Having problem with another dog. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Having problem with another dog.

I have taken my 7 month old GSD to a local dog park to ensure socialization is happening early. My male pup is a very confident and playful dog who shows no dominance or aggressive traits(no neutered yet, but I have an appt. in a week or so). In fact, most people he comes across exclaim that he is a very well behaved dog.

Well, I recently have an issue with a Jack Russell at the dog park. He has attacked my dog twice without provoking, luckily no major damage or injury has occurred to my dog because he goes for the muzzle and jowls. Both cases, my pup is curious and sniffs close to this dogs face, and without even a warning growl or sound, the dog lunges and latches on. I've broken the terrier off twice now.

The owner is apologetic, but after the second time, I'm pretty frustrated that this guy keeps bringing his dogs(two Jack Russells) or fails to muzzle the one. This owner tells me he is seeing a behaviorist about this, so I know this isn't just a isolated case of my dog being a target. I think this terrier has some issues because of a younger sibling in the mix, but it is hard to tell.

I still want to go to the park, and not traumatize my dog. I did not immediately leave the park after both incidents, so I'm giving my dog the ability to "snap back" and play. I also want this other dog to be able to find some balance, but I find no support from other owners that have witnessed the issue. I know these Jack Russells have been coming to the park long before I have, but I find other owners being more sympathetic with this man instead of me with this situation.

I don't know what to do ... Should I leave the park if they show up? Isolate my dog away from them? Report this guy and push the issue because their are rules governing this park about aggression? I have extreme patience, and believe in having complete control over your dog and who and what they interact with. I'm just looking for some advice or feedback.

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Dogs can't speak, so they don't understand us. Dogs learn because we allow ourselves to understand them.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 02:33 PM
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Frankly, I'm not a fan of dog parks..But, if this were happening to my dog, I would keep MY dog away from the offending beast.. While yours may not have much of a problem with it,,if it keeps happening, your dog is going to end up doing something back, and well, it's always the BIG dogs fault.

This isn't a "good" experience for yours, and subjecting him to nasty little dogs won't help yours in the long run..

My GSD used to get constantly nailed in the nose by someones JRT at obed class, yes she shook em off, BUT, after it happened a few times, she had a memory like an elephant, and JRTs were NOT her favorite dog at all..

I would INSIST the guy put a muzzle on his dog, or consider reporting him to whomever handles the dog park, OR keep your dog away from the little beast. You want yours to have POSITIVE experiences not negative ones that may impack how he treats other small dogs in the future

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 02:35 PM
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Do you know any of the other people who take their dogs to the park? We had a situation like this at the dog park I used to go to when I lived in Madison, WI. There were two very big dogs who were harassing Basu (who I had recently adopted and who was fearful). Their dogs would take off from across the park after Basu.

I got very angry at the people but what finally worked was that a group of people got together and told them that they needed to stop bringing their dogs to the park. Perhaps you could get together with some other people and very politely approach this guy to explain why it isn't a good idea to bring a dog aggressive dog to the dog park (D'uh!).

If he continues to show up I would stop taking your puppy to this park and instead go somewhere else, or, better yet, make play dates with dogs you know are friendly and well behaved.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 02:41 PM
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we also used to take chobahn to the dog park when he was younger and i have really grown to hate them. he was a very sweet puppy and a lot of the time would end up getting "picked on" by smaller dogs. once it happened and the owner and another lady were laughing and making comments like "oh look at my little dog beating up that big bad german shepherd." i got so angry i leashed him up and took him out of there right away. i wasn't angry about the dog's behavior, i was angry at the owner. another time there was a guy that had just rescued a dog a few weeks prior. he TOLD us that his dog was dog aggressive if he felt threatened by another dog. as we were trying to leash chobahn up to leave, he got too close to the dog and the dog went nuts and almost bit his head off. seriously...WHY do you have a DA dog in an enclosed area with other dogs? that is the biggest problem with dog parks...you have irresponsible owners that don't understand dog behavior or don't care and let their dog beat on other dogs. we have not taken him to a dog park in so long just because things can get ugly inside those gates. think about it...say your dog gets pissed and snaps at this jack russel. i mean my dog could take a lot of heat and not get angry at all, but if he ever did snap, especially at a smaller dog, i feel like people would point fingers at him just because he is a larger dog AND a GSD. you have to be careful about how you socialize your pup..i have learned that the hard way . try to keep things positive! if you know others with nice, social dogs i would get your dog together with those kinds of dogs. dogs parks are just too risky IMO.

