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Dog Park Help


Guest cassy
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Heyyy so it's my first time posting and I'm hoping you guys can help.

 

I've had my grey, Cass, for over a year now, and he's been amazing. Besides a small bout of SA when I moved to Manhattan, he's been super well behaved.

 

I usually take him to the dog park near my apartment because it's fairly large and he is friendly with all of the dogs that he meets. I've never had an issue before today and honestly I feel I'm a pretty well informed dog owner, but I have no idea at all what to make of this.

 

Usually when we go to the park he likes to run behind other dogs, as I'm sure most other greyhounds do. When the other dog stops, he also stops and will usually walk away. He never gets physical and does not like when other dogs jump on him. Today when I had him at the park, there was another dog that is also frequently there. Her owner usually plays fetch with her, and Cass loves to run along side dogs that are running after balls. However, this dog is super possessive of her balls, and kind of loses her little dog mind whenever Cass is near her, by running towards him and barking. Cass RARELY barks, but will often bark back at her and kind of bounce around like he thinks they are playing. Anyway, as this was happening, the dog went back to its owner and barked repeatedly which she does every time before he throws the ball. Cass was standing next to them in anticipation of the ball being thrown, when the owner yells at his dog to shut up. The dog doesn't, but jumps around and Cass followed, also hopping around. The man then picked his dog up off of the ground by the scruff of her neck (and this is not a small dog, kind of looks like a border collie and is about that size) and screams SHUT UP in her face. As he was picking up the dog, Cass kind of hopped up and air snapped at her. The man put his dog down and made a motion towards Cass as if he was going to hit him. My friend took Cass (who was just standing there) by the harness and as they were walking back towards me, the man yelled "Your dog tried to bite my dog!"

 

Sorry for the novel, but I'm really shaky and just super unsure of what happened. I don't understand why he would pick his dog up and yell like that, and I know that Cass was not being aggressive and just thought it was part of some game. I'm really upset because everyone at the dog park is friends with him and I feel like they will look at me as a bad dog owner and my dog as a bad dog. I don't want to stop going there because we have never had a problem before and I really enjoy my time there. I guess I just need people who are more experienced to help me figure out what happened and maybe avoid this in the future.

 

I really appreciate any insight.

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Not sure why the guy is mad that your dog "tried to bite" his when he was grabbing it by the scruff AND screaming at it. Seems like he was doing worse things to it than your dog was. Besides that, what was he expecting by picking his dog up? Hold something over a dog's head and chances are they're going to get excited and jump up towards it. He probably air snapped in excitement and thought it was a game, or at worst maybe it triggered a bit of prey drive.

 

My puppy jumps up and air snaps if someone holds a small dog over her head. She wants to play with it so she tries to play bite just like she would normally do when playing with another dog on the ground. Some owners get freaked out by that. I tell them to just put the dog back down on the ground. Of course she's going to jump up if they hold it over her head!

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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I really can't believe he did that to his dog... it really shocked me. I don't think it was prey drive, I think he was playing, but it startled me, especially when the other dog's owner moved towards my dog like he was going to hit him. I left feeling like it was my fault, so I really appreciate your response!

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Guest Clawsandpaws

I agree with Krissy. It sounds like Cass was just over-aroused when the man picked up the dog. My dog air snaps at me all the time. It has never felt aggressive. When I first adopted my grey, I was very concerned about the snapping (he does it when he's happy and he's happy ALL the time. LOL) but my groups vice pres made a great point "If he wanted to bite you, he would." We have worked on training so that Dudley now knows when it is okay to get excited, and when I need him to calm down.

 

 

If this happened to me, I wouldn't say anything to the owner, but if I witnessed him treating his dog like that again (and there were others willing to confirm) I would call the park ranger, police, or whoever is in charge of your local park. There is usually a phone number to call on whatever signs they have. I would try to avoid this guy, him and his dog seem like bad news. I would also try to keep your dog away from his if possible if you have to go when he is there. I have seen people kick/hurt dogs at the park before that they felt was acting aggressively, now that the man has a preconceived notion that yours tried to bite his, he seems like the kind of ** to do that.

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How far away from your dog were you when the man tried to kick your dog?

