Post Neuter…Protective & difficult at dog parks

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Hi there!! I have a 15 month old poodle mix that is a wonderful dog! He has his CGC title and is currently in training to be a therapy dog! The only thing is…we got him neutered at 13 months old. We saw no changes in personality—he only stopped humping pillows/other dogs, which we deemed a positive. The strange thing is, now at dog parks, he seems to be very feisty and almost aggressive with dogs that have a lot of energy (puppies, dogs running fast, etc) but plays very well with more submissive/passive dogs. He has a pretty loud play bark, that he uses often, but there have been several instances of him snapping or even seeking out puppies at the park to “police” them. He also had always been a “jealous” dog when I give other dogs attention, but now he seems to have a real problem if they jump on me. He will bark and sometimes snap and put his body between me and the other dog. He goes to day care 1-2x a week with absolutely no issues. There are days at the dog park that go over wonderfully and others where I have to take him out of the park because he can’t behave himself. I try to use a 2 strike system…if he misbehaves and is ugly towards another dog, I will separate him, give him a break and let him return to the group. If it happens again, we leave. Dog mom guilt has me thinking maybe he is understimulated and just has too much energy to unleash, but I try very hard to keep him busy (walks, training, day care, hikes, outings, etc.) He LOVES to play with other dogs but I have felt so hesitant due to these new behaviors. Any help is MUCH appreciated!!

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