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Milo doesnt play with dogs??

1357 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Milo's Mum
When we meet other dogs in the park he wont play with them, he just sits by my side, scared to death with his fur up down his back.

He barks at them when he's at a safe distance but craps himself when they aproach him.

Today in the park i thought he was going to get eaten by a huge Rottie, the owner was with him, but Milo growled at him and the rottie came up to him growling, i thought - hsit! this is it, my dogs a gonner! but she called him and he was ok.
He was running around with a spanial but Milo wouldnt join in with them, he just sat beside me.

As Milo is my first dobie i dont know if they are usually like this.
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has he spent much time with other dogs in his 4 months of age? he just might have to get used to being around them more.

I know when i took jack to the vets yesterday he was scared hsitless also, but when the big boys left and the small ones came it he was a little braver.
At only 4 months old he's too young to be stuck into a group of strange dogs, especially adult dogs.

See if you can find a puppy kindergarten classe near you, or a puppy playdate class. I was able to find a training center that offered both, I got my puppy when he was 4 months old and took him to those classes once a week until he was 6 months old. He was nervous the first day too, and wouldn't play, but the second time he went, he had a blast, and it continued that way. It was good for him because it gave him confidence around other dogs, and it taught him social skills for interacting with other dogs.

At the dog park you don't know who those dogs are or how aggressive they are, they could badly frighten a puppy, or even injure him, you just don't know. I didn't know the puppies at play date either, but at least they were puppies, and so much less likely to aggress.

What you are seeing is not a Doberman thing, it's a puppy thing.
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yeah I agree puppy class is more relaxed with other puppies like him. He wont get overwhelmed and I personally think its good for him to be meeting other dogs on a leash...Dogs can be more aggressive on the meeting dogs when he is young on the leash I think will teach him that being on a leash when meeting other doggies is okay. :):)
Thanks for the replies.

Firstly i thought it might be because, when he was able to go out after his vaccinations we took him to a park with a friend of mine who has a 12yr old dobie which was running and just ran straight over Milo, which did scare him to death. ??
But he's been with my mums little dogs and wont play with them.
I take him to a puppy class, its his 3rd one tomorrow night, the first time he just sat and watched them all, they were all jumping around and barking.

Then the next time it was him that was barking all the time at all the dogs. I think he thought "Oh i know what we have to do here... lots of barking!"

I take him to the park every day and he's always off the lead, he's really good and doesnt run off.
I didnt take Duchess to the dog park till she was older...she just had a lot of dog friends or puppies that she would play with at the house or at their house. She grew up with a golden maybe also try to find a play buddy...young or old just as long as they arent overwhelming. When I take Duchess to the dog park she plays with the dogs but she will often enjoy just hanging out by me...she never goes to far...and always looks back for me...if some dog start something with another dog she knows to stay away and she will come and stand by me (not scared though). Sometimes I have to tell her "Duchess go play!" and walk over with her. lol such a mama's girl!
As I understand it, the reason dogs tend to be more aggressive when on leash is because the leash cuts off the "flight" part of their "fight or flight" drive, leaving them no option but "fight". However if the dogs is confident and not anxious, it won't need either fight or flight in an on leash situation. So I think it's a good idea to get a puppy used to other dogs in non stressful situations first. None of the puppy play sessions I went to were conducted on leash. The puppies arrived on leash, but then the leashes were removed. This had the benefit of not making the puppies stressed about whether the leash was on or not, and what it might mean, it removed the importance of the on leash situation that dogs sometimes get into their minds.
4 months is alittle young to be at a dog park around the big boys. If they have a small dog park area too, that probably would be a better place until he gets accustomed to these surroundings. I have found out that alot of older dogs do not tolerate a puppy as much as we like. The overall goal is to make evryones experience a good one. A bad experience is alot harder to get over when they happen.

Alot of what you are seeing is that he is not sure of his surroundings and he is not comfortable yet. I have seen this with alot of first-timers at our dog park. It takes many visits before they start coming out of their shell. They may even play at a distance with other dogs for a bit before they join in.

