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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a young male Catahoula (we think), who is neutered. We take him to the dog park regularly, and recently, he has started having problems. He is great with the other dogs 99% of the time. However, whenever someone brings in an extremely high-energy dog, (the type that comes flying in, bouncing all over the walls, jumping all over people, etc.) he tries to pin them down, and growls. He isn't aggressive about it, he doesn't use his mouth or try to bite them, he just uses his body to push them down. Its definitely not an "attacking" thing, and the other dogs don't react badly. Other than this, he doesn't really display dominant behavior. He doesn't mount other dogs, and is pretty respectful most of the time. He has no problem rolling over on his back when he is playing with them. Im just not sure what causes him to act like this. I do get embarrassed, but thankfully no one has gotten angry about it. After the dog has calmed down a bit, he is their best friend. No problems at all. How should I address this? Should I keep him near me until the other dog calms down? Thanks in advance for any help.
 

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Hi and welcome!
I don't believe it is "dominant" behavior, it is how they (houlas) herd, resource guard, play, etc. ) They use their bodies.

We have two female Catahoulas (see my pic. album) and Chloe the older (3yrs) will use her body to protect me and our other houla at the dog park by using her body also. She is resource guarding me from overly "active" jumping up on me dogs! She will insert herself between me and usually a really friendly big lab, if that doesn't work, she will initiate a "chase" with the other dog forcing its attention away from me. She keeps her eye on our other growth stunted houla for possible other "dog" problems and does the exact same thing! It is just Chloe worrying that the dog will knock me over and she only does it if the other dog jumps up on me to lick me or bangs into me in its excitement. Pinning and growling is her way of warning the other dog, and she has only done this once "protecting" Addy. Our other dog park dog owners all understand her behavior and no one takes offense as we have all remarked on it. She has never hurt any dog or nipped, bit, etc. or she would be leashed!!!
Chloe and Addy pin each other 30 times a day, lol. They also grab each other's necks, legs and anything else that moves and is grabbable!!

OHHH....pictures would be great!!!!

Houlas use their bodies to herd wild boar by sandwiching the boar between them with another houla in the rear of the pig. If you go to Catahoula Leopard dog history website you can see a video of this. They used them in Louisiana in teams of three dogs.
You can teach your dog to "leave it" or another cue if you think your dog is behaving too roughly. Addy quit body slamming other dogs (sigh) when one put her head over heels (not aggressively) and the light went on!!

:D Love those houlas, do you live in the South....where did you get your houla?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Good to hear I'm not the only one! I don't live in the south, we are in California. We adopted him as a pup from a rescue who told us he was an Aussie mix, which he is definitely not, haha. I'll post pictures in a few :)
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OMG! It IS a red catahoula and looks like a purebred one (if you can call curs fullbred, LOL) Jasper is SO handsome and has the eyes to boot! CatahoulaRescue is a great website for you to connect with other houla lovers. Have you looked at his feet to examine the webbing? That was for marshes in Louisiana....Bet he has the white tipped tail too. Love these curs! Our Chloe knows 60 words. Home Depot has a sliding lock garbage can to prevent trash raiding, LOL

:happydance:
 

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Zoe, Phoenix, Alice - ACDx
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I don't think that is a catahoula thing. Sorry pk.

Many dogs get irritated with hyper bouncy dogs because they are "in your face" rude and ignore the other dog's signals to give them space or calm down. There is a sticky in the behavior section about "calming signals". http://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior/calming-signals-10084/

He is putting the other dog on the ground because he's trying to say, "dude calm down, I don't like this".

If you notice one of those dogs coming into the park call your dog and distract him. Or leave. Your dog is telling you he is uncomfortable with the other dog.

Neither of my dogs like rude dogs, either. :)
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Hi,
This is an excerpt for you:
Temperament of the Catahoula Leopard Dog
It’s also important to remember that the Catahoula's first instinct is to protect its family. If they perceive a threat to you they will make themselves be known. Mostly I have found this to be a stepping in front of you and the “threat”, maybe a few barks, but not over the top extreme protection. You should be able to tell by your dog’s movements how they are feeling about the situation. If they are not at ease, you will know and the dog should be addressed and told that “everything is fine”.
They also need to have a very fast reaction time; their natural instincts make them move without thinking - “Instinctively”. It is what keeps them alive in front of adversaries so much larger and stronger then themselves – they can react in a split second.

But it’s also what might get them in trouble in certain situations – times of high excitement, whether it’s six kids running around, laughing and screaming, or other dogs playing hard or a cat running by in front of them. Their reaction time to these stimuli may be very quick and an owner needs to be able to read how the dog is thinking and how it will react in certain situations.

