As some of you may know, I have been taking Leo down to the local dog park to get him some good socialization and exercise (as part of a long walk route). So far, he has been great. He comes back after the first five minutes or so of excitement about seeing other dogs and being "free" outside his backyard I've noticed that he doesn't like dog following him for a long time and remaining in his face. These dogs he will growl at if they persist, and then they will leave him alone. He also doesn't really like the people there. He will either ignore them or sniff them if they are just walking around and talking. He has barked loudly at some kids who were shouting and running around (I asked them to stop this), and he growls at kids (only kids have done this) who come over and try to pat him without being introduced. Because of this last issue, I try to remain very observant and discourage the kids trying to pat him.
The problem is, today a man was there and kicking a soccer ball around for his dog. Leo went over to meet the other dog, and then got distracted by the ball after the man kicked it and chased it (as too did the other dog). The man raced after them and made a kicking motion to kick the ball again. However, my dog was partially in the way, and I can only assume Leo thought he was going to be kicked or other wise be hurt in some way and growled and lunged at the man.
Leo was put onto his lead straight away, and the man said that my dog had bitten him (even though I did not actually see him get close to do so) and that he would call the council/RSPCA (he mentioned both) should he see Leo again at the park. At this point, I left.
What, exactly, should I do now? Leo is being desexed in the upcoming fortnight, so this may help him stop being so edgy? I would like to keep taking him to the park for the interaction with other dogs, but is it worth the threat of being complained about to the authorities? Or would simply muzzling him for the sake of putting people's mind at ease be the way to go? If I continue to keep taking him back, should I be more selective at who is in the park before letting him off (eg. no people kicking balls, loud and disruptive kids, etc.)?