Scottish Terrier gets OCD at dog park

Here in Toronto, we finally got the snow that everyone else has been getting, making everyone at the dog park very excited.

Bridget became obsessed with a beautiful just-under-one-year-old male Keeshond and followed him everywhere, harassing the poor guy until I had to call her off. Funnily enough, we used to have a Keeshond when I was a kid and she was a lovely tempered dog. Also, Bridget was not the only one OCDing over Diego. A few other dogs were also chasing him and biting at his coat. His owners said this was par for the course.

All this grr, grr stuff is pretty regular for Bridget. How about your dogs?

26 thoughts on “Scottish Terrier gets OCD at dog park

  1. Think it is a very definate scottie type of play however it is often misunderstood by other dog owners as aggression. Prior to Christmas I had taken my two scotties in the dog enclosure and they were playing with a briard and a labradoodle. Seth my black boy approached the briard with a playful barky/growl which means lets all have a good run. The briard then put the whole of her mouth round his neck shaking him and threw him into the air. I heard the owner remark “well I’m not gonna tell her off for that as he barked first!”. She then stomped over to me and told me that she was trying to control her dog who was often aggressive with small dogs and that I shouldn’t simply allow my dog to run around playing with others he didn’t know. I was flabbergasted as they were all only playing (up until the biting) and after all if she knows her dog is aggressive with others I would have thought perhaps bringing it into a dog enclosure was probably not the best idea. I calmly clipped him on the lead and informed her that although I was willing to have a discussion I would not be shouted at.She then screamed at me that she was socialising her dog whereas I was just standing there allowing him to play with all and sundry. Another man jumped in and said I should let him off as “her dog was in the wrong”. I left as I was quite upset by her attitude. Anyway rant over but needed to get that off my chest sorry.

    1. The episode mentioned by Claire is EXACTLY why I won’t take my Scotties to so-called bark parks. These places are nothing but dens of lawless activity as seen by the behavior of the owner of the briard.

      It is not the dogs that are the problem, it is the mindless, brain-dead, stupid, idiotic owners who are allowing their dogs to misbehave for the owners personal twisted pleasure, lack of self-esteem or mental issues.

      And this isn’t a rant as I have expressed my opinion on bark parks all too often.

  2. Our Rosie has a habit of running full out all over the house in trying to get her two Cairn brothers to join in. There’s an awful lot of grring from Rosie but the boy’s just sit off to the side and watch her as she perform’s her once a day tyriad.

  3. I agree with everyone….we have a Sc ottie and a Westie and our Scottie has all the normal traits you would expect of the breed and THAT is what the “other” owners are missing…our Scottie has her MAD moment every evening usually does her run mad around the house then collapses and she does her grr grrr etc with the Westie, and tries to get her to join in or nudge her along if she is not going fast enough for her liking.
    I think parks are great for some freedom it’s just you never know who you are going to meet on any given trip, so like Ken said sometimes they are more trouble than it’s worth for both dog and owner……………..
    Bridget was just being herself and wanting to PLAY, let’s have some FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. I’m so glad to see this! That’s exactly how Mollie plays and it gets taken as aggressive. We got chastised by owners of some purse dogs/hamsters at Fort Woof last week. Mollie ran up to play with them using her grrr grrr talk and they freaked out, shouted “manners!, manners!” at her (like she knew or cared) and then, as I took her away, said that I was the problem as a dominate owner. Other dogs she plays with (including Max) have no problem.

  5. Our Scotties are the same with the playful growl. However, in the town where we live, there isn’t an actual dog park. We do try to socialize our dogs by having friends over with their dogs. What is funny is that the dogs we tend to have ours play with are Alaskan Malamutes. It is quite entertaining to see two tiny Scotties up against the 2 huge beasts. Both sets of dogs though use the same playful growl, so no one gets offended. The play ends up being pretty fair because the little ones can get under their feet and under the coffee tables to cause issues with the Malamutes.

  6. Yep… the same.
    I’ve think I’ve mentioned the ‘joy dances’ Kirk occasionally performs, these are very similar, exact movements as Bridget’s, (fast runs with sudden stops in different directions.) Kirk has a VERY deep bark…. which can scare the life outta people, (she only yaps as a signal to go out to the loo and hardly ever growls.) I never discouraged her barking, however she kinda sensed she was scaring other dogs from a puppy and tends not to bark now while out, unless spooked. Kirk digs instead of barking…. well she pretends too … it’s a kinda fast movement of her paws in the ground or pavement. Of course this just confuses everyone LOL and I often get asked what she is doing.
    We don’t have social areas for dogs over here in Liverpool, just the big areas in parks. There’s a current trend going with young lads in the city to own Bull Terriers and encourage aggressiveness in them as a status symbol, so Kirk and I stay away from main parks now. I live in the countryside in a small village, so we do the traditional to the church on the hill and back, (with a stop off at my local for a drink of water and a pint 🙂 We also do the beach… where she does socialise more. I do realise I should get her to meet other dogs… but I’m always worried … and we a terrible experience 5 years ago with her and an Alsatian.
    Tegan

  7. Our Piper does the play growl as well, it seems to be a Scottie thing. The Scots that I have known have never been aggressive (although they do stand up for themselves). The digging thing is another of her quirks when she is excited, tis a bit hard on the carpets though.

