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I was supposed to go on a walk with my boyfriend's mom and her 2 chis today, but she wanted to take the dogs to the dog park instead. I really don't like going unless it is a small dog park, but I said ok. We were doing fine until 3 big dogs ran up to us, and Penny ran away. Lion, on the other hand, will ignore big dogs unless they get RIGHT in his face. I saw him growl at a big dog that then continued to follow him. He walked away because he was scared with his tail between his legs, and then turned around and "snapped" at the big dog. I don't want to allow him to bite other dogs, but wasn't he just telling the dog to get out of his space? It looked like more of a "hey, leave me alone!" snap than an aggressive thing. What do you guys think? Is this acceptable behavior?


Also, I don't allow him to bark/growl at big dogs on walks. If he ever starts to do it, I tell him "NO, quiet" and walk the other direction. Am I doing the right thing?
 

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I think that if you allow him to growl you could possibly become an owner whose dogs are never to blame.

Its a hard line to draw in that sense. I always said bijoux is not allowed to growl or snap at any dogs no matter what, she doesn't have to like them but she has to tollerate it. If he was a big dog we wouldn't tollerate it.
 

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I think it's an acceptable behavior! The dog should have backed off with the warning growl & didn't. He has bad manners IMO! Not all dogs love to have their space (& butts) invaded. If this happens to us I pick my dog(s) up because I don't want them becoming insecure & assume every dog is going to invade their space. Allowing them to "deal with it" is what creates actual dog aggression I believe.

I dunno...my opinion on this type of thing has changed. People expect Chi's to act like happy go lucky carefree dogs. Some are & that's great!! But as long as my Chi acts respectable out & about & can cope with other dogs presence w/o wigging out (a couple of my don't I admit)...I'm happy. If a dog is being rude/nosey & trying to dominate my dog by invading their space & keep their nose up my dogs butt despite a warning growl...I say snap! But like I said...I'd pick him up in that position because you don't want it effecting his opinion on ALL dogs if you kwim.

Just my thoughts on the situation...
 

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I think it's an acceptable behavior! The dog should have backed off with the warning growl & didn't. He has bad manners IMO! Not all dogs love to have their space (& butts) invaded. If this happens to us I pick my dog(s) up because I don't want them becoming insecure & assume every dog is going to invade their space. Allowing them to "deal with it" is what creates actual dog aggression I believe.

I dunno...my opinion on this type of thing has changed. People expect Chi's to act like happy go lucky carefree dogs. Some are & that's great!! But as long as my Chi acts respectable out & about & can cope with other dogs presence w/o wigging out (a couple of my don't I admit)...I'm happy. If a dog is being rude/nosey & trying to dominate my dog by invading their space & keep their nose up my dogs butt despite a warning growl...I say snap! But like I said...I'd pick him up in that position because you don't want it effecting his opinion on ALL dogs if you kwim.

Just my thoughts on the situation...

See this is how I feel as well. For example, my BF's mom owns a pit mix that Lion LOVES. He chases her around and loves to run outside w/ her. He doesn't act like that(growling) around all strange dogs, but sometimes they just invade his space and I sort of don't blame him. He doesn't actively seek out large dogs to growl at, but if one tries to run him over or shove their nose up his butt (like you were saying) he growls. I don't see it as aggressive, but some people might I suppose.
 

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I would be okay with it... I think it has to do with how well the dog is communicating; and how well the other is getting the signal. If I ccan easily tell that the other dog is not paying attention to my dogs signals and backing off, I will remove them from the situation so they don't get provoked.
I guess I look at it the same as people. If someone bumps into me at a store without apologizing, I might give them a dirty look but as long as they didn't continue slamming their bodies into me like in a mosh pit I wouldn't feel obligated to yell at them lol.
Not all dogs are trying to be mean when they run up to smaller dogs; sometimes they're just really young or stupid and curious.... just haven't learned manners yet.
I know some people who are really oblivious to social cues too. If my dog is being bullied I would want them to communicate; not just passively stand it... does that make sense?
 

