Bad experience at a dog "pool event" today ):

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Hi there, I have a seven month-old spayed female cattle dog, and she is extremely typical for her breed. Mouthy, nips heels, and very loyal to me, her owner. (She also has all the great qualities of a heeler!) Today, we had the chance to attend a dog pool party. The pool staff will be draining the pool tomorrow so they let the dogs get in the day before they drain the pool. I was very excited to attend and bought my tickets a month in advance.

My S.O. and I showed up with our pup and walked in. I had her sit and I took off her leash and told her to "go play", I always say that when we are somewhere in public with other dogs. The pool area was small probably about 30 feet by 40 feet and the pool took up much of that space. The pool we went to was the shallow end of the pool, so it was only 1.5 feet deep. My dog has not been in a real pool yet, but enjoys the beach and kiddie pool splashing. I had treats and used treats to get her in, and then switched to using her ball to play with and keep her attention. Most other dogs were playing ball as well, and she gets distracted by the dogs, and would run up VERY quickly to them, and jump on their backs with her front legs and do biting gestures, I would say snapping. This happens at the dog park, and the dog will either engage in play with her, or I will have to distract her and take her away from that dog that she is "annoying" basically. She is socially awkward in that way and will bother dogs, but she has never been in a violent situation.

Back to the pool, so I was trying to keep her attention with her ball, and if she did rush up to other dogs, I would distract her away. This continued for about ten minutes, we are having a good time. Then, a black poodle came up to me and smelled that I had food in my hands. My dog got jealous and rushed this dog and barked at the poodle. I quickly walked away, calling my dog to come to me rather than putting my hands in the middle of the dogs barking and snapping because this has been my method in the past, to try and distract, rather than grabbing at my dog and yelling. The poodle's owner snatched her dog's collar and said "NO NO NO", swatting my dog, and started dragging the poodle, and I was not successful in calling my dog over to me with all of the commotion. The poodle owner chastised me for bringing dog treats in the area.

I was already upset, and the event coordinator came over and said, "I think it is time for you to go." and I said "Can you explain why?" and she said "I keep my ears and eyes out for fights and we can't have your dog snapping at other dogs at all." I was getting upset and I said "I don't think that is fair and she is a puppy." The lady responded with "OK, she can be in a timeout and have another try." I felt she was very condescending. She then talked in baby talk to my dog and chastised her in a baby voice :/ I know since I am typing this you can't tell the tone but I did not like it and it (unfortunately) did make me defensive. I did let my dog try again in the water, but she continued to be distracted by other dogs and nipping at them and herding them and not letting them enjoy their play time.

When I walked out (only twenty minutes into an hour session), two older women spoke to me that were putting on the event and said they were sorry and offered me a refund and tried to make me feel better. I was crying, and I feel silly for crying, but I was somehow so upset and very disappointed it did not work out.

I posted here because I would like some advice and honestly.. this might be pent up PUPPY BLUES. I have to be so "ON" all the time with her and that is okay, I was prepared and expecting that, I was just SO disappointed the event did not go well and I was embarrassed, sad, and acting defensive. I feel as though the poodle owner overreacted, but I also understand that my dog was not being friendly. I am now discouraged and worried about going in public with dogs again, but all I want is for my dog to be comfortable in every situation. One lady did say "Please try again next year, she will be more calm." She is right, but I still feel so disappointed in what happened today. I feel like my hard work is not enough, and that is such a bad feeling! I had a bad puppy day today, but I am grateful and happy for the twenty minutes of fun we had & I can dust myself off for tomorrow! Thank you for reading if you got this far and any advice, comments, or support you have will make me feel a lot better!

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