  8. Totally agree with others here and my two scotties exhibit bridget’s exact behavior and it’s nothing more than play. It gets quite ferocious sounding when they play with each other or some other closely related terriers like westies. I can see how others might get worried about it since when I first got my scotties I was a little concerned at first, but seeing this over and over again, it’s nothing at all.

    I agree with others that the dog park is a situation that requires constant monitoring. Especially since scotties can be misunderstood, I have to keep a pretty open dialogue going with other owners at the dog parks; making sure they know I’m watching my dog, letting them know that it sounds mean, but my dog(s) don’t mean anything by it and if they feel uncomfortable let me know and I’ll put a stop to it right away. It’s a lot of work and communicating and sometimes a little unfair to my dogs, but it’s the one the best ways I’ve found to diffuse a situation since I’ve also gotten into some all out yelling matches as well and I definitely want to avoid those.

  9. Ditto. My Scout does the little grr grr thing and runs wildly like she was shot out of a cannon and then turns on a dime and goes another direction when playing. When she tries to engage other dogs to play she grr grrs at them then sneaks up and nips their ankles! She isn’t really biting – believe me. Plus, this little squirt always seems to like to play with the big dogs! She’s not interested in the little ones. I guess she thinks she’s large and in charge or something. In any case, it’s just all fun and games and most she encounters take it that way.

  10. Absolutely the same. The growling/playing can sound viscious sometimes but it is reckless, all out abandon–and it really doesn’t matter if the playmate is cat, other dog or even my great niece. I haven’t ever had an aggressive Scottie. We live in the mountains and so have miles to walk with no other dogs in the area save a couple of neigbors. My old friend Tabasco was attacked by the local German Shepherd on a walk one day–the same walk we had done hundreds and hundreds of times in the past and without incident. The shepherd charged over his property line and my wee beastie stood between me and him, taking the brunt of the attack. He survived the brutal mauling but never fully recovered and died a couple of months later just short of his 12th birthday. My new little guy hasn’t been on a full walk on the mountain for fear of a repeat incident. It feels like I am cheating him a bit since I have acres of our own land to walk on but it isn’t a chance I want to take. We don’t go to the city to a bark park for the same concern.

      1. Thank-you. I miss him every day. Life just isn’t the same without a Scottie. My family brought me Quincy–who is an amazing, smart, happy little guy. I hope that I offer him as much as he so unconditionally brings to my life!

  11. I have two one year old Scottish Terriers Hattie and Hamish. I take them to the park each day but always have a nightmare with Hamish as he seems to want to protect Hattie from other dogs and not socialise with any at all. He is worse since he turned 9 months old. I have tried everything and dread coming face to face with other dogs which spoils the enjoyment of taking them out. He is the most placid, obedient, loving, faithful dog at home, friendly with adults and children alike. People can’t believe his behaviour at the park and how his character changes. I had a Scotty and a Westie for 13 years and never had these problems. I could even let them off their lead, something I’m not sure I”d ever risk with these two. I’m running out of ideas now but having read some of the comments I wonder if I’m going to have to accept his way and can’t change him. It”s true Scotties are a challenge as pups but I would never have any other dog. I love them to pieces.

    1. Hi Julie,

      I feel your pain. It seems Hamish is at the age where dogs start to assert themselves.

      At one-year-old, my Scottie Bridget went from rolling over on her back for other dogs to aggressively disciplining puppies. It was quite a shock and she hasn’t rolled over for anyone since.

      That’s the bad news. The good news is she does go to the dog park. I have a special short leash that she wears and drags. If for some reason she gets into a spat or I sense she’s headed for trouble, I just step on the leash. Otherwise, I would have to chase her around as she jumps around, play growls and eludes my grasp.

      Another relevant point is whether or not Hamish is fixed.

      At some point, after trying out recommendations which make sense for your dog, you will have to decide if he is indeed suitable for the dog park.

      Even if he isn’t, I’m sure you can find another routine, which will be fun for you too.

      All the best and please let Scottie News know how this develops.

