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OK, say your outside with your dog off leash letting him have a run (say in a dog park). He approaches another off-leash dog say 25 yards away. Your dog is not a fighter and he has good recall; you don't know the other dog. They start doing the meet and greet. The other dog starts getting tense, growling, etc. Do you call your dog ?

I did that today and as soon as my dog turned and started coming to me the other dog (GSD) gave chase trying to bite. I guess he was on edge anyways and my dog moving away made his prey instincts kick in. I managed to cut the GSD of at the pass so to speak so no harm done.

So how to avoid the attack - do you call your dog away or do you hustle over there and hope you can get between them before something happens?
 

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To be honest, I automatically recall my dogs if they're off leash whenever we see another dog or person. It just seems polite.
 

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To be honest, I automatically recall my dogs if they're off leash whenever we see another dog or person. It just seems polite.
At a dog park?
 

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I wouldn't call them; I would take the chance and see if they can work out their greeting... Because like you said the GSD apparently chased after your dog the minute he turned his back...

Donatello isn't aggressive and his recall isn't 100% but it's up there, but I would be afraid that interfering would cause a squabble. If they greet, then start duking it out, then I'd get in the middle or do my best to call Donatello off.

But that's just me...
 

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What you are describing is one of the problems with dog parks. The idea is nice but there are alot of inexperienced dog owners who think their dog will get along with each and every dog. Take 30 strangers, put them in the same room and expect each person to immediately become best of friends with everyone else...it is not going to happen.

Our jobs as guardians is to protect the well being of our dogs. You may be able to recall your dog, which is wonderful but where was the owner of the other dog? You may want to consider different options for socializing your dog like a reputable doggie day care where the dogs are evaluated or even going to the park and not entering the dog park.
 

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What was the other dog's body language like before your dog got there? Body position, tail position etc. What was your dog's greeting like? Did he rush right up to the other dog's face and THEN stop? Rushing at a dog you don't know can be seen by some dogs as rude and confrontational. A butt sniff and then a face sniff (no proctology exams) is a good greeting.

If the other dog turned his head away when he was being sniffed I would have called my dog then. He's saying that's enough. If it escalated to the stiffen and growl it probably was too late to call him (which you found out) as the movement triggered the other dog to react in chase and bite as opposed to just a corrective snap and get out of my face.

Are the dogs "equal match" in body size? Is your boy neutered? (as this can trigger aggression in other males..not always, but sometimes)

A lot depends on your dog and his dog skills. What I mean by dog skills is does he have the communication skills necessary to know when to turn away if a dog is giving him the "you're in my space" signals? If he DOES I would watch carefully but NOT call him, while walking over to get closer in case things escalate.

I walk dogs professionally and each one has different levels of skills, one of my goldens has terrible greeting skills so I call him BEFORE he gets to the other dog as I know he tends to rush the greeting, gets told off and then reacts. Once I have him we walk over and have controlled greetings and we're good to go.

I know Cracker ONLY tries to rush dogs that are insecure (bullying) so I don't allow her (thank god for good recall) to rush dogs either. If everyone is calm they get to say hi, play or whatever. If there is an exchange that is slightly tense but I can see from body language that it is CONTROLLED intensity I watch carefully but let it unfold. Some of my other dogs NEVER have issues as they approach calmly, give a "how do you do sniff" and then either play bow or walk away to greet someone else. That is the ideal..lol.

There are many more subtle signals going on in a ten second greeting than we think. Some LOOK bad to us and arent', some look fine to us and are actually precursors to aggression. Knowing YOUR dog and having a pretty good background in dog communication and body language can help prevent things from happening in the first place. Eight years and only three biting incidents (none serious)..by being watchful and knowing the dogs.
 

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My dog wouldnt be that far away from me to begin with. But if it was the case, i would hustle myself up there, tell my dog "NO" so he too doesnt try and snarl back and shooo the other dog away, and find the owner.

