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Hi, I've been reading the forums for a while and finally decided to register tonight because I need a little support.

I went to the dog park today and had a verbal altercation with another owner... I usually watch my dog (just turned 1 year old) like a hawk, but I turned my back for a minute, I'm not even sure why, and next thing I knew I heard a dog screeching. I turn around and it's my dog, he is squirming around on the ground, another dog is standing over him and shaking him by the scruff.

The dog in question has been on my radar for a while, he's scared my dog a few times and gotten into scuffles with others, so I usually try to keep my dog on the other side of the park when he's around. A group of park regulars does the same. So when I had to run over and pull this dog off of mine, I was LIVID. I mean I completely lost it screaming (at the owner), it was ugly. The other owner got nasty right back and it turned into a screaming match. I realized this after a while, felt totally stupid, apologized for overreacting and walked away with my dog. The other owner clearly wasn't interested in my apology, and I can understand why, which is why I just walked away.

I don't blame the other owner for reacting to my outburst the way they did, and while I don't think that their dog has any business being at a dog park, I was completely out of line. My dog wasn't hurt and I usually just brush off little scuffles at the park, dogs will be dogs. I'm usually pretty shy and calm so I am so shocked by my own behavior. Even hours later, I am over the incident itself but am still disturbed by my own behavior, and feel like a complete nutjob.

Basically, I know that I reacted completely wrongly, and won't be letting myself act like that again, but right now I need some reassurance, because I feel like a terrible person. So, has anyone else ever lost their cool at the dog park? I always read stories about whackos at the park, I hate thinking that I apparently AM one. D:
 

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I think every one has had those moments. It's scary to see your dog involved in a bad situation with another dog. While it may have been an over reaction, if their dog has had issues with so many other dogs they don't belong in the park. I myself would stop going, but it's really obnoxious to have to avoid an otherwise good time because ONE person ruins it for every one. Maybe it will be a kick in the pants for the other owner and they will not come back to the park.
 

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sometimes we get this overreaction feeling when something unexpected happens to our pet. And I guess it's quite normal but the important thing is that we need to focus and calm down.
 

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Why are you a terrible person? Your dog was in danger of gettting hurt and the other owner was clearly neglegent and irresponsible, his dog is clearly the park bully. Frankly, I think your reaction was spot on and the other guy was being defensive. The next time I saw that dog and that person I'd have the AC on speed dial and if hte dog hurt another dog, I'd be calling to have the dog picked up and the owner fined. Then again, I'm a B like that!
 

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We put so much love and care and time into our dogs, of course we sometimes freak when they're in danger. I don't really think your reaction was totally unwarranted. I do not get people who bring aggressive dogs to a dog park. I didn't bring my DA dog.
 

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This is exactly why I don't go to dog parks with my dogs. We used to go with my parents' dog, but there was always that one dog there that "just plays rough" according to the owner. I've seen many an argument at the park and even if you are upset by your behavior, it doesn't sound like you were completely out of line. Good for you for apologizing. Not sure I would have "checked" myself that quickly after an altercation.
 

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I wouldn't feel bad at all.

Your dog was being hurt and you jumped in to protect your dog--your baby. I would've done the same thing.

Hope your dog is ok.
 

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I personally don't think you were out of line. To me, the fact that the other dog had your dog by it's scruff and was shaking it means it might have tried to seriously shred your dog. I would have went freakin' ballistic if another dog, especially one that has had incidences like this before went after my dog. Luckily, I haven't had to break up a fight between my own dog and another. I've only went off once on a lady who accused me of starving my rottweiler...I don't have a rottweiler, I have a doberman.
 

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I don't go to dog parks simply because there aren't any where I live. I would have reacted the same way. You had every right in the world to defend your dog IMO. I would not feel bad about it at all. That guy should stay home with his dog.
 

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Congratulations, you are human. Everyone has overreacted. As much as any of us can aspire to be the person who always acts reasonably, when the adrenaline is pumping and you're scared for someone you care about, it can happen.

I think it says more about you that you realized it and apologized than that it happened in the first place. THAT'S the rare thing.
 

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Been there, done that, lol. I am VERY protective of my girl and I have exchanged heated words with folks at the dog park, mainly people who weren't watching their dogs or ones who bring large dogs into the small dog side of the park. Now, I generally only take her to the DP in the morning during the week when it's usually pretty empty.
 

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Honestly, I couldn't consider scruff shaking from a strange dog as a little scuffle. I view that as a rather aggressive attempt at hurting another dog.
I have never been to a dog park, and probably never will for this exact reason. You were not out of line at all. I've had my dogs jumped by other dogs at shows and festivals (it's usually my husky) and I've blown up not only on the dog but the owner. If your dog can't be taken in public, don't take it in public. You were within your complete rights your give the other person what for.
If I said I have never gotten physical over my dog, that would be a lie. One such time a neighbor girl and her friend asked if they could pet my chihuahua. Knowing the girl for several years, I said 'sure' and went inside to get his little shirt. When I came back out they had him tied to a bicycle, throwing basket balls at him. One of them didn't miss. I had words with them then took my dog back inside. The NEXT DAY, she returned, asked to pet him, we exchanged insults annddd I physically removed her from my home. -cough- >_>
So I dunno, if it had been me, more than words probably would've been had.
 

