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Why do people take agressive dogs to Petsmart?

Guest Oscar The Grouch

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[quote name='Michele']In other situations, where you have an aggressive dog that lunges at other dogs, regardless of whether or not the dog is muzzled or leashed, then no, i would say the owner of that dog should not bring the dog to PetSmart .[/quote]

yes a lunging, snapping, snarling dog is not in a place with training where i would feel comfortable taking him that close to other dogs.

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Yea, but in my opinion Alan, you are not doing the APBT breed a good deed by walking a dog-aggro pit around a pet store on eggshells. People will notice you getting between your dog and any other dogs to avoid any possible situations, and walking away from other dogs and down empty aisles. I can pretty much promise you that they are not thinking "What a responsible APBT owner, he is aware and avoiding any potential situation." They are going to think "Look at that guy hovering over his dog, it looks like a problematic pitbull, why did he even bring his dog in the store?" It's unfortunate but thats the way it is. Same thing when people see muzzles on dogs...The average owner is not going to think about how responsible the owner is for muzzling his dog in public.
To each their own, my dogs get stressed out from being in close proximity to other dogs, I dont like to aggravate them on purpose. I can control them well enough so that they will not act out in my presence, but I dont take them to the local petshops, in general. Kira only gets to go if she happens to be in the car and its a hot day.

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[quote name='drjeffrock']I dont get it. I only read a few posts, so correct me if I am wrong. You guys are advocating taking aggressive dogs to Petco, as long as they are on-leash and "under control?"
Sorry but around here you cannot just assume that Muffin's owner is going to ask "Hi, is your dog aggressive. Can we come over to say hi?"
What ends up happening is that Muffin's owner ends up checking out a new super-duper dog toy while Muffin rounds the corner on her Flexi-leash and walks right up to a dog-aggressive dog without her owner even knowing what here dog is doing. [/quote]

Doesn't that make Muffin's owner the irresponsible one? I do not see the point in keeping my dog confined his entire life because of the possibility that others might do something irresponsible.
[quote]I really disagree with a lot of you here, aggressive dogs do NOT belong in Petco or another pet store with small aisles. Its the same deal at dog parks. I have had to risk getting bitten numerous times for breaking up a dogfight (which my dogs were not even involved in) only to hear a girl crying that "I cant believe my dog bit your dog. I can usually control her fine." Or whatever the case.
And R2, I dont understand how you had a problem with me handling my bud's dob (who I had control of at the dog park) yet its ok to bring an aggro dog to a dog store with tiny aisles?

Maybe the PetWhatevers in my area are different, but the aisles in our stores are not "tiny." There is plenty of room to keep two well leashed dogs separate, even when passing.

Maybe we need some clear cut definition of "aggressive." If I had a dog that was obviously on egg shells and uncomfortable, or a dog that was strangling itself at the end of a leash all the way through the store trying to get to other dogs, well, probably not going to take him into PetWhatever. Other than that, Muffin's owner is irresponsible if she's letting Muffin wander around out of sight on a flexi lead.

The dog I have that is dog aggressive loves to go out. He isn't stressed by being out, and he loves to travel. He just doesn't dig having other dogs in his face. He's not going to go out of his way to approach them. I'm perfectly ok with that. I'm not going to keep him confined his entire life just because other dog owners might be irresponsible and let their dogs wander unattended. Even if Muffin's mom is being a total airhead and not paying attention, I can promise you that I am totally aware of what's going on 360 degrees around MY dog. Muffin would never have a chance to make it to him unless she was totally off leash. Granted, mine is a Schnauzer and not a Pit Bull, so I'm not worried about harming the breed's reputation. I don't know if that would make any difference to me, anyway.

I worry enough about how irresponsible people affect my dogs. It's why I have a fence, it's why they aren't allowed as much time outside as I'd like, it's why I walk the perimeter of my yard daily looking for "treats," and I'm sure there are many other aspects of our daily lives that are affected by other people's irresponsiblity. I draw the line, though, at keeping mine confined 24/7 and not allowing any of them to leave the house because someone else *might* do something irresponsible like let their dog wander around unattended.

Anyway, while we're debating this, how about a clear definition of aggression, and how much is tolerated? We may be debating different things entirely. Again, I wouldn't take a dog that was straining at the end of its leash, [b]uncontrollable[/b] or unhappy.

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[quote]I dont get it. I only read a few posts, so correct me if I am wrong. You guys are advocating taking aggressive dogs to Petco, as long as they are on-leash and "under control?"[/quote]
I don't think they mean screaming, lunging dog aggressive dogs (I have one who occasionally engages in such things, and she doesn't go to petsmart. Ever), that sort of behavior is scary for the general dog owning public, annoying in the respect that no one wants to have a dog lunging and vocalizing at theirs as they try to shop, and paints whatever the breed of the dog acting that way in a bad light. I don't see much reason however, for the other two under control, (reasonably at least) well trained, and human friendly dogs we own not to be able to go. One would like to snark any dog she meets on sight, but knows there are better options, and generally restrains herself well even if other dogs invade her space. The other is not outwardly dog aggressive, but has some prey drive directed at smaller dogs (just mild interest, though I wouldn't trust her still), and would pick a fight with most larger dogs if given half a chance. They're walked on normal collars (unless we're there to work on a specific behavior, for which I expect them to need corrections, in which case they may have on a prong collar) or harnesses, and generally on a loose lead, if we see another dog, we either turn and head back the way we came from, or I put them in a sit and let the people know that my dog is not dog friendly, and to give us some room when they pass. I am extra vigilant in watching for out of control dogs, but have never encountered a situation where I couldn't put adequate space between them and my own dogs. You (general "you", not you personally) probably wouldn't know they were dog aggressive unless I told you they were, most people don't guess it by their behavior. Even when told, they generally take the explanation that they do not like other dogs, but are fine with people well, especially after seeing Haley's numerous methods of human magnetism. After all, many dogs of many breeds are or can be dog aggressive.

Anyone who owns dog aggressive dog(s) takes a risk anytime they allow their dogs in a situation where they may encounter other dogs. I could just as easily have someone walking their dog on flexi lead down our street let their dog run up and get bitten by one of mine (granted, in 12 yrs of dog aggressive dogs, they've maimed exactly 0 dogs while out in public). Should I forsake their walks, since I can't guarantee that other owners will exercise common sense? Or skip vet visits since you never can tell if some fool will think its a good idea to let their dog roam in a room full of strange dogs? It's even a risk to let them interact with your other pets at times, but that doesn't stop many people from owning multiple dog aggressive dogs. It's all about measuring and weighing risks and deciding what you feel safe doing with your own dogs.

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