Mini Schnauzer gets extremely protective at the dog park

by Cris
(USA)

Hi
I have a 3yr old Mini Schnauzer. He has been neutered and is a great dog. Lately, I have noticed that when we are at the dog park and other dogs approach me looking to play or for affection, he gets extremely upset and barks at them scaring them away.
Sometimes, he gets aggressive and I have to pick him up and remove him from the circle of dogs for a short while. It is embarrassing. He wasn't like this before and I think he acts this way because he senses I am sad. Please help, I want to understand why my dog does this and correct this behavior but I don't know how.
Thank you!
snow white

NOTE FROM LINDA AND MAX: How old is he - is he going through his 'teenage years' where he is trying to establish himself and pushing the boundaries? Or has he had a bad experience with another dog which has frightened him?

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May 16, 2013
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Schnauzer being the boss.
by: Wendy

This has been helpful for me. I rescued my two wee boys Schnauzers from a very busy family. I have never had small dogs before never mind these fantastic Miniature Shnauzers. I recognise all these different behaviours you are all talking about. One boy is more dominant of the two brothers and acts like your Schnauzer running up to dogs like getting them told that he's the boss. Barks then does nothing everything is fine? :-). The other does that kicking his back legs after piddling and he wouldn't harm a fly. He also walks along then does a skip? :-) they are extremely clever. They make me laugh. I just started writing on this site because we just lost the bossy brother and reading all you lovely Schnauzer loving people is slowly helping me stop crying. Thanks xxx

May 12, 2013
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3 Year Old Possessive Mini
by: Toni

I hear you. My mini-Schnauzer will be 3 July 1st. I have noticed she is getting very "yappy". Also when I walk her, after she does her business, she growls and shoots her hind legs backwards, scratching the ground. This is an aggressive behavior I don't like, but I understand it is normal. She is also very aggressive acting when meeting another dog, but as soon as she gets close enough, she sniffs, bumps noses and seems to be all right. If the other dog owner lets me, I always try to have her "meet and greet" the other dog. So far, she is fine after they meet, but acts like she wants them to "watch it buster, I can take care of myself"....all 14 pounds of her, no matter how big the other dog is. She has backed down from only one dog so far, and doesn't even fear Rottweilers. I think the Schnauzers are like this, and I try to introduce her to as many dogs and little kids as I can. She doesn't like, birds, squirrels and cats, and gets yappy around little kids so I am trying to "neutralize" her behavior as you are. So if this sounds like your mini, Just keep trying, but remember Schnauzers are predators in breeding and they will act that way, so they also will have that "protective" instinct.

May 12, 2013
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Very protective of you
by: Michele

Linda and Max could be right as a bad experience with another dog could cause the aggressive behaviour in your boy.. I suggest you do take him to the Dog Park, but with another dog who he knows and likes and who he has played with before.. but don't let other dogs circle him as he might think this a threat.. if he gets aggressive.. turn around and take him out of the situation, talking to him, but NEVER EVER SHOUT or SCOLD him.. when he behaves give him a treat, and talk to him, using his name, in a happy, squeaky tone on voice, so he associates good behaviour with a treat.. if he mis-behaves, just turn around again and don't speak to him, but quietly say NO.. ( Do not use his name when you say NO... ) Schnauzers are very intelligent and he will pick up very quickly.. I do this with my one year old.. Benji ..and he knows when I am not pleased.. He only has to see the expression on my face and he knows.. Let's know how he is and if this solution works..

May 12, 2013
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Your Feelings Reflected
by: Phil Medway

Schnauzers pick up on their owners health and mood. Some years ago when we were going through a bad patch with business and had a lot of worry our Max didn't want to play he just wanted to be with us as if he wanted to help our mood improve, and it did.

You write about feeling sad your boy senses this and because of it he is being over protective towards you. Whenever what is upsetting you has passed or time has healed he will go back to being the happy chap he was before.

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