I Love It When a Dog Parent Doesn’t Flip When a Dog Fight Happen

August 26, 2013

Dog Behavior, Dog Training

Share Button

Happy National Dog Day! August 26, 2013

Golden Retriever, Keep the Tail Wagging

Earlier this year (before I saw the light regarding leash laws) I was walking our dogs off leash at Strawberry Fields (not in the dog park and completely breaking the city ordinance) when I came across a woman with a gorgeous Golden Retriever.  The dogs introduced themselves and the woman and I walked along chatting when all of a sudden a dog fight broke out.  Rodrigo decided that he wanted the Golden’s ball and the Golden wasn’t having it.

We split the dogs up, checked for injuries, and leashed our dogs up.  The Golden was so cute, because although he knew that his mom wasn’t happy with him, he ran and grabbed his ball, brought it back, sat it down, then sat down nicely to be leashed.  Dogs are amazing!

The woman turned to me and said something like…

Keep the Tail Wagging

That just blew me away and I slowly smiled until my head split in two.  I wasn’t judging her choice to bring a ball; I was thinking that I needed to work with Rodrigo on understanding that every toy doesn’t belong to him.  Never in the nearly 3 years that we’ve had dogs have I ever heard an owner admit their own fault after a dog fight.

We all learn something when our dogs have a curfuffle.  As long as no one is seriously injured (Rodrigo did get hurt and had to go to the vet a couple days later), then I think we should be able to take from the experience a lesson and a training opportunity.

My lesson was that if I see that another dog has a toy, I should ask the dog owner to confiscate the toy before allowing our dogs to play.

What have you learned about your dogs and other dogs as a dog parent?

Share Button

Related posts:

22 Responses to “I Love It When a Dog Parent Doesn’t Flip When a Dog Fight Happen”

  1. Dawn Says:

    Great story! It really is awesome when people take responsibility. It is also great when people understand that dogs sometimes do unpleasant doggy things. I have to be extra vigilant with my Labrador Maya. She gets along great with other dogs and I can count on her to not get into a fight. But she is a little over-exuberant when she meets other dogs. She gets in their face and some dogs really don’t like that. This one dog snapped at Maya a few times because of it. The owner was so apologetic. “He never does that!” she said over and over. I believed her and completely understood. Since it was only Maya’s pride that was hurt, it was a good lesson for her and she has been a little more cautious ever since – not scared, just cautious.
    Dawn recently published..Pet Safety Saturday – What if Your dog is Not Restrained in the CarMy Profile
    Twitter:

    Reply

  2. Pup Fan Says:

    That is a fantastic story… it’s encouraging to hear someone actually analyzing the situation and taking responsibility for what she might have done to create it!
    Pup Fan recently published..Vote for Bella and I’ll stop quoting Grease 2… maybeMy Profile
    Twitter:

    Reply

  3. SlimDoggy Says:

    great story and great insight on that other owner – if only all dog owners were like that. I’ve encountered a few owners who were cognizant of their dogs ‘shortcomings’ and acted appropriately, but it’s rare. It’s typically someone who works with dogs or in rescue and has had a lot of exposure and understanding of dog behavior.
    SlimDoggy recently published..Drugs and the Rising Cost of Pet HealthcareMy Profile
    Twitter:

    Reply

    • Kimberly Says:

      That’s so true. I was at the park yesterday and Rodrigo was behaving like an butt and 3 women reacted accordingly – no judgment and then I overheard that they’re trainers. So they understood the entire situation (another dog was getting into Rodrigo’s space and he corrected him). I took Rodrigo to another area of the field where he could relax and all was good. I’m just happy that Rigo ignores his instincts to chase and listens to me.
      Kimberly recently published..6 Reasons Why I Want to Meet Cesar Millan via @DogVacayMy Profile
      Twitter:

      Reply

  4. BoingyDog Says:

    This is great and your conclusion to ask other owners to take the toys before they play is a good one. One of our trainers was pretty strict with me about Kayo—she’s very good about toys but she’s a treat thief. When she was giving her dog a treat Kayo would shove her snout into the mix. Now whenever there are treats involved I have to keep a good eye on Kayo and always tell her to “leave it” when the treats are not for her. I love how understanding the golden’s owner was – certainly a unique reaction!
    BoingyDog recently published..My Second Guest Post: Big Dog, Scary Dog?My Profile
    Twitter:

    Reply

    • Kimberly Says:

      I know! I think many owners get defensive and then start pointing the finger before someone can point at them. Dogs will be dogs and it’s up to us to teach them. Our dogs are pretty good about not taking treats from others, but it’s not consistent. At home, it’s a different story. We call Sydney “Jaws” when treats are around, because her snout will come in out of the depths to steal a treat from her brothers.
      Kimberly recently published..6 Reasons Why I Want to Meet Cesar Millan via @DogVacayMy Profile
      Twitter:

      Reply

  5. Jill C. Says:

    That’s great, though I hope Rodrigo is doing okay! My Cairn, Mr. Gatsby, can be kind of a jerk sometimes. Mostly when he’s on his leash and bigger dogs surprise him. His voice makes everything seem worse, but I am ALWAYS cognizant of what is going on around us so that I can be on top of things. I always warn people (especially if he seems grouchy) that he can be rude and start fights and I hope they appreciate it and heed my warning. We’ve never had anything terrible happen, just hurt feelings. Oh, terriers!
    Jill C. recently published..It’s Official!My Profile

    Reply

    • Kimberly Says:

      To be honest, Jill – I’ve mostly had great experiences too (lately) and I thin it’s because of how I’ve learned to handle the situation. Being proactive is important. I used to panic and that showed that I was completely out of control, and people would judge me and our dogs harshly. Now people watch my body language and if I’m keeping our dogs close, they don’t try and force a greeting. That’s so nice, because we don’t greet on leash.
      Kimberly recently published..6 Reasons Why I Want to Meet Cesar Millan via @DogVacayMy Profile
      Twitter:

      Reply

  6. weliveinaflat Says:

    Great anecdote. I guess it’s ingrained for me to be introspective and think about what I am doing wrong and what I can do to manage/prevent my dog from having these sort of incidents. More because the people I meet on our walks tend to be quiet/less sociable.