 

It sounds like air-snapping that greys do when they have something held over their heads but, the other gent would not know that. If you are in the park with your grey, you need to stay closer to your dog so that you can intervene if situations like this happen.

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Simple solution: if it ever happens again advise whoever is accusing your dog of "trying to bite their dog" that if your Grey wanted to bite the dog it would have been bit.

 

Obviously the guy is a complete jerk and should be avoided. He clearly has a problem with how vocal his dog is.

 

You could help your own cause by keeping Cass away from dogs that are uncomfortable being chased.

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Guest grey_dreams

Probably something happened and the guy had a bad day - but instead of processing it rationally, he got aggressive and ugly with his dog just because the dog is a nice outlet for his ugliness that won't talk back to him. Your dog was probably shocked by what was happening and overreacted with the air snap - which could have even been something like a warning to the guy to stop hurting his dog. Glad that your friend got your dog away from the encounter quickly.

 

I would avoid them in the future. I also wouldn't go to the dog park when there are others there (probably hard to do in Manhattan), or at least I wouldn't go when there are more than a couple/few people there.

 

Someone on this board lost her beloved heart dog to a freak accident at a dog park in NYC a few years ago.

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I wasn't too far, in general I try to stick pretty close and I am vigilant when he is running with another dog. In the past I have redirected Cass to do something else when the dog he was running with looked uncomfortable, and I never let him run with any dog that is significantly smaller than him. My friend and I were walking towards Cass and the other dog when this happened because I saw that the other dog was kind of acting possessive of the ball, which is when the guy picked his dog up and Cass snapped.

 

I definitely won't be going back when that guy is there, and there's another dog park a few blocks away that I am going to check out instead. I just really didn't know what to make of what happened.

 

Thanks for everyone's input. :)


The park actually isn't that busy all the time, I live in the part of Manhattan at the top that everyone forgets about. :)

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Someone used to bring in a tiny, baby puppy in the large dog section of my local dog park. She would just stand there and hold it. Then when another dog got close to investigate, she would shout "NO!" and bat them away. Even though my dogs are very appropriate with puppies and small dogs, they were continually going back and forth trying to see what was in this woman's arms. If she would've just set the stupid thing on the ground, I'm sure they would've lost interest in a heartbeat. Putting something above a dog's line of vision makes it ten times more interesting.

 

General rule of thumb. In a public dog park, all dogs should be off-leash, un-muzzled, on the ground, and within verbal control of the owner. And I think it goes without saying that you shouldn't be choking/dragging/abusing your dog either. If this owner can't follow those roles, he's asking for problems.

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Guest WhiteWave

Picking up a dog off the ground at a dog park is a sure fire way of getting your dog attacked. The guy is lucky there were not a lot dogs near his dog when he did that. It is just natural dog behavior.

 

I would avoid this guy and his dog. For some reason I have never had anything but negative experiences with Border Collies and their owners. I do my best to avoid them.

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My first impression is that this man is psychotic and has some deep-seated anger management issues. Avoid him at all costs. He's picking up his own dog and shouting/bellowing at her PLUS he made a motion like he was going to hit your dog!? HUGE. RED. FLAGS. BACK AWAY. DO NOT APPROACH. This isn't even a question of what the dogs were doing, at this point. This man apparently can't control his temper, and that is dangerous, even if it is infrequent--and sometimes that makes it more dangerous because it bottles up and builds and builds until it explodes. You and your dog do not want to be around when that happens.

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Guest Scouts_mom

No one has mentioned the fact that he picked up his dog by the scruff of the neck. No adult dog or cat should be picked up this way. They no longer have the loose skin they had when they were young and serious damage can be done to the dog's neck and back. That said, the guy shouldn't be allowed to own a dog. You have nothing to feel guilty about. I would avoid the park when he is there if you can or if he is there, redirect your dog to other activities. You say that this man is well liked by everyone at the park. I really wonder if that is true or if they just tolerate him. I wonder if he is one of those people who it is easier to just let him babble than try to get away,

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but if I witnessed him treating his dog like that again (and there were others willing to confirm) I would call the park ranger, police, or whoever is in charge of your local park

 

 

I can pretty much promise you that in New York City, dog park conflicts are not going to elicit a lot of law enforcement response.

 

If you don't like someone at the park, or how they act toward you or your dog, probably the best course of action is to leave. Come back when that person isn't there.

