Dog Park Issues

I am having dog park issues with Diego. Before the winter we went to the dog park 2-3 times a week for about 3 months.. park is closed in winter because of the lake in the middle.. now that its open we started going again.. the past two time Diego would be normal playing/sniffing dogs, and then all the sudden he goes up to a random dog who did nothing to him and start growling and showing his teeth and acting like he was going to bite the other dogs neck(not friendly at all, very aggressive).. i had to grab him and pry him away..

the first time i was confused and thought it was just a dog he decided not to like, but the second time (which was on a different trip to the park) i decided no more dog park.. the two dogs he went after did nothing to him, and when he starting going for their neck they tried to get away and went to their owner.. he would not leave them alone until I physically picked him up.. and once i had him leashed he wanted to keep going after the dog.. I am so confused on why he is doing this, i feel like something must be wrong with him! When we went before winter he never had any problems with other dogs (never growled or snarked at a dog).. what could be the issue here??

the only change that has happened since winter is we have a second dog, who he gets along with great.. I'm not going to take him to the dog park anymore, but I'm really confused on why that happened??

I wanted to add something I just thought of.. He has been having less of an appetite lately?? Not really wanting to eat his food and only eating because he doesnt want Meeka to have it.. Any relationship between the two things??

@DiegosMom:

I am having dog park issues with Diego. Before the winter we went to the dog park 2-3 times a week for about 3 months.. park is closed in winter because of the lake in the middle.. now that its open we started going again.. the past two time Diego would be normal playing/sniffing dogs, and then all the sudden he goes up to a random dog who did nothing to him and start growling and showing his teeth and acting like he was going to bite the other dogs neck(not friendly at all, very aggressive).. i had to grab him and pry him away..

the first time i was confused and thought it was just a dog he decided not to like, but the second time (which was on a different trip to the park) i decided no more dog park.. the two dogs he went after did nothing to him, and when he starting going for their neck they tried to get away and went to their owner.. he would not leave them alone until I physically picked him up.. and once i had him leashed he wanted to keep going after the dog.. I am so confused on why he is doing this, i feel like something must be wrong with him! When we went before winter he never had any problems with other dogs (never growled or snarked at a dog).. what could be the issue here??

the only change that has happened since winter is we have a second dog, who he gets along with great.. I'm not going to take him to the dog park anymore, but I'm really confused on why that happened??

I wanted to add something I just thought of.. He has been having less of an appetite lately?? Not really wanting to eat his food and only eating because he doesnt want Meeka to have it.. Any relationship between the two things??

How old is Diego? and I assume he is neutered?…. and I am guessing you take Meeka to the park also? I would guess that maybe because the 2nd one is there, he may be "picking" out a dog that he perceives a possible threat... ? As far as eating, do you feed in crates?.. sounds like the beginning of resourse guarding to me.... and how is his weight? And have you had his Thyroid checked? A full panel? Remember that B's do not always do well in a dog park situation... especially as they age.... or at least that is what I have found... the fact I don't take mine to dog parks ever... adds to the fact that I really would not be able to give an educated opinion, only thoughts...

Pat- Diego is a basenji mix, he is about 3 1/2yo, neutered, he is average weight for his body at 35 pounds (he has been that weight since I got him about 1 1/2 ago) he hasn't had a full panel done.. and yes Meeka is at the park also.. No, I dont feed in crates mainly because both are rescues and dont do well with crates, so i dont even have crates set up in the house.. they are fed on seperate sides of the kitchen and have never had any food issues between them..

I'm mainly worried that the issues at the dog park and not wanting to eat are symptoms of a bigger problem..

@DiegosMom:

Pat- Diego is a basenji mix, he is about 3 1/2yo, neutered, he is average weight for his body at 35 pounds (he has been that weight since I got him about 1 1/2 ago) he hasn't had a full panel done.. and yes Meeka is at the park also.. No, I dont feed in crates mainly because both are rescues and dont do well with crates, so i dont even have crates set up in the house.. they are fed on seperate sides of the kitchen and have never had any food issues between them..

I'm mainly worried that the issues at the dog park and not wanting to eat are symptoms of a bigger problem..

