View Full Version : Help with dog parks please

24th August 2010, 09:10 AM
Hi Everyone,

I took my 5 month old puppy Baxter to the dog park today and he was attacked by what looked like a large beagle. The dog got hold of Baxter's face and ear and proceeded to shake his head while Baxter was screaming. It was rather terrifying. Very luckily he wasn't too badly injured, he has a couple of cuts inside his ear and a small puncture wound about 2cm above his eye :( The owner of the beagle then told me that her dog doesn't like other dogs and can be quite aggressive....why would someone bring an aggressive dog to a dog park AND let it off lead? icon_nwunsure :mad:

Baxter is a very friendly and outgoing puppy, he loves nothing more than to play with other dogs but now I am afraid this might happen again. He is not scared at all to approach any dog and try to play with it, do you think I should be letting him off lead to play? Is there anyway of teaching a puppy to be a bit apprehensive when approaching other dogs or is this something that will come with age?

I apologise that this is my first post since i introduced the little guy although I am on this forum daily and find the support community amazing. Thanks for reading :)

Baxter and Katie

24th August 2010, 10:03 AM
This sort of behaviour from ignorant selfish owners makes me really angry :mad:
Her dog should be trained and under control, how dare she let her dog loose
if it is aggressive.

Did you ask the owner to keep her dog on the lead as it is aggressive? ??

We have these kind of problems around here, for this reason I will not take my
dogs to popular walking places. It is easier for me because my three have
each other to play with. If you have an only dog, part of the fun should be
to mix and play with other dogs that is the reason to go to the park.

Do you think this is a one off problem with this person or has this sort of thing
happened before ? If this person is a regular in the park, I would be worried about letting Baxter of the lead.

It would be a good idea to make sure Baxter is trained to come when you call, this
is so important because you might see Baxter heading for a problem, you can stop him from potentially getting hurt.

Sorry to ramble.

Dog Park Etiquette

Dog parks are a privilege. Having one close by can be a great joy for pet owners - but keeping the park means following the rules! Rules for the park are typically posted at the entrance to the parks or in prominent locations. In addition to following the posted rules, remember to:

Always keep dogs under control. Even when they are off-leash, they must respond to your voice commands.
Carry a leash, even in off-leash parks. Keep it handy just in case you need to use it.
Don't allow digging. Lots of dogs love to dig, but a public park is not the right place! Holes can trip up other people or pets and cause injury. If you see your dog digging, stop him and fill in the hole.
Do not bring aggressive dogs to the park. It doesn't matter if they're people-aggressive or animal-aggressive... aggressive dogs do not belong at the dog park! There's simply too much interaction going on that can turn into trouble when an aggressive dog is present.
Re-consider bringing intact dogs to the dog park. Other dogs react to intact dogs (dogs that haven't been spayed or neutered) in a different way. Aggression can result.
Don't bring female dogs in heat. Enough said!
Dog parks aren't appropriate for young puppies. A puppy's immune system isn't fully developed yet, and neither are their socialization skills.
Only bring as many dogs as you can control. At one of our local dog parks there's a woman who brings eight dogs! The dogs run wild and jump at other dogs and people, and she struggles to control them, apologizing profusely to everyone as she tries to round them up. There's so much going on at a dog park that pet owners should only bring as many dogs as they can reasonably manage.
Keep your dog within your sight. You should always be able to see your dog and what he's doing. Don't expect other pet owners to watch him for you.
Make sure your pet is up-to-date on his shots. With so many other dogs in the same area you'll want to make sure your pet is protected.
Leave immediately if your dog starts to behave aggressively at the park. Recall your dog right away, put him on leash, and calmly walk away.
Leave toys at home. They can cause a dog's possessive or territorial instincts to kick in.
Don't allow your dog to harass other pets (or people). Some dogs play more roughly than others, and people have different "comfort levels" with dogs. Even people with pets aren't always comfortable with strange dogs! If you see another dog or person is clearly uncomfortable with your dog's play, recall your dog and redirect his attention elsewhere.
Always pick up after your dog. Even if the park rules don't explicitly say so, always clean up after your dog. If you see someone else has not, consider picking it up as well and disposing of it. Keeping the park clean is beneficial to everyone.

24th August 2010, 10:23 AM
Thank you so much for your response Tania, very much appreciated.

I didn't say much to the lady to be honest, I was so worried about the bleeding above his eye that I scooted out of there to check him over in a safe environment. Now I wish I had given her a piece of my mind! I have never seen her at the park before but I usually take him on weekends, first time during the week.

He is our only dog and we live in an apartment, the park is the only place he can safely run around off the lead. His recall is very good in the house but once we get to the park it's not. It's something we are working on at the moment, he is just so excited to play. Maybe because of his age, the safest thing to do is keep him on lead if there are dogs that we don't know and his recall is better.

When I was leaving I heard the lady saying soothingly to her dog "he is only a baby, you can't bite him" :bang:

24th August 2010, 10:53 AM
I didn't say much to the lady to be honest, I was so worried about the bleeding above his eye that I scooted out of there to check him over in a safe environment. Now I wish I had given her a piece of my mind! I have never seen her at the park before but I usually take him on weekends, first time during the week.

It must have been a terrible ordeal for you. If you see this lady again, I would not have a go at her, I would calmly tell her you will report her if she does not keep her dog under control. If you have a go at her it will just spark off a row and you will not achieve anything. Being cool and collected is normally more affective.

It's good to practice Baxters recall in the park. If you get some extra tasty treats it will help to keep his attention. Plus it will be stimulating and more fun for the little fellow. :p

kind regards

25th August 2010, 05:15 AM
Thanks so much for tips with the treats in the park, I will definitely be be taking your advice. And I think your right about the way I should approach her if I see her again with her dog off the lead.

Baxter seems fine today, we have been putting Betadine on the cuts and and they don't look infected which our vet said is the main worry with dog bites. He is such a blessing :lotsaluv:

Many thanks for taking your time out to help Tania :flwr:

25th August 2010, 11:09 AM
Thats terrible:mad:

Leo was attacked by a Labrador last year and although he wasnt hurt it was terrifying. It's made me nervous around big dogs when Im with him now, so when we're out Ive got him on a short lead if there are big dogs around.

I hope you are ok as I was more upset than Leo was...take care:hug:

The Rouge Princess
25th August 2010, 02:27 PM
I'm so sorry to hear of this.I can never fathom how some folk can be so inconsiderate at times.It's really not fair on others and not only unnerves the owners but the dogs also, so it's a vicious circle (no pun intended).I hope Baxter heals quickly.

I agree with Tania, I think I'd calmly tell the woman what I'd intend to do if she is unable to regain control of her dog.The phrase flies and honey comes to mind :)

Practise on recall is always good.I don't think there ever can be too much practice either as it is an invaluable thing to have and imo, keeps them safe.(hugs) to you and Baxter :hug:


26th August 2010, 03:36 AM
Thanks you so much for your kind thoughts Mel and R and I am so sorry to hear the same thing happened to Leo.

It is amazing how quickly they forget about these traumatic experiences, he was trying to jump around and play only 5 minutes after it happened although he wouldn't let me touch his head without yelping. It has not made him any more apprehensive of other dogs, still trying to run up and play with anything that moves on his walks. Haven't been back to the dog park yet, will go on the weekend when his his overprotective father will be with us ;)

Thanks again for all the advice and working on his recall out of the house is now a very big priority for us :thnku: