Dog Park Problems

Discussion in 'General Dog Training' started by BruceLover, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. BruceLover Active Member

    Bruce and I are a huge fan of the dog park. But we have recently moved and I think he's a little nervous about it. We have been going to a dog park couple of times because we are currently stuck at an apartment until the people in our new house move out so we can move in.

    I've been bringing my dog agility equipment to the park because I want to make sure he gets his exersize. I've been working with him off leash around a few other "small frail dogs".(the dog park has two area's one for big dogs and one for small its very nice seeing as Bruce gets along better with big dogs) I give him a treat and he totally freaks out If another dog comes by him. I understand he wants to protect his food.

    But when It comes around to playtime he loves running with other dogs but when he stops he gets really growly and aggressive so I put him on a leash. But I don't want him to be on a leash whenever theres dogs! I want him to be able to run around with the other dogs and not have the other owners be annoyed with me and my dog:cautious:! Any suggestions?

  2. jackienmutts Honored Member

    A few questions: I guess I have to ask if Bruce really likes being in the dog park with other dogs, or you like him to be in the park with other dogs. I'm not quite sure exactly what you're saying above. Does Bruce actually play or interact with other dogs? Or does he mostly just run around, explore, work with you, and keep to himself - and growl if other dogs come around?

    I know at our dog park, we're not allowed to bring food in - exactly because of what you mentioned above. You bring out treats, Bruce "totally freaks out if another dog comes by him". It's a potential fight waiting to happen. And if he's then leashed (or leashed for getting getting growly, or any other reason), that can also intensify his arousal, which can add to the arousal of surrounding dogs - and bam! dog fight. No dog should be leashed in a dog park, it's just a bad idea (unless you're heading for the exit). Bruce (or the leashed dog, whoever it may be), is at an automatic disadvantage, which immediatly intensifies their arousal - and other unleashed, aroused dogs know that. It's just not good.

    And one more thing - Bruce looks like a small dog, is he a Bichon or about that size? You mentioned that he much prefers big dogs. Are you taking him to the big dog section? I"m asking because some big dogs just either don't like small dogs, or look at them as prey animals - and that also can be a dangerous situation.

    If Bruce is normally very social at dog parks, then perhaps he's not fitting in with the group that's there at the time you're going. Maybe just change times. He may also be stressed out from the move, and can't handle socializing at a park right now. But - if this is his normal dog park behavior, I'd say maybe he's not a good dog park candidate. Some dogs aren't (and that's ok). Some people love parties, gatherings, etc - and some would prefer quiet times at home - we're all diferent, same with dogs.
    tigerlily46514 and 7Riddler7 like this.
  3. 7Riddler7 Member

    previous was well written all i was going to suggest was more socialization with other dogs and just praise at the park> food not best idea with so many dogs
  4. Hayley Thompson Well-Known Member

    My concern is what jackie mentioned above, having the park separated for big dogs and little dogs might be good for the other dogs in the park but if you are taking your dog to the opposite section , even if he is more comfortable around those size dogs, the dogs in that section might not be comfortable with his size, which if that's the only dog park they've been to and were always separated they may be totally uncomfortable with your precious pup and might be sending him signals that cause your guy anxiety :s
  5. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    Great post by Jackie.
    Yeah, treats and toys are banned at our dog park, too. (Buddy, being a gangsta, doesn't go IN, we just work outside of the park on learning to be calm while looking at dogs at whatever distance he needs, and then we leave)

    Also, if Bruce is not that comfortable at the dog park (not all dogs really enjoy dog parks) and you DO want to give him excercise (GOOD FOR YOU!) but have no yard of your own right now, maybe you could also look for nearby empty schoolyards which tend to be fenced in (bring a poop baggie, of course) and do his agility work there? He could run off leash there and you could practice his recall, too. Stress-free play time.

    Or, even normal parks which allow dogs, (usually this is on leash at human parks but it varies) and run with him there, while he builds up his social skills is less unpredictable settings than dog parks ?? just a thought.

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