Kikkopup's utube video on calming signals is excellent and we use that at home with both dogs. Since the houla is so quick to react to "perceived" threat or other dog rudeness, it might be difficult to utilize these in a dog park, so being in tune with your dog and having him attentive to your commands is truly important. Training, especially socialization around young children is critical, as they can be loud noisy creatures.
Dan Abney has a book that might be worthwhile, although the dominance theory has be totally de bunked.
 

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Zoe, Phoenix, Alice - ACDx
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I've actually been around a few catahoulas. I still do not think it is a "breed issue". I think the dog is uncomfortable around excitable rude dogs. Any breed of dog can feel that way. My friend who has a boxer/sharpei mix does the same thing the OP described. He knocks the rude excitable dog over and stands over him/her until the other dog calms down.

Also, it's "Kikopup", not kikkopup. :)
 

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ditto zoesmom... this has nothing to do with the breed. My dogs also don't appreciate rude, overhyper dogs.
 
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Neither do mine. Nola has no issue giving a low growl if said dog won't back off.
 

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We call Bree the referee of the dog park - she's body slam dogs with a a grumble who are jumping on people or harassing other dogs, but leave them alone otherwise. Mostly people understand their dog is being a pill (which is why they brought them to the dog park), and since we have a large park, it's easy enough to walk a different direction if we see a hyper dog coming our way.
 

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I second ZoesMom as well, and my little guy Reilly does not care for rude, overly excited, or overly bouncy or pushy behavior, which can be frustrating when the offending dog is just a playful (and adorable) puppy who hasn't learned boundaries yet. He will bare his teeth and do a low growl as well, which usually works to deter the dog, but he has gotten snippy and I have to avoid that obviously.

I just call Reilly to me and we keep walking and avoid the other dog, but this is at a trail, so I'd recommend in a dog park to call him to you and let him take a breather away from the other dog, as far as possible, and if there isn't ample room for both of the dogs to play separately, I'd leave.

It always sucks to have to feel like you have to leave because of somebody else's ill-behaved dog, but it's better safe than sorry.
Short of speaking with the owner directly, and asking them to please try and distract their dog from yours, it's the only other option.
Try also finding other places to take your dogs like trails to hike, fields, etc., and set up playdates with dogs that are known to be well-behaved with other dogs. I use a 24 ft. flat nylon leash for areas that aren't off-leash.

Welcome fellow Californian, BTW!

And your dog is seriously amazingly gorgeous. :)
 

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We call Bree the referee of the dog park - she's body slam dogs with a a grumble who are jumping on people or harassing other dogs, but leave them alone otherwise. Mostly people understand their dog is being a pill (which is why they brought them to the dog park), and since we have a large park, it's easy enough to walk a different direction if we see a hyper dog coming our way.
Lol, that's a lot like Reilly! He'll ignore most dogs, except other Sighthounds (he always knows a sighthound, and ALWAYS loves them), but when a few dogs are getting too rowdy, he'll go in between and growl. I don't let him do it when I can prevent it, and it's one of the many, many reasons I don't go to many dog parks anymore; I don't need him to get in the middle of the wrong dogs because he thinks he's the little old man ref, haha. He does however have a shirt with SECURITY on it. (He's 14lbs, ha.)
 

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Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to clear up some confusion....in my post about our Catahoulas and other same breed dogs, I never stated that our dog's behavior was "breed specific", lol. I just related information about the Catahoula, a dog I am very familiar with. I tend not to post information about other breeds as I know other DF breed owners have more expertise about their "own" breed. The expertise and knowledge base on DF is outstanding, which is why I am on DF! :D Chloe exhibits typical protective houla behaviors, Addy, well....Addy is just our "special clueless try so hard to please but doesn't understand" dearheart.
 

