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tim_s_adams 10-22-2018 09:47 PM

Dog park blues...
 
For a long time now I've talked about taking my dog daily or nearly daily to the dog park. And for the most part it's always been good. But in the past month or so it's become a bit more trying to say the least!

Nyx is now 22 months, and has gone through her second heat recently. She seems to have emerged from that a little more aggressive toward 5-7 month old puppies for some reason, and it has caused some issues recently.

First, about 2 weeks ago I was contacted by Animal Control because a lady with a 5 month old huskie had complained about my dog's aggressive behavior. I freely gave this woman my dog's name and my contact info, but was a little shocked to get a call from A.C. the very next day!

My dog was simply schooling her puppy, which I saw several other dogs do that same day, and to their credit the A.C. officer who contacted me totally understood. But it happened!

Tonight, the same thing happened with a different puppy, but this time the owner confronted me directly. Good for him! We discussed it, I completely understand where he's coming from, so we were able to talk it through and parted on good terms.

The thing is, it's partially a dog thing that none of us can control or dictate, and it's partially my fault for not watching more closely. I promised to do better in the future, but at the same time explained why totally squashing this behavior might be counter productive in the long run...

My dog isn't hurting his puppy, just schooling it. The rough stuff will end of its own accord if we let it...I promised to curtail it somewhat in the meantime, and as I said, we parted amicably so it's all good...for now. But I am going to have to watch my dog more closely for a bit...

It has been interesting to watch my dog's behavioral changes over time. It's totally clear that just because a dog has been going to the dog park for many months, it doesn't mean that today will be the same as it's always been...maturity changes things.

I sincerely hope we can continue to go so my dog can run around off-leash, but time, and her behavior will dictate that. Not my wishes...

Mei 10-22-2018 09:55 PM

I'm going through the same thing with Mei since her first heat. She's more vocal when she's playing now with other dogs. Dogs her size I dont mind too much but the little puppies, I dont like it. So far, I just say her name sternly and it stops.

I don't really have any advice. Just going through a similar situation. Just keep a close eye on her at the dog park.

cloudpump 10-22-2018 10:10 PM

The day someone else's dog corrects my puppy, we are going to have issues. I'd never allow my dog to correct someone else's puppy, nor allow my puppy to be corrected.
1. I dont trust you to be dog savvy enough to know anything about dog behavior. Ill assume you are a fur mom.
2. Things can escalate quickly. Especially at a dog park.
3. I'd be mortified if my dog hurt some unknown puppy, or if I was making some other owner uncomfortable because I claimed to be dog savvy, because I read it somewhere.

dogma13 10-22-2018 10:52 PM

Tim it were me I'd make plans to get together elsewhere with a couple of the friends you've made at the dog park along with their dogs.Don't wait for a serious situation to befall you and Nyx.

Sabis mom 10-22-2018 10:57 PM

I have no advice, just moral support. I watched Sabi teach dozens of pups and young dogs, I trusted her judgement, but I can see it freaking people out.
I can tell you that several of my more experienced friends had commented that specific to GSD's the females show a notably higher tendency to dog aggression then other breeds. In most breeds the males seem more prone. I have to say that my experience lends support to this, but since I am not that smart take it for what it's worth.

Springbrz 10-22-2018 11:18 PM

I wish you luck but I have to say it's about the same age I decided that dogs parks were no longer a good thing in our life. We stopped going and haven't looked back. I should have made that decision sooner to be honest. Just to many variables that can't be controlled.

tc68 10-22-2018 11:42 PM

Unfortunately for you Tim, you and your dog have been reported to the authorities. So he's in the system now. If something happens again and you're reported, your dog may have problems with the county or state in the future. (You've been warned.) In some places, worst case scenario...your dog will be put down. I would never have given my information to the other party if my dog didn't cause injury.

On another note, we've all talked about this ad nauseum...the dog park debate. This is exactly why I don't take my dog to the dog parks anymore. Incidents like these are bound to happen. And you may view it as harmless dog behavior, but there are always (uneducated/uninformed/unknowledgeable) people out there who don't see it that way. There are also people out there with GSD prejudices. It doesn't matter if your dog started the fight or not, because of the breed you will always get the blame, unless there are fair minded witnesses.

