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Nicky and the Dog Park

Mahealani770
May 8th, 2006, 02:22 PM
Hello friends,
As most of you know, Nicky is a rescued Pom, 4-5 years old, neutered, and is the only "child" in the house. I have no idea what his previous existence was like or if he shared it with another animal but I've noticed that Nicky can be somewhat aggressive towards other dogs. Anytime another dog tries to come touch noses with him, he growls and sometimes snaps.
Our next door neighbor owns a Pitbull named Buddha and she is the sweetest, most well-behaved, non-aggressive dog I've ever seen. She wouldn't hurt a fly and that took some getting used to for me because she is a stocky, powerhouse of a pit, and looks very intimidating. When we're walking Nicky and Buddha tries to touch noses with him, he growls and snaps or worse. Buddha just stands there and eventually walks away but it's nerve racking to me because Nicky is so small and he's attempting to take on a Pitbull who could rip him in half, if she wanted to. Nicky is usually overly submissive with me and my partner except when he's guarding his rawhides or guarding my partner (We're working on that).
I want to take Nicky to the dog park but I'm afraid of what's going to happen if I let him off of his leash. I know that he probably couldn't do much damage, but I don't want another dog to do serious damage to him if he decides to pick a fight. Nicky just doesn't seem to have been socialized and he is signed up for obedience classes but they don't start for another month.
How do I correct him when he growls and tries to bite? Is it just a warning or is he really serious? I'd like to socialize him and just let him run and play at the dog park but how should I go about doing that, if at all?
Thanks,
Mahealani

jessi76
May 8th, 2006, 02:36 PM
but I've noticed that Nicky can be somewhat aggressive towards other dogs. Anytime another dog tries to come touch noses with him, he growls and sometimes snaps.

When we're walking Nicky and Buddha tries to touch noses with him, he growls and snaps or worse.

I want to take Nicky to the dog park but I'm afraid of what's going to happen if I let him off of his leash. I know that he probably couldn't do much damage, but I don't want another dog to do serious damage to him if he decides to pick a fight. Nicky just doesn't seem to have been socialized and he is signed up for obedience classes but they don't start for another month.

IMO, you should avoid the dog park like the plague. The first 2 things I quoted from your post are PERFECT examples of why you should NOT go to a dog park. Nicky isn't a "dog park" dog right now, and he may NEVER be.

IMO, it'd be irresponsible to put Nicky and other dogs at risk. You simply don't KNOW for SURE he couldn't do much damage, or provoke another dog in the park to do SERIOUS damage.

If I were you, I'd skip the park idea, and wait for your OB classes to start.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but safety must ALWAYS come first. (safety for your dog and others at the park)

If you want to socialize, I'd keep it small and simple. Work with just ONE dog Nicky knows, get him comfortable w/ that dog, then add another. Preferably at your home (or a friend's home) in a fenced area, under complete supervision. take baby steps towards socialization. Putting nicky in a dog park right now, is like tossing him in the pool all at once when he doesn't know how to swim - let him get his feet wet first.

LM1313
May 8th, 2006, 02:47 PM
I would definitely avoid the dog park. He could injure another dog or easily be injured himself if he ticks another dog off. He needs to be socialized in controlled situations.

~LM~

Prin
May 8th, 2006, 02:50 PM
IMO, you should avoid the dog park like the plague. The first 2 things I quoted from your post are PERFECT examples of why you should NOT go to a dog park. Nicky isn't a "dog park" dog right now, and he may NEVER be.

IMO, it'd be irresponsible to put Nicky and other dogs at risk. You simply don't KNOW for SURE he couldn't do much damage, or provoke another dog in the park to do SERIOUS damage.

If I were you, I'd skip the park idea, and wait for your OB classes to start.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but safety must ALWAYS come first. (safety for your dog and others at the park)
I completely agree. Just because you want him to go to the dog park, doesn't mean it's right for him.

Mahealani770
May 8th, 2006, 03:19 PM
Ok, thanks for your advice everyone! I thought it would help him to take him to the dog park but that's why you're the experts and I'm not! lol
I will definitely take it slow and introduce him little by little and make sure he goes to class before he goes anywhere else. Thanks!
Mahealani

Kerrye
May 8th, 2006, 03:30 PM
I agree also
Avoid the dog park - it woild be an accident waiting to happen. I have a very submissive dog and I avoid the dog park.

Daisy_Mae
May 8th, 2006, 03:58 PM
I was naive when I got my first rescue dog and took her to the dog park thinking it was going to be all fun and games..boy was I wrong.

Her name is Daisy and she now stays home when I go with our other dog Charlie. I thought it would be fun for her but it was too much and her having dominance aggression she tends not to deal well with be approached nose to nose or in any invasive manner. She won't hurt a dog but she will growl and lung and frankly I don't think that's fair for me to expect other people and their dogs to put up with that. There are people who have dogs that are not suited to a dog park but they still bring them and it’s upsetting for everyone.

It sounds like you dog would not be comfortable in a dog park, I know we all want to have social dogs that play with all types of dogs in all different situations but that’s not reality and I learned that the hard way (there is a bit of gossip going around about me and my “aggressive dog”). Instead, I do things for my girl Daisy that makes her happy. Long walks just me and her, playtime with dogs I know she likes and car rides. She also does very well at doggy daycare under more controlled conditions.

My advice would be to never push your dog to do what makes them uncomfortable. I would try one dog at a time as suggested above :)

Bushfire2000
May 8th, 2006, 05:21 PM
You've done such a great job so far with Nicky that you don't want to push it. I have one dog who is not allowed to visit with others. But I wouldn't take him if you have any doubts at all. Best to be safe.

Mahealani770
May 9th, 2006, 07:53 AM
Thanks for all of your comments, I really appreciate it. Also, thank you Bushfire for all of your support and advice. I need a lot of positive reinforcement so I appreciate you. It's been an uphill battle with Nicky but when I see him learning what I've taught him, it's such a reward for me and I love my little man more than anything. I still can't keep him from guarding so I'm hoping that OB classes will help with that. Anyway, thanks for being here for me from the beginning and I will definitely not take Nicky to the dog park! lol
Thanks again,
Mahealani