Sue Sternberg, a brilliant dog expert and trainer, has been studying dog parks, observing behavior and taking video for additional examination. She produced a DVD on the subject and a very useful iPhone App: Dog Park Assistant. To get the app just visit the iPhone App Store and search "Dog Park Assistant." The app is well designed and easy to navigate. It includes helpful written advice and guidelines, illustrative still photos and video depicting various behaviors to watch for.
Specifically, Sternberg advises dog owners to stay close to their dog, pay attention to the dog behaviors around them and frequently call their dog back to them for a short break. High arousal can lead to aggression, so help your dog by giving it breaks and offering your support.
Red Alert Behaviors to watch for are: 1) One dog makes rough contact with another dog resulting in rolling the target dog over; 2) A targeted dog tucks it's tail in fear; 3) One or more dogs pin a targeted dog to the ground for more than 5 seconds; 4) A targeted dog spends more than 5 seconds hiding under an object or person, with a tucked tail; 5) More than one dog is chasing another, which can quickly spiral out of control.
According to Sternberg, if you see any of those behaviors...intervene, interrupt and pull your dog out of the environment.
Please visit the iPhone App Store or www.moabbarkery.com for more information.