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Dog Park Problems

katy82
May 23rd, 2005, 09:04 PM
This is more of a rant than question but any opinions as to why this might be happening would be great! I've been taking Phil to the dog park a lot lately. She loves it and it seems to be the only thing that tires her out! I have been noticing that she gets picked on lot. It seems like one dog will chase her and play with her and all of a sudden she's surrounded by dogs who are trying to tackle her and bite her! Needless to say she gets a little freaked out sometimes. She's not nervous around other dogs because of this but it always seems like they gang up on her more than other dogs. The worst part was today. As soon as I let her go in the park she got tackled by a husky (which is a lot bigger than she is!) and he pinned her on her back which was not to bad because that happens when they play sometimes. She got away and was playing with some other dogs and this same husky came and grabbed on to the back of her neck and wouldn't let go! :mad: She started crying out in pain and the owner of the husky was trying to call his dog off (to no avail!) By the time I got to her 5 other dogs had come running over and started bugging her too while this husky is still hanging off her neck and she's still crying out. I ended up having to push my way through the dogs and pick her up. It was horrible! Needless to say this has really turned me off taking her to the dog park even though she still loves it so much. I took her to the river to "cool off" after this incident and she was perfectly fine but it just makes me worried to let her play with other dogs.

levimh
May 23rd, 2005, 09:11 PM
Maybe it would be a good idea to ask some of the owners of the dogs that she plays well with, when they come or ask them if they could come at a certain time, when certain other dogs aren't there. I personally think dog parks are great for socializing, but when other dogs get in the way I can understand. I had a dog pick on my dog once - this dog was a bully in every way. I just took Levi and left. Thankfully, they don't come to the park anymore.

Lissa
May 23rd, 2005, 09:28 PM
I am so sorry to hear that your poor little girl is being picked on. Unfortunately, my dog would probably be one of the bullies (he never instigates it but likes to be part of a gang). Before my dog started to bully I used to think that people ALWAYS overreacted about their submissive dogs being "attacked" and should just stop coming to the dog park if they can't handle it. I realize how wrong and ridiculous that is now and I'm glad that your dog hasn't shown any signs of becoming fearful.

I'm not really sure that I can suggest anything, although it is part of dog behaviour, it doesn't make it right or nice to witness. Unfortunately, your dog's personality seems to be such that she will always be pretty "low on the totem pole". I like Levi's suggestion- try to avoid the problem dogs if possible but it does seem a bit unfair for you and your dog!

Are you sure that she is not picking up on any tension/apprehension from you? Does she go to you for protection if she feels threatened?

Melissa

katy82
May 23rd, 2005, 09:42 PM
I'm not usually to tense (only when there's a husky hanging off her neck! lol). And yes if she is getting picked on a lot she'll run behind me legs for a minute and then go play some more. I try not to coddle her when it happens. The only time I've ever picked her up and carried her away was today because she couldn't get away on her own and she was trying! It was so pathetic she was actually shaking. She doesn't seem like a submissive dog she really does try to hold her own. It might be a size thing. She's usually one of the smallest ones there. When theres not a "bully" there she has a great time. She plays very well with other dogs. That is why I'm having a hard time deciding whether or not to stop going. 3/4 of the time its great but the other 1/4 she doesn't have any fun at all because she's being picked on. It's like she's the dog park nerd!

Prin
May 23rd, 2005, 10:34 PM
How old is she? Dogs under two who are not dominant (but not necessarily submissive either) get picked on. When they hit adolescence they start to assert themselves and the ganging up happens less.

All I can say is be next to her all the time, and yell. If a dog grabs her by the neck, let out your loudest, lowest toned "HEY!" Unless the dog in question has already lost all respect for humans, it should shock him enough to get off.

At least the other owners try though... It would be 10 times worse if they didn't care and let the dogs "sort it out".

levimh
May 24th, 2005, 08:33 AM
All I can say is be next to her all the time, and yell. If a dog grabs her by the neck, let out your loudest, lowest toned "HEY!" Unless the dog in question has already lost all respect for humans, it should shock him enough to get off.

I agree. Always be close to your pup so you can control what's going on, better. Sometimes clapping (just slapping your hands together hard) and yelling something would be enough to interrupt them. Also, try and stay in between the husky and your puppy when moving around the park.

It is good that she hasn't gotten fearful. When she's older/bigger she'll be able to defend herself better, I'm sure.

Good luck. :)

SnowDancer
May 24th, 2005, 10:13 AM
Katy - I am sure you have examined Phil's neck - hard with all that fur. If you see any sign of a canine tooth penetration, please take Phil to the vet immediately for antibiotics. Re the park, I live across the street from one. I absolutely will not take my Eskimo to that park. It is not an off-leash park, but try telling that to the owners of the other big and very aggressive dogs. They have seen my Eskie prancing by on his leash and started circling. I have picked him up and run a few times and on other occasions have talked the dogs down - I have started to carry my big umbrella. These dogs will not respond to their owners' commands to leave my dog alone. Eskimo dogs as you know have the reputation for being aggressive so this should not be happening except for the size problem - evenly matched, injuries could be serious, but odds are better. Mine likes to play and thinks that other dogs will feel same. A big dog approaches, he barks hello and wants to play - and you know Eskies play rough - but this should not be a problem with dogs 3 times the Eskie size. The only dog I am 100% confident with is a huge Bloodhound that walks by. He flattens himself so my dog can clean his face and they roll around together. He also is starting to get nervous - or perhaps more "alert" and Mommy "protect me" than he was. ONLY exception is at weekly socialization group. He arrives and joins the crowd - socialization is at his groomer's - who also provides day care weekly for some dogs - so often a different mix with a couple of familiar faces - 2 being the owner's boxers - they shielded their eyes as they see the Eskie hug approaching. In his mind he is fully cnfident that once he goes behind the gate he will be loved by all the other dogs. He is also taken for a walk in the ravine by a lovely young lady who has also boarded him - he loves her so Eskie hugs for her - and he is very sociable and has a great time on his walks - considers himself her team leader. I have also seen people with smaller dogs who live on the other side of the park pick up their dogs and run. There have been some very serious attacks. Phil must be getting close to her adult size now. Please be careful and maybe find another place to go with her - river or not (if this is the park in questions). You want to keep Phil's personality sweet. At PetSmart the only dogs that have tried to go after my dog are in fact other Eskimos. Swell.

MIA
May 24th, 2005, 11:08 AM
I used to carry a spray bottle full of water which helps from a distance, the HEY is also good. I go to the dog parks all the time but as someone suggested I go when my dog park buddies are there and all the dogs get along well.

I had a dog grab one of my fosters by the neck and shook him, the dog met my foot, and as I was about to kick the owners dog I looked at them and said I hope you don't mind!!! They weren't doing a thing! I removed thier dog from mine and handed them thier dog and mentioned they might want to train it.

Dog parks can be wonderful places, they can also be dangerous, depending on the owners of dogs! Best thing to do is have your dog well trained, teach it a command to come right to you. My dogs know "Mommy" which is come to me so I can protect you! LOL

Prin
May 24th, 2005, 11:19 AM
Very true. You have to make it your goal to keep your doggy safe in a dog park, no matter what.

A dog also ate my foot last summer. The dog was on top of another just going at her and the owner was useless (her husband trains her dog to be aggressive behind her back and she comes to the park expecting her to be social...). So I booted her off because the other dog underneath probably would have died if someone hadn't done SOMEthing.. This doggy is REALLY not a nice dog. She hasn't come back since she found out what her man was doing (at least)...

MIA
May 24th, 2005, 11:53 AM
Another little tip if you are breaking up a fight, USE YOUR FEET!!! Never bend over and reach in, it can result in a bite on the hands and or face!!!!!

levimh
May 24th, 2005, 12:38 PM
There's a man that brings his AmStaff mix to the dog park often. She's so sweet with people, but doesn't approve of all dogs. However, this man always has his eye on her, because she can start fights by barking and growling at other dogs. He's very responsible and carries his leash in his hand, just incase.

