Meeting the cousins, AKA How do you handle a bratty dog.
#1
Last week we took a trip to visit family.  Mattie is terrified of any new dog she meets (with the exception of other Border Collies and some Australian Shepherds).  How big a dog is matters to Mattie, small dogs are OK, big dogs are scary.  My plan for having Mattie meet new dogs is to get out the Chuck-It.  Tasha chases the ball, Mattie chases Tasha, and the new dogs run around and Mattie can get used to them.  It worked like a charm with seven of the eight dog we met.  But there is always that one dog and that dog was Dave. 

Dave is a gun dog with no social skills, he is cute and funny and loves everyone (human and canine) but is clueless.  Mattie growled and snapped and finally lunged at Dave and he didn't get it.  I quickly decided that I had to protect Mattie and either kept her in another area of the house away from Dave or held onto Dave's collar to keep him from bothering her (100 lbs. of overweight dog).  It was such an issue that other family members noticed and would hold Dave by the collar to keep him from bothering Mattie.  Everyone knew what was going on except Dave's owner (who thought I needed to take Mattie to the dog park so she could learn to get along with other dogs). 

Any suggestions how to handle this next visit?  If this was a stranger I would be bold and tell them what an obnoxious brat of a dog they owned.  But this is a family member that I love and he loves his dog and can't see any faults.  How could Dave be the problem, he loves everyone!  Sigh.....
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#2
Oh dear, what a delicate situation and I bet Dave isn't crate trained or accustomed to being tethered not that I suppose it matters if Daves human can't see the problem. It would be hard work for you but all I can think of short of being very politely honest is to keep stepping between them and blocking him. Surely Daves human would eventually question your actions which would give you the opportunity to say, "well I'm doing it because your lovely but overly friendly dog just doesn't seem to understand dog talk for I'M NOT INTERESTED and then pull out an awesome article written by a respected professional that you have already printed off and hand it to him. You could then say, "I love your dog and worry that one day a less tolerant and big dog might hurt him when he doesn't listen to their warning to back off. Sorry, best I could come up with. Dealing with family you love warts and all is a whole new trick isn't it.
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#3
Trifan's answer is pretty much all I have too. Sorry Sad I bet Dave also doesn't have an off switch - or at least a very good one.

One thing I would do next time is bring extra treats and such, and have a training session. I know working relationship matters in a dog but if you have the right treat you can get any dog to refocus for it. I would just play the Treat Circle game (assuming the bumbling oaf at least has a good sit and Mattie can be on the other side of you (or even working beside a crate she is in)). Have the dogs sit, reward calm behavior in a circle. If a dog breaks the sit they get skipped, ask for a sit again. This is how I worked things when Kairo got too playful and wasn't listening to Ember - as soon as things started getting heated, I walked between them, luring Kairo away. If I was quick enough before Ember got too upset, she would follow at her comfortable distance and place herself right where she thought she needed to be, and I worked with whatever she gave me.

Sharkey dogs are hard to do this with, but use a few reps to teach "Gentle" at the same time. Tight fist until a lick happens instead of a bite. After a few seconds, if the lick doesn't come, skip the dog and give it to the next.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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#4
(06-30-2017, 06:17 AM)Ember Wrote: ... the bumbling oaf ...

Big Grin

Sorry, but that did make me laugh!
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#5
Dave has no off switch, has never been in a crate, has rarely been on a leash, and doesn't know any commands (not even 'sit').  He will come when called if his name is yelled enough times. I think I'll use 'bumbling oaf' to describe Dave.  I have one sister that calls him 'Doofus' and another sister that calls him 'Meathead' and I need something original.    Lmao
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#6
"Taking dogs to the dog park so they learn how to get along with other dogs" reminds me of Lord of the Flies. Ill behaved children together with no adult supervision does not teach children how to behave and they are supposed to be far more intelligent than dogs. I don't understand for even a minute how someone can possibly think that's a good idea, but I know so many people that think just exactly like that, so I know it's a thing.
Gotta love 'em.
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#7
Gideon's mom, I completely agree.
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#8
(07-01-2017, 10:18 PM)Tasha Wrote: Gideon's mom, I completely agree.

I agree too, actually I have never been to one but I thought they were mostly intended as a space for people who don't have yards so "they" can play ball games and such with their dogs. I wouldn't even entertain the idea of going to one for socialisation with other dogs.

We would call Dave Numbnut because apart from other anatomical features that carry the nickname we also call a head (in slang) a nut or noggin. "Use your nut"(singular not plural LOL), "cracked my noggin on the door" ergo numb in the head = numbnut
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#9
Yep, we use numbnut for someone that isn't capable of using their brain, usually Labradors...
Gotta love 'em.
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#10
Yes lol! Glad I could make a few smile Big Grin If said dog is so untrained, I'd just keep my dog away, personally.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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