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Dog Fight This Morning


Guest ceeboymama
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Guest ceeboymama

about two weeks ago--i've had him for 4 months--i finally found a regular group of dogs/owners at the dog park with whom my 18-month-old rowdy boy can play. except today he provoked a fight with mr. rumbles--an english bulldog--by chomping on his ear too long or hard.

 

mr. rumbles lost his temper and cetus will not back down from a fight.

 

cetus NEEDS the dog park for socializing and off leash running; walks alone are not enough for him. i have several questions i'm hoping members of this board might know the answers to:

 

1) is it too dangerous to risk his playing with mr. rumbles again?

2) i restrained cetus by grabbing his harness and did my best to body block him from mr. rumbles, who kept advancing before his owner could get a hold of him. but this leaves cetus unable to protect himself... is there a better way to defuse these situations?

3) when i perceive cetus crossing a line during play, i tell hem 'gentle' or 'take a break' and then reward hiim with treats; should i be doing something more dramatic?

4) a third dog, an old english sheepdog puppy, was constantly closing in and barking while cetus played with other dogs today; cetus even ran him off at a couple points before resuming play with the other dogs. could that barking have triggered cetus to go too far with mr. rumbles, and in these situations should i simply deny cetus the chance to play?

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Guest Greyt_dog_lover

You dont take a dog with bad manners to a dog park. This is not the place to socialize. He needs to have training and controlled interaction with other dogs until he can learn what is appropriate. Personally I would suggest you take him to obedience classes. In addition I would teach him self-control, one way to do this is the "leave it" command. I hope others will give their ideas, but a dog that instigates fights is not a dog that should be in a dog park.

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Sorry, but you have a disaster in the making going on.

 

Your boy needs some training, and LONG walks. He's not ready for the dog park. He does not "need" to have access to off leash running. It might be easier for YOU to exercise him that way, but until you have way better control of him (and he of himself), it's not appropriate to turn him loose at the park.

 

Continue to do so, and one day he'll "not back down" with the wrong dog and be seriously injured. I assume you understand Greyhound skin is way more fragile than "regular" dog skin?

 

Are you prepared to foot the bill for someone else's vet bills if he causes injury? Your own if he's injured? The lawsuit that will result if someone else tries to break it up and gets bitten? A friend of mine had to go into the high risk homeowner's insurance category after someone tried to separate her dog from his and was bitten. She was awarded $35,000 for her injury. She couldn't even prove it was his dog that bit her instead of her own--but no matter. His dog was one of the dogs, and she had a better lawyer than he did.

 

Dog parks can be lots of fun--or extremely dangerous. Your dog sounds a little bit out of control, and it's just not the right time or place for him.


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And puppies who haven't learned adult-dog manners don't have any place there either, IMO. So, yes, I'm sure the puppy played a role in this problem, from what you describe.

Mary with Jumper Jack (2/17/11) and angels Shane (PA's Busta Rime, 12/10/02 - 10/14/16) and Spencer (Dutch Laser, 11/25/00 - 3/29/13).

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Your dog is a puppy basically and is acting like a puppy. Do I think training classes will help, definitely, but if dogs are going to fight, most of the time you have no choice but to physically break it up by putting yourself at risk for being injured. A lot of dogs, no matter how well trained, don't even hear your voice when they are fighting. I have a young one here in my home and my seniors don't take kindly to her trying to nibble on their ears either. Fortunately she listens to them when they correct her and she will back off. Your boy obviously won't back down so your only choice as I see it is to watch him constantly and be ready to break up any fight caused by his behavior, even while playing or to remove him from the dog park the minute you see he is getting a little out of control. This is the reason why my dogs don't go to the dog park. They have their own back yard to run and play in and they know each other well enough to know when they can and can't push the play a little further.

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Guest ceeboymama

when i wrote that he won't back down from a fight, i did not mean that he won't back down from a correction.

 

he's been going to the dog park nearly every day since i got him. my vet--a greyhound specialist who cared for him before i adopted him--insists that he needs the dog park, and i agree.