For such a young one, you really need to watch the puppy so he does not get into a bad situation. If one does happen, they will be looking at you to help and you need to step in. This could be a really stressful time for them. We started to go to a dop park when my girl was almost 6 months old. An older dog chased her around in not so nice way and she was scared. We had to stop the older dog from doing this. After the incident, we just checked her over to make sure she was fine and continued on. The will look to you as pack leader as protection in these time. Just do not over do it by giving too much attention when they are scared, because it may lead them to thinking its okay if I'm scared. If you do not protect them in these situations, they will probably learn if I'm scared I will need to fight back, which could cause fear agression....

Dog Parks are a double edge swords. It could be the best times for them and then it could be a real bad time with lasting impressions. Alot of times the dogs that visits these parks are not the best trained and their owners are not very helpful or thoughtful. I was able to get into a group of regulars that were great at helping each others with situations that turned ugly. If the team work is not there, it can turn into a bad situation really fast.

We have had a few bad situations at the park I go too in the past and I do see some of the baggage it has caused on my girl. She still has alot of fun there, when we go, but there are certain situations that arises that can cause her to be not so lady like.
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Milo's Mum said:
I take him to the park every day and he's always off the lead, he's really good and doesnt run off.
I'd be careful about that. More than likely he's not running off right now because he's lacking confidence. If/when he starts getting more confident (which it sounds like he needs), he's likely to start ranging away from you.

Until you have a reliable recall thru training, it's not a good idea to cut dogs loose in large, unconfined areas. You wind up training them in ways you don't want..they figure out they don't HAVE to come when you call them. That's a bad habit which can be hard to correct.

I agree with everyone else-if your puppy is shy around other dogs, he needs to be exposed to them in a far more controlled setting than a dog park.
Yeah exactly. When I say on leash...I was talking about puppy class...not play sessions. We set up play times and let duchess meet other dogs outside of at our house. During the puppy class they taught light obedience and later on introduced them to small agility equipment to gain confidence. Then puppies were allowed to sniff and meet the other puppies. We had "pass the puppy" where you pass your puppy and they spend time with everyone in the class...and you get everyone elses puppy. They also would bring them in the center (on long loose leashes) and the humans would just talk or whatever while the puppies would lightly play...and then the humans walk away and say the puppies name like "Puppy Come" etc...those were the socializing activities that they did in class...
When they were that young they didnt seem to get stressed around other puppies or other dogs when they have a leash on b.c they dont think anything of it.
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Mandy check the net for local dog training classes and get him to one for some basic training and socialisation there are loads out there and most only charge £2 to £3 for about an hour, do it once or twice a week before you know it he will be more comfortable around other dogs,he will start in puppy class and be around dogs of his own age.
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Brumwolf i do take him to puppy classes, its his 3rd one tonight.

When we're in the park he is excellant with recall, as i call him back and give him treats everytime, and he always comes when called.

He hasnt had any nasty experiences with dogs, just the fright when the adult dobie run him over, he seems quite happy to just run around close to me when i walk around, i just think he's missing out.

There are a group of elderly people that are in the park, and they have elderly dogs which dont run around.

Maybe i just need to give him time.
He's a very laid back dog to start with and has never been a *giddy* puppy, as our house is very quiet and relaxed.
I have not read through all of the replies, so forgive me if I repeat something....

4 months is a huge fear period for dogs. Now is the time that you should be taking him everywhere possible to get him used to everything, which it sounds like you are doing. However, I would not take him to an off leash park with a bunch of dogs you don't know until he's a little older because you never know how other dogs will react toward puppies. The elderly dogs are probably fine, but do younger adults ever go to the park aswell?
No there's no younger adults that go there.

Its only a small park with just 2 small fields for footy, a bowling green and a caged tennis court.

He's not exposed to lots of dogs at any one time, its rare that there are a few there, most of the time we can be the only ones in the park, apart from the guys who are working to re-furbish parts of it, and Milo is getting used to meeting them, but slowly and on his own terms, first few days he avoided them, then the next few he walked close to them, now he's confident enough to sniff their hands, but he doesnt like it if people go to stroke the top of his head, he'll shy away.

So i guess he's slowly building his confidence with meeting people, at a pace he's comfortable with.
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