I’m not looking for a behaviorist, we have been in training with a trainer. I just want to know I’m not alone and others have been here. By the way our poodle Zack is 1 years old
Ever since Zack was attacked at a dog park when he was 4 months old he has been scared and a bit agressive toward larger dogs especially ones that resemble the one that got him. (And when I saw agressive he barks like crazy but hides, so I don’t think I would classify it as agression he stays far away from the dogs, more freaking out)
We got him to a point where he could see other large dogs and he would be cautious but friendly. and he has spent some time with my uncles golden retriever.
Well we recently moved and found this quiet little dog park right down the street. Its quiet and empty most of the time so the first day we went we went when it was empty so they both could get used to the idea (Sasha (our lab mix) has never been) But then this guy with a husky mix came and immediately started nipping Sasha so we knew it was time to leave.
So yesterday we went again and they played with two chiuahua mixes and played wonderfully. And after they left a pug mix came in and she hadn’t really been socialized with any dogs other then the other family dog. And Zack and her became real good buddies (Sasha just laid under my husbands feet) and he played nicely with her for a long time.
At that point we felt we were making good progress.
Well then this guy brought in this large Shepard mix (he had the dobbie colors but I don’t know what he was beautiful dog though. We thought Zack might be okay we a have a white German Shepard in our complex.) and his dog was pretty wild and as soon as he came near Sasha she freaked and Zack was already in my arms his nails clutched into my skin, screaming. (Which got Sasha upset and she got defensive with the thing. We left immediately. (No offense to anyone who has only had big dogs, but I’ve noticed at the dog park a lot of people who have big dogs have no idea how easily a small dog can be hurt by a big dog, not do a lot of them care and they tend to come off as big jerks. No offence to big dog owners I know not everyone is that way but I’ve met a few) Anyways I don’t know what he was thinking bringing the dog in off leash. The rule is if there are other dogs already at play to keep your dog on the leash for the first several minutes. But whatever.
I will state its not all large dog owners just a few I’ve come in contact with in the past
Zack is okay I don’t think he is scarred for life but it seems he only has a problem with dogs that have either similar features or builds of the dog that got him. And he freaks out.
But it concerns me, in a few years after we have a child (and the kid is older) and a house with a yard (instead of an apartment, we are at our pet limit) I want to get my siberian husky (I have wanted one my whole life but we haven’t been in a position to get one yet.) and i don’t know how Zack would handle that. Will he ever be able to handle larger dogs.
Honestly I’d soon stay away from large dogs I don’t know (as well as most small) but I understand the dogs need socialization (so we go when the little dogs are there its easier to separate them if there is an altercation)
I hope we can but if we can’t we won’t get one. I don’t want any problems for my Zack.
I’m not really asking any advice. I just want to know if anyone has felt with their dogs behavior and training if it seems that it is usually 1 step up and 2 steps back?
We have the tools and they are working but it seems we fall back every now and then and its so frustrating. But we will never give up on him.
I asked a similar question over the weekend but wanted to ask one last time after having time to reflect.