Another day at the dog park, and Rocket's the one that starts the fight. This time it was a 7mo Rottie (who was sweet and playful as can be, by the way).
I have figured out that Rocket is very, very territorial about "HIS" ball, and if any dog gets near it then he starts a fight. When I put the ball away, he becomes very territorial about me and doesn't like any other dogs getting near me. It's getting worse. He has done this at PetsMart, too, when another dog approaches me.
Now that our new dog park is open and we go there every weekend, and because the number of people/dogs that go is so small (probably because the park is so new), everyone knows everyone and I think Rocket is getting a bad reputation.
Otherwise, he plays well with dogs when we have play dates and doesn't show any other signs of aggression.
I'm at wit's end. While I'm sure it's a territory thing, I'm not sure what to do to curb it.
Has he been fixed? :-\
Yes, for over a year now. He's 20 mo old.
Don't take his ball to the dog park. It is a bad idea to have any kind of toy in a small space with multiple strange dogs running around. If anything will encourage a fight between otherwise well behaved dogs, it will be toys.
Try taking him without the ball and see how he does.
I am curious as to what you mean by him being territorial and defensive around you? can you describe what he does when another dog comes near?
He gets between me and other dogs. Like when another dog gets too close to me, Rocket comes over, and will either start a fight, or get between us. Not all dogs, but some.Originally Posted by Trickster
I agree with Rosie, don't take anything of his to the park. I'm curious if he's had "formal" socialization classes when he was a pup (Puppy Kindergarten)?
"Each is a creature of Earth and is entitled to reside on it with dignity"
General dog park advice, as others have stated.
Then work on remaining issues if any.
That said, I generally take something with me for toss and retrieve in case no other dogs happen to be there. Stays concealed otherwise. Gets put away if another dog shows up.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Yes, he went through puppy-K through 4 mo of age and obedience training until he was about 9mo old, and I've been taking him in socialization environments on a regular basis since he finished his third set of puppy shots and rabies. He has play dates with a couple of dogs in my neighborhood, and with a couple of my friend's dogs. And we encounter the same dogs on our frequent walks in my neighborhood. He's had consistent socialization opportunities. That's why I can't figure it out.Originally Posted by jzgrlduff
(hey, where did my pictures go?)
Some dogs just cannot handle dogparks.
It could be a maturity issue (at 20 months he is still 'finding his feet' - so to speak) or a personality thing. It could be that he feels threatened by certain dogs and acts upon his fear or uneasiness by retaliation. I don't know if Rocket has been in any fights or scuffles at the dog park previous to showing this behaviour but any experience along those lines could trigger a negative reaction from him towards other dogs.Yes, he went through puppy-K through 4 mo of age and obedience training until he was about 9mo old, and I've been taking him in socialization environments on a regular basis since he finished his third set of puppy shots and rabies. He has play dates with a couple of dogs in my neighborhood, and with a couple of my friend's dogs. And we encounter the same dogs on our frequent walks in my neighborhood. He's had consistent socialization opportunities. That's why I can't figure it out.
Maybe give the dog park a break for a while. Then go back, minus the ball, and see how it goes.