I have 2 border collies. One male, one female.

The male one loves to romp around and loves rough play with other dogs. The female one is quiet and calm and loves to play with same sized dogs but doesn't enjoy rough play.

So when I go to the dog park there are certain large dogs that have figured out that my female dog gets intimidated by barking. So the 3 individuals in question, if any one of them is present, will start by running after her and barking until she flees into a corner and sits down.

Then they keep barking and cornering her. It's pretty obvious that she does not enjoy it. I consider this bullying. There is no play going on anymore once she sits in the corner.

Usually I leave them to it but today a particularly unpleasant individual briefly grabbed her and she yelped so I went after them and in between until finally one of the other dog owners told the owner of the bully to call his dog off.

So what's the best way of dealing with this kind of thing at the dog park?

  • Figure out when those dogs will be at the park and visit at other times?
    – keshlam
    Oct 24, 2016 at 2:42
  • Doesn't your dog park have rules that dogs who interfere with the enjoyment of the park by people or dogs will be asked to leave? Nov 22, 2016 at 18:44
  • @AmyBlankenship No. I didn't even know there were such parks! The only rules here are about picking up poo, dog license and not leaving them unattended.
    – Matt N.
    Nov 23, 2016 at 17:18
  • I wouldn't go to a dog park that didn't have such a rule. Nov 23, 2016 at 21:12

2 Answers 2


I have a dog similar to this:

  • she loves to socialize
  • doesn't like too much rough play
  • gets intimidated by barking

Here are my tips:

  • stay near your dog at all times so you can watch
  • if another dog gets too close ask whose dog it is (so you and they are both paying attention)
  • when the play gets too rough call your dog away before it does
  • if all else fails and your dog starts being bullied walk over and tell both dogs "No" (I've found this one gets both the owner's and the other dog's attention)

Good luck!


I've never been a fan of dog parks, we see a lot of dog attacks come into the clinic from these places. Some incredibly severe (bites to the throat, lacerating the jugular vein).

The beauty of social media (the internet as a whole even) is that you can find people with dogs that match the personality of your own, try to find some dog groups and get together with a few people. The situation is much more controlled as you don't have unknown dogs coming in, you'll know the personality of these dogs and it will be in smaller groups making it a positive experience for you and your pooch. Heck even you will make some new friends this way :).

  • Thank you, that sounds like a great suggestion. The only thing I'm not sure about yet is where to meet. The group would have to rent some off-leash area, I suppose?
    – Matt N.
    Nov 23, 2016 at 17:20
  • Hopefully you could find someone with a big fenced in back yard or go to hidden places (no fence), not sure how your dogs do for recall? Nov 23, 2016 at 18:20
  • 1
    Some training centers will allow you to rent their space. Some of these can be quite large, so that might be worthwhile if it's available in your area. Nov 23, 2016 at 21:14

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