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(...and not the dog you want...)

I have been flip-flopping over whether or not to share this. But, if it helps someone else it might be worth it.

Ever since Scout was attacked last October she has not been quite the same. I took her for what I thought was going to be a relaxing walk around the neighborhood. A bully type dog jumped the fence and came snarling toward Scout and jumped her...causing a few marks (and blood) on her neck and ear. Actually, this was the second time this has happened to her, although the first incident she did not get physically injured. I was in a parking lot training obedience when someone's mutt jumped out of his moving pick-up truck and charged her. That was over the summer.

She has grown to become fear-reactive toward other dogs and it is breaking my heart. I am not sure at this point if it is wise to even entertain the idea of showing her anymore--or even getting a second dog. It is pretty painful right now watching other people train their dogs and prepare for shows and reading about their accomplishments--knowing that I may not have that opportunity anymore. I have since spayed her, and she recovering nicely.

But, I really love the quote from Batman. 'Why do we learn to fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up again.' So that's where I am at right now. I am seeking the help of a pro who has had years and years of experience with this. I am learning to accept and love the dog I have, and how best to train her and move forward. So rather than focus on the many things I am feeling like I can't have; I am trying to focus on the things that I can. I am moving to a point where I am looking at this as an opportunity to learn something new, grow as a person, and become a better trainer and handler.

I have since armed myself with pepper spray whenever I take my dog out. Although, I am right now really sour to the idea of taking her public places to train. You just can't trust people to manage their dogs.
 

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Loving Flyball
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This post brought tears to my eyes.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I know the fear a person carries with them after having another dog attack their dog, and I have seen the uneasyness that a dog carries with them after the horrible event. I had it happen to me years ago with one of my GSD's. It made me scared to take my dog for a walk for the longest time, and I also carried pepper spray. I hope you will be able to work through this, I can not imagine the pain you feel from this happening not once, but twice to the same dog. I hope the pro that you will be working with has lots of great ideas for you, and you will be able to move on.
 

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Thats really sad to hear Goldensail. You have probably thought of this but is it possible for Scout to start over with regularly meeting some safe, non-threatening and friendly dogs so that she can very gradually build up her confidence again.
 

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Humankind. Be both.
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Ohhhh.... I'm so sorry to hear that happened. Good for you for moving forward.

What's her threshold distance around other dogs?
 
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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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I remember the moment I had the same moment with Lexi...it helped me to think of different dogs following different paths....
Did I, and do I, feel sad that she doesnt get the same thrill from going to shows and other busy, active, high-stim, locations as Liberty and Tracer...sure...
Over the years I have sometimes felt sad leaving her behind...her world is physically smaller then theirs...but I do all I can to be sure she is given opportunities to continue to learn and engage the world in a way that makes her happy...

One of my favorite child rearing quotes also popped into my head:
"Children want to be loved uniquely, not equally."
IMHO, dogs thrive under the same....
 

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This too brought tears to my eyes, GoldenSail. I can't imagine how you must be feeling, I thankfully haven't been in such a situation but I have had to watch Ori closely in more public settings as he is very spooked easily (especially by strange dogs). I can only keep hoping that Jasmine's full-of-life and "I'm invincible" outlook can rub off on him a little and give him more confidence.

I wish I had direct advice for you, but I know absolutely nothing about this type of training. Perhaps talking to your obedience instructor (or highly recommended ones at least) about what specialist trainer they would recommend, or if they could help you find one. I'm sure there must be one somewhere who works with trauma cases such as this.

Keeping you and Scout in my prayers and thoughts.
 
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where the tails wag
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A series of attacks caused my Casey to become reactive. He was attacked 3 times in a short period of time (twice at trials, once at a training session) and it left him reactive. He has been retired for over 6 years, I neutered him at around 7 years old, and while I still train him I don't think he will ever be comfortable in the ring again.

It hurts when a dog with tons of promise and drive is not shown, this I know. But, you do train the dog you have. If Casey never again is in a ring (he occassionally comes out in agility), I can still celebrate his successes during training.

I have also learned to be rude and at times ruthless towards other dogs - No dog, and I mean no dog is allowed close to my dogs now unless I know and trust them. If a dog does approach I step between them and am on a constant alert for dogs approaching. I will take a bite for my dog and even clueless owners seem to be concerned about that.

Now that being said, Ms Towhee is a social butterfly so I need to walk her separately when other dogs might be around :)

I am sorry you too have had these experiences. It truly hurts to watch a previously friendly dog become reactive - in Casey's case it has calmed down but that may also be age/maturity.
 

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Thankfully she's not reactive to every dog. In general she's more nervous around larger dogs. I think I've caught it early so hopefully taking measures now will prevent it from escalating. I probably could let her play with the right dog and she would be fine and happy...but she has triggers and I am not willing to risk letting her be around other dogs right now in order to learn her triggers.
 

