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Brut Quote

Brut Quote

Monday, June 23, 2014

Can a dog be too socialized?

 Where did she go?

Brut and I were on a walk and had a loose dog run over to us.  Brut immediately begins to lunge towards the medium size poodle mix as she came close to his face.  I tried to shoo her away with my foot while holding Brut back, who continued to lunge and pull forward at the little dog.  But she kept coming back.  She would run a space away, then turn around and come back towards us, still getting as close as she could.  She did this 3 or 4 times before the owner finally caught up to her and got her attention and was able to get a hold of her.  On a tight lead, while the owner held her dog by the collar, Brut and I were finally able to pass.

I was stunned and a bit flabbergasted.  I can not tell you how many times this has happened with Brut and me, of dogs running to get in his face, friend or foe.  It is as if they do not heed any warning signs Brut shoots out at all.  Which got me to thinking that what is going on with these dogs that they are willing to invade Brut's territory when he's made his indications known, with all the body language possible.  He wants to attack these dogs and they continue to come up to him either to confront or make friends.(?)

I don't know.  I don't understand it.  Are these friendly dogs so condition to friendly, socialized dogs they have been brainwashed and don't know a threat or a warning from another dog???

Is it a case of "all they know?"  Is it a socialized dog that is exposed to socialized dogs only knows the that all dogs are friendly?  Or an aggressive dog thinks all dogs are a threat and that's all he knows?

Because I'm really confused.  In the real world there are both.  Shouldn't our dogs be exposed to both if this is the case?

It raises many questions, I think, because wouldn't our dogs be a little safer with each other if they knew the warning signs from another dog and they could work it out?

Has anyone ever experience any thing like this with your reactive/aggressive dog?  What do you think the cause is?  What do you think should be done?  How have you handle the situation?

Please share.  


Sage said...

It's unfortunate that this dog was unleashed and didn't recognize the warning Brut was giving her. Sage can be leash-aggressive at times and I can never figure out what triggers it. She did have a dog get 'in her face' once at a local dog park (neither were leashed). She chose to run away from the threat and we don't frequent that dog park any more.

Pamela said...

It sounds like a case of a dog being under-socialized. We exposed Honey to lots of different dogs when she was a puppy and she learned how to read their language. As friendly as she is, she will not approach a dog who doesn't want her attention.

It's lucky for that dog that you were looking out of her more than her own person was.

24 Paws of Love said...

It never occurred to me that the dog could be under socialized. I just assumed because it was so friendly that it was socialized.

Thanks for clearing that up Pamela!

Jen said...

I'm glad the owner caught up eventually, but that kind of a situation drives me NUTS. Pretty much every time it's happened to us (Elka and I), though, the dog has been very unfriendly, and Elka certainly did not want anything to do with him/her.

I've been able to run them off/shame the owner into hurrying up, but that's kind of all you can do: fend the strange dog off while controlling yours.

How Sam Sees It said...

We have that issue with Monty is who is dog aggressive. I've given up trying to figure out why it happens and have turned my focus on protecting Monty. A few times I haven't been lucky enough to have the owner come and have had to do everything possible to get Monty past the dog. I always carry mace as a last resort.

Monty and Harlow

White Dog Blog said...

I agree it is probably unfamiliarity with the rules of social engagement on the dog's part (being undersocialized) BUT NO OWNER should EVER let their dog off leash in public unless they have absolutely mastered the recall command. And I mean without question or thought, return to owner. The White Dog Army is all impeccably trained and practice every day but only White Dog is EVER allowed off leash.

KB said...

I think some dogs do get lulled into thinking that all other dogs are nice. But, it is odd that they don't read the signals from Brut after their initial approach. Perhaps there's some ambiguity in his signals? I doubt it but it crossed my mind. My fearful dog, Shyla, can have "mixed feelings" about meeting someone, so her body language switches back and forth between "I want to meet you" and "I'm terrified to meet you" so fast that it can be difficult to see without video.

24 Paws of Love said...

Interesting point KB. Brut can be known to lure other dogs in by sitting and acting friendly, but this time he didn't do that to my knowledge. You're right though, the quickness in the body language, he is probably giving mixed signals.

Good thought. Thanks!