I really would like to continue going to my dog park despite recent attacks and incidents that have happened because Eddy has so many friends that go there. But Eddy was bitten the other day by a dog who was, assumedly, one of his friends. It is a 2 year old (neutered, before anyone asks) german shepherd mix. This dog has played with Eddy many times and is always gentle and calm. It's a lazy dog that usually lays around. They walked by each other and the dog struck Eddy, one bite, no continued attack. I was standing right there when it happened. They had no interaction in the moment right before it happened, or so my insensitive human mind believes. So now Eddy has a 2-inch gash under his arm, which makes him wince as he limps around the house. The owner was confused and apologetic, and left. Everyone there agreed that his dog has never shown signs of aggression, fear, or dominance before, ever.

This is frustrating. Switching dog parks seems pointless, as any sample size of dogs will just copy itself into another park, and the same dangers exist as always.

Everyone at the park said it was just a communication thing, between an older male and a younger male. But, as I've read about dogs, they only draw blood if they mean to.

So, quit going? Deprive Eddy of seeing his friends and fellow corgis that go to Gabrielle Park? Hope that one of his friends or fellow corgis doesn't attack him next time? Confine Eddy to doggy day care? Strictly take him on walks and runs, which bore us to death?

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Comment by Ace and Jen on March 26, 2010 at 2:49am
I hope Eddy is healing well... Ace was Attacked when he was younger by another momma dog and had a head wound for a few weeks (though it was his own fault... he was trying to sneak food that wasnt his)
Comment by RILEY, MAGGIE and Christine Kemp on March 21, 2010 at 5:17pm
John...the Leerburg website has alot of information...what I have read so far makes sense to me. I especially liked Ed Frawley's Philosophy of Dog Training. Also, interesting his opinion of some dog trainers who are in the business to make money. Keyword money! Time is money.
Comment by RILEY, MAGGIE and Christine Kemp on March 21, 2010 at 12:56pm
I'm not sure I would consider taking my guy to a dog park if there is even a slight chance that a friendly exchange could escalate into something I couldn't control! My short legged little "responsibility" would probably end up on the bottom of the pile. Knowing that there are alot of irresponsible dog owners out there...what if one of them brought a female going into heat (unknowingly) to the park? That is most likely an extreme exaggeration, but there are some pretty dumb people out there. I have always been "safe than sorry". Take no chances here! Vote me out on dog parks! Planning play dates with friends and dogs who know each other (this isn't a for sure thing either) at each others homes, in my view, would be a bit more predictable. Dogs do need to learn to interact with other dogs.
Comment by Sunni A. on March 20, 2010 at 7:05pm
In response to Joanna.. I am not an over protective owner. I don't care when dogs get into scraps. I hate when people break them up immediately because what if your dog becomes fragile, sheltered, and afraid of scraps?? I am proud when Eddy can hold his own and then be friends afterwards. However, at this park I go to, it is generally agreed that bleeding is not allowed and the offending dog leaves when bleeding occurs, and sometimes never returns. Even if dogs leave with limps and chunks of fur off their bodies, that is just fine. Bleeding is where it stops. Also, Eddy is not my first dog, I have seen worse injuries that I know have been caused by normal dog action. You say dogs should be able to act on whatever emotion is going through their head at any given moment. Really? That seems like an unpredictable characteristic, and if a dog has been known to Bite when angry, Strike when grumpy, and Snap when sleepy, maybe they should just stay home and be moody and not come to the park and bite my dog.
Comment by Joanna Kimball on March 20, 2010 at 12:13am
It sounds like it was a normal punishment bite and his tooth got caught in the thin skin under his arm. If there's only one wound, not two opposing ones where the dog tried to bite and bear down, it's a tooth-catch and not an attempt to injure.

It's really up to you in the end. Whenever dogs are together - and this includes day care and dogs living together in the same house - they can get minor injuries. I've had my share of holes through ears, bloody noses, small gashes, etc. Dogs communicate with their mouths on each other's bodies; a dog who does what the GSD mix did isn't a bad dog.

And of course the other dog has felt all those things. It's just like you or me - if something scares us, we feel fear. If something annoys us, we get grumpy. Dogs don't act in certain ways because they ARE a thing, like they ARE dominant or they ARE aggressive. They act in completely legitimate ways to respond to respond to feelings and to situations. If a dog responds out of fear, it's because something is scaring the dog. Not because it's a weirdo dog who shouldn't be allowed to go on walks or something. If a dog uses his mouth to punish another dog, it's because the other dog was misbehaving, not because the first dog is a weirdo aggressive dog.
Comment by John Wolff on March 20, 2010 at 12:01am
I haven't read all of this yet but I think this guy Leeburg doesn't like dog parks because a pack of dogs who don't know each other are thrown together briefly, without the long time it takes to establish a stable pack order:
dog parks
Comment by Elizabeth on March 19, 2010 at 7:29pm
Dogs are like us and somedays you just do not want to be around your friends. Dog parks are a blessing and a curse at the same time. They can have really positive experiences or there is the risk that you may have a bad encounter. I would hedge a bet that the other dog was hurting somewhere if there was no provocation to the incident. One thing you might consider is setting up play dates at nuetral places with Eddy's friends. I have a Dane that loves to run in the park but I can't trust him interact with other dogs appropriately. So we pick quite times of the day or week to go and take up one pen of the park so my two can play together. You could probablly do something similar with a group playdate. Dogs are never going to get along 100% of the time its just their nature but we always hope they work out the issues without drawing blood.

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