    But it’s wonderful to read about your positive experience with another human who articulated her thoughts about the matter in such a constructive way! Have a good day!
    Twitter:

    Reply

  7. Anita Says:

    I am always cautious when my dogs are around others that they might not know. I feel if I have them on a leash I have more control over the situation. I haven’t encountered too many problems yet, but I hope I’m prepared if the time comes.

    Reply

  8. Laura Says:

    Yeah what is that? People not willing to take responsibility in those situations more times than not. I will take full responsibility for my half of the situation and admit what I could’ve done better. But when someone acts as though they had nothing to do with it, I’m left at a loss and boiling inside.

    Reply

  9. Jackie Bouchard Says:

    I’ve mostly had similar good experiences with folks. “Oh, sorry, my dog doesn’t like being rushed at.” “No, sorry, it’s MY dog – she wants to play with everyone.” Unfortunately, one really bad experience kinda makes all those many good ones get pushed to the back of one’s mind. I blogged a couple of months ago about a very bad incident at the dog beach we go to (really ugly. My friend’s dog was hit; I ended up being hit even; cops were involved. Really not good. Looong story.) Luckily, my dog, Rita was not hit. BUT… the thing that started the whole episode with these insane rage-filled men was that my friend’s dog rushed at their dog. Nothing actually happened – except that he hit her dog with a stick before anything even had a *chance* to happen. Earlier that morning, MY dog rushed at another dog. The other dog was frightened, but nothing happened. The dogs worked it out. I apologized for my dog scaring the other dog, but the owner said, “it’s fine. She’s fine. She’s got to learn about other dogs. It’s all good.”

    So, both our dogs did the exact same thing that day – mine with a person who reacted reasonably; my friend’s with someone who was a nut case. I haven’t really been back to the beach much because I’m afraid of the nut cases now. Planning to go back when the summer is over and it’s quiet there again. I can’t risk having someone hurt Rita, and she doesn’t have a 100% reliable recall. (Does any dog?? 100%??)

    I really do think that the vast majority of folks are reasonable out there. But, as in all situations, the jerks and nut jobs ruin it for everyone else. :(
    Jackie Bouchard recently published..Monday Mischief: Alarming MischiefMy Profile
    Twitter:

    Reply

  10. Sarah Wilson (@MySmartPuppy) Says:

    Lived and trained in NYC for many years. Know at least one major breeder of Golden’s in the area producing such dogs. Such a shame. Never used to see that sort of behavior in that happy breed.

    You handled it well. We live and learn (if we’re lucky :) )

    Nice blog.
    Sarah Wilson ( recently published..Dog Body Language: 3 Ways Dogs Tell Kids to Leave Them AloneMy Profile
    Twitter:

    Reply

    • Kimberly Says:

      That’s too bad about the breeder. It’s sad, because every time I hear something like this, it makes it harder for me to support breeders. I know that it’s necessary to preserve the beauty of our many breeds, but it has to be done right. I don’t believe this was an aggressive Golden, he just didn’t want my dog taking his ball; Rodrigo loves balls, which is why we don’t go to the dog park – too many people bringing toys.

      Thanks for stopping by.
      Kimberly recently published..Why Dogs Lean and Other Ways Dogs Show Affection Towards UsMy Profile
      Twitter:

      Reply

  11. A Husky Life Says:

    I couldn’t agree more! Rocco has no interest in toys, he wants to play chase, so I know better than to let him play with a dog that is ball-obsessed. Nothing good can ever come out of that!
    Unfortunately, not all people know their dogs well. During one of our trips to the beach we met a woman with her two dogs, both playing with a stick. I asked her if her dog’s would have a problem if Rocco played with me close by – she assured me her dogs couldn’t care less. So I played with Rocco running in and out of the water, at some point Rocco ran too close to one of her dogs and the dog launched at Rocco ripping a huge clump of fur out (he actually left a large bold spot on his hip!). The woman just stared in shock and said something that almost sent me through the roof: “I’ve never seen him get THIS upset”. Needless to say, unless I know the dog and the owner, I take the owners words with a grain of salt….
    A Husky Life recently published..Wordless Wednesday: SiblingsMy Profile
    Twitter:

    Reply

    • Kimberly Says:

      LOL – “THIS upset” – now that’s a red flag. The problem is that I wouldn’t know it was a red flag until after the incident. I’ve had to learn the same thing about owners. I had one tell me that she only goes to the dog park when other dogs aren’t around and when she saw us (our littermates were puppies still) she hoped her dog wouldn’t attack. Her dog attacked Rodrigo when he walked past. The funny part is that Rodrigo leaped into my arms after that happened.
      Kimberly recently published..Dog Training and Property Boundaries for a Fence Free DogMy Profile
      Twitter:

      Reply

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge