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Hello all -

We took our 1.5 year old fixed male Rough Collie to the local dog park yesterday, a dog park he has been to probably 20-25 times over the past six months without incident. We were there for 15-20 minutes without any issues when a Siberian Husky and its owners entered the dog park. I didn't initially notice any issues with the husky until at one point I looked over and the husky had its two front paws on top of our collie's back at a side angle. Our collie jerked its head back and the husky then mounted our collie. Somehow our collie quickly reversed this position and began to mount the husky. The husky responded by snapping at our collie's neck, to which our collie responded by pinning the husky to the ground and snapping four or five times at the husky's neck before I was able to pull our collie away. After I asked and confirmed that everyone involved was okay, another owner told the husky owner that no aggressive dogs were allowed and asked if the husky was fixed. She responded no and the other owner informed her that non-fixed dogs were not allowed in the dog park. We left after this (as did a few other owners but not the husky owner for some reason).

This was the first time we had seen this aggressiveness from our collie. My questions are:

Should we be concerned? From my biased vantage point, it seemed our dog was defending himself from an aggressive dog trying to dominate him. I obviously did not like the response of pinning down the husky and snapping at its neck in retaliation but was this justified? Should we avoid the dog park for awhile?

Just for more background information: Our collie was purchased from a breeder last summer when he was about six months old. He was fixed 2 months ago and has not shown any signs of aggressiveness before this point.
 

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IMO, and if I read this correctly, dogs like yours do not belong in dog parks. I work at a dog park, and we have terminated memberships for such reactions.

A dog tried to hump yours, and yours corrected him, that's ok. Humping is GOING to happen. Your dog then wanted to hump the husky back, that's ok. Humping is GOING to happen. The husky tried correcting your dog the same way that yours had corrected him, but your dog wanted no part of being corrected and was not going to back off, this is why he pinned him to the ground- the final stand before the dog on the bottom decides to intiate a real fight or back off, and hopefully the one on top doesn't attack anyway.

Not acceptable for your dog to be doing. I don't think dogs that can't be corrected within reason should belong in dog parks, personally.
 

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I do agree that your collie over reacted at being corrected. My two do not like being humped either but will do one air snap and walk away. If the other dog persists, I intervene. Although to say that he shouldn't be at a dog park... I dunno. But that's me.
 

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The Husky tried to hump your Collie, it's not to show aggression but dominance. Or, if the Husky is young it might be a different thing.

I don't think your dog belongs in a dog park. Humping will happen there, and your dog doesn't not seem to handle it well. I would not take him to a dog park again, at least not for a while. Your dog did over react, and it might do it again.
 

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Thanks for the replies, even though they are somewhat disheartening :(.

As I said in the OP, this is the first we have seen any sort of aggressiveness from him outside of the usual playful nipping. He has even been mounted before and did not react the way he did with this husky. The only unusual thing I can think of that I didn't mention was we had just returned from a week long vacation on Saturday night and took him to the dog park Sunday morning. He usually sleeps in the same room as us (and sometimes in the bed) but during this week long vacation he slept alone (brother slept in the guest bedroom). Is it possible this week without his owners stressed him or am I reaching?

Also, any suggestions on how to proceed next? We are expecting our first child in late February and obviously want to make sure any aggressiveness is eliminated as best we can before a baby is crawling around the house. Our collie has had the beginner training at PetSmart... we are planning on enrolling him in the intermediate classes next. Anything else we can do?
 

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Teach "leave it" if he doesn't already know it and start practicing this EVERY DAY....try it with just a baby blanket on the ground..then try it with a fake baby, then do a fake baby with a recorded crying baby (start getting the dog used to the sounds now), I have no advice on the dog park thing...I would however love to see pictures of your boy :D I am looking to get my first puppy/dog and I chose the rough collie breed and cannot get enough :D
 

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Teach "leave it" if he doesn't already know it and start practicing this EVERY DAY....try it with just a baby blanket on the ground..then try it with a fake baby, then do a fake baby with a recorded crying baby (start getting the dog used to the sounds now), I have no advice on the dog park thing...I would however love to see pictures of your boy :D I am looking to get my first puppy/dog and I chose the rough collie breed and cannot get enough :D
Thanks for the advice. See the link for some pictures. The first two were just after we got him when he was still a young pup. The third was 2-3 months later and the last was just about a month ago. http://imageshack.us/g/545/nrw4.jpg/
 

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The stress of his owners being gone and a change in routine could have made him less tolerant than usual. He may also have had less exercise and have pent-up energy and frustration.

Or he could simply be maturing. Lots of dogs become less dog friendly and less tolerant when they reach adulthood between about 1.5 years and 3 years.

Or it could be because the Husky was intact. I have heard (haven't seen so much since 99% of the dogs I know are fixed) that neutered males can be aggressive towards intact males.

I'd say keep him away from the dog park for now and test the waters so to speak with some known dogs one at a time (play dates with friends dogs or structured play groups and similar). Make sure he is well exercise before he meets any new dogs and practice strong recall so you can call him away when you see another dog start to mount him or aggravate him.
 

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Also, any suggestions on how to proceed next? We are expecting our first child in late February and obviously want to make sure any aggressiveness is eliminated as best we can before a baby is crawling around the house.
Well, some good news for you is that dog aggression/reactivity and human aggression/reactivity are separate things. A dog that snaps at other dogs could be completely awesome with children. My papillon is a good example of that -- she will growl and snap at strange dogs that get in her space, but she's incredibly tolerant of kids, and if they bother her she will just walk away. That's very common!
 

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Or it could be because the Husky was intact. I have heard (haven't seen so much since 99% of the dogs I know are fixed) that neutered males can be aggressive towards intact males.
Yes I have seen this at my rescue. We had an intact male come in and he wreaked havoc with one of our friendly males. Our neutered guy did NOT like him around at all.
 

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I don't agree that an intact dog should be at a dog park... so in my opinion, the husky owners were in the wrong there. I agree that you should take it slow and stay away from the dog park, at least for now and socialize him with dogs that you know. Glad no one got seriously hurt! And he is a very handsome boy!
 

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FWIW, I don't think it's fair to say that intact dogs shouldn't be in a dog park. As long as they're friendly, why not?

My intact males have done fantastically at the dog park. No problems.
 

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FWIW, I don't think it's fair to say that intact dogs shouldn't be in a dog park. As long as they're friendly, why not?

My intact males have done fantastically at the dog park. No problems.

I'm 50/50 on this one. I don't think the problem is with the intact dog at the dog park, in theory. I generally believe that a dog who doesn't get along with ALL dogs has no business being in the dog park, and this includes intact ones.

But I think an owner going to an open admission dog park with a dog who, for any reason, is more likely to be targeted and create issues is an idiot for doing so. I wouldn't take the intact boys because I've seen them targeted by neutered males. I won't take Bug because her play-style offends other dogs. I wouldn't take a small dog to a dog park without size separation because of issues like prey-drive. I am not going to be putting my dog's safety into the hands of other owners, and that's exactly what taking a dog to a dog park is. You add in a KNOWN issue, wherein something about your dog can create an issue, and I think you're just dumb. (Open admission, I add)
 

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I believe the poster had stated that unaltered dogs were not allowed at this park, so perhaps if he has issues only with them it won't be as much of a problem.

I would tread slowly back into play dates with your dog, but I am betting it was due to his break in routine and probably a lot of excitement from you getting home. If Ranger has been in for a couple days due to weather or me being sick, he can be a PITA at the dog park in his over excitement....we now give him a spin around the block before we go on days like that.
 

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FWIW, I don't think it's fair to say that intact dogs shouldn't be in a dog park. As long as they're friendly, why not?

My intact males have done fantastically at the dog park. No problems.
There would be litters being bred left and right.
Yes that's an owner supervision issue, but still.
 

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There would be litters being bred left and right.
Yes that's an owner supervision issue, but still.
There is a vast difference between 'intact dogs allowed' and females in heat being allowed. Not that owners don't blow off both of those rules at about equal incidence, and thereby accomplish effectively nothing, but.
 

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I think the majority of people who have intact dogs are not responsible.... Note: the majority. Many people on here are responsible, but if you're talking about the average person who isn't willing to s/n their dog? I think it'll present problems. Not to mention the OP DID say intact dogs were not allowed. SO, I'm going off that. Since... well, I replied to this thread, and not about some other random dog park discussion.
 

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There would be litters being bred left and right.
Yes that's an owner supervision issue, but still.
There would? I've regularly used two dog parks over the last 4 years that allow intact animals, and no litters were sired at either.

I am just not one to say that because SOME people can't be responsible or because SOME dogs don't like intact dogs, that they shouldn't be allowed when they are perfectly friendly dogs. Education and prevention can go a lot further than banning an entire type of dog just because something *could* happen. If it's a park where intact animals are allowed, then your neutered dog will be expected to play nice or not at all.
 

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I don't think this means your dog is aggressive, but more he just doesn't have the patience or tolerance for rude behavior. Not a dog park dog, I agree, but a lot of dogs aren't that aren't nessecarily reactive or aggressive.
 
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