 

 

i have specifically sought out a time and place where there is the least amount of activity and dogs that he's gotten to know with whom he can play regularly. i've had several trainers observe him at play and alone and have adopted several of their suggestions. whenever he plays with a new dog, i introduce myself to that dog's owner and explain his age, that he is in a phase where he is still needing to learn from corrections, and offer to redirect him away from their dog if they feel there is any risk or discomfort.

 

this is the first time that a dog he plays with regularly has responded with more than a correction.

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I have a similar problem with Sheba at the offleash large-dog park. She socializes fine when indoors with most other large dogs (not small dogs or cats) and when walked on a leash, but she's an agressive chaser at the dog park and often intimidates or pisses off some dogs being chased and was bitten twice early on in my ownership (not bad bites but expensive vet bills because of thin skin). (She was only 22 months when I adopted her.)

 

How do I handle it?: muzzle all the dogs when there are only greyhounds at the dog park (since other dog owners don't muzzle their dogs); go to the dog park at odd times when no one is there (Sheba is happy chasing a ball and zooming around all on her own and doesn't need other dogs there); or leave when other dogs arrive to avoid any altercation. I also have a play date from time to time with another greyhound owner at her house with fenced-in yard since my fenced-in yard is small, all river rock, stepping stones, and pool/deck, and precludes running around. Works for me.

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If Cetus will not back down from a fight, he does NOT need to be at a dog park, period. He's quickly outgrowing his puppy license, and dogs will be more apt to correct his bad behavior. Which is what Mr Rumbles did, and, if Cetus had backed down, would have been the end of it. But if Cetus starts feeling his oats, and thinking he's a big dog now and doesn't need to back down, and the other dogs get tired of being pestered, you are going to get more of what happened.

 

Also, whether or not you think he should be allowed to play with Mr Rumbles may be a moot point. Your dog instigated a fight that had to be broken up physically. No way in the world would I let my dog play with yours again after that, if I were Rumbles' owner. Partly because your dog has shown that he is an instigator, and why risk my dog's health? And partly because I wouldn't want my dog practicing fighting as a means of putting other dogs in their place. So you may find that the owners who previously let Cetus play with their dogs will now leave when you arrive.

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What they all said above and probably more. My own experience has only been with my one Greyhound, Annie Bella, who I adopted 15 months ago. She will be 5 in November. Pretty much we don't do dog parks unless it's with other Greyhounds and they're muzzled. I wanted to be able to do dog parks. I wanted Annie to have friends. I wanted to see her run and play and I wanted to feel good about it all. That's a lot of "I" reasons, but as a good dog owner, one needs to get beyond "I" and look at it from the point of view, "Is it good for my Greyhound?" with the operative word being "my."

 

Owners 1 and 10 may be able to do dog parks every day at any time. Owners 2 and 4 only when there are five or fewer dogs. Other Greyhounds parents may never be able to take their hounds to a dog park because it is not safe for (1) their own dog and (2) other dogs.

 

I would cut off one of my fingers before I would deliberately put Annie Bella in a situation that could cause her physical harm, and for me -- and I hope for all of us -- that's the bottom line. I think your boy is in danger of serious injury and that is something I hope I never have to have on my conscious with regard to my girl.

 

As far as needing the dog park.....I don't buy it. I suggest your boy's exercise needs be met in ways other than dog parks.

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Guest BrianRke

when i wrote that he won't back down from a fight, i did not mean that he won't back down from a correction.

 

he's been going to the dog park nearly every day since i got him. my vet--a greyhound specialist who cared for him before i adopted him--insists that he needs the dog park, and i agree.

 

 

i have specifically sought out a time and place where there is the least amount of activity and dogs that he's gotten to know with whom he can play regularly. i've had several trainers observe him at play and alone and have adopted several of their suggestions. whenever he plays with a new dog, i introduce myself to that dog's owner and explain his age, that he is in a phase where he is still needing to learn from corrections, and offer to redirect him away from their dog if they feel there is any risk or discomfort.

 

this is the first time that a dog he plays with regularly has responded with more than a correction.

