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This morning we took our 13-month-old standard poodle, Katie, to one of the local dog parks. At one point, there was only one other dog, Luna, there and Katie wanted to run with her. Her method to get Luna to run was to bark and nip. We called her to us and released her a few times, tried to get her to chase a ball, and finally leashed her so she wasn't harassing Luna. Is this a case of bad manners or something more ominous?

For some background, we were at the same park last weekend with Luna and several others; Katie was fine playing with the other, more energetic dogs. Today, as we arrived, there were two other dogs playing much more aggressively towards each other and Katie. They were quickly leashed and left within a few minutes. Later, after Katie had been leashed for harassing Luna, Axel (a very energetic and playful boxer), came in; he and Katie had a blast together.
 

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I think this is just bad manners, but if directed at the wrong dog could cause serious problems (just like most other behaviors, really). I think you have the right idea, keep a close eye and put her in a "time out" if you think she's being too rough. One thing I would add is that I wouldn't call her to you (using her recall command) when she's at play or trying to play with another dog unless you really need to, because you're calling her away from something fun. Rather, I would just grab her and lead her away.
 

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Thanks, hamandeggs & hambonez (there's a pig joke in there somewhere :) ). Is there something we should do to address this? Will just using time outs work?

I think this is just bad manners, but if directed at the wrong dog could cause serious problems (just like most other behaviors, really). I think you have the right idea, keep a close eye and put her in a "time out" if you think she's being too rough. One thing I would add is that I wouldn't call her to you (using her recall command) when she's at play or trying to play with another dog unless you really need to, because you're calling her away from something fun. Rather, I would just grab her and lead her away.
Thanks for the tip. We were mostly calling her name to distract her and redirect her to a ball. More of a, "Katie! Get the ball!" When we leashed her, we just walked over and grabbed her.
 

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Oink oink :)

I really think consistent time-outs is the only thing you CAN do to address this. What else would you do, alpha-roll your dog right in the middle of the dog park? (Just kidding. Please don't do that.)

My time-out procedure is as follows: grab dog, lead away from the action, and (this is key) get her to sit facing out of the park looking at me until she simmers down and can be redirected to a more appropriate activity/more willing play buddy. I see people doing "time-outs" where they just restrain their dog while the dog is watching the action and fixating more and more...that is not productive.
 

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Oink oink :)

I really think consistent time-outs is the only thing you CAN do to address this. What else would you do, alpha-roll your dog right in the middle of the dog park? (Just kidding. Please don't do that.)

My time-out procedure is as follows: grab dog, lead away from the action, and (this is key) get her to sit facing out of the park looking at me until she simmers down and can be redirected to a more appropriate activity/more willing play buddy. I see people doing "time-outs" where they just restrain their dog while the dog is watching the action and fixating more and more...that is not productive.
Thanks for the additional tips! Alpha-roll, ha ha! Katie will "alpha-roll" herself if she thinks it will lead to belly rubs ;)

Not sure if this makes a difference. She lived with her breeder (and breeder's dogs, including her mother and sisters) until she was about 5 1/2 months, but wasn't around many other, non-poodle dogs. The breeder told me that the adult dogs didn't really discipline the puppies at all, just allowed them to do whatever they wanted. Also, Katie has been through two levels of obedience, but there wasn't much opportunity for dog-to-dog interaction in the classes. We've also been working on impulse control [e.g., sitting politely for meals, waiting to go through the door (that's more a safety issue), doggy zen] thinking this will help her general excitement around people and dogs.
 

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Does she know Luna? Have they played together before, and how did Luna react to her?

The reason that I ask is that dogs who know each other very well will sometimes play with each other in ways that they don't play with other dogs, and will put up with behavior from each other that they wouldn't tolerate from "strangers".
 

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Does she know Luna? Have they played together before, and how did Luna react to her?

The reason that I ask is that dogs who know each other very well will sometimes play with each other in ways that they don't play with other dogs, and will put up with behavior from each other that they wouldn't tolerate from "strangers".
Katie met Luna last weekend, but I don't think they really played together. Katie had other playmates then, so she didn't need to pester Luna.
 

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Ah, never mind, they barely know each other. Just bad manners. I'd probably do the "three strikes and you're out" thing I and others have talked about before.
 
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