I suppose the greatest challenge to all dog owners and carers is how best to integrate your dog with others while keeping them all happy and safe. Usually when out walking it is pretty easy to spot the body language of approaching dogs and therefore the decision on whether to call your dog(s) back is straightforward. However, as a licenced home boarder I have learned that one of the essential qualities is having eyes in the back, front and side of my head!
Two recent examples prove the point. I recognise that older, more mature dogs generally lose patience with puppies or adolescent dogs relatively quickly and so we tend to limit direct exposure to ensure there is no upset. But sometimes the speed at which incidents happen can catch out even the most hawkish of observers. Sitting at my desk working through invoices etc I quickly acquire company of several dogs - I never did understand why they appear to like to congregate by my feet! My daughter enters the room with 14 week puppy in tow. When still some distance away one of the Springers "sprung" directly at the puppy and bit him on the muzzle. To this day I have no clue what prompted him to attack - there was no immediate threat; the puppy was feet away at the time. Is there such a thing in the canine world as "getting one in first"?The second example - same protagonist - happened days later. A smaller springer was walking through the lounge when the larger Springer lunged and bit her under the eye. Again, no threat display and for the life of me I am at a loss to explain the incident. What is perhaps even stranger though was that there was never a repeat of the attack, nor growling at the other dog's approach. So maybe that is it -on bad days some dogs bite without warning, without provocation or justification -it just happens...