Saturday, March 28, 2009

Analytics and Attacks

2 more days to get your Tricks for Treats videos in!

Do any of you use Google Analytics for your website? If you don't, you should start! I have found some of the coolest information from my reports! For example, most of my website traffic is located within the United States, but I also get regular hits from Malaysia, Gibraltar, Honduras, and Puerto Rico! You can also pinpoint the locations of the visitors from different countries. For example, my 3rd highest traffic comes from the United Kingdom, and half of those visits are from the Manchester area. It's a great tool that you can also use to track which posts generate the most traffic. According to today's report, I had the most visitors on March 11th, when I posted THIS Wordless Wednesday post. Over 70 people went to my site that day! It can also tell you which post has the most views overall, and which sites are your best referral sites. For instance, I get a lot of traffic from Mango, and from people who search on Google for "great dane drips pee". Weird. If you don't use Google Analytics for your site yet, give it a try!

I took the boys to the dog park today and got this fun picture of Waldo. This was about 10 minutes before he was attacked by an unruly and unsocialized Bully mix. Waldo is skittish around other dogs--if he feels threatened, he will run. Well, this Bulldog mix was all over that and went from zero to red zone in about 15 seconds. A bunch of other dogs started barking and getting aggressive, including one little dog at my feet who jumped on Gus' back and was biting at him. While I was pulling that dog off of Gus, the bulldog got Waldo pinned against the fence and was biting all over his legs and neck. Thankfully a couple of other owners and I ran in and were able to pull the other dog off (note: NOT the bully's owner, but others). Waldo had lots of blood spots on him--thankfully I could only find one open spot on his tail. The rest of the spots seemed to be smears. I have never been so mad. I was shaking with fury. The thing that made me most upset is that I got NO recognition from the bad dog's owner. She shuffled him off to the small dogs pen, and just avoided me. No apologies, no asking if my dog was okay. A couple of other dog owners actually asked her to leave because her dog was obviously unsocialized and a danger to others. Waldo was pretty shaken up. It took me a while to get him to stand up and let me look at him. If I touched his back end without him seeing, he would jump and look around. We stayed there for another half-hour or so after the other dog left so that he would calm down, but he never really got comfortable again.

Any suggestions from you other dog owners? I'm going to try to get him back to the dog park as soon as possible. Waldo was already a little skittish, and I don't want him to be fearful or turn aggressive on other dogs. After my initial fury, I was able to calm down pretty quickly and I played with other dogs to get Waldo interested. Any suggestions on things I should do to get him "back in the ring"?

pee ess: It's nearly impossible to get a picture of Gus at the dog park. He never stays in one place long enough to get a good picture!


Mason Dixie said...

I keep telling my mom to use analytics for my blog but she is just so darn lazy sometimes. he he

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about Waldo's park problem, some owners are unbelievable! We don't go to the dog park for that very reason, cause some hoomans are stoopid! Hope Waldo gets better soon.

Feather, Darla & Pappy, the TN Bull Terrors

The OP Pack said...

Thanks for the tip. We will have to take a look at it.

So sorry to hear about your dog park incident - one of the reasons we don't get to go to one. Mom says it is a very good idea to get Waldo back to the park again, but maybe you should go on a day when it is not too crowded and hopefully when there are some nice pups there.

Tail wags, the OP Pack

GoldenSamantha said...

I have seen an example of just that HUMAN behavior at dog parks - it is unfathomably irresponsible and makes me so angry that my hackles rise (and this is Sam's MOM!). These doggie parents have got to be confronted - if they can't or won't train their dogs, they shouldn't be allowed to use the parks. You poor dog - I hope you feel better soon, and that goes for your mom too! I wish I could even read Google reader tee hee!
Get Better, Waldo! And hold still for mama Gus!
Hugs and xo,

Tweedles -- that's me... said...

Poor little Waldo, so sad for something like that to happen to nice Waldo. My moms are always afraid of other dogs too. It terrififying. I hope Waldo feels better. Those bad people should take some responsibility with their dog being so agressive.We don't blame you for being upset.
kisses to the doggies

NCmountainwoman said...