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the party's crashing us
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Awww, that is sad to read, I didn't know you guys were going through this.
The good news is, I have always had the feeling hunt tests/field training were you and Scout's strong suit, and frankly they don't ever have to be face-to-face with other dogs in that venue. Besides that you learn so much about dogs in general, field training. I hope you will continue with field work and pursue her HT titles.
This confirms my feelings toward a situation I'm "sort of" dealing with now. The property owner where we field train 2-3 times a week has two intact male FT goldens, and twice they have gotten loose and ran into our training setup, luckily both times my two dogs were in their crates. The landowner's two dogs come hauling ass toward us barking their heads off, absolutely do not listen to anyone, and I know have been aggressive with other people's dogs. It scares me to death, could you imagine if I was working one of my boys when they did this? My training partner (who has girls only) doesn't understand what a disaster that could be. Your post confirms I am right to be worried about it! Fisher was attacked by the pit bull several years ago while we were obedience training and while Fisher was completely unfazed by it, I am hyper about people and their loose dogs.
Sorry to yammer on; thanks for posting about this.
 
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While Conner wasn't attacked, when he was about two he suddenly became aggressive towards dogs getting too close to him. He would growl and lunge towards dogs getting in his space, and he seemed to have a especially high dislike of shelties. I was beside myself, how was I supposed to deal with my future obedience dog when he couldn't be around other dogs? I took him to a behaviorist and thankfully after about six months he seemed to get over it. Although he has had no issues in public in the six years since then I still to this day am super vigilant about making sure no strange dogs run up to him.

Now I am dealing with the opposite problem...Flip thinks all other dogs want to share their space with him.

I handle both dogs the same way when needing to get by other dogs in tight quarters: hand in collar, and if really close other hand on muzzle. Just by my doing that it makes it clear to others that my dogs are not there to visit, and if another dog did still come up to my dog I would have total control over my dog's head.

I do not take my dogs on walks at all because there are too many loose dogs running around here.

Not a whole lot of point to what I posted, other than to sympathize with you and to share that I have been through my own issues with my guys. Best of luck to you and Scout.
 
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They get it
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The good news is, I have always had the feeling hunt tests/field training were you and Scout's strong suit, and frankly they don't ever have to be face-to-face with other dogs in that venue.
Unless the stupid Marshall doesn't think their dog has to be on leash, who confronts your dog, who is on a leash, TWICE! And ya, I tried to avoid him, but I had to go past their pickup to go to the line.:no:

However, for the most part Anney is correct. I am so sorry you have to go through this with Scout. You know your dog best, and I'm confident you will do what is right for both of you. It may take a while, but I hope you can overcome this challenge and fulfill your dreams for her.

We are here for you.
 
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where the tails wag
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Yes, you get accumstomed to walking your dog with your palm resting against your dogs cheek for either nervous or way too friendly dogs.

Jodie - you really need to meet Towhee :)
 
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Been there too with Faelan :) The pres of the club finally called his dog (and the other 2 owners got a hint) when I raised my leg to kick one of the circling dogs - plus a friend of mine jumped in.


Unless the stupid Marshall doesn't think their dog has to be on leash, who confronts your dog, who is on a leash, TWICE! And ya, I tried to avoid him, but I had to go past their pickup to go to the line.:no:

However, for the most part Anney is correct. I am so sorry you have to go through this with Scout. You know your dog best, and I'm confident you will do what is right for both of you. It may take a while, but I hope you can overcome this challenge and fulfill your dreams for her.

We are here for you.
 
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Tito's been attacked rather violently twice at shows, and recently a dog came out of the back of a car and went after him.
It sucks big time that people can't and/or don't control their dogs. I'm sorry that you are going through this, and I hope the person you are working with is able to help you work through it.
 

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The pro I am working with is actually the pro field trainer as well...he started working with aggressive dogs when a dog came to him for field training that had an aggression problem that he couldn't fix. So he went out to learn more about it and started training dogs for free at first, now he is very experienced and he is a very nice, humble man.

He says I might reach a point where I can show her. It is encouraging to hear...he told me he once ran a very aggressive chessie (aggressive to people as well) with no birds, several dogs in close proximity etc but it wasn't a problem because he had trained the dog and he was a good handler. Good handling is a large part of it.
 

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This confirms my feelings toward a situation I'm "sort of" dealing with now. The property owner where we field train 2-3 times a week has two intact male FT goldens, and twice they have gotten loose and ran into our training setup, luckily both times my two dogs were in their crates. The landowner's two dogs come hauling ass toward us barking their heads off, absolutely do not listen to anyone, and I know have been aggressive with other people's dogs. It scares me to death, could you imagine if I was working one of my boys when they did this? My training partner (who has girls only) doesn't understand what a disaster that could be. Your post confirms I am right to be worried about it!
I hope people see this and think twice about where they take their dogs and what they are willing to do if something ever did happen. I never really thought taking a walk through the neighborhood could cause so much harm. It used to sound overly cautious to me, but now I totally understand why my obedience instructor will not walk her dogs in the neighborhood, or take them to the park, and will handpick which dogs she lets her boys socialize with.

