View Full Version : Socializing at Dog Park

19th February 2011, 04:49 AM
Coco is great with greeting other dogs. She is fearless really, will run up to a big or small dog. Her problem is that she doesn't know how to play! She sniffs and rolls on her back and cowers, very submissive! Then the other dogs try to engage with play, and she happily just ignores it, or dodges the attempts, or gives a squeal if she is jumped on. Overall she is happy and has a good time at the park but doesn't run around much with the other dogs, like she is the out cast.

Any tips to help her learn to play, or is this just her personality and I shouldn't worry about it? Dogs have such a good time running around and playing with each other I want to at least let her experience this joy, but I don't want to force her either. For now I am very happy that she is so polite at greeting other dogs.

Today we went to a park that had a small dog off leash area, and I must say being around smaller dogs did seem to help a little bit, but not much. Overall she acted just about the same. The people always 'ooh" and "aahhh" over her at least! Here are a few photos from our trip.






19th February 2011, 05:47 AM
I don't have any advice sorry. My pup has a problem socializing with other dogs he doesn't know. He will play with ones he does though.
You got some really great photos!

19th February 2011, 05:57 AM
Thistle does the same thing! She's getting better, I think just keep bringing her, try to make everything about going a positive experience, and let her warm up to the idea in her own time.

That's what I'm trying. I'll be attending a puppy playgroup with her tomorrow, and a good trainer will be on hand, so I'll let you know what he says about.

19th February 2011, 08:49 AM
ruby is just the same at 16 months ! shes happy to say hello but if they jump around her she hates it .. i dont worry about it now ,she just wants to run around and fetch the ball and is ultra friendly with people . it can be a nightmare if they will run up to alll other dogs- i have found very many instances of aggressive dogs and thick owners and im just happy to have ruby safe . i do feel shes missing out when i see the other dogs playing together but i dont think ruby feels that! ....im the best thing in her life and that can only be a good thing :-D

19th February 2011, 08:53 AM
Helio is the exact opposite. He plays TOO hard! I've never taken him to a dog park, but we've been on Petsmart trips and he drags me around the store, searching out the other dogs so he can try and play. The other day, there was a BIG rottweiler and he fearlessly jumped right into it's face, and I had to pull him back in case the other dog took offense. He needs to learn puppy manners! We just need to combine Helio and Coco's stance on other dogs and it would be the perfect dog! :lol:

19th February 2011, 09:51 AM
Love the photos and Coco is so sweet.
I have three Cavaliers my oldest Rosie is fearless even when she was a pup she played with all the dogs no matter what size, my second oldest Ebony is ok with any dog but don’t care much about playing just has a good sniff and she moves on. My youngest Harley is 2.5 years old and he has been socialised like all my other dogs right from the start. He does Agility and Rally Obedience we do about 4 classes a week but he does not like to play. I always thought it’s big dogs he has a problem with but now I think he doesn’t like dogs that are right in his face. It’s really funny he is really picky what dogs he likes but I have noticed they are all gentle slow moving dogs. After agility we always have a walk in the field with the other dogs, they all run around but not Harley he sticks to my leg like glue. But when he is at home with the other two or even when his brother comes to visit he plays like any other dog. I used to worry about it but I have accepted the way he is and I am not trying to force him to interact with dogs he doesn’t like. He has fun and loves his training and agility so that’s good enough for me.

Kate H
19th February 2011, 10:37 AM
I don't think any of my five Cavaliers (owned over 30 years) has been interested in playing with other dogs - though Aled would like to but doesn't know how (but is getting better with small dogs)! Oliver likes to go up, say hello, have a good sniff - and then just walks away. I think part of it is that Cavaliers are exceptionally human-oriented dogs - many of them are just happy to interact with their owners and don't seem to feel a need to also interact playfully with other dogs (or, in the case of my two, with toys). As far as Oliver is concerned, smells in the grass and hedgerows are much more interesting! So don't feel that your dog is under-socialised or missing out because she isn't interested in playing - you can give her lots of fun in other ways!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Jasper and Holly
19th February 2011, 10:49 AM
When I take my two dogs to the dog park they are very social but Holly is a bit more reserved and usually takes a step back where as Jasper is out there being the social butterfly he is. I don't worry too much about this I think it's just the way she is. Some people say she's a tart because she surrenders when another dog
comes up to her. But I don't worry about that. She's happy to be there even if she takes a step back. They are such a wonderful breed.

19th February 2011, 12:05 PM
hi, like some other replies, mine are not really interested in playing with other dogs. i have tried the dog park but they are more interested in playing with a ball with us and when out for a walk its a waste of time to stop for them to say hello (sniff) other dogs as they just want to keep going! i really think they see themselves as humans!:)

19th February 2011, 12:08 PM
ps, just to add, they LOVE racing round their OWN garden! esp when they've been washed and combed.:badgrin:

19th February 2011, 02:29 PM
Mika doesn't play with other dogs either, with the exception of our neighbour's dog. She met him when he was a wee puppy and he was so insistent on playing, she finally gave in. I think he taught her how to play. He simply would not leave her alone. Now they have a great time chasing and jumping all over each other. She loves him.

But - he is still the only dog she will play with. Every other dog - it's just a good sniff and she's good. On the other hand, she's all over humans.

19th February 2011, 02:33 PM
Some dogs are not dog dogs! Nina loves other dogs and people, Cooper on the other hand pays attention to no one but me.

19th February 2011, 03:35 PM
That has been sooooooo helpful for Gracie in learning to play with other dogs. She was just like yours before that. She loves to play with most dogs now and is not so dependent on humans for entertainment. If not good doggy daycare nearby, you might see if there are other dog owners in your area with safe dogs that could visit with her for a couple of hours at a time or vice versa. If you don't know how good the place is, ask around or insist on staying and observing for a while before you leave her there. Maybe start with just a couple of hours and work up.

Our one dog park here has a very small area for small dogs and they do not do a good job of keeping poop cleaned up, so I can't even go there anymore. I hope yours is better!

19th February 2011, 07:24 PM
Thanks so much for all of the stories and advice! I guess Coco is just a typical little Cavalier :p

Gracies Mom, that is a good idea. I have thought about day care but we are home a lot with her so we have had no need...but for the pure purpose of socializing I might have to give it a try, and I would definitely insist on staying a while to watch how she does. The park I went to was awesome, very clean, all the dogs were well socialized and very polite there.

murphy's mum
20th February 2011, 08:53 AM
I wouldn't worry too much. My two don't play with other dogs either.

They will greet calm dogs okay, but are hesitant if we meet dogs who are too in their faces. We have a Collie at the end of the street who is about 6 months old, and he would love to run around with them, but they are just not sure of how to cope with him.

They chase each other round the field, and have their crazy time in the house when the mood strikes them too.

20th February 2011, 02:31 PM
I sometimes take her even for a half-day even when I am home for a few days in a row. Our neighbors are retired and home ALL the time but take their Wheaten Terrier to doggy day care two days a week every week. It has been great for them and her. She gets more exercise and socialization. Gracie does come home tired, but that is good for us and her too. She sleeps like a log and eats better.

23rd February 2011, 04:27 PM
I love pictures of Coco!

Chamberlain is submissive but once the other dog accepts him, he is up and running & playing with them. I would continue going to the dog park and having her experience being around other dogs. Maybe she will come out of her shell soon!