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What should i have done? (not a BC)

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I was at the dog park with Abbie this afternoon when a tiny puppy (Shih Tzu??-it was a little fluffy thing) came in with its owner on a lead (the dog was on the lead). Already at the park were two dogs-a black lab and a staffy. They were both usually very nice dogs (id met them before at the park) although the black lab is VERY boistrous (sp?). I was coming up from out of the park with Abbie on the lead and the little fluff arrived at the park about the same time as me. The black lab and staffy who were playing ran over to us to say hello. I let Abbie off the lead to go and play but then the other two dogs went to say hello to the little puppy so Abbie followed. She sniffed the little dog then ran away from the dog and owner (puppy still on lead) hoping someone would chase her. The other dogs (lab and staffy) were still saying hello to the puppy who was on the lead. The staffy was standing there watching while the lab was bouncing (as they do!) around the puppy trying to get it to "play". The puppy was very scared and started yelping so the owner got very distrort and tryed to pick the puppy up. I was meanwhile grabbing abbie and putting her in the lead as she was getting excited. The lab was bouncing and started to fight with the puppy who was yelping away. The owner of the staffy came and called him away but the owner of the lab who was attacking the puppy was casually walking from the other side of the dog park to where we were. She had seen her dog attacking, mabye she thought she was playing? :confused:

I was holding Abbie away and the owner of the puppy was trying to get out of the way and pick up her dog. The lab didnt have a collar on so i couldnt have grabbed her as well as keeping abbie out of the way. I also didnt want my hand taken off. The owner finally got there and called the lab away but didnt even look at the other owner or apologise to her.

I feel really bad now like i should have done something to stop it. The owner of the puppy looked really upset.

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Adelaide - It's good of you to be concerned, and I think you did well with Abbie to put her on leash and under control, and not contribute to the situation.


I would never take a pup to a dog park - I don't know that I'd ever take a dog to a dog park because, although I have control over my own dog, the same can't be said for others. In addition, I am aware of my dogs' health history (vaccinations, wormings, parasites, etc.) and not of the other dogs' health histories.


Sounds to me like that lab owner owed some consideration to the pup owner. I don't think there is anything you could have done to stop what happened, and you were smart to avoid putting yourself and Abbie in danger. That said, I doubt the lab was being seriously aggressive but it does sound like he was being a bully.


The bright spot in this whole thing is that the pup's owner should have learned a valuable lesson without lasting (physical) harm to the pup. He/she is the pup's friend and protector, and I hope will exercise common sense and caution next time and not put his/her pup in a situation that may cause mental or physical harm.


Such a situation as this can set up a little pup for being fearful of large dogs (or black dogs, or whatever) for the rest of its life, and that is a shame.

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The dog park near us has separate areas for different size dogs. I think there's also a separate area for young dogs. Not sure because i've been there only to put up and take down signs for a dog we found. I don't take Fergie there.


I feel sorry for the owner of that puppy. Here, you have to pay for a tag for a year to be able to take your dog in. If that owner paid and now cannot use the facility (except when there aren't all those large dogs), the fee is a waste. That's why I like the size limits at ours.

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These things can escalate so fast... you could have tried -


Since you kinda know the lab and he seems like a normally nice dog, and since Abbie and the staffy weren't part of the problem, you could have ignored them and quietly body blocked the lab from the puppy. You would have needed to do this early in the encounter before the lab went over the top and got too excited. It's easy for dogs to get overly aroused in dog parks, especially when new dogs arrive and especially when you're a lab and there's a squeeky little fuzz ball in front of you.


Of course, do not do this if you feel you'll get bit, but often someone stepping in with authority can defuse the encounter. Calmly body block the lab until he acknowledges you, tell him to sit and stay (most dogs do know that command). That would give the owner of the small dog a chance to pick up his dog and make his exit. Then the lab could be released to go and play with someone his own size.


The blame goes both ways- on the owner of the lab for not stepping in sooner, but also on the puppy's owner for putting his puppy in that situation. But you did the responible dog owner thing by putting Abbie back on leash.


Just my 2 cents... :rolleyes:

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