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Hey, question for everyone. I took my two dogs to the dog park today, Monty and Marley. Monty is about a year and a half and has been to the dog park several times. Well today I guess you could say we had a problem. He was playing with a german shepard and as they were running around side by side, Monty was growling and biting at him (This is the first time I have ever heard Monty growl).
I consider this to be playing, as he never actually bit hard enough at the shepard (it was more like nipping) and his tail was up and wagging. The german never acted like he was being attacked, he actually kept coming back to Mont. My two dogs play like this at home all the time and no one has ever gotten hurt. The owner of the german said my dog was attacking hers, so even though I considered it playing, I took them both home right away. Can someone please inform me of "proper" dog playing? I would hate to think Monty was attacking another dog :(
 

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The owner of the german said my dog was attacking hers, so even though I considered it playing, I took them both home right away. Can someone please inform me of "proper" dog playing? I would hate to think Monty was attacking another dog :(
They were playing. No doubt about it. When dogs fight for real, there is no doubt what they are doing. It is a vicious, loud, rough, nasty, bloody thing. It is very evident it is a fight.

Dogs aren't humans and don't play like humans. They have their own rules and they all know the rules. If something gets too rough, one dog will yelp and leave.

Some people are much too protective of their dogs and don't really allow them to be dogs. My dogs used to get VERY rough with each other with lots of growling, snarling, chasing, knocking down but it was all play. They did it every day and loved it. Abby has gotten too old now and doesn't play nearly as much or as rough as she used to. It's a sad thing to watch a dog grow old.
 

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This is EXACTLY why a lot of daycares won't let customers back to the play area. Most pet owners don't know how to tell the difference between playing and aggression because they've not had enough experience.
Keep in mind playing for dogs is generally one of two things: Play fighting, or play hunting. Dogs are usually pretty good at communicating with eachother, and though the dominant or senior of the two may put the other in his place every now and then (Champ definately has put a few on their backs in daycare when he's had enough) it's all their language.
I assure you, if it were a "fight" you'd know it, no mistake. It's a very loud, bloody, vicious event.
Sure Champ grabs dogs by the neck and throws them to the ground, but all in good fun, of course. :rolleyes:
 

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Thank you so much! I thought they were playing too but the owner of the other dog was upset so I just decided to leave. I am now looking into a doggy daycare run by dog trainers (so im sure they know dog playing!) so my boys can still socialize. Thanks again!!
 

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I'm not an advocate of dog parks in any way! I've seen too many people think they can socialize their older dogs at dog parks, when in fact it should have been done in classes like puppy kindergarten. Most people don't want to admit that they have an aggressive dog so they let them go to parks anyway. BIG MISTAKE!!!!!
 

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I see this all the time, people get upset over the dumbest things. It seems to be common with those middle aged women who dress up their chihuahuas and yorkies and push them around in strollers. This one lady brought her obese pug for a dog park in a stroller! it was ridicuous. This one time I came to a dog park and there were couple people with small dogs, the minute they saw me come in, they grabbed their dogs and headed out, I heard one of them whispering " I dont want him to get bitten by that pitbull"... :rolleyes:

Another time this man brought his male dog and all the other males wanted to hump him, he got upset took the dog and left, its probably a big blow to his ego that his dog wasnt manly enough or something.
I think people just humanize animals too much, I'm not saying that animals shouldnt be treated well, but theyre psyche is wired completely different then our own, theyre not babies, theyre dogs.
 
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... I think people just humanize animals too much, I'm not saying that animals shouldnt be treated well, but theyre psyche is wired completely different then our own, theyre not babies, theyre dogs.
I agree with this 100%. Yesterday I took my Lab to a dog swim fundraiser event. There was a lady who dressed up her little dog in a pink 2-piece bathing suit! (Since when do dogs need bathing suits to swim?) Every time a large dog wanted to chase that little dog, she would scoop the dog up in her arms! That only made the large dogs even more curious!

I sat in my chair in the shade, totally relaxed, just watching my Lab run, play, swim, chasing tennis balls in and out of the water, just having a grand time .... and observing other dogs and their owners. I saw a lot of ignorance ... for example, a lady was trying to get her dog to leave because it was time to go home, but the dog refused to budge. She strapped on its leash, but the dog planted his butt firmly on the ground. The lady just stood there, negotiating with the dog! As if the dog was a human and could negotiate or reason with its owner! If it was me with my Lab, a firm clap of the hands and a firm "Let's Go!" while walking away (no leash needed) is all it takes to get him moving. Never negotiate with a dog --- it diminishes the owners' alpha status.
 

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We especially have issues at the dogpark with people not understanding behavior. Shiloh is our wolf hybrid dog...been socialized since she was a puppy and is actually very well behaved (can acutally trust her free roam in the woods!).

Her behavior is so different than normal dogs to people that they think their dogs are going to be attacked by a wild dog. Complete non-sense.

Shiloh usually does a really good job at communicating with other dogs, but its the owners that become scared and anxious about her behavior. They all say "get that aggressive dog outta here!!!" but in all reality she is just playing...growling, nipping, running, chasing. Occasionally it will escalate but we keep a close eye on her (also have her on a radio shock collar, but it only took like 3 times for her to understand what the beep was warning her what is about to come) and immediately assess the situation.

Anxious, scared owners radiate their emotions and feelings on to their pets...which make for anxious and scared dogs in the parks....which leads to a bad situation!

Also, its hard to go to the parks with big dogs...people are automatically scared of them hurting their smaller ones... :(
 
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