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Old 10-28-2009, 05:36 PM
 
Location: Durm
5,850 posts, read 8,793,826 times
Reputation: 6572

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Well, something really disturbing happened at my dog park today involving my own dog, a medium sized mixed breed with mega prey drive toward cats and squirrels. We were there for about an hour in the large dog side, everything was fine - my dog and many others were vocal in their play but everyone was getting along fine.

Then someone came in with their large dog and little tiny dog - not sure what kind it was but it was long haired, adorable, and the size of a cat. My dog has never shown aggression toward a small dog before and usually loves them, but after rough play and knowing how small this dog was I still was uneasy about it. Well it was like she read my mind because in an instant she was over the dog, pinned her to the ground and stared down at her. The little dog was terrified and yelped, and as I called my dog off she growled at the little dog, so I pulled her off by her back legs and hoped the other owner would come over and get her dog (I couldn't do both - she did but it took a few minutes).

So of course we left immediately after establishing that there was no bite (I wasn't sure in the heat of the moment). I felt horrible. Sure she shouldn't have had the tiny dog there but still I don't like that my dog did that...at ALL.

I wonder how to handle this sort of situation in the future - would some training help her? I will immediately leave the park if I see a tiny dog there but this happened so fast it was like I didn't even have time to get her out of there.

Also my dog had surgery a month ago and ever since her behavior has really been very odd.

I need a yard....
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:45 PM
 
Location: "The Sunshine State"
4,334 posts, read 12,200,741 times
Reputation: 3010
This is why I am not a fan of dog parks!
Most have or should have a separate area for small dogs. I feel they should not be mixed. I know I would not put my 8lb Chihuahua in a dog park with big dogs.
Glad to hear nothing happened to that little dog and everything was fine.
I would keep an eye on your dog and maybe forget about the dog park for a while. Too many irresponsible people put their dogs in there. I have heard of people with aggressive dog/dogs putting their dogs in dog parks.
Plus you never know what dog had what shots and if it may be sick and give something to other dogs like kennel cough or now this flu that is going around in dogs.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Durm
5,850 posts, read 8,793,826 times
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Yeah the failure to follow the rules or be responsible drives me nuts. I usually love taking her there but you just never know. I want to call my vet too and find out what she thinks of this post-surgery behavior change (anal gland removal...didn't want to, it was a must). Actually I think my dog was so much calmer pre-surgery because she wasn't feeling well, she's kind of back to the personality when I first adopted her.

Anyway, as I was getting the leash on my dog another dog owner (who had a rottie there) told the little dog's owner that she really shouldn't have her dog on that side. I was glad someone else said it and I didn't have to. The other owner was in a bind as it was just her with one big dog and one small dog, but there are two other areas that can be used privately. It really puts the little dog at risk. This doesn't absolve my dog of any blame though, she was in the wrong.

Then as we left someone came in with a dog who is so aggressive there that she's been reported, and on Sunday she went after two dogs while I was there (and I heard four prior to my arrival).

So, I might need to find another exercise solution that would enable her to really run...not liking this situation at all...
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Old 10-28-2009, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Phoenix
354 posts, read 1,085,279 times
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It is all on the small dog owner for bringing the toy dog on the big dog side. If your dog thought it was prey it would have grabbed it and shook it like a rat and that would have been horrible. Just pinning and dominating it while not desirable behavour is not so dire. Some little dogs have napoleon complexes and do quite well but you get those poor animals that get scared and run around make sounds like a squeaky toy and what do they expect will happen?
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Old 10-29-2009, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Living on 10 acres in Oklahoma
1,188 posts, read 4,950,889 times
Reputation: 1189
I've been in your exact shoes. My dog has never bit another dog, but has pinned and growled. My border collie mix LOVES to chase anything small that runs from her and especially if they squeak. We even have two house cats, but they have learned to stand their ground and she gets bored and walks away. Thankfully, she just plays tag with her paw...but if the a little dog throws attitude her way b/c the little dog is scared, she will pin the little dog. We no longer go to the dog parks b/c there is always some dog owner breaking the rules. I would get upset when a small dog owner would take attitude with me and ask me to have my dog stop chasing their little dog when they were in fact in the large dog section. My dog is fine with little dogs as long as the little dogs are okay with big dogs. But in our experience these little dogs would get spooked and run...which would result in a chase. We did go ahead and enroll our dog in obedidence courses just to make sure that her bx did carry over into other situations with other dogs she met...and now she is a certified pet therapy dog.

Your dog is probably not feeling 100% better yet either. I know after our dog had acl repair and was isolated to the house for months...when we finally took her back around other dogs she was completely ampted up and in a sense lost her manners. We had to help her remember her rules and things eventually calmed down and she returned to presurgery bx.
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:32 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 6,884,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Searcher521 View Post
It is all on the small dog owner for bringing the toy dog on the big dog side.
A statement that entirely does NOTHING. For anyone.

