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Discussion Starter #21
but I am concerned still about your perspective of the whole thing....the problem was not the dogs!
No I still believe strongly the problem was poorly trained dogs and irresponsible dog owners. I will throw myself in with the lot of irresponsible dog owners for bringing my young and uncoordinated puppy into a dog park though. I understand you’re a big dog park proponent and have argued with others on here about the value of dog parks so I’m not going to be changing your mind here. However, here are some mistakes I believe I made

1) smacking the other dogs faces away. That was unnecessary, they are animals after all with no sense of what they’re doing.

2) grabbing at the other dogs collar. Although, in this situation with my dog pinned down and being unsure if he was being bitten or not, I’m not sure what the alternative is.

3) bringing my puppy there in the first place

You say that bringing a ball to play into the dog park was a mistake. I don’t know if I agree with this statement. Well trained dogs should be able to play co-fetch without pinning other dogs down and snarling at them. Besides, I don’t believe that this situation had anything to do with the ball. It was more of a predator-prey situation in which the husky saw a chance to dominate a younger pup. This would have happened regardless of whether the ball was present in this situation or not, IMO.

I think the one thing you and I could agree on is that perhaps dog parks are valuable when your puppy is at an age where he/she is able to play with other dogs adequately. However, I would still say this is false because you have no idea what kind of dog someone will bring to a public dog park. Joining a club or making friends with other, more responsible owners is a much better choice
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Another thing to keep in mind is that "running up to another dog" is often interpreted as aggressive and not good in dog behavior (nor in human behavior), so while you considered your puppy to be friendly and confident, it's likely that his social skills were poor and contributed to the incident. Dogs run up to Jupiter all the time, and I can see that he doesn't like it and always am a bit afraid he's going to go off on them, and I wonder why their owners allow it. I would never allow him to run up to another dog.
I agree with the majority of your post except this statement here. I think you’re reading too much into the statement “run up to”

what I mean here is that he doesn’t shy away or get apprehensive around other dogs, he will usually join a group enthusiastically ready to play. He did have some annoying puppy tendencies at first such as jumping on other dogs and what not that we’ve worked through in puppy obedience school and will probably continue to work through for a bit
 

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I used to go to dog parks, and there were ALWAYS balls around. My dogs loved to play fetch. The only time there was a problem was when a very possessive little terrier was trying to dig out a ball that was frozen in the snow. My GSD went over to see what she was doing, and she turned and snapped and took a small chunk out of his ear!

The owner was aware of his dog's behaviour, and removed her from the park. I got the feeling he'd come to the park at a time when it wasn't usually busy so he could try to prevent this sort of thing from happening. I think he gave up after that. I never saw them again.

I didn't realize my dog had been hurt until I got home, and started finding blood everywhere... that small nick bled like crazy!!

Anyway, two points: you have very little control over what happens in a dog park, so they are not good places to go. And even if you think there are NO TOYS around, there may always be one lurking somewhere, hidden in the long grass or buried in the snow. So, toy possessiveness is always a risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Also thank you to everyone for their responses. If it seems that I am coming off defensive that is not the intention and I really do appreciate all the constructive criticism. I still maintain that public dog parks have way too many variables for you to know definitively your dog won’t have major issues there
 

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No I still believe strongly the problem was poorly trained dogs and irresponsible dog owners. I will throw myself in with the lot of irresponsible dog owners for bringing my young and uncoordinated puppy into a dog park though. I understand you’re a big dog park proponent and have argued with others on here about the value of dog parks so I’m not going to be changing your mind here. However, here are some mistakes I believe I made

1) smacking the other dogs faces away. That was unnecessary, they are animals after all with no sense of what they’re doing.

2) grabbing at the other dogs collar. Although, in this situation with my dog pinned down and being unsure if he was being bitten or not, I’m not sure what the alternative is.

3) bringing my puppy there in the first place

You say that bringing a ball to play into the dog park was a mistake. I don’t know if I agree with this statement. Well trained dogs should be able to play co-fetch without pinning other dogs down and snarling at them. Besides, I don’t believe that this situation had anything to do with the ball. It was more of a predator-prey situation in which the husky saw a chance to dominate a younger pup. This would have happened regardless of whether the ball was present in this situation or not, IMO.

I think the one thing you and I could agree on is that perhaps dog parks are valuable when your puppy is at an age where he/she is able to play with other dogs adequately. However, I would still say this is false because you have no idea what kind of dog someone will bring to a public dog park. Joining a club or making friends with other, more responsible owners is a much better choice
Every dog park I think I have ever been in had toys strewn throughout. So not bringing your own toy doesn't necessarily help at all.