 

You have a lot to learn about greyhounds and apparently your "greyhound specialist" vet does too.

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Guest FreddyGirl

Unless all dogs are muzzled, NO dogs allowed in my backyard! That's it. I have had enough experiences with a tooth on another body= drains, overnight stays and thousands of dollars.

 

PLEASE listen to the good advice given here. We speak from experience, albeit bad ones. Unless all the dogs are muzzled, do NOT go to the dog park.

 

AND, even with muzzles on, bad things can happen.

 

Have you been to the Lexus Project's website and seen why it was developed? If you haven't, it

 

involves a grey named Lexus with a very high prey drive at a dog park and a little dog.

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Guest karilynn

Yeah, I'd have to agree with everybody and say the dog park is a bad idea. I go to one every day with my greyhound and I wish people who had dogs that are even remotely aggressive would not bring their dog. It creates a huge liability on you and it also puts every other dog there in jeopardy. It took me a few months to determine whether or not my boy was a 'dog park dog' because I didn't know him well enough to determine how he would behave. I just don't think your greyhound is ready for the dog park. It could be an age thing, it could be the fact that he hasn't figured out his place in dog world. He needs exercise and socialization, but not from the dog park. There are so many other ways to achieve that. Long walks, for one. You say walks aren't enough? I beg to differ. Maybe he needs mental stimulation. How about dog training?

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Guest giantsfan

I am not going to address the behavior aspect of this because others have done a very good job of covering that. What I wanted to comment on is the "need to go to the dog park". One of our hounds loves to run and does his laps at least once a day. Prior to having our yard fenced in, he had to make due with twice daily walks and the very very rare greyhound playdate at a dog park. I actually didn't realize how much he loved to run until we got the fence, because he seemed perfectly content with his walks. He also met other people and dogs on the walk and was able to socialize in a controlled environment. I think between long walks and training for mental stimulation, you may be able to skip the dog park.

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If you are quite set on him needing to run off leash, maybe you can find a fully fenced ball diamond or soft-floored tennis court to run him in instead? Granted, they all seem to have 'No Dogs' signs, but we just use them on off hours and ensure we clean up after our boy.

Or scout around different neighbourhoods for old outdoor hocker arenas that are now grassy inside the boards.

That way you can avoid potential problems/injuries and he still gets his running fix.

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Guest runner615

@ceeboymama......how about taking your pup to an enclosed field and let Cetus run until he drops? Of course I don't mean drop, literally....but let him run and play and tire himself out without having to bring him to the dog park? Bring a ball, or two, or whatever......play, run with him and enjoy the time together. IMO, I don't particularly care for dog parks....I guess I'm a dog-park-snob. lol Actually, besides lettin Cetus run off his extra energy, it would be a good time to practice some behavioral skills. Sending you good wishes with Cetus and whatver choice/s you make.

 

***brianamac....good post! and, you beat me to it! lol :gh_runner

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An alternative to a dog park would be if there are other greyhound people living near you who have a fenced-in yard for playdates especially if there are some relatively young hounds. All the hounds would be muzzled to prevent problems. Would this be an option for you?


Carol, missing Magic (1/5/01 - 4/15/15) but welcoming Fuzzy's Joy Behar (Joy) into my life on 5/31/15.

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Guest ceeboymama

brian rke,

my greyhound vet is candy lewis...she helps place more than 100 rescued greyhounds in homes annually; her husband runs one of the main greyhound rescue groups in san diego. so i do trust that she knows a great deal about greyhounds. it looks like she just has a different philosophy about greyhounds and dog parks than you do.

 

so do other greyhound activists, such as the ones who bring their greyhounds to meet up with cetus at the same dog park on a semi regular basis. i went to this message board before going to them only because i won't be seeing them for a few days.

 

with my last greyhound, i did extensive online research into the whole 'greyhounds and dog parks' question and was a bit dumbfounded to discover the intensity of diametrically opposed opinions on the subject. java was a little over a year older than cetus when i got him and for the first year i had him was at the dog park on a daily basis. he, like cetus, had a low prey drive--my only criteria when adopting both. in fact, he was fostered in a home where they had two cats before he came to live with me.

