We took Charlie, our 5 1/2 month old pup, to the dog park today. For the past month, he's been very good about coming when called (to our delight), but today he met up with a dog that he just would not stop following and sniffing. We called him as usual, but he didn't even lift his head. We tried running the other way while calling him, but to no avail. First, he tried to engage the dog in play, but when that didn't work, he just followed him obsessively with his nose wedged between the other dog's hind legs - in spite of the dog sitting down and snarling at him!! This went on for at least 5 minutes, until the other dog's owner got fed up and we had to carry Charlie away. Any idea what this was about? The other dog was a male terrier-like dog.
I am, by no means, an expert. In fact, if somebody else offers something to contradict me, listen to them. I will just let you know our experience: When we first started taking Booger to the park he was probably about 7 months old. At first, he didn't know what to do, but after the first visit, he quickly became an obsessive sniffer. He only wanted to sniff other dogs, which was a little awkward for us. He wasn't hurting anybody, and no other owners seemed weirded out, so we let him sort it out with the dogs he was sniffing. After the first couple of visits, he wanted to dominate all other dogs, no matter the size. He would find a dog he wanted to hump & obsess until we left the park. We could sometimes distract him, but that didn't always work out. If the other dog held its ground or smacked Booger around, we let them sort it out. We figured as long as Booger wasn't getting hurt, the other dog would tell Booger in his own doggie way "You are NOT dominant." But if the other dog just let Booger hump, we would walk over and remove Booger from the situation if it seemed to bother the other owner. If Booger continued to obsess, we would leave the park & go home. He quickly learned that obsessive humping=going home. We hate to curb his natural behavior, but it was disturbing to others who didn't understand the whole dominance thing.
All this to say, if its a problem, pick him up & remove him from the park & go home. When you're picking him up, use a command to signal going home (I always say, "Booger, we're going home") & if he is anything like our dog, he will learn within 2 or 3 visits.
Again, I stress & emphasize this is just my own personal experience & what we found that works. If anybody else on this forum says we did the wrong thing & just happened to get lucky, listen to them.
Thanks for sharing your experience and suggestions! We were just so surprised that Charlie did not get the message from the other dog's snarls and barks that he did not want to be sniffed! Oh well. We will try your method if this obsessive dog following/sniffing happens again. It should also help Charlie to learn that there are consequences for not coming when called. (When he does come to us at the dog park, he gets a double serving of cheese/hotdog treats )
Our puppy park is a major sniffing festival…for ALL the dogs! Last time out, She-Ra sniffed one dog who pretty much didn't want to be sniffed...thank God Basenjis are fast! That dog must have chased her all over the place before finally giving up!
And in true Basenji form once the dog gave up the chase, where did She-Ra go? Right back to the dog...hoo boy!