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Old February 23rd, 2006, 10:43 AM
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yoda900_ca yoda900_ca is offline
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Location: ontario canada
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Need objective opinion on incident last night

Last night i was walking my 8month old malamute puppy(goku)when a guy i know down the street popped out from behind his truck. It was dark and i never saw him. This man is about 6"4 and has a very gruff smokers voice. He said Hey long time no see(which the dog and i haven't seen him in about 4months) and proceeeded to walk up and grab my dogs neck on both sides. This happened so fast that I barely had said hi. Well needless to say he startled the hell out of the dog who growled and nipped his hand hard and then bolted backwards. I could tell by the dogs reaction that he had scared him and that the dog felt threatened. The I instantly corrected goku, and he instantly had that guilty look, and put him in sit stay and looked at the mans hand. He never broke the skin but did leave a red mark.
The man was understanding that he probably shouldn't have grabbed his neck but he did it "incase he tried to jump up as puppies do" He was pretty upset where he gave me a lecture about how I should becareful w/him how it's not normal for a dog to act like this,etc. I nicely explain that he probably should let the dog sniff his hand first and not pop out and approach like that and he really shouldn't have grabbed his neck.I gave the man a cookie and let him sniff, and goku was then fine w/him and we parted on good terms. When I got home and explained what happened to hubby he was concerened and felt that the dog shouldn't have nipped either. I felt hey u startled me and a 8month pup and then grabbed his neck, If someone I didn't know grabbed my neck I'd slug him.

So question is should i be concerned or do you all think this is a fairly normal reaction and the guy was kind stupid in his approach?
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 10:50 AM
Rottielover Rottielover is offline
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I would not be concerned, the dog felt threatend by a strange person, then the dummy chose to challenge him by grabbing his neck and stare at him. You have a perfctly normal dog. But you were right to have corrected him.
Even though he was startled, he should not have snapped. A low growl would have been fine.
You will now have to be more on your toes now knowing he does not take things lightly. Back to training so you have full control over that dog.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 10:52 AM
Inverness Inverness is offline
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I'd say normal reaction from your dog ! Although you want to teach him not to do that, if he was startled and felt he was in danger, he just had a normal defensive behaviour ! You can't expect a dog not to defend himself if he feels threatened ? Especially since your pup also felt you were taken by surprise. Goku probably thought you were scared too !

I'd say the man was at fault there... (my opinion though...)
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 11:15 AM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Agree with the others. Not many dogs are going to stand there and let a stranger grab them that way. I would certainly never do such a thing and I believe most people would have better sense..

This man should rethink his method of greeting dogs. Next time he may really get hurt.

If someone I didn't know grabbed my neck I'd slug him.
Exactly, and we have reasoning on our side, which dogs do not.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 11:16 AM
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jessi76 jessi76 is offline
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you'd think a grown man would have at least some common sense...

IMO, Goku's reaction was totally normal... however... when my dog displays appauling behavior I think to myself, "what if that were a kid?" - this time it wasn't, but next time he's grabbed unexpectedly, it could be a kid. It's atonishing how many kids aren't taught how to approach a dog.

I don't blame your dog for one second for the nip - but a simple and even provoked nip, can have drastic consequences.

