Most people don’t understand the relationship between pack structure and dogs.  Because of this, dogs are out of control within their own packs and therefore unpredictable when encountering new dogs and packs.  Pack instincts are pivotal in all family pets.  These drives become heightened when dogs are out of their own trusted environment and placed into the mix of strange dogs.

     New dogs are even more at risk.  Dogs that have visit the park regularly have established a level of consistent habits and also see this as their territory.  New dogs more often are seen as intruders as opposed to new friends.  Territorial aggression, fear aggression and dominance aggression can flare up quickly in these situations.

     The first incorrect assumption is that every dog in the park is well-mannered and or trained.  Observing play between other dogs does not mean your dog will be extended the welcome mat.  Within these groups, the issue of rank has already been settled and rules established.  Your dog does not know the rules and is extremely vulnerable to attack.

To read more about dog park behaviors, click on the links below: 

http://leerburg.com/dogparks.htm

 http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/aggression-dogs

***Noteworthy on this topic is also the topic of dogs getting attacked in doggy day care.  A friend of mine managed a doggy day care here in Atlanta and relayed a tragic story of a small dog getting killed by a larger dog.  Please follow the link below to learn more about choosing the right place for your loved pet.

http://caninekinshipmaine.blogspot.com/2010/11/dangerous-daycares.html

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