Last Monday I was at the second training visit of a Home Dog Training Client in Snellville. We had been working with him and his Scottish Terrier, Monty. They had made a lot of great progress since our first visit and I could see that my client had been practicing every day. One of the big things that we had accomplished was to have Monty walk calm and focused on a leash around the neighborhood. They had gone on walks every day since our first visit and my client was thrilled at the wonderful results. After we had reviewed all of “Monty’s initial problems”. it looked like everything was great. As we were finishing up, my client described an encounter that he and Monty had experienced while they were finishing up a recent walk. As they were just about inside, my client noticed that a strange dog was charging at them from down the street. He and Monty got back inside before the other dog could get to them. That encounter made him nervous about could happen on a walk and he asked me what he and Monty should do if a strange dog charges them while they are out for their walk…
I told my client that this just happened the other day when I was out with Mollie, our German Shepard. An off leash Rottweiler charged at us while we were walking down the street. Being a dog trainer and walking a well trained dog, we made it through the situation. I would like to share our experience with you…
Mollie and I were walking through our neighborhood when I noticed a beautiful Rottweiler (I love Rottweilers!) roaming a front yard of a house about half a block away. I crossed over to the other side of the street and continued to see what he was doing. I noticed no body tension or posturing from the Rottweiler. He didn’t seem to have a great deal of interest in us. I also noticed that Mollie, my Sheppard was also not reacting to the dog in any manner. Since the body language of the two dogs exhibited no aggressive or fearful tendencies, I decided to proceed.
Mollie and I continued to slowly walk down the street past the dog. As we were directly across the street from him, he ran at us. At this point, Mollie and I could not run or easily complete a “flight action”. All we could do was prepare for the “meeting” and try and make the best of it.
I observed that the Rottweiler was running at us, but in a relaxed manner. As he came closer to us, he slowed down and stopped about ten feet away. Mollie and I stood tall and faced him. I brought Mollie’s leash in, but did not actively constrain her. We did not make any quick moves that the other dog could interpret as aggressive or dangerous. We calmly stood our ground and waited for the Rottie to make the next move.
After a few seconds, he slowly approached and gave the “doggie greeting” to Mollie. Mollie stood still and disinterested. At this point, I knew that we were going to be just fine. The Rottweiler then wandered off for a second to mark some flowers in a neighbor’s yard and then came back to us. This time Mollie gave the “doggie greeting” to the Rottweiler.
What could have been a bad situation was successfully defused through the use of observing canine behavior and acting in a calm and assertive manner.
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