I think it's a blessing in disguise - no one got hurt - and you learned something important about your dog - now you can watch for it, and prevent it.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 11:58 AM
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yoda900_ca yoda900_ca is offline
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thank's all for your imput. I thought it was normal too. My only concern was what if it had been a kid as well. Normally,however, goku adores people he's always giving kisses and tolerates most anything from children(he's a big hit when we walk to school) I really think it was becasue it was dark(goku is always alittle more aprehensive when walked in the dark) and he was startled then grabbed on the neck(he's kinda senstive there). I just wanted to make sure i wasn't being bias cause he's my"baby". I hate to do it but I guess i'll walk him heel at all times at night and let him stop intermitently for a sniff and pee.
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 12:32 PM
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shannon1233A shannon1233A is offline
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I agree with the others, a normal reaction from being grabbed by the neck. But with that being said, Goku's hearing is much better than ours, so he must have heard the man approaching and wasn't so much startled because he came from behind a truck, but rather from being grabbed. You want him to be trusted as others said, with kids UNEXPECTEDLY grabbing him, no matter where. I've heard of a Mal recently put down by a Rescue because he had bitten a child when the kid fell on his back while he was asleep. Unfortunately, the dog never got over being afraid of kids and acted agressively towards them afterwards. You also mention he's sensitive around his neck area. I'd also be working on that. You want to be able to grab Goku on any part of his body without being afraid he may not like it and retaliate. I'd love to see pics of him, it's been too long Also how's his coat doing?
Edited to add: I remember you said you may show him, the judges will feel his testicles, so you may want to test him there too, lol!
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Old February 23rd, 2006, 01:47 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Most dogs do not care for being grabbed or hugged around the neck. Neck grabbing is a very aggressive action to a dog and lots of them will try to defend themselves. Many may tolerate it, but it's not something they enjoy, especially when it's done suddenly by a stranger.

My last dog didn't like it either, and when little kids would run up to us wanting to hug or pet him, I took the opportunity to educate them on how to approach a strange dog.
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Old February 26th, 2006, 09:15 PM
snapperblue snapperblue is offline
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I'm sorry your young dog had this experience. It is just more proof that the world is full of idiots!

At a holiday get-together, one of the guests pinned my dog to the floor and blew on her face. She struggled to escape, which he found amusing, so he kept doing it. Finally, she swung her muzzle crossways across his face, hitting him with her teeth. (I saw only the end of this.) Though she was not closing her mouth, this jerk's girlfriend went around telling everyone "That dog bit Gary in the face!" Both these people were in graduate school, specializing in animal behavior (ethology)!

Since Goku has had this encounter, I'd suggest a deliberate program of socialization. Have as many strangers as possible meet and pat her (after proper approach!) to dilute this bad experience. One of my friends who trains search and rescue dogs takes her pups everywhere to give them lots of experience. One had a weird fear of kids wearing winter hats, so my friend worked on getting her lots of positive experiences with children.

Best of luck!
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Old February 26th, 2006, 11:55 PM
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mastifflover mastifflover is offline
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I agree your dog was protecting himself and you the guy deserved what he got. I don't think your hubby would have been happy if the dog did nothing if someone tried to get to you. Just keep up socializing with men so this does not have a lasting affect on him
A dog has so many friends because they wag their tails not their tongues.
R.I.P. Buddy 2002-2008 The best Mastiff ever.
Now owned by Clark the Crazy American Bulldog
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Old February 26th, 2006, 11:56 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Originally Posted by mastifflover
Just keep up socializing with men so this does not have a lasting affect on him
I don't think the hubby would like that either.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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tenderfoot tenderfoot is offline
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Quick note - not to pick on your words Snapper but "patting" a dog has no effect on a dog. I thought it might be a good opportunity to clarify this point. Again - not trying to pick on you Snapper.
Nothing in the natural world 'pats' them. People love to pat dogs and horses - horses only get a 'pat' when they are being kicked by another horse. Some dogs will enjoy a soft patting at the base of the tail, but the best way to win a dog over is to 'stroke' them with a firm long stroke. This actually brings out the 'alpha' brain wave (which is not the dominant brain wave), which is calming and soothing to a dog. It is just like momma licking them. It is comforting, calming and soothing. I often focus over the eyes and between the eyes to get the greatest connection.
Sorry to be so obsessive about the 'patting' thing, but we see people do it all of the time and it would be good for people to understand the difference.
Love Them & Lead Them,
~Elizabeth & Doug
Dog Training the Way Nature Intended
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Old February 27th, 2006, 11:31 AM
Prin Prin is offline
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I always wondered about that. None of my dogs have ever liked patting and I wondered what the big deal was. Now I know.
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