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Dont Miss! Aggressive Dogs

Post by Sugarlandsue on Sun Aug 07, 2011 7:10 pm

What is your policy on aggressive dogs at the event?? I have been to a couple where the dogs were unsafe to be around others. I keep mine well away, but hope that if one should go after another dog that a child or dog don't get caught in the middle. I understand the rule about dogs in season not allowed and I just think aggression is also an issue. Some people don't know how to handle a aggressive dog correctly.
paw duck2 By the way my dog is not aggressive!
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Petcrazy213 on Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:16 pm

Personally, I've never seen any "aggressive" dogs at events. "Aggressiveness" is different from being "excited" or "protective". There are a lot of dogs that get very excited at events and there are dogs that don't like other dogs "in their face" or space. More owners need to be aware of this and be aware of their "friendly" dog's whereabouts.

Unfortunately, some people don't know how to handle ANY dog correctly. People seem to forget the old rule about "asking permission" to approach someone else's dog. I can't tell you how many times I've had people just walk up and let their dog get into on of my dog's faces ... NOT a good idea. Especially at an event where the dogs are all hyped up and excited to begin with.

ALL owners need to stop and think and be aware of their dogs as well as the dogs around them. YOUR dog may not have a problem with a strange dog sticking it's nose an inch from it's face but there are many dogs that DO mind and will snap at your "friendly" dog for doing so. It's those are the owners I worry about at events.

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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Kel on Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:28 pm

Unfortunately, I have seen aggressive dogs at UAD events... sometimes they were well and properly handled, and (on rare occasions, thankfully) sometimes they were not. In the past, I've seen it dealt with on a case-by-case basis... UKC does have a policy in place, so UAD might refer to that nowadays. Not 100% certain.

Here the only notes from the rules on this site that could apply:

"5. Respect the personal space of all others.
a. When in line, it is your responsibility to be aware of the dog and human in front of you and behind you, keeping your dog out of reach of all others.
b. When leading your dog, be aware of all other dogs and humans around you."

That is all that is listed on this website... you would have to visit the UKC website for specific rules they have for their events. This might be a good question for Sara, since she deals with the "UKC side" of dockjumping.
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Milt on Wed Aug 17, 2011 10:17 pm

I have been putting on dock jumping shows for 6 years and we have only had one semi dog fight that lasted about 10 seconds. Yes we allow aggressive dogs to attend our events but we also keep them well away from other dogs or humans during the events. We have never had a dog bite a person other than when dog was going for toy or ball and nipped a finger or 2. The reason we try not to get real competitive during our shows is that the dogs pick up on the owners competitive nature and tend to show over aggressive tendencies because of the handler. Each dog is a case by case situation that is judged by not only the dog but the handler!
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by SparkysMomma on Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:08 am

And just to add my two cents...

Everyone knows Nash...he's probably one of the most friendly, happy, social dogs on the planet. He's off leash at our events, greeting people and dogs - Nash, off leash in a social environment, is not a threat. Now, put Nash in his kennel or our truck, and he is a different dog. He is in protective mode - and he doesn't remember the person that just fed him half of their sandwich when he's in this mode, but Milt & I know this and we don't let anyone try to stick their fingers in the kennel or truck window when he's in this mode...heck, he scares the crap outta me some times!

Now flip the coin and take his big goofy brother Maximus. Maximus wouldn't hurt a flea. I've seen him kill flies but that's about it. He's always been this way. When his brothers Sparky & Nash go out in the woods to chase animals, Maximus stays back and just wants to retrieve. He has the softest mouth ever...he won't pick his ball up if it lands on something of yours... he's respectful that way. He is the sweetest dog ever (of course right there with my other 3!)...BUT, he's a "humper". Not to be mistaken with aggression...which he has been falsely accused of in the past...no, this is something that we're well aware of, and we (my husband & I) have secured every kind of training device to try and train it out of him, and although it has gotten better, he still likes to get a good "romp" in once in a while - even though he is neutered. He has never, and would NEVER go after another dog to attack them with malice. He's not doing it to be mean, it's a dominance thing, and I warn people when we're on lead and their dog tries to get close for a whiff. You won't see him running around at our events with Nash until the very end of the event after finals...when it's his time on the dock!

My point being is that these are the things that I know about my dogs, and I hope I'm not ignorant in believing that the reason why we haven't had any dog fights at our events, is because we are all pretty conscious of what our pets boundaries are.

