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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the situation:

We took Orson to the girls' softball game today......nothing new. He was sitting between Kevin and my chair on leash & prong collar. People stopped by to pet & compliment as usual........our team & parents know him. He was obedient and sat/stayed as we asked so we could watch the game.

It's a softball game so there are children running all around. Well one little girl and one little boy in particular made constant trips in front of us running. No big deal.......they are in the 5-7 age range, it's expected.

All of the sudden Orson jumps up from his down stay towards the little girl. That scared me because I wasn't paying attention to him, and didn't know if he wanted to play with her or what. After that, I didn't watch the game, but watched him everytime I saw a kid come running by.

Well, he did it again........after he was put in a down stay, and I still can't be certain of his intent because it happened so fast. It made me nervous, so I took him to the car and drove him home.......then came back to finish the game.

He didn't growl, didn't bark, didn't show teeth.......nothing like that. He has never shown aggression towards other dogs or people.......He plays with the neighbor kids around us, and our own kids as well.........so I am just concerned that maybe I over reacted..........but since he was breaking his down stay, and acting antsy.........I didn't want to take chances.

What do you think?? Or the question is........How can I test this to put my mind at ease??
 

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It does not sound like to me that he had any ill intention. Possibly he was just wanting to play with the kids. I do believe that you did the right thing by taking him home when he didn't listen to your command and if you were feeling a little anxious over the situation he might have picked up on that later and might have reacted to that. Some people think I am crazy but I really think that our dogs can pick up on our emotions. Orson is still in his puppy stage so it was probably him wanting to be playful. My unprofessional opinion also thinks that it was a good sign that he was not growling or barking.
 

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hmmm I don't know...maybe he was just getting bored and kinda wanted to get up and go play....If it was something scary I would doubt the kids would continue to run in front of him... if they didnt even realize he got up...I really don't know...we'd have to be there with ya :)
 

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Dogs like to chase things, I'd say thats all it was (JMHO)
Kids were having so much fun and he wanted to help.
 

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I don't know if taking him home was the best thing to do, but like LapDog said we were not there. Maybe a walk around the park to settle him might have worked. I think it would have been hard for any young dog to stay that long while kids are playing that close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
You could be right on the money Okie.........I probably should have considered a walk first. He was probably bored out of his mind.......if nothing else, I should at least bring a toy or two from now on, Or a PB frozen kong :)


EDIT:
We were posting together Always............the word prey drive scares me a little, heh, I don't want him to treat running children as rabbits or something.........hahaha, I will work harder on his leave it command, and try more distraction stays as well.
 

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You know, I had that scare with Lexus as well. My girl who has always been great with kids, even (closely supervised on leash) with my neighbor's 2 year old. She just loves that kid and is soo gentle with him, and he was the first baby she'd ever been around :)

I had a whole group of daycare 4-5 year olds take turns fawning over her in a down stay. She just ate it all up. Buuuut last 4th of July, we took her to the park with us to cook out. I had her tied to the bench so she was right with us. A girl of about 7-8 ran about four feet from her literally screaming her head off. Totally obnoxious. Lexy barked and lunged at her, much in the same way you described Orson did, fortunately the leash was too short. She didn't growl, didn't raise hackles, but all she would do for the next hour was watch that kid, I think I was too shaken to get her attention back on me. I *think* the screaming and racing just got her prey drive up and going- "whooohoo fun time". I mean they are great animals, but they are animals.

Believe me I know how you feel, I spent the rest of the day shaking wondering if my dog was safe. LOL, TracyJo can tell you how upset I was, I bent her ear to no end that day! Took me a while, but I trust her again. She's been actively around kids again, with never a hitch. Course I haven't had any obnoxious screaming girls racing by her waving their arms ;) I'm not making excuses, I don't feel she was right in what she did, but I don't fault her given the situation. I've worked very hard to social her to everything and everyone possible, but that just threw her for a loop. I honestly think all she would have done was chase the girl, it looked like crazy play time to her.

Anyway, I'm NOT trying to steal your thread. What I wanted to do was let you know it has happened to me, and I know how it feels. But don't make this one incident make you consider your dog dangerous. And don't let it shake you up. Just relax, and get back on the horse. Take your treats to the games, keep a good mind set, so that Oscar will be at ease. And I'd recommend to spend some time walking him at the games for the next few and have kids approach him and give him treats and such. (as long as he's good with that of course!)

Chin up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That does make me feel a bit better Lexus..........still worried, but I will work harder with him. Not being around running kids is NOT an option for him......we have a neighborhood full of them, and several live here with him :D Not to mention neices & nephews.......cousins too.
 

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I vote that you're a worry-wart :lol2:. The combination of Orson-height kids RUNNING up close evoked Orson's natural reaction to jump up and prepare for action (fun, squealing, giggling, play etc.). If they had walked up, probably wouldn't have gotten that reaction. You can test my theory at home.

