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Help please, all/any advice gratefully received.....

Nula is almost 2 years old and has settled down (mostly :). ) to be a very happy go lucky, loving and charming young thing, like all Irish. My problem is there is a 43kg male ridgeback at the local park that makes a beeline for her and practically tackles her to the ground and I'm scared she's going to get hurt.

It's happened 3 times now and I'm starting to get seriously pi**ed off with the dog and it's owner. The owner is lucky she didn't get a punch in the mouth after tonights debacle.

When I walk Nula in the park at this time of day (5pm) she's always on the leash because there are usually kids practicing cricket or football and I find it easier to have her on the leash than trying to get the stolen balls back!
The ridgeback is off leash and frankly the owner can barely hold him when he's on leash which means I have to let Nula go to grab this dog and try to hold him until the owner can get to us.

Tonight he managed to get to us, I didn't even know he was in the park, right at the side of the kids play park and there must have been about 25/30 little kids there. Who's going to be responsible if one of those kids ends up underneath the ridgeback and Nula. It doesn't even bear thinking about the damage that could be caused.

Two of the comments from "stupid owner" tonight were you shouldn't bring your dog to the park if she's in heat - Answer was I don't, ever!!! And then, well if you're worried about it then you shouldn't let your kids walk the dog. That was after me trying to say nicely look I'm really concerned because my son sometimes walks Nula and there is no way he could control your dog. Clearly she missed the fact that someone else has to control her dog.

Nula was last in heat 3 months ago and I know that she could go into heat again but she hasn't/doesn't show any signs of being in heat and there were at least 20 other dogs at least half of which were male not giving her the time of day let alone having a sniff. Added to that the first attack was 6 weeks ago and as I'm in the park at a least 4 times a day I would expect at least one other dog to 'have a go' .

My question is does anyone else suspect that it may be an in heat thing? One of my girlfriends said to me after the first attack that you can buy a spray to hide the scent?

I'm seriously considering reporting it to the local council but I'm holding back because I believe it will be the dog who gets punished and not the idiot on the other end of the leash. I have watched, from afar, the ridgeback with other dogs and while he's very dominant I haven't seen him attack any other dogs in this way.

Anyway, apologies for venting here, i'm off to get a big glass of vino collapso to calm my frayed nerves!

All advice gratefully received, thanks :)

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I would find somewhere else to exercise Nula as the owner of the Ridgeback seems as though she has no intention of taking control of her dog.

If Nula was in season three months ago then I doubt very much if this is the problem and especially as there are other male dogs who are taking no notice of her.

It seems like the Ridgeback is acting like a bully in the playground.  As I said I would exercise Nula somewhere else, even if it seems unfair that you should be the one having to leave as it's not your dog causing the problem. Better to be safe than sorry.

Although it is wrong that you have to back down I think Torie is right.Take Nula somewhere else.In the meantime I would report the dog's owner and her attitude.A ridgeback is an incident waiting to happen! Where I live the Police wouldn't be interested but the dog warden would and ,maybe ,a few words from yours to the ridgeback's owner might help. My concern would be the risk to the children in the park as well as to other dog walkers.

I would pick another park too. We have a lovely dog park in the city but if there are  two particular owners there who have agressive dogs we keep walking and go to another park up the road. Once one of them replied that her dog was the policeman of the park after I complained to her, I knew I was talking to a lost cause. Nula is more important than trying to correct someone or this situation. We vote with our feet.

Unfortunately I would not be able to take all of your good advice....and Mrs Ridgeback would very soon become Mrs Sorry!!!

Hi Leisa, it's sad how one person can spoil it for many others doing the right thing:( But I like Rhonda, move onto another park, I'm not one for confrontations but understand why some people get fed up with Peoples abusive nature!! I find too often that most times the owner and pooch are similar natured and it's not worth them upsetting my walk. On the other hand if I was with my daughter and her drooling 65kg Newfie, it would be a different story.... I might hang around Lol :)) All the best Dianne and Red Kids

I feel that this person needs to be reported, first i would try the police and ask for their advice as like you say there are children around. My sister in law had 2 of these dogs and they can be very strong and in South Africa they are used as guard dogs. It appears that this dog also should have a muzle on. Unsure what the dangerous dog act covers but the police will know.

