Hello all, I'm not new to rv.net, but new to dog ownership and wanted to make sure I'm doing the right thing while camping w/ our new dog.
We recently rescued a dog (3yo mastiff/boxer mix). We had a chance to take our first camping trip with him and he seemed to enjoy camping for the most part.
While walking around the campground I had someone let their dog get a little closer to my dog then I was comfortable with. This was a small dog and I worried how my dog would act,(my dog was not barking, but seemed to want to pull toward the smaller dog and let out a small growl) I asked the young boy (maybe 8 or 9) who was holding the leash to please not let his dog too close to mine. The boy's father seemed upset that I made this request. I don't want to be a rude dog owner, so what is the etiquette here?
We are working on socializing the dog and his training is going well, but we'd like to introduce him to things slowly so he doesn't feel overwhelmed and react badly.
Thank you for your time
Hubby, Wife, 18yo twins boys, 7yo boy, 4 yo girl
'04 Chevy crew cab 8ft bed
'07 Prowler 32ft bh
People "shouldn't" be allowing their dogs close enough to have contact with yours without asking. This assumes of course that you're walking through the campground with your dog basically at "heel" position, which you should be. He should remain there except when you let him go a few feet further out in an appropriate place to relieve himself. I trust you are not using that horrible abomination that is a flexi-leash, particularly on a new and not fully trained dog.
That said, people may feel uncomfortable if you've got a large dog and you seem to think that dog is going to behave badly. Somehow, people with small dogs never realize that it isn't okay if their dogs behave badly, but they feel free to feel that way about large dogs. And in truth, if you have a dog that is dog-aggressive, that dog shouldn't be in a campground, and a big one will do a lot more damage than a small one.
But if that isn't the case and he is just in training, then I would do pretty much what you did, but adding in the training part. As in "Not too close, please, he's in training and we aren't ready to meet dogs yet." Or something to that effect. Thus conveying the message that your dog isn't a killer, just not "there" yet in terms of saying hello.
I suggest that you consider an obedience class where you can work on having him meet other dogs and get comfortable with that. The problem with your concern about his behavior is that it will transmit to the dog and he will form the opinion that there's something you're afraid of, and that may provoke him to be aggressive when meeting dogs. Which will make you more concerned, and so on. It becomes a vicious cycle. If you work on this under the eye of a trainer who has a better understanding of these things, you can learn what to look for, how to stay in control, and develop some confidence. Which will also transmit itself to your dog, and make him less likely to behave badly in social situations.
People have also gotten so freaky these days that some regard any human not a member of the family speaking to their child in a public place as the equivalent of announcing that you're a child molester. Some kids are quite alarmed, too. It is a sad and unnecessary state of affairs, but there's nothing you can do about it. Especially when the delicate little flower is unwrapped from the cotton-wool cocoon and let out into the world with a dog on a leash.
Fuzzy Wuzzy was a wabbit, Fuzzy Wuzzy had a dandelion habit! RIP little Wuz... don't go far.
We have a lab-collie mix who is very sweet but gets very nervous/growls/barks if she is not the one that initiates contact with another animal or human. The problem is that she looks very cute/adorable/cuddly and everyone wants to pet her.
We also have a Cattle Dog-German Shepard mix who looks fierce but nothing and no one bothers him...but his looks scare people off (he is almost solid black, large teeth, very sight focused).
Making a long story short, anytime that someone wants to approach our dogs to pet them I always tell them (ala Dog Whisperer) no talk/touch/eye-contact until after they've approached/licked you. Most people just leave instead ;-)
I agree, you did the right thing. Keep a tight leash on your dog and let both dogs inch their way to each other. Once their noses touch and they are comfortable, they can get more slack in the line. If they are friendly, they'll sniff each other and think they just had a wonderful vacation! If they don't like each other, you can pull the leash and get some distance between them.
Rules are very simple for dogs: 1) keep on leash. 2) pick up their poo. 3) keep them from barking. And you're good to go!
2005 Chevy Silverado 3500 Dually Duramax 6.6L V8 Turbo
Century Truck Cap Commercial /Toolboxes
Northeast Outfitters Canoe
You did the 'right' thing. An 8 year does not have a clue about what is a dangerous situation and what is not, nor will any 8 year old have the brain power available to them to 'act' on something gone wrong involving dogs.
And the Father's reactions about you being rude? I'd bet my life that if your dog had harmed his little dog you'd be in for a lawsuit and possible euthanasia of your dog with all the new insane interpretations of 'dangerous dog' laws in place today.
I NEVER allow another dog to come up to me at a CG period, let alone one being walked by a young child. If I see a dog being walked by a young child I walk the other way and back to the MH. IMHO that is just an accident waiting to happen.
"We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us".