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I guess after seeing all of the different dog park rants on the forum, I decided to post my own:

Yesterday we were at the park and Rooney (6 month old GSD) was playing with a smaller, but older (1.5 yrs) mutt of some kind. The both of them were getting rough, but nothing bad was happening, its how many dogs play. I was standing 5 feet away like usual and just letting them go at it, because my 6 month old doesn't have a mean bone in his body yet. For some reason the other owner had a problem with this, and kept telling my dog to get off of his and I quote "take a break." I held Rooney back for a minute but I really can't control what dog he wants to play with at the park, he's 6 months old! All of the sudden the guy starts throwing Rooney off of his dog, to which of course I tell him if he doesn't like this then he shoudl leave. Choice words were exchanged and he probably realized how dumb he was and decided to leave. I just couldn't believe that someone at an off-leash dog park really expected more control over a puppy. There was absolutely no problem with the way they were playing and everyone around us was like, "what was his problem? they played like dogs play." I guess its just one of those things you have to deal with, living in the city and not really having anywhere else to socialize the dog.

I should've known this guy didn't know much about dogs/dog behavior though when he first came in and asked if my dog was either a puppy or an older dog. I'm sorry, but my 60 lb GSD looks nothing like an "older dog" I know he's sable, but there is no way an older dog would be running laps the way he does at the park.
 

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Personally, I'm on the other guys side. He wasn't comfortable with that level of play (which I can't judge because I didn't see it) but it was totally his right to ask you to get your dog to back off and you should have control enough to be able to do that. He probably should have moved to another area since you couldn't keep your dog away but I don't see where he deserves to be slammed for not wanting a strange dog playing rough with his. He knows his dog better than you do and knows what s/he would tolerate and maybe your puppy's play wasn't something his dog liked to do.

Everyone's idea of what is appropriate is different and it would be nice if dog park goers would respect each other. I took Raven to the dog park from 4 months until just over a year. I was always right by her and always made sure other owners were comfortable with her play since she's a shepherd and tends to go for the neck. If they weren't, I took her away and played with her or had her calm down. Even at 4 months, she knew to leave a certain dog alone when I told her to.
 

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I guess that I am lucky that the dog park that I go to has a large number of regulars with dogs of varying sizes and temperments. A couple of weeks ago a woman who had just adopted her first dog, a nice golden lab mix, was terrified at first by the way her dog was barking at some dogs and chasing others. The dog was playing very nice and several of the folks with the dogs she thought were being bullied discussed the body language of the dogs. It helped her to relax and understand how her dog plays much better. If she didn't relax we would have kept our dogs away from her dog.
 

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I have to agree. If Minka gets too rough (in my opinion or the other owners opinion) then I need to control my dog. I always try to direct her attention to another dog that has the same style and intensity of play. Sometimes I had to keep redirecting and redirecting but eventually it sticks.
 

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Yes, you can control what dog your dog plays with. It is called being responsible. Sorry, but if you can't control your dog when others let you know your dog is being unruly, then don't take your dog to the park unleashed. This is why I don't take Chance. I can control him, but others don't control their dogs. Realize you are upset about this, but it works both ways.
 

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Would you be so understanding if someone allowed their small child to crawl through your picnic at the park, and start mauling you since chidren don't have to be on a leash and it's just a child and not hurting anyone? I would think it's cute for about 30 seconds before I expected a parent to appear and start teaching the kid some manners.
Puppies at dog parks can quickly lose themselves and become overstimulated which ends up being the complete opposite of socialization. It can lead to a dog that gets beat up with every single interaction with other dogs later in life.
Ask me how I know this ;)
 

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It's up to us as puppy owners to control and limit our dogs' play - and to make sure that play is safe, manageable, and respectful. Excessively pinning, jumping on top of or mounting or too much mouthing/growling at another puppy is what I consider to be inappropriate play, the puppy is exhibiting behavior that's too dominant, so you need to step in, separate them, and calm the puppy down until it's ready to play nicely again.

6 month old GSDs are big dogs, and very strong. Even in play, they could seriously injure a smaller dog. I don't blame the owner of the other dog one bit for becoming angry, in the future you should watch your puppy more closely and when he displays that kind of behavior again, curtail it.

This is why I do not go to dog parks. People seem to think that "off leash" means "great, my crazy dog pulls me on a leash so I can just take him to this place and let him run loose instead." They don't control or monitor their dogs well, they allow their dogs to be unruly and uncivil, they can be rude, obnoxious and frankly I prefer a nice leashes only park to walk, I have enough dogs at home for Rem to play with, lol!
 

