View Full Version : Lucy did something that worried me today

30th January 2009, 11:20 PM
Today, I took Lucy and Charlie Brown out to meet a friend for coffee. We found a sunny spot on the grass outside the coffee place. (We are having the most amazing weather here in Northern California...it was about 70 degrees). Anyway, the dogs were hanging out on the grass, on leash of course and this little Maltese come along, off leash with her owner trailing like 10-15 ft behind (so a decent distance). Now personally I hate when people have their dogs off leash in areas not really designed for it. This is a busy shopping area w/ a lot of traffic and a dog running into the street would almost surely get hit by a car. Also, you never know how another dog will react to your dog and unless you have a dog willing to come to you on command....well you know the rest. Anyway, this little dog trotted up to Lucy. Lucy is usually always friendly...she gets excited and barks but she has NEVER exhibited any sort of aggression toward another dog before. Well, Lucy lunged for this dog and it was not in a friendly way. She was ready to rip this dogs head off. The owner not only did absolutely nothing, but she actually kept walking past me as I am trying to corral and correct Lucy while simultaneously keeping track of Mr. Brown, and got into her CAR!! I was appalled. Luckily, the Maltese got the message loud and clear and backed off and eventually ran over to her owners car. Irresponsible owner aside, I was really surprised by Lucy's behavior. The only explanation that I can come up with is that she was feeling protective of Charlie Brown (he's our new puppy). I took her to the dog park later in the day and she was her normal happy go lucky self with all the dogs there. Any other ideas about why she would suddenly show aggression toward another dog or do you think I am right about her protecting the puppy. Also, any tips on how to handle this type of situation and/or prevent it from happening again would be appreciated.

Cathy T
31st January 2009, 03:27 AM
I'm wondering if you're right that she was feeling protective of her new brother. I've had Jake do that twice and I was so embarrassed each time! I have no idea what set him off, but he did it once to another Cavalier. And this is someone we see every once in a while. I just told her I have no idea what set him off and apologized.

I get the frustration with the dog off leash though. That really really annoys me.

31st January 2009, 05:00 AM
-I might just put my tw cents worth in...

Lucy might have gotten a bad vibe/feeing from this dog that went past her. Did you take Charlie Brwn with you to the dog park that arvo????

31st January 2009, 09:57 AM
Is Lucy spayed? Some intact female dogs act strangely around other intact females when in heat or having a false pregnancy.

Jen and Ilsa

31st January 2009, 10:37 AM
I had the same when we first had Harley. My girls have never shown aggression towards any dog. We were at the Christmas Party of our Dog Training Club and Harley took a liking to a Rottweiler who was standing behind us. All of a sudden Ebony lunged forward and started growling at him and barking really aggressively. I couldn’t believe it :eek:. The Rottweiler just stood there and probably thought I will have you for dinner if you don’t stop. At the time I thought it was because she was protecting Harley.

Cathy Moon
31st January 2009, 12:05 PM
It might have been situational - she was on lead and the maltese was off lead. Perhaps it might be a form of 'barrier frustration', where it wouldn't have occurred if they were both off lead, that would be an equalizer. If I remember correctly from dog training, dogs have polite and impolite ways of approaching strange dogs. I think polite dogs prefer to approach side to side. If the maltese approached head-on and your dog could not change position (due to being on lead) to make it a side to side approach, she may have perceived the maltese as being unfriendly. Just a thought; body language is all-important to dogs.

Just want to add that I hate it when people let their dogs off lead when they shouldn't, as it sets dogs up for these uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situations.

31st January 2009, 07:12 PM
Our Golden Retriever was a friendly dog who liked other dogs. Every once in a great while he would meet a dog and take an instant dislike. It probably happened 3 or 4 times in 11 years. I don't know what it was about those particular dogs and he was definitely the aggressive one in those situations.

The trainer for my puppy class was using that type of a behaviour as one reason she hates off lease dog parks - as she said, once in awhile you meet someone that you take an instant dislike to and dogs are no different.