We took Chester to a dog park last weekend, since he had all his shots we thought it would be a treat for him to be able to run. We’d never been to a dog park before, and were looking forward to a good time for all three dogs. We weren’t there but maybe ten minutes before someone came in with two pit mixes who zeroed in on Chester. By the time I got to them, the one was straddling Chester and had him by the throat while the other was darting in and out. Their owner said it was fine, they were just “playing”, but Chester was yelping and acting otherwise terrified. I told the owner of the other dogs to get his off mine and took Chester out of the park.
Since my daughter was still playing fetch with the other dogs, I took Chester over to the small dog part of the park and asked if he could play there. He had a blast, his hackles went down and he ran and romped like the puppy he is.
I didn’t think more of this (beside swearing off dog parks until he is older) until yesterday when we went to PetSmart to pick out some new toys. There was a woman there with a 12 week old chocolate Lab puppy. We went over to meet them and immediately Chester’s hackles went up and he aggressively pounced on the puppy’s head with growling noises. I put Chester immediately into a down position and waited before letting him up. He then was fine, sniffing the puppy and wagging his tail.
I am concerned that Chester will now be aggressive towards other dogs. We are scheduled to have him neutered this week (he is almost 5 months old now, and our Sheltie is due to come into heat next month). Is this normal behavior? Chester has always been such a baby up until now.
In my opinion, for what it is worth.
Of course, pay attention, and encourage the behaviour you desire, but Checter is growing up. He will go through many phases. He will learn from every interaction. I, and HK, love the dog parks. You will meet all kinds of different dogs, different behaviours. You will both learn. Both will like some other dogs and peeps, and dislike some.
For what this story with worth. HK was truly attacked by another dog, punctures and blood. HK was hesitant about the park afterward for about two weeks, avoided the breed involved for over a month. But she is over it, the DP is one of her favorite places. The other dog had done this before and afterward, she is now banned from the park and has been rehomed.
Hershey Kisses, In charge of getting Ed out to the dog park so that he gets some exercise.
Thank you for replying. I don't want to give up on the dog park, it is really the only place nearby we can let Chester stretch his legs. I believe for now though, we will stick to the small dog side of the park, at least until he gets older.
In the meantime, I have enrolled him in a therapy dog puppy class as well as a puppy play group. I want Chester to get along with other dogs and people, so one day he might be a therapy dog as well. If nothing else though, this will be good for socializing him.
I am sorry to hear about your dog's experience. I do wish people with aggressive dogs would not bring them to the dog park.
ETA: My daughter took Chester back to the dog park today and he had a wonderful time. All the dogs there were pleasant and he ran and romped and came home a tired, tuckered out puppy. I am relieved.
Last edited by mamazano; 04-19-2010 at 05:26 PM.