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I guess after seeing all of the different dog park rants on the forum, I decided to post my own:

Yesterday we were at the park and Rooney (6 month old GSD) was playing with a smaller, but older (1.5 yrs) mutt of some kind. The both of them were getting rough, but nothing bad was happening, its how many dogs play. I was standing 5 feet away like usual and just letting them go at it, because my 6 month old doesn't have a mean bone in his body yet. For some reason the other owner had a problem with this, and kept telling my dog to get off of his and I quote "take a break." I held Rooney back for a minute but I really can't control what dog he wants to play with at the park, he's 6 months old! All of the sudden the guy starts throwing Rooney off of his dog, to which of course I tell him if he doesn't like this then he shoudl leave. Choice words were exchanged and he probably realized how dumb he was and decided to leave. I just couldn't believe that someone at an off-leash dog park really expected more control over a puppy. There was absolutely no problem with the way they were playing and everyone around us was like, "what was his problem? they played like dogs play." I guess its just one of those things you have to deal with, living in the city and not really having anywhere else to socialize the dog.

I should've known this guy didn't know much about dogs/dog behavior though when he first came in and asked if my dog was either a puppy or an older dog. I'm sorry, but my 60 lb GSD looks nothing like an "older dog" I know he's sable, but there is no way an older dog would be running laps the way he does at the park.
I know what you're saying. But, I've been lucky so far...the people I've met at my dog park have been pretty cool. People that don't want their dogs to mingle stay off to the side and play fetch.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I get what everyone is saying but I guess you just had to be there. It wasn't as rough as I've seen him play with other dogs and so I was fine with it. The other dog was only a little bit smaller then my pup so it wasn't a big deal and was holding its own very well. The problem with this park is that it is pretty much a fenced in football field (kind of small) so there really is no way of redirecting because there is no way to get away from the action, all the dogs are in one area and it is my opinion if you think my dog is being rough and you don't like it then you should move or leave. If my dog ever got too rough where I can see it getting dangerous I would step in and do something about it, but when dogs are playing and everyone around is watching and not having a problem with it then it really isn't my dog's fault.

I already make sure that he doesn't get too rough with really little dogs but if you have a 50+ pound dog there is no reason why the two of them can't have fun together. I get what everyone is saying about how their dogs at 4 months could be redirected, well mine has a lot of drive and loves playing with dogs, we made sure to socialize him from day one and he is just that. He's well trained and comes most of the time I call him at a dog park but at this age I can't control who he plays with, especially if the other dog is clearly fine with it and comes back for more.

And sorry some of us don't have the luxury of having a pack of dogs at home!
 

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I see it this way:
The man was clearly not comfortable with the way they were playing. It sounds to me like he was reading the body language of his dog and felt it was time to chill out...maybe for the sake of his dog and what that particular dog can handle.

I know that even with my two, most of the time they are fine playing, romping, running and so on. But every once in awhile one will get really serious and angry and that is when I, as a responsible owner, step in and stop the potential for a fight.

Maybe that was all the guy was trying to do, was avoid a spat between the two because HIS dog was giving indicators that he was getting to that point. Your dog might of been fine with it all, but the other dog might have been 'fed up and done playing' with your dog....

Also, if someone feels it is time for their dog and yours to take a time out, you should respect that and recall your dog.
 

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I see it this way:
The man was clearly not comfortable with the way they were playing. It sounds to me like he was reading the body language of his dog and felt it was time to chill out...maybe for the sake of his dog and what that particular dog can handle.

I know that even with my two, most of the time they are fine playing, romping, running and so on. But every once in awhile one will get really serious and angry and that is when I, as a responsible owner, step in and stop the potential for a fight.

Maybe that was all the guy was trying to do, was avoid a spat between the two because HIS dog was giving indicators that he was getting to that point. Your dog might of been fine with it all, but the other dog might have been 'fed up and done playing' with your dog....

Also, if someone feels it is time for their dog and yours to take a time out, you should respect that and recall your dog.
Amen Amen Amen ....... respect the other person's wishes to be left alone.
 

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Ugh dog parks :(

Dynamics change so often in this kind of situation and things escalate quickly. Another issue is that two dogs playing, one has nowhere to retreat if things get "too rough". A good owner knows when their dog is over the threshold of enjoying the play. And especially with puppies, they need guidance and don't always know when enough is enough.

Playing with other dogs is a great outlet for burning energy, but it needs to be in a safe environment.
 

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You were fine with it, but sounds like the other person wasn't. It is a public park, so he had a right to get angry and move away, don't think you had the right to tell him to leave. it is not your park, it is everyone's.
You even said "he comes most the time". If he doesn't come everytime, he isn't ready to just run free without control.
Sorry, I am with the others, your dog got out of control, maybe not in your opinion, but if it was enough to have the other owner ask you to get control of your dog for a time out, then sounds like you are the one in the wrong and needed to control your dog.
Oh, I don't have a pack at home either, but would expect my dog to be under my control at all times, even in a dog park.
 

