Common denominator

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Boxer Insane
I took Raine to the vet yesterday to have her teeth/mouth checked out. I had thought I was smelling an odor from her mouth but all was fine.
At any rate we had issues with two dogs while there and I can't figure out what is going on.

We were in the waiting room and a woman rushed in with two Labs. Female and her pup (about 4 months old). Had I not been told it was mom/pup I would have thought adults, male and a female due to sizes. The pup was pretty large for a 4 month old which is what threw me off.

They both charged Raine, seemed mostly like excitement on the pups part, and Raine held perfectly still while they smelled her. That lasted about 3-4 seconds and then the female went off on Raine. Never biting her but being completely aggressive with her noises. Snarling, growling, snapping, etc...
Possibly a split second went by before Raine returned the behavior and I pulled her away and the woman got control of both her dogs.

One of the techs told me to come with her to get the dogs out of the same area however the woman was blocking my path so I just picked Raine up and carried her about 5 feet. I know Raine....she would not have walked nicely past the lady and the Labs. She might not have been aggressive but she would have choked herself in an attempt to get to them. I don't even know if she would have had an issue in a negative way since she didn't start anything to begin with but I just didn't want to take any chances.

As I am walking the literally 5 feet with Raine in my arms the woman responded - "OH MY" as in "I can't seriously believe you are that afraid of my dogs that you would have to carry yours!"
**Or at least this is the impression I got.
I quickly responded that Raine would do everything in her power, including choking herself to get to her dogs so this was the lesser of 2 evils.

When we are checking out a guy and his male Golden Retriever are in the waiting room. The dog wants to get to Raine and she was only a bit interested in him. Not so much that she wanted to go to him but she was watching him act a fool trying to get to her! I told the owner that he could let his guy meet her if he wanted and he seemed to appreciate that.
He walked up and Raine sat down while he smelled her. She then returned the favor and smelled him. She was at his backside and he was close enough to me that he jumped on me. As the owner was trying to pull him off me Raine went BERSERK. Not "Hey, that's my mommy" in a jealous way but more of in a protection way. If that make sense?
We separated them immediately. No harm done.

The Golden's owner apologized to me and said his dog had issues with a tight leash. When he went to pull his dog off me the leash got tight?
He thought his dog went to attack Raine where as I thought Raine went after him for jumping on me. I suppose his dog could have reacted in a way when his leash got tight that Raine noticed before a human could and she reacted to that instead of trying to protect me.

At any rate we had two issues yesterday and the common denominator was Raine.
Never thinking the 2nd episode would happen with the Golden I was almost happy that she would have a chance to erase the earlier Lab experience with a happier event while at the vets office. Now she might have memory of 2 negative encounters!

One of the techs who witnessed both episodes said that Raine couldn't catch a break! I don't know if she was saying that since they all like Raine or she really felt that Raine was not the bad guy in either event.

No matter who the actual aggressor was in both situations I think Raine is quite capable of fighting other dogs. She has never once shown any submissive behavior. I would FAR prefer she back down when faced with these types of challenges. Maybe there is something about her behavior/body language that sets off other dogs? It seems they are always going after her.


Boxer Insane
I think the common denominator is the vet's office. Most every dog there is hyped up. Additionally, some of those dogs may never get out in public much except to go to the vet.

I'd take Raine out in some non-vet's-office public places just to work on calm behavior around other dogs. Then I'd work on greeting only calm dogs in public places. Then I'd go back to the vet's office and work on calm behavior around dogs who are hyped up at the vet's office.

Personally, I don't let my dogs greet dogs while at the vet's office. First off, I don't know why they are there--are they sick? Secondly, dogs under stress generally have smaller personal space bubbles and react more acutely to social pressure than relaxed dogs.

When I do allow my dogs to greet other dogs, it is a 3-5 second greeting at most. It's a go-in-get-a-sniff-and-return-to-me greeting, then we move on. It prevents either dog from overstepping social lines.


Super Boxer
I agree with the above.

In fact, I go one step further and really don't even allow on-leash greetings with dogs we don't know, period. If I had a nickel for every "Can my dog say hi?" and then "Weird, that's the first time he/she has ever done that! Sorry!" :rolleyes:

I have found that Lego sometimes can definitely elicit negative behaviors in other dogs... mostly by staring at them. Now, I know my dog and know there's no ill intent behind his actions, but boxers can be intense and dorky at the same time, and a lot of other dogs don't seem to know what to do with them at first. We'll see dogs while out walking and sometimes Lego will put his ears up and just look at the dog (too intensely, in my opinion) -- said dog will look at him and after a few seconds of staring the other dog will start barking and carrying on, while Lego just continues to stare (often in a relaxed way, mouth open, body soft). I think sometimes he's kind of oblivious and doesn't "get" that staring is impolite. I deal with this by breaking his eye contact whenever I see him getting too intense; either with a treat or even by physically turning his head.

