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From: DarylMB (
Subject:         It's really too bad ...
Date: September 25, 2008 at 7:11 am PST

In Reply to: dog park incident question posted by Saysfaa on September 24, 2008 at 9:13 pm:

that the basset's owner didn't step in when she could see that both Chammy and you were unsure of the situation. That's how things get out of hand although luckily nothing happened this time.

Next time, don't second-guess yourself. You may not have been sure what the basset's intentions were, but you WERE sure that Chammy was unnerved by the situation. Don't make the mistake of picking up Chammy in a situation like that. If the other dog was in fact behaving aggressively, picking up your dog can provoke an attack. Instead, always address yourself to the dog that's causing the problem. Step firmly between them, hands on hips, and issue a VERY firm "NO!" to the other dog. Your movement and voice will likely get the dog's attention and, once he looks up at you, take another step toward him and order him back.

I have been involved in situations like this with Mandy (one of the downsides to owning a small dog) and, if necessary, I follow up my stance and voice command with a firm touch. You may or may not feel comfortable in doing that; it's up to you. My body language (and my body size *grin*) can make me very imposing and the dog will back off.

In any event, only when the other dog has turned away from the situation (ie. surrendered to your authority), should you pick up Chammy and remove her from the situation if you feel that's necessary.

Like I said, it's too bad that other owners don't take responsibility for their dogs actions. I don't know whether it's lack of knowledge, laziness or that they're afraid of being embarrassed because they can't control their dog, but it falls on other owners to deal with the situation. When I've had to discipline another person's dog for inappropriate behaviour, usually that person just walks away (ie. they're embarrassed) and sometimes they thank me but I've never had anyone get in my face because I'm in the right and they know it.

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