I think we have a great group of people in our UAD Family and hopefully, if we do encounter someone who doesn't know their pets boundaries, that we stick together and try to help that person out!

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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Sugarlandsue on Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:31 am

Thank you all for your input/opinion when I am at a event with my dog be it a 4-H show or practice or dock event I try to follow the 3ft rule. Keeping my dog that distance from others, this is what we teach our dog club kids. When I notice a dog aggressive dog I will place my body in front of my dog to block others from getting to close. It is all of our responsibility to be aware of where our dogs are in line and to make the best choices. If I have to move away I will. I do understand the excitement some dogs may exibit while in line however the one I saw was lunging at passing dogs, at least the owners tried to be proactive and went in the store to buy a muzzle. I do enjoy UAD events as well as my dog and hope to attend some more! duck2 paw

Sparky's mamma I am not referring to your dogs I love your dogs! Nash is awesome and I have met one of the labs as he was trying to bust out of the truck last week via open window! haha I do have experience with dogs and behavior. I think everyone in general is very helpful and mindfull of their animals who attend. I was commending the UAD group about how helpfull they are giving tips or holding a dog on dock if needed and shaking your hand at the end of the event, cheering everyone on and clapping their victories it was a great end to a great weekend and I am thankful you do what you do!
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Phoenix on Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:47 am

I have to pick out your statement of the dog you saw "lunging at passing dogs". This may not be an aggression thing. I would consider this more of a protective thing at a UAD event. Reason I say this is Annie our female APBT does this IF I don't have her under control. She is NOT being aggressive. She is being possessive of her toy and what she views as HER dock. Because she is like this we don't even bring her out of her crate til she is one dog in front of her in line. Or during a splash she is in the vicinity but not right by the dock. And I keep her on a very short lead pretty much in a heal position, sitting, or me crouching right by her holding her collar. But just cause a dog lunges at another dog passing it in line doesn't mean it is an aggressive dog. Cause with Annie if I took her and those other dogs away from the dock and line they could go romp in the near by field and be fine together.

But once again it comes down to knowing your dog and how it reacts to certain situations.
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Milt on Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:48 am

This is an interesting subject! Everyone has great points. Before starting Ultimate Air Dogs I competed with Sparky all around the Country and learned a lot from these events. Sparky from time to time even at 11 years old will "hump" certain dogs and I believe he does this because he is a dominate male dog just trying to tell other dogs he's still in charge. Sparky just like Maximus doesn't have a mean bone in his body but he has been called aggressive by people who don't understand dog behavior. Sparky has been bitten twice at events by dogs when standing in line to jump by dogs that are not aggressive when off leash but are territorial when on lead or kenneled. These 2 times were not at UAD events. If anyone attends our events and feels uncomfortable around certain dogs please come to one of UAD staff members and express your thoughts!!
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by LynnSWD on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:00 am

I have to agree that lunging at other dogs (at/near the dock) is not always aggression! Mr. Bamba is the UAD Smack talker and cheerleader! He loves to bark at all the other dogs that are waiting for their turn - and sometimes will lunge towards a dog.
As we are waiting for our turn he may lunge at a dog and give little smack / encouragement / bit of advise (LOL) as we wait. He is so excited that he looses all his manners - but is NOT aggression !! It seems as if he is telling the other dogs that HE is going to be the biggest jumper for the day and that they better go big !! LOL
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Petcrazy213 on Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:48 am

This is most definitely a good thread Sweet! It's good to see owners understanding their dog's actions and acting responsibly based on their understanding of their dog. It's also nice to see that there is education going on about what "aggressiveness" is and isn't. Too often dogs are portrayed as "aggressive" when it was simply a case of being scared in a situation or being protective of something or someone. We need to be aware or situations so we can keep our furry friends safe being that they don't communicate on the same field that we do. We can easily say to someone "can I have some room please?" where they have to bark at another dog to get that point across. To some this is "aggressiveness" when in the dog world this is a simple message. Add into that equation all the excitement of an fun event and dogs may actually get to talking smack ... just like people. Sweet! As long as people respect others space and keep dogs from getting close to each other, there's no problems.

