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Discussion Starter #1
Ecco and I made our way to the dog park. Ecco does not get much time to play with dogs so I thought a trip to petsmart then to the park would be good for her. Upon our arrival at the park there was three dogs there. One older golden and two "puppies" a boxer and was unsure of the breed of the other one. She was fine with the puppies but she did not like the Golden who was very friendly. Then a guy showed up with two adult dogs a Husky and malmoise (sp) both "very well trained"(he let them out of his truck with no leash and they stayed with him) and friendly (non dominant). Ecco would have nothing to do with and was scared to death. i didn't let her off her leash until I spoke with owner of the bigger dogs he advised me they come all the time and never had an issue. he was right very good dogs. Regardless i guess my question is why was she so scared. I mean started to show a slight amount of aggression due to being scared. Hair on her back straight up, but low and barking, even snapped at the large husky for no reason. Is this because she is a scared puppy that has not been socialized with large dogs or could this be a future problem. She has no problems with dogs her size or smaller just larger dogs scare her. I knew there was a problem when she would not chase her ball which she typically has so much focus on, but not with larger dogs around. When they left she resumed normal behavior and drive. She has never showed any sign of aggression towards people or children.
 

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How old is your pup? Sounds like she was just nervous and a bit fearful of the other dogs. Being larger, she may have felt like she needed to be on guard to keep them at bay. If she's young and gets regular exposure, she will likely outgrow this behavior in the coming months. Are the other dogs good with "group" balltime? If so, it may be worthwhile to get their owner and them interested in a game of fetch and see if it catches her interest to join in. Chances are she will after a few tosses and retrieves by them. If they are toy possessive, this wouldn't be a great idea as they will beat her there and not be friendly if she's running along beside.
 

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I think it's normal for a puppy to be nervous when it is all the sudden surrounded by a ton of large dogs that it's never met. However, you need to watch your pup and her behavior at the park because other dogs will notice your pups nervousness and are likely to gang up on it. This actually happened to Jerzey and I had to work through it by taking her to a different park where the dogs seemed to be friendlier and there was overall just a lot more space. She still has no interest in playing with more than 1 dog at a time, but I think that that was why she didn't like the park to begin with.

It's very easy for things to get out of control at a dog park. Perhaps you have a friend that has a dog that could meet you there when it isn't prime hours (aka, after work) or you could bring your pup there in the early afternoon when it's more likely to be empty so she can feel comfortable in the park without dogs there and then, when there are dogs, perhaps she'll be more confident since she's had a chance to explore the park and get used to smelling lots of different things, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I was concern at the park when the guy showed up with the larger dogs. I kept her on her lead until i talk to the guy and made sure they were friendly and watched them for a minute. The dogs came up to her and she was fighting her lead to get away. So I picked her up and talked to the owner of the large dogs he seemed knowledgeable and said his dogs come and play there often. I watched them interact with the other dogs then when i felt comfortable I put ecco down and let her run free. She got a little better over time and then the guy left and she was fine. I don't have any friends that have larger dogs, and that is the problem the larger dogs. She is 17 weeks and i think it is self preservation but I want some input from more knowledgeable people on this subject. Thanks guys
 

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If you haven't, you may want to enroll in a positive-based puppy group class. If there is a good mix at the class there will probably be some dogs larger than her and some smaller. She is still very young so it's a good thing to start now with dog socialization, but puppies will be easier for her to accept than adult dogs.
 

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Why would you send your dog away for training? Do you not enjoy training your own puppy?
I could never do this. :eek:
Do you fully trust what will happen while there??
The bond you have with your pup is special and to send s/he out for training will not help it.
Enroll in a local class so you can be trained right along with your pup, you never know, you may enjoy it. Training is a lifelong thing, and the foundation and relationship YOU set with your puppy is so very important.
 

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your dog might need more exposure to other dogs.
how about some puppy classes for your dog?
i think you should train your dog along with a trainer.
there's such a bond created when you train your dog.
what do you think your dog is going to learn in 2 weeks?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well onyx'girl I work a very odd difficult schedule and sometimes it is hard for me to be there enough time. Also Jane do you home school your children? I believe that some time it is beneficial to have someone else's help. An outside perspective on things. I am not a proven trainer this person is, I am going to miss my girl but that is life. I will also be visiting to do work with her during the class. My work will not allow me to go to classes I wanted to that, but I have an obligation to a community and my family that will not allow that.
 

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I hope it is a positive experience for you and your pup.
I have obligations to my family as well, and no I do not homeschool, did you mean do I send my kids to boarding school? That would be the comparison...
 

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I agree with Jane. You can't really do much real "training" with 17 wks old anyway. It's all play and imprinting at this stage. It's basically paying someone to play with your puppy ...
 

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As for the dog park, you can ask the trainer (looks like she does SchH) about this ... but for me there are better/safer way to socialize a puppy than taking her to the dog park. Confidence is important for all pups, but especially so if you want to try her in SchH down the road (I gather that's what you want to do in another thread). Last thing you want is to put her in situation where she feels scare and helpless.
 

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I agree with the others on here that there are certainly better ways to socialize your puppy than a dog park and puppy classes are the best option. If you know other people with dogs who you know are friendly and well behaved you can also arrange doggy dates.

