Hey guys. I interrupt your regular programming of recipes and fun to ask your advice on something.
I realize that maybe this doesn’t seem like the biggest deal to some of you, but I just want to make sure that I’m doing the right thing and who better to turn to than a giant group of wisdom and intelligence, aka – you.
I’ve been taking Charlie to a local dog park for the past few weeks. We usually go for an hour or two and he gets to romp around with the other dogs and play fetch with his new favorite toy – the Chuck It. The park we go to is really nice and they have a separate area just for small dogs. We started out in that area so he could get used to being in a leash-free park and learn proper dog-dog etiquette before he was around bigger dogs than him.
Today when we got to the park there were 2 dogs in the regular area and none in the little dog area. Charlie has been doing so well with the small dogs that I thought we would give it a try in the regular park. The two other dogs there were both older dogs and the three of them took to each other right away. They were chasing each other around, wrestling a little bit and taking turns fetching tennis balls. It was great!
Then a fourth dog came. This dog was a puppy too and came right up to the group to play. After a few rounds of fetch, Charlie came back with the ball. Out of nowhere this fourth dog ran up to Charlie, pounced on top of him and was pretty much holding him on his back, growling and barking viciously. All I could hear was this other dogs big bark and growl, and Charlie yelping back as he struggled to get up.
The other dog’s owner ran over and pulled him away. I grabbed Charlie in my arms and took him away so he couldn’t see anyone else. He was shaking and crying and still yelping a little bit. After holding him a little bit to calm him down I took him to the car and left. He wasn’t injured in any way, I think he was more scared than anything. The other dog’s owner apologized as we were leaving.
The first few minutes in the car he was just whimpering and you could tell he was really upset. We got home and I squeezed him real tight and gave him lots of treats and we played fetch just the two of us.
Right now he seems okay. He fell asleep while chewing a rawhide bone.
I just don’t want this experience to make him either scared of big dogs (or any dogs for that matter) or overly aggressive around them. I think for now we’ll take a few days off from the park to try to forget that experience, and then maybe stick to the small dog area for a little while longer. At the same time, I do want him to be able to be friendly with all dogs. He was doing just fine before the younger one came along so I know he’s got it in him.
I appreciate you all listening to me as I decompress. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated. I just want my little pup to be okay.