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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I like bringing my dog to the dog park, as it's a great place for him to run off-lead, practice his recall, and let him play with other dogs. Today however, someone brought their young puppy in and he went after it. Didn't do any damage, just pinned him to the ground and really scared the poor thing. He's done this one other time, again with a younger puppy. I've never seen him be aggressive toward an adult dog, even when other dogs were being aggressive toward him. Before this he was running around with other (adult) dogs and playing happily. He's only a year and a half old himself. How would I go about correcting this behavior?
 

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Didn't do any damage, just pinned him to the ground and really scared the poor thing

your dog did a lot of damage that , that puppy might never get over for the rest of their lives, as well as the owners. To put it into perspective. Main reason why dog parks are not safe. And people are not educated to use them. Very poor decision to bring a pup into an adult area.

your going to have to leash your dog and leave when known triggers enter the park. If there is a fence that separates the off leash area you can work outside the fence for Ob skills and focus training. How does he behave around small breed adult dogs? Dogs pick fights they can win.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He's never had an issue with small breed adults, whether strange dogs or ones he's met before. He even got along well with my friend's 3lb chihuhua. He has no problems with cats or kittens either. This really took me by surprise.
 

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You now have seen it two times to know your pup will need your assistance. Was it adolescent age over excitement ? like two kids in a sand box that lack the maturity to play nice? Doesn't mean your pup will grow up to always attack puppies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think that may be the case, he's the first dog I've owned myself so I really don't have much experience to know for sure. The first time it happened he ran up to the pup to greet it and I think got very confused when it spooked the puppy. The owner picked up their pup and mine was just really really excited, not growling or anything and once I redirected his attention he left the puppy alone. This time I immediately put him on a leash. The owners picked up their pup to make sure he was fine and set him back down. The puppy stayed nearby and they sniffed each other a few times but he then left him alone with no further issues.
 

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No more dog parks for your dog. Find a few friends and arrange a play date if you are into that sort of thing.

You have seen this. It is your responsibility that it never happens again.
 

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This is the pitfall of “Dog Parks.” Public cesspools of both a source of "entertainment" and exercise and irresponsible owner behavior. The most you can hope for is that your own dog can hold his own! Good luck. The problem is, that it’s not just about questionable behavior, but interactions going on without professional (objective) oversight. In other words, people (and dogs) aren’t there for constructive education, but their own selfish reasons. And for that reason, they’re going to be defensive no matter what. That just puts you at a disadvantage.

Within your own environment, you would have the leeway to allow adults and puppies to interact naturally, meaning to manage the dog hierarchy (aka manners). You would know that learning is a balancing situation, but you would also be responsible for the risk overall, and then be able to mitigate. The problem here is, other people’s perceptions. Do they perceive your dog’s behavior as threatening, or damaging to their own “precious” little one?

But I think it’s unfair to try and teach an adult dog (with normal, instinctive reactions) to act otherwise for the sake of a public situation. As most aged dogs will grow out of that kind of behavior eventually. At the same time, (because of the lack of professional or experienced oversight on site) you don’t want a behavior to get out of hand. Meaning, the dog begins to see an opportunity for overwhelming other dogs. That could lead to escalating situations. So I would take my dog in for some objective training. So it learns to focus on you (the handler) for all the right reasons! So that you can teach a strong recall. Incentivizing that behavior, so that no matter what, you’d be able to call him off in any situation! You want to have control over your dog no matter what. If you were on your own private property (with different aged dogs interacting) then they’d have the luxury of figuring it out. But “public parks” are not so fair and balanced, unless the dogs have real friends there that they’ve gotten used to.

The effect of other dogs on mine, is always my paramount concern. And I never want to risk anything negative developing, that will trigger something worse (like reactivity, or frustration, or hyper vigilance). It’s not about the other dog, but MINE!
 

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I have the exact same problem with my 18mth old Jack Russell, he can smell a pup from a mile away! He does the same thing your dog does, chasing, growling, general stand over tactics, no biting though. The only thing i can think of that has caused this, is that he was pounced on and hurt by a few over exuberant large pups when he was younger, so now he has the attitude of I'll get you, before you can get me.
There are some pups that completely dont get the hint and think he's playing and turn and chase him, if they do this he will calm down and play with them.

I'm in Australia where we can walk most places off lead, dog parks are for the runners who bolt when off lead, so I've never been to one. I just have to keep an eagle eye out in the distance for any puppies coming our way, which can be hard with large/giant breeds because they look like adults. I bend down next to my dog and start patting the pup, while holding on to my dogs collar so he doesnt launch, all the while trying not to let the pup get all in my dogs face, it's a very difficult process. Talk in a soothing voice, good puppy, good puppy etc etc If my dog behaves, he gets a treat. I've been battling this for a year, and I'm still at a loss on how to fix this..

3 days ago he tried it on with a 5mth old Border collie pup, I did tell the owner that he's no good with puppies, but they let him approach anyway. Well as soon as my dog grumbled, this pup turned around and launched a full on attack on Nugget (my dog), teeth baring and bit him fair on the bum as he was running away! Now this can go 2 ways, he may think twice next time he sees a pup, or it's made him much worse. We havent seen any puppies, so we will see how he goes..

ETA: He's good as gold with adult dogs. The puppy he hated this year, he'll be fine with next year.
 
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