As for dog parks, a lot of trainers are down on them because you cannot control or predict the kinds of owners and dogs that you will encounter there. I know that dog parks seem like the logical place to expose your dog to other dogs but all it takes is one bad experience and you may find yourself with issues from your own dog.

It's what happened with my puppy who I brought at 5 months old and she got bullied by a persistent boxer who she was actually larger than. I made the mistake of thinking that you have to let them work it out although my dog looked to me as pack leader several times to help her figure out this other aggressive dog. Eventually, she returned aggression with twice the aggression and was able to back the other dog off.

I realized immediately that I made a mistake and we should have simply left the park because from that day she began meeting strange dogs with aggressive behavior. I've spent a lot of time and energy to re-condition her to other dogs and to convince her that they don't all mean a threat to her.
 

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Been there, done that!

I agree with the others on here that there are certainly better ways to socialize your puppy than a dog park and puppy classes are the best option. If you know other people with dogs who you know are friendly and well behaved you can also arrange doggy dates.

As for dog parks, a lot of trainers are down on them because you cannot control or predict the kinds of owners and dogs that you will encounter there. I know that dog parks seem like the logical place to expose your dog to other dogs but all it takes is one bad experience and you may find yourself with issues from your own dog.

It's what happened with my puppy who I brought at 5 months old and she got bullied by a persistent boxer who she was actually larger than. I made the mistake of thinking that you have to let them work it out although my dog looked to me as pack leader several times to help her figure out this other aggressive dog. Eventually, she returned aggression with twice the aggression and was able to back the other dog off. (Emphasis added.)
I realized immediately that I made a mistake and we should have simply left the park because from that day she began meeting strange dogs with aggressive behavior. I've spent a lot of time and energy to re-condition her to other dogs and to convince her that they don't all mean a threat to her.
That's the title of my post, right there! Mine got into it with another puppy at 5 months of age. What he learned was, "HEY! If I lead with my teeth and act the fool, the other dog goes away!" Which is what he wanted. It took me a year and a half of desensitizing / counter conditioning to get him to accept checking in to the judge at Schutzhund trials, with another dog/handler team only six feet away. He used to "explode" (hackle/snarl/lunge) at fifty feet. Believe me, you don't want to have to train your dog out of this if you can help it.

Try introducing your dog to only one new dog/puppy at a time. Maybe there were too many new dogs there for your dog to feel safe.
 

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Why would you send your dog away for training? Do you not enjoy training your own puppy?
I could never do this. :eek:
Do you fully trust what will happen while there??
The bond you have with your pup is special and to send s/he out for training will not help it.
Enroll in a local class so you can be trained right along with your pup, you never know, you may enjoy it. Training is a lifelong thing, and the foundation and relationship YOU set with your puppy is so very important.
Very well said. A major portion of training is bonding with the owner, and the other very important part is learning timing. I'm not saying that the place where the pup is being sent is bad in any way, but there are many skills to be learned from going through training yourself. I thoroughly enjoyed puppy classes, and enjoy doing continued OB. Dogs are not machines to be "programmed", they rely on and need structured interaction with their people.

Edit to add: Just a thought, but often introducing dogs to others while on leash can worsen this behavior. If you are nervous about the situation, it transmits down the leash.
 

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...It took me a year and a half of desensitizing / counter conditioning to get him to accept checking in to the judge at Schutzhund trials, with another dog/handler team only six feet away. He used to "explode" (hackle/snarl/lunge) at fifty feet. Believe me, you don't want to have to train your dog out of this if you can help it...
Yeah, it's not something that you want to have to work with and in hindsight I should have avoided the dog park until my dog was older and also only after observing that there were only stable and well tempered dogs there.

Now instead I find myself spending many hours every week with her working on desensitizing her to the presence of other dogs and trying to convince her that they aren't a threat to her so she need not lead to them with aggression.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Sorry to bring this back up but I have gotten Ecco back and she is doing a stellar job with everything she was taught. We attempted the dog park again today. She played well with the small dogs. That is where it really ended. There were all medium to larger breed dogs at this park when I arrived all playing in a pack. She would have nothing to do with any of them she would chase like she wanted to play but as soon as one of them turned around she yelped and ran the other way. So we went to the other end of the park but she would migrate near them as soon as one saw her and went to play she either barked or yelped. All of the dogs that were there when I arrived left and two people showed up. One had a little old beagle and the other was a large dog. The large dog was well trained and extremely nice. Well the large dog would pick up a toy and bring it to the nearest person so that you would throw it. so on so forth typical dog stuff. The bigger dog came up to me as Ecco was approaching me and everything was fine till Ecco started barking and growling before i could get her to stop she snapped at this much larger dog. Then we had a small little scuffle. I guess all this needless rambling leads me to this. What do I need to do to ease her anxiety with dogs that are larger than her because she is afraid which cause her to lash out at them out of fear? We are through with dog parks. This is very strange because the trainer said she did fine after the first day with the grown dogs. Also she loves people and children she has never been scared of people or children just dogs larger than her. What needs to be done.
 

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Find a stable dog and have one on one playtime. I'm sure she feels overwhelmed in that environment. Is there a regular there you'd feel comfortable with to ask if they would do this?
She was probably fine at the trainers, because the surrroundings felt safer.
What I woud do would be to get her in group training class, just so she can gain confidence around strange dogs, she doesn't have to interact with them, but having them in her realm without confrontations would help. You posted before you don't have time for this, but I would try to make time if at all possible.
 
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