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I was at the park last weekend. Tobi and I were minding our own business when a bigger dog, rottweiler, came up and pinned him down and barked at his face for a good minute. I've met the owner and rottweiler a few times on our walks and he used to greet us very nicely before. He's a very social and well behaved dog.

Thankfully, Tobi knew the rules of "doggie socialization" so he just looked away and took it. I didn't want the rottweiler to get more angry so I stepped aside and let them settle it themselves. I also told the rottweiler's owner to back off unless they started fighting/biting. (This is so the rottie didn't snap at us or bite us) The rottweiler then got off Tobi and continued on with his owner's constant "sorry!"s. Maybe the rottweiler was having an off day?

Of course, I was worried if Tobi was traumatized by it, but he's been his usual goofy self since then.

Today, I went to the same park again and the rottweiler was just around the corner. As what I can tell from Tobi's body language, he wasn't scared. He just laid down..tail and ears relaxed, not shivering, just casually waiting until the rottweiler passed by. The rottweiler was being his usual nice self so I told Tobi to "come on" to continue our walk, but he wouldn't get up until the rottweiler and his owner went around us.

Did I handle the "argument" they had correctly? I don't want Tobi feeling that I can't protect him :/

Tobi is about 1 year old and the rottweiler is maybe 2-3
 

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Tobi may feel like you can't or won't protect him. Submitting like he did is the proper thing to do among dogs, it sounds like Tobi has good manners. I understand not wanting to be bitten by a rottie, but I would have stepped in. I do get between my dog and dogs running up to him on walks or dogs getting aggressive at the park. Mostly because dog aggressive dogs aren't usually human aggressive, so I'm not risking that much, but, yeah, I'd rather get bitten than have my dog bitten.
 

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He was essentially respecting the Rottweiler by lying down and not moving. I know one dog that will slow down and walk in the very back of everyone just because my dog walks into the picture, even without him showing dominance, but he has a very dominant presence, so the dog goes to the back because he's insecure.
I think you made the mistake of just letting them settle it, as humans we are supposed to control every single situation, it is how dogs keep trust in us. So, in a way, by you standing by and not doing anything, it's like saying "I'm more submissive than the Rottweiler because I'm not willing to go there and challenge his dominance"
I've known my dog to instantly take control of a situation if I'm not in the right state of mind. One time, I was having an off-day and I was nervous about this dog approaching us, rather than doing what I usually do, I panic a bit and my dog picks up on it and starts barking and growling at the other dog, despite him never growling when I am in control. So it's very possible your dog feels you can't protect him.
I would never let my dog dominate by pinning another dog and I wouldn't let another dog dominate by pinning my dog, I am always in control, even if the other dog's owner isn't.

guitarguy said:
What is your method for physically doing this?
For serious confrontations between dogs at the dog park, I will go in and grab both dogs by their collars, and if one doesn't have a collar, I'll scruff them. I wouldn't recommend this for everyone, I do it because I have no fear going in, I'm pretty sure most people will be a little nervous about two dogs about to fight.
For smaller confrontations, it's as simple as going inbetween and saying "HEY" and they chill out.
On walks, I usually carry a stick and if a dog is approaching then I'll stop, tell my dog to sit. Then I will block the dog from getting closer with the stick, and I'll yell if I need to.
In the situation in OP's post, I would have gone in and grabbed the Rottweiler and pulled him off. If he tries to bite, well that's why I have him by the collar, pull up and choke until he stops. It's not pretty but I'd rather the dog choke for a few seconds then him actually connect with my skin, someone could report it and have him put down.
 

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I think you did the right thing, b/c if the Rottie had wanted to do damage, he could have done it faster than you could have reacted ... in this case.

If another dog snarks or 'brutalizes' my dog, then I just let it happen, b/c I can only escalate the situation. However, when loose dogs rush in, or when physically weak owners let their dogs pull them towards my dog - aggressively, I will physically grab the collar and throw the dog a few feet away. I know that's not an option for most people and owners really aren't happy for me to "hulk" on their dogs, but once a dog gets close enough to bite, then bloodshed or worse is a real possibility. And, I want both the owner and the dog to understand clearly that I won't stand around for that possibility with my dog.

BTW, if I had a fear that this would happen more than 3 or 4 times in a decade, I wouldn't carry a weapon, I'd carry an airhorn!
 

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Was it really a whole minute that he was held down for? That seems like a long time to be pinned, if the owner was right there, and it was truly aggressive, he should have pulled his dog off. If the owner didn't do anything I probably would have grabbed the dog by the collar. I don't think that it's something that you really have to worry about though. It kind of seems like the dog just wanted to show his dominance, and your dog accepted, which is fine.

Bella has been pinned by the neck by two different Border Collies. One of them I knew well and it was a correction so I let it happen. The other was unprovoked so I pulled the dog off of her. Now every time Bella sees that Border Collie that corrected her she runs up to her and COWERS at her feet in submission. It's actually funny because she is actually happy to see the dog but she knows she needs to show her submission at the same time. I don't see anything wrong with it.
 

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Well I must have been a weird duck, I never wanted my own personal dogs to hurt another dog and definitely never wanted another dog to hurt mine. I settled all possible arguments.

This also carried over to clients dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It may have seemed like a full minute, but it probably was less since things like that make it feel long.
The other owner was probably more panicked than I was (although I understand for liability purposes). The rottie just pinned Tobi after they sniffed each other so it wasn't a charged attack either, maybe Tobi sniffed wrong and it WAS a correction. I did feel that if I didn't let the rottie do it then (like if we pulled him off or something), he would try to do it again the next time. I'm probably wrong there though.

Thanks for the replies, I now know what to do for situations like this :)
If it happens next time, I wont stop the owner to pull his dog off haha
 
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