For what it's worth, even though Lego has never ever started up anything with another dog, I wouldn't put it past him to finish it. You know what I mean?


Boxer Insane
Add me to the "no on leash greetings ever" club. Especially in an enclosed area like a waiting room.

Johann stares and tends to be very still- which sets other dogs off quite a bit. Maybe Raine is doing the same thing?

Also- maybe the "oh my" was because you were able to pick her up and carry her? Not a common site to see someone carry a boxer (though I have done the same thing once or twice)
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Completely Boxer Crazy
Boy oh boy, Susi. That is exactly what happens to Leah. But, she also starts it to.

See, Leah spends two days a week at the vet for daycare because of the allergies and itching. That way they can give her the week allergy shot and she isn't left alone to scratch herself silly.

So she has been going to vet for almost 4 years now and she doesn't do well at all with leash greetings. Some dogs yes and no. Does well with young and old males and females and puppies. Almost no females from 9mos until age 7 or so it seems.

Anyway, I spend a lot of time at the vet and it is amazing how many people think this is a great place to introduce dogs. So many people want to pet Leah as I'm leaving with her, but I always decline now if they have a dog with them.

Another amazing thing is how many people think they should come into a vet office with a stressed out dog with out a leash on. Same with cats. I think everyone is nuts.

So a couple of weeks ago Leah had an altercation with another dog that got away from it's owner and Leah and the dog scuffled and now I'm being asked to take Leah to training. Not a bad idea at all as she (and me) some guidance on how to handle her leash aggression.

Anyway, that is my rant and sometimes it seems Leah can't catch a break either with certain dogs. However, it might be her body language. Training will help me.


Boxer Insane
Even though these episodes occurred at the vets office I really think the problem lies with Raine.
I could not stop the entrance/encounter from the owner with her Labs but the 2nd greeting with the Golden would not have been allowed if I felt for a second that the dog was showing issues. I watched him watch Raine while we waited to check out (multiple minutes). He was a younger, goofy acting male (I care for many Golden's in my job) and can read them well.
The action of him jumping on me seemed to create the behavior. I do not know if him being pulled off me and the leash tightening created his reaction....if Raine reacting to him jumping on me was the sole cause or a combination of his reaction, her reaction etc....a combo effect.

A year ago at least when I thought Raine was dog aggressive I had her in a reactive dog class in a nano second. She is not (or was not) dog aggressive on or off leash but extremely excited in their presence. I have worked on her behavior when seeing other dogs while on walks every day since then and she has made tons of progress and her reactions are kept to a minimum (watches while continuing to walk and may sometimes try to pull me in their direction). No more screaming like she is being set on fire.
She is far more calm at the actual greeting with another dog than she is when she WANTS to greet them but doesn't get the chance.

Maybe more classes are in order or even a few play dates. Raine doesn't really do calm so that is something we will have to strive for.


Super Boxer
I have been away from BW for awhile. Always great to read about Raine. :D

Frankly, I am amazed at how well she did at the vet. No way ours would be so relatively calm in that environment, plus dogs charging and being aggressive and jumping on you. We also do not allow contact at the vet. Way too much energy and health stuff. You should be proud at how well she did. I suspect 90+% of boxers would not have behaved so well.


Super Boxer
I'm impressed you had the muscle to pick up Raine and you would think the Lab lady of her 2 would appreciate you just trying to avoid an altercation. Good job!

Tuff Love

Boxer Insane
screaming like she is being set on fire.

Well doesn't this sound familiar....
What kinds of things have you done with Raine to help with her reactivity with other dogs and while out on walks? Thora is a nightmare in any situation where another dog is involved, save the few doggy friends she has (and once in a while that gets ugly too). I have been in touch with a behaviorist in my area and will be signing her up for private training in the near future. We're hoping to finally get our back yard excavated in the coming months so we can have a fence for her to help blow off some of that extra steam since dog parks are off limits and walks aren't enough.

(btw.... Thora IS that dog acting the fool at the vet's office, carrying on with every dog she encounters. It's so embarrassing!)
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