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Cruel to bring muzzled dog to dogpark?

asked 2018-12-17 18:20:19 -0600

To start off, I'll give some background information. I'm 16 and my family has two rescue mutts that we've had since they were about 6 months each. We got the first one six months before the second and they get along without a fault, love each other. Both the older and younger one had been to the dog park multiple times with no issue before. When separated, the older male gets extremely anxious and begins pacing and watching the windows till the younger female gets back. The younger female does not do this. We also have the issue of the older male being extremely protective to the point where he will take me down trying to go after another dog, but only if the other dog approaches me or the female too fast. A couple weeks ago I took them both to the dog park, thinking it would be fine because they've both been before just not with each other. When we got to the park another dog ran at me and my younger dog to play and greet us, and was immediately attacked by my older male before I had to physically pull him off. What can I do to curb this aggression? Would it be cruel to bring him to the park with a gentle nylon muzzle and then take it off eventually when I know he wont attack again? Both are large dog mutt breeds, with Great Pyrenees, Sheep Dog, and Ardiel Terrier

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answered 2018-12-18 04:57:41 -0600

In my opinion the dog in question is not a candidate for the dog park, muzzled or not, until he has been fully desensitized to whatever it is that makes him attack.

If it were my dog I would work with him in a controlled environment before possibly re-introducing him to the dog park. Meanwhile the dog should be exercised on a leash or within a private enclosed area.

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Dog parks are not a good fit for all dogs. And big dog owners have to be specially alert, as sometimes the size alone creates unfriendly encounters.

Cindy & Stephen G.'s profile imageCindy & Stephen G. ( 2018-12-21 01:03:58 -0600 )edit
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answered 2019-01-06 19:46:22 -0600

Yes, it would be cruel to muzzle the dog and turn it loose with other dogs. How would you feel about being placed in a group of strangers with your hands tied behind your back, and not knowing if one of them, or all, were going to start hitting you?

Not all dogs can handle a dog park, and I wouldn’t stress out your male dog by taking him there when other dogs are present. Is there a down time when the area is deserted and you can let your 2 dogs play with each other? Otherwise, I would not take the male to the dog park and find another way to exercise him (long walks/runs, teach him to run alongside of you on a bike, or teach him to pull you on a bike or a dog scooter).

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