I have had a few people tell me they've had similar experiences and it has completely changed their dog's personality.
 

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(.... 'Why do we learn to fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves back up again.' So that's where I am at right now. I am seeking the help of a pro who has had years and years of experience with this. I am learning to accept and love the dog I have, and how best to train her and move forward. So rather than focus on the many things I am feeling like I can't have; I am trying to focus on the things that I can. I am moving to a point where I am looking at this as an opportunity to learn something new, grow as a person, and become a better trainer and handler.

I have since armed myself with pepper spray whenever I take my dog out. Although, I am right now really sour to the idea of taking her public places to train. You just can't trust people to manage their dogs.
I just wanted you to know how much I admire your spirit and your refusal to give up without a fight. I have seen this happen to my parents with their sweet yellow lab, Kacey. It infuriates me that careless people who refuse to manage their dogs properly can ruin a great dog through these type incidents. My parents don't have the same committment to a dog sport that you do, but for them, having Kacey as a walking partner on a daily basis is a huge part of their lives. She was attacked a few times walking in their neighborhood wwithin 2 years and became extremely fearful/reactive with strange dogs. My parents' trainer had them use Kacey's extreme love of treats to focus her attention onto them and away from approaching dogs and it's been successfful to the point that Kacey now sees a dog and will actually automaticaly sit and look at my mom or dad for her treat. My parents live in a new neighborhood now, and there hasn't been an attack in a few years now, but my mom is still so afraid anytime she sees a dog with an invisible fence. My dad carries a tall walking stick and I've given them pepper spray. It has become part of their routine.

I guess I wanted to let you know that no, I don't think Scout or you will ever havve those memories completely wiped away and I'm so, so sorry for that. It just stinks. I did want you to know that there are others who have managed to get a handle on working with the problem with extreme patience and dedication. And I have faith that you will too. Your attitude gives me total confidence in both you and Scout.
 

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I'm really sorry you are dealing with this... especially since from what I saw of your videos she had so much brilliant possibilities for the obedience ring... :(

The one thing I can think of as far as the obedience ring is that I know of quite a few dogs who are showing in obedience and are reactive to other dogs. I swear that every border collie I've met through classes is dog aggressive. It means their owners have to be on the ball at all times when they are outside the ring, and they really have to drill their dogs to obey them when in the obedience ring and stick those stays. But these people do get their obedience titles, even if they unfortunately have CDX and UD dogs who can not be off leash or un-monitored outside the ring.

My personal experience... our collie does not like other dogs. We chose not to do any obedience with him because he will not stop challenging and refusing to turn his back on dogs and people around him. I believe he is like that because he was bullied by other collies at the rescue.

He has no issues with Jacks... I think possibly because Jacks came as a puppy and was never any challenge to him. So it is possible that some day you can bring another puppy home... I think if you give Scout time to learn control and mellow a bit more. And keep socializing her with other dogs.

The only other thing I can think of... some awesome female goldens that I know can be a bit witchy when it comes to dogs being pushy around them (like my dog sneaking in to check out their ears and mouths). I can't imagine them attacking other dogs, but they give a little warning when they want their space.
 

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WOW that is horribly sad.

I know fear takes time to overcome, and Oct was not that long ago. However with history of other instances it will take longer. I would stay away from venues where you would compete "with" other dogs, like obedience (sits and downs). It would be hard in the closed in areas, but if you started say doing agility, or rally or hunt tests where you are outside in a large area, and all dogs SHOULD be leashed (not saying all are) and you can control "your" area, I think that could help. Give your dog more confidence in itself.

I had a horse who was attacked in a paddock with other horses. When I found the right barn, I had them put him in a paddock and until he was willing to visit over the fence, not to turn him out with others. They had a great set up, a small paddock inside the big one, then when he seemed ready they put one quiet one in with him, then two. When all that was good they put him out with the group and he did great. My other horse it was not so easy. He HATED for the rest of his life, horses coming up behind him. He wouldn't "kick" he would BUCK and land riders in the hospital. After my first winter with him, we turned him out from Nov - March. The less time he was ridden in the indoor arena the better. He never bucked me off.

Give your dog time, work 'near' dogs but where they are definitely controlled. Lots and lots of treats. It may never be great, but it could get better. I hope your neighbors can control their dogs from now on.
 

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Unless the stupid Marshall doesn't think their dog has to be on leash, who confronts your dog, who is on a leash, TWICE! And ya, I tried to avoid him, but I had to go past their pickup to go to the line.:no:
Oh geez -- what a wreck -- I have seen this as well...I have found that saying something VERY LOUDLY and in a slightly demeaning manner such as "YOUR DOG IS BEING A NUISANCE, YOU NEED TO PUT HIM UP NOW" works very well! Or if you feel the loose dog is approaching yours, yell "NO NO NO NO" trust me that will get a lot of attention. I have done both of these several times at different dog events with very good results! :)
 
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