I guess I would look at it this way...if the dog does attack Nula next time, do you wish you would have reported it sooner?  Reporting it might mean nothing more than the owner will get a talking to about being more responsible, or fined, and hopefully won't mean anything bad will happen to the dog.  If the park is not an off-lead park, the dog MUST be on a lead anyway.

Could  she have phantom pregnancy? Is he grabbing her in an attempt to mount her? Even then,  she ought to be taking control of him and getting him away! I would say that she needs a good talking to by somebody in authority,  If he is just bullying her and this is a persistent thing,  then she really does need reporting.

Sometimes the answer is to find somewhere else, but maybe it's not an option you want to take. The thing you have to do is to give the owner the incentive to control her own dog !!!!

Many years ago I used to exersise my dogs in a 70 acre wood, on several occasions one particular owner with a real pest of a dog who my dogs hated would follow us, the owner walking a couple of hundred yards behind and his dog spoiling our walk. I asked him if he would walk on so that I could walk in a different direction, he said his dog was alright and no matter what I said, he just would not go away. So the day came to give the owner that incentive, I called to give him the opportunity to call his dog back, not taken! I jogged on, the dog came with us willingly and I took him to the dirtyest most disgusting ditch which was about a foot high with stinking slime, he thought it was wonderfull and danced around to and fro along the length of the ditch. I waited for his furious owner to catch up, horrified at the sight of his glistening coat, I said he's alright, he's had a great time ! he never folowed me again and if I ever saw him in the distance, I would see his panic to catch his dog.

This incentive may not be the answer for the Ridgeback, but how about you buy a tube of jam, and when the dog arrives and you take hold of him while your waiting for the owner to come for him, squeeze a good line of jam down his ridge, be nice to the owner assuring the dog will have come to no harm, and assure her that you will carry your tube on every walk should she wish to give you access to her dog. When she is cleaning him up she may see the incentive in avoiding you !

I would prefer not to be confrontational using their dog as part of the plan. I would worry that with some lost cause people they may see this as a right to do something to my dog. I would treat the dog the same as I would like my boys to be treated, it is not the dogs fault. I would cop the slimy dog, but taking jam would send some people types into park rage. Best to report them at that stage. Perhaps loss of money in a penalty will speak louder than actions.

I really get angry that there are irresponsible dog owners that have no idea in the slightest about keeping their dogs under control.  If you do walk elsewhere with your dog this dog will find another dog to pick on and it's wrong.  I can't believe that your dog is attracting him out of season he's just a big bully who is spoilt rotten by his owners and he thinks he is top dog  in the park and is obviously top dog at home too. 

What sort of aggression does the dog display is it jumping, biting, trying to dominant or more like he wants have his wicked way with your girl. If it's more like attacking your girl then I'm sure you can report it to the police?

Has he done this to others in the park?

Maybe avoiding them both and go some where else, unfair on you an your girl but less confrontational. Are the times you go for a walk set in stone or could you go later or earlier to avoid ?

Some of the replies give some good ideas it depends on how cheeky you feel the jam idea is great but I wouldn't make it something as nice as Jam, I would personally use something alot worse and alot smellier, or a smelly drink that you have "accidentally" have thrown all over him ! !  that will teach the dog owner a lesson and they might realise that  he best put it on the lead as the dog will need washing every time they go for a walk. 

I've just had an idea how about spraying water at him as he gets nearer to you, or something like a citronella spray as they don't like the smell. I know that it's not the dogs fault but sounds like that you don't have too much of a choice,

Good luck and let us all know how things pan out.


I think that the water is a good idea I am aware of alot of people using water guns to train a dogs bad behaviour and at the end of the day it wont harm anyone. I would never use any food as one of my dogs is a monkey and will try and eat it off the dog and then would encourage my dog which sounds like that you dont want that. I hope that you find a solution What also worries me is that the other dog owner is iresponsible and therefor shouldnt be allowed to own a dog of that size and breed. Good luck and hope that you are able to get a successful solution to this very worring and upsetting problem.




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