You may want to consider different options for socializing your dog like a reputable doggie day care where the dogs are evaluated or even going to the park and not entering the dog park.
Not every one can afford to send their dog to day care. ?I wouldnt beable to send Blaze to a day care even if i wanted too, as he is intact and none I have ever seen accept intact dogs. And I would much rather monitor my dog, then have a stranger monitor 20+ dogs in a small room alone.

Not every dog park is out of control and terrible. The one I go to is amazing, with amazing people in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What was the other dog's body language like before your dog got there? Body position, tail position etc. What was your dog's greeting like? Did he rush right up to the other dog's face and THEN stop? Rushing at a dog you don't know can be seen by some dogs as rude and confrontational. A butt sniff and then a face sniff (no proctology exams) is a good greeting.

If the other dog turned his head away when he was being sniffed I would have called my dog then. He's saying that's enough. If it escalated to the stiffen and growl it probably was too late to call him (which you found out) as the movement triggered the other dog to react in chase and bite as opposed to just a corrective snap and get out of my face.

Are the dogs "equal match" in body size? Is your boy neutered? (as this can trigger aggression in other males..not always, but sometimes)

A lot depends on your dog and his dog skills. What I mean by dog skills is does he have the communication skills necessary to know when to turn away if a dog is giving him the "you're in my space" signals? If he DOES I would watch carefully but NOT call him, while walking over to get closer in case things escalate.

I walk dogs professionally and each one has different levels of skills, one of my goldens has terrible greeting skills so I call him BEFORE he gets to the other dog as I know he tends to rush the greeting, gets told off and then reacts. Once I have him we walk over and have controlled greetings and we're good to go.

I know Cracker ONLY tries to rush dogs that are insecure (bullying) so I don't allow her (thank god for good recall) to rush dogs either. If everyone is calm they get to say hi, play or whatever. If there is an exchange that is slightly tense but I can see from body language that it is CONTROLLED intensity I watch carefully but let it unfold. Some of my other dogs NEVER have issues as they approach calmly, give a "how do you do sniff" and then either play bow or walk away to greet someone else. That is the ideal..lol.

There are many more subtle signals going on in a ten second greeting than we think. Some LOOK bad to us and arent', some look fine to us and are actually precursors to aggression. Knowing YOUR dog and having a pretty good background in dog communication and body language can help prevent things from happening in the first place. Eight years and only three biting incidents (none serious)..by being watchful and knowing the dogs.
That all has the ring of common sense to it.

My dog is about 65 lbs, unneutered and still has the 'everybody loves me' attitude towards him. His greetings have improved from say a D- to a C+. His saving grace is that he is more or less fearless but also quite submissive, he never responds to a challenge, even from tiny dogs. So far he has met hundreds (no exaggeration) of dogs and will play nice, play rough, whatever. No bites or fights yet. If I'm unsure of a dog I'll usually make sure I'm a lot closer than I was yesterday but sometimes things don't go according to plan. Thanks for the advice.
 

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That all has the ring of common sense to it.

My dog is about 65 lbs, unneutered and still has the 'everybody loves me' attitude towards him. His greetings have improved from say a D- to a C+. His saving grace is that he is more or less fearless but also quite submissive, he never responds to a challenge, even from tiny dogs. So far he has met hundreds (no exaggeration) of dogs and will play nice, play rough, whatever. No bites or fights yet. If I'm unsure of a dog I'll usually make sure I'm a lot closer than I was yesterday but sometimes things don't go according to plan. Thanks for the advice.

Well I guess you are lucky to be able to take your dog being un-neutered to a dog park. Our dog parks require all dogs that are over 6 months to be spayed or neutered. I was at the dog park one day in the small dog area and there was a guy whose un-neutered Great Dane was in the larger dog area. The Dane had been running around scaring every dog that was there. The guy was trying to call his dog to him without success.

When the guy was in earshot I asked how old his dog was and he told me 6 months. With that information I went over to the park ranger told her about it and the guy and his dog was removed and could only return when the dog is neutered. If your dog was in our dog park I would do the same.
 

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I've heard one person say that it's best to use a dog park as a way for people to play with their own dog offleash, instead of a place for their dog to play with other dogs. You never know with strange dogs at a dogpark if they're trained (or sane), so it's better to just make playdates with people you know.

