Our Bentley will be 3 years old in Nov. He's so sweet & loving but can act aggressive when around strange dogs, which surprised us very much. (This year we moved from the country to town and we walk him, sometimes passing others with a dog). Our city has a "dog park" that we're considering taking him to. We'll first go see it and how it operates. We do know that all dogs have to have their shots up to date, etc. He does like one dog, a Bishon, that belongs to our daughter's family, but he's been around him off & on his whole life.
Any thoughts on the dog park idea?
Do they have a side of the dog park for just small dogs? Our park does and Mason prefers that. He really just likes to sniff and run around and do his own thing, but for some reason the big dogs go nuts wanting to chase him and roll him over. I think it is because he is very quick and just a small black blur. He will play a little bit with the smaller dogs in that side, but at least they aren't big enough to roll him over and pin him down!
If you feel your dog can be aggressive at times, I would not recommend a dog park, where the dogs run free and things can get out of control fast.
Agree that a dog park is not really the place for any unpredictable and/or aggressive dog -- this isn't fair to other users. It's really an issue to work on with a good trainer. :)
Dogs need constant socialising to other dogs that they do not know, ideally every day of their life, as well as the all important early socialising every day to as many dogs as possible when under 6 months. Ian Dunbar has written about exactly this issue -- it starts to seem less important to socialise or we owners mistakenly think socialising with a group of well know dogs is enough, but it isn't. He and others have loads of posts about aggressiveness, leash aggression and leash reactivity etc on www.dogstardaily.com that should also be a help.
Again this is why I harp annoyingly on :rolleyes: about why group socialising-to-training classes are critical for puppies, ideally more than one, and why doing ongoing classes annually is also so valuable, alongside daily/regular walks and visits amongst strange new dogs. It is just so so soooo easy for this to start to slip. An aggressive dog generally is an anxious and somewhat unhappy dog whose life -- as well as that of the owners! -- become very narrowed as they cannot be exposed to other dogs and owners can;t have as much fun meeting other dog owners. So the sooner this is addressed, the happier you all will be. :)
I'd check the CCPDT website for local trainers/classes. I also recently posted links to excellent articles on leash aggression here so it is worth searching for past discussions. It is far easier to work with a trainer, in a class, on this though and then continue practice at home. :)
We made arrangements to take Bentley to "Doggy Camp" for 1/2 day at PetSmart. The hubby took him this morning and after a few minutes called to say he was having a ball with no aggression at all. He's in a room with a constant attendant and several other dogs.
The time he truly wanted to eat another dog alive was when my friend brought her dog to our house to see if I could babysit him. Bentley went berserk before he was even in the house, apparently not wanting another dog on his turf!