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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, my puppy is about to turn 3 months and now that he has his shots we tried taking him to the dog park a couple of times.
Today there were multiple dogs trying to play too hard with him. At some point, my dog was trying to run away from one of them and he would chase him, catch up to him and ram him making him fall and roll multiple times, after he would pin him down and stand on top my pup and bite his neck. All of this while my puppy was yelping non stop with a very high pitch. Then he would get up try to run away and the dog would chase him and ram him again, and this would repeat multiple times until we had to go there and separate the dogs.

I know this is somewhat a natural play behavior but this dog was around 70lbs while my dog is 26lbs I could see the impact was quite aggressive.

They say is important to socialize your dog but I'm afraid that having this type of interaction will be detrimental to him and cause him to fear other dogs in the future causing him to be aggressive.
 

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You're right, it will be detrimental to him and cause him to fear dogs. Stop taking him to the dog park. Dog parks are a terrible idea for a solid, adult dog (this is a hugely debated topic. Others will disagree with me, but the majority on this forum won't go to dog parks.) He is FAR too young to be at a dog park. Most places even have a rule stating the dog has to be over 6 months. Seriously, do not go back because you're teaching your puppy that he can't trust other dogs or you to keep him safe. Instead, find some adult dogs that behave appropriately and set up one-on-one playdates. Sign up for a puppy class and take your puppy there. My dogs are not allowed to interact with strange dogs. I see zero positive reasons for it and a whole bunch of negative ones. Dogs don't need doggy friends; they just need you as a companion.
 

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Well don't continue to go there with the same dogs there or at all. As mentioned above many people are against dog parks due to the negative experiences that can impact your dog for life.

There are many bad things that could happen so its best to stay away unless its with some dogs you know that you can trust.
 

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Have you looked into puppy socialization sessions at a local trainer? I am not a fan of the ones where a bunch of dogs play together adorably.

One of my local trainers has sessions that look a lot like Stonnie Dennis' mini obstacle course. The dogs get a chance to meet and greet each other in a controlled environment. But, most of the time is spent with the pup learning to overcome new challenges. They just happen to be in the same room so they get used to being around other dogs.
 

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I literally just wrote a thread about my terrible experience at a dog park. PLEASE STOP TAKING YOUR DOG THERE. Dog park incident with puppy

The owners there will say "this is normal play"

It is not normal play. Normal play would be a dog the size of your puppy playing gently with him. As he grows older he can handle more aggressive play. A 70 lb dog ramming your puppy over and over is not normal play.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I literally just wrote a thread about my terrible experience at a dog park. PLEASE STOP TAKING YOUR DOG THERE. Dog park incident with puppy

The owners there will say "this is normal play"

It is not normal play. Normal play would be a dog the size of your puppy playing gently with him. As he grows older he can handle more aggressive play. A 70 lb dog ramming your puppy over and over is not normal play.
Yea that is exactly what the owner said "This is normal dog play, he will get picked a lot on when he is a puppy, my puppy was picked on a lot when he was younger".

He also didn't correct his dog or anything, after the second time it happened we ran to separate them and the owner just grabbed his dog by the collar and started saying with a tender voice (oh dont play that rough with the puppy).
 

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Agreed with all above, I absolutely would not let my puppy interact with strange dogs in this way (or at all). At worst your puppy could easily be attacked and / or killed, knocked over and broken bones, or as others have said, it could lead to lifelong dog fear / aggression. A fully grown untrained dog running loose around a 26lb puppy is a disaster waiting to happen.
 

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Yea that is exactly what the owner said "This is normal dog play, he will get picked a lot on when he is a puppy, my puppy was picked on a lot when he was younger".
The majority of these people at the parks do not know what theyre talking about. Theyve never bothered to do any real research into raising a dog properly and simply repeat the same nonsense they were told. (I'm not saying this is the case with everyone at a public dog park, but more often than not this seems to be the case) Someone probably said this to him when he let his puppy get ran over. Disregard them completely, this community's advice is infinitely better
 

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Something else that I forgot to add, even if all the dogs at the park are perfectly behaved (which won't happen) or there are no dogs, dog parks are a breeding ground for parasites and other nasty things. There are plenty of things your puppy could pick up from a dog park that can't be vaccinated against and can be extremely difficult to get rid of. I've even heard stories of people leaving poisoned meat in dog parks to kill dogs.

Do you know any friends or family that have stable adult dogs you could introduce your puppy to?
 

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My friend’s beagle is dog-aggressive after being attacked when he was a puppy at the dog park. When she passes other dogs on walks, this beagle acts like he wants to kill them. She usually makes him sit and look at her, but sometimes it doesn’t work. It seems like a difficult problem to deal with...and it started with that one bad incident at the dog park. I think, not worth it...

Other dog owners in my neighborhood complained that people are on their phones and not paying attention to their dog...
 

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Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I like the dog parks I've gone to, and for many reasons am not a fan of "all your puppy needs is you" perspective.

I would never subject a 3 or 4 month old puppy to that environment! Even at 6 months, my puppy spent most of her first couple weeks there periodically running under the picnic tables to evade boisterous dogs or puppies.

But now that your puppy HAS had this experience, IMHO the absolute worst thing you can do is keep him away from other dogs/puppies! Give him a chance to recover by showing him that all dogs aren't like that!

If you have friends with mellow dogs, or better yet puppies of a similar age, introduce them and let your puppy work through whatever anxiety he may have from his bad experience. In my experience puppies/dogs typically get over something like this faster than their human does!

If you don't have friends with nice dogs or puppies, find a puppy obedience class, or take your puppy out to an on-leash, people park.

But whatever you do, don't be tempted to go back to a dog park until your puppy is at least 6 months!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I like the dog parks I've gone to, and for many reasons am not a fan of "all your puppy needs is you" perspective.

