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 not sure what to do

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smittin
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Female Join date : 2014-07-30
Location : Southern Cal

PostSubject: not sure what to do   Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:08 pm

Sorry this is long, but I need to give you all the back story....

We've had Timber since July, he's 15 months old today.  He's a rescue, and he was stray before that. Needless to say, he was a bit 'crazed' when we got him. He's calmed down tremendously and is mostly a good boy.
He does need some training and doesn't always listen when we are out of the house. In the house he listens about 90% of the time.

about 3 weeks ago we started taking him to a local off leash dog park - 2 acres of grass and a hill to play on. He loves it! He is so social and friendly and likes to meet the people and dogs. Not every day, but every once in a while, he gets into one of those play scuffles that look scary but aren't' really.  It's always been with other dogs that have the same play style and the owners are cool with it . I've seen some owners freak out when their dogs get into one of those scuffles. Here is an album of our first visit to the dog park, 1st Dog Park Visit

There are a few dogs at our favorite park that wear shock collars, one is a female pit bull, Luna. I guess Luna used to be very aggressive and isn't anymore thanks to the e-collar (not sure if I'm using that term correctly).  But, Luna always gets into scuffles - where her owner has to call her off and use the collar. He won't let her be aggressive, but she's always in the middle of something, so I'm not sure if she's sending aggressive singles with her body language or what.
So, Timber and her have never played together, in the probably 20 times we've been there in the last 4 weeks. Earlier this week, they got into a play scuffle and her owner was so proud of the way she plays without being aggressive. He did say she gets beat up all the time, but that she loves it (so maybe she instigates it?).
Last night, towards the end of our visit, they got into another play scuffle and they were fine, having fun. at some point this other dog  joined in and Timber and the other dog were kinda beating up on Luna, then I saw Timber running with part of Luna's neck in his mouth. like her skin was stretched out and he wouldn't let go. I didn't like the way it looked, so I was calling him and trying to get him away from her - they were running while playing though, and I couldn't keep up. Luna's owner was calling her and he was shocking her too (he had to turn up the intensity) and she wouldn't come, finally, she broke off and ran back to her owner, and Timber just ran off to go do something else. I went over to talk to the owner to see how luna was, and she had a few puncture wounds on her forehead.  The owner said this was the 4th time this week she's left the park bleeding, but that she was asking for it. I told him I didn't understand what he meant, and he looked at me with this confused look on his face or he thought I was dumb, I told him Timber was my first dog and we've only had him for a few months, and I didn't understand how she could be asking for it. He said that she didn't back off, she just kept egging him on, but that they should have listened to us when we called them.  Later on, I was wondering if the 3rd got that got in the mix caused some problems. I've heard that when two dogs are playing, they don't always react well to other dogs that join in.  I felt really bad, I should have offered to pay for treatment, but I was shocked, and he said it happens allot - so maybe he wasn't shocked like I was.  We left right after that, and now I"m afraid to go back, what if he starts picking fights with Luna now, what if he gets into with other dogs. From what I've seen, he's never broken the skin on another dog when they scuffle - it's always friendly.
Was he just playing too rough? he was playing with another Husky before that, and they had the same play style and were pretty rough with each other.
He so loves the dog park, and we don't have anywhere for him to run like he can run there. But he won't run unless he's chasing other dogs!! We've tried running with him on our bike, but he won't do it very long - we thought he was lacking in stamina - until we took him to the dog park and saw how much he can run chasing dogs.  My daughter and I have taken him on a long lead to a close park, and tried to get him to chase us and run around, and he didn't want to.
I take him for about a 2 mile walk every am, and either another walk or the dog park in the evening.  
a few weeks ago, he was favoring his back left leg, so we didn't let him run for about 5 days and he went crazy - it was like when we first got him.
Any advice? My husband didn't seem to be that concerned and had no advice. He just agreed with me when i said he needs more training (can't afford to hire anyone right now).
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: not sure what to do   Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:41 pm

I'm not sure you really have a problem - I'll let other more experienced members comment to that.,

What I do know is that when Archer (my son's 6 mo old husky mix) comes to visit, he and Ami really tear into each other! They look like wolves in the hunt. Occasionally, blood is involved. Scan through some of the scrapbooks - mobezilla, in particular has some wonderful pictures of huskies at play. Archer has been know to latch onto Ami's jowls and romp for minutes all over the yard - til he ends up gagging on Ami's hair Laughing
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smittin
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PostSubject: Re: not sure what to do   Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:45 pm

Thanks Amy, I feel a little better.
My first thought was that he's never scuffled with a dog with such short hair, and because there was no hair to buffer, he didn't realize he needed to be more gentle, and I don't think Luna has a check valve and will tell other dogs when to lay off.
Then my second thought, was oh no, what if just gets worse and worse.
Crying or Very sad
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: not sure what to do   Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:53 pm

What people here have told me is that the dog's will ultimately (usually) correct each other when it is too much. Seatlesibe told me just to watch for "excessive pinning",I think to make sure there is equality in the play. Sometimes it looks really vicious, though!
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: not sure what to do   Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:02 pm

I don't think you have the problem. While shoring up on training so that you can stop him in cases like this is a good idea. The fact that the other owner is shock happy bothers me. If he's shocking that dog while your dog has a hold of it the dog being shocked is then struggling because of the shock and that could inadvertently adjust how your dog bites down and intensify the situation.

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smittin
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PostSubject: Re: not sure what to do   Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:16 pm

I was thinking of getting a cintronella collar with a remote for when he's not listening at the dog park. it's so hard to get him to come when he doesn't want to! a trainer told me to go grab him and make him sit, and hold him in a stay position for 60 seconds if he's not listening, but I have to catch him to do that!
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Huskyluv
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PostSubject: Re: not sure what to do   Fri Sep 19, 2014 3:31 pm

I think you need to work on your recall before putting your dog in situations like this. Doesn't sound too alarming but if this guy decided to report the incident, things could go downhill fast for your dog. For the time being, I would avoid a crowded dog park or avoid the dog park altogether until you have a more reliable recall.

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: not sure what to do   Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:17 pm

From what you've said and how you described it, I'd say that you don't *really* have a major problem.  But also Agree with Val and the other comments that you need to work on recall - which, with a Husky is a never ending task - for situations like this.

Grabbing throat skin / hair is a favourite way to play and even when it results in the occasional scrape they seem to think that it's all in great fun.  Remember though that dogs are pack animals, they live and hunt in packs when they can.  If you encounter a third dog who's in pack mind (as it seems *this* third dog was) then you can have a problem (as it seems you did).  The fact the Timber and Luna were having a good play session, where Luna was getting the worst end of the deal might have invoked pack mentality and I'd be inclined to think that it was his<?> play that probably caused the scratches on Luna.

What might be nice and helpful for both Timber and Luna was if you and her master could get together at the park when it wasn't going gangbusters.  Let them play and work on your respective recall at the same time.  If Lunas master is understanding that Husky's and pit related dogs play rough, it'd give them a chance to get it out of their systems and give you both a chance to work on "okay, break it up!"
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smittin
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PostSubject: Re: not sure what to do   Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:21 pm

Thanks everyone for your advice.
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