Being able to play offleash is a great thing, though. Large offleash parks where everyone has their own space to hang out is great.
 

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Our dog park has no such rules against unneutered dogs.

I believe the rules of your dog park are ridiculous, and if you would 'rat out' on somebody for having a well behaved well supervised un-neutered dog in the park then that's pretty pathetic.

There are countless well behaved well supervised un-neutured dogs (including mine) out there and countless neutered but aggressive and badly supervised dogs. If your dog attacks another dog, blame him and yourself, don't look for excuses (your dog's not neutered, Fido doesn't like boys, Fido is jealous today, blah blah).

However, I'm not trying to turn this into a debate about neutering. I was just curious as to how people would handle the situation I described above. I called my dog which turned out to be a mistake. Next time (if I am not clever enough to avoid it as Cracker describes) I'll probably move to the dogs and hope I can get between them before all hell breaks loose.
 

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Our dog park has no such rules against unneutered dogs.

I believe the rules of your dog park are ridiculous, and if you would 'rat out' on somebody for having a well behaved well supervised un-neutered dog in the park then that's pretty pathetic.
If your dog was behaving and you had no control of your dog in our dog park I would report you without a problem. I have also seen other dogs who were un-neutered in our dog park. I made it known to them that I was keeping an eye on their dog as well as mine and if there dog misbehaved or caused problems I would report them also. The reason I reported the guy with the dane was not the fact that he was un-neutered it was because of the dogs behavior and the owners inability to recall his dog.

I will also report anyone whose dog is on leash inside our off leash dog park if they don't take them off leash and have done that also, again they were removed from the dog park. Perhaps your dog park allows un-neutered dogs but ours doesn't and if anyone wants to have their dogs in our dog park they are expected to follow the rules. If they don't they are removed and banned.
 

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I would add that sounds a lot like what my GSD would do as well, she'll get a little hair standing up on greeting at times at the dog park, no growling though. If the dog turns and runs she follows as her herding instinct kicks in.

She would not attack a dog, or hasn't since I've had her, but every time we go to the dog park she's looking for a dog that likes to run so she can herd it. Anything from a tiny little dachsund to great dane, she's not real particular.

The only problem comes when a dog is not sure what she's doing and turns around every time she catches up behind it.

Other times a dog will love to run fast as it can and they zoom around the dog park full speed until they both get too tired and wrestle a bit and both go lay down.

Any dog moving she'll approach and want to herd, and if a dog is running it's a sure thing. She does it a lot more than any other type of play.
 

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Yeah my dog has been "herded" a bunch of times, usually by border collies or GSDs. Great exercise! But yesterday was not herding it was an attack, no mistaking it.

I will also report anyone whose dog is on leash inside our off leash dog park
I'm afraid to ask and this is off topic but...why wouldn't you let someone, who maybe doesn't have great control of their dog, come to your dog park with their dog on leash for some socialization?

And who gets to make the rules at your park? It sounds like you all need to chill out a bit.
 

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If your dog was behaving and you had no control of your dog in our dog park I would report you without a problem. I have also seen other dogs who were un-neutered in our dog park. I made it known to them that I was keeping an eye on their dog as well as mine and if there dog misbehaved or caused problems I would report them also. The reason I reported the guy with the dane was not the fact that he was un-neutered it was because of the dogs behavior and the owners inability to recall his dog.

I will also report anyone whose dog is on leash inside our off leash dog park if they don't take them off leash and have done that also, again they were removed from the dog park. Perhaps your dog park allows un-neutered dogs but ours doesn't and if anyone wants to have their dogs in our dog park they are expected to follow the rules. If they don't they are removed and banned.
A lot of reporting seems to go on...

I am not lucky enough to have a dog park in my area. Shame.
 

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Yeah my dog has been "herded" a bunch of times, usually by border collies or GSDs. Great exercise! But yesterday was not herding it was an attack, no mistaking it.


I'm afraid to ask and this is off topic but...why wouldn't you let someone, who maybe doesn't have great control of their dog, come to your dog park with their dog on leash for some socialization?