Well as always, first you need to rule out health issues… then move on... If you are not using crates, I would start... or at the very least.. in different rooms.. and if he doesn't eat/finish.. take the food away... remember they will not starve themselves unless very ill... I would have to guess that it might have to do with Meeka... but again that is just a guess.... (what is he a mix with? do you know?)

I can start feeding them seperate.. and I have no clue what he's mixed with.. I posted pics of him when I first joined but I dont know how to put in a link for them?? I really cant decide what I think he could be mixed with, he looks like a big basenji to me!

I would at least start with feeding separate…and also getting a full wellness check up.... and you may need to "fight" with your Vet to be sure that a full Thyroid panel is dont.. ones run with normal bloodwork, at least for Basenjis is not complete enough...

http://www.basenjiforums.com/showthread.php?t=1937

That is where his pictures are. And to me, he looks full basenji. The only thing a bit off is the tail but as we have seen from other members on here, not all of them have tight curls & some can be more bushy than others 🙂

I wish I could help out but I'm not sure how to handle the situation. I can only suggest that you watch The Dog Whisperer since Ceasar addressed dog park aggression in his episode last week. I know many on here do not like his training methods either sooo that may not be any help to you at all!

If I were you I would probably call a trainer local in my area & ask what they think could be the cause or the way in which to make it stop. Good luck!

I think the resource he may be guarding is Meeka, and maybe you too now that he has been with you longer and may feel he is in charge and needs to protect you. I would start at home with some basic obedience, sit for cookies, down for a treat, etc, just a few minutes a day to reinforce that you are in charge, gently. If it is possible go to the park with him alone on a day or time that isn't too busy, or try the small dog side (if there is one) and see how he does. If he plays, or is neutral, give him lots of "good boy" and pets, and try your best to be relaxed as well. They really key off your emotions.."gosh, Mom's nervous and frightened, I better protect her!"…so be all happy and cool, lets go play, etc...but stay close to him and be ready to grab him and leave if he acts aggressive.

Tanza knows more than I do, but if he and Meeka eat well together now, I wouldn't change that , or surely not make it into a big deal. If it is getting hotter, he may just not be as hungry. And a full thyroid panel is in order, a low thyroid can change the personality and make for a very grumpy dog, easily corrected with a pill a day.

Good luck, we have worked through dog park issues over the years and for us, leaving immediately when really bad behavior happens is a start, and lots of praise for good behavior. We are lucky, my dogs have their 'regular' dog pals and so are much more relaxed that when they are there alone.

Good luck!

Anne in Tampa

I think the resource he may be guarding is Meeka, and maybe you too now that he has been with you longer and may feel he is in charge and needs to protect you. I would start at home with some basic obedience, sit for cookies, down for a treat, etc, just a few minutes a day to reinforce that you are in charge, gently. If it is possible go to the park with him alone on a day or time that isn't too busy, or try the small dog side (if there is one) and see how he does. If he plays, or is neutral, give him lots of "good boy" and pets, and try your best to be relaxed as well. They really key off your emotions.."gosh, Mom's nervous and frightened, I better protect her!"…so be all happy and cool, lets go play, etc...but stay close to him and be ready to grab him and leave if he acts aggressive.

Tanza knows more than I do, but if he and Meeka eat well together now, I wouldn't change that , or surely not make it into a big deal. If it is getting hotter, he may just not be as hungry. And a full thyroid panel is in order, a low thyroid can change the personality and make for a very grumpy dog, easily corrected with a pill a day.

Good luck, we have worked through dog park issues over the years and for us, leaving immediately when really bad behavior happens is a start, and lots of praise for good behavior. We are lucky, my dogs have their 'regular' dog pals and so are much more relaxed that when they are there alone.

Good luck!

Anne in Tampa

GGG, Anne in Tampa… believe me,... there are many on here that know way more then me.... especially when it comes to things like dog parks, since I don't go to any with mine....

Hey we had the same thing happen to us on this past Sat. We have taken Trixie for over a month one to two times per week. All of a sudden on Sat. Trixie got an attitude with a dog that was under our table and I had to scoop her up, she was trying to fight the dog and of course once that happened all the other dogs came over to see what was going on. I had Trixie picked up and we left quickly. She would not not stop making her lovely growling and devil noises. It scared a lot of people who were looking at me like what the HECK lady? I could not tell you what happened but we will be taking a little break from the dog park!!

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