At a recent event we had a little issue with someone, not anyone we have ever jumped with before. I believe them to be a newbie to the dock world. Anyhow, we had one of our dogs out waiting to jump and she was pleasantly waiting her turn off to the side where no other dogs were to keep her calmer. This gentleman had a big yellow lab and proceeded to walk his dog right over toward us and let his dog get in my dog's face. I told her "leave it" and we walked away several feet ... to which this person decided to FOLLOW US. Not only did he allow his dog to follow us away but again let his dog get within inches of my dog. I again told her "leave it" and started walking away and added "she doesn't like other dogs much" and he finally walked back to the fence by the other dogs in line. Now, not 5 minutes later a young boy came up to me and started asking about the dog and if he could play with her. I told him he could but I didn't know if she'd play because she was waiting for her turn to jump. He proceeded to pet her and try to get her to play with her toy but she wasn't interested at the time. My point ... an "aggressive" dog would have never allowed any of that to happen.

On a side note -
our dogs are very protective of their space, especially when crated. If someone comes anywhere near their crates they go nuts ... it's who they are and part of their breed. They are a working breed and part of their job was to alert the hunter to quarry by barking and/or baying. Since my dogs don't hunt (outside their backyards) they tend to turn that vocalization into protection and alerting us to possible threats. They don't realize that that set up next to us is friendly or that car parked across from them is a fellow competitor ... they are telling US about approaching strangers and letting the strangers know they are there protecting THEIR space. Again, this is NOT "aggressiveness" this is PROTECTIVENESS. Take them out of their crates and away from their "stuff" and they are more then happy to make new friends.

And yes, our dogs do SCREAM and bark when they get out to do the things they love to do. We've tried to break them of this but they just LOVE to do the things we do with them and they let everyone know it. To some people this may come off as being "aggressive" ... IT'S NOT! It's them being excited about playing this game. They do it at the dock, they do it at Flyball tournaments, they do it at races ... they are just EXCITED. They are having fun and letting everyone know it.
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Sugarlandsue on Thu Aug 18, 2011 2:55 pm

Wow, what feedback from this thread, it was just a simple question on policy. The dog in question was a newbie first time jumper, from what I could observe it was not very socialized to being out in such a busy atmosphere. This dog was not lunging from excitement to get to the dock, it would lunge out at any other dog that walked by bearing teeth, snapping and barking. It had no idea what the dock was about. If we do as we should and act responsible near others I'm sure there will be no problems, we all know our own dogs personalities and being "dog people" know how to handle them in all situations. I am in no way tring to start an issue here, but thanks for all your input.
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Kel on Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:22 pm

I agree. I think the intended purpose of this thread was only to ask about any potential policy set in place... not to point fingers as to who does or doesn't have an aggressive dog, nor what is or isn't aggressive behavior.

I do think it should be clarified, though, that displays of protective/possessive behavior is a form of aggression, even though it may be controlled aggression. Mounting can even be argued (from a behaviorist standpoint) as a display of (albeit mild) dominance aggression (granted, I do not personally consider it aggression in and of itself; just saying some behaviorists can/do label it such). Of course, the main issue is that it can become a problem very quickly if the dog on the receiving end doesn't appreciate being "dominated." Luckily, I've seen good control displayed by handlers with dogs who tend to do this so there has not (to my knowledge, at least) been any resulting problems.

Lunging from excitement/"cheering"/wanting to engage others in play is a far cry from lunging in combination with vocalization and body language that are obviously aggressive in nature. It is good that people seem to recognize the difference in their individual dogs, though.

UAD has been very lucky that dogs with behavioral issues have been well controlled and handlers are good about letting others know if their dog needs some space or is in the process of working through some things. Because of this, I in no way feel that dogs displaying such behaviors have any reason to be disallowed participation. The only reason I could see for banning a team after aggressive displays by the dog would be if the handler makes no initial attempt to control the dog, nor shows any interest in creating a safer environment for others by controlling their dog better in the future.

I think it is a good thing that UAD allows dogs with behavioral issues to still participate, as I would much rather see them engaged in something positive where they are able to be in an environment where they can work on said challenges. At the same time, I have seen several close calls (including some involving children)... so it is very important that people acknowledge whatever behaviors their dogs may need work on and handle them appropriately. I am glad that Milt has taken things of this nature on a case-by-case basis, working to maintain a safe environment while still allowing everyone to enjoy the sport.


