Bullied at the dog park

Discussion in 'Labrador behaviour' started by akc, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. akc

    akc Registered Users

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    Our 2.5 year old Lab has been going to the same off-leash dog park his whole life. Lately every single time we go he gets singled out by one or more dominant dogs and 'bullied' (chased, mounted, etc) non-stop.

    He's so submissive he won't fight back (which is good, overall!) so it just goes on and on until we have to rescue him and leave the park. Anyone else have this issue? He's been neutered for over a year so I can't think what all these dogs are suddenly so interested in.
     
  2. Bud Light/Dilly Dilly

    Bud Light/Dilly Dilly Registered Users

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    I would just avoid going to that park. What is the point of going there if he is not comfortable? Take him around other dogs he knows which won't do this to him. Take him to another park where he can be off lead and you can play with him.
     
  3. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    Yes, same has always happened to us, since puppyhood. I don't go to dog parks anymore, only occasionally if it's more of a hiking trail or swimming hole where the dogs have lots of space. She plays only with our friend's and family's dogs and those in our neighbourhood she knows well. We leave any situation right away where she is getting humped or or body checked, which is sure to escalate at some point.
     
  4. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Good advice from @Bud Light/Dilly Dilly and @QuinnM15.

    The is a young Malinois that bullies my 9 year old Lab at the obedience club. I've told the owner to keep his dog away from my girl.
     
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  5. Krisle

    Krisle Registered Users

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    This doesn’t sound like fun for him. I wouldn’t put him in an uncomfortable situation. This has happened to my young female and other dog owner said her dog just wants to play. There is a difference in playing and aggressive bullying. Other dog grabbing the back of her neck and won’t let her up. I stepped in to block so Keera could get away-other dog did it again. I calmly got my dog and left.
     
  6. akc

    akc Registered Users

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    I'm not sure if it's the park's fault. It happens every time with different dogs. We live in a big city so there's always a different group. If we have to stop going to dog parks, that's fine with me, just wondered if it was Lab thing (since many tend to be submissive).
     
  7. akc

    akc Registered Users

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    Yep, we always leave when or if he gets uncomfortable, especially if the other owners aren't paying attention - that's the trouble, since he used to enjoy the park so much. I'm just wondering what has changed all of a sudden.
     
  8. akc

    akc Registered Users

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    Thanks for your reply! I'm thinking we'll need to stop taking him to dog parks as well - which, honestly, is fine with me! Interesting to hear that it's been an ongoing thing for your dog, too.
     
  9. Bud Light/Dilly Dilly

    Bud Light/Dilly Dilly Registered Users

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    Personally, I just don't like the idea of off leash dog parks in which I don't know the dogs or the owners of the dogs. I understand there always may be different groups of dogs there, but that doesn't make the bullying ok, even if your dog is submissive. Those owners should stop their dog's behavior once they see that your dog is not enjoying himself. Do you have any friends with dogs that he can play with that don't exhibit the bullying behavior?

    I mainly try to associate my dog only with dogs he knows and who I know will safely play with him.
     
  10. QuinnM15

    QuinnM15 Registered Users

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    This is the main problem, really!
     
  11. Michael A Brooks

    Michael A Brooks Registered Users

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    Indeed, other owners are not working and playing with their dogs. They think that just letting the dog run loose is high-value dog interaction.
     
  12. Ski-Patroller

    Ski-Patroller Cooper, Terminally Cute

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    Cooper does not bully other dogs at the park, but she may run over one, in her quest for her ball. She is not aggressive about it, but she is very competitive. She is neither submissive or aggressive, but she has been known to take umbrage at another dog that repeatedly tried to mount her.

    Cooper is mostly preoccupied with retrieving when she goes to the park, but sometimes she really plays with other dogs. Tilly mostly just walks around, though she will play catch if Cooper is far enough away to not run her over. I would not go to a dog park if my dogs were picked on, but they aren't. We don't go to dog parks much, because our dogs have good recall, and we can let them loose if we have a big open area. We mostly go to dog parks when we are with our neighbors Sammies, since they won't let them off lead unless the area is closed.
     
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  13. Jo Laurens

    Jo Laurens Registered Users

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    Unfortunately, neutered males can often smell like a bitch coming into season...

    Another reason to reconsider neutering...
     
  14. soberbyker

    soberbyker Registered Users

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    Yes, similar experience here with my Zeke, a now 3 year old intact male. Zeke's a lover not a fighter and if another dog shows dominance he'll allow it. The off leash park I took him to a lot in his early learning years was very important for him and I to gain trust of one another, but as you suggest when other dogs are around they want to bully him, and their owners claim "They are just being dogs".

    Well my solution was to go to the park very early in the morning, sometimes just before dawn, when no one else was there and the experience turned back into a learning one. Today Zeke doesn't go to dog parks. We do go to people parks and may run into another dog which normally turns out fine because I've found people with dogs outside of dog parks are more attentive of their animal and it's behavior. There are a few regulars that Zeke gets along with splendidly and he looks forward to playing with them for a bit, then it's back to me and his favorite ball, even if the other dog is still around.

    I want Zeke to enjoy his life and even though it seems as if he doesn't mind being bullied it bothers me and I don't take him places where either of us will be tense.

    He's a great dog, those early years were important. He and I can walk most places off leash and he doesn't stray from my side. He sits with me at home and I constantly praise and touch him in a caring way, we play often inside and out. I hope that my care is enough for his needs and he does live with another dog and 4 cats.
     
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  15. Roger

    Roger Registered Users

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    Our Roger is a very submissive 18 months lab. Same thing happened to him in a dog park, he was bullied on couple of occasions and even got bitten once! And of course that was the last time we went there.
    He’s just very playful and loving! Always very excited and trustworthy. He learned his lesson and now if he sees a dog that starts being agressive towards him he runs away. (Before he would still be wagging his tail and trying to say hello!). Again some dogs owners are just oblivious and don’t pay any attention to their dog which upsets me a lot as Roger wouldn’t hurt or even growl at anyone!
    Like others suggested I would just stop going to the dog park. Roger still goes to the woods, beach and people’s parks and he enjoys meeting some of the dogs but it’s my husband that gets to fight his battles most of the time unfortunately.
     
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  16. R Lewis

    R Lewis Registered Users

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    Aw, I hate seeing the bullying. I stopped going to the parks because it was a rough-play/bullying melee the last time we were there. Not with my Mira, but with this other group that was just swirling around one or two dogs. I got the feeling the mood could shift at any moment. Plus, I think Mira got conjunctivitis from this weird little pit mix she was playing with. I found that dog's demeanor a little suspicious as well. Too much of a risk, really.
     

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