People need to be more responsible with their dogs. Some people bring their dog to the park and the way they go. Whatever the dog does...doesn't matter to them. It's out of their hands. They couldn't care less. But it is good that the owner of that husky was trying to stop this.

katy82
May 24th, 2005, 02:34 PM
Prin- Phil is 7 months right now so her age might be an issue. The older dogs might think they can push her around. Maybe it will be something that will resolve itself when she matures. Even though shes not going to get much bigger shes about 21 pounds right now.
I've also begun to recognize the "troublemakers" at the park. If they are there when we show up I avoid the open park altogether and stick to taking her on the trails where we usually don't run into other dogs.
I wish I knew of some sort of socialization group to take her too as she would love it and it would be a good substitute for taking her to the dog park. The closest thing right now we're doing to socialization is her basic obedience training course. The problem with her class is that the dogs are all a lot smaller than her (there is a shih tzu who trys to hump her all class, and bichon frise and a border terrier who are terrified of her!). She tries to be gentle when she plays with them but they pretty much just hide behind their owners when she just tries to sniff them. She just can't win!

Big dogs pick on her and small dogs are scared of her!

Poor Phil.

Prin
May 24th, 2005, 02:46 PM
I'm telling you, size doesn't matter. :p Boo used to get humped in the FACE by everybody. He was 75lbs... There are minpins at our park who the big guys are afraid of...

Just protect her for now and give it time. :)

Maro
May 25th, 2005, 01:26 PM
I wish there were a website where people could arrange to meet with other people and nice dogs that have the same temperment. That way, dog park dangers wouldn't be such a threat.

katy82
May 30th, 2005, 03:16 PM
I've taken Phil to the dog park a couple of times since my last post and things have been going very well. I wasn't ready to completely give up on it yet as she likes so much. We hadn't seen the husky and she didn't have any troubles with any other dogs until this morning. I took her again and she was playing with a border collie and having a great time. I've never seen her play with another dog so well! They kept on putting each other in headlocks and running around. Then they would get tired and lie down pretty much on top of each other. It was very cute. I was kicking myself for not bringing my camera. And then the husky shows up. It comes running right up to Phil to get her again and tried to bite her neck and but she managed to get away and tried to make herself look as big as she could (very funny to see!) gave a big bark gave him a little nip on the butt (nothing hard) and chased him away (and he ran!). She looked so proud of herself and she ran back and cuddled with her border collie friend. So I think it was a very succesful day.

Try to picture this going after a husky 3 times her size.... :crazy:

nymph
May 30th, 2005, 03:43 PM
Glad things are working out for you and Phil!

Size doesn't matter. I once saw a tiny puppy scaring away a great dane in local pet store: puppy was very excited and all jumpy and the great dane somehow got away from the leash, ran across the store and hid under a table at the far end of store, it was actually quite funny.

BTW: is Phil actually a girl?

melanie
May 30th, 2005, 04:53 PM
:D dogs are dogs and they often fight and play pecking order. and a dog is a magnet for other dogs, im my 9yrs im sure we have been in over 100fights, mostly on the streets going to and fro, but we always get picked on (by stryas or wanderers, chalrie is good and alwasys leashed on streets), lucky she is a tough girl and has never been injured (once attacked by 4 goldens who jusmped their fence, now that was terrifying they were nasty dogs indeed) as long as it is just other dogs dominating her (for instance has she been turned over on her back yet and had the jaws growl at the neck) this is in no way harmful to your dog, its jsut learning.

i find my dog will dominate all dogs younger than her, and she is dominated by all dogs older than her (although now she is 9 our old friends are dying off :sad: and by dominated i dont mean nasty, jsut puts the younger in its place ).

but do remember to watch your reactions, i know if im stressed it makes my girl more fiesty to say the least.

and never use hands, like mentioned abo0ve always use your boot in a bad dog fight. i find that when its two full on fighters or they are really into it that yelling does not work. in that case stick the boot straight in there and try not to kick your own dog (im not joking, easily done). i find often with large breeds (i have germ shep) it is jsut too full on and the boot is my only real solution.

ah dog fights, you will get used to them, its part of doggy society really, and in 9yrs she has never been hurt or injured in fight, so i truly believe for msot dogs its just all show and bravo, thats jsut doggy world and way.

good luck, and give that cutie a pat from us :D

katy82
May 30th, 2005, 08:47 PM
Yes Phil is a girl its a long story... :)

Melanie:
She has been dominated by other dogs by them rolling her over on her back and I'm not worried about that happening I know thats just the pecking order. It was just the incident with the dog grabbing the back of her neck and shaking her that worried me! I now know that she can handle herself for the most part. Although I still need to to stay close.

I'm sure she felt my stress today when I saw that big husky coming for her again. Maybe he just thinks shes a fluffy white squirrel or something.