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Vice tends to be a bit of a jerk and act like the 18 month old dog that he is. The chis don't always agree with this and if a little growl doesn't cause him to back off they will snap a bit. If they do that I force Vice to back off not the chihuahuas. He was being the jerk and they were just defending themselves from his rudeness. I think of it like with any animal including people. If someone were following you around in your personal space and a polite "leave me alone" doesn't fix the problem then sometimes you have to be more assertive. JMO
 

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Yep, I agree air snapping is perfectly acceptable doggy communication.
Hannah does this quite often when we are out. She will happily exchange a polite sniff hello but if the other dog doesnt move off (or worse, wont take its nose out of her bottom) she gets uncomfortable, growls and finally will snap in front of their noses.
As long as your dog isnt initiating this behaviour but responding to bad behaviour in another dog, and as long as that is an end to it and they dont try and follow the other dog then its all good!:) All the time I see dogs ignoring the warning signs that little dogs give off, dont know if its coz they dont see them or just dont care??:confused:
 

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hi i think its fine thats how they speak to each other the large dog was makeing him feel very uncomfortable and needed to leave him alone
 

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See this is how I feel as well. For example, my BF's mom owns a pit mix that Lion LOVES. He chases her around and loves to run outside w/ her. He doesn't act like that(growling) around all strange dogs, but sometimes they just invade his space and I sort of don't blame him. He doesn't actively seek out large dogs to growl at, but if one tries to run him over or shove their nose up his butt (like you were saying) he growls. I don't see it as aggressive, but some people might I suppose.
I agree with Heather and the others with this point of view. I also agree that with our dog's size we need to step in an pick them up if they aren't being respected by another (person or dog!). I give mine the opportunity to give the warning if they choose, but then I pick up quickly if I see no response. I also won't let others with large dogs walk up to us. I give them a "please don't come close" request even if they insist their dog is friendly. I just don't want to take that chance. Our little ones are very vulnerable with their size. This might sound like overkill, but I even have a mace spray with me when walking the neighborhood. My border collie was attacked (actually bitten) when we were walking one day. We have a lot of people in our neighborhood that don't respect the leash law.:( In fact a Mastif just charged our fence a couple weeks ago when my guy's were out in the morning....I was furious and let the owner know.
 

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I agree with Heather as well,pick them up if that other dog turns nasty,could go the other way,my last Chi was attacked by a pitbull for sticking up for himself
 

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I always said bijoux is not allowed to growl or snap at any dogs no matter what, she doesn't have to like them but she has to tollerate it. If he was a big dog we wouldn't tollerate it.
I feel that this is really unfair to the dog. Studies show that if you punish a dog for growling then they are more likely to SKIP growling and progress right to biting. A growl is a warning. I allow Teddy to growl if he feels threatened and to move away on his own, but he is never, EVER allowed to show his teeth or snap at someone (and I've never seen him do it).

That being said, a PERSON will likely hear a dog growling and move away themselves or I would tell them to move away from my dog. But another DOG, especially bigger dogs, may not obey the warning and keep pushing them. I think Lion was just trying to tell the big dog, "Look, I CAN bite you if you press me." That's perfectly normal. I would call it dog aggression if he sees big dogs and runs up to them with the sole intention of biting them because he hates them so much, but I think he was just reacting out of fear and trying to assert himself to make sure he's well-protected.

Although his reaction was based in fear, aggression is still aggression. To make your dog sit there and tolerate behavior that they find scary or stressful demonstrates to your dog that you don't have their best interests at heart. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to let the dog give its warning and then step in personally to protect them or remove the scary stimulus. Don't wait until it becomes aggression. Or if possible you can try to show them that the scary thing is not really that scary at all by socializing frequently (desensitization) or using food-based rewards to build positive associations (classical conditioning).
 
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