There are few things that make me more angry than people who bring agressive dogs to the "fun" park and make no attempt to control them. Our goldens are quite gentle and on occasion I have talked sternly with another owner to get her dog under control.

I also suggest taking Waldo back to the park. Keep him on leash for a while until you can assess the behavior of the other dogs. Good luck!

Khyra The Siberian Husky said...

Poor Waldo and poor Waldo's mom...

My mom knows how she would feel if that happened to me...

I went to the dogpark once - I had fun - the khanines and hoomans were furry good BUT we keep seeing/hearing about things getting passed along there...kind of like little bipeds at vet suggested I get a kennelkhough shot if I was going there on a routine basis...

I do think woo should go bakhk - try not to show woo are afraid fur him...that might help...

I khan't wait to see all your pawticipants in the khompetition!

PeeEssWoo: Tank woo fur the info about the trakhker thingie!

Amber and Nala said...

Poor Waldo....hope he is ok. :( I would defintely say to make sure he is around other dogs soon so he doesn't develop a fear. Nala got bit by a dog once and I got the same reaction from the owner. I was kicking myself afterwards for not saying anything (I think I was in shock and worried about Nala) and if it happens again I will be very vocal about it! It is ridiculous that people are so irresponsible with their dogs.

Princess Eva and Brice said...

We're sorry that there was a mean dog at the park. Since we have lots of dog parks here, we've found that different parks have different atmospheres. We only go to the big parks where there aren't a lot of dogs and we usually go to the back areas of the parks since I get stressed when too many dogs want to sniff me. But my brother does protect me from them if he thinks they're getting too pushy.

Princess Eva

Behr Behr said...

I'm so sorry to hear that Waldo got attacked. That kind of thing really ticks me off, too.
When Behr Behr was really young, I took her to the dog park twice. The second time she was attacked by an out of control pit bull. I risked a lot trying to pick her up to get her out of his reach and into safety. The bully's owner was more out of control than his stupid dog, and when I addressed the issue with him, he started threatening me. If I had it to do over, I would have called the cops for his threats. Then his dog attacked several other dogs as I was leaving.
I was in a dog seminar and asked what I should do because she is now terrified of pit bulls, and the trainer teaching the seminar asked for a show of hands from people whose dogs had also been attacked at dog parks. The number of raised hands (and the stories they told) was stunning. 10 mon. later she is still afraid of pit bulls, unfortunately.
Holly (Behr Behr's mom)


HI Waldo
I am glad you weren't seriously hurt. I don't go to dog parks either b/c you never know the owners. Plus I get really excited and that can be a bit much for other dogs.

I agree with the OP pack, go again at a time there is not so many dogs. Take your time as you head near the area just be calm and don't reinforce anxiety. Just stand and wait for him to move forward. It may help with gus encouraging him. Good luck and let us know. Norwood

GoldenSamantha said...

Dear Doggies and Alison,
I wanted to add that if you come to my blog I have an award for you!
xo Hugs,

Ludo van puppy said...

Sorry you got picked on Waldo. That musta beed really really scary. I hope it does not affect you badly.

Thanks for telling us about that google anayltics we is gonna go check it out. We must remember to get our video in!! Hope the time difference doesn't catch us out.
~lickies, Ludo

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

We are so glad that Waldo is ok. We think you are right you need to get him back there as soon as you can and make sure he has Gus to play with so he forgets the other dogs..
Dad watches that Analytics too. It is really cool..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Dughallmor Beagles said...

Hey Allison! Lovely to hear from you. How are ya?
Firstly, thanks for the Google analytics tip, we'll have a go!