 

also like cetus, when i first got him he played a little rough. that toned down over time but never did he harm another dog. Ever. everyone at the dog park knew him, and were always saying what a great dog he was. i was still receiving condolences from people there who'd heard of his death months after his passing.

 

clearly, the topic of dog parks is controversial.

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Guest runner615

clearly, the topic of dog parks is controversial.

 

 

I'm not judging....just saying I"m a snob about dogparks. :nod But I think that's because we have 6 greys between our daughter and us...so we kinda have our very own dog park.....by ourselves. They still get socialization but not with *strangers. lol You're trying to do what's best for your pup....and who can fault you for that? Not me, that's for sure.

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i belonged to a very good obedience club and there were quite a few dogs who suffered intense personality damage from other dogs at dog parks. their owners swear that they won't make that mistake again...physical altercations often lead to deep routed emotional problems which are really difficult to get past w/ reconditioning. why go there???

 

yes, your dog needs to run, BIG TIME! i have a 5 year old male who came to our home at 7 weeks. but perfect his game of soccer, tennis, frisbee in a safe situation and let him blow off steam that way. it's safer- no rips/tears to emotional problems. training uses up lots of energy but i'm all for the 2-3 times a day playing a controlled game of fetch w/ a tennis racket. also bike riding, it works as well. your boy is just building muscle and power- he'll be maturing well into his 3rd year. hone up on those controlled skills and after basic obedience try some agility!

 

better safe than sorry!

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Guest ceeboymama

thanks, runner615.

 

there's a number of responders who, like you, don't sound so harsh and quick to judge. i wish your voices were more prominent in setting the tone for this message board.

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People can come on a bit forcefully here, but it is usually because they have strong, experience-based feelings on the subject. Subtract the emotion from the posts and consider the content. The overwhelming concern is for the safety of you and your hound.

 

I have a sweet-natured girl who loves everyone - I would never take her to a dog park because I don't trust other dogs. When we are able, she and my other grey go to organized greyhound fun runs. My other boy is big and friendly but can be competitive in a play environment, so I wouldn't dream of taking him to a dog park for that reason in addition to the foregoing.

 

In contrast with the dog park, at the fun runs all dogs are muzzled, and the members have been educated on how to watch for and deal with any altercations either preventatively or in progress. That, to me, is a safe environment for my hounds.

 

If you know other greyhound owners locally, you might be able to get together and form an informal group. Even if you live in a city, sometimes you can arrange to have a dedicated greyhound hour on a weekend - I know of a couple of dog parks where I live that do this.

 

There is an excellent article here about greyhound fun runs (this is the group we join when we can):

 

South Simcoe Greyhound Group

 

If you move forward with something like this, I am sure everyone would enjoy hearing about it!

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My first grey loved to run, and we went to dog park 2x daily. There was a mix of dogs there, and we knew which dogs to keep a distance from. Argos was great at sticking up for himself, and I wouldn't trade those days for anything.

 

Bootsy, on the other hand, doesn't particularly care about running or other dogs. So he's perfectly happy with walks and the occasional zoomie.

 

All dogs are different - only you know what is right for your dog. Just be careful not to let any interactions escalate, and you'll be fine. :)

 

That being said, there are a lot more poorly behaved dogs out there than good dogs, and I get increasingly frustrated when I'm places like dog parks and I see how stupid so many owners are and what kind of behavior they think is acceptable. If they pay attention at all.

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Guest karilynn

I think it comes down to "greyhounds and the dog park" because some houndies are high prey drive and shouldn't be there. And most owners do know whether or not their dog is small dog safe enough to go.

 

It comes down to "dogs and the dog park" when a dog is aggressive at the dog park and crosses boundaries, injuring another dog or having the potential to injure another dog.

 

This isn't about your dog being a greyhound at the dog park, this is about your dog being aggressive at the dog park. Aggressive dogs do not belong at the dog park.

 

Sorry if that seems harsh or judgmental to you.

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