Aggressive Dog - Clueless Owner


Well-Known Member
I've been dealing with this problem for awhile and was wondering if there's a 'best way' to deal with this situation...

Occasionally at the dog park Bella will encounter a dog that start off by playing with her and growl as it wrestles. The owners assure me that the growl is part of the play, but then the dog proceeds to either try to bite her neck or her leg. There have been a couple of times Bella has limped a bit. Bella doesn't seem to get the fact that the dog is being too mean, even though she feels the pain - she just tries to get back in the fray. We've ended up having to leave because the owners insist their dogs are just playing.

I know I've mentioned before as well about some dogs who launch themselves and attack Bella for no reason.

Tonight, a dog actually bit Bella's leg to the point that it was completely red and she kept licking at it. The owner apologized about her dog being so extra playful, but when it was mentioned that Bella was bit, the owner became put off and mumbled that it was a dog park, and that's what dogs do. She told other owners that if we couldn't handle it, we shouldn't bring Bella.

I don't want to start any problems with any of the owners and I want Bella to be able to play at the park because there are lots of dogs who are fine with her, and she enjoys playing with them. I go to the dog park so Bella can have fun, not so I get to deal with drama.

Is there a best way to deal with the owners, without creating enemies? Or are we just doomed to leave the park and deny Bella the fun because an owner won't admit that their dog is being mean? Am I doing something wrong? I just don't know.

I hate driving all the way to the park and getting Bella excited as she sees the park come into view just to turn around and leave, but if that's the only way to do it, I guess we have no choice. :dogsad:


Experienced Member
If you meet a person like this, with an agressive dog, I think the best way is to turn around, and go to some other place of the park.
Let Bella only play with dogs who you know, and know that they are not agressive.

I have to deal with these kind of owners in our park too, 90% of the owners are like this. So I only talk to/let my dog around the remaining 10%... :)


Well-Known Member
Thanks szecsuani...I'm glad I'm not the only one that has problems at the park. I just think it's so childish for the owners to go and complain to the other dog owners that Bella shouldn't be at the park when their dog was the one that became aggressive. I guess I just have to resign myself to the fact that there will be some people I have to avoid.


Experienced Member
Without having seen the incidents I can't really judge, but from what you have wrote it sounds like their dogs really weren't being aggressive. A lot of dogs growl when they play, and a lot of dogs like biting legs and necks! Especially since Bella doesn't seem to mine, dogs are really the best judge of how the play is going.

That being said, since I believe Bella is a puppy, she may not quite know when to stop. Often with puppies, or dogs who just like to play really rough, I stop play before it turns too crazy, give them a little break, and then release them back to play. That break often serves to calm the dogs down a bit. But you would need the help of the other owner to break it up for a little bit.

But addressing your actual question, if you felt what was going on was actually aggression there's not much you can do except leave. A lot of people bring their hyped up, unsocialized dogs to the dog park as a way of getting them exercised. Many dog park dogs are not well trained so it's the owners way of getting relief from the dogs bad behavior. So if they're not even going to train their dogs or take responsibility for owning one, nothing you say is going to matter.


Honored Member
Staff member
Both of these replies are wonderful advice. If you are genuinely worried, talk to the owners of the dogs that you do approve of and that Bella enjoys. See if they are interested in scheduling specific times to meet at the park. Many dogs are quite vocal when they play. Mudflap is quite the rough-houser with my BC/ACD Zeke, and she will pin him down and go after his neck and legs and nip at him. But, she never gets out of hand and she is never gnawing on him in an aggressive manner. She is simply a rough player, and Zeke thoroughly enjoys it! (Even though he always seems to lose...haha! I think he just likes letting the girls win.) She is vocal and very rough, but I trust her completely. If she was hurting him or acting aggressive in any way, I would intervene immediately.
I wouldn't worry too much about the biting and growling, as long as Bella is not showing signs of anxiety or pain. If she starts becoming fear aggressive or cowers around dogs, or simply doesn't enjoy their company as much as usual, then of course STOP! Just watch her carefully, and don't let things get out of hand. Give her breaks so she doesn't hurt herself. And as Fickla has said, she's still young and doesn't quite know when to quit. Zeke was like this(and sometimes still is at 3 years old). I would have to call him to me and give him the down command and keep him calmed down for a while, or he would over-do it. If you have to leave the dog park, go to a people-park. Just go for a walk, and you might end up running into another dog owner who you can schedule playdates with. The off-leash socialization of course is not allowed, but it is still good for her and you don't have to worry about irresponsible owners.


New Member
I agree with the the other posts and just want to let you know that I have a pup that is the one that would be probably considered by you to be playing too hard. At the dog park I go to, I always identify who owns the dog mine is playing with,
ask how their dog likes to play and of course let them know if they dont like how my dog is playing with their dog to let me know and I will stop her and take her to another dog to play with. I think that is what makes it work. The people at the park must watch their dog and be available to seperate if your not comfortable and if they are not paying attention I would start asking who owns this dog, etc.


Honored Member
Interesting thread, all great advice.
The dog park in our town, has very great managers, and do want to keep track of dogs that other dog owners see as aggressive, and welcome this info, and, they ban dogs who actually fight. I mean fight for real, biting and all that.