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Last edited by cta; 08-20-2011 at 02:45 PM.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 03:07 PM Thread Starter
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I have more options for dog parks in the area, and I have other outlets for socialization, I just really like this park's amenities. I'm not an ignorant owner, and understand dog behavior. I'm no Cesar Milan, but I have helped other owners with some "pointers" and advice to bring unruly behavior under control.

Everyone wants to snub GSDs, and associate them with biting and aggressive behavior, but every GSD that I've ever come across stays far away from provoking fights and dog aggression. My first interaction with a GSD was with my cousin's K-9 partner, Otoz. My cousin gave me warning before I moved close to his dog, me being only 12 years old and unaware, I just ran up and hugged the dog, and we were buddies after that. My cousin even let me do training with him on occasion, I put the bite suit on and had a blast. This truly helped me understand true aggression versus controlled protection instincts in dogs.

I will admit that I'm not a fan of small dog breeds, but this situation is out of hand. I'm more than likely going to avoid these dogs at all costs. I'm going to monitor my pup for any developing aggression due to this situation.

Axel "Foley" GSD 1/23/11 ~

Dogs can't speak, so they don't understand us. Dogs learn because we allow ourselves to understand them.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 03:21 PM
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I don't care for dogparks because the things people think are acceptable threre blow my mind. I used to take my miniature poodle Brandon years ago when he was a young, hyper, nutty thing that loved running with the big dogs (playing, not being an ass).

We quit going the day a lady showed up with her lab wearing those little dog panties because....SHE WAS IN HEAT! A group of us swarmed her at the gate and told her to take her home but the lady was so insistent that her dog had a right to play and we were over reacting because she was wearing panties and obviously couldn't be bred . I grabbed Brandon and left, I was not interested in the chaos that was about to ensue and have not stepped foot in a dog park since.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 04:31 PM
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I don't like to socialize my dogs in uncontrolled situations and I am not a fan of dog parks. As you have seen, you can't control what happens there. The only thing you have control over is YOUR dog. I would not place my dog in a situation where I know he is going to be a target. If you have a trainer you work with ask them if they have any play groups they organize that are controlled. If you don't have a trainer find one or look to local GSD groups/dog sport groups. And don't forget - socialization is not about playing with every dog he meets, it's about behaving not matter what the stimuli.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-21-2011, 11:30 PM
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I also regularly go to dog parks with my 7 month old. I don't think they're necessarily bad places.

How I'd respond in your situation depends, I suppose, on what your goals are.

If you don't want to have to deal with the JRT, can you start coming at a different time? You can always leash up and head out if you see them coming in.

Having been in a similar situation with a APBT, I do a few things. I try to engage my dog at the other end of the park. While I do that, I try to gauge the current mental status of the offending dog and its owner. Now, this APBT hasn't gone as far as the JRT you talk about - she's chased my boy back and done a lot of warning snaps and things, but no bites. Also, the ONE time she did that, her human leashed her up and took her out right away. He gets points from me, because he always tries to keep her engaged with a frisbee at one end of the park - get used to playing near dogs, y'know? And because if she goes over threshold, they leave.

It's my job to keep my pup away from this unstable dog. On the other hand, should there be any kind of altercation, if the owner of the dog who started it not leash up and leave right away, I'd demand it of them. My park has posted rules about appropriate behaviour, and I'd talk about the safety of not just my dog but others'. If they refused, I'd leave and just avoid being there when they are.

Oh yeah, I'm sure you know - if there is an altercation, inspect your pup for injuries but don't coddle it (petting, cooing, etc.). Reorient to something positive (quick sit/down/obedience with treats?) and get him back into the playing mindset, rather than a defensive one.

Just some thoughts. Good luck with the situation!
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-11-2011, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelsDad View Post
I don't know what to do ... Should I leave the park if they show up? Isolate my dog away from them? Report this guy and push the issue because their are rules governing this park about aggression? I have extreme patience, and believe in having complete control over your dog and who and what they interact with. I'm just looking for some advice or feedback.
I'd say yes, yes, yes and yes. Go with your gut here, you already knew you wanted to do that and I completely and totally agree. There's no reason you have to put up with that crap and potentially cause your dog emotional issues. You've been nicer than I could be. The first "attack" - well - I might have allowed the excuses - but the second? **** no. Sorry, dude, get your dog out of the park and into some help.

**adding** edit, didn't mean YOU should get your dog out of the park necessarily, meant that the other guy needed to. ***

Last edited by chelle; 09-11-2011 at 02:15 AM.
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