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That is a seriously scary situation!! Maybe you shouldn't have gone totally off on the guy, but like PP's have said-- it's not the first time it's happened. That guy has no business being at the dog park and I would have definitely had a hard time keeping my cool.
 

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I don't frequent dog parks, because there are none near where I live. I've been to a few while travelling and, honestly, I wouldn't take my dogs to one. My older dog doesn't like to play and can get very defensive if another dog insists. My younger dog is timid and easily frightened. They both have solid dog manners and do not go running up to, and jumping on, dogs who have not invited them to play. Young dog is good, she plays however the other dog likes to play, whether it's running and chasing or wrestling. Many, many other dogs do not have nice canine manners, however, and I don't want to expose my dogs to what, to them, would be a stressful situation. There are some big, wooded areas, near me, where dogs can walk off leash. That works well for us, my dogs can get some running in, we encounter other dogs only occasionally and there's enough room so that no one HAS to interact with someone else unless they want to. If we encounter a dog who plays nice with my young dog, we'll stay and play for a while, if we encounter a not so polite dog, we keep moving.

And, "not polite", doesn't necessarily mean "mean"...it also means rushing other dogs, insisting on continued play when the other dog looses interest, etc...just not respecting the boundaries of others, whether they are canine or human. There are lots of goofy Goldens out there, for example, without a mean bone in their body, but they get in trouble with other dogs because they just don't understand that not every dog wants to play with them and they can't read the body language of the other dog to discern that.
 

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Ever seen a dog kill an animal? I've watched my dogs kill opposums, mice and squeaky toys. What they do is, grab it by the neck and shake it for all they're worth. The purpose is to break its neck.

So, even if you used inappropriate language, your anger was probably not out of proportion to the situation. I know what you mean though, that kind of reaction doesn't usually get results. I understand why you're embarrassed, but -- and I'm going to take a wild guess here -- I bet the dog park regulars don't think any less of you, and many if not most are thinking how they might well do the same. You might even secretly be their hero.
 

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Quite often when a person is worried they've over-reacted, everyone else is standing around thinking they wish they'd had the balls to say the same.
You were scared for your dog. Our brains do all sorts of crazy things when we're scared. You showed a lot of grace by stopping and apologizing. Most people would just dig their heels in and stand by their initial reaction, even if they know it was over the top.
 

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I try to keep a level head in most situations but I also try make a point to emphasize that kindness is not weakness. If somebody steps out of line, especially when you are at a dog park with your little loved ones you have to be protective and speak up.

I've had to speak up a couple of times... Most recently was not at a dog park but in my own neighborhood. Achilles was literally being attacked by an off-leash Chihuahua with the owner in tow about 20 to 30 feet away. The little thing just charged. I stepped in front once I realized his intentions and tried to scoop him up. The little bugger nipped at me and that was enough for Achilles. (He has picked up some boxing skills from his favorite doggy pal Ella the boxer) and he swatted away at the dog a couple times warning him to back off. At this point I just had to scoop up Achilles before anything really bad happened. I didn't scream but I did threaten to call the authorities on the owner if the dog was seen off leash again. (It did look comical me picking up my almost 60lb aussie and walking away from an owner and his little Chihuahua though)
 

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I think I'm glad we don't have a dog park around me. I don't think you overeacted, I think I'd have done a similar thing and i don't know an apology from me would have been forthcoming.
 

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I personally don't think you were out of line. To me, the fact that the other dog had your dog by it's scruff and was shaking it means it might have tried to seriously shred your dog. I would have went freakin' ballistic if another dog, especially one that has had incidences like this before went after my dog. Luckily, I haven't had to break up a fight between my own dog and another. I've only went off once on a lady who accused me of starving my rottweiler...I don't have a rottweiler, I have a doberman.
i hate wanna be know it all morons :rolleyes: i got into an argument with a guy who was insistant that Izze couldnt possibly be an ACD because she had a tail, i tried telling the darn fool that they are supposed to have tails but he wouldnt listen...... idiot.

what a scary thing, im glad that your dog is ok. that is why i dont take Jo to dog parks, bc she is a little retarded in the social department, she was an orphan that grew up with only two other sibs without a mom.... & she bullied her othere three sibs lol lol.
 

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I agree with Carla... I don't understand. If another dog is shaking my dog by the scruff, then I'm all over the other dog, and he goes flying. MY intent is not injury, just separation ... with a little emotion added in. If another dog snarks at my dog or chases him, that's OK... but biting crosses the line.

On the other hand, if my neutered dog starts to hump a female, I don't make a stink if the owner separates them, because that also crosses the line. If the owner is upset and calls my dog dominant or aggressive, I walk away b/c he is justified at being upset... and correcting him serves no purpose.
 
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