OP, I'm glad you have found a way to safely continue to expose your dog to other dogs. I wouldn't criticize anything you did in the heat of the moment when your puppy was yiping under a big dog.

It's really easy to say "you shouldnt do that, or I would never do that" on an internet board but when you think your puppy is being hurt you just want to save them and you tend to just act- and I'll be the last to fault you for it.

I'm not a fan of dog parks at all. I too had very bad experiences at communal dog areas. It is my belief that not nearly enough benefit outweighs the constant risk of using places like that.

SO many people don't know what can happen and the dog park is the first place they want to take their puppy. You don't know what you don't know.

I'm glad your puppy bounced back. Your puppy knew you were there to help him. I think a puppy with a decent temperament ought to be able to bounce back from one bad experience.
 

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I have had mostly good experiences at dog parks, but I use them sparingly. My dog is a 7 1/2 month old female. She is confident around other dogs and will engage them in play if they want. Nevertheless, if I get a bad vibe from the mix of dogs or owners, I either put her in a smaller, separate enclosed area at our dog park which tends to have fewer dogs, or else forego the park altogether. I make the call, as she would ALWAYS vote to go in with the other dogs, the more the better.

I have had her in a large park with probably several dozen dogs, with no problems. She enjoyed it, ran to her heart's content, and had no dust-ups over toys.
But the dog and owner population at these parks, is, as you say, a variable. On another occasion, a semi-formal pack had already developed when we arrived, and my pup was getting responses more like predator-prey than dogs at play. I got her out of there in a hurry that day.

Our best experiences there have usually been with smaller groups of dogs where the owners were watchful, and the dogs wanted to play, not aggressively jockey for social position.
Although I have tried to memorize which dogs she had good experiences with, people's schedules vary and so far I have rarely seen the same dogs and owners twice.

I agree toys can provoke fights, but you could stock a tennis bag with the left-over balls at our dog park . Whether you bring them or not, toys are usually there.

As far as physically separating a larger dog when he has your pup pinned down, I wasn't there, but if you felt it was going beyond an adult correcting a puppy and into a biting or mauling, then your pup relies on you for protection. You had to make that call in real time, surely in far less time than it took me to type this. If a larger dog had my pup down, I'd try to physically separate them. First, she's a family member, and I didn't sign her up for the Golden Gloves, or Michael Vick's doggie day care. Second, and far less important, but not unimportant, good dogs and good vets are both expensive and I did not pay a premium for her beautifully formed ears or other parts to be some other dog's chew toy.

Sounds like your pup came out of this OK. BTW, he must have pretty good focus to play fetch when other dogs are present. Mine is more like a kid at the Coney Island arcade with $50 cash. Just too much interesting stuff for her to focus on fetch, sit, heel, stay or anything else.
 

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No I still believe strongly the problem was poorly trained dogs and irresponsible dog owners. I will throw myself in with the lot of irresponsible dog owners for bringing my young and uncoordinated puppy into a dog park though. I understand you’re a big dog park proponent and have argued with others on here about the value of dog parks so I’m not going to be changing your mind here. However, here are some mistakes I believe I made

1) smacking the other dogs faces away. That was unnecessary, they are animals after all with no sense of what they’re doing.

2) grabbing at the other dogs collar. Although, in this situation with my dog pinned down and being unsure if he was being bitten or not, I’m not sure what the alternative is.

3) bringing my puppy there in the first place

You say that bringing a ball to play into the dog park was a mistake. I don’t know if I agree with this statement. Well trained dogs should be able to play co-fetch without pinning other dogs down and snarling at them. Besides, I don’t believe that this situation had anything to do with the ball. It was more of a predator-prey situation in which the husky saw a chance to dominate a younger pup. This would have happened regardless of whether the ball was present in this situation or not, IMO.

I think the one thing you and I could agree on is that perhaps dog parks are valuable when your puppy is at an age where he/she is able to play with other dogs adequately. However, I would still say this is false because you have no idea what kind of dog someone will bring to a public dog park. Joining a club or making friends with other, more responsible owners is a much better choice
I agree the husky would have done the same thing if your puppy just got the zoomies.

Again, I wouldn't beat yourself up for any of this. I once jumped into the middle of a pack of rhodesian ridgebacks who decided they wanted to eat my young GSD and tried to fight them off with my bare hands. Luckily their owner and some other people assisted as well and no one, including me, was hurt. Can you make a good decision in a situation like that? Hardly. That's why these places are terrible ideas.

Don't beat yourself up for protecting your puppy however you thought you could in the moment.

You learned your lesson, as did I.
 

