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Pepper wants to play, but Irish dogs don't!!!!

Hi all,

Since we moved home to Ireland from Switzerland, i notice a big difference with dogs here......Pepper just wants to play play play but most dogs he comes in contact with are not keen and he usually gets growled/barked at, or even attacked the odd time (was never hurt though). It has left poor Pepper a bit nervous now when we meet other dogs, even small ones, with hairs on his back standing up etc. He was never like this in Switzerland, but the doggies here are not as friendly!!!!! I used to take him to the doggie parks there and he had a ball with the other dogs!
Is anyone in the west of Ireland up for a playdate with their setter/setters, just to let Pepper have a good play and help his confidence with dogs?

Thanks all

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if you are ever up on the north coast, give me a call. Dogs are very freindly around here.

Is there a difference in whether the dogs are altered or not? I know our unaltered boy gets picked on something terrible at the dog park by all the neutered dogs. We have just stopped going until we make a final decision about whether to have him altered ... we are still on the fence because of the likely changes it will bring to his coat. Anyway, just wondering.
Hi Gigi

I am not sure I can follow this post correctly.. may you please elaborate better? We dont plan to neuter Oberon, unless he'll face problems of course.. In my past experience I noticed it was a bit the other way round: i.e. if there was any difference at all, it was more likely that neutered dogs may smell or appear in a "strange" way to other males, who may then behave differently (not playing with them or, in some occasions, being a bit aggressive with them, nothing terrible, just because they were confused..)..

I am not sure I understand correctly what you noticed in terms of bad behaviour of altered dogs with respect the unneutered ones and why you need to keep on the fence..

here most dogs are very friendly, and so far I dont see any difference between them either altered on unneutered (oberon doesnt count since he's still a puppy )

Hi Silvia. I will try to explain better ... Our Cosmo is about 8 months now and we have not decided to neuter him (at least not yet). So when we take him to the dog park, he is the ONLY unaltered or unneutered boy dog there. We live in the U.S., where pet dogs not used for breeding are generally neutered almost automatically at age 6 to 8 months. For whatever reason, he is almost always set upon by the other male dogs ... again, they are all neutered and Cosmo is the only one who is not. They chase him, behave very aggressively towards him, and attempt to bite him. He is very submissive and runs away with his tail between his legs. As a "mother" this is extremely upsetting to me. I don't know if they pick on him because he is unaltered, or perhaps just because he is the one who is different from the rest. IF they were all unaltered and he was the only neutered one ... would they pick on him just because he is the "odd man out"? I have no idea. Anyway, we have stopped taking him to the dog park until we decide whether to neuter him or not. In the past, I have always chosen to do so. However, folks on this site have alerted me to the effect doing so could have on his beautiful coat ... so I am mulling it over. The question for us will be are we willing to give up the convenience of exercising him at a dog park in exchange for letting him be his naturally intended self or will he suffer by not being allowed to run free from a leash. A hard decision, some how. Anyway, I hope this explains what I have observed. Gigi
Yes, Sue and Cash and I have commisserated over this very problem. I don't think it is our imagination. Still, what to do??? Neuter? Not neuter??? Sigh.
thanks, I got this now.. Actually we may face the same kind of problem/dilemma soon, although for now we are very convinced not to neuter Oberon... Sigh, I am sorry it must be difficult for you both to decide..

Just a comment: I think it is not only a difference between US and UK, it may also be a bit of a difference between large and smaller cities.. Since also several vets in London make the point that dogs "not meant for breeding should be neutered, and a good moment is around 6-8months of age" (even our vet clinic, which is part of a large and diffuse partnership, prints several glossy booklets about this ;)

Instead, this seem out of the world for people leaving in smaller cities or in the countryside... I guess the difference is that in UK people follow this vet advise much less automatically, so in the end, even in London, in a typical park we met a fraction of 50/50 among neutered and unaltered dogs :)

We havent got problems so far. but it is too early to say, since O. is still playing the puppy role and playing as a mad with all other dogs.. Finger crossed he'll keep being so well accepted by all others....
Just today a year old intact Doberman came to our park for the first time. I had no clue he was intact but noticed he was bothering a female bull terrier. Not the smartest plan! Claire can be fussy. So after she is like freaking out on him over and over and he will not stop coming back for more I went over to check it out and sure enough he is intact and lusting for Claire. He then went on to try to hump other male dogs who in turn also snapped him away. It was getting crazy since we are a nice group without issues normally. The dogs owner is clueless as to -why doesn't anyone like my dog -she said. They give off a pheromone that other dogs pick up around a year old. It seems as they get older it sort of gets better. We have several older intact boys around and they dont' seem to be part of the pack at all but are not bothered either unless they try to mount others. As far as wanting to just leash walk my dog. Nope, I want him to be free to run, so the option was neutering for us. If the coat isn't glorious so be it. He is glorious to me. I am not being judged so it doesn't matter.
Cosmo has never mounted anyone (male or female) other than my son, yet he still gets "the business" from the other male dogs. Must be his scent ...
Hi Caroline,

We had exactly the same experience when we moved from Switzerland to Scotland. The dog playing rules just seem to be different! Maybe it has to do with the way dogs are socialised from a very early age in Switzerland? I do not know of any puppy classes of the same style here that you get in Switzerland. Busby eventually got used to it and stopped playing with other dogs as most of them didn't want to. It was sad to see but he still has his buddies he can play with on special setter walks. Plus when we go back to Switzerland for holidays he plays totally normally (like a puppy again) with the Swiss dogs.
This evening it was very windy on Portrush beach ... but the para-surfers were having a great time

but first we met Finn, another IS, who came straight over to greet me ...

then we met a wee jack russell

and a dachshund and two spaniels(?) wanted to play too ...

even on a quite night on the beach

it's the same up here, except for Castlerock. That's one of the reasons most my photos are of sunrises and sunsets!
Hi all, well to update...he isn't neutered so i don't know if this is the issue or not.Although he went to visit Carmel and the clannrua setters in Meath and had a total party with all the friendly dogs there!!!




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