Agggggressive at the Dog Park
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  • M

    Hi everyone,
    My name is Mia and I am new to the forum. This is the first time I ever joined. I have a basenji- ZOE and a sheltie mix-Sasha. I got Zoë in Africa, Sasha from the shelter.
    Here is the situation with Zoë…
    At the leash-fee dog park, Zoë is very timid, rarely plays or runs and stays close to me. When other dogs come up to Zoë, he growls and shows his teeth. The hair on his back sometimes goes up. I am embarrassed and I try to explain the nature of a basenji to the dog owners and most of the time we end up getting along.

    To facilitate a less rude interaction between Zoë and the other dogs, I have to establish contact with the other dog first and pet both the other dog and Zoë at simultaneously.

    I am afraid that we will not be able to go to the park any more if he keeps growling at the other dogs and (almost) provokes a fight. However, he is the most obedient and loving dog when we are at home, with friends and with other dog friends

    HElp? advice?

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  • It sounds like Zoe doesn't like the dog park. I wouldn't force him to go. Not every dog wants to be surrounded by stranger dogs. Think about people who don't care to go to bars on a Friday night :) My only other suggestion is to find a dog park where there are times where there are VERY few dogs, so your dogs can run togther…but really, it sounds like Zoe would much rather go for a long leash walk with his own pack.

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  • Where in Africa is he from? And how did you manage to come home with him?

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  • I adopted a 2 yr old german shepherd mix years ago. Although she got along with my B when I brought him home as a puppy, she did not like to be around other dogs. What I thought was very, very agressive behavior on her part I was told by a dog trainer that it was defensive behavior, not aggressive behavior. She wasn't trying to start fights, she was trying to defend herself. The training classes she went through were very, very helpful getting her used to being around other dogs, but she never "liked" or "enjoyed" being around other dogs. My B never liked being around other dogs either. They loved their daily walks together, but I never was able to take them to a dog park.

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  • @miaandzoe:

    However, he is the most obedient and loving dog when we are at home, with friends and with other dog friends

    then I would stick with interacting w/ dogs that he knows. As Quercus stated, it sounds like the dog park isn't the place for Zoe. which is normal! ALOT of dogs do not do well in a dog park. My dog does fairly well, however, I opt to only use the park when it's off peak hours, when only 1 or 2 other dogs are there.

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  • J

    Hollie loves the dog park. However Knoxville only has the ONE park that is off leash all the time and it is getting MORE popular. We use to see the same people/dogs all the time. Lately we don't know ANY of the dogs and I am uncomfortable going. Hollie loves to play, but I am afraid her rough playing will lead to problems. We will go, as Jessi76 said, during off peak times and we walk almost everyday. We do go to playdates at a dog obedience/agility facility and I like it much better because there is a trained "dog professional" there to handle situations and more importantly to help keep them from happening.

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  • How ironic…we're going to take our dog to visit a behaviorist to address this EXACT issue we're having with C3PO. It's good to know we're not alone in that our dog gets very defensive with other dogs (strange or familiar).

    I guess it's a fact we'll have to accept...some dogs just don't like to be around other dogs & that's it. I however,would like it if C3PO could just ignor other dogs while on our walks. I'm not asking him to be friendly just not to go crazy when he sees them even at a distance!

    miaandzoe-I would consider yourself lucky that Zoe at the very least likes to play with dogs she knows :D :D

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  • L

    well - I had the exact opposite situation. My GF and I have 2 basenji's (she has introduced them - Sophie and Stick)

    Both are rescues. Sophie had that exact same set of issues at the dog park. The first time we brought her there she growled for 2 hours straight. She had no socialization. We kept bringing her there and trying. Things slowly got better. These days she wanders around on her own and sometimes plays.

    It took at least 6 months of going before she really played. One important thing was that we watched her very carefully and tried to manage her anger level. If she got to worked up he made sure to defuse the situation. Very quickly, we learned what the difference between her growl and her "Hell-Bitch" growl. These days she growls when playing, so it is a part of her personality.

    At the same time we were bringing a known dog into our home (or going over to his home) in order for Sophie to get some interaction time that was not so intense.

    the comment about it being defensive behavior aligns with our experience. She was most growly when she was close to one of us. As she developed she would start to wander away from us and interact with other dogs. When she got overwhelmed she would retreat to the legs of the nearest person (she always liked interact with the people) and once pressed against some random stranger she would get growly. Def defensive.

    Once we helped her develop to a point where she could kinda interact like a normal dog, we got Stick so she cold have a pack. She is still a bitch, don't get me wrong. But she has come so far.

    I don't know your dog, I just wanted to show that it is possible to get them to be more social if they aren't inclined to be.

    .conal.

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  • Looks2ce-that's a great success story!! It gives many of us with these issues some hope that they can rehab :)

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  • L

    We've got two very popular dog parks within blocks of our house, but it was very humiliating to take Abbey there. She would sometimes let other dogs get close then she'd spring up in their faces and attack. All the other dogs would play and roll and tumble with each other, but she'd be hunkered down waiting to strike. It's not like she doesn't know any other dogs. My son has a 110 lb. rottweiller Mona she has regular playdates with, and she has 2 other good friends, Lola the dachsund and Sanchez the poodle, so she has been socialized. We used to sneak over to the dog park off hours to get in a walk before the other dogs came, but I decided enough was enough one day and we started going every afternoon. She slowly began to let other dogs get closer but she is still unpredictable about who she'll like. Somehow she recognizes that all those other guys are having FUN and she could too if she behaved. She can't be let off leash like the others but she can have a little fun too.

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  • Lenora-how do you keep her on leash while she plays?? Just curious to see if this might work for us.

    thanks for the info!

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