 

That guy sounds like a tool, but he didn't do anything illegal, he didn't harm you or your dog. And what he did to his own dog was harsh, but would not be classified as abuse by any SPCA officer.

 

Dog parks can be a lot of fun, and they can also be full of conflict, both human and dog. You've been lucky so far, but one day a dog could easily turn on your Greyhound for that sort of behavior, and because of the thin skin and sparse fur, seriously injure your dog before you can say, "Hey, knock it off." That's why many people on this board advise hound owners to avoid dog parks that are for the general populace. What's just rough play between two Labradors can turn into a visit to the emergency vet with a Greyhound.


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No one has mentioned the fact that he picked up his dog by the scruff of the neck. No adult dog or cat should be picked up this way. They no longer have the loose skin they had when they were young and serious damage can be done to the dog's neck and back. That said, the guy shouldn't be allowed to own a dog. You have nothing to feel guilty about. I would avoid the park when he is there if you can or if he is there, redirect your dog to other activities. You say that this man is well liked by everyone at the park. I really wonder if that is true or if they just tolerate him. I wonder if he is one of those people who it is easier to just let him babble than try to get away,

 

Not to mention that it's not true that mommas pick them up by the loose skin on the neck. I've seen momma cats carry newborn kittens around. They grab the whole neck in their mouth, or rather they gently wrap their teeth around the neck and shoulders. Predators instinctually know how to kill prey: grab by the neck and shake to snap the spine. So when momma predators carry their babies around, they know how NOT to do that to their babies. They make sure they grab them in the way that keeps the neck stabilized.

 

Somewhat off topic, but meant to support your argument that the guy was just a blooming idiot.

 

And to the OP, I also experienced what my Ajax does when I pick up a little dog. He does think it's a game or something and will start snapping at the little's back feet and hiney. It is scary. The littles are actually safer on the ground.

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You say that this man is well liked by everyone at the park. I really wonder if that is true or if they just tolerate him. I wonder if he is one of those people who it is easier to just let him babble than try to get away,

 

You're probably right honestly, I didn't really think of that.

 

 

I can pretty much promise you that in New York City, dog park conflicts are not going to elicit a lot of law enforcement response.

 

Yea I'm not going to call anyone, I'm just going to avoid the situation. The park is one of the largest in the city so I feel confident in having him run around. I should have mentioned that it's not a small graveled area typical of other dog runs in the city. :)

 

Also, I've been wondering if owners who have dogs that are super possessive of balls like that should even be playing fetch. Idk, I mean, it's not a private back yard you know? There's other dogs around and if your dog reacts to any dog in its vicinity when a ball is in sight maybe it's not an appropriate activity. I've been thinking about this haha.

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Also, I've been wondering if owners who have dogs that are super possessive of balls like that should even be playing fetch. Idk, I mean, it's not a private back yard you know? There's other dogs around and if your dog reacts to any dog in its vicinity when a ball is in sight maybe it's not an appropriate activity. I've been thinking about this haha.

 

No, they should not. Some people do it though and we try to avoid that unless we know the dog well and know that it generally doesn't mind sharing. We've also run into some really good owners that take the ball away on their own if other dogs come in or if their dog seems to be getting possessive.

 

Oh, we did have one idiot owner who came in and then gave both her dogs a chew treat (not a long lasting one... they were softer dental chews but they still had to lay down and eat them in several bites). And then she was trying to ward off all the other dogs. Fight waiting to happen. Not sure why anyone would think that was a good idea.

Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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One of the biggest things that will get a dog in trouble at a dog park is overstimulation/excitement. It leads to the obsessive barking, possessiveness, etc. that will often make the dog a target or problem with other dogs, even normally well behaved ones. This guy has probably reinforced his own dog's behaviour thousands of times by throwing (rewarding) the ball every time his dog is obsessive and excited. Then he picks it up and screams at it when it continues the behaviour....talk about mixed messages to the poor dog. :( All I can suggest is to avoid him, people like that never see the wrong in their own actions. Your dog did nothing wrong, picking up an overly excited dog, screaming at it, and putting it in a vulnerable position at the dog park is just asking for a bite or attack.

