“Why is my dog aggressive at dog parks?” This is a question we are asked often at Off Leash K9 Training San Luis Obispo.
People incorrectly assume dog parks are excellent ways to socialize your dog. Meeting other owners, seeing other dogs and letting their dog play. What could be better? In reality, we receive weekly calls from dog owners indicating their dog is now aggressive towards other dogs due to an altercation that happened at a park. Not every owner pays attention to their dog or realizes it might be best to keep their dog on a leash. As such, dogs are bitten and attacked. This happens all the time.
In a dog park environment, there are no trained supervisors, which is present in doggy daycare. There are no evaluations conducted, such as in daycare, to ensure the dog is a suitable fit at the park. With the lack of precautions, it is up to you to continually remain alert for your dog’s safety.
Dogs in dog parks are of various sizes, backgrounds, and levels of training. Dogs usually consider themselves a pack when there are four or more dogs present. Any time there is a pack, there has to be a pack leader. In order to become the pack leader, the dog has to assert his force onto other dogs to show them he is in charge. This often results in a dog getting bitten. This is how dogs can display aggression at the park and it’s often fear they are masking as they do not want to be bitten again.
You have other options without using a dog park. Take your dog to doggy daycare, set up play dates with friend’s dogs who you know and trust. Take them to a pet store on the weekend so they can interact in a more controlled environment. Set yourself and your dog up for success.