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In the thick of things, people will protect their dog, hopefully someone elses dog too if it comes to that. Logic doesn't usually apply.
Pre-emptively, the moment you get that bad feeling about this, leave.
I train my dog outside of a dogpark. I now have time to observe what happens inside of the dog park, and what I see are plenty of dogs/owners doing just fine. They are watching their dogs, they'll gently interrupt or leave, their dogs are having fun and/or working things out in a normal way.
I've also owners getting into dust-ups when their dog gets pinned (literally, what you said happened to you) and other owners laughing at him. I felt so sorry for him, I think he was right, but in the end, the 1st time his dog got rolled, he should have left with his dog, and called it a day, or gone for a nice leashed walk with me, as that is what I go there for.
So yes, stuff happens, mostly, if the wrong dog and or person, walks in, leave. If an incompatible dog comes in, leave. And if you don't have a dog park dog, it's absolutely fine. Dogs don't have to be dog park dogs to be fabulous and have fabulous lives.
Me, I've been enjoying my visits a lot, because, oh the irony, when I try to avoid off-lead dogs it is the worst that come running (this happens on forest trails), but when I hang out at the dog park, the dogs, even the off-lead ones are pretty savvy and cause no trouble (I walk in the leash only area/trail) and often end up walking with other 'not a dog park dog'.

PS. to @Kathrynil thank you for not overtly naming and shaming 'that' trainer. Very nice manners, makes me feel a little better about the state of the world. That video is an excellent one to watch for the nuances of dog behaviour and how to spot a 'not a dog park dog'.
 

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I was just going to let this go. But I'm hoping a little more detailed response here might help someone else reading this thread now or in the future!

No I still believe strongly the problem was poorly trained dogs and irresponsible dog owners. I will throw myself in with the lot of irresponsible dog owners for bringing my young and uncoordinated puppy into a dog park though. I understand you’re a big dog park proponent and have argued with others on here about the value of dog parks so I’m not going to be changing your mind here. However, here are some mistakes I believe I made

1) smacking the other dogs faces away. That was unnecessary, they are animals after all with no sense of what they’re doing.
Not important IMHO, but yeah unnecesarry. It's the motivation for doing so though, that is in error in my view. You're angry at these dogs and probably the dog's owner, when you caused the problem (no offense, see below).

2) grabbing at the other dogs collar. Although, in this situation with my dog pinned down and being unsure if he was being bitten or not, I’m not sure what the alternative is.
Personally I like to stay as far away from those flashing teeth as possible, so if I truly felt that voice and/or proximity wouldn't be enough to snap the dog out of it (in cases like you describe it usually is!), I would go for a tail!

The main thing is to remain calm, and approach the dogs intently but not in a frenzied state. To them a rapid, direct approach signals an attack, so you're much more likely to get bitten!

3) bringing my puppy there in the first place
Yes, we covered that. Still, it was more what happened while there that I was referring to in my previous post.

You say that bringing a ball to play into the dog park was a mistake. I don’t know if I agree with this statement. Well trained dogs should be able to play co-fetch without pinning other dogs down and snarling at them.
That was MAWL, I said nothing like that! And in fact I always bring my own rubber ball to the dog park with us. As others have mentioned, most parks have numerous balls laying around anyway, so if a toy is going to spark a fight there's always ample ammunition whether you "bring" one or not!

Besides, I don’t believe that this situation had anything to do with the ball. It was more of a predator-prey situation in which the husky saw a chance to dominate a younger pup. This would have happened regardless of whether the ball was present in this situation or not, IMO.
This is where you're really wrong IMHO! The husky was playing like a huskie initially. I'm guessing you maybe haven't been around many?

It was your choice to continue throwing the ball for your puppy, while expecting the husky to be some other breed. You just kept throwing the ball, watching the husky chase your puppy. You somehow thought the husky wouldn't get more and more amped up...but it did, and did what huskies like to do, went for a back of the neck take-down. Your puppy got bowled over for the first time (which can be disconcerting I'm sure! Trust me, they get used to it LOL!) and yelped - more out of surprise than anything. But from your description you were already on your way to help...what's wrong with this picture?

I think the one thing you and I could agree on is that perhaps dog parks are valuable when your puppy is at an age where he/she is able to play with other dogs adequately. However, I would still say this is false because you have no idea what kind of dog someone will bring to a public dog park. Joining a club or making friends with other, more responsible owners is a much better choice
All dogs act up. All dogs, like people, have good and bad days. Or calm and exuberant days. So, learn to read dogs and what sets them off. Any dog anywhere can cause your dog problems. Most problem dogs don't go to dog parks! But you'll see them when you're out and about. As a dog owner, you NEED to learn dog behavior, try to understand the motivations, and above all react correctly when bad things happen!