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My little puppy is one of those high energy pup who will come flying into the other dog's faces and tries to lick as much as she can. So far I have seen that half of the dogs are fine with her but half will get annoyed by her behavior. The ones that get annoyed will bark at her to warn her to stay away, but being the curious puppy that she is, she would run away once the other dog barks but come running back a minute later. There has been one dog, a husky that did not like my puppy's behavior at all. It would bark and growl at my puppy during the puppy class. The husky's owner told us that it does that at home toward a cat that they own. Perhaps my puppy reminds the husky of a cat since she is small and fluffy :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to clear up some confusion....in my post about our Catahoulas and other same breed dogs, I never stated that our dog's behavior was "breed specific", lol. I just related information about the Catahoula, a dog I am very familiar with. I tend not to post information about other breeds as I know other DF breed owners have more expertise about their "own" breed. The expertise and knowledge base on DF is outstanding, which is why I am on DF! :D Chloe exhibits typical protective houla behaviors, Addy, well....Addy is just our "special clueless try so hard to please but doesn't understand" dearheart.
I do have one more question that you may be able to help with. Another thing is that he is very, VERY loud when he plays. He has been this way since he was a tiny puppy. I do realize that is probably common with the breed, but it does worry some people, and I have to explain to them that he's just really loud and obnoxious. Most of the people who come to the park are "regulars" who love Jasper, so they don't worry about it, but new people do get worried sometimes.
Is this something I should discourage? It has only really gotten him in trouble once, with a big lab that had a ball in his mouth. Jasper didn't realize he had a ball, until the lab jumped on him and bit a hole through his ear. That didn't deter him much, though. He just runs alongside dogs, making this noise that I can only really describe as "Arrwaarwaaahhh", haha. If a dog doesn't like it, and puts him in his place, he will stop immediately.
It does make other dogs get too excited at times, though. He has unintentionally caused problems between other dogs, because he is very loud and gets them too riled up. For example, if a dog is being bullied by a few other dogs, which happens often with a particular group, Jasper usually won't join in with the bullying. (He has, on occasion, but I immediately put him on time-out, because I don't think its okay) but he will stand about 5-6 feet away from them, and just "owwwooowwoowww" at them, and bark super loud, and it usually makes the other dogs way too excited, and then more dogs gang up on the poor dog who is usually hiding under the chairs. The owner of the bullying dogs says the just need to "work it out", and lets them do it, so even when I do separate Jasper or leash him, he just goes straight over there as soon as I let him go. I think one of the biggest problems is that my two dogs at home never get mad at him for being obnoxious, and my male pittie plays very loud as well.

Sorry for the novel, haha. I'm just not sure how to stop, or at least diminish this behavior.
 

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Hi!
Regarding Jasper's vociferousness in play, neither Chloe or Addy bark or howl when playing....Chloe is the only one that does an alert bark and that is only in our home when someone knocks or pulls in the drive...she doesn't even bark at dogs when guarding our house by stationing herself at the front picture window. But we do acknowledge her "tenseness", ears forward, looks toward us, tail wagging quickly. We tell her everything is ok, "it's a dog on the sidewalk" and she will relax.

If the "noise making" has caused a problem, exciting the other dogs to become more bullying, or has caused him a problem, I would discourage it for sure. You might want to pick up some positive reinforcement books on dogs such as Pat McConnell or Karen Pryor's. Hounds/curs tend to "howl" when their prey drive is activated by the scene of a "hunt". But again, Chloe and Addy have never done this and I am not sure why. Hope this is useful. Maybe other DF posters that have this behavior in their dogs can pitch in with input.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Oh, how strange haha. Jasper is very much a talker, in every aspect. He barks when happy, confused, frustrated, and everything in between. Especially when he can't get comfy in his blankets. Apparently, barking at them will fix the problem. :)
 

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No offense, but this dog park sounds like it's one you probably should reconsider visiting. If this is what's going on, and no one has addressed the owners that allow their dogs to bully or gang up on other dogs, it sounds like a horrible day or expensive vet bill waiting to happen. Is this the only park you can take your dogs? Depending where you are I can help you find a better one.

I would personally not go back to this particular park, but if you do continue I would suggest leaving as soon as behavior like that is going on between more than two dogs. Especially if your dog is making them even more riled up.

It's not your fault though, and your dog is just vocal and doesn't like when dogs are ganging up on another dog.
My little guy Reilly is the same way, and when I do visit dog parks and this happens, until the owner of the dog that is bullying ends the behavior, I can't let Reilly back off-lead.
I have to leash him and let him off down the trail, away from these dogs. He has jumped into groups of dogs to bully the dog being chased, and been the one chased as well. Hence why I don't take them to parks like that anymore. Way too many ill-behaved dogs because of ignorant owners, and the amount of tension that is usually in the air from the owners and their dogs just creates dog fights.

Definitely check out KikoPup's channel on Youtube, there are quite a few videos she has that will help you teach a cue to end vocalization (and produce it on cue!), positively interrupt behaviors, etc.

I would love to see a vid of your guy talking to his blankies, lol. That sounds ridiculously adorable. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The dog park we go to is usually great, its just certain people who don't understand what behaviors are unacceptable. 4 out of 5 times we go, there are no incidents and everyone gets along. The group in particular are very rough players. They usually just play with each other the whole time, and don't pay attention to other dogs. There are just certain times when they decide to gang up on a nervous dog, and it is definitely a "pack" thing, they all circle around the dog and bark, nip, bare teeth, and corner him/her. Recently, I've either leashed Jasper when they start to do it, or leave. I really don't want him picking up that behavior. No one really confronts the owner about it, unfortunately. She definitely intervenes when things get bad, but doesn't really understand that she shouldn't let them do it in the first place.
Thanks for your input, I'll definitely check those videos out :)
 
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