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coastiewifelstovall 03-22-2014 02:00 PM

Aggression towards scared dogs
My two dogs are playful and submissive to dominate dogs but seem to always find the scared dogs and start attacking them. How do I stop this behavior? I hate going to the dog park because of this even though my two get so excited and seem to be having a ball most of the time. I always take them home after this happens.


kjdreyer 03-22-2014 03:51 PM

I'm no behavior expert, so hopefully the more knowledgeable will advise. But, that sounds like pretty typical dog behavior, and I think it will be pretty difficult to stop it in while they're in the dog park. I'm not a huge fan of dog parks and/or a bunch of mingling dogs I don't know, personally. I think it's a problem waiting to happen, because it seems like a lot of times the submissive dogs can become a target and things get ugly. Honestly, the easiest way to stop it is to avoid the dog park, but that's kind of stating the obvious, huh?!;) (Not trying to be a smartypants!)

My dog gets nervous when two or more dogs approach her, and when she was younger she was the one who would take advantage of a more submissive dog. Luckily, the dog park I do go to is huge, so it's easy to give a wide berth to somebody with two or more dogs. She's ball crazy, too, so if I have the ball, I more easily keep her paying attention to me when somebody with a little dog goes by (she's not aggressive to any dogs anymore, but a lot of times the owner looks a little nervous so I make sure she doesn't even approach them). Today I saw a lady with a tiny dog put her dog on a leash when she saw us coming, and I had Jedda do a down stay as they passed, and I could tell she was relieved my vicious GSD didn't eat her baby. Her dog was well behaved too, but you can't count on that at the dog park! Sorry, got a little braggy there! I did a lot of work with Jedda on watching me when we encountered all kinds of things I didn't want her paying attention to. But I wouldn't be able to get her to pay attention to me in a scrum of dogs, not yet any way.

I just totally avoid the part of the dog park where the dogs just mingle - Jedda just isn't that kind of dog. Do you have that option where you go?

coastiewifelstovall 03-22-2014 04:39 PM

It is a large park I go to, but for some reason the people with the scared dogs always end up at the end where I am. My boys like small dogs they don't attack small dogs just the big ones that cower. Only one of them is ball driven the other I guess is show lines or something because the only thing that ever gets his attention is good food.


DaniFani 03-22-2014 04:49 PM

>>>they don't attack little dogs, just the big ones that cower. "

Seriously? You bring your dog's to off leash areas when you know they will bully and/or attack other dogs? Why? Sorry, but dogs like yours and owners like you are the reasons so many people don't trust anyone at dog parks(or most dog owners in general.. Sorry again). I really don't mean to be offensive. I just do not understand why you would put your dog's in a position where this could happen and you know it will, because it has. I had a nervy corgi like your dog's. She only bullied weaker dogs because she knew she wouldn't get away with it with stronger dogs.

I don't know about "normal" but it's not something I would not tolerate, nor is it something I would be continually exposing other dogs to.

coastiewifelstovall 03-22-2014 04:52 PM

They never hurt the other dogs just continually harass them. Until I pull them away and take them to dogs that are socialized.


coastiewifelstovall 03-22-2014 04:55 PM

To answer you question though I take them there so they can be socialized. It's called socializing your dog.


coastiewifelstovall 03-22-2014 04:57 PM

And my puppy was one of those dogs that cowered until about 7 months old.


selzer 03-22-2014 05:18 PM

If your puppy was treated that way when it was 7 months, that might be why it is treating dogs that cower this way. You should have never allowed your puppy to be bullied this way.

Having two dogs to one person off lead in a dog park in my opinion should be banned. Most people cannot handle one attacking dog well, and two is beyond the scope of most people. Some people have stable dogs and do manage them ok. But if your dogs are not stable and are harrassing dogs, then the dog park is not where you belong especially with two of them.

Socializing your dog is exposing your dog to a variety of persons, places and things. It can be done totally on lead. It has NOTHING to do with letting your dog run around with a bunch of dogs off lead. That is something totally different.

Socialization for puppies is done because dogs with weaker nerves may react badly in situations that are unfamiliar. Such a dog that has had exposure to a variety of situations, with positive outcomes, will feel more confident in all situations and is unlikely to respond quickly with their ultimate defense, their teeth.

If someone does want to use dog parks, then the do need to expose their dogs to dog parks, and ensure that there dog neither bullies or is bullied, and reinforce good behavior and repeat. But this is NOT what is meant by socializing your dog.

Many dogs NEED to be socialized, but no dog NEEDs to ever set foot in a dog park. Dogs to not NEED doggy-friends -- that is anthropomorphizing dogs.

I suggest taking your dogs one at a time, and correcting your dog for any bullying behavior. It is possible that with only one at a time, your two bullying dogs will become bullied dogs. Hard to say.

coastiewifelstovall 03-22-2014 05:50 PM

I have taken them separately before the one that got left behind howled the whole time I was gone and the one that went was the same. I actually went to a trainer for a while and he wanted the dogs to interact and have play time together before we started training every time. They do feed off eachother though and are rougher. With dominate dogs though both are running and playing and wresting and get a lot more of the energy out then a 2 mile run with me.


coastiewifelstovall 03-22-2014 06:02 PM

What I am trying to say is that I want my guys to have fun and be dogs. They are good dogs for the most part. They are good with people and most other dogs and well behaved when we are out and about on the leash or in the yard. But I don't want dogs that are not able to go have fun sometimes. Have you ever seen Cesar Milan work with a dog without other dogs? No. I want them to go get that energy out with other dogs like they can't with me. They are so excited every time we go to the dog park they even shake and start wagging their tails as soon as they see the gate at the park. With my puppy all I had to do was make him allow them to sniff him and they were good he just was scared at first and would try to nip them which caused them to dominate by making him cower. He now runs right for dogs at the dog park and does the lower down thing that means he wants to play.


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