Oh btw AC, Orson told Oscar he wants a cooling collar to wear at future b'ball games...you should get a matching one for yourself, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
First of all what the heck is a cooling collar??

and secondly........plenty of kids of all ages came up to pet him, and they normally do, as well as adults........as long as he gets to sniff their feet or pant legs as they pet him, it's all good :D
 

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and secondly........plenty of kids of all ages came up to pet him, and they normally do, as well as adults........as long as he gets to sniff their feet or pant legs as they pet him, it's all good :D
Cool, with all the socializing and exposure he's had, it all the more reason that chances are it just caught him off guard, and he wanted to chase and play. You've done a great job with him, and it's awesome you take him to the games to visit and socialize!
 

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Our girls like to chase the kids when they are running. They stop whatever it is they are doing and give chase. I posted awhile back about how thier eyes seemed to be focused on the back on thier legs. They have not tried to nip them though. But I told the kids to turn and confront the puppies when they chase them. This has stopped them in thier tracks. I get worried because I have heard of dogs "packing" up and chasing down people aggressivly. I too think it's prey drive. But I think Most of the time it nothing but just satisfing thier need to run and chase in play. I understand your concerns.
 
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I didnt even think about a walk. That is a good idea Okie.

Angie
You could also consider taking him for a walk before you get to the park and maybe wear him out a bit. :)
 

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...plenty of kids of all ages came up to pet him, and they normally do, as well as adults........as long as he gets to sniff their feet or pant legs as they pet him, it's all good :D
AC what I'm saying is that it's the RUNNING UP that makes him break the down-stay. Think like Orson and try to see it as he would...when a stranger suddenly runs up on him ,there's no time in those cases to sniff feet and get comfortably familiar first.

There are different types of cooling collars...some have little tapioca-sized beads sewn inside and you soak the collar in cold water for 15 minutes or another style you keep in the freezer like an ice pack. Some are better than others, but they all do the same thing...it's basically supposed to be an icy-cold bandana worn around your dog's neck to help keep him cool on hot days.
 

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To heck with the dogs! I want an Icy Cool bandanas this summer! Thats a great idea. But How would I get it over my head if it was frozen? Hmm Maybe use two? lol I'm soo doing it.
 
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Just to put things into perspective... Piper (sweet as pie, wouldn't harm a fly) who regularly plays with my neighbors kids (and a ton of other ones who are always at their house) is the same way.

She scared the crap out of the 14 yr old girl across the street who was playing basketball in front of her house. She ran up on her and was nipping at the basketball. The girl thought Piper was about to eat her for lunch, but Piper could have cared less about HER, she wanted the ball. Even when playing with the kids next door…if they run, she chases them. She doesn’t want to hurt them, but she will bark at them and chase them around. 9 times out of 10 Piper is reliable off leash. BUT, bikes, balls, kids running, adults running, cats running...etc. WILL set her off if she is not re-directed. She will chase....that’s just what she does. I don’t allow Rommel off leash, I think I probably could, but I don’t for that exact reason. IF he were to do something like Piper did, he could really frighten someone. *I* might know what he was going after, but most likely others wouldn’t. I’m not saying it’s okay for Piper to do it…but she IS easier to re-direct in drive than Rommel is.

I think that Orson saw kids running, started getting ancey, you didn’t notice, and he acted on it. I don’t think anyone could say for sure without being there...but that’s what it sounds like to me. I doubt that it was out of aggression. JMO though.

I'm not making excuses for him, and it is NOT acceptable to disobey. BUT he *is* a dog. Some things, I think are just instinctual and harder to test/train for. I think you should just watch for this in the future and try redirecting his attention. I think the PB kong is a great idea, and like Okie said......wear his butt out before you go...it will make him much less likely to react if he is tired or occupied. JMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I hear ya Sooz......but the kids that made him jump up and sort of lunge WERE NOT running up to him..........they were running back and forth in front of us. But I do understand what you are saying.......and understand how it could make him jumpy, if that is what it was......him being jumpy.

I would like to think he just wanted to run and play with them.......but I am not sure, there in lies the problem. I don't wish to be one of those saps saying "I don't know what happened.........he has always loved children, he wouldn't harm a flie" Ya know?? I believe there is always some sort of sign from a dog at some point in the past........fluffy isn't fine all her life and then attacks some kid out of the blue. The exception being Medical reasons of course.

I don't know..........I am just going to work him harder on down stays with our own kids running by him.........then up it to them running by with his favorite toy :D..........if he can with stand that, I feel confident that he can hold his down stay for any reason. LOL
 

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Just wanted to say, Angie, that I really respect you posting this, even if it was just him being jumpy or it was a fluke... you're being an observant, responsible owner even questioning it, and taking it seriously. I applaud you for this!

Why can't more dog owners out there be like this? sigh...
 

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It sounds like he just got bored and his drive kicked in. He probably didnt mean it in a nasty protective way, just wanted to get in on the action.

As far as "prey drive" goes, can you imagine the time I had Strike off leash just for a second coming back from a walk. I let him off when my brother got home so he could say hi. little did know Strike spotted my neighbors cat and he was half was to her when I called him off and I was dumbfounded when he listened to me.

If my boy can do that Orson for sure is a very good boy, just needs to remember who is boss!
 
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