have a leash-up policy whenever I'm outside due to my past history. (Short version: if I see or smell anything interesting, I go after it, hence the policy.) So I guess I'm also a leash reactive barker.

    Come to think of it, I also bark a lot when I'm off leash, which only happens in highly controlled settings.

    Perhaps I'm just a barkaholic, though I never bark in the house. Does that make me an outdoor barkaholic? Now I'm having another identity crisis...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barkaholic?!? I don't know about that but it does sound you are just like me on leash when there are other dogs around. No identity crises!!! We are what we are, I guess.

      Delete
  46. No one thinks any less of you, Oz, and we are actually happy that you have admitted it! Our beagle Cricket is also leash reactive. She has not bitten anyone yet either, but I worry it could happen if we meet the wrong dog. She just goes totally defensive. So this is something we have vowed to work on also. It is good to know and to be able to follow other dogs with this issue, and we are going to read more about how you're dealing with this so it can help us too.
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a good number of us that could work together on this, I believe. Hmmm, an idea is popping into my head!

      Delete
    2. Can't wait to hear your idea! Let me know if you need any help with it.

      Delete
  47. Hey Oz

    Don't worry, I still love you dude! I don't bark at other doggies, but I do try to chase cats and I also bark at loud trucks that go by, or of course the UPS van!

    I hope you're having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Oh, those experiences would traumatize lots of dogs. Once a cat snuck up on and attacked our previous dog from the rear while out walking. For weeks he looked behind him nervously on walks. As for Toby, as I've said he had to stop working as a therapy dog because he became hand-shy from all the strangers reaching for his head. That's embarrassing since it usually is attributed to being beaten which has never ever happened to Toby (well, at least since we adopted him at 8 weeks old.) So no worries Oz, these things are part of life and you and your Ma will be fine.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Aww Oz! Don't be embarrassed. It seems like a rational response to your experience! Can't believe the guy yelled at your ma, that's unbelievably rude! Maybe he was really annoyed with himself and experiencing some redirected aggression ;)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a pawprint. I enjoy reading each and every one!
Cairn cuddles,
Oz the Terrier