I found this out from a hanging door tag left by the local Humane Society while I was out. “Please call the officer below re: incident involving ‘Jake’,” it said. Uh oh!
While I was away one weekend, Jake had stayed with my mother, and she and a neighbour took him out for a walk. I am not sure whether he was being protective or not, but he lunged at another dog, barking and snapping. Hearing his name and going by the neighbourhood, the dog owner reported this “vicious” Black Lab to the pet police.
I talked to the officer and Jake was let off with a warning, but we know his rap sheet is on file.
So I’m reading a book about communicating with your dog and reading the signals you give your dog (not always intentionally). It’s called The Other End of the Leash — Why We Do What We Do Around Dogs by Patricia B. McConnell. The author talks about how what seems to be doggy disobedience is simply a case of miscommunication. While communication is my business, Jake is my first dog, so I’m feeling my way around a bit. Next step may have to be doggy boot camp!
Vicious? Jake? LOL!!!
I’m not a dog owner, but I frequently see dogs snapping and barking at each other. Looks pretty routine to me. Still, as a person who has been bitten by a dog on a leash (for no apparent reason; I was just walking by), I can understand why someone would be concerned if he felt his own pet was threatened.
I look forward to your posts about better communications with your pooch.
Thanks for the vote of confidence! Jake IS usually a sweet boy, but dogs have their moments, and they do have a set of sharp knife-like objects in their mouths. I think one of the issues was that Jake’s handlers did not apologize for his bad behaviour, which is the first thing I would have done.
Good grief. I would find this absolutely devastating. It seems to me that the miscommunication is more often humans’ fault. We think we’re so clever, but we make almost no attempt to understand dog communication, while dogs have to learn human speech & specific words in order to survive. I can’t believe that someone called the cops because a dog lunged at their dog. My border collie will actually nip people she wants to warn, and while this has the potential to be dangerous, no one up here in north Halton has complained yet. Mercifully. Town dogs have such a hard time. That sounds like a great book, though. I’ll watch for it.
You are so right, and miscommunication being the human’s fault is actually a point made often in the book! Town dogs do have a strict behaviour code to meet and if Jake does not behave, he may end up wearing a muzzle…