Fact: you've seen an undesirable behaviour in your dog.
Fact: the only way to change/modify canine behaviour is through training (e.g. behaviour modification).

IMHO, a revisit with the vet is in order. A personality change is a reliable indicator there's something amiss - it might be physical, it might be on a more "emotional" plane. Due to the fact the dog's recently had surgery, he/she needs to be rechecked to first and foremost.

I can't help but wonder if the fact of the type of surgery she had doesn't play a role. I don't know enough about anal gland removal but I wonder if it has changed her scent - even if by absence. I can see where that would result in confusion/anxiety and perhaps a loss of confidence which could also explain why she went on the offensive. (There's also the "pack mentality" angle to consider). Still, have a good talk to your vet (bearing in mind vets are not behaviour experts) and if at the end of that you still don't feel satisfied, give a trainer/behaviourist a call.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Durm
5,850 posts, read 8,793,826 times
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Fivehorses, I am the original poster with the problem however I am not the person who posted that it was all on the small dog's owner. I in fact SAID it was my dog's fault.

I asked my vet about this exact scent issue prior to the surgery (actually I asked both her and the surgeon) and they both felt that it wouldn't be an issue. I don't know if it is or not but I do want to ask again. I am concerned that this is the problem as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveHorses View Post
A statement that entirely does NOTHING. For anyone.

Fact: you've seen an undesirable behaviour in your dog.
Fact: the only way to change/modify canine behaviour is through training (e.g. behaviour modification).

IMHO, a revisit with the vet is in order. A personality change is a reliable indicator there's something amiss - it might be physical, it might be on a more "emotional" plane. Due to the fact the dog's recently had surgery, he/she needs to be rechecked to first and foremost.

I can't help but wonder if the fact of the type of surgery she had doesn't play a role. I don't know enough about anal gland removal but I wonder if it has changed her scent - even if by absence. I can see where that would result in confusion/anxiety and perhaps a loss of confidence which could also explain why she went on the offensive. (There's also the "pack mentality" angle to consider). Still, have a good talk to your vet (bearing in mind vets are not behaviour experts) and if at the end of that you still don't feel satisfied, give a trainer/behaviourist a call.
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Old 10-29-2009, 02:04 PM
 
1,688 posts, read 6,884,939 times
Reputation: 1988
Quote:
Originally Posted by NorasMom View Post
Fivehorses, I am the original poster with the problem however I am not the person who posted that it was all on the small dog's owner. I in fact SAID it was my dog's fault.

I asked my vet about this exact scent issue prior to the surgery (actually I asked both her and the surgeon) and they both felt that it wouldn't be an issue. I don't know if it is or not but I do want to ask again. I am concerned that this is the problem as well.
My quip was aimed at the poster who thought pointing fingers was helpful, not at you.

As for the part I highlighted... I wonder on what basis they said that? To me, it's not entirely logical from a canine-behaviour point of view - i.e. why would a dog NOT react to the fact that - Holy Crap! I woke up this morning and my poop smells different! Is that my poop? I just pooped it, so it must be my poop, but it doesn't smell like my poop. Did another dog poop here? Whose poop is this poop? I'm sooo confused! - kinda thing going on. (Sorry, I got carried away there. )

In view of the personality changes you've seen - really regardless of cause - perhaps some confidence building exercises are in order. It sounds as if she'd benefit from them. Or to put it another way.... it can't hurt.
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Durm
5,850 posts, read 8,793,826 times
Reputation: 6572
Quote:
Originally Posted by FiveHorses View Post
As for the part I highlighted... I wonder on what basis they said that? To me, it's not entirely logical from a canine-behaviour point of view - i.e. why would a dog NOT react to the fact that - Holy Crap! I woke up this morning and my poop smells different! Is that my poop? I just pooped it, so it must be my poop, but it doesn't smell like my poop. Did another dog poop here? Whose poop is this poop? I'm sooo confused! - kinda thing going on. (Sorry, I got carried away there. )
LOL! Well in truth she wasn't expressing her anal glands anyway so her poop probably didn't smell like them - but I'm very curious! The other dogs aren't acting any differently toward my dog - that was actually my biggest fear, if they sniffed her back there and there was nothing going on, what would they think!
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Old 10-31-2009, 05:10 AM
 
Location: Durm
5,850 posts, read 8,793,826 times
Reputation: 6572
I just realized it was a Japanese Chin - sweet little doggie, too tiny for the large dog park - but I'm keeping my dog away from tiny little guys...
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