      1. Hi, well I’m back to tell a completely different story! 🙂 I decided to start walking them individually to make them listen and obey. After many months, I can now let Hamish off lead as long as he’s not in wooded areas with rabbits & squirrels! He gets so excited! He still barks at other dogs on his short lead and sometimes wants to run off after other dogs off lead but only to play not attack. However, on the whole we do have fun. Hattie, well I leave her on the long lead. She has selective hearing and if she wants go off she will! I never take them together on my own. They bark, get very excited, I think it’s sibling rivalry. Hattie always wants to play with Hamish and of course to other people it looks and sounds like they’re trying to kill one another! At weekends with my family we will take them out together. I occasionally let Hattie off lead as well but only when all the family are there. I hope that one day they do calm down and I can walk them in the park just like many owners I see, with two dogs or more. Just thought I’d let readers know, you can change them. It just needs a great deal of time, patience and lots of treats!! 🙂

  12. We are having a horrible time with our two year old Scottie, Bleu, at the dog park. We’ve taken him there for the past three days and he’s literally gone crazy and attacked other dogs. Yesterday he bit an 8 month old bulldog and made it bleed. He’s o.k. with smaller dogs but seems to mix it up with larger ones. Bleu becomes extremely aggressive so we’re rather reluctant to take him back. I’m wondering if we should put a muzzle on him and try it again. This is certainly not something we want to do but are considering out of desperation. He is also a barker and driving our neighbors crazy!! This just isn’t what we expected from a scottie. Any suggestions??

    1. I am anxious to hear replies to this. I have an 5 month old gus., and he is doing the very same thing. Was playing very nicely in the dog park, then all of a sudden grabbed a boxer by the ear and wouldn’t let go? weirdest thing I ever seen. I was wondering about the muzzle too.? I don’t know what to do either.

    2. I have the same issue with my GUS. He’s 5 months old. Did you muzzle finally? I am interested in comments from everyone on this. I am not sure what to do about Gus either. some dogs he likes……others….no way., and he did grab a boxer like yours did…. not sure how to resolve this one. maybe they are not dog park dogs?

      1. Hi Cindy, firstly has your doggie been neutered? Sometimes it calms them down. My dog Hamish was neutered at 5 months but became aggressive at 9 months, very out of character. I started walking him on a long line, had plenty of his favourite treats such as chicken & cheese and controlled him when he passed other dogs. He started to respond when he received a treat for behaving. Also did recall with him and taught him to wait instead of charging. It took a lot of time and patience but it has finally paid off. He does bark initially when I’ve let him out of the car but it’s like he’s just letting everyone know he’s arrived!
        I don’t go to dog parks anymore just parks where there are children playing, people walking etc. I found dog parks a problem, more with the other irresponsible owners who didn’t keep any eye on their dogs. I found with Hamish it was he felt anxious and his way to deal with it was aggression, more out of nervousness I feel. Hope this helps. Good luck.

        1. Hi Cindy,
          I had the same problem with my Scottie Angus. He was fine with some dogs but definitely not with any dog that looked like an Akita, Bull Terrier, Pit Bull, or Boxer. I could not take them to a dog park as Angus could start a dust up and it did not matter what size of dog he decided to take on. I agree with Julie, neutering a male dog does help. It also helps with other male dogs who don’t like intact dogs. Also, rewarding him when he passes other dogs without incident is excellent for teaching him the best behaviour. I also found that if the owner was pretty relaxed, I would ask if we could walk with them for a bit. It seems funny but Angus would then assume the dog was part of the pack and would not go after them again.
          It is confusing especially since both my dogs were well socialized from the start. Even Abby, who did not have an aggressive bone in her body is now on the warpath with certain dogs. I am still working on the best approach with her.
          Good luck. Let us know how little Gus does.

          1. Hi Sandra,
            I have two Scotties Hattie & Hamish. I did used to walk them together but it started to turn into a nightmare. Hattie wanted to be very friendly and play with any dog in her vision. She’d spot one a mile off! She’d then start to bark, the one that means come and play (I’ve discovered them all now!) 🙂 Hamish didn’t want her to be friends or play and he’d bark angrily. I lost control completely. I guess it made me nervous and stressed. Apparently dogs feel your anxiety down the lead which in turn made him want to protect me too. Hence now I walk them seperately. They’ve both learnt the rules. Now my mission is to take them both together. Obviously leads get long leads get tangled so I’m not sure whether to put them both on the end of one lead with the joint one attached ( this could lead to them to wanting to attack each other (which they only ever do out in the park) or leave Hamish off as he always comes back. Out with my husband it’s not a problem as we can have one each in lead or let Hamish off. Hattie’s the one who will start the barking, I think it’s sibling rivalry both wanting the other dogs attention first! One lady told me her friend had two miniature shnausers and she carried a water spray, if they started barking she’d spray it and it worked. They stopped and she rewarded them each time. Something to think about I guess.
            I had a Scottie & Westie for 13 years and never had these problems. It’s certainly been a learning curve I didn’t expect.
            In every other way they are adorable and although only 20 months, feel like they’ve been my best friends for years. I wouldn’t be without them.

  13. You may want to try Innotech citronella anti-bark dog collar;I’m sure you can find it on Amazon.

  14. A question you. When I am walking 6month old Gus lately, when we come upon a friend with a dog, he tries to take their leash and pull the dog along? I wonder why he does that…

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