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It wasn't as rough as I've seen him play with other dogs and so I was fine with it.
I think what everyone is trying to say is that even though YOU were fine with it, the other person wasn't. You have to assume that the other guy knows his dog better than you do and that he had a reason for asking you to redirect your dog, even if you didn't see it.

I've redirected Ezra when I saw him heading in a direction that I didn't like and had the other owner say, "Oh, "Fluffy" is fine, she likes to play rough." And I have to tell them that while Fluffy may be fine, Ezra is escalating in a direction that I am not comfortable with.

It took me a long time to figure out Dog Park politics - in fact I still struggle sometimes. The most successful situations I've seen is when owners communicate their boundaries and respect the boundaries of others and don't take it personally if someone asks them to call their dog off.
 

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Sorry, I would have to agree with the other guy. Your dog is bigger and rougher than his, he asked you politely to control your dog, then removed your dog without hurting him from atop his dog. Bringing my dog to a dog park DOES NOT mean that I relinquish my right to protect my dog from behavior of another dog, or intercede when I think it is inappropriate for my dog. Bringing your dog to the dog park DOES mean that you should be able to control your dog, act responsibly toward the other dogs and their owners, and be considerate of the reasonable requests of the others trying to enjoy the park.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It wasn't that I had a problem with him asking, he didn't ask, he just started to throw my dog off of his dog. I wouldn't have had a problem if he asked me to try and calm my dog, he was standing 5 feet away from me and just started to throw him. My biggest problem with the whole thing was that he was handling my dog like that, lucky for him he's not aggressive and didn't do anything about it.

It was clear the guy doesn't know much about dog body language and clearly not enough about dogs that he would touch someone elses dog in that way. Right as we got to the park a "fight" broke out between two dogs, no one got hurt or anything but emotions were clearly high, but the women that owned the dogs were very reluctant to get between the two of them, and I'm not getting in between two dogs I dont know, much less going to touch another dog.

My point was that the guy just didn't know much about dogs and behavior in general, I get it that it's up to me to control my pup. In regards to the park being public, its a pay for use park that the guy clearly didn't pay for (his dog didn't have the tag), and I did, so in my opinion I can tell him to leave, especially if he's going to handle my dog in that way. I'll compare it to the older post about the baby, what do you think would happen if you touched someone else's kid? Even if it was gentle and proper? You think those parents would be happy?
 

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It wasn't that I had a problem with him asking, he didn't ask, he just started to throw my dog off of his dog. I wouldn't have had a problem if he asked me to try and calm my dog, he was standing 5 feet away from me and just started to throw him. My biggest problem with the whole thing was that he was handling my dog like that, lucky for him he's not aggressive and didn't do anything about it.
I had the same thing happen to Jax when he was 10 weeks old. Some guy brought his 18 year old toy-poodle-esque dog to the park and Jax made a b-line for that dog. I'm kind of glad that the guy kicked Jax away from his dog because his little white dog had open festering sores all over its back. The guy and his wife are police officers and claim to know how to deal with these dogs. (I guess "deal" is a relative term). But Jax still remembers the guy and does not care for him at all.
 

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I guess it was just one of those you had to be there situations, but thanks for the advice, hopefully next time people make it apparent that they don't like something before touching my pup. DeeMcB, I think you made the best point, it just wasn't communicated to me what he wanted, instead he yelled at my dog and shoved HIM off. I've seen posts on this forum of people threatening to kick dogs if they came up to their dog and it wasn't welcomed, which got tons of support, just stating my opinion, I'd love to see someone try and kick my dog.
 

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instead he yelled at my dog and shoved HIM off.
So I would take that as a sign that he was immediately concerned for the safety of his dog. After all, he does not know your dog, and could have perceived it as a dangerous situation for both dogs. If mine were to be playing too rough with an unknown dog I would be closer than 5 feet, and would be watching closely for signs of distress in both dogs. If I were to see my dog being pulled off another dog, I would be super apologetic for my dogs being too rough!!

Also, I didn't say this in my post above, but if your dog does not 100% recall, you do not have the control you need to be able to stop or prevent him from doing something he shouldn't be doing. Despite the fact that it is a dog park, perhaps your dog isn't quite ready to be there because you can't get him to return to you when he might be in a bad situation.

Personally I Never allow my dogs off leash because their recall is not 100% and we never go to dog parks. There are many other situations where you can take your dog to run off that energy and to socialize, but under circumstances where you might have better control. I take my two to a friends house to have play dates with trusted dogs that I know will not provoke a bad situation. Any possibility of you finding a dog or two that yours can have play dates with rather than to expose him to this again?

And by the way, when I do walk my dogs at a local park where I see many dogs allowed off leash(against the law here) I carry a walking stick to block those dogs from approaching us and I do that because I read too many horror stories about dog parks!
 
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