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realized i should have posted this here...

Hi, i have a 1yr old Australian shepherd/husky mix. He's on the small side about 50 pounds, with lots of energy obviously. He's extremely social, loves people, kids, dogs, cats etc.

PICS (cutest dog ever, or, cutest dog ever?!?)
http://imgur.com/7rd3gBL
http://imgur.com/eV2ARs1

I take him to the dog park fairly often, a few times a week. His typical behavior is jog in, lick the nearest dogs face, tail pretty low but not necessarily tucked between his legs, and run to say Hi to the people on the bench nearby. Then he will socialize with the dogs happy as can be. He likes to be chased and wrestle pretty hard. Like I said, high energy.

He never has any problems or gets into any fights. The only issue he has is with one dog in particular. It's another male, 9 months old, and Australian shepherd/lab mix about his size. He will come up and say Hi, put his head on his back, and the other dog shys away because he's not too playful or confident. My dog will follow and jump on top and begin to chase him, biting at his back and eventually getting him to the ground, where he will pin him and stay on top of him. During all of this he has a real deep growl, which definitely scares the girl who owns the other dog. I can tell she doesn't like it at all, so I get my dog off of him and the other dog runs back to the benches/people. This happens every few minutes when the other dog is brave enough to venture away from the benches.

I feel bad because the other lady gets nervous, and the other dog isnt having fun. I also feel bad because I think my dog is bullying the other dog which I definitely don't like.

I am being right by taking my dog off of the other dog? He would never hurt him, he just wants to show he's the boss and then he will walk away. He doesn't bit at him too much, pretty much just stands on top and doesn't let him get up.

Any advice on how to prevent this, and what I should do?

if it helps, as a young puppy my dog would wrestle really hard with my friends dogs, who were a few months older than him. They would beat him up, playfully, and my dog loved it. I feel like maybe he thinks that now that he's run into a dog a few months younger than him, it's his turn to be the boss? The only difference is that he would bit and play back, and this other dog does not...

any help!? thanks
 

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I think what you're doing is the only thing you *can* do, which is to redirect your dog back to playing with the others.

Dog parks are problems for a lot of people for these reasons. There are a few dynamics here. First of all, it sounds like the other lady with the Aussie/Lab mix should probably reconsider whether to take her dog to the park. Are other dogs there bullying him, as well? Some very submissive dogs, who run away when they are afraid, are simply NOT dog park dogs. Yet some owners insist upon forcing their uncomfortable dogs to remain at the dog park, despite repeated signs of "okay, I'd like to leave now", like hovering under the tables or near people. (This is different than just a really people-oriented dog saying 'hi' to everyone, scared dogs are using people as barriers between them and other dogs).

Your dog, being an Aussie/Lab, is going to have a high prey drive and the urge to herd/chase. I doubt you will ever be able to convince him that chasing a squealing/submissive dog is something he *shouldn't* do. Therefore, because of owners like this woman, YOUR dog is seen as a bully, and as a bad dog park candidate. Even though your dog gets along with most others, you probably simply will not be able to account for his behavior with submissive fear runners.

This is the *exact* reason I had to stop taking my herding mix, Loki, to the dog park. He was bigger and faster than any other dog there, and would chase and "herd" any very submissive/fearful dog that ran from him. It's pretty widely acknowledged that herding breeds, in general, are not great dog park candidates for these reasons. Some do well, but some are just too fixated on things that run away from them. And because of the environment, there's nothing you can do to correct, because your dog is off leash, and if it has chased another dog, potentially very far away from you.

All of that being said, some other members may have advice as to how you can "train" your dog to not chase/pin, but as I mentioned, dog parks aren't great places for "training" to occur, as overstimulation and distraction generally leaves the dog pretty unable to learn much.

If your dog pretty much plays well with *every* other dog but this woman's, then perhaps approach her and say "our dogs clearly don't get along, yours isn't having any fun, want to trade general schedules so that we don't run into each other too often?" But prepare yourself for when another dog similar in behavior/attitude shows up and your dog has the same problems with it. It doesn't mean your dog is a bad dog, by any means. Lots of us on this forum have dogs we don't take to dog parks for these reasons.
 

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Yes, your dog is bullying that dog and yes, you should intervene. If it were me, I'd give my dog three strikes - redirect three times, and then if he still goes back I'd leash up and leave. It's not fair to your dog to let him practice bullying, and it's certainly not fair to the other dog and owner to be bullied. My Maisy can sometimes be a big fat bully in the same way, so (along with other dog-dog social shortcomings) it means she can't go to dog parks. Dogs are dogs, it's not a moral failing or anything.

If it's just this one dog, I agree it's a great idea to see if there's a way to pre-arrange opposite schedules.
 
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