Unfortunately it seems dreadfully difficult for anyone to follow that rule.
If I saw someone pick up their dog and start walking briskly away from me while loudly saying three times, “Get your dog! My dog’s not friendly!” I would not allow my off leash dog to chase after them.
I would not merely keep sauntering along while my Ridgeback looking mix ran towards the shrilly barking dog. Of course if my dog didn’t have a recall at all my dog wouldn’t be off leash in the first place.
Needless to say I was not happy tonight at the park when that happened to us. We’ve managed to get Maizey out quite a few times with out a run in like this, but today was just not going our way.
I know off leash dogs are something we all fight with, but when you have a pup with issues who is in “rehab” it’s even more frustrating. Of course right after we settled down from the big dog there was another lady running with an off leash Schnauzer that also clearly didn’t care that her dog was off leash. Both of these people were carrying their leashes! Umm. . . it doesn’t count if the leash is not attached to the dog! Thankfully the Schauzer kept it’s distance, but Maizey reacts at dogs that are very, very far away so that didn’t really help her.
It’s not like I enjoy hollering at people as they approach us in the park, but really! I mean this was a big dog with it’s hackles raised. It didn’t look mean, just aroused. It would be hard for any dog not to be aroused with the racket my Princess of the Shrill Bark raises. I felt like I was pretty mean, but my husband said I sounded like an “assertive dog trainer”. I thought that was pretty funny.
After the dogs were gone I was very thankful for the RP and LAT work we’ve done. These were the steps I took after the dogs were away from us:
I was carrying Maizey (the only way to get her away when she’s reacting). Magnus was on leash so I was telling him leave it and lets go. When I had a free hand and the dog was headed away from us I opened bar the treats to Maizey. I basically just threw a handful on the ground for Magnus to find and then just let Maizey start eating a handful out of my hand.
When she was not barking I started Look At That with her.
When she could LAT with our barking I put her down at which point she started reacting again so we went back to open bar.
My husband went and grabbed her mat and so I asked her to settle in RP mode. As she quieted down we started LAT with me on sitting with her on the ground. As she got calmer I stood up and went into RP stance. Then I basically combined a LAT with RP mode until she seemed calmer and the dogs were all out of the park. After that we went back to the area where the Ridgy mix had approached us and both dogs got very sniffy so I let them get their sniff in and we jollyed our way back to the car.
I don’t think it was the worst encounter we’ve had. We both accessed out skills pretty well and now I have some new ideas for some new skills we can use. Best of all she seems okay tonight. She’s been a little spooked tonight, but she’s sleeping in her crate with the door open now.
The difference in her since we started the Fluoxetine three months ago is amazing. She’s back to my happy girl who wants to meet everyone and she recovers faster and faster from triggers. I don’t regret putting her on Prozac, I only regret I didn’t do it sooner.