My dog is now 3 yrs old. Last week at a dog park we were playing fetch and a new arrival came to say hi just a few feet before my dog got to her ball. So she paused and did the required sniffing and greeting stuff, then turned to get her ball. The other dog, not knowing followed. My dog warned him off, but not understanding he took that to be an aggressive affront and the fight was on! Both of the owners, myself and the newcomer, were right there. He got to them before me and just slowly waded through them to break the spell.

My response? I calmly walked over and picked up my dog's ball. Had a short exchange with the dog's owner...then went for a lap around the park.

When that was done I settled on a bench a few feet away from this dog and owner playing fetch.

Shortly, his dog came over to greet me and my dog, and we talked a bit more while both petting both dogs. Problem solved! Happy ending...

Point is, your actions can cause a problem, or a problem can just happen. Either way, your reaction to something like this very much can determine what your dog learns from it!

Of course if you see your dog fixating, or getting riled up again, move away! Sometimes males, more so than females, do that! So pay attention!

Anyway, I hope someone finds something useful in my response. Dogs can be pretty volatile. When they get in a fight it causes many people to panic; it's loud and looks so vicious. Most of the time it's all show and pretty harmless. But, it's ALWAYS dangerous to break up, so it pays to learn how to act if/when it happens!

Good luck to all of you, and enjoy your dog!
 

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I want to add here that I met a young lady at the dog park that I frequented with my puppy, who seemed a bit apprehensive. In talking to her I learned why. She was attacked at that very same dog park, by a male GSD, and both her and her bully breed dog had to be transported by ambulance to their respective hospitals for treatment.

The GSD jumped her bully dog, and she went berserk and charged in and tackled the GSD. Reasonably he responded in kind and she ended up needing 36 stiches. Her bully dog came to her defense, so also needed multiple stiches to close his wounds.

The GSD was put down for his offenses.

Her actions CAUSED a reaction that cost that dog his life!

Had she approached in a less threatening manner, her puppy and that dog, and her herself! could have avoided the whole thing!!!

Ahh, but that poor dog, just being a dog, is dead. Think hard about that!

Namaste!

ETA: What I'm seriously trying to convey here is, learn dogs, learn their habits and their signals, and their triggers.

Work, work, work on their "soft" spots. Train, train, then do it again.

They are what you make them...so!
 

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I didn't even add, picking up your dog in a dog park is the absolute worst thing you could possibly do...so there's that...
 

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Honestly, not being critical, just hoping folks can learn from these mistakes! All understandable, but again, all avoidable as well. Best of luck to you and your puppy!
 

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In the thick of things, people will protect their dog, hopefully someone elses dog too if it comes to that. Logic doesn't usually apply.
Pre-emptively, the moment you get that bad feeling about this, leave.
I train my dog outside of a dogpark. I now have time to observe what happens inside of the dog park, and what I see are plenty of dogs/owners doing just fine. They are watching their dogs, they'll gently interrupt or leave, their dogs are having fun and/or working things out in a normal way.
I've also owners getting into dust-ups when their dog gets pinned (literally, what you said happened to you) and other owners laughing at him. I felt so sorry for him, I think he was right, but in the end, the 1st time his dog got rolled, he should have left with his dog, and called it a day, or gone for a nice leashed walk with me, as that is what I go there for.
So yes, stuff happens, mostly, if the wrong dog and or person, walks in, leave. If an incompatible dog comes in, leave. And if you don't have a dog park dog, it's absolutely fine. Dogs don't have to be dog park dogs to be fabulous and have fabulous lives.
Me, I've been enjoying my visits a lot, because, oh the irony, when I try to avoid off-lead dogs it is the worst that come running (this happens on forest trails), but when I hang out at the dog park, the dogs, even the off-lead ones are pretty savvy and cause no trouble (I walk in the leash only area/trail) and often end up walking with other 'not a dog park dog'.

PS. to @Kathrynil thank you for not overtly naming and shaming 'that' trainer. Very nice manners, makes me feel a little better about the state of the world. That video is an excellent one to watch for the nuances of dog behaviour and how to spot a 'not a dog park dog'.
You're welcome, but I don't even remember what I did say in the first place! Which post did I say/not say that in? (Sorry, I'm just curious.)
 

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You're welcome, but I don't even remember what I did say in the first place! Which post did I say/not say that in? (Sorry, I'm just curious.)
This is funny to me, because I was curious too, so I went back through the entire thread and didn't see anything. Must have been another thread...
 
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