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For some reason I have never had anything but negative experiences with Border Collies and their owners. I do my best to avoid them.

Me too. There is one who comes to our dog park who will incessantly bark and try to herd my greyhounds. They are a very challenging breed- super high energy and need jobs. I don't see many who would be good 'dog park dogs' except for a few BC mixes.

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One of the biggest things that will get a dog in trouble at a dog park is overstimulation/excitement. It leads to the obsessive barking, possessiveness, etc. that will often make the dog a target or problem with other dogs, even normally well behaved ones. This guy has probably reinforced his own dog's behaviour thousands of times by throwing (rewarding) the ball every time his dog is obsessive and excited. Then he picks it up and screams at it when it continues the behaviour....talk about mixed messages to the poor dog. :( All I can suggest is to avoid him, people like that never see the wrong in their own actions. Your dog did nothing wrong, picking up an overly excited dog, screaming at it, and putting it in a vulnerable position at the dog park is just asking for a bite or attack.

 

Thanks, I appreciate this. I have never seen Cass act as excited around another dog as he was with this one, so what you said makes sense.

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The dog park in our area has some rules that I think are a great idea: no food/treats allowed. They've also said no toys, but that one is pretty much ignored (a lot of people will come in and use the "Chuck-it" to exercise their dogs). That one is probably on the rules so that if there is an incident over a toy that the person who brought in the toy would be at fault and could be fined.

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Guest Scarter55

I frequent dog parks with Lady and it is clear that some people just don't get dogs. Our local dog park has a very good "silent enforcement" process from other owners. If you aren't a good owner or your dog isn't dog park appropriately, you won't be very welcome. One dog actually hurt Lady a little bit, and that seemed to be the last straw for that dog/owner (it was more the owners fault). That dog didn't ever come back.

 

I would definitely encourage you to leave if you see him come. I wouldn't be as worried about his dog, but more worried about him. Whenever I see owners that I don't particularly like (how they treat their dog, if they aren't paying attention, etc) I just leave. Its easier than dealing with a potentially bad situation. And I would have VERY strong words for anyone who threatened to strike my dog based on irrational assumptions. We have a big and little dog section, but always have the little dogs in the big dog area. I've never seen someone pick up their little dog and NOT have dogs get even more interested.

 

Lady has met some collies that she really likes, but they were either owned by or trained by our trainer, and were very well behaved. But collies are herding dogs, and they often try to herd the dogs they play with. This might work with some breeds, but Lady DOES NOT like that. I think she interprets it as getting aggressive and wants to have nothing to do with it.

 

Next time you see him there, maybe you should grab him by teh scruff of his neck and yell in his face.

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Guest GalgoMom

I'm sorry you experienced this :( That sounds very upsetting. I am no expert, but I have heard that if you pick up a small dog (or puppy), that makes them "prey" in the eyes of the pack.

 

I would avoid that man and his dog. If you get to the dog park and they are already there, don't go in. If they show up when you're there, leash up and go.

 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!

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I would definitely encourage you to leave if you see him come. I wouldn't be as worried about his dog, but more worried about him. Whenever I see owners that I don't particularly like (how they treat their dog, if they aren't paying attention, etc) I just leave. Its easier than dealing with a potentially bad situation. And I would have VERY strong words for anyone who threatened to strike my dog based on irrational assumptions. We have a big and little dog section, but always have the little dogs in the big dog area. I've never seen someone pick up their little dog and NOT have dogs get even more interested.

 

I will never understand people that bring little dogs in the large dog section. Once when I was leaving someone was bringing in an IG, and there's ALWAYS fairly large dogs there. Prey drive aside, what if they get underfoot of a running dog? Ugh it drives me crazy.

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I will never understand people that bring little dogs in the large dog section. Once when I was leaving someone was bringing in an IG, and there's ALWAYS fairly large dogs there. Prey drive aside, what if they get underfoot of a running dog? Ugh it drives me crazy.

 

If you ask them, it's because their little one "thinks he/she is a big dog" - it doesn't matter that their little fluffy (or not so fluffy) could be innocently trampled if a bunch of big dogs started playing rough around it and it got underfoot. Or if it decided to try little bossy-britches attitude toward dogs that don't like it and got snapped at (which might not harm a bigger dog, but might do real damage to a tiny).

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