It's been pouring for most of the day, so when the rain finally took a break, I took Lady and Molly (the dogs I'm sitting) to the village, which is an outdoor mall) to tire them out as they've been driving me nuts today. Lady is very mellow, I think she's a collie, and pretty old (I've been watching her since I was 17). Molly is a big sweetheart, but will growl at other dogs if they approach her, only while she's on a leash. She's 2 and I think she's a Dachshund mix.
Anyway, we got to the village and they were having a free concert, so there were a ton of people, and a lot of them brought their dogs. There was a couple that brought their dog, it was either a German Sheperd or Siberian Husky (sorry, I'm having issues with my eyes at the time). We did five laps around the village, and every time we walked past these people, this dog would just charge my crew, barking, growling and snarling. Neither of the owners could control him. The woman was a big woman, and the man was tall and muscular, and this dog was pulling both of them around. They had to use both hands to grip their leash, and the dog was still winning. This happened about 4 or 5 times. Then I heard the woman ask her man "why does she keep walking past our dogs with hers?" As if I were trespassing on her personal property. I was tempted to say "I'm exercising them, you should try it!"
Anyway, after we did five laps, Lady was having a hard time walking, so I stopped and watched the rest of the concert. Both Lady and Molly were sitting calmly at my side, minding their own business. All of a sudden, this dog is charging through the crowd directly at us, with the guy trailing behind him, unable to control the dog. He finally caught the dog about 2 feet before he got to me.
Now why do people bring their dogs like this to places like this? There were tons of people and dogs there. I know Merphy will growl at a dog when he is approached, but my 17 pound dog does not drag me anywhere, and I maintain full control of him at all times. Some people!
See, being a first time dog owner. I am asking so many questions in order to avoid being one of those idiots. hehe. That is the last thing I want and would feel like a terrible owner/parent if that happened.
I hear that socialization is most important up to 16 weeks of age. A book I read said that after 16 weeks it was too late or very difficult to make them social after that. Is this true? and is there any way to fix it if your dog was that way?
Not going to let that happen to little bailey, but just curious.
I'd say that its never too late, but the longer you wait, the harder it is to socialize. Its an ongoing process also. You have to continue working at it for her entire life. My main thing with this person was not necessarily that their dog was not socialized (it did still look like a puppy, maybe 6 months), but that they could not control the dog at all. Merphy will growl and bark if a dog gets too close to him, but he's 17 pounds and can't pull me anywhere, and I can easily pull him away from a situation, and then he is reprimanded for it.
While it was upsetting for you, there is another thought.
Perhaps this man just got his dog and is trying to train him? You have to start somewhere. If it's a case of a long standing poorly behaved, unsocialized dog, yes, that's a problem. However, it is entirely possible this was the first time this guy had his dog in that situation.
If it was a new dog they should not have brought it to a crowded place. At the first clue that they might have difficulty controlling the dog they should have left the crowd immediately for safety's sake.
Pyrmom, I had considered that and could understand if they had just gotten it. If I were in their shoes, I would have apologized and explained that I had just gotten the pup and trying to train him. And, if it had gotten to the point where I could not control the dog, I would leave. But, these people instead complained that I kept walking past their dog with mine, as if I were intentionally provoking him. Mind you, the path I was walking on was about 20 feet away from where they were. Lady and Molly were both focused on me and their walk, but everytime this dog tried to charge us, it upset Molly and took a few minutes for her to get back in walk mode.
Sorry go ahead and flame me now but you were wrong to keep walking past the dog that had issues, you were provoking it....and putting the dogs you were walking in danger....would it have killed you to walk else where?
My babies mean the world to me and there is no way I would walk by a "crazy dog and idiot owner" the second time much less 4 or 5 times.
It actually probably would have killed me and the dogs to walk a different way. There's a lake on one side and woods with bears and coyotes and wolves on the other side, there is only one walkway. The other dog was kind of in a central location of the entire village, no matter where I walked, I would have had to pass him. And we encountered them in different areas...the first time near the lake, the next time next to the McDonalds, then they finally settled on a grassy knoll in the middle of the center where we passed two or three times. The last time that the dog charged through the crowd at us, I was standing off to the side, up against a building near the entrance just watching the band play. This was a public walkway where many people walk their dogs, and Lady and Molly were not the only dogs that this dog ran after. However, everyone else had complete control over their dogs, even the older couple with two St. Bernards. We should not all have to leave because one idiot brings their dog into a public place and chooses not to control them, and endangering every one elses pets.
While I do see your point and respect your opinion, this dog was in attack mode and should not have been in public, especially a crowded public place. Out of the 100+ dogs that were there, he was the only one causing any problems. The 100+ other well behaved dogs shouldn't have to leave because of one bad dog, or actually bad dog owner. Like I said, if my dog was the problem, I would gladly leave. I personally would be too embarassed to keep my dog there.
I also am angered when people are not able to contain their dogs. It can bark and growl all it wants but I want to be sure that it is not going to be able to bite me or my dog because the owners will keep it from doing so.
I agree that those people really needed to leave (and apologize) and try again next time using a prong collar or some means of making sure that they are walking the dog and not the dog walking them.