Dog park incident, are we being overprotective? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Dog park incident, are we being overprotective?

Buck is 8 months old now, he has been well socialized from the get-go, having come from a breeder where he had interaction with a number of other GSDs all the time, and gets along great with other dogs at the dog park, and plays nice and has fun. The other day there was a teacup sized dog there and he was so gentle with it!

But there are two dogs/dog owners there that concern my husband and me, and we've encountered them twice. The first time it was just those two dogs and Buck. They ganged up on him, literally chasing him so he looked like he was running for his life. There was no interactive play, it was just them chasing him. They were both biting his legs and "taking him down", rolling him. They are both full grown dogs, one a GSD the other a pit bull mix. We decided this was not a healthy situation so we left.

They were there again this evening, but there were a number of other dogs so we thought it might be different. But the same thing happened immediately. We stepped in and started putting his leash on him to leave, and one of the dogs wouldn't stop. My husband asked the owner to please get his dog off our dog. He wouldn't, and words were exchanged between the two men. I had a few things to say myself as we left. The other people there appeared to think we were being fussy, that what was happening was normal play.

I did come home and look up the leg-biting thing, and apparently it does happen in play. But two dogs ganging up? I'm guessing they are bullies and can see an easy mark (a puppy, albeit a rather big one.)

Please tell me the truth if we were being overly-sensitive, and if this was just normal.
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post #2 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:46 PM
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I'll tell you that early on, I experienced similar "play", when in fact, my dog was becoming prey. The "chase" usually invites other dogs to chase, and in the blink of an eye, your dog will get bit.
This happened to me, and it raised my awareness. I can't bring my dog to dog parks, because she's an easy target. She's always "prey".

I would suggest you avoid those dogs. IMO, it sounds like trouble.
As far as the owner... well it sounds typical of what you'll encounter in a dog park. That would all change the day your dog has enough, and sends a message to their dogs. They'll be the first to ban your mean GSD.
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post #3 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:46 PM
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Dog park incident, are we being overprotective?

Nope I wouldn't allow it. People may not like me but I step in immediately if another dog starts showing any signs of ganging up. I also would pull their dog off myself or use my body or foot to block them or tap them. I've also raised my voice and said no! Back off! To other people's dogs. It's my job to protect my dog and if the other owner is going to be an idiot ill do what I need to do to get their dog away from mine.

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post #4 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:47 PM
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I agree with your thinking. Imo, these 2 adults dogs are bullies and shouldn't even be in the dog park. I would have done the same as you and your husband - taken my dog out of there after I had a few choice words with the owner of the those 2 dogs.

Sting Chance von Gaard AKC GSD 2/8/2006
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post #5 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:55 PM
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You were right to leave. It can be dangerous for pack members to be in a setting like that for the reason you've already seen. They are already an alliance and gang up on others.

I rarely go to the park but if I do, I leave at the first sign of other dogs being bullies or the dog I'm with not enjoying the play and I have no problem announcing exactly why we are leaving.

Sadly, many dog park goers are not well versed in canine language and appropriate play and it creates a dangerous situation.
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post #6 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much Anthony, Capone, and Mary Beth! I feel so much better knowing that we weren't being idiots or overly sensitive.
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post #7 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:57 PM
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Red flags went off for both of you and you followed your gut. It's better to be overprotective (don't think you were) then fail to protect your dog and have him lose trust in you.

Jazz, Shiloh Shepherd, 5 yrs old, CGC HIC
Bunny, GSD X, 7.5 years old
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post #8 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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gsdraven, we did the same -- announced why we were leaving -- and everyone looked at us like we were a sad case. Well, now I know we are not. I'm grateful for this forum! Thanks.
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post #9 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks fuzzybunny. Buck losing trust in us hadn't even occurred to me!

I'm feeling so much better now.
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post #10 of 152 (permalink) Old 02-23-2013, 10:20 PM
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I also agree with your decision to protect your pup. I sparingly use our local dog park. I may go in if one dog is there. Usually I time it so we're alone, and we just use the extra space so she can get some longer runs in than in our back yard. I do walk her on the outside if others are inside to work on her obedience.
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