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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to know if I am understanding what I am reading: that one needs to anticipate that dogs may not want to to meet each other, even if they are showing all the signs of interest.

This source believes dog walkers should steer clear of others (dogs, people, & "couples") by not coming within 15+ feet of them.

I have experienced why this is desirable: many dogs without warning, will take offense at something only a dog can see, & get assertive (growl, snap) or aggressive (actual bite).

My Cappy (neutered 8 yr old rescued a year ago) is "assertive" about 1/2 the time. All seems to be going well with mutual butt-sniffs, then something happens that I can't detect, & he will "use dog language" to tell them to back off.

Most dog owners who he has done this to, say their dog will do the same thing on occasion.

My personal preference would be giving as much freedom as is safe. The problem is, the only way he will be 100% safe is if he's always under my control & somehow that seems a bit more restrictive than I would like if I were a dog.

Does anyone else see this as a dilemma?
 

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As long as the 'other dog' has good dog manners. If the other dog decides "who the hell is this little dog telling off---not me!" I'm just plain scared for my dogs, unless every one is secured; as in a puppy kindergarten. We had a small puppy area, where labs and shepherds were not allowed. Occasionally a bigger dog that was really terrified of other dogs, would come in, always accompanied by the trainer, and its owner.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Susan,
You say you are scared for your dogs - is this from bad experiences? This is what I am trying to learn how to avoid.
 

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I had a bad experience with one of my chi's. We were in the back yard (not fenced) and the dog was on leash. My neighbors TWO jack russells got out of their back door, and attacked my dog. She ended up with a puncture wound on her neck, and the worse injury was a corneal abrasion that covered 1/2 of her eye. From being rolled around on the ground. This attack left her fearful/aggressive to other dogs. I really don't walk them any more, they are inside dogs. Mostly due to my severe arthritis.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
We had a close call this weekend, which is what prompted my inquiries.

It has been HOT here, so I took Cappy to a local beach which allows dogs off-leash, if they are well-behaved (privately owned beach).

We had only been there once before, with 2 other chis & he had the time of his life; it did me good to see him so happy.

This time was a very different experience. We had been there about 5-10 min, & I headed toward a lady with 2 small dogs, close to Cappy (who is 11 lbs).

At first they were playful (about 10-20 seconds) & then one of them went after Cappy. No injuries & the lady was profusely apologetic, but Cappy was shaking, & the fun had gone, it seemed to me.

I am sorry to hear about yr arthritis. Our 2 walks a day is what our lives revolve around at this point, so I continue to try to learn more.
 

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It only takes a second for a bad meeting to become a tragedy with a chi. They are so small and some breeds may mistake them for a rabbit. I am very careful, watching not only the other dog, but the owner. Is the owner keeping their dog under control, not assuming that it will be a good meeting. A knowledgeable owner will usually talk to you first. I've found Mickey to be the best judge. If he shows any fear I just pick him up. He knows best. Even that can be dangerous. A larger dog may be so intent on getting to your chi that you will get jumped on and possibly knocked down. It seems to me that the more training the other dog has the more likely a polite meeting. Sorry, I'm rambling. Almost bedtime.
 

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I think the rules are different when you are just walking your dog and when you are in a designated off-leash area.

Nobody should let their dog off-leash outside designated areas (most places have laws that say this in the US), and people walking dogs should never approach (like let their dog lead them closer to) other dog walkers or people without asking for and getting clear and enthusiastic permission. If someone has a dog off-leash outside a designated area, they better have a 100% recall on their dog and not allow it to approach other dogs or people with the same rules as above. If you or the other person with a leashed dog want to avoid passing closely, like on a sidewalk, that person can cross a quiet street, pull off and put the dog in a sit, etc. The other walker should respect the space created.

In off-leash areas, the dogs there should be able to calmly meet any other dog, within reason. People in that area choose to be there, so they should expect to be approached by dogs. Unfortunately, many people do not know their dogs well enough, and take them to these places when they shouldn't. Of course, there will always be dogs that don't get along, but any dog that won't be happy around large, young, rambunctious dogs should probably steer clear of most off-leash areas.

As for protecting our little ones just in case, I have been eyeing these products for a while, and I wouldn't let my tiny guy mix with much larger dogs off-leash without this: https://coyotevest.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I didn't know that there have been a lot of incidents of larger dogs injuring or killing small dogs at the beach.
I was lulled into complacency by our previous walk at this off-leash beach. We were with my niece & her 2 chihuahuas. Cappy had such a fun time for the several hours we were there.
We did spend the whole time walking, so maybe that lessened any territorial feelings other dogs might have had toward him.
Live & learn.
 

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Continuing to walk could make a big difference. As you say, if the dogs want to stay with their people, they won't be taking so much time with other dogs that they get snippy with each other.
 

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I never let my dogs meet other dogs on the street or at places like Petsmart. I will actually lie and say that my dogs are vicious. Now, this is a total lie....my dogs have passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test and the AKC Star Puppy test.

I will allow my dogs to meet other dogs in a controlled environment when I know the other dogs. For example, classmates at dog training and doggy day care, where the dogs have been vetted.
I would rather some stranger think I have vicious dogs than to have some clueless person with a dog with a nasty temperament attack my guys.


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