Also, I've never had a female dog so I don't know anything about heat cycles. But isn't that when they're "hormonal?" Is that the right time to bring her to the dog park? Not criticizing...just a legit question/concern. If it's not a an actual thing, then just ignore this last paragraph.

tim_s_adams 10-22-2018 11:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cloudpump (Post 9119529)
The day someone else's dog corrects my puppy, we are going to have issues. I'd never allow my dog to correct someone else's puppy, nor allow my puppy to be corrected.
1. I dont trust you to be dog savvy enough to know anything about dog behavior. Ill assume you are a fur mom.
2. Things can escalate quickly. Especially at a dog park.
3. I'd be mortified if my dog hurt some unknown puppy, or if I was making some other owner uncomfortable because I claimed to be dog savvy, because I read it somewhere.

Good points actually. Can I assume that you don't and never have taken your dog to a dog park?

Dog savy or not, there are certain things that are sort of universal for all dogs...and one of these is dogs schooling older puppies. And by schooling I mean sort of putting them in their place rather roughly. I've seen lots of puppies go through this "hazing" and come out of it more confident and carefree around the same dogs that put them through it...

Be that as it may, I will say that some people are uncomfortable when any dog does anything with their precious baby other than licking it in the face...but that just isn't reality. Dogs have a way. I don't claim to fully understand it, but they do, it's universal, they all get it. So as long as nobody is getting hurt, I'm more inclined to watch and let it go.

That being said, I recall how it felt when my pup was 6-7 months old and got picked on...so I'm definitely sympathetic to these puppy owners, and will do whatever I need to to make sure their puppy is not harmed in any way!

But I agree with you completely, I'd be mortified if my dog ever hurt a puppy also! I won't let that happen...

tim_s_adams 10-22-2018 11:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sabis mom (Post 9119537)
I have no advice, just moral support. I watched Sabi teach dozens of pups and young dogs, I trusted her judgement, but I can see it freaking people out.
I can tell you that several of my more experienced friends had commented that specific to GSD's the females show a notably higher tendency to dog aggression then other breeds. In most breeds the males seem more prone. I have to say that my experience lends support to this, but since I am not that smart take it for what it's worth.

Funny you mention the training older dogs do with puppies. Right after this happened, one friend walked up and offered to "beat the guy up for me", and another couple of people commented on how much they appreciated my dog putting some schooling on their puppies.

It's a mad mad world folks, everyone has a different level of experience...it's all good. I also trust my dog's judgement...to a point. And I'm also sensitive to the feelings of others. It's all good. I'll watch my dog more closely for now, but I am confident she won't ever hurt a puppy...it's just not in her temperment. An adult dog....not so much...given the "right" provocation in her mind...bad things could happen. But not with a puppy...

Springbrz 10-23-2018 12:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tim_s_adams (Post 9119549)
I'd be mortified if my dog ever hurt a puppy also! I won't let that happen...

This^^^^

As much as you will try you can't guarantee it won't happen.

Our story...

We were actually leaving the dog park and about 40-50 feet away from the exit. A woman and dog I knew pretty well was entering the park. About 7-8 dogs rushed the entrance (as was common) to see the newcomer. Her dog got stressed and broke through the pack full of nervous vengeance. Barking, growling and baring teeth to get the pack off her. Now this was normally a calm dog that didn't cause any trouble that I had ever seen in the past. Then it happened in a split second. The dog veered and just attacked my girl, who was not part of or near the offending pack that had rushed the incoming dog.
The attack was short and was stopped by a stern command from the owner and myself.
We immediately left the confines of the park and I looked over my girl. She had a bleeding bite between her shoulders. Information was exchanged and off to the vet we went. Fortunately she only needed 3 stitches. The other dogs owner offered to pay my vet bills. Being a fair minded person I only asked for half as I took on part of the responsibility of such an incident just by being in the dog park (and I knew her dog was acting out of fear/stress not true aggression). So I was out $150 and so was the other dogs owner because a dog got stressed by a pack of other dogs we weren't even engaged with in any way. Wrong place, wrong time.

Yup my girls wound healed without complications. However, her temperament was forever changed that day. She pretty much dislikes female dogs now. She wasn't they way before the attack.

So you will try but you probably won't be able to prevent an incident if it's going to happen. Dogs move fast.


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