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 Post subject: My dog got peed on at the park! + advice on socializing
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:26 pm 
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Yesterday we took Tobi, our rescued 1 year old terrier/wire-hair dachshund to the dog park for the second time. Our initial trip wasn't the best; she ended up growling at anything that came near here and wouldn't leave my side. She's young and small and I don't know if she's ever been around any other dogs (except our 6 year old Merlin), so I imagined that it might take some time for her to socialize with others. Well, yesterday we brought her to the same place and she was fairing much better! She still stayed close but was letting other dogs sniff her and even being playful with a few dogs of size!

After about thirty minutes, she seemed much more comfortable, albeit still a little nervous around larger dogs. A male was sniffing her and she didn't seem frightened or angry, so my partner and I stepped back to see how she would handle the situation. I looked over at our other dog for a moment, and then I hear someone yelling "______, no! Stop that!" When I look back, I notice Tobi getting peed on!! She just stood there, either unaware or too ashamed to move. It was sad, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't chuckle a little. We hosed her down, after which she ended up rolling around in the dirt - figures. The other dog and his family left shortly after the incident, I think they were embarrassed (good riddance!).

Does anyone have any tips for socializing at places like the dog park, or just anywhere there are multiple dogs? I don't know anything about Tobi's history, and I'd like her to be comfortable around other dogs. My plan is to bring her to the same park every weekend with the hopes that she will gradually be more comfortable. This seems to be working - it only took two visits for her to get peed on! I've never owned a young dog before, and I am open to socializing suggestions!

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 Post subject: Re: My dog got peed on at the park! + advice on socializing
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 1:40 pm 
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I think that if you're not too sure of Tobi's history with other dogs, a dog park might not be the best place to start the socialization process. The dynamics of dog parks can change dramatically and pretty quickly depending on the dogs at the park--some people bring their dogs to the dog park to blow off steam and it can get too rowdy/overwhelming for dogs who might not be used to that type of environment.

I would suggest setting up play dates with friends with dogs who you know are good with other dogs. That way, you can build positive experiences for Tobi in a safe, controlled environment. Once you gauge how she reacts to your friends' dogs, you can take her back to the dog park during off-peak hours so she gets used to the general feel of the park without being too crowded/overwhelmed.

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 Post subject: Re: My dog got peed on at the park! + advice on socializing
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:40 pm 
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Something else to consider, a basic obedience class with a small number of dogs, where they use something like "clicker" training to enforce positive behavior (vs punishing negative). It really helps to build their confidence, and also gives you the opportunity to expose her to other dogs on a small scale, where you can praise her for things like focusing on you (vs. stressing out over other dogs).
I think that once dogs feel like you've "got their back" as the pack leader, they can learn to feel more comfortable around other dogs, as long as it's a gradual introduction.
Try bringing her to the local pet store (where they allow dogs on leash), walking a trail (where you might encounter dogs and people) and just do it on a small scale.

Luna is my second "rescue" American Eskimo dog. I plucked her from the shelter back in November. She was a shy little girl, timid about everything and everyone (even flinching when a hand would reach down to pet her). Right away I started bringing her into work with me (I am lucky to be in a dog-friendly office, at least for another 8 weeks or so until our office moves), taking her with me to the pet store, and walks around the neighborhood where there are plenty of people with and without dogs. Always praising her for being calm, and looking up at me "good girl Luna!". I'm very mindful about my mood, my attitude when we're outside because they're such intuitive little furballs they pick up on when we're anxious.

We also completed a basic obedience class together. The class was small, only a few dogs, so it was easy to work with her in a low-distraction setting, she could go up and sniff the other dogs in the class and get used to the idea that "it's okay". Towards the end of the 7 week session she was even confident enough to go up to the trainer's "Newf" and give him a sniff, though she was still a bit timid about him.

It's all about building their confidence and trust in you - that can be a good cornerstone to helping shelter doggies become socialized.

Good luck :) I'm sure little Tobi will gain some confidence over time - (it just takes time)


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 Post subject: Re: My dog got peed on at the park! + advice on socializing
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 8:56 pm 
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every time my cousin brings her dog home my aunt has to give 4 baths because the dogs just take turns peeing on each other. dogs are silly.


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 Post subject: Re: My dog got peed on at the park! + advice on socializing
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:33 am 
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I recommend an obedience class too. We're taking Hank to one at the RSPCA and it's great, we spend about half the class teaching the dogs how to do things, and the other half letting them play. I'm really glad we didn't try taking him to a dog park before we started the classes, because the instructor has taught us so much about supervising dogs and recognising how they're feeling. Hank was already well-socialised, having come from a rescue home where he played with other dogs all the time, but it's been really good to see how he plays in a well-monitored situation and how other dogs respond to him. We've found that to be the most beneficial part of the class, way more valuable than teaching him how to roll over.

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 Post subject: Re: My dog got peed on at the park! + advice on socializing
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:31 am 
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An obedience class sounds like a great idea!

We have a wienerdog, and it seems like he gets peed on once every few months. I think it's just his height, poor thing. Anyway, sometimes he does great at the dog park, but if there is an aggressive dog, or even a big puppy that is bounding around him and playing a little too rough, he gets freaked out. He seems to do a lot better in small groups of dogs, and would much prefer playing fetch or keep away in the park with his humans and maybe a few other dogs to going to the dog park. We had a wienerdog growing up and he was the same way.

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 Post subject: Re: My dog got peed on at the park! + advice on socializing
PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 4:54 pm 
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birdsonawire wrote:
I would suggest setting up play dates with friends with dogs who you know are good with other dogs. That way, you can build positive experiences for Tobi in a safe, controlled environment. Once you gauge how she reacts to your friends' dogs, you can take her back to the dog park during off-peak hours so she gets used to the general feel of the park without being too crowded/overwhelmed.

This is a great idea. I've only lived in this town for a few months, so I don't know too many people (with dogs) yet. I think during Tobi's next visit to the vet, I'll inquire about any small gatherings or groups in the city (it might be a good way for me to meet people, too!).


popomatic wrote:
Something else to consider, a basic obedience class with a small number of dogs, where they use something like "clicker" training to enforce positive behavior (vs punishing negative). It really helps to build their confidence, and also gives you the opportunity to expose her to other dogs on a small scale, where you can praise her for things like focusing on you (vs. stressing out over other dogs).

This is also something to consider. She's super comfortable and energized around her family, and I want her to feel that way around stranger-dogs, too!


abbierae wrote:
We have a wienerdog, and it seems like he gets peed on once every few months. I think it's just his height, poor thing. Anyway, sometimes he does great at the dog park, but if there is an aggressive dog, or even a big puppy that is bounding around him and playing a little too rough, he gets freaked out. He seems to do a lot better in small groups of dogs, and would much prefer playing fetch or keep away in the park with his humans and maybe a few other dogs to going to the dog park. We had a wienerdog growing up and he was the same way.

After our second trip to the park, I definitely noticed a change in her behavior. She was more open to the idea of other dogs just being close to her, so I think that's progress in the right direction. I'm sure no matter what I do to help her, there will always be a little bit of apprehension based primarily on her size (and for a while, her age - she's barely a year old!).


Thanks for all of the great advice!! I'm going to look into obedience classes and meet ups this week!

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