Dog Park Agression

Discussion in 'Dog Behavior Problems' started by miss_bec, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. miss_bec Active Member

    Hey all,

    So i rescued a 1 year old male undesexed american staffy from a lady in july last year. I dont know much about his history except that he had severe mange which ive treated and was in ill health, and that he lived with another male and female american staffy yet he was the unwanted one.

    So he is now a year and a half old and recently when ive taken him out to dog parks he gets super excited. He cries and carries on a bit on the way there and kind of almost ignores me if i try to talk to him when we park and am getting him out the car. With alot of dogs he's ok-runs round, has a general sniff and moves on. He does listen/respond within reason -e.g runs off for a bit but if call him say 3 times he will run back to me although simply loops round me and runs off again-unless using my angry voice...

    however, some dogs he seems to have issues with. He will poise himself aggressively (hair raised, makes himself tall and tries to put his head over their shoulder, he will also sometimes mount them/attempt to) whilst doing this stance, he will growl and then if the other dogs react usually growling or a bark etc he then starts aswell and a fight almost starts. I can usually break them up along with the other owners-but he stays fixated on the dog afterwards continuously watching them/staring them down no matter what and if i yell/speak to him he's almost like a naughty child and turns his head away and refuses to look at me.
    (the past 2 occurances of this-he has gone at german sheppards/mixed breeds of them)

    I dont know if it's because he's overexcited or what but its hard with him being so strong/solid and me so small trying to control him after once back on leash.

    When on leash he also squeals and pulls me/lunges towards other dogs not necessarily agressively but to reach them and carries on barking/screaming almost in a frustrated way even if we walk past dogs behind fences etc...

  2. southerngirl Honored Member

    Don't take him to the dog park. Some dogs just don't belong there. I have three dogs and only one can go to the dog park. Instead of dog parks set up play dates with other dogs yours gets along with. Personally I wouldn't be to happy if someones dog were acting aggressivly toward mine. I don't bring my dog Missy to the dog park because most likely she'd start a fight.
    Gordykins, jackienmutts and kassidybc like this.
  3. Amateur Experienced Member

    Have you Neutered him ?
  4. miss_bec Active Member

    hey southern girl...

    the problem is, is that he doesnt start it. always the other dog will growl/size him up then he will copy. i just feel like he is getting punished if i dont take him but take my others...although i havent gone back since it happened the 2nd time...

    and amateur no he's not netured as he is a stud dog. I know that desexing them calms them. I just dnt want to.

    Thanks guys
  5. jackienmutts Honored Member

    I totally agree with Southerngirl. I'd forgo dog park visits. Dog parks aren't for every dog. In fact, they can be dangerous places. People bring dogs who shouldn't be there (sounds like your boy is one who shouldn't) and all it takes is one dog to disrupt the energy and rile an entire park, and a fight can break out in a moment. They can be very arousing places and just too much for some dogs. Your boy is just coming into sexual maturity and he may feel he needs to claim the park as his (head over shoulder, mounting, fixating/hard-staring, growling, etc). It's all dangerous if allowed to escalate. Please ... no more dog parks. Stay away before something horrible happens. You say he ignores you at the park when you reprimand him (after these "encounters") and he's not good on leash, squealing, etc - he's not deliberately ignoring you, he's so aroused it's likely he's not even hearing you. He can't tear his eyes away, he's in "fight" mode, his body is ready, he's not in "let me listen to mom and see what she's thinking" mode - sorry. Don't take it personally.

    Finding a good play partner and setting up play dates is an excellent idea. If he does like other dogs, finding a good match he gets along with who he can romp with in an enclosed yard is your best bet.

    Have you been working on any basic training? You say he's good at recall if you call him a few times and use your "angry" voice (but even then, he circles around you and doesn't really come). He's having a good time, not coming. it's a game. Again - not at the dog park - but really practice on basic behaviors with him, using a long line. It's so important to have a good recall, and don't ever call your dog to you using your "angry voice". Think back: did you ever want to go to someone (maybe your parents when you were little) when they were calling you, demanding you come, right this minute!!!! knowing you were probably in trouble? Nah, probably not. Practice calling your dog to you (at first, when you know there's a 100% chance he'll come) and reward him heavily when he does every single time - then when you know he'll always come, start upping the ante little by little, but always reward heavily. Make coming to you the best thing in the whole world.

    If you can get him enrolled into a positive-based training class, that would help a lot. He sounds like a very strong boy, and he's gonna need some work, but with patience and love, he'll be amazing.
  6. JazzyandVeronica Honored Member

    Even though he doesn't start it; to the general public he's a pit bull and if there is trouble at the dog park - it's the pit bull's fault regardless as to what happens; and thus if trouble happens it is your fault. Unfortunately that's just the way it works.

    Even if your dog doesn't start it; he does have terrier and pit bull genes - so he may finish it.

    Check this out:

    I also vote for no dog park.
    Gordykins and southerngirl like this.
  7. Amateur Experienced Member

    He may not look like he is starting it but he may be giving off signals that the other dogs are reacting to.
    Better safe than sorry .
  8. southerngirl Honored Member

    Like Jazzy said Pit bull breeds Will always get blamed for a fight so if your dog is getting in fights whether it's his fault or not you shouldn't take him. Plus it's reinforcing the idea that pits are vicious dogs to the people who witness it. No, it's not fair, but that's how it is. Your dog will do just fine without dog parks like I said before set up doggy play dates for him.
  9. kassidybc Experienced Member

    Or even try talking to the pet owners at the dog park (without your dog!) and see if there is any times when little play groups of dogs that your dog gets along with meet there. This would not be advisable if there's usually random dogs there too, but at least at my little local dog park, I know that there are certain days at certain times (example: Sundays at 9) when little groups of dogs that all get along meet there. Obviously you know your dog park better than I do, so you will have to decide if that's a good idea yourself.

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