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YANKEEBACKHOME's Photo YANKEEBACKHOME Posts: 7,478
5/5/14 2:51 A

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Brilliant, Birgit, thanks!

Mine are on a BARF diet ( Bones And Raw Food); I had no idea it could affect behaviour as well. Makes sense, though, as food certainly affects mine! :)

Thanks for the info!

Hugs to all, from sunny (for the moment, anyway) Central England,
Debb


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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,869
5/5/14 1:17 A

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I agree that there can be a lot of problems with dog parks, one being the lack of different areas for small, medium and large breed dogs. A small dog can easily be mistaken as prey by a larger breed. It is true that people should not generalize breeds as this can lead to nasty surprises. A Chihuahua is capable of biting a child's finger or nose off, scarring them for life.
I also agree that owners are always responsible for their own dogs. Some cases of aggression are very hard to predict. Some breeds are more likely to show aggressive behaviors and/or have less bite inhibition (which refers to the force of the bite, not the bite frequency). Bite inhibition or lack thereof is a very important breed characteristic and not dependent on size. Many Retrievers have a very soft mouth, many bully breeds and Northern breeds have a very hard mouth.
There are cases of aggression that are caused by brain abnormalities and this is not as rare as some people think. This is a kind of aggression that sometimes develops in German Shepherds, but also in other breeds. Stress is another cause of aggression that is more common in German Shepherds and other dogs that prefer a single owner to bond to.
Diet, together with genetic disposition, can have a huge effect on behavior in dogs just like in people. Feeding dogs gluten-grains is a frequent culprit of abnormal brain development that sometimes leads to aggressive behavior. This is not the dogs or the owners fault.
Still, the owner needs to be responsible. I recommend an air horn to my clients instead of pepper spray because it is an effective deterrent without causing blow-back and injury like pepper spray can.
Birgit


Edited by: HOUNDLOVER1 at: 5/5/2014 (01:19)
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FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 13,716
5/4/14 10:17 P

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I see a lot of reports of dogs getting aggressive at dog parks. My last two ACDs I would never have taken to an off-leash park as they were aggressive to other dogs and I would not allow them to get into a position to attack anyone. My cousin thought I should sell my house, but I tols him I needed the yard for the dogs and he let me keep it (he pays mortgage and gets the house if something happens to me). I am glad to have a big yard dogs can run and play in. It just isn't fair for people with aggressive dogs to put other dogs in danger like that.



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MYBULLDOGS's Photo MYBULLDOGS Posts: 9,475
5/4/14 4:57 P

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i keep my babies away from strange dogs. it's not worth the risk

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5/4/14 3:54 P

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I am so glad that here in the wilderness there is lots of area for our two dogs to go and run off energy. When I go to the city I've been tempted to go to the dog park but not any more. It only would take moments to kill or maim our little Chica. She is only a little ball of fluff with an enormous personality. Our big guy could hold his own but why should he have to.

"The world is one country and mankind its citizens" one of the many truths spoken by Baha'u'llah and "Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul."


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LMB-ESQ's Photo LMB-ESQ Posts: 12,186
5/4/14 2:48 P

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I'm glad Cisco didn't get hurt.

You've hit on the chief reason why we don't do dog parks anymore. It's been at least 6 or 7 years since we've visiting a dog park. I agree with everyone else. It's definitely the owners, not the dogs. And any breed can be aggressive, not just the so-called "bully breeds" that tend to be the subject of litigation and breed-specific laws.

I've actually been on both sides of that fence. I've had my own dogs attacked by other dogs, and I had one incident where my dog tried to attack another. We aren't sure why she tried to attack, but you can bet we hustled her out of there ASAP, and we made NO excuses for her. Fortunately we intervened before it blew into a full-fledged dogfight, so neither of them were hurt. I've heard excuse after excuse from irresponsible dog owners who don't understand how to properly handle their dogs, and who don't understand basic doggy body language.

