I am just sick about this.  We took Sophie to visit with the breeder and she was attacke by 3 of the dogs.  Luckily she want hurt not cuts or blood (except one of my fingers got it a little).  I am just so worried that this will cause Sophie to now be afraid or not like other dogs.  Prior to this she loved to meet new dogs, and has several buddies in the neighbor hood that we meet when we go on our walks.  Is there anything I need to do to hopefully prevent any fear she may now have?  I have no idea what even happened it all happened so fast. they were all together sniffing each other and the next thing I know Sophie was pinned to the ground by one and the other 2 joined it.  And no it was not playing.  Sophie was screaming and I just panicked and tried to get them off of her.  Any input would be most greatful.  I wish I would have left well enough alone and not even  had taken her there.  I feel so bad I put her through that and so hope she isnt scared by it.

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Sorry to hear that you & Sophie had such a bad experience. I will have to let the more experienced dog people on here give you guidance, and I hope that Sophie is OK.

What did the breeder say? At this point I would go out of your way to pair her up with a dog she knows and likes a couple times so she has a better association. If the other dogs were older and did not draw blood, they were just being brats not actually trying to injure her. I do not love doggy play time with too many strange dogs. Things can quickly get nasty. Hope she is OK.

Keep her on a leash, and take her around friendly dogs (also on a leash) as much as you can.  Praise highly when Sophie acts appropriately, and "ssh" a growl or stare down.  Keep them short at first to make it a positive experience, and gradually work up to longer periods until she is back to normal.  Hopefully it won't scar her mentally, but start right away so her fear doesn't get set in.  For example:  We adopted a newfoundland mix on Friday, and Jackson is scared to death of him.  Total fear aggression.  Anytime Duke gets near him, he growls and lunges at him.  Duke is so laid back it doesn't faze him, he just wants to play.  So we are keeping them separated right now in different rooms, and periodically taking them both out in the yard on leashes, and walking them around each other in short periods with lots of praise for Jackson when he doesn't growl. Tonight we actually had good progress.  I'm thinking another two-three days and they should be good.  So it's possible, just have to be patient, understanding and loving, and it will work!

First YOU need to get over this scary experience.  If you have fears for Sophie, she will pick that up from you.  Take her out as you did before and act no different than you did before and, chances are, she'll do the same.  It was just an incident and Sophie will not be playing it back in her mind over and over, so she can move on from it quicker than you can.  I would, obviously, not take her back to the breeder.....

Yes I know I have to get over this more than Sophie, it really freaked me out.  We went on our usual neighborhood walk and ran into 3 of her neighborhood buddies and she was fine with them, acted as she normally does, so hopefully it didnt do any mental damage.  And we definately will not be going back to mean her OLD FAMILY. 


Don't let Sophie sniff the other dogs? Our trainers discourage sniffing because it can provoke fights, we were told it's not so much greeting, but being nosey ( I never knew this until we started obedience class, and I'm only relaying information I was told lol) The same as if some random person came up and starts hugging you.
I'm glad she's ok though!! 

You  might check out Joanna Kimball's blog (BlacksheepCardigans.com?).  She has an interesting discussion somewhere about this sort of thing.  An ordinary "dog conversation"  can look really vicious to us.  The situation might be much more complicated than you realize -- this was at a breeder's?  on the other dogs' turf?  your dog was there as a visitor, perhaps seen as an 'interloper' or 'intruder' by the others?  If there was no blood shed or damage done, there was probably none intended; the others may have been defending their turf and pack order, or something like that.  If your dog wasn't bleeding, the attackers probably had their bite-inhibition working, and this was more ritual than actual combat.

There is some art to introducing dogs, I think.  There's turf, pack hierarchy, that stuff.  That's why dog parks can be problematic -- a bunch of strangers who haven't worked out the dominance hierarchy, thrown together.

When Ralphie was a 6 month old pup he got bullied and "attacked" quite a bit and fortunately he still grew up to be a super social playful dog (he is a little over 1 now).  I was very worried that every time we took him to the park and he had a traumatizing experience he would become aggressive or anti social.  It happened a lot.  I tried really hard to keep boosting his confidence, going to obedience class,  lots of positive reinforcement, treats, tricks, played w/ him and took him to parks where I knew the other dogs (it helps when the dogs are similar age or size I thought bc they tend to play very well). There were a few instances when he kept getting "attacked" and I think it was two main things 1) his age or maybe his insecurities?, other dogs could sense it and he got "dominated", they wanted to show who is boss.  eventually as he gained more confidence the other dogs now seem to be fine w/ him and he hasn't had any other instances of attacks or bullying in the past couple of months and its been great.  He does fear huskies from time to time but sometimes plays w/ them as well probably depending on the husky. 2)when he had an injured paw for some reason he got lunged and barked at for that whole week by several different dogs in one day (maybe the dogs sensed his weakness??)  ,  Anyway just wanted to give my 2 cents because I had the same concerns and was traumatized myself but Ralphie really turned out fine.  I also try to never let him be scared...  like if he is scared of xyz, I put it away.  Right after he got in one of those "fights" I would make sure he was mentally okay by getting him into a fun mode (play w/ him, pet him, talk to him in a happy higher pitched voice etc ) this is what our trainer taught us.  And also, what I thought was aggression sometimes, really wasn't.   So when ralphie first started growling and showing teeth and nipping other dogs, I was worried that he was picking these things up from the dog "fights" but I learned it was completely normal and they are just wrestling.  It took me awhile to figure out what was going on, what was a warning pin attack etc.  This forum helped me a lot in terms of what to watch for and one of the members was right, if they want to draw blood they will.  The rest of the time it's putting dogs in their place etc. I see it happen a lot to puppies at the park.  When a puppy comes in or is insecure, the dogs all want to pin him or chase him.  Even Ralphie is now doing some of the pinning which I'm not proud of so I definitely try to get him away from the poor little puppies.  Good luck!  

I beg to disagree.  Growling and showing teeth is always the signal that a bite will be the next phase of escalation.  The dog may or may not decide to escalate, for whatever reason, but that display is definitely not an invitation to play. The bite that follows continued provocation can be an "inhibited bite" ( i.e. a warning bite that does not break skin ) or a full fledged, severe attack, or anything in between, depending on the dog and the situation, but you ignore it at your risk. Pinning can also cause a fight, if the dog pinned decides to not submit.  Dogs that know each other and have formed a bond will often agree to take turns pinning each other in play, but this form of play is NEVER accompanied by either growling or showing of teeth.

Mine growl and show teeth all the time when they play-fight.   And yes, it's definitely play.  Just like dogs will growl when they play tug, many dogs will growl when they play-fight.

There are different kinds of teeth-showing.  Usually if the back teeth are showing the dog is "grinning" and pretending to be ferocious.  If the lips pucker forward so only the front teeth show, that's a agonistic pucker and means trouble. 


And some dogs "smile" and bare teeth when they are happy/ excited. 

Yes some dogs smile and they don't growl when they do, and dogs will growl when playing tug of war. There are all shades of dog behavior and some people are more adept at interpreting them than others. I remain of the opinion that growling and showing teeth, especially at the same time,  ( I don't mean "mouth play" but the curled lips display ) is not just play and if one has the time to split hairs in that situation and reads it incorrectly, there can be Vet bills and/or Doctor bills in the making.

What you are talking about is the transition from puppy-hood to adolescence.   Most adult dogs give some "puppy license" to immature pups and allow them to be rude.   Some dogs will actively play with pups, others will walk away, but they frequently don't correct rude behavior.

Once the pup starts to sexually mature, other dogs no longer put up with the nonsense and you will frequently see adolescent pups get corrected loudly by other dogs. 


However, a dog park is not necessarily the best place to take an adolescent who is about to get hazed, because a lot of people bring unstable, poorly socialized dogs to the dog park and things can get out of hand.  And sometimes younger puppies bring out the prey drive in adult dogs.   So do be careful.  I prefer to let adolescents meet adult dogs one-on-one so there is no ganging up.   Jack is good at correcting adolescents with all noise and no teeth, or by being forceful when playing, but I am not a fan of strange dogs pinning each other (wrestling is fine, but not as a warning).


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