German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I have a 4 month old GSD who is really friendly. For the most part he just goes up to dogs of all sizes, sniffs them and licks there faces (except for the really big dogs that he's still afraid of).

I'm okay with my dog engaging in a little rough play when the dogs seem to be going back and forth, but when an older dog just dominates him physically and my dog runs but can't get away, and just gets rolled continually, what is the proper course of action? On one hand I think that my pup is going to need to learn how to defend himself and let the other dog know when enough is enough. On the other hand, it's not the method of play that I prefer and I wouldn't like it if my dog was doing this to other dogs. I'd like to be clear, these dogs don't seem overly aggressive; they still seem to be just playing, but it's extremely one sided.

Any suggestions? Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,336 Posts
I would step in immediately. My criteria for play, even rough play (and my dogs play ROUGH together!) is that everyone needs to appear to be having fun and enjoying themselves - if not, then it's time for me to stop it. If he's running away he's not having fun.

At 4 months old he's at an impressionable age. He's not learning appropriate greeting behavior and dog communication and play skills if he's being bullied. I would either find playmates who are more evenly matched, or skip the park, at least until he's older and more confident.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,325 Posts
I agree with Cassidy's Mom, and stop the play, your dog is getting stressed. I would not worry about your dog needing skills right now to defend itself. In about 6 months your dog will be trying to display plenty of self defense techniques, not always desirable. You don't want it to learn inappropriate behavior from certain dogs at the dog park.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
710 Posts
Make it 3 for stopping it. Probably best to just go home after that.

It shows your dog that you are looking out for him and ready to protect him. That's how you show good leadership.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,124 Posts
Stop play when you're uncomfortable.

My only suggestion is that you get YOUR dog and remove him from the situation. DO NOT correct the other dog, do not get mad at the other owner for not correcting their dog, but if YOU'RE uncomfortable...remove YOUR dog.

Like you've stated...the other dogs just play rougher...its not aggressive, just rougher. It's not your place to correct another person's dog, or teach the other dog how YOU want them to play. If their owner is fine with it, they're fine with it. Imagine if they have not heard any issues for the entirety of their park going life (and many are regulars) and now someone walks in with a 4 month old puppy (which shouldn't even be in most dog parks as they have a 6 month minimum rule usually established by the fact that rabies is given at 6 months), and tells them how their dog should be behaving.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,690 Posts
My only suggestion is that you get YOUR dog and remove him from the situation. DO NOT correct the other dog, do not get mad at the other owner for not correcting their dog, but if YOU'RE uncomfortable...remove YOUR dog.
Agreed, as hard as it is you can only be responsible for your dog. There are good matches and bad matches inside a dog park, each time you hope there are more good then bad. Your dog is a young puppy so be aware that not all dogs know how to play gently with puppies

Hopefully the park is large enough you can remove him from the bad situation and move to another area far enough away and try again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
At a certain point there should be social pressure on people to teach their dogs to behave appropriately or else stay away. Sure, you aren't responsible for their dog, but standards for reasonable behavior need to be communicated to those who don't know better. Otherwise any and all behaviour is accepted and responsible people stay away.

I'll put a stop to another dog's behaviour (just with respect how it interacts with my dog) regardless of how happy the other owner is with his dog's behaviour. And if it is egregious I'll tell them their dog shouldn't be there.

Of course, the problem is many people can't read their own dogs much less anyone else's. Correctly reading someone else's dog as inappropriately aggressive when the owner incorrectly thinks it is just rough play is a recipe for fireworks if you don't choose your words carefully. Regardless of how right you may be.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,551 Posts
If you use a long line on the pup you will have more chance of controlling the situation.

I don't think a pup should not be left to fend for itself in a dog park. That is asking for problems.

In that situation, you can protect the pup by shielding him from the other dog. Once the pup is in your space you have a right and responsibility to protect it. Chances are, the other dog will not persist when he see's that you are in control of the situation.

By succeeding in calming the situation your pup will feel safe and confident in your presence when approached by other dogs. This is the basics of socializing in my opinion. You have to act as your pups guardian until it is confident and strong enough to look after itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
338 Posts
I'm just curious what you all would do if you were the owner of the other dog? If you had a dog that wasn't aggressive at all, but just didn't know how to play gently with smaller/less bold dogs?

To the OP, I would also (calmly) protect my pup. Like martemchik said, you can only deal with your dog :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
I'm just curious what you all would do if you were the owner of the other dog? If you had a dog that wasn't aggressive at all, but just didn't know how to play gently with smaller/less bold dogs?

To the OP, I would also (calmly) protect my pup. Like martemchik said, you can only deal with your dog :)
Leave if your dog can't play appropriately. For another part of the park or leave altogether. It's just that simple. The other people at the park didn't sign up to be your training tools.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
15,195 Posts
if the play is to much for your dog stop it immediately.
your dog will play with more confidence the older he gets.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,336 Posts
Leave if your dog can't play appropriately. For another part of the park or leave altogether. It's just that simple. The other people at the park didn't sign up to be your training tools.
Yep, It's my job to make sure that my dog is behaving appropriately, and if he's not, I'd leave.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,124 Posts
Yep, It's my job to make sure that my dog is behaving appropriately, and if he's not, I'd leave.
Definition of "appropriate" comes into question when you make statements like that.