Last edited by Kel on Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Petcrazy213 on Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:18 pm

I think this is a good thread. We all have our own opinions and thoughts on the subject so it's nice to get a feel for how others see things. Sweet!
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Sugarlandsue on Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:46 pm

Kel, your last reply is exactly how I feel, you took the words from my mouth. lol I apprectiate all of your comments.
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Mary and Brewster on Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:35 am

I also like this thread. As many of you know our Brewster could have been considered aggressive when we first started dock diving. He has never gone after another dog but I am very careful as to what dogs he gets around. I have had a few times with people that I didn't know allowing their dogs to get too close. One time a pup I had never seen before and haven't seen sense towered right over Brew. I got Brew away from the pup and explained to the folks that it's best to keep their pups under control. I agree with everyone here, I know Brew and what sets him off and also what dogs he has issues with. I am constantly watching him and watching who and what is around us while we are in line or walking around. I am very happy that we compete in dock diving because I think it has really helped Brew realize that he can be around other pups and not be on the defensive. I have also learned to be very quick in speaking up if someone allows their dog to go too close to us. Brew is also a barker and we have started allowing him to really get excited right before he goes on the dock. I always tried to quiet him down but like Milt always tells me he needs to get more hyped up. Because he is a therapy dog I have always worked to keep him quiet and under control. Now we let him let off some steam before he goes on the dock and it really seems to help him get hyped up and jump better. It is great reading all your takes on this. Have a great day everyone and we hope to see you in Imlay City. We won't be competing but we hope to come up for the day.
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Kel on Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:07 am

Mary, I just wanted to say that Brewster has come a long way in the time I have known him (granted, I haven't seen him in awhile... but I'm sure he is continuing to do better as time goes on). You have always been responsible in his handling and looked out for him so that he does not get into situations where there is chance of him "failing" (having an aggressive response), always trying to best set him up for success and progress. You should definitely be proud of your boy! Sweet!
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Phoenix on Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:19 am

I don't feel that there was any finger pointing going on. But I also wasn't at the event nor did I see the situation. So when the "lunging" thing came up I think it was good that some of us chimed in cause there are so many different situations this could have happened in. It does sound like the dog in question was truly showing they were uncomfortable in the situation. Which a lot of aggressive behaviors can stem from a dog simply being uncomfortable and not confident in the situation they are presented with. And I don't think I know the OP personally so I think it is good that we all posted our experiences in case the OP MIGHT be new to the sport or to dog events as a whole. Thought from reading their posts it sounds like they have a great handle on things! Ultimate Air Elation

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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Mary and Brewster on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:09 pm

Thanks so much Kel. Yes, you wouldn't know Brew. He is a real joy to take to events now he is so much more relaxed. I of course am also more relaxed not having to be on guard with every dog that walks by! I am very proud of how far he has come. Alot of people would have given up on him but I am glad that we kept up with the corrections. Beth I agree with you by sharing our experiences we can help others who might be new to dog sports. Have a great weekend everyone!
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Kel on Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:46 pm

That's great to hear, Mary. Sweet! Hopefully we'll see you and Brew at another event soon.
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Post by Mary and Brewster on Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:11 pm

I sure hope to see you and your pups also! It's been way too long since we've seen you and your Mom! We hope to go to the air games in Imlay City but we're not sure what day we'll be going up. Brew doesn't have a title this year and he'd only get two more jumps on Friday so he still wouldn't have enough jumps in! Just been one of those years! It would be way too hard on Regis coming up every day anyway. It was so nice when we were able to camp and go to the event! Have a great day and please give your pups a hug for me!
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Sammie_Lou on Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:35 pm

I'm glad to see this discussion. We were wondering the same thing, as there was a dog at the Rib Off that had us more than a little nervous. We were in line behind him for practice jumps and, although we were staying back a good 5-6 feet, this dog was still "stalking" towards my dog and when he thought he was close enough, would lunge while baring teeth and snapping. It wouldn't have been a problem if his owners were aware, but the person holding his leash was oblivious and his wife just kept telling their dog that he had the sweetest disposition. huh The handler wasn't keeping distance between them and the dog in front of them and every time anybody walked by (even if it was a little distance away), he lunged and snapped.

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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Indy on Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:23 pm

In situations like that, don't be afraid to say something. It doesn't have to be confrontational or accusatory. As you pointed out, many owners are just oblivious, if you say, "Why don't we let them have some space" or, "We should probably keep them apart", the other owner will almost always comply. If they blow you off, say something to UAD staff. Better to risk hurt feelings than a real injury. If you think it's more than just two dogs that don't get along, but that one is truly aggressive and not under their handler's control, then say something to UAD staff.

