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We adopted a boy who is more than 1 year old but under two. I take him to the dog park weekly and he just started an off leash half day at doggie day care once per week. (He passed the "interview" with flying colors.) He is super friendly and does fantastic. The problem I just realized came up on Friday at the dog park. There was a small dog that was scared of every dog at the park and didn't want to play. My dog kept running up to that dog trying to get him to play so I was super busy trying to keep my dog distracted and away from the small dog. The little scared dog basically stayed cowered between his owners legs. My dog, being a little turd, wouldn't leave the little dog alone despite my best efforts so he almost got bit a few times because the poor little dog was so scared he starting getting vicious so I left the park before my guy got himself bit.

I don't think there is anything I can do to get my dog to "get it", right? I almost think he thought teasing the scared dog was funny. :embarrased: Any advice? Just continue with the dog park and doggie day care? Is he too old to learn the dog behavior "Leave me alone!"?
 

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Biscuit does that sometimes, especially to puppies. I don't know why. What I do, and this does work most of the time, is put Biscuit in a "time out" for a minute. I grab her collar (without saying her name! We don't want her to associate hearing her name with fun ending, and nothing is more fun than hassling puppies), walk her over to a quiet area away from the puppy in question, and sit her down FACING AWAY FROM THE ACTION. That last part is important. I talk to her for a minute and make her look at me. Once I think the moment has passed and her attention is redirected away from the scared puppy, I let her go. If she keeps it up, we leave. I don't want her to rehearse bad behaviors and I consider hassling unwilling dogs to be a bad behavior.
 

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I think you did the right thing by leaving if there was no way you could distract your dog to move away from the small dog. Did you try a favourite treat, favourite toy or just moving him on his leash to another area? Who knows what would have happened if your dog had been bit. That said, sometimes "in your face" dogs like yours and like my Sasha need to be corrected by another dog so they learn manners. Sasha was always in Corky's face until he nipped her, now she approaches him more appropriately.
 

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If I have a situation like that I put my dog on his leash for a few minutes to keep him away from the other dog. If he goes back to the dog after I let him off his leash it is time to leave.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Yeah, it's a large park and we went aaaallllll the way to the other side but he would just bee line back to the scared dog and since he runs way faster than I can, I ended up really far from the two of them. The owner of the scared pup kept pushing the dog away from him and trying to get him to go out on his own and "mingle". The dog didn't start snapping at other dogs (not just mine) until the owner was able to get 5 feet away from his dog. I'm not sure why he didn't take his dog into the "small dog" side. There were no other dogs in it and he could have interacted through the safety of the fence and maybe relax a little. Ah well, I made up for the short dog park trip by stopping at Agway and getting new treats & a bed. ;)

Thanks for the advice. I was a embarrassed my dog was harassing him so I feel better knowing other people have been in my shoes. :)
 

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The first time I took Molly to a dog park, SHE was the scared little dog (though she was not really that little.) She spent a lot of time attached to me and with her tail between her legs. Nobody really harassed her, but they all wanted to sniff her and check her out.

We took it slow (I didn't push, but I didn't coddle) and, by the fourth visit, she had become a social butterfly. I think it helped her to see Esther tearing around the place and not suffering any horrible fate.

Honestly, I think it is up to the owner of the frightened dog to make the judgement call about whether to stay or leave. If you're at the dog park, you're going to get sniffed.
 

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We adopted a boy who is more than 1 year old but under two. I take him to the dog park weekly and he just started an off leash half day at doggie day care once per week. (He passed the "interview" with flying colors.) He is super friendly and does fantastic. The problem I just realized came up on Friday at the dog park. There was a small dog that was scared of every dog at the park and didn't want to play. My dog kept running up to that dog trying to get him to play so I was super busy trying to keep my dog distracted and away from the small dog. The little scared dog basically stayed cowered between his owners legs. My dog, being a little turd, wouldn't leave the little dog alone despite my best efforts so he almost got bit a few times because the poor little dog was so scared he starting getting vicious so I left the park before my guy got himself bit.

I don't think there is anything I can do to get my dog to "get it", right? I almost think he thought teasing the scared dog was funny. :embarrased: Any advice? Just continue with the dog park and doggie day care? Is he too old to learn the dog behavior "Leave me alone!"?
You can teach him a recall. And if that fails you can go up and pick him up by the collar to keep him from terrorizing the frightened dog. If your dog has poor doggie manners, basically, you can get a serious adult bitch who has a very inhibited bite to teach him some manners. But even that may not work, and you may need that recall and management. But it is really a good idea to at least manage so he doesn't traumatize a dog just by being overly friendly.

Edit: reread. When I say pick up by the collar, I mean gently lead by the collar, not actually pick the dog up! I'm sure most will get that, but I'm feeling frequently misinterpreted on this forum recently - so wanted to be sure that is clear
 

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But be careful with recall!! Until it's really rock solid, you don't want to use your recall word to call your dog away from something fun. Our trainers in obedience school emphasized that you never want to call your dog away from "play," even if the play is rude and obnoxious.
 
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