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Old 03-29-2012, 04:09 PM   #1
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Default In haste, what just HAPPENED out there???

We went to the reservation, same trails, same quiet picnic area, everything peaceful nice breeze...and Sophie prances up to the trail next to the picnic area and turned into Cujo.

<I have to take that movie out of the library, never saw it. I understand it starts with a dog putting his nose into the wrong place. Perhaps that's an explanation...gah>

I've NEVER seen her like that before...everyones worst nightmare of an enraged pit bull. But the transformation-if you saw a field mouse turn into a fire breathing dragon...

Some time ago a family member became deranged...the whole time he was going off and even up to the police arriving Sophie stayed hidden and frightened. If she had the hardwiring to protect us wouldn't she have gone off then???

This was just a tall young man, dark skinned, red jacket and hat. Just like other 70% of the young men we see every day...that she pays no attention to. At night she's gotten tweaky sometimes if someone steps out of a shadow or down a dark street but not like today. I've never seen her react so strongly to anything human or animal. Never a human certainly.

She was almost frothing, no she had her rabies shots, but the barking and leaping and him kicking her and me trying to catch her. Did she see a threat I didn't see? Was she having a flashback? She'll leap upright from a sound sleep barking and confused sometimes.

But when I walked the opposite direction she stopped...and followed me...with her head over her shoulder the whole way back...then she dropped her head and tail like "Woooo, close one". If he had called the police...plan A we have connections that can get us out of serious grief or plan B I would've had to say he threatened me in some way and she was protecting me-law says if a dog is acting in the protection of a human it won't be condemned as a dangerous dog...

I don't want to worry about anything going that far...just soothe my ruffled fur...if I was feline I'd look like a Halloween cat right now
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:20 PM   #2
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Sounds like fear aggression. She has issues on leash already, right?

It's difficult to know exactly what sets an insecure dog off at times, unfortunately. Often it's trigger stacking. I think you should try to work on her underlying issues, and keep her leashed whenever you're around potential triggers...

Good thing it was more a scare than anything serious, though! I realize "It could be much worse" may not sound like much of a comfort right now, but really while I understand it probably feels horrible at the moment it was the best warning you could hope for.

Good luck sorting things out!
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:24 PM   #3
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Wow Katydid, that is really scary!! I would have to think something about him bothered the HECK out of her or scared her in some way. If I recall you adopted her right..? Maybe he looked like someone from her past? I really don't know but that'd sure scare me to!
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Old 03-29-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
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katydid, maybe it was just something about the guy that set her off. I honestly believe dogs just "know" when someone is just not "right."

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Old 03-29-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monstermom View Post
Sounds like fear aggression. She has issues on leash already, right?

It's difficult to know exactly what sets an insecure dog off at times, unfortunately. Often it's trigger stacking. I think you should try to work on her underlying issues, and keep her leashed whenever you're around potential triggers...

Good thing it was more a scare than anything serious, though! I realize "It could be much worse" may not sound like much of a comfort right now, but really while I understand it probably feels horrible at the moment it was the best warning you could hope for.

Good luck sorting things out!
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I would absolutely echo this advice, and not investing in training right now is a big mistake. This type of response is likely to escalate if untreated.

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Old 03-29-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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Susie is always friendly with everyone but a month or so ago, I man walked up my long driveway (turned out he was Jehovah Witness). I heard Susie bark and went out. By that time he had reached my gate and Susie just started growling and snarling at him. Have NEVER seen her do that before. I am sure she would have attacked him.

The next day, the same man stopped at my sister's place. Same thing, he started down their driveway and their Redbone hound who was in the truck as they were just heading out, JUMPED out the window and ran up and bit the guy. Luckily he just tore his pants, didn't get any skin. He has never been aggresive and has never jumped out of the truck.

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Old 03-29-2012, 05:48 PM   #7
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Yes...get this figured out and training as soon as possible.
In the mean time, I would not let her off leash any where she might meet a stranger and close leash too.
Only thing I can relate it to is a large dog was barking and growling at me the dog park a while ago and its owner said it was because she didn't like hats. Owner was able to redirect the dog and I didn't really feel endangered but if the dog had done a cujo on me, no telling what would have happened.
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:53 PM   #8
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katydid, maybe it was just something about the guy that set her off. I honestly believe dogs just "know" when someone is just not "right."
Perfectly innocent people minding their own business can look suspicious to a dog for any number of reasons. They aren't judging character, they are just reacting to dress / smell / body language etc.

Making excuses for the dogs is not helpful, the dog needs to be under control and if the dog is even occasionally reactive to strangers then a lead in public is required.

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Old 03-29-2012, 07:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
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katydid, maybe it was just something about the guy that set her off. I honestly believe dogs just "know" when someone is just not "right."
I wholeheartedly agree!

You could probably test for 'red hat' or any other specific feature that might have been it but most likely it's some vibe that the guy gave off that set her off.

Both Robbie (my previous Collie) and MacKenzie have been known to be relaxing in the shade, minding their own business and suddenly been at the end of their tether screaming and snarling at someone passing by.

Robbie did it when we were on gate duty at a music festival. Turns out the guy he reacted to was picked up within a half hour for dealing drugs.

MacKenzie did it to a guy at an open air market. Another fellow following along behind him, leaned in and told me that Kenz had really good judgement. It was an undercover cop that was following someone known to be up to no good. Kenz had reacted to the bad guy in a 0 to 60 moment.

While I realize that what Sophie did was scary as all get out, she reacted to something!!

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Old 03-29-2012, 07:49 PM   #10
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Whew, I'm still a bit shaky...come to think of it a black lab went off on me the other day at the dog park...barking, almost like he was going to jump at my sleeve...and it was scary...the owner is part of the coffee group, so she passed by and pulled down my hood and then he was okay. The next time I saw him...with my hood down, I gently approached him with my secret weapon...Tushy Rub with acrylic nails...I could soothe a grizzly with that, made a new buddy.

Just.wow. Anyone know how you teach them to just target those pesky Jehovahs guys, and maybe the ones pushing aluminum siding too...chuckle, chuckle-that's a great story about Susie.

My baby, I have to accept that yes she is gentle and goofy and wonderful, but she's also a very powerful dog who needs help resolving her fear issues completely. We've made so much progress the last few years but I need a professional to help iron out the rest. Thanks for the input folks, I feel a bit better...a margarita n' I'll feel loads better...

I try to find gallows humor in what I can...you have to sometimes-while the guy was kicking at Sophie I got between them. He missed Sophie and kicked my hand...breaking my fake nail and real nail together owwwwww,.....fleeting thought just for a second there-" You broke my nail, okay then Soph have at him!
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