Advise Needed on Agressive Behavior

andrea_san_diegoOctober 13, 2009

Early this morning I walked down my driveway to pick up the morning newspaper and was charged by a very angry male black lab. He was dragging a leash so I figured he had escaped from somewhere near by but I had never seen him before. He barked fiercely, growled, bared his teeth, and the hair on his back was raised so I knew he was serious although his tail was wagging. I decided not to move until he backed off but I was stuck there for a good 10 minutes before a neighbor from down the street drove by and stopped his truck to help. The lab ignored him and his truck and continued to bark and growl at me.

How should I have behaved to get out of this situation?

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You probably did the best thing. Running and he would have chased you, don't turn back on dog. Not looking into the dogs eyes I have heard looking into eye can be considered aggressive to dog. I have in the sternest/loud voice possible said stop and go home to a unknown dog. But with an obviously aggressive dog I would not have done that. Did the neighbor have you get into his truck. Did you call someone to report the dog.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 3:10PM
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I agree not to turn your back on the dog. You could probably back away slowly and be fine.

You could have tried giving him a command like "Sit", most dogs know that command, and sometimes you can assert your authority, change his demeanor, refocus his attention by giving him a command. Of course you have to be firm and say it with authority.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 3:37PM
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Thanks for the advise. I feel a little more confident now in case it should happen again. It turns out that the dog is staying with my neighbor just across the street. Not sure if it's permanent or temporary but I'm going to go talk to him about it. He's having some landscaping done in the backyard so the dog is tied up at the front door all day. I'll have to catch him while he's outside because I'm sure not going to go up and ring the doorbell with that crazy dog right there.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 8:28PM
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Actually you might have been able to stay facing the dog and back slowly towards the house. But, obviously, what you did was one of the correct actions, albeit an uncomfortable one.

The action of the dog is a bit confusing. He acted towards you and ignored someone approaching from behind him? There must have been something triggering that behavior.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 10:56PM
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You did a good job by not moving. I usually use common commands with a strange dog that I think might be dangerous - "sit!" "no!" "go home!". If you are firm with a low, steady voice and confident with your body language, it works.

If it's just a roaming dog that appears harmless, I use my happy sing-song voice. "Hi Puppy! C'mere baby!" They come right to me for a little head scratch.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2009 at 11:27PM
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