Our 4.5 y.o. B "Aten" has been lapsing into fluffy puppy nip to chase behavior of late at the off-leash dog park. I thought he had matured past it, but...
I do warn him as I see it building, "Aten: NO!", but he at times can't resist the temptation before I can get to him and leash him.
Today he bumped and rolled (and nipped?) a tiny fluffy who then screamed bloody murder for a minute or more. (Aten has never hurt another dog beyond a nip, never drawing blood or such, and he's never been in a fight or anything close to one.)
Aten immediately moved away from the puppy when it squealed and I gently approached Aten so he wouldn't dodge, and leashed him. I then brought him to a bench, told him he was a bad basenji and started a lengthy time-out.
I had immediately apologized to the owner of the fluffy, who graciously accepted, but then a dog park acquaintance of mine who has a large doberman started going off on my that I was not harsh enough on Aten. I tried to relay that I don't believe in negative reinforcement training beyond maybe pushing him into a sit, but for the doberman owner that was not enough. (And no, likely not enough for a doberman.)
So, now I wonder what training method I should employ in this scenario. I want to avoid shock collar training (don't I?), and I want Aten to be able to enjoy the off-leash park, but there sure are a lot of irresistible little scared white fluffies around of late...
(I have over 20 years of experience with the breed, and Aten is tightly bonded and does get it when verbally chastised and will behave for several days at least after disappointing his master, but lately he's lapsing back into the prey drive when encountering fearful puppies. Very frustrating.)
Any thoughts on training/correction approaches?