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Today I was walking my dog through a narrow walkway with a fenced yard on either side. The yard on the left side belongs to three medium sized dogs who generally bark their heads off and run up and down the fence when we pass. Rufus is usually alert and looks at the dogs, but we walk by without any incident. Today however, I admittedly wasn't as focused as I should have been, and one of the dogs poked his head through the fence and snapped at his face. He snapped back and started barking and I had to put a death grip on his collar and haul him past the house. Once we got past I said NO and put him in a sit until we both calmed down. Then we went for the rest of the walk with no incident.

I've never seen him react to any dog with anything but excitement so it was kind of a shocking experience for me. It all happened so fast and loudly that I can't really say who started it, but I don't want him snapping at any dog for any reason. What could I have done to better handle the situation?
 

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Honestly? Just prevented it by being alert. Sounds to me like a simple startle reaction. He wasn't expecting the dog to come out snapping at him. It shocked him, he reacted. His "snap" sounds to me like a "BACK OFF!" to me.
 

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I agree with Inga. Not Rufus' fault, he doesn't even really need a correction for it. Any dog is going to want to defend itself if another is aggressing. I doubt it'll happen again as long as you stay on guard.
 

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but I don't want him snapping at any dog for any reason. What could I have done to better handle the situation?
I know next to nothing about dogs, but it stands to reason you should want your dog to defend itself if it's attacked. It sounds me to me like your dog simply reacted to a threat and a reasonable way.
 

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I wouldn't worry about it, because your dog did nothing wrong. I would avoid walking in that area, since these dogs react. No sense in exposing your dog to them again.

I had 3 of my 4 dogs out for a walk tonight, and encountered a couple with their young toddler and two Daschunds. They were on the sidewalk in front of us, so I slowed down to give them enough time to continue on (some people are afraid of my BIG Poodles, especially my male, who looks HUGE with all that hair!). The Doxies spotted us, and lunged toward us, barking hysterically. I stopped and waited. Good Poodles! They stood there patiently, and QUIETLY, while the Doxies barked and shrieked and squealed like they were being murdered. My Poodles were calm because I was calm. Had I clamped down on their leashes, they may well have reacted differently. We had space between us, while you and your dog were in a narrow walkway, so of course you pulled him away to safety. Just be aware of your feelings and how you're holding the leash the next time you encounter a reactive dog or dogs - you might unconciously get tense because of what just happened, and your dog's next similar encounter will be important.
 

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No such things as a bad dogs, only bad owners who don't train....anyway other than being alert and paying attention there really isn't much you can do. If you were in Rufus's position and soemone startled you, you would probably fight back in some way also.
 

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I agree with everything said about Rufus not being in the wrong here. We get so used to our dogs being gentle, lovable, sweet, etc. that we forget what they are capable of when pushed. All we can do is try our best to keep our dogs out of situations that cause such a reaction; when it does happen though nature takes over.
 
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