Bryce and I took Bigby to Cosmo dog park today. Cosmo dog park is my favorite dog park because it has the man made lake and my dog loves to retrieve in the water.
Today's trip was quite annoying. Another reason I love Cosmo dog park is because generally the people there are chill. In my opinion the dog park is the place for a dog to be an all out dog. They're off leash, they're aloud to run as much as they want, they can get wet and get their ball as many times as they want. They are also allowed to be rambunctious and and play with other dogs.
Bigby sleeping on the laundry. He does this every time I do laundry.
I don't know about your dog but for my dog, normal dog play consists of the following
- running after (chasing) and being chased by other dogs
- running side by side with several dogs
- putting his front paws up on other dog and letting other dogs putt their paws on him
- the occasional wrestle where Bigby is on his back or Bigby has another dog on their back
- and the jowl and ear grabbing.
- Also the occasional play growling. Which, by the way, my dog is a hypocrite about. He will think it's fine to play growl and be vocal sometimes but if another play growl or get vocal his tail goes between his legs and he shrinks in fear.
Now my Bigby is bulky for a lab. (see below)
Today it seemed that the other dog owners at the dog park interpreted my dogs bulkiness to be meanness. My dog is not mean. He's one of the sweetest dogs I've ever owned. Even with my tiny 4 pound chihuahua, Fergie. Yes he'll use his mouth when he plays. Today however he didn't and the other owners were still snipity. So I came home and googled, 'normal dog play behavior', because I've always been told that sensitive inhibited play bites are normal. Especially around the jowls and ears. So, the first thing that popped up in my google search was THIS. Notice the, "Plays the “bite-each-other's mouth” game.- This is normal play behavior., this is what I mean by jowls. See, other dog owners, it is normal play behavior. Today, when a dog started doing it to my dog it was okay but when Bigby started to play back and respond, it wasn't okay.
Worn out after the dog park.
It was just frustrating. I suppose my purpose of this post is to say, if you are going to go to the dog park, RELAX. Your dog does, so should you. Don't go to the dog park if you don't want any other dogs around your dog. Not aggression but mouthing with gentle teething of other dogs is normal dog play behavior. Especially around the mouth.
Bigby retrieving his ball.squeaky rope, he knows to bring me back his squeaky rope as apposed to just any toy on the floor. I take a special orange ball at to the dog park. A ball that he can squeeze in his mouth without breaking, so I make him 'mark' it before I throw it. It just so happens that the word, 'mark', will always get Bigby's attention. If he's all the way on the other side of the dog park and I want his attention I yell, 'mark' and he automatically looks to me. So, today I'm bathing Bigby and this guy stops and says, "hey, what's your dogs name?", "Bigby", I say. He frowns and says, "oh, there was this big male yellow lab over there that I swear they were calling Mark and I thought it was your dog.". I laugh and say that my dog but his name isn't Mark. The man looks confused and I explain that 'mark' is a command I give my dog to make him look and see what I want him to retrieve. The man started laughing and say, "my name is Mark and I've never met a dog named Mark before. I thought it was a first, but that makes way more sense. Who ever heard of a dog named Mark?" and walked away laughing. It made the trip to the dog park much better.