Oh poor Waldo! That's just not fair, what an irresponsible idiot, especially not even stopping to see if your boy was okay $%^&* awful behaviour! I think you did the right thing getting Waldo calmed down before leaving the park, we know that Danes can be spooky and he has to put the awful experience behind him then and there or he will always hate the park. You be careful too, hope you didn't put your hands in the middle of it, heard some great tips for splitting dog fights....either pull the back legs away, put a pencil or stick up the offending dog's bum or if it's a boy dog squeeze his balls hard but never put your hands near the business end, now matter how tempting! Keep going to the park....hopefully that irresponsible human is so embarrassed by what happened that he won't hurry back! You can't be bullied from somewhere that is for dogs and dog lovers by someone who clearly has no regard for their own dog's welfare or anyone else's
Hope he's none the worse for it...and we're with Sammie....hold still Gus!
Slobbers xx

Agatha and Archie said...

Oh poor Waldo....That is why PL1+2 don't take us to dog parks any more,becasue of the people.Once someone picked up Archie and threw him down and told PL1 to get his dog away from his.....and Archie wasn't even doing anything! Imagine that owner not even talking to you or seeing if Waldo is alright.......Love A+A and gentle kisses to Waldo

Amber-Mae said...

I honestly can't wait to watch the videos of puppers performing tricks!

Belly jiggles,
Solid Gold Dancer

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh no - how AWFUL!! Poor, poor Waldo! It is so unfair as us Danes are usually such gentle giants and we get picked on by other dogs who feel threatened just by our size, even if we're minding our own business!

I've been attacked by other dogs 3 times and twice I had to go to the vet for stitches. It was just like what happened to Waldo - the other owners didn't apologise or anything; in fact, one owner laughed and said proudly, "Look at him, going for the biggest dog in the park" and the other owner complained when I tried to defend myself and said that big dogs shouldn't defend themselves against little dogs!

I used to be so sociable and friendly with every dog but since those bad experiences, I am a little bit wary when I meet strange dogs - unless they are really confident and sociable. I really don't like nervous, scared dogs...they make me nervous too!

But my humans say that it is a miracle I am still as sociable as I am, considering what happened to me. This is what they said about Waldo: "It's really important that you do socialise Waldo with other dogs as soon as possible after this incident coz you don't him developing a problem BUT the important thing is that he has lots of POSITIVE experiences with other dogs - better 2 positive experiences with nice, sociable, stable dogs than 10 bad experiences with aggressive, unstable make sure you find opportunities to let him socialise but pick the other dog carefully. If it looks dodgy, skip it. Learn to read dog body language and avoid any dog that is holding itself stiffly, hackles up, rolling its eyes, giving "hard stares". Of course, it's hard if it's the other dog that rushes up when Waldo is just peacefully minding his own business (this is what happened to Honey) - so try to assess the other dogs in the dog park before you join in and be ready to leave at any sign of trouble.

Dog parks where owners just stand around and talk and a high concentration of dogs are all milling together are a recipe for trouble - try to keep moving and encourage the dogs to move with you - this diffuses tension.

If your local dog park is a small, enclosed space with lots of dogs - perhaps consider giving it a miss. It is not worth it, as any socialisation benefits will be cancelled out by potential bad experiences which could have a lasting effect on Waldo. A lot of dogs have developed fear aggression as a result of just one attack. He should recover from one bad experience OK but if he has several, he may start to develop a mental issue.

If your dog park is like what I described, then maybe better to make "playdates" with selected nice dogs and owners that you meet on your walks. We are lucky here in NZ that our "dog parks" are the entire park so we can walk around them, the big ones for up to an hour, and so there is lots of space and we can make a detour around any dodgy dogs but I know in America, the dog parks tend to be small, enclosed, flat areas with few land features (trees, hills, streams) recipe for problems!

If Waldo shows any anxiety or fear when he is around other dogs, don't reward or encourage this behaviour and mind state by comforting or reassuring him. Ignore him or distract him by doing some training (eg. just ask for a Sit) to focus his mind on something else - or play with a toy, if he will do it - and then praise him gently when he is more relaxed again. Remember, rewarding any behaviour/mind state with attention will encourage the dog to repeat that behaviour. Also, praise (& treat, if you want) any interactions he has with other (nice!) dogs where he is being relaxed. You have to work now on building positive associations with strange dogs again.

Good luck and let us know how you get on!"

Honey the Great Dane
ps. I've emailed my Tricky Contest entry - hope it's not too late!

wally said...

