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Okay, NOW I'm asking for advice

1025 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  HollowHeaven
Soooo, those of you who read my last post "Sort of a Sad Rant", you know what my canine situation is where I live.
Those that didn't, basically, my dogs are nuts, and I'm the only person in my neighborhood that actually cares for their dogs.
Okay, now that we've had our refresher course...

Diesel is a 4 year old APBT X Border Collie who, for the first two years of his life, lived on the end of a 4 foot chain, with interaction ONLY from me and my friends. And, for the past two years, I've been struggling to socialize him. It's not going very well due to the lack of willing, eligible participants -.- ~ Aleu is 5, a Siberian Husky, and she's had boat loads of socialization, but unfortunately doesn't have very good doggy manners. Only Diesel can handle her. It's sort of like... she sends mixed signals. Dogs can't seem to figure out if she's friendly or a threat. Of course I can tell she's not a threat, I know her intentions are good, but she just... is rough and loud and excited.
But we manage.
Now here's the problem.
A new neighbor, who has been here for alllmmooosssttt a month, now randomly has two little, yappy, irritating, obviouslyneverhadanytrainingatallever dogs. One is a Shi'Tzu, the other is either a Shi'Tzu, or a Poodle. It was hard for me to tell between them shittingbricks and trying to distract my two. I heard them before I saw them. I didn't recognize their barks, and I can tell every dog down here apart by their bark. These two have had to have shown up this morning. So I know nothing about them.
But from what I have learned to read about dogs from just being around them, they are not joking around. They're growling and snapping and running from side to side and shoving their heads through the porch bars, standing rigid with their hackles raised, eyes fixed. I am DEFINITELY not comfortable walking past them, as they've been acting like this with not only dogs, but with people too. And cars. The only thing keeping them on their porch is a rickety baby gate that my brain keeps envisioning popping out with one swift press. .-.
My dogs HATE these things. Generally they try to ignore the other dogs but these two, they have just decided they want to eat them. Aleu is excited, she looks at them like they're cats. She gets that familiar look in her eye that says 'lunch >8D' and Diesel tightens his body and all but breaks his neck to get at them, his hackles raised and his own eyes fixed. That baby gate is the ONLY thing stopping a tragedy. For once, I'm frightened for someone else's dogs.
After walking/jogging for over an hour, playing with horses, and splashing in creeks and shoving their noses in godknowswhat's dens, they STILL remembered these dogs and stopped to look on the way back. Thankfully they weren't outside at the time.

And now the questions.
What can I do to at least get my dogs' attention off these things?
I'm honestly very afraid to pack any treats with me and use those to get their attention, because I feel like that would be us stopping, allowing the porchrats extra time to get excited and bark, and possibly knock that gate down and throw crap at the fan. And arranging my walking schedule around when the dogs are outside are inside won't really work as I have no way of knowing when they will or won't be outside, especially when I come back.
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What a terrible situation to be in. I feel for all of you. My two little porch rats, Leeo and Blu Boy were like this ... they were just scared most of the time ... and sounded like they meant harm ... but we had made a real wooden gate to attach to the deck that can in no way be opened. If the little dogs get loose it will not be your fault ... and it is too bad you have to walk the same way and have no other route to go. It would be horrid for them to become lunch. :(

Could you maybe go to the house without your dogs and explain your concerns with the little dogs owners?
One of my pups has some serious aggression issues towards dogs and horses. I am working with "look" ( eye contact with me) and she is progressing very well. This can be done walking as well as in the sit or stand. We will get up to actuallyhaving a dog come right up to her, and she will keep her focus on me. She is not this advanced yet, with dogs.

With the horses she is already focused, as soon as she even appears to be thinking about attacking, "leave it!", then " look " reward. This has been going on for about two weeks, every other day, and she is awesome. Yesterday she was off lead around the horse and was perfect!
I'm going to be perfectly honest and say that what I'm MOST afraid of is that if they were to come running off that porch and I couldn't intervene and one of them got hurt, something would happen to my dogs. That's really my worst fear, that someone will try and take them from me. I know that sounds selfish but it's without shame that I put my own first. Of course I'd also hate for someone else's dog to get hurt.

Abbylynn, I did sort of slip in a passing conversation that 'my dogs kinda think they're a snack. it might be a good idea to keep them in if you see us walking'.

juliemule: I'll have to try and work on that. I try to give them both at least half an hour a day of reinforcing training, or teaching new things. Aleu has always picked up on obedience and tricks VERY easily, and within just a few tries can get just about anything. Whether she does it or not is a different story. Diesel, however, has never been very good at learning. He'd rather just 'smile', roll over and look adorable.

I haven't seen these dogs at all today, -which makes me wonder if they're pottying inside? o-O- and with an extra long play time before the walk, and all the other dogs either napping or playing, we had a decently somewhat peaceful morning walk. We'll see how we fare later though, after all the other dogs have had enough time to wake up.

Eventually what I would like to do is get them both at a point where they want to listen to me instead of focusing on other animals.
I would love to someday be able to take Diesel in public without worrying about the dog around the corner. The last I took him out, I made the mistake of letting a friend convince me to take him to a little pet show. Disaster. He poo'd in front of the main stage, jumped on the picnic tables and ate someone's hotdog and tried to attack almost every dog there. Other people thought this to be very amusing but I didn't. If I could just get him to the point where he's comfortable with being around new dogs maybe.. just maybe...
The trouble is breaking his focus though.
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I honestly would get a can of compressed air, water gun, even a citronella spray and carry it with you- my guess is that if they did get loose and you sprayed one, they would both run back to the house yelping, giving you enough time to leave with your dogs and then maybe talk to their owners later. IMO a shot of something in their face is much better than the possibility of one getting seriously injured, and with luck you won't have to use it in the first place.
I... never thought about something as simple as a water gun. o.o
That could either be very effective, or no good at all. But it's worth a try.
I mean originally my thought was pepper spray... make sure its legal where you live, and honestly if you aim for the ground or air NEAR them, it'll sting enough to scare them off but won't do permanent damage. Again, I'm not advocating macing random dogs, but this is a case where stinging eyes are preferable to the alternative.
I use and carry an air horn meant for boats. Very loud and does the trick. With sprays have to worry about being blown back into your face if there is a wind.
Air horns even scare me. That's worth a shot too. Maybe a good, loud blast of scary will distract all dogs in a situation.
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