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 need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?

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smittin
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PostSubject: need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?    Mon May 11, 2015 2:28 pm

Hello,
it's been a while since I've been on the board.... I'm hoping you all can help me.

We rescued Timber from an animal shelter last July, he was little over a year old. he had hardly any training and could be pretty rambunctious in the house, even with 2 long walks a day. he hardly ever saw any other dogs, because the animal shelter told us he couldn't be trusted around small dogs/animals and so we were afraid to let him around any dogs. in September we took him to a local dog park for the first time, and he was so happy, he ran and ran and wrestled and had the best time. come to find out, he is very social, loves other dogs and people and is not happy unless he goes to the dog park almost every day. we've tried taking him to a local park on a long lead and playing with us, and he just looks at us like WTH is wrong with you people!
I walk him every morning 2-3 miles, he's alone when were at work, and in the evening he goes to the dog park for an hour at least. keeps him happy and calm at home.
in the past 4 months, he's had a few scuffles/fights (not really viscious if that makes sense, they sound terrible, but I don't think they're trying to kill each other), 3 times the other dog has ended up bleeding on their ear. The first time it happened, Timber stole a dogs toy and the dog attacked him, so he was defending himself. he is a typical self assured, dominate looking husky and he won't back down if he's being attacked, unless the dog is bigger then him, then he just gets the heck out of there. first time, I just chalked it up to the dog was toy agressive and I try to keep him from stealing toys.
2nd time it happened the end of March. we were at the same dog park we always go to, but it was alittle earlier, different crowd. timber was playing a little bit with another male husky we've never met before and all of a sudden they start fighting. I got them separated easily, but the other dog had a bloody ear. so after that, I'm paranoid and I'm on his tail all the time, if things look like they may escalate, I grab him and have him calm down a little bit. things have been fine so far.

this past saturday, Timber was at doggy day camp and they told us he was playing pretty rough with another dog and the other dog ended up with a bloody ear. they said Timber attacked him. we asked to see video, but they told us we had to call corporate and request it and they may or may not let us see it.
later that night, I was brushing him and found a puncture wound on his leg - so maybe the other dog got him first and Timber finished it.

I am wondering if he has picked up this bad behavior from the dog park? a few dogs have gone after him for no reason that I can see - Timber just went up to sniff them and they didn't like it and went after him, so maybe he's learned that if he goes for the ear - they back off.

I have a few different options for trainers, but I don't have allot of money to spend, and can't afford to keep trying things out, and it's inconsistent behavior, how can you modify behavior that is so inconsistent?

I'm a bit scared to take him to the dog park now.... I plan to go in the late evening from now one, because there aren't as many dogs there.

any advice?
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?    Mon May 11, 2015 4:50 pm

Hey Jennifer!! I have been thinking of you and Timber, glad you posted up.

I am not familiar with dog parks, so I will not give advice on that. However, my girl doesn't play well with any type of dog, but another husky. It is not because of her, it is because of the fact the other owners never socialized their dogs, and that other breeds have a hard time reading a husky. Miya plays like a crazy dog, and only other huskies understand her play. She barks, tackles, and runs, and other dogs are afraid of her, lol. I would try the later in the evening and see how that goes, it will be better for you anyways since summer is around the corner, and later in the day will be cooler. Also, maybe you can set up a play date with a dog he does play well with, and that way it is more one on one, he gets the socialization he needs, and he will play better. I also will suggest you looking for a H2M2 group(I hope I got that right, lol, I don't have one nearby, but I set up play dates all the time for Miya). The H2M2 groups are husky and malamute only, so it is a better time for all. Look on facebook if you belong to facebook, I believe that is where they post up the get togethers. Also another way , is perhaps reaching out here, I do know quite a few people here are in California, I don't know where exactly you are located, however, posting up something here may help in getting together with another husky owner and get ideas on play dates and places that are more husky friendly to go. Good luck, I know you have done some great work with Timber!!