Hi GUs and Waldo! We have an analytics thing and people get to our blog with some WEIRD searches. Yees! Sorry to hear about your bad experience at the park--that stinks! I don't go to the park anymore because I go from zero to grumpy too fast but my ma ape tries to keep me socialized by having me hang out with the dogs of friends of hers and since I know them I'm not as nervous and we don't have to worry about any surprises (or lousy owners!)

wally t.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear about Waldo's experience. The last time I took the boys to the dog park, Joey was minding his own business when a pit mix suddenly decided to attack him. Luckily the dog's owner, who was carrying a long stick, got his dog away from Joey, but people with small kids started leaving, saying there was a dog fight and looking at us like we did something wrong. And Joey's the most loving and easy-going dog around! We've also been to another dog park that had a sign tacked up on the fence saying the owner of the little white dog that got attacked wants the owners of the dog that attacked her to pay her vet bills - with graphic pictures. Joey loves the dog park and wasn't upset, but I was. I don't know if we'll go back.

YD said...

We are so sorry that you were bullied/attacked Waldo. We hope you feel better soon. Gus, you please take good care of your brother.

Love & Lots of Hugs,
Sam & June

Hey Allison, YD here. I don't blame you for getting furious. People with aggresive dogs should be very careful when it comes to taking their dogs there. The dog park I used to go to allows each owner 15mins and it's up to the owner if other dogs are allowed in. That way even aggresive dogs get their time to exercise. My dog(at that time) was aggresive, so I would tell others that they couldn't come in. Some owners didn't even ask and tried to just walk right in and I had to stop them and asked them to wait for their turn.

Mango said...

I've pretty much given up on dog parks. I never took Mango to one, but my Airedale, Basset Hound, and Dexter have all been set upon by unruley dogs.

I had little Dexter on a leash and a husky dog (off leash) ran up. I could tell the husky was not feeling friendly. The owner said "oh he likes everybody" I said "call off your dog" she said "oh he likes everybody" and then he went after Dexter.

For me its just not worth the risk. My local training facility has supervised playgroups that last an hour and are run by the trainers. They make sure everybody behaves or gets booted out.

Mango Momma

happypitbull said...

Star is the first dog I've ever had that was really interested enough in other dogs to warrant a trip to the dog park. But we stopped going there after about a dozen visits, because EVERY single time, there was an aggressive or anti-social dog there. And it was never the same dog--it was as if every idiot owner in the city brings their grumpy, bratty, or downright mean dog to the dog park. Then there are the people who are too busy gossiping to watch their dogs, the people on cell phones with their back turned to the action and one finger in their open ear, the people who don't even bother to clean up their dogs' messes... I could go on and on.

I even had one experience where a guy brought his two HUGE Great Danes and proceeded to advise us that they were friendly but extremely aggressive-possessive of their water bowl, and as long as everyone kept their dogs away from the water bowl, no one would get hurt. Are you serious???

Having owned grumpy bratty dogs myself, I could never fathom bringing an anti-social dog to the dog park. It's not fair to any of the dogs, including the anti-social one who likely doesn't want to be there in the first place. It's ridiculous how oblivious some people are to their dogs' feelings.

Long story short, I now understand why so many trainers advise against bringing dogs to dog parks. I don't want Star to pick up bad habits, develop fears, or get hurt. So we no longer go to the dog park.

Instead, I've enrolled her in play groups and obedience classes, gotten involved in a meetup group, and will be getting her started in agility as soon as I have the chance. This is actually proving to be excellent socialization for her, and in all cases we have very alert people, usually trainers, leading the group play.

Mindy Lu said...

BARK! Well, I am embarassed to admit, I am one of those bully dogs, and Max too. So mommy and daddy can only take us to the park when no other doggies are there. And that is usually when it is dark, and mommy and daddy have to put on big thick coats to stay warm. But we love to sniff all the other doggie smells left behind.
~~Mommy wants to know if you mommy can pee-mail her and tell her in simple terms how to do that google antic thing. BARK! Sasha the Princess