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Playing or not?

October 7th, 2006, 01:43 AM
So I took my Maggie to the off leash park today. She loves to meet other dogs, and sometimes runs around with them. The group of people and dogs that are usually there when we go are friendly. Except this one dog/owner we've seen twice. The first time we were on our way out, and the dog tried to get over top of Maggie, and she snapped and snarled (the first time I'd seen that), and he backed off. We left then, so I didn't see any more of them.

Today this dog was, to me, behaving very rudely and aggressively, but his owner just kept insisting to everyone that he wasn't at all aggressive, only rambunctious and puppy-ish and doesn't know his own strength (he's 2 apparently).

The dog is quite big, head past my hip, very fit and quite beautiful with a short brindle coat. Big blocky head, huge wide face. Owner said he's a Mastiff/Staffy mix(! that'd be interesting to see)

Anyhoos, he jumped on, humped, and/or tackled almost every dog in the park (about 10 of them). He didn't bother with Maggie. Three other dogs, though, he tackled and pinned on their backs and bit at their throats. One time he really had a hold of the pinned dog, which was yelping and kicking. Luckily the owner of the brindle got him off. She had to get him off numerous dogs numerous times in the half hour we were there.

I'm totally inexperienced with dogs, except for research. This is the first time I've seen this sort of thing, but it didn't seem to me to be the usual doggy version of sorting out the pecking order. Everyone visibly relaxed when they left. If this dog had been going at mine that hard, I'd have made a hasty exit(and one owner did, minutes after they got there). So, am I just not used to dogs, or is this owner in total denial about her dog?

October 7th, 2006, 08:52 AM
This dog does not belong in a dog park for many reasons, some of which being that

- he's a bully mix and bullies have nothing to do in dog parks
- he's challenging other dogs instead of simply playing, which makes every other dog's trip to the park a nightmare
- his owner doesn't seem to realize he's headed for trouble - the one time his dog will challenge a reactive male, the two might get into a serious fight. Try and break it apart then...


October 7th, 2006, 10:49 AM
I agree. A lot of those dogs who got harrassed will probably get the runs from the stress too. That dog and its owner don't belong in the dog park at all.

Angies Man
October 7th, 2006, 11:23 AM
Yup, and if you try to say anything, the owner will get all aggressive and in your face.

We don't do dog parks (go to my bro's for playtime with his GSD instead.) So I don't know what your would do about this situation. Do you and the other dog owners in the park "gang up" on this guy and ask him to leave and never come back? Make a complaint to the animal control people? Or just leave if he's there (or you see him coming?):frustrated:

October 7th, 2006, 11:55 AM
I was lucky in that my dog was never targetted, we had had a good fetch session before these two showed up, so she was tired and stayed near me as I chatted with some other owners.

One owner did say something to the brindle's owner about his behaviour not being very friendly, and she just laughed gaily and said "No, he's just excited today. Yesterday he was soooo well behaved here" . That was the hard part - this woman (the brindle's owner) was just so darned pleasant. That's why I asked if she was in denial, as opposed to being deliberate. She was probably in her 30's, nicely if casually dressed, and friendly and chatting. She reminded me of the parents I deal with (I work in schools) who just refuse to see how mean their kids are to other kids. Who knows, maybe she secretly gets off on him bullying.

Our city does have a by-law that requires certain breeds to be muzzled, and they are banned from the park (big sign). This is the first bully-type dog I've ever seen there.

Here's a newbie question - if this sort of thing starts going on again, will it stress my dog out even if she's not involved? She didn't seem agitated, but maybe I should have gotten her out of there?

October 7th, 2006, 05:18 PM
You and some others need to figure out how to get this owner out of the park IMMEDIATELY. It's not playful behavior, this dog could seriously injure or kill one of the other dogs.
Dogs almost NEVER hold another dog down by their neck while exhibiting normal pack behavior. Sometimes you'll see in play, where one dog lays on their back and another appears to be biting at his neck, or a dog will choose to submit by laying on his back and letting the other dog stand over him or put his mouth on his neck, but this isn't the same thing. The dog at your park is obviously doing this aggressively not playfully, and when that's the case he will become more and more aggressive towards the targeted dog if that dog does not fully submit. This dog hasn't been properly socialized, or corrected for his behavior, and may not be well balanced in the first place, so he expects the other dogs to fully submit to him. Obviously the other dogs aren't going to slink around the park with their heads down to appease him, so his behavior elevates to the point of him tackling other dogs and holding them down by the throat. His owner doesn't know this is unacceptable, therefore he doesn't know this is unacceptable, and he's going to end up killing another dog, I've seen it happen. The other scenario is that he'll come into contact with a large male who won't take his behavior and that dog will kill HIM, neither is a good result.

October 7th, 2006, 05:32 PM
Your dog might not get upset, but all the other dogs will, and one of them (a more dominant one) might try to redeem himself by dominating your dog afterward but in a really bad way because that dog would be upset.

Just as an (extreme) example, a really dominant pitty with a terrible, terrrrrrible owner came to our park once, and the twit encouraged his dog to be dominant, and it got a hold of Boo. I don't know how, but Boo managed to get the pitty on its back and pinned him really quickly while we were scrambling toward them to break it up. Needless to say this pitty, whose ego had been stroked his whole life, was a little 'down' (humiliated) after that and "redeemed" himself by attacking a black lab just sitting there. The black lab's whole lip and jowl were ripped off and he wasn't involved at all. It was really horrible.:sad:

I don't know about the laws over there, but excessively dominant dogs aren't allowed in dog parks here.:shrug:

October 7th, 2006, 08:01 PM
Okey dokey. I have now moved from wondering about this woman, to being annoyed, to being scared for my Maggie and all the other dogs!

Thanks to you all for your experienced perspective. I'll call our city by-law guys on Tuesday and find out what the deal is and what can be done.