Re: dogs in neighborhoods

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I'm looking for other opinions, maybe suggestions...I'm hoping people with rescue dogs, specifically those like claudine who have rehabilitated dogs, will weigh in.

I live in a large neighborhood, but we're thickly settled. Its a community of townhouses grouped in sets of 2 - 4 to a 'building' so its set up like houses with lawn in between 'buildings' and sidewalks and stuff. We're set between wooded areas so there are hiking trails. There are about 250 some odd units, so its a big neighborhood. One woman has a rescue dog. A boxer that was apparently abused by its former owner. I feel this dog is very unpredictable. He freezes on the spot when I walk by and stares at me and the walker can clearly not move him until I've well passed. She usually crosses the street with the dog when she walks, but its not a big street. He has lunged at me a couple of times and the owner has had to pull him back. Usually I notice her get very focused straight ahead and shorten the leash when she is going to pass as if she's anticipating needing to control him better.

This is a big dog. I feel bad that the poor thing was abused but not to the point of compromising my or my children's safety. There are a lot of families, children, small dogs, etc in this neighborhood. I don't think any of these people walking the dog could actually control him if he felt threatened and acted. He has lunged at one of my neighbors and she talked w the owner and the owner told her that their two dogs had to be walked separately bc the male will attack if given the chance. Apparently he has attacked the owner a few times. This is scary to me living in such a community neighborhood.

Okay. I think thats it. Thoughts?
I don't think there's anything you can do about it. As long as she's keeping the dog on a leash, she's within the law. Check the ordinances of your local government though. They're often online and easy to find.
Hmmmm.

I would like to think this one over.

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What do you think a good remedy would be?
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ofcourse you couldn't ask to "kill" the dog (and I'm pretty sure that isn't what you would want either) but I can understand your fears. The dog has to be walked though... Can't you ask the owner if there is a possibility to walk the dog with a muzzle? That seems reasonable for me...
It doesn't really hurt the dog (is a bit uncomfortable probably), the dog can still walk, you (and other people) will probably be less afraid since even if the walker can't hold him at least he can't bite you... probably the owner will be a bit less afraid to pass someone as well since the dog isn't really "dangerous" anymore when he has a muzzle on...
Is there some kind of home owners association you could bring the matter up with? If the fear is shared by others in the neighborhood, an HOA would probably be able to approach her and ask her to take some kind of additional safety assurances
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pm'd you.

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Oh God no I wouldn't want them putting the dog down. I'd really even hate for her to have to rehome him, but it is a condominium complex so I think the situation is different in termd of owning such a dog.

I really don't know what to do about it.
You could suggest an anti-pulling collar or harness to her. It would stop the dog from pulling and lunging and give the impression that the dog is safe and under control. Gentle Leader makes a most excellent collar that prevents lunging and pulling and harness which prevents pulling. I have both for my pullers, and they work great. She would be a much happier dog owner.

Gentle Leader Product Description - Premier Pet
She actually does have him in a harness. He's just big, and I imagine strong and for whatever reason, intimidated by some people.

I have noticed them bringing him to walk in paths in the woods. But they still loop around the complex.

When people walk by I see the owner constantly distracting him with treats and making him refocus. I think she's had this dog quite a few years. I would think she'd be past this training point. .

I don't know. I can't think of a solution. I wrote an email to the property management ppl complaining, but I'm not sure what they can do either.
Regular harnesses actually encourage pulling. The Gentle Leader collar and harness have a special mechanism to discourage it. Sounds like you arent able to speak to her directly...so I doubt you can do anything. Just hope she's always able to keep a good hold on him.
ditto, everyone else's suggestions and thoughts.

This isn't at all helpful but there is really no way of knowing when or if a dog will bite. All dogs can bite. Small, large, wild, trained, loved, abused, every breed. My nephew had to have facial reconstruction surgery after a family lab, who he had known his whole childhood, bit him on the face when he accidentally stepped on his foot. This was a stable, trained, loved, family dog. I've been around dogs my whole life and have been bitten twice. Both were family dogs that I knew well. You just never know.
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Regular harnesses actually encourage pulling. The Gentle Leader collar and harness have a special mechanism to discourage it. Sounds like you arent able to speak to her directly...so I doubt you can do anything. Just hope she's always able to keep a good hold on him.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
No, she's not chatty. She told us not to talk to her while she's walking her dogs. Her husband told me his dog would eat my cat. I don't exactly keep on friendly terms with them.
ditto, everyone else's suggestions and thoughts.

