Leash reactivity and dog park - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
Member
 
Sir Bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 181
Leash reactivity and dog park

Bear is 14 weeks and leash reactive towards other dogs (not 100% of the time, it seems random...some dogs set him of while others don't) but once he gets to meet said dog he just wants to sniff and play, no aggression at all.

My question concerns bringing him to our local dog park. All the dogs in our neighborhood that go there seem so happy and well-behaved (i.e. not leash reactive...we live on a military base so we see the same dogs a lot on walks) and I don't have many acquaintances with dogs so setting up play dates has been difficult. The trainer says he needs to play with bigger dogs that are able to play as rough as Bear, which abound at this park (there is a section for small dogs and one for big).

It seems dog parks aren't everyone's favorite here...but we've been watching it from afar for so long on our walks and it just seems so wonderful. But I do not and will not do anything that makes his leash reactivity worse. Anyone have experience with dog parks helping or hurting this?
Sir Bear is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-29-2012, 11:45 AM
Knighted Member
 
Anthony8858's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,806
I'm gonna tell you that yes, many people here do not like dog parks, and many people are OK with them.

HOWEVER, I will comment on your situation.

1) Be careful. It takes one incident with a reactive dog to immediately change your dog's temperament towards other dogs.

2) You say your puppy seems to be leash reactive... Well a more agressive dog might react right back. Only difference, is your puppy will most likely get the wits scared out of him. Then it's a whole new ballgame for you

3) I;m NOT a big fan of dog parks. I AM a big fan of structured play dates with a dog or two. My dog was pinned at a young age, and has since been very insecure around other dogs. It's taken loads of questions around here, and lots of time on my part to protect her from ever being put into that situation again. At 9 months, I'm now beginning to see confidence and a very stable, well balanced dog.

4) There's a good chance that your dog is NOT being agressive. There's a better chance that he just gets excited to see other dogs. I would work more so, on getting him to be neutral on his leash, more than anything.
Anthony8858 is offline  
post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Sir Bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 181
I went ahead and took him to the dog park today Honestly, I've never seen him so happy and he played beautifully. We didn't run into any dogs while on leash though so I've yet to see if it will have any effect on that. He's currently passed out at my feet (a rare occurrence) from all the fun! I'm still a bit apprehensive, but for a first experience I don't think it could have gone better! The people there said they tend to come at the same time every day so I think I'm going to stick with the same time for a while so we get the same set of friendly dogs. Thank you for your advice though it's good to know others experiences!
Sir Bear is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 11:48 PM
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
Are all dogs leashed or is it an off leash dog park?

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-30-2012, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Sir Bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 181
They were off leash, so I'm not sure if that will have an effect with the on leash business or not. But it was at least nice to see him have positive interactions with other dogs. He just seemed so happy and has actually been napping ever since we got home (something that NEVER happens even after long walks)! I'm still a bit leery of the dog park but all the people there watched their dogs like hawks and said they come at the same time every day so it was a great experience.
Sir Bear is offline  
post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 12:08 AM
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Bear View Post
They were off leash, so I'm not sure if that will have an effect with the on leash business or not. But it was at least nice to see him have positive interactions with other dogs. He just seemed so happy and has actually been napping ever since we got home (something that NEVER happens even after long walks)! I'm still a bit leery of the dog park but all the people there watched their dogs like hawks and said they come at the same time every day so it was a great experience.

I would think that since he's so young, his reactivity on the leash is because he wants to play not kill the other dog He might very well still bark and lunge when on the leash if he wants to play, that is a matter of training. If you have found a good dog park with good people then you are good to go Just be careful and watch your pup carefully around all the bigger dogs. The county I live in offers permits to a few dog parks and I've visited two, I would have thought where I live people would care a little bit more, but I was wrong. My then 4 month old golden retriever entered the park and was trotting through a group of dogs and the next thing I know a Rott has him by his head...it was scary, but in the Rott's defense I don't think it started out as an attack, I think the Rott freaked out when my big baby started crying(as puppies do)because the Rott scared him..as his cries got louder the Rott got madder Everything turned out okay and my dog is physically and mentally fine, but you just never know. Just keep your eyes wide open and if you see anything that doesn't look right or a dog that is acting funny, just leave!!

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 06:38 AM
Knighted Member
 
Anthony8858's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,806
I've started a few threads here, about how my pup is a walking target around other dogs. She just always gave off a signal that said "hey, I'm the weakest in the pack, come and get me". Because of this, I backed off "dog parks", but don't necessarily avoid playing with dogs in the park.
What I've done, was become very selective with her playmates. I've actually gone to the dog park, and watched the behavior of various dogs, (from outside the fence) and have gotten to know the dominant dogs. I've met people with young, friendly stable pups, and made arrangements to meet them there. This process has helped me build the confidence, and totally avoid aggression from older, dominant dogs. I protect her, like I would protect my children from bullies.
As a result, she's become a socialized, stable pup. She's friendly to all people, afraid of no one, and most of all, non reactive when she sees other dogs.
Basically, she's neutral.

I can almost guarantee you, that your pup will meet a dominant dog in a dog park, and get "corrected". If you see that happen, I can only suggest that you remove your dog from that environment. German Shepherds go through a fear stage from 4-6 months of age. During this period, pay close attention to his body language around other dogs. If he plays well, let it be. If he starts backing off, and tucking his tail, I would take my advice and make special playdates with dogs he trusts.

All this may seem like nonsense, but as a regular member here, I've read this story a hundred times.

Last edited by Anthony8858; 03-31-2012 at 06:40 AM.
Anthony8858 is offline  
post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Sir Bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 181
Ha...the trainer told me the needs to get "corrected" by an older dog since he is dominant while playing (he made this recommendation after seeing him play with one other dog) I'm thinking I may need to switch puppy classes since I've gotten more good information of this site than anything from him. Thanks for the advice!
Sir Bear is offline  
post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-31-2012, 12:56 PM
Crowned Member
 
llombardo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 14,027
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir Bear View Post
Ha...the trainer told me the needs to get "corrected" by an older dog since he is dominant while playing (he made this recommendation after seeing him play with one other dog) I'm thinking I may need to switch puppy classes since I've gotten more good information of this site than anything from him. Thanks for the advice!
My older dog has corrected the german shepherd pup but for some reason the puppy keeps aggravating the older one and the older one just walks away now--unless she's in the mood to play then all bets are off

Misty- Samoyed Mix, Tannor- Golden Retriever CGC
Robyn- GSD CGC, TC, Midnite-GSD CGC,TC, Brennan-Golden Retriever CGC, Batman-Husky/Greyhound , Apollo-GSD
llombardo is offline  
post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-06-2012, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
Member
 
Sir Bear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 181
Not sure if anyone ever reads these for updates...but just in case someone else is having the same problem and reads this...I've been taking bear to the dog park consistently for a couple weeks now and the leash reactivity is (I would say) 98% gone. He still gets excited and pulls at other dogs but if give his leash a tug he keeps on moving now! No more barking and crazy lunging! I think for him (not necessarily the case for all puppies) is that he was just unsure around dogs in general and needed some positive interaction with friendly dogs.

Don't get me wrong...you have to watch, watch, watch the entire time you're at the park and sometimes people think your a bit weird for up and leaving suddenly if you notice a dog you don't trust, but it's so worth it to have bear be so great on walks!
Sir Bear is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome