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 Aurora sucks at playing with small dogs :(

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FirstAscent
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Location : Fairbanks, AK

PostSubject: Aurora sucks at playing with small dogs :(   Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:59 am

Hey everyone, looking for a little advice.

So, Aurora has always kinda sucked at playing with smaller dogs, even dogs her size (she is 7 months old and about 29-30 lbs). She has always been very dominant and does the typical husky rough play which is why I love it when she plays with bigger dogs because they can handle her. Even though she'll take them down all the time too haha, in a playful way.

But whenever we go to the dog park she is always focused on the smaller dogs which sucks because she plays to rough with them. It's like she targets them and runs straight after them and pins them down. If they run, it makes it worse because that just gets her more excited, if they growl or get aggressive, well then that definitely makes it worse.

The only time she growls when playing is with smaller dogs too. One of my neighbors has a small dog and Aurora and her actually play awesome together. Aurora will grab her scruff and growl and pin her down but it's all in good fun and it never gets out of hand. So it's not all small dogs, but a good majority of them. Maybe this dog is different because Aurora new her from when I first brought her home.

Should I maybe keep her on leash at the dog park to try to train her how to play with small dogs and tell her "no" when she gets too rough?

I wouldn't say Aurora is always aggressive or anything, she is actually a really great puppy and people always comment on how well she especially being a Husky. She trusts me and respects me and listens very well. I can grab food/treats/bones out of her mouth or put my face right next to her while eating at any time and she just sits there as if I was 20 feet away. which is awesome Smile

Anyways, looking for some tips as I'm not sure what to do. Oh, and she gets lots of exercise so that's not the issue.
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: Aurora sucks at playing with small dogs :(   Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:36 am

I'll tell you Nala is the same way I think its because of the prey drive that they have in them, she has never been able to be around smaller dogs even as a small puppy she attacks them almost its scary so when we go to the dog park and there are small dogs in the 'big dog' park it drives me nuts because that's a liability for the smaller dogs. But, if you keep her on a leash in the dog park that could cause aggression and ultimately end in a dog fight. I would try to keep her away from the smaller dogs she probably plays well with your neighbors dog because that dog knows Aurora and her temperament some small dogs are very guarded and don't like to play as rough as our huskies do that is why it almost always ends badly. But when she does play too rough I would tell her a stern no and take her out of the situation or redirect her attention somewhere else.
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jbealer
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PostSubject: Re: Aurora sucks at playing with small dogs :(   Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:04 pm

S&J can not play with small dogs, like under 10lbs, they would be dead, the furry they are the worse it is as well. they are good with 20lbs and short hair small dogs though.

at the dog park, one find the owner of said small dog and let them know its unsafe to let the small dog play with such larger dogs, they can get run over or worse really hurt, 2nd try to direct her attention to a ball/toy or i know bad, but treats.
we worked hard on the redirecting and if a group of dogs start gathering i can call jack out of it, sierra is normally just off wandering and minding her own.
its all training and recall and it takes time.
now thats not to say it is also pray drive as sometimes it can be. and it is up to us as the owner of dogs that like little things to be aware and on top of the activity at the dog park. there will always be that person that says well my little dog loves big dogs, sorry person that does not mean all big dogs love little dogs and direct them to the small dog area.
just keep on redirecting her, do not leash her in the park.

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lillith87
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PostSubject: Re: Aurora sucks at playing with small dogs :(   Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:00 pm

I would say if at all possible... start going to a group puppy training session, where there is all sorts of other breeds sizes etcetera, that way there would be someone trained to help you there to teach Aurora how to handle situations like that and learn how to behave.

I agree with Jennifer, when at dog parks make sure you inform the small dog owners that there are designated small dog areas for a reason, and just because it seems like everything is always okay... that because of dogs with prey drive, their tiny dog looks more like a squeaky toy to a lot of bigger dogs. I have never really had an issue with Okami personally. Actually the one time that I feared it the most... there was a dog that was literally 2 pounds roaming around when I was at a husky meet, and Okami played very nicely. I was really surprised, but that doesn't mean that my fear was something to brush off. As I said above, small dog areas are there for a reason and it really sucks that people think their small dog has the body of a big dog and are *excuses* fast enough, rough enough, don't mind.... it really is a safety hazard and people should be more apt to follow rules. It shouldn't be treated as a "grey area" sort type of thing.

But as I said above, look into group sessions with a trainer, that way you can condition Aurora and socialize her in an environment where she can learn what to do and what not to do in those situations.
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FirstAscent
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PostSubject: Re: Aurora sucks at playing with small dogs :(   Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:02 pm

Thanks everyone for your ideas. I've never had her on a leash in the dog park but good to know I should continue keeping it that way.

Also, unfortunately our dog park only has one area, so dogs of all shapes and sizes are all grouped together so I'll have to just continue keeping a close eye on Aurora when small dogs are around.

Great idea on the group puppy training, I've been wanting to do this for awhile now but my schedule hasn't been consistent enough to make the weekly classes. Now things have calmed down with work a little so I need to look into that again, I think it would be really good for her and I bet she would love it.

practice practice practice Smile

Yeah I was just thinking a few weeks ago we went on a walk with a friends dogs and one of them was like this 3lb chihuahua and Aurora didn't even pay attention to her, I was surprised. But then again Aurora does better playing one-on-one with dogs. Even at the dog park if she is playing with a dog and other dogs try to join in usually Aurora will walk off haha.
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: Aurora sucks at playing with small dogs :(   Wed Feb 11, 2015 6:20 pm

like they say practice makes perfect! I'm still learning with Nala and shes almost three!
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CoraTheHusky
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PostSubject: Re: Aurora sucks at playing with small dogs :(   Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:30 am

I also struggle with this with Cora and I don't think it's all about going to classes with small dogs. Cora did those classes since she was 8 weeks old. I believe it has todo with prey drive Cora sees them running and a lot of the time they have a squeaky voice and she just goes nuts. Cora can play with older small dogs because they tell her to fuck off when she is becoming too much but the young ones forget about it. I have just figured out which times are most populated with big dogs and I go during that time. To be honest I'm also a little worried Cora will learn bad habits like guarding toys water or food which is a big no no since I am getting another dog next year! The dog park is fun but sometimes it becomes a little too much for me.
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AnyaLuv
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PostSubject: Re: Aurora sucks at playing with small dogs :(   Thu Nov 05, 2015 5:11 pm

To give some context...at the local dog park, a woman brought her small 2 lb Yorkie to play with the big dogs, a group made up of Newfies, Great Danes, Malamutes, and other VERY large breeds.

She continually said "ohhhh she doesn't know how small she is, if she was scared she'd let em know", etc.

One day the little Yorkie was running and yipping, and a mixed breed dog chased it and grabbed it--and ripped the dog's neck.

The woman was beyond furious, screamed how she was going to sue, get the big dog put down, etc.

Well, she actually lost her lawsuit in court for medical bills and her complaint with animal control against the owner was dismissed, because the large dog park had a sign that said "for large dogs only" and she ignored it. She ended up being permanently banned from our county's dog parks.

All that to say-the small dog/big dog rules are there to be in place--some dogs, no matter how well socialized or trained, simply can't overcome their prey drive, and others are just too big/strong to play safely with a very fragile small dog. While working with your pup is a great idea, I also wouldn't test it by letting her play with small dogs at the park. There's just too much risk.

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