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Hello,

My 3 year old dog Jarvis has never been aggressive with other dogs until we got our new puppy Pepper. When we take them both to the dog park it seems like Jarvis will select certain dogs to be aggressive with whether they are playing with Pepper or not. Jarvis will also intervene when two dogs are getting rough/one dog is picking on the other. Does any one have advice or has dealt with this? He's never been like this and I do not want his behavior to get any worse.

Thank you
 

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Not all dogs should go to the dog park. And some dogs, as they age have less tolerance for other dogs or certain behaviors. I would stop taking him to the dog park, you can always try again at a later date and see if he enjoys it. But if one of my dogs showed aggression while at the park they would not be going back. A few months ago my basset, Shorty was attacked by a larger dog while at the dog park. Lets just say it was stressful and terrifying. Luckily Shorty only needed a course of antibiotics, but he was sore for about a week.
I would keep your dog socialized with other dogs. He may do better one on one rather than in a large mixed group. Maybe go to the park on off hours or get a small group together in a fenced/save spot. But if he continues to show aggression or stress I would stop taking him. As it is now only Freyja goes to the park, she loves it. Running and playing with the other dogs. But the boys don't enjoy it as much.
 

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What exactly do you consider 'aggressive'? Is he biting? Chasing? Growling? Snapping? Because sometimes canine corrections (their versions of saying 'stop it!' Or 'dont be rude!') are often snapping growling and a gentle bite on the snout. And breaking up two dogs getting into it sound like he is a 'Sheriff' type dog who doesn't like rough play. That's not aggression, and it's totally ok. Just like some people don't like rough housing, dogs are the same. What kind of breed is he as well? This behavior is very common in herding breeds. It's actually happening more with my dog as she's maturing. If he acts like this, he doesn't enjoy the dog park and should probably stay at home. If he is acting this way with the puppy he might be trying not to teach the puppy manners. If he truly is being aggressive, you should consult a trainer on what to do. I would suggest that regardless so you can find out exactly what he's doing and deal with it. But right now watch his interactions with the puppy and don't take him to the park.
 
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I second ceasing the dog park adventures.


I used to go, but it didn't last long. I grew up hearing dog parks were bad, but when I got Zico as a pup he really liked it. However several incidents down the rode with fights and almost fights and the poor guy getting beat up at every turn, I stopped going.

It is not positive socialization, as you have no control over the number of dogs, who comes to the park, or what they will react like. Zico will often get distracted by other dogs, which for our chosen sport if not acceptable - The club's head trainer I work with has me using a prong collar when training only, and using a mix of the collar correction and positive reinforcement. When he walks and ignores the other dog, he gets a reward - If he bows up, raises his hair, flicks an ear over, or otherwise acknowledges the dog at all - He receives the collar correction. It has worked great thus far.
 
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