Our little one suddenly got snappy

We have a two year old Beagle/Chihuahua (Malibu) and a Patterdale Terrier (Solly). We go to the dog park once or twice a week.
We used to live in an apartment. We recently bought a house and moved to another part of the city, where now we have a big backyard.
The week we moved, my parents came to visit for a week and then my sister came for another week. During this time, we went to a new dog park. Both dogs have always been fine with other dogs and in fact, love to run and play. They were both fine at the new park.
The following week, however when I went to the dog park, my little one starting snapping and growling when another dog came near. I was so shocked and confused. The third time she did it, I left. Ever since that day, this is how she behaves- growling and snapping at every dog that comes up to her. I even tried going to the old park but same result.
I don't know what to do. I am afraid we won't be able to go anymore but I want them to be able to play with other dogs.

Asked by Malibu on Mar 30th 2012 in Socialization
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When you are going to the dog park what you need to do is first put her on a leash and walk the perimeter on the outside, use leash correction to stay in control (quick snap then release, it's really only used to get your dogs attention back on you. Eye contact after correction is key) don't let her sniff, tell her to leave it if other dogs come to the fence a, then go home. If she shows aggression during this exercise, continue it until she is basically ignoring the distractions around her and it's just another walk. Once that is accomplished, take her for her perimeter walk, and then enter into the greeting area (not sure if your park has this) stand in there and just let her watch other dogs enter and leave the park. Again, she shouldn't sniff, if anything, use leash correction and have her present her rear to the other dog first ALWAYS. Once there is no reaction to that, start a perimeter walk on the inside, then when you're comfortable let her off leash and she will be playing.

Member 1103201 answered on 3/30/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer