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Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum! I have a 16 month old black lab/border collie mix (high energy!) and we take her to a local dog park everyday. She has a mild temperament and is skittish around men and German Shepards. I noticed that she was running away from a German Shepard today, and thought nothing of it because I have become accustomed to her dislike of the breed. The German Shepard wrestled with her for a bit then latched onto her neck and flung her around like a ragdoll. My dog doesn't wimper often and maybe this is why the dog did not stop. The owner was really nice and said that her dog does that all the time, but my dog (who is not a small dog) has never been handled like that by another dog. My fiance intervened and told the owner to get her dog off of our dog. He even tried to pry the dog's mouth open to try and unhinge him. After a little battle, the German Shepard released our dog and she seemed scared, but fine. We've never experienced anything of the sort, and were wondering if we crossed a line yelling at the other owner. I don't feel comfortable with that kind of rough play and allow it normally, but today was too much for us to handle. Is this kind of play normal? And what should we do next time?
 

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Nope, perfectly reasonable. Dog Parks rely on owners to referee their dogs and it's your responsibility to make sure your dog is safe. Unfortunately, many people believe it's okay to allow their dogs to behave inappropriately or work it out amongst themselves; she should have called her dog off the moment your let her know you were uncomfortable. In the future, I'd move t a different side of the park or leave all together.

As for the rough play style, it's not so much that it's abnormal; dogs have their own play style(s), but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming for other dogs to handle. The dogs can go over board and IMO it's the owner's job to monitor that and call back the dog if things appear to be getting out of hand.
 

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A certain amount of wrestling and even nipping is fine, but grabbing another dog like a doll and shaking it around? Um, no. Not acceptable. And if you had to pry the GSD's mouth open, that wasn't play at all. That dog shouldn't be at the dog park.

Personally, I monitor every interaction and step in anytime I feel uncomfortable. Maybe Kabota's fine, but better safe than sorry. I also call Kabota back to me every few minutes to work on recall and interrupt play before it gets out of hand.

Also, I carry a breakstick to the dog park, and while walking my dog. It's a tool, mostly used by pit bull owners, for forcing open a dog's mouth when they're biting to get them off another dog. I've never had to use it for that, though I have had to bonk an unleashed dog on the head to force him away. (I didn't start with the bonking, mind you.) I know most owners of other breeds don't think of it, but I think a breakstick is a must if your dog is going to be out of the house.
 

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When my dog plays too roughly with another, he'll be a pest, but not dangerous. However, I have no problem if the owner separates them, if I'm not close, as long as the owner doesn't escalate. I am not happy if a 'good Samaritan' steps in, unasked, b/c some owners bring their 'shy' dogs to get some confidence, and the Samaritan may not know.

On the other hand, I will separate dogs immediately, if my dog is getting pestered or bullied. He can handle all situations with socialized dogs, but may have trouble with enthusiastic puppies and socialized dogs. I'll usually ask the owner, but I can usually react faster, if the owner doesn't jump in immediately.

If a dog is not letting go and if you have help, there is a way to make a dog let go. Ask the helper to hold the dog's head firmly, then jam your finger in the inguinal crease between the inside of the back leg and the belly. You're not trying to hurt the dog and you don't need much pressure. The surprise is usually enough to make the dog let go. You can try this with your own dog. But with dogs that you don't know, you'd prefer the owner to hold the dog's head, just in case. I've never seen a dog try to bite, but just in case...
 

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Mostly I look for signs of distress or rising aggression from either dog, then I'll step in and separate them. I rarely get lippy with other people at the dog park, unless something absolutely ridiculous happens, mostly because I understand I'm there at my own risk and dogs will be dogs.
 

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I intervene whenever either my dog or the other dog is not enjoying the play anymore. Tail between legs, that buckling stance where the back is arched, one dog being on the offensive all the time where it's not "dishing it out and getting it" anymore, and defensive yelping of course. Dog flinging other dog doesn't sound like play much; but, I've seen my dog flip another dog to the side (from a standing position to a side lying one), but a second later that dog was on top of mine and then they sped off to chase one another. I watched the other dog closely at that point to see whether I should intervene.

Just today we met with a Boxer pup and Blue and they played rather rough. I intervened the first time I saw that it wasn't "give and take" anymore, meaning the Boxer was almost always on the offense and Blue was more fending him off than playing. So I picked her up, gave them a pause and then we tried again. She yelped a couple of times and that was when the Boxer owner leashed her dog and we kept walking (we were not in a dog park, but a walking area around a pond) and the dogs where fine. Had she not done that I would have stopped walking and her let go ahead or ask her to leash the dog. I would have leashed Blue if it had been the other way around.
 

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Latched on and flung her around like a rag doll? Grabbed her by the neck and wouldn't let go? No, I don't like the sound of that at all. Were the other dogs around you reacting to it at all?

Afterwards, was your dog glued to your hip with her tail tucked for awhile? If not then it might've not been as bad as you thought.

The guy says his dog does that all the time? And he doesn't try to prevent it? Doesn't sound like such a nice guy to me.

If Tucker did that I'd rather somebody forceably remove him, rather than see him causing harm. Course, reaching in to an unknown dog's strke zone is kinda risky.

Yelling at him to take some action, in the heat of the moment, is not across any line. Yelling at him afterwards......maybe, maybe not........probably not, sounds justifiable to me.
 

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Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum! I have a 16 month old black lab/border collie mix (high energy!) and we take her to a local dog park everyday. She has a mild temperament and is skittish around men and German Shepards. I noticed that she was running away from a German Shepard today, and thought nothing of it because I have become accustomed to her dislike of the breed. The German Shepard wrestled with her for a bit then latched onto her neck and flung her around like a ragdoll. My dog doesn't wimper often and maybe this is why the dog did not stop. The owner was really nice and said that her dog does that all the time, but my dog (who is not a small dog) has never been handled like that by another dog. My fiance intervened and told the owner to get her dog off of our dog. He even tried to pry the dog's mouth open to try and unhinge him. After a little battle, the German Shepard released our dog and she seemed scared, but fine. We've never experienced anything of the sort, and were wondering if we crossed a line yelling at the other owner. I don't feel comfortable with that kind of rough play and allow it normally, but today was too much for us to handle. Is this kind of play normal? And what should we do next time?
This is why I don't go to the dog park. My dog plays too rough, and doesn't seem to understand other dog's signals when they have had enough. Not everyone does that though, my other dog was at the other end of the spectrum, and always being bullied by other dogs. The whole thing was just way too counterproductive for either of the dogs.
 
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