Two divine little tousled looking dogs! Tilly is a three-year old Terrier Poodle cross, and Harry is five months old – a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle. If you look carefully at Tilly on the left – you may just find her nose!
Their lady owner is worried that some of Tilly’s not so good traits are rubbing off on Harry. These are mainly fairly manic barking when she hears noises, people or dogs from inside the house or garden, and her reactivity to other dogs on walks.
A year ago Tilly was attacked by an off-lead dog whilst she herself was on lead, suffering a nasty wound to her back. The lady was afraid she would be killed. Ever since and somewhat understandably Tilly has been much more wary of many dogs, though not all. She is infinitely patient with puppy Harry and always ready to play.
So many people I go to have had problems with their dog having been attacked which has resulted in walks where they have to be constantly on the lookout for other dogs. In an ideal world, if a dog owner sees another dog on-lead he should realise that there is probably a good reason and call his or her own dog back. Unfortunately many dogs with otherwise good recall go deaf when they see another dog. Even more unfortunately there are people who simply don’t care and have no control over their dogs – even being angry with the owner of the on-lead dog that shows fear aggression when their off-lead dog bounds up to it!
Life happens. You can’t go out anywhere nice without risking meeting dogs. Your choice is to play safe and only take road walks, or have a strategy for both dealing with approaching dogs and with rebuilding the confidence of your own dog in you. You should be seen as the leader and protector, and behave and act accordingly.