And who gets to make the rules at your park? It sounds like you all need to chill out a bit.
Because it makes the dogs that are off leash aggressive to the dog that is on leash. I socialized Lola to other dogs in the dog park by taking her for a walk along the fence outside the dog park. Recently I went to a dog park seminar that was lead by a professional dog trainer and the dog trainer was also a K9 police officer. When it came to socialization of dogs I had told him the way I had doe it with Lola and he said that it was the proper way.

Appropriate dog behavior
Not all dogs are good candidates for dog-park play. A dog park is not the appropriate place for dogs who have serious behavior problems in relation to other dogs or humans. Dogs with these kinds of “issues” should be carefully socialized in environments that are far more controlled than a dog park while their owners do behavior modification work.
The above and more can be found at: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/sample/a_bark_in_the_park.html
 

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Because it makes the dogs that are off leash aggressive to the dog that is on leash.
If anything, I think the leashed dog is likely to become more reactive/ aggressive than the unleashed. Regardless, prohibiting leashed dogs is bizarre IMHO. Dogs should be socialized to be non-aggressive leashed, unleashed and otherwise. If your dog attacks a leashed dog, its your dog's fault, not the leash, and its your dog that should be banned from the park.

I've walked my dog on leash at heel countless times thru a dog park just as distraction training. He finally learned that he does not have a god given right to play with every dog he sees. It also allowed him to meet many dogs in a very safe way when he was a small pup (as I was right there). What harm were we doing? Why would you prohibit us?

To me the biggest problem at dog parks is not leashes or lack of neutering, etc but owners who do not accept responsibility for their dogs. If your dog gets aggressive its YOUR fault.
 

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If anything, I think the leashed dog is likely to become more reactive/ aggressive than the unleashed. Regardless, prohibiting leashed dogs is bizarre IMHO. Dogs should be socialized to be non-aggressive leashed, unleashed and otherwise. If your dog attacks a leashed dog, its your dog's fault, not the leash, and its your dog that should be banned from the park.

I've walked my dog on leash at heel countless times thru a dog park just as distraction training. He finally learned that he does not have a god given right to play with every dog he sees. It also allowed him to meet many dogs in a very safe way when he was a small pup (as I was right there). What harm were we doing? Why would you prohibit us?

To me the biggest problem at dog parks is not leashes or lack of neutering, etc but owners who do not accept responsibility for their dogs. If your dog gets aggressive its YOUR fault.
Why would you bring your leashed dog inside an off leash dog park?. What sense does it make to do that. As I said before the other unleashed dogs can become aggressive and it really does not matter which become aggressive first, the leashed or unleashed dog the simple fact is that all dogs should be off leash in an off leash dog park.

If you want to socialize your dog on leash then as I said earlier take the dog to the off leash dog park and walk near the fence with the leashed dog on the outside of the off leash area. When you feel your dog is socialized enough outside the dog park then bring the dog inside but take the leash off.

I am not saying your particular dog but a dog in general. Now if you want to try sit and stay training then a dog park is a great place to reinforce the training you have already started with sit and stay. Just the distraction of being in a dog park and having your dog obey your commands is a good way to reinforce all obedience training.

By the way I was the one who trained my dog Lola. I did not take her for any formal training like an obedience school or any professional trainers. Recently we went to a dog therapy training class. It was a six week (one day a week) training. We started in the fifth week of the class. It was also for CGC training. Last week was the test for Lola being certified as a therapy dog and also the CGC test. We passed both so I am not patting myself on the back but I do know a little bit about dog training and that also corresponds to dog park etiquette. Lola and I have been complimented many times on Lola's behavior at the dog park and people have said to me that I wish you could train my dog when they see how well behaved and trained she is.
 

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Why would you bring your leashed dog inside an off leash dog park?.
We have one submissive dog who will come back when we call (though often not right away >.<) so we let her off leash at the dog park. Our other dog is somewhat dog selective (she likes to hear herself bark :eek: ) so she is kept on leash at the dog park, and we walk where there are no other dogs.
 
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