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How to make friends at the dog park.
  • ShibaLuv19ShibaLuv19
    Posts: 16
    I have discovered the my shiba Rasu snaps at smaller dogs because he doesn't like them in his space. Whenever we see larger dogs at the dog park he whines and bounces around wanting to play. However I am fearful because I am not sure what his inital reaction will be and I don't want a fight to break out. How can I see if he will be more playful with larger dogs at the dog park without letting him off leash until I am certain he won't snap or play to roughly? He tends to play very rough sometimes with myself and my husband. Any advice would be so helpful. I want him to be able to enjoy playing with other dogs and not have me be so worried about him getting hurt or of him being to rough with another person's dog. Thanks in advance!
  • zandramezandrame
    Posts: 1106
    Unfortunately, this is pretty typical Shiba behavior that starts to show with maturity. In general Shibas are not dog park dogs. Once a Shiba is known to be reactive, it's best to not put him/her in the position where they will continue practicing the behavior. A better fit for them is playdates with friends' dogs, or classes with a controlled environment.

    Some threads with more detail -

    And more from the Reactivity category -
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    ^ I agree with Zandrame.

    This is why socialization is so important when they are young. Aside from exposing them, it's also to make a group of friends your Shibas will accept.

    My Bootz is a very calm and easy going Shiba. She just turned 5 in June. For the first time, she showed aggressive behavior to a new dog in our neighborhood. My husband was walking her, she saw the new dog, slipped out of her martingale collar and ran straight for the German Shepard. Luckily she obeyed when my husband yelled STOP! STAY!

    Bootz is very friendly to her dog friends, not so much to dog strangers.
  • NikkitineNikkitine
    Posts: 776
    To add on top @Bootz and @zandrame 's advice, in that even with proper socialization, they can be still become dog intolerant as they mature, even more so if they had come from anywhere other than a reputable breeder. If you are not fully confident that your dog will play nice with others, do not force them to interact or put them in situations where others can get hurt. It is not fair for your pup or for others.

    Such is the case with my girl, who came from a byb friend and had all the socialization with people and dogs from the very first day. I was even lucky enough to be able to bring her to work everyday to meet new people, dogs and have unlimited play dates. Alas, it is just her personality to have a large personal bubble in which she would only allow familiar dogs and people in. We have stopped going to dog parks from her first snap at small dog and have even had to stop going to Shiba meetups due to her reactivity. She is not even 2 years old and already acts like an old lady grump. Because she's so unpredictable and gets stressed in unfamiliar situations, I need to keep her away in order for her and other dogs to remain safe.

    However, the silver lining is that she does wonderful with our 4 other household dogs and a few other Shiba friends and that's what works the best for her. It is a little disappointing that we're not able to fully enjoy her playing nice with every single dog, but that's what we signed up for when we got a Shiba. =P
  • ShibaLuv19ShibaLuv19
    Posts: 16
    Thanks so much everyone for the advice. Rasu is 1 year and eight months. I work in a vets office and havr taken him there since he was 2 months old. So he loves people and interacts with the client dogs that I have let him greet. The only snapping issue is when walking him around our apartment complex. The other owners let their dogs wander up to him on retractable leashes (which I lothe) They aren't paying attention to their dogs and laugh when Rasu snaps. It annoys me. @Nikkitine I have also taken him a Shiba meet up and left him on leash. He seemed to do fine there and did not snap. He has never growled or shown aggression otherwise toward other dogs. I had someone mention allowing him run on a longer leash to see how he does. What do you think?

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