I am glad that UAD is open to all dogs. As Kel mentioned, dogs with issues need to be able to go to events in order to work through them.

Any dog, even the most well trained dog, is still an animal being thrust into an unnatural, stimulating, exciting and sometimes scary environment. All owners need to be cautious and honest with themselves about their dog's limitations. Me, I know that I have to keep my in-your-face-friendly, blissfully clueless, intact Lab, on a short leash and carefully watch the body language of dogs around us. His personality and sometimes his sexual status, can annoy some dogs. He has received warning nips a couple of times, even by a dog whom he plays well with off leash. On leash and waiting in line for the dock is a whole other world, where emotions run high and a lot of strange dogs are confined to a somewhat small space. It is a testament to UAD participants that there haven't been any serious incidents.
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by stephz on Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:25 pm

I think you hit it right on the head! You have to know your dogs limitations and be aware of the body language not only on your dog but the dogs around you.
As most of you know Brooks is rarely on leash at events but I feel that I do a decent job of keeping him in check and don't let him go up to another dog even if we know them well (only because it is a totally different situation with dogs waiting in line for an event that they are already hyped up for).
Most people are pretty good about giving other dogs their space while at events I think though. There are always some that don't but usually I have observed that and then make sure I put my body blocking skills to use and will put Brooks on leash at that point.
UAD has always done a fantastic job of letting all dogs be able to have fun as they should be able to Sweet!
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Ann DHondt on Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:24 am

I think the biggest problem is the 'newer' handlers. Not bashing anyone, but they come to the event with their sweet kind lovable dog but do not understand what happens when a dog gets into a high drive, high energy situation. The dog might still be sweet but the next dog gets too close and luvable mutt might snap.

The last event I went to, I saw a new family it was their second event, they were walking to line, putting on their wrist bands while Fido was putting his face in every dogs face in the line. The people were oblivious. THAT is where problems arise. People lose focus and you need to pay attention to your dog. Same thing with people, the dogs are barking carrying on, wanting to go and John Q Public wants to pet your dog. Not good timing. It's not that the dogs are bad, it's just they have other things on their mind.

When we were at Anderson's, Art was waiting in line to jump Quinn. She is a sweet, non confrontational dog (thank goodness) Art had a bumper in Quinn's mouth, having her hold it to try to keep her occupied and quiet. Some guy with a lab, let his dog go up to Quinn's face at pull that bumper right out of Quinn's mouth. Then when Art pulled it out of his dogs mouth the guy had the AUDACITY to yell at Art. Good grief Had that been our younger dog Gabby, she may have gone after that dog, she is the confrontational one in our gang. Again it was a case of not paying attention which is the BIGGEST problem with "aggressive" dogs.

I have given up on dogs in line. We just stand in line by ourselves, then when it is almost our turn we go get our dog and jump. Saves a lot of stress on everyone.

Ann
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Ann DHondt

My Name : Ann
Gender : Female
My Pet(s) : Belle, Teddi, Quinn, Gabby and always in my heart Maxine
Location : Born and Raised in Michigan
Number of posts : 301
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

Post by Ann DHondt on Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:31 am

Oh one more thing. When I was horse showing I hated when people would ride too close. Same thing, people not paying attention. So I learned to do one of two things, I either put a red ribbon in my horses tail a sign that tells everyone 'he kicks' or would just say it. Trust me your horse develops a reputation as a kicker, people give you room. I loved it.

So if people tell me their dog is a sweetie and wouldn't hurt my dog, I say... well my dog might bite yours.

Just this weekend I was at a hunt test. Some dogs were loose, it was the end of the day, these dogs hang pretty close to their handlers. All of the sudden a small dog fight broke out. Don't know why, but a large Chessie, went after a lab. A person there, grabbed the Chessie, lifted him up by the scruff on both sides of his neck, laid him on the ground and said that behavior would NOT be tolerated. Then the owner came over and took his dog. That was one strong dude. It was calm, relatively quiet, just handled.

Look out for yourself, keep your eyes open around you. Things happen unfortunately most likely not intentional.

Ann
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Ann DHondt

My Name : Ann
Gender : Female
My Pet(s) : Belle, Teddi, Quinn, Gabby and always in my heart Maxine
Location : Born and Raised in Michigan
Number of posts : 301
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Dont Miss! Re: Aggressive Dogs

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