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Old 09-26-2013, 02:57 PM
 
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Karma has begun to make other dogs back off of her at the dog park. I'm trying to sort out why and what to do. This just started last week, and we've been going there regularly, about twice a week or more, for the last couple months. She doesn't bite or anything, but when another dog investigates her or approaches her to meet, after a few seconds she backs the dog off, aggressively.

None of the humans get real upset. We tend to let the dogs scowl at each other for a few seconds and them call them apart. After the third time today, I leashed the dogs and we left.

We bring the Chuckit and a ball, some treats, and Teddy, of course. Could she be guarding any of those things -- or me? We had just come from the vet today when this all happened. She seems just fine physically and is in peak physical shape.

I am looking for suggestions for things to try: taking her on her own, having my husband take her, going to the park without any toys or treats -- any suggestions are welcome. I should point out that she is an absolute doll and very sociable when she is at daycare. And the big variable there is that I am not at daycare with her.

Thanks for any feedback or suggestions.

(Karma is 18 months old, lab-golden mix, 53 pounds, btw, rescued as a stray at 6 months, we adopted her in November when she was 7 months old.)
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
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Is Teddy near Karma when this happens? Artie had a little friend, Cooper. Coop is 14 pounds to Artie's 38. Whenever another dog approached -- and I mean a dog that Artie got along with -- he'd be all snarly. It was obvious that he was taking care of his friend, Cooper, and warding the other dog off.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DawnMTL View Post
Is Teddy near Karma when this happens? Artie had a little friend, Cooper. Coop is 14 pounds to Artie's 38. Whenever another dog approached -- and I mean a dog that Artie got along with -- he'd be all snarly. It was obvious that he was taking care of his friend, Cooper, and warding the other dog off.
Teddy is around, but I haven't taken note of how close. Teddy is a real social butterfly at the park and is all over the place sniffing and greeting other dogs. My husband asked me the same question, and I really don't know what Karma is guarding. We'll have to do some experimenting to figure that out.

By the way, Mr. T. is up to 40 pounds now. He sure doesn't look it to me, but he has put on 8 pounds since August 5 when he was neutered. He still looks real lanky.

(So happy to see you here, Dawn!!)
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:42 PM
 
Location: West Virginia
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Is she Spayed? IF not could be she is comming into heat!
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:25 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post

(So happy to see you here, Dawn!!)
Thank you! It's hard to stay away -- I'd miss you guys. And your dogs all make me happy so...

I got Artie's ashes this evening, so we're having another "Artie and me" moment. It's good to have him home, in any form. There's no emoticon that works for the face that I'm making, though. It's more like this :-\

Anyway. This is not about me, but I wanted to thank you.

About Karma, I'd be interested to know if it's Teddy-related. Is there any time, by some chance, that you'd take Karma to the park without Teddy, just to test it? Oy. As if you'd leave the social butterfly at home.
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:37 PM
 
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Yes, Dawn, we need to separate them for activities now, so they bond more with us individually. One of us will take Karma to the park on her own this weekend. Maybe she is so sweet at daycare because she is w/the larger dogs and Teddy is with the small ones. But at 40 pounds, he might graduate to her weight class soon.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Lafayette, LA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinaMcG View Post
Yes, Dawn, we need to separate them for activities now, so they bond more with us individually. One of us will take Karma to the park on her own this weekend. Maybe she is so sweet at daycare because she is w/the larger dogs and Teddy is with the small ones. But at 40 pounds, he might graduate to her weight class soon.
If she is showing this behavior when you take her to the park, then it should be you who takes her there alone to see what happens. If she is guarding you, then it may show up when you are there with her by herself.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:29 PM
 
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Yeah I'd try all of the above. And I wouldn't take toys since toys cause fights anyway. But I'd try having your husband take her alone first. Just to see if that's the quick answer. You versus him.

Does she react to him more effectively than you? Meaning is he the pack leader in her eyes?

Just randomly I'm guessing she's protective of you. You're in the area when that happened?

Regardless what the trigger is, I'd correct that. By correct I mean having her on a leash and making sure she is calm energy 1) before getting out of the car. 2)Then being calm before entering. 3)Meaning no jumping and excitement. All four feet on the ground and looking UP at his face for direction at the gate. Then walk in calmly. NOt all "Let's go wheeeeee doggieeeees!!!".

If he takes her he can unleash her and see what happens.

With any confusion....I'd keep the leash on and if another dog approaches, and she gets snippy I'd simply stand there and not let her overreact. But don't get BIT!

Other people may disagree but for ME, I'd have her allow the butt sniffing. It'll bring her down a peg. Then she gets to sniff the other one's butt. If she's interested. She may not be and that's another story.

It's so hard to say without seeing it.

If her tail is pointing UP that's excitement and a fight (looking like a fight/target to other dogs). Yes I realize that didn't happen yet.

Tail down is submissive-ish.

Tail in the middle is perfect.

IF the OTHER Dogs are putting their heads on top of her, like her back, or shoulder then they are "at fault" in dog manners. But it sounds like even a sniff is getting her defensive. If she snarls or whatever does the other dog walk away? Then what happens with Karma? What does she do then??

Tell your husb not to get excited if that happens, that makes her more excited, he needs to be authoritarian calm: "hey" and correct her meaning get her focused on HIM and interrupt her being paranoid or whatever she is.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:15 PM
 
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Thanks all, I am printing out this thread! Also, I took the dogs to daycare today and they decided to put Teddy in with the medium dogs, which for some reason, is where they put Karma. I guess they figure 55 pounds is medium! I asked them to watch for any signs of dog aggression from her.
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