"Oh look, they're getting amorous. Get them a hotel room!" They're not amorous, mounting is dominant aggressive behavior.
"He's just being friendly." Really? Is that why he's got his teeth on that other dog's throat and is holding him down to the ground and growling? Because he wants to be "friends?"
"Sorry, I wasn't paying attention." Ugh... don't socialize at the dog park. Watch your dog!
'He doesn't mean anything by that growl." Growling is a warning. Ignore the warning at your own peril. Next step is biting.
"My baby wouldn't hurt a fly!" Until he does, after he has chased down and snapped and barked at a dozen other dogs.

You get the picture. I finally got tired of it and stopped going. We now have a GSD who tends towards aggression. She's never been to a dog park, and we'll never take her. We know exactly what we have and how to work with her. At home she's as sweet as sugar, but would she attack? I have no idea, but it isn't worth the risk. We simply aren't going to expose her or anyone else to the possibility.

***** Laurie in Northeast Ohio *****

Fortunate are you if you love a dog, for that dog will surely love you.

Fly Free my friend.... for only in true freedom can we find our true selves

Treat stressful situations like a dog... If you can't eat it or play with it, just pee on it and walk away!

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YANKEEBACKHOME's Photo YANKEEBACKHOME Posts: 7,478
5/4/14 11:55 A

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I can certainly understand your discomfort (fear?) around GSDs, but please do keep in mind, you said:

that both incidents were because of GSDs.

but it's not "because of GSDs" - it's because of poorly handled dogs that HAPPENED to be German Shepherds. It could have been Rottweilers, Staffies, or any other type of dog, especially those that have a bad rep. And again, it doesn't mean the breed is bad; it means the owners are irresponsible.

I see people act afraid when they first see my 2, and then (usually) calm down when they see how well-behaved mine are. A local Fedex Delivery guy who's been scared to death of dogs, has actually petted mine and cuddled them! And an in-law who had been bitten as a teen, now enjoys petting my 2 as well.

Please don't tar all GSDs with the same brush. :(

I am truly sorry for you and Cisco, and hope you both can get past the awful traumas.

Debb
XOX

Edited by: YANKEEBACKHOME at: 5/4/2014 (11:57)
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PANFRIEDTROUT's Photo PANFRIEDTROUT Posts: 4,265
5/4/14 11:45 A

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hi everyone

thanks for your responses. fortunately Cisco has so much fur & I and the owners were able to intervene before Cisco got really hurt. I know that most issues can be laid at the owners feet but it just bothered me that both incidents were because of GSDs.

sadly, we have no other place where we can take him to run off all that energy. I have decided tho, to take my camera with me & if he gets attacked again by either of those dogs (which I've only seen there 1x), I will take photos of the dogs as well as their handlers & call the Recreation Dept to report them.



MARIE


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HICKOK-HALEY's Photo HICKOK-HALEY Posts: 42,273
5/4/14 5:59 A

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Good for you HB!!

A dog wags his tail with his heart.

May I always be the kind of person that my dog thinks I am.

Pacific Time Zone

Jeanne


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YANKEEBACKHOME's Photo YANKEEBACKHOME Posts: 7,478
5/4/14 5:08 A

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I have 2 rescued German Shepherds, and neither is aggressive. We go to the many local parks (off lead/leash) and they st ay near me enough.. I throw balls for them, they run to get the balls, and come back to me.

It's the owners, no doubt.

I rescued Shepherds and Rotties when still living in America (I am here in England for nearly 10 yrs now) and none was nasty or mean.

Please don't label them all awful, as it's not the breed. Staffies get that reputation over here a lot.

My female Shepherd was attacked by the same Staffie, two weeks in a row -- the owner should have had that dog on a lead. That said, I reported the incident to the local dog warden; the owner reimbursed me for the vet bill (I threatened her with legal fees, if she didn't pay me back) and now has the dog on a lead.

Grrr I can't stand lousy, irresponsible dog owners.

