My Rex is 9 months old. His attitude is super nice and friendly. Confident and curious. Kids he wants to play with. Other dogs he sees when we are walking, always wants to go, meet them, greet them, play with them, big or small. Not afraid of cars, trucks or sounds. Does not bark or aggressive lunging. Barks only when he hears someone at the door as in alerting. Goes directly to greet etc etc. Not timid at all.
So....decided to go to the local dog park. Small neighbourhood style park. Went in. There were mostly small sized dogs compared to the size of Rex who is now 70 pounds approx. Intact if that makes a difference. When we went in, there were maybe three dogs. I felt he was a bit overwhelmed with the smells. He was smelling everywhere etc...But he was not himself wanting to play. He did play, but cautiously this time. The first dog played with him a little, then barked at him. Rex moved away and sat down. I sat next to him.
More dogs came and they were maybe 4 or 5 together playing. He stood up and played with them, did not get over excited. I thought he had a balanced attitude. Smart somehow as if he was evaluating. Then, he played with a female who the owner said was mix GSD with something else. She was half his size but quite comfortable in there. After a bit of playing, she started to be aggressive, barked at him, he backed off and started moving away, then she took off after him barking aggressively, he ran away, not like running for his life, just trotted away looking back at her seemingly startled.
I ran after and the other dog owner as well, we both said "hey hey" loudly and she said "no" to her dog, who I felt was almost going to nip Rex from the back but she went her way after I reached them.
Rex sat down directly and I felt that he was scared. Not yelping or anything. Just worried. He did not want to stand up again. I did not push anything, so I sat down next to him and petted him. We stayed there for 5 minutes. He stood up again. A smaller pooch came by and Rex greeted but cautiously. Some scuffle broke out away from us between 4 or 5 dogs. One dog was removed by the owner and that dog was screaming and barking. All the dogs I am mentioning were small to medium sized. No large breeds. Rex who is a GSD looks like a monster wolf comparatively!
Didn't really like the scene and did nt feel Rex was enjoying it. So told him to come with me to where I had my leash and bag, leashed him and we left calmly. I felt he was uncomfortable a bit after we went to the car. Went home, payed with him tug. Went out for a pipi. Saw a dog we knew. Went there. All greets and normal behaviour.
I know that Rex is friendly and not aggressive but I had thought that if he was going to be barked and bullied somewhat, that he would react differently. I have zero disappointment or anything. I am just curious about all this. As I searched here dog parks and read about lots of GSD puppies who were bullied, were timid, were attacked etc..
So I am trying to understand. Is this a breed thing when they are puppies they are "soft" despite their size? Are all puppies regardless of the breed like that, kind of vulnerable or is it a GSD thing? If he was say 2 years old, would the experience been different?
Thanks for your input