The reason I said do not ever correct the other dog is that if that dog is not acting aggressive, but is just bigger, and playing rougher than YOU would like...you might correct the dog and it might think that whatever its doing is wrong, so it will change its behavior towards other dogs (for the worse or for the better, but either one is possible).

If someone else corrected my dog...without my permission...I would correct the other person in the same way. So a verbal correction you'll get a verbal from me, a physical, you'd better be moving. On top of that...I don't suggest laying a hand on my dog...he doesn't really take corrections from other people that well...and you never know when you run into a dog like that. My dog is perfectly happy, not aggressive in the least bit with dogs or humans, but if the dog gets aggressive with him, or another human tries to correct him...he'll react accordingly.

This is why I suggest to never correct other people's dogs. YOU might think you know better than they do...but lets be serious...you don't.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
32,336 Posts
Definition of "appropriate" comes into question when you make statements like that.
Well, of course. :) But we all get to decide what WE think is appropriate behavior for our own dogs, and for me, bullying is not appropriate. My standards are the same, whether it's my dog acting towards another dog, or another dog acting towards my dog. Dominance posturing such as putting paws on another dog's back, or putting the head over another dog's neck are examples of what I consider inappropriate. My dogs may play that way with each other, but they don't play that way with strange dogs, and strange dogs don't get to play that way with my dogs either.

And if a clueless owner isn't controlling their dog, I'm not shy about stepping in and moving it away from my dogs. I've never had to actually grab a collar or anything, but I've gotten between them and body blocked to create some distance. I'll also let the owner know that although my dogs are fairly tolerant of rude behavior, not all dogs are, and their dog could end up instigating a fight. Politely, of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
766 Posts
If I think my pup is being bullied or is bullying another dog I will pull my pup away and apologize to the other dog's owner (I'm overly apologetic). I know Gunther can make other puppies uncomfortable when he is playing/trying to herd them so if he start to herd a puppy who's trying to run away I put his leash on, apologize, and then leave. If he's getting chased around and he doesn't like it, I do the same thing. I don't want him to have to experience dog aggression and have him think it's normal for other dogs to treat him that way or that he's had enough and becomes aggressive towards other dogs.

I just watch for lots of play bows or nervous behavior from all the dogs in the area :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,152 Posts
Dog park people consistently let things go too far in the name of "letting dogs be dogs" If one dog is getting harrassed or one is giving bad signals they should be separated.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,124 Posts
Well, of course. :) But we all get to decide what WE think is appropriate behavior for our own dogs, and for me, bullying is not appropriate. My standards are the same, whether it's my dog acting towards another dog, or another dog acting towards my dog. Dominance posturing such as putting paws on another dog's back, or putting the head over another dog's neck are examples of what I consider inappropriate. My dogs may play that way with each other, but they don't play that way with strange dogs, and strange dogs don't get to play that way with my dogs either.

And if a clueless owner isn't controlling their dog, I'm not shy about stepping in and moving it away from my dogs. I've never had to actually grab a collar or anything, but I've gotten between them and body blocked to create some distance. I'll also let the owner know that although my dogs are fairly tolerant of rude behavior, not all dogs are, and their dog could end up instigating a fight. Politely, of course.
I'm in agreement with you...I act the same way. But I'd never lay my hands on another dog unless there was aggression involved. I've had someone lay their hands on my dog...and it didn't end pretty. That is why I always suggest that others don't do the same.

Fact is...what's too far for one person, isn't too far for another. And the dog park is the last place to be teaching people dog psychology.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
My response was based on the situation presented by Bequavious - a dog that doesn't know how to play gentle with smaller/less bold dogs. And that question was posed from the perspective of an owner of that dog. As such, there is no need to worry about correcting someone else's dog. The other dog will be relieved to escape the situation when you control your dog. If they aren't then the play probably wasn't inappropriate.

Appropriate may be highly judgemental but at the same time it isn't very complicated. It's only appropriate if both the other dog and it's owner are comfortable with the level of play. Make an honest effort to evaluate whether the other dog is comfortable but the other owner has primary responsibililty for knowing their dog and of course the owner can speak for themself. If they look fine and the other owner doesn't object, let them play. If the other owner thinks it is fine but you worry your dog will injure the other, move along or redirect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
63 Posts
Sorry, somewhat repetitious due to others posting while I multitask along with typing a post.

The "let dogs be dogs" attitude is the most annoying for me. That's why I think people should say something instead of just leaving. Leaving the situation creates no pressure for change. Dog parks haven't been created for the bullies and iresponsible owners. They are there for those of us who are considerate and respect others. Why should we have to leave?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top