Poetry in Motion

Sampson and Delilah don’t have the best greeting skills.   Their idea of greeting a person is to rush to the door and wait to be petted.

We do work on greeting skills when people come over, but it’s what I consider a work in progress.

Their dog greeting skills are similar.  If they are on leash when they see another dog, they go right to the end, straining and pulling.  If they are off-leash, they will rush full out to get their sniff on.

When we are walking, I try to be aware of other dogs.  Most of the dogs on the trails we walk on are off-leash and have the same greeting skills as Sampson and Delilah, making it difficult to work on our own greeting skills.

Occasionally we have what I refer to as a stalker dog.

You know what I mean, the kind of dog that follows you for a bit, never coming quite close enough and running the opposite way when my dogs try and approach.

Typically I let the dogs choose our route, unless I know there is a LaCrosse game in the field.  Whichever way they turn I follow.  Normally they go the same way, which is okay with me.

Last week we were heading up the main trail when I saw a small Jack Russell Terrier coming towards us at a quick pace.

I was quick, but not quick enough.  Sampson and Delilah saw him too.

Not "THE" stalker dog, but similar.  (This is my sister's dog, J.D.)

Not “THE” stalker dog, but similar. (This is my sister’s dog, J.D.)

Both my guys stood stock still, watching.  The dog kept coming.

“Sampson come!” I called  He stood watching. The JR kept coming.

“Delilah here” I coaxed.  She stood still at the end of the leash, watching the troops advance.

“Puppy STOP!” I bellowed at the Jack Russel, not knowing his name. He kept coming.

“Puppy GO BACK” I yelled.  His little JR legs propelled him closer.

I dropped Delilah’s leash and released the hounds.

There was a little growling, but no sounds of a scuffle.  Meanwhile at no point in time did another person appear in the scene, this took place in about the course of a minute and a half.

I turned and walked the other way calling my dogs.  Once the initial greeting was over, they quickly came back.  But I watched, he still continued to follow us for a bit but once we hit the field, he left us.

Here’s what impresses me about my dogs.  They were both stiff and focused on the approaching dog, when I dropped Delilah’s leash, it was if I’d blew a whistle, somehow they both knew it was time to charge and they moved as if they were one.

Just like Poetry in Motion.

I'm keeping a lookout for Stalker Dogs.

I’m keeping a lookout for Stalker Dogs.

How do you handle uncontrolled dogs on your walks? Have you ever encountered a stalker dog?

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  1. says

    I love the way dogs in the same pack seem to get in tune with each other. Fortunately we’ve never faced off leash dogs on our walks.

  2. says

    Sorry… no brilliant comment here. Walking in the country, we don’t encounter off leash dogs like this. (But I did want you to know I stopped by… and love that last photo of Sampson)

  3. says

    Wow Jodi, that is just so cool they were so appropriate with that dog. And that you had the right instincts!

    No stalker dogs here but occasionally there has been a neighbor’s dog who got loose. On these occasions I’ve been pretty impressed with my boys–startled and stiff to be sure, but no scuffles.

    About the tug of war, I’ll bet it would be a good way to teach them not to snap your fingers when taking treats. Here is another idea for working with that http://peacefuldog.blogspot.com/2013/03/another-impulse-control-exercise-slow.html

  4. says

    When we face dogs off leash I get really nervous. The boys are normally very good but if the approaching dog is not friendly or feels threatened when my dogs are towering over them, I feel there is not much I can do because the Newfs are just so strong. Thankfully we have only had one issue like this, but I’ll never forget it.

  5. says

    Unless the dog seems really unfriendly, or Morgan is going batshit, then I try to call the dog over to me if it isn’t accompanied by a human. Generally, though, if Morgan is with us, she makes enough noise that other people do collect their dogs! 😉 Most of the places we frequent are places that require dogs to be on leash, too, so we don’t encounter off leash dogs too often.

  6. says

    Once when Ryder and Kori were puppies we were on a walk, when two large dogs came running towards us, full speed. My daughter and I picked them both up, and I yelled at the dogs to stop. They didn’t, but they ended up being very friendly dogs, who had just dug their way out of their yards. They owner came after them, and it ended well, but it sure scared me for a minute or two!

  7. says

    Haven’t had a “stalker dog” encounter, and Giz is pretty good meeting dogs when we’re off leash on trails…he can be defensive when 2 or more dogs rush him so I stay alert for that

  8. says

    Oh, if I had a dollar for every loose dog we meet! Luckily, Koly & Fe handle it pretty well. Most of Felix’s restraint anxiety has been dealt with now, though if a dog gets all up in his butt, he might get touchy. Our usual response is to snap Kol & Fe onto the same leash and the wanderer onto another so they can be kept separate while I look for the dogs people. (Usually around here a loose dog means a lost dog, though occasionally we find ignorant owners as well). In a pinch I’ve also picked Felix up off the groundBEFORE any chaos ensues, as removing him from the situation is usually all he needs to relax.

  9. says

    I don’t exactly live in the area where I can let my dogs off leash, and Toby’s been attacked once and nipped another time, and Leah was attacked once, so I now carry citronella spray and have used it once as a loose dog started following too close for comfort. Happy to say, it did work – I sprayed him and he turned and took off.

    I don’t love the idea of spraying a dog, but my dogs come first and citronella is benign. It’s not like I’m macing them!

  10. says

    Katie and I work as a team. Usually I send her out to test the waters and once she is ok with things I join in. Don’t have too many loose dogs running around in our area but we rarely have any issues with them.

  11. says

    Glad everything turned out fine. J.D is cute! I have to really watch Nellie around other dogs, she will go after them if they get in her space. I use the word leave it and that works most of the time.

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