Dear Tango,

I don’t like it when other dogs behave badly.  I don’t like roughhousing, I don’t like bullying, I double don’t like dogs being aggressive!  I don’t even like other dogs playing when I’m not in the mood.. so, to me, behaving badly pretty much means doing anything I don’t think they should do.  So, I go and tell ‘em to stop.  I mean, someone’s got to keep them in line, right?  So how come I get in trouble for it?
Some lady at the dog park told my Mom I was being aggressive and now she won’t take us there anymore. 
Please help!

Signed,       Busted For Trying To Help


Dear Misunderstood Peacekeeper,

I am just like you on this one!   The difference is that my Mama says I'm a cop!  She understands that I am just trying to restore the peace. 
Some people don’t understand and treat “cop” dogs like they’re being aggressive, when, really, we’re just trying to help.  We need guidance, not correction or punishment! 
My Mama says, “Thank you Tango but I’ve got it.” 
If it is just play, it probably means she’ll let them play and I have to suck it up and let it happen even though, for whatever reason, I disapprove.  If it is trouble brewing,  it means I need to back off and give her space to sort it out.

See, to me, dogs aren’t allowed to be so excited that they’re out of control, even in play.  Aggression isn’t allowed and fighting definitely isn’t allowed!  And if I’m not allowed, neither is anyone else!  So I want it all to stop.

Not all dogs are like us though!  Some see trouble starting and join the crazy energy like it’s an Irish pub brawl!  You've seen them, they're like, "Is this a private fight, or can anybody join?"   But some of us are just trying to stop it.

So, people, know your dogs!  Learn to read their intent and act on that, rather than assuming we’re aggressive, because sometimes it’s the exact opposite and we’re just trying to help.   And if you bust a dog whose intentions are positive, the only result will be loss of trust and respect from the dog; we will become non-believers.  Then we really will try to take over and control everything happening around us.  Instead, we need understanding, leadership and guidance.

Oh.. and your Mom should realize that lots of people at dog parks don’t know their arses from their elbows!  She should do some homework and if she’s still not sure what you’re up to, hire a behaviorist who understands cop dogs like us!

I hope this helps, my misunderstood friend!

Love,     Tango

Topic: Ask Tango

Posted 22 August 2013, 9:29AM

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