was this dog aggressive or playful?

newhomeseekerJune 16, 2009

I had posted about my fiance's neighbors leaving their dogs running loose all the time. This weekend we were out mowing the lawn and another stray (loose) dog came into the yard. This dog looked like a pitt bull but was pretty tall. He had a collar on but no tags. My fiance was using the weed trimmer and said something came up behind him and smacked him in the butt (he thought it was me trying to get his attention) and he turned around really quickly and this dog was standing there. It had come up behind him and 'nudged' him almost knocking him over. He was using the weed trimmer at the time which is very noisy.

My fiance's son walked down to ask his dad a question (the dog was across the road at the time) and the dog saw the 9 year old and ran over and tried to chase him. We weren't sure if it was play chasing or aggressive as though he was going after him. My fiance had to aim the weed trimmer (while it was turned on) at the dog to keep it between him and his son. He chased the dog off our property and it went across the road and walked around the neighbor's yard. We called animal control (this was Saturday) but they were closed and didn't open again until Monday. This all happened so fast we didn't notice if the dog's ears were laid back or if its tail was wagging etc when it tried to chase my fiance's son. It definately was aggressive though.

Luckily we haven't seen the dog since but I'm not going to take any more walks up the road anymore.

Do you think the dog was being aggressive and was dangerous or was he trying to play? I know most dogs don't like loud noises and won't normally advance on someone running a chainsaw, driving a tractor etc.

on another note- I had posted about all the neighbors letting their dogs run loose and I finally convinced my fiance to talk to our closest neighbor. He told them to keep their dog out of yard. The neighbor's wife said she didn't even know where their dog was (he was standing in the middle of the road at the time) and they slammed the door in his face. But the dog hasn't been in our yard.

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Sorry to hear your neighbors are unresponsive to your requests. That sucks. Well, no more MIster nice guy, calling the poud should be your first response now.
NOTE - It is a misnomer that a dog with a wagging tail and its ears up is going to be friendly. This could just mean an excited state. Not good.
Chasing means the dog sees the child as prey, teach your child to stand stock still when near an unfamilar dog, tell them not to scream as this will excited a dog and may trigger prey drive in it. Teach your kid to say in a deep voice - calmly, STOP, LEAVE IT, GO HOME, BAD DOG. Teach your kid to stay still. No running jumping or sudden movements. NO MOVEMENT and NO SOUND unless they feel confident to say go home or leave it.
It is hard to determine if the dog was tryig to be friendly or not - you may want to make certain your kids are out in a buddy system from now on and please document each incident in case. Take a photo of the dog if you can to give to the animal control officer later. They need to know what to look for.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 5:37PM
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That sounds like a dog wanting to play.

Dogs seldom nudge someone from the rear as an attack. The bit about the behavior with the kid could be play behavior as well.

The problem is that unless you know dog behavior and mannerisms, it is much safer to do just what was done.What mazer recommended is good advice---with the emphasis on CALM. If the child had a toy/stick/bat/ball/hat, they should hold the object between them and the dog. Do not wave or threaten with it. And call for help in as calm a loud voice as possible.

That will work in most cases. There are other things that work in other cases---backing slowly away while facing the dog, for instance, works with a dog that is territorial or scared.

I like the buddy system idea.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 8:31PM
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It sounds like play to me as well. My 10 month old Australian Shepherd pup is doing crazy stuff like this as well, not out alone but when we go out the front door or get out of the car etc.. if he sees the neighbors mowing or anything he's right there regardless if their back is turned.. Jumped on the neighbor ladies back the other day as she was mowing and surprised her..good thing she loves him. 2 seconds after that he'll be off over to the next thing that moves and he loves to chase. I have to be ever so careful now letting him out of the car or house and pretty much has to be on a leash because I can't take a chance him running out in the street. Quiet street but of course the couple of times he's gotten away is always the time a car just happens to be coming around the corner. Murphys law.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 9:54PM
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