I would never subject a 3 or 4 month old puppy to that environment! Even at 6 months, my puppy spent most of her first couple weeks there periodically running under the picnic tables to evade boisterous dogs or puppies.

But now that your puppy HAS had this experience, IMHO the absolute worst thing you can do is keep him away from other dogs/puppies! Give him a chance to recover by showing him that all dogs aren't like that!

If you have friends with mellow dogs, or better yet puppies of a similar age, introduce them and let your puppy work through whatever anxiety he may have from his bad experience. In my experience puppies/dogs typically get over something like this faster than their human does!

If you don't have friends with nice dogs or puppies, find a puppy obedience class, or take your puppy out to an on-leash, people park.

But whatever you do, don't be tempted to go back to a dog park until your puppy is at least 6 months!
We go for walks almost everyday near some sort of "sea walk" where there are a lot of people and dogs passing by, he has had pretty good interaction with those dogs, sometimes it's just a quick drive-by sniff sometimes they will play for a few minutes before we continue walking. We will keep doing that and look into puppy socialization classes.

I thought that taking him to this park would be great to get him tired and socialized but it seems like its not the time until he is bigger and he can stand his ground and not get pushed over.
 

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That’s a good point by Tim!
Neutral / positive experiences will help to wipe away the bad experience.

On him getting bigger...once we walked into the dog park, and everybody leashed up and left! People tend to be wary of GSDs and huskies, I thought?
Or maybe it’s me...
 

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I agree with Tim.

That is not normal dog behavior. Your puppy was being bullied. You need to step in immediately to stop bad behavior both from your dog and that of other dogs. Your puppy should be playing with puppies or dogs of a similar playstyle. At 26#, perhaps your puppy should be in the small dog area.

Dog parks can be a lot of fun for you and your dog. Don't be afraid to take action to ensure that your puppy is having fun. Just remember, no toys, no treats, and no rough play.
 

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We go for walks almost everyday near some sort of "sea walk" where there are a lot of people and dogs passing by, he has had pretty good interaction with those dogs, sometimes it's just a quick drive-by sniff sometimes they will play for a few minutes before we continue walking. We will keep doing that and look into puppy socialization classes.

I thought that taking him to this park would be great to get him tired and socialized but it seems like its not the time until he is bigger and he can stand his ground and not get pushed over.
Just to be clear, your pup WILL get pushed over even at 6, 7, 12 months! That's really not a problem. They learn from it, and gain coordination, and ironically enough confidence.

I think with large breed dogs in general, they gain in size long before they gain coordination. So taking a really young puppy to a dog park is just a recipe for failure.

When my dog was about 12 months she was playing with a pack of huskies, 3 of them, and having a great time. One of them tackled her though, and while she was down the other two joined in to keep her down.

I saw the whole thing unfold, but waited a minute or two hoping she'd be able to battle her way out of it (she was well versed in wrestling with huskies at that point). To be clear no one was yelping or getting hurt, they just had her pinned and were not letting her up.

Anyway, I walked over to break it up eventually, but the huskies' owner beat me to it. When I arrived he was apologizing profusely, but I waved him off, huskies will be huskies, and I don't think his dogs did anything wrong, it was play...but just like with children play can and does get - quite predictably - out of hand at times and requires adult intervention.

I highly recommend to people that they go to dog parks without their dog just to watch and observe dog behavior. It's enlightening.

Good luck with your puppy!
 

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I agree with bringing your puppy around more mellow adult dogs. Outside of our extremely mellow bullies, karma's first experience with 'other dogs' was around family friend's adult dogs. They teach them the basic commands, but teach them manners. So at 4 months old Karma was running around in a pack of 3 different GSDs, a great dane/black lab mix, a chocolate lab, and a couple other mix breeds (totaling 8 dogs all together). She was rough housing with them, but they were also gentle. Heck she was being their boss most of the time. Nothing makes you chuckle more than a 4mo old GSD CHASING a 120lb male black and sable GSD, or a 130lb Great Dane/Lab mix lol..
 

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Socialization has nothing to do with playing with other dogs. You are letting other dogs teach your dog he is easily defeated and at the same time, you are making other dogs more interesting than you, despite them domineering your pup. And as you mentioned, it can lead to dog aggression.
 

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Pytheis said everything I was intending to say, but I'll repeat anyway: Do not bring a young puppy to a dog park! And you should try to get him with other dogs that will not be rough with him. Then he can get the idea not all dogs are overly rough. (I'm sure someones already said that.)
 

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Why did you let it happen? Once would have been all it took for me to go after that other dog and owner. I agree, find a small dog or puppy area. Another solution is to find a very good cageless daycare and test it out. If your puppy can learn to play there, you can test out a dog park later. Parks all depend on the owners and their dogs. Not all dog parks are the same. They have personalities, as the same people tend to go to the same parks.

I had one puppy dog park experience with my dog and it wasn’t bad. A man with a small dog that looked like a Boykin told me to put my puppy who was 5 months, in the small dog area too play with his dog. They ran around for a long time. My issues were with all the owners, who were taking to me over the fence and were appalled he wasn’t neutered yet. Maybe they thought he was older because he was large. He was a baby! He’s still not neutered. But I decided not to go back to that park when they were there as they were very pushy about him. One person wanted my vet’s name after I said the vet won’t neuter a large dog before 18 months unless there is a health reason to do so. That was when I left.
 

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Unfortunately, the current thought on socialization by the general public is really not what it should be. You do not need to flood your puppy with other dogs and people. Find A dog that will teach your puppy good dog behavior, let your puppy experience his environment, be selective about people petting and interacting with your puppy.

This is my favorite list for socializing. Make your own based on your environment.
 
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