Renee
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smittin
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PostSubject: Re: need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?    Mon May 11, 2015 4:54 pm

Thanks Renee, I will look into the H2M2 group, but I'm a little leary since he did have an altercation with a husky. His best friend at the dog park is a malamute!

Thanks again,
Jennifer
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?    Mon May 11, 2015 5:24 pm

Jennifer, H2M2 groups, I hope would have better socialized dogs, than a random dog park husky, but I don't know. Also keep in mind if the other husky was a male and not neutered he(the other husky) may be more apt to start an altercation than a fixed male. I would also try and see if the owner of the mal would like to have a playdate since they do play well together. You're Welcome!! I wish that i could have helped more.
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smittin
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PostSubject: Re: need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?    Mon May 11, 2015 5:34 pm

Thanks again Renee.....
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MGoBlue
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PostSubject: Re: need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?    Mon May 11, 2015 6:26 pm

I'm just going to give my personal experience here, not sure how much of it applies here. My boy Bode is the type of dog that will definitely defend himself if another dog is threatening him (or he feels like he's being threatened). Our first "incident" was at a private dog park that has trails through it, it's not a big open field. A poodle (who I know other people had issues with) came down the trail and in a split second they got into it. Bode got a puncture in his abdomen (no clue how that happened!). In that case, I truly believe it was one of those situations where the personalities just clash no matter what you do.

Our second incident was after we moved her to CO and were at another forum member's house with a few other members. Lots of new huskies, so we kept Bode out of the yard to start and let everyone sniff through the fence. After awhile, I took Bode in the yard and he was just feeling overwhelmed I think. A few minutes in, a scuffle started and all the dogs jumped in really quick. It was impossible to tell what happened. Though the only one who came out with an injury was me. I have a scar on my knee from getting in the middle and pulling dogs apart.

We were very wary to go to the H2M2 meets ups just because of how easily Bode gets overwhelmed. After some experimenting though, we found the best thing was to get there early so he is one of the first dogs there instead of coming in to an existing pack dynamic. Since we started doing that, he has done soooo much better and is much more relaxed at the park and meet ups.

I'm not sure that any of that helps/is relevant but I thought I'd try to share my experience.
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smittin
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PostSubject: Re: need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?    Mon May 11, 2015 7:02 pm

Sara, Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

up until these 3 incidents, I would never have thought they could have happened with Timber. He is so happy go lucky almost all the time. he doesn't get easily rattled, but he can get amped up when all the dogs get amped up and he tends to want to join in if some shenanigans is going on, so I have to keep an eye on him.
he's met grouchy dogs before and he usually just walks away. But I'm not a dog, or dog body language expert, these situations that ended badly seem to come out of nowhere.

Dominate males do tend to not like him much I have noticed.
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mssuchy
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PostSubject: Re: need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?    Tue May 12, 2015 11:15 am

Hey Jennifer,

We go to the dog park usually twice a week, and have been for the last couple of months. Out of our experience honestly I think it just depends on the mix of dogs. We've had good days, and some not so good. Our Klaus has yet to ever get in a fight but that doesn't mean it won't ever happen, he's had a couple dogs go after him but he's always been faster than them and takes off.

I know you mentioned a toy was involved for one of the fights, which even though your guy might not be toy aggressive another dog can be. I hate when people bring toys to the dog park, Klaus kept trying to steal a ball from another dog and we ended up leaving because that dog was guarding it and getting too snippy. Is it possible at day camp a toy was involved?

My best advice to you is whenever these situations occur just try and get a good feel for the other dog's personality/body language and you'll probably start to figure out if it will be a good mix for him or not. For example, after our dog park visits I know that if there is a super submissive dog Klaus will continue to be overly rambunctious with them until they snap at him. If I notice a dog like this in our presence we usually head to another side of the park or if it comes down to it we leave.

I completely agree with the H2M2 group idea, we have a great one here in Michigan & I do my best to go when someone else will be there too.
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PostSubject: Re: need advice....is Timber picking up bad habits from the dog park?    Tue May 12, 2015 4:26 pm

Thank you for your advice Haley, I appreciate it.
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