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3HOURLADY Posts: 1,642
5/4/14 3:00 A

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I agree with Jeanne. I won't take any of my dogs to the dog park. It's not worth the risk. The owners of those German Shepherds have no clue about handling their dogs.

My daughter has encountered predatory dogs on walks with her dogs, and she carries pepper spray now when she goes on walks with them. A lot of people let their dogs run loose, and it's very dangerous. A woman out on a walk with her little dog was attacked by 2 pit bulls that escaped from their yard. My daughter saw what happened, threw dirt at the dogs' faces to stop them, and would have used the pepper spray if necessary. She called 911 to get help for the woman. The owners were some young guys who didn't know they had holes in their back yard fence, and didn't realize their dogs were getting loose.

It's a big responsibility to have a large, protective dog. Unfortunately people get these dogs without understanding this, and tragedies happen.

I hope your dog is recovered from the attack, and you can find a safe way to take it out for exercise.





FANCYQTR's Photo FANCYQTR Posts: 13,716
5/3/14 7:18 P

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So sorry Cisco is getting attacked like that. I don't understand why certain dogs go after other dogs or breed specific attacks happen. It is possible that the GSDs look at Cisco like he is a sheep or something and they need to attack him to get him to move, but they don't seem to be doing a good job at that from your description. My next door neighbor's dog loves playing with just about any dog she meets -- except Cassie, who is (or was before Abby attacked) dog friendly. Abby tried to come through the fence at Cassie and every time she sees her wants to attack, so Cassie now fence fights her. Other ACDs I have had did not like certain breeds (mostly poodles), because an untrimmed poodle looks like sheep to them (which is why the scenario above). Of course, to them the trimmed poodles look funny, so they don't care much for them, either. I have heard that many dogs of certain breeds just don't like dogs of other breeds even though they like all the other breeds they meet. Maybe Birgit could shed more light on that.



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HICKOK-HALEY's Photo HICKOK-HALEY Posts: 42,273
5/3/14 6:52 P

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It's just those particular dogs. Sarge is a Germ Shep mix, and we have never met a dog he didn't like. It sounds like the owners are at fault. A. The owner might be aggressive towards their dog, which makes their dog aggressive. B. If they know their dog is aggressive they have no business taking their dog to the park.
I personally do not like dog parks. You never know if all dogs are vaccinated, and then what you ran into. A dog who has no manners. No breed is a bad breed, the problems are usually owner related. Is there anyone who monitors the dog park? If so, you can put in a complaint. I know of people who's dogs became sick after going to a dog park. Is there another place you can have fun with Cisco and exercise him? Or, if you have friends that you know their dogs are safe, go with them and keep to yourselves away from other dogs. You will have to keep the dogs on a leash, but better then a Vet bill from a dog attack. Wish I could be more encouraging.

Edited by: HICKOK-HALEY at: 5/3/2014 (18:58)
A dog wags his tail with his heart.

May I always be the kind of person that my dog thinks I am.

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Jeanne


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PANFRIEDTROUT's Photo PANFRIEDTROUT Posts: 4,265
5/3/14 5:45 P

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We take Cisco to the dog park 2x weekly where he enjoys playing with any & every dog that is there. Almost all of them have been friendly and all has been well.

However, in the last month, our almost year old Great Pyrenees (who has been neutered) has been attacked by 2 separate German Shepherds. The first time, the offending dog was an intact male over 2 years of age & literally 1/3rd bigger than Cisco.

Today, he was attacked by a female GSD (don't know her age or if she was spayed). In neither circumstances did Cisco approach these dogs ... both times, he was nosing along the fence line when they came up to him & started biting him.

This was NOT "rough puppy play" ... both those dogs were seriously trying to hurt our dog. Not for nothing did Cisco yelp & try to get away from them, despite the other people saying that their dog meant no harm. Really???

Any ideas as to *why* this specific breed is going after him and suggestions for what dh & I can do?

Thanks, Marie



MARIE


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