Puppy Playdate Gone Bad....

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Boxer Pal
I'll start this off with a lil intro.. My dog Joker is an almost three yr old neutered male. He's very playful and loves playing with other dogs. He has a "little brother" who is a chi. He has a playmate, Maize whose an English bulldog. They have play dates at each other's houses as well as the dog park. He plays well with other dogs at the park unless he is being harrassed by another dog (he had another dog try to hump him multiple times a week ago, and Joker growled and them snapped at this other dog, and then they played nice). Today he had a play date with a friend's two boxers, a male and a female, both adults, social, and fixed. We met at a park and allowed them to meet off leash. Within moments a fight broke out between Joker and the other male Porter. :-( we managed to break it up, and right afterwards their lil tails were wagging... We took a breather and let them calm down, tried to introduce them again, same thing. Everyone was separated again. Joker remained on his leash and I made him sit. Porter remained on his leash by his owner. We tried introducing Joker and Wriggley, the female because they initially seemed fine.. No go, they got into a scuffle as well. Once again separated. Joker remained on his leash and Wriggley went off to play with my two daughters. While on their leashes and separated a bit both Joker and Porter were calm and pretty much ignored one another. Wriggley was having to much fun playing with my girls that she didn't acknowledge either of the boys. I'm so embarrassed by Joker's behavior and also a lil sad that the play date didn't go well. Was the intro wrong, as in could he have felt threatened because there was two of them and one of him? Would it have been better to introduce them at a dog park where there were more neutral dogs? Or should we have had Joker met them one at a time? This has never happened to me before and I'm not sure what to do and now I'm afraid this will happen again like at the dog park.. :-(


Boxer Buddy
I have no advice really, my Abby always seems to be kind of a bully at first with other dogs and then typically it's just that she wants to play. So I'm not sure about the fighting. Hope you found some good advice somewhere and your picture in your avatar is a gorgeous dog!! :)


Super Boxer
Honestly, there is no way to know what happened after the fact. You need to find yourself a qualified behaviorist to determine where your dog is at regarding socialization with other dogs. It's quite likely he was feeling a bit unsure or overwhelmed by the bigger dogs who were part of their own pack (English Bulldogs and JR's are small) and responded defensively or offensively. Either way, it's not something you want to risk having happen again without professional advice. As they say - one time is opps. Two times is a developing behavior. Three times is established behavior. Established behavior is MUCH more difficult to change than developing behaviors.

Good luck.
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