A stray dog coming at you, and the owner yelling from afar “He’s not doing anything!”
There are a lot of jokes in the dog training world about this phrase.
“He doesn’t do anything” falls into the same category as “it never does that other way” and “he just wants to play”. Also standard statements from an owner who sees his or her dog rushing towards another dog (or human or horse or bicycle) at high speed.
Unfortunately, they often do something, even if it is just playing a game, namely their preferred game.
He doesn’t do anything, does he?
What does it do then? Well, the unwanted approach of another dog/human. The other party may experience this as scary or threatening or as approaching too wildly or too quickly. So even if the dog really does nothing in his own perception and in the perception of the owner, he still does something.
A comparable example from the human world would be that you go for a drink in a bar. A man you don’t know comes running in, rushes at you, gives you a big hug, licks your cheek. You react annoyed, push him away, and try to run away. He keeps chasing you. You get a little angry, and now clearly tell him to shut up. He continues to be “nice” and starts petting you. Yes… he “does nothing”. Or is it?
Also Read: Fireworks Fear, How Can I Help My Dog?back to menu ↑
When do you let your dog run free?
You can let your dog run free if you are sure that he will come immediately when you call and stay with you, even if he sees other dogs or horses or mountain bikes. So it is not the case that when you enter an off-leash area, it automatically means that you can let your dog run free.
Your dog is allowed to run loose there, but it is not under control. Even in an off-leash area, you as the owner are responsible for your dog, and you ensure that he does not cause any nuisance. Not even to other dogs and their owners.
Problems with stray dogs
I think the biggest problem with stray dogs is that they approach dogs and owners who don’t want it. This is truly the pinnacle of annoyance among dog owners. And, often this leads to dangerous situations, biting incidents, altercations between the owners, and sometimes even violence. Eline was walking with her dogs in the woods one summer day when a man arrived with two stray dogs. Eline leashed her dogs and asked the man to keep his dogs with him. This gentleman didn’t feel like it, and he hit Eline in the arm with a line.
Besides nuisance to other dogs and dog owners, stray dogs can be a big problem when they go after horses, cyclists, or games. Even if your dog “does nothing” a horse can be very startled by a barking dog and the rider really has a problem…
Here, HERE, HIIIEERRRRR!!!! He won’t come when I call…
Then your dog can’t let go. Nowhere. And no, that’s not pathetic. Running off-leash is not a basic necessity for a dog. You can let your dog run in a fenced area (there are many dog playgrounds that are fenced in), you can trot your dog next to a bicycle or on a treadmill. Your dog can be tied to a 20-meter leash. He can then scurry around you, run, sniff and play. Meanwhile, you can teach him to come when you call.
Soon you will find the LOCA course especially for coming here in the community!
The dogs have to figure it out for themselves
Yes, sometimes you can. Safety first, so if in doubt, don’t. If both owners take their responsibility and together decide to release the dogs together. Realize that things can always go wrong. When you realize you may have to pay vet bills. Because if I have a 40kg Shepherd, and you have a 6kg Shih Tzu, how do you think they will “fix it themselves” when things go wrong? The myth that if both dogs are loose, nothing ever happens is not true. Something can always happen.
That myth belongs in the same fairy tale book as “adult dogs are always nice to puppies” or “dogs will always avoid a fight” or “they don’t kill each other”.
Dogs have teeth, and can seriously (even fatally) injure each other.
Fortunately, that doesn’t happen often, but if you allow your dog to go to another dog without permission, it can happen.
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That stray dog never does otherwise
No, there is always a first time for everything. Dogs change too, they get older, from puppy to teenager, to adult, to senior. Dogs don’t feel the same every day.
Hormones, fatigue, stimuli present, hunger, pain, everything can influence how your dog reacts to another dog or person.
Suppose you meet the neighbor’s dog, your dog has had a nice walk, has his belly full, has played with you, is not in pain. He greets the neighbor dog friendly and walks on.
The following week you were very busy, so the walk has been a little shorter (well, just quick…) and you still have to feed the dog. Because of all the crowds, you are also a bit grumpy. Your dog also pulled on the leash, you gave him a tug on the leash and grumbled a bit. You run into the neighbor dog again, and your dog lunges at the neighbor dog. Well, say!
The stray dog just wants to play
Yeah so? The other dog has the right to say “no, I don’t want to play this game with you right now”. Think back for a moment to the example from the human world; that man also wants to “just play”.
Play between 2 (or more) stray dogs can be a lot of fun. It’s nice if every dog that participates likes the same game. And this is where things often go wrong. For example, bullets love to wrestle. Greyhounds love to run and dance around. Shepherds love to bite into anything. Retrievers run, frolic, roll.
If my young shepherd is going to play herdsman with your Shih Tzu, chances are the Shih Tzu will break. It doesn’t have to be intentional or mean.
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Puppy course and socialization
I once looked at a puppy course where “all puppies are allowed to play in the puppy pen”. I refused to put my puppy there. I thought the group was too big, differences in size and play style of the puppies huge, so it was too much of a safety risk for me. Obviously, the instructor thought I was a “poser” and my puppy became antisocial…
A Rottie and a dog puppy really liked each other, so they started to play rough with each other. Running from side to side with a lot of noise, gasping playfully back and forth.
A little crossbreed puppy thought it was all exciting and wanted to cross the road…bam. She was completely knocked over by the 2 big toddlers. Consequence; shoulder was broken, surgery, 8 months rehabilitation. So playing is only fun when it’s fun for everyone.
I was glad my puppy was safe with me because I dared to say “no”.
Multiple stray dogs
The more dogs you have, the harder it is to properly control and keep them all under control. A stray dog that normally listens well and never goes after the game can do so when he enters a group where 2 other dogs run full throttle after a deer. Approaching other dogs also becomes increasingly difficult for the “oncoming vehicle” when he sees 3,4,5 or more stray dogs running towards him. As a result, in many places, a maximum number of stray dogs per supervisor has been set, also for walking services. If you let several dogs run loose, you have to be sure that you can quickly have them with you and leash them if you meet someone or something.
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No is no – from dog AND owner!
There is 1 magic bullet to prevent a lot of quarrels between stray dogs and owners. 1 panacea to prevent biting incidents.
That is to respect the “No”!
So – just keep your “he does nothing shook-dog” with you. Even if it really doesn’t do anything.
Because it may be that the dog where he wants to go has already experienced enough “he does nothing” that continue to act “nice” even if he says no. The owner may say “no” because the dog has an injury, a back injury, a torn cruciate ligament.
Perhaps the dog is aggressive towards other dogs. This is not always the boss’s fault, people who are super good with their dog can also have a dog-dog aggressive dog.
Protect your stray dog
So the owner says “no” to protect your dog too!
Sometimes you hear the “no” because the dog may have a disease that can be contagious.
An owner may say “no” because the dog is at work. For example, search dogs run loose while searching for missing persons.
So teach yourself a new habit; see another dog, loose or on a leash, anywhere; keep your dog with you. Until you can discuss with the owner if the dogs can run loose together.
Thanks in advance.