This isn't at all helpful but there is really no way of knowing when or if a dog will bite. All dogs can bite. Small, large, wild, trained, loved, abused, every breed. My nephew had to have facial reconstruction surgery after a family lab, who he had known his whole childhood, bit him on the face when he accidentally stepped on his foot. This was a stable, trained, loved, family dog. I've been around dogs my whole life and have been bitten twice. Both were family dogs that I knew well. You just never know.
Originally Posted by jeepcurlygurl
Thats true, I know. Usually dogs give off a vibe if they want you touching them or not. This one gives off a scary vibe.

I'm a little leary of some dogs anyway so I'm extra cautious.

At this point I'll just leave my complaint out there. They probably won't do anything if its just me but if many others complain or have issues, mine is out there too.
Ok, I used to have a 70lb pitbull who would pull a lot and would have seemed scary to anyone seeing him when he was on one of his panics, I now have a 50lb pit who has a problem with other dogs ever since double hip surgery left him feeling very vulnerable. I'm only 120lb.

There have been many situations where these dogs have lunged (usually at ducks or other prey type animals in the park) and not once have I been unable to control these dogs, I have even controlled them both together. I can see why you may think that this woman is unable to control the dog, but it is far more doable than people unfamiliar with dogs like this may think.

The fact that she doesn't want you talking to her, crosses the road, and shortens the leash when walking with the dog tells me that she is very aware of the dogs behaviour and is in control of the situation. It takes time for dogs like this to be re trained, and interaction with other people when put walking may not be helpful at this stage in the rehabilitation. One of the biggest obsticals when dealing with dogs like this is controlling other people and their animals (other people's off leash dogs are a huge issue for instance, as are parents who allow their children to approach any dog without asking).

If it were me I would try and approach this woman when she isn't stressed and out with the dog (because I would bet that she is far more stressed and concerned for everyone's safety than you are) and ask her how she would like you and any children to be around the dog to maintain everyone's safety and help in the dogs rehabilitation.

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You could carry dog biscuits in your pocket when you go walking...very handy to give to dogs who rush up on you. That's what my postguy does.
If you didn't put in your note to the management company that the husband said the dog would eat your cat and the wife told you not to talk to her when she's walking him, I would document that. If the dog were to bite someone, the fact that they knew he was dangerous would not work in their favor.

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like these people have an appropriate living situation for this dog. While your goal is not to make them get rid of the dog somehow, I don't think you should let this drop. If their dog is aggressive, they simply should not take him out in public. Yes, dogs need exercise, but the entire complex shouldn't suffer so that could happen. If that means they need to rehome the dog, so be it. They really should have thought of this before rescuing an aggressive dog. I'm actually surprised a rescue let them have an aggressive dog in this type of living situation.
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I'm really curious what you think makes these people bad owners Mrs poppers, and what you would say is an ideal environment? Do those of us who work with dogs needing rehabilitation need to life 30 miles from civilization? Wouldn't most dogs attack a cat if given a chance? Would you prefer these people lied or pretended that their dog didn't have issues.

I might agree with you if this dog were running loose around the complex, but it sounds like these people are actually trying to keep others in the neighborhood safe. It's very unfair to cause them trouble because you may be unfamiliar with dogs, especially large rescues.

It's attitudes like this that lead to people being unable to rescue, leaving more dogs to be put to sleep because the peaople with the skills and desire to help them are vilified by nimbys (yes please rescu a dog but Not In My Back Yard)

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If you didn't put in your note to the management company that the husband said the dog would eat your cat and the wife told you not to talk to her when she's walking him, I would document that. If the dog were to bite someone, the fact that they knew he was dangerous would not work in their favor.

Unfortunately, it doesn't sound like these people have an appropriate living situation for this dog. While your goal is not to make them get rid of the dog somehow, I don't think you should let this drop. If their dog is aggressive, they simply should not take him out in public. Yes, dogs need exercise, but the entire complex shouldn't suffer so that could happen. If that means they need to rehome the dog, so be it. They really should have thought of this before rescuing an aggressive dog. I'm actually surprised a rescue let them have an aggressive dog in this type of living situation.
Originally Posted by mrspoppers

This pretty much sums up how I feel.

I know howuch pets become part of your family, so I don't think I'm being insensitive, but I don't think a condo complex full of families and small children with no private yard for dogs to run is the best situation for a large aggressive dog. Its not fair to compromise the rest of the residents.

I did document that information. The property manager got back to me and said bc they weren't breaking any regulations (which pretty much cover leashing) he cant act yet. Which I anticipated. But he said he would forward the information to the condo association for them to keep on file.

Which is okay. At least its a start. I just hope she is able to control him at all times. As I've said, I don't believe a person can always control a dog if they go into attack mode. There are also several 'walkers' who are not the owners who walk him in the neighborhood and I am even less confident about them.

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