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Thread: What do you think about dog parks?

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  1. #1
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    Default What do you think about dog parks?

    Hello,

    I have taken my dog Charlie to the dog park a couple of times and I really enjoyed it and he had fun running around with the other dogs. There is a fenced in spot for dogs 35 lbs and under and another fenced in spot for the big dogs. I was talking to a friend the other day about the dog park and she said she wouldn't take her dog to a dog park because she isn't quite sure about the other dogs, whether or not they have been vaccinated, have any diseases, etc. Now she got me thinking about it and wanted to ask you what you think of dogs parks. Everyone there seemed like they were responsible pet owners...

    Thanks!

    Shelley
    Charlie's Mom

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    The dog park near me does not have separate areas for big and little dogs. From what I've observed, too many owners are not monitoring their dogs and I could see how a fight could easily break out. So, no dog park for my guys.

    It sounds like you have a good situation though, with attentive owners. I would always be on high alert though. Situations can change in an instant.

    Joan

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    It got too cold last fall before we could take Bentley, but we had the paperwork all in for our dog park. By that I mean we had to have our vet's report that verified that he's up to date on all vaccinations, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joandesan View Post
    From what I've observed, too many owners are not monitoring their dogs and I could see how a fight could easily break out. So, no dog park for my guys.

    . . . . . I would always be on high alert though. Situations can change in an instant.
    This is exactly why I won't take my dog to a dog park. The few times I have asked dog trainers & groomers what they think of dog parks, none of them are enthusiastic or even positive, thus confirming my decision. Diseases are the least of my concerns.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by joandesan View Post
    The dog park near me does not have separate areas for big and little dogs. From what I've observed, too many owners are not monitoring their dogs and I could see how a fight could easily break out. So, no dog park for my guys.

    It sounds like you have a good situation though, with attentive owners. I would always be on high alert though. Situations can change in an instant.

    Joan
    This. We used to be members of a local dog park. We're not anymore. One of our dogs would get blamed for fighting when she was nowhere near the fight. Luke didn't play with the other dogs when we did go. He only wanted to go in and play with his ball. I'd only take him in when it was empty, and he could play by himself. He'll allow another dog to get the ball, but he's not happy about it. Even now, I've allowed him loose in the place we train with a few other dogs. They're all bigger than him. They run around and play together, Luke finds a ball and follows people around till they throw it. He plays a it at home, mostly with our other bigger dog. Just yesterday she was dragging him around the room while they were tugging together. He and our other, small dog who is his size, they don't play together. When and if he does play, it's always with the bigger dogs. He doesn't play with dogs his size. The other issue is people who don't recognize what normal play is. My bigger dog is very loud when she plays. She and Luke sound like something horrible is going on when they are together. This really alarms people who are clueless. She will drag him around a bit. When he is done with it, he has no issue getting up and telling her to stop. He always decides when he is done. People don't recognize normal play, and they also don't recognize when a dog has given signals that they don't like something, or don't want to play anymore. They don't have reliable recalls, and can't call their dogs away if they do even recognize that they need a break.

  6. #6
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    Shelley, that sounds like a great park. We have a huge dog park space near us but they don;t divide it -- I'd be happier if they did (we have a mix of big and small dogs). I do worry about our big dogs hurting smallies accidentally. At the same time -- everyone there is always really nice and it's great to have the dogs meet other dogs. A lot of dogs benefit from mixing even though owners might think them a bit uncomfortable -- . And yes it is true that some dogs play rougher than others. We have one that can appear to be aggressive when it is actually just how he plays -- have had my trainer friends observe his interactions to be sure they are OK. But do think owners of aggressive players probably need to recognise the dog probably cannot be loose in a dog park IF s/he is going after other dogs in an aggressive and potentially intimidating way as not all dogs feel OK with that type of playing. Ad as long as owners know signals for overexcitement which can then move on to become more dangerous. If just playing with his/her 'own' dogs then a friendly explanation to other dogs owners can really help! Our pyreneans are still puppyish and can appear overwhelming to other people (more than their dogs...) so when people come into the park we usually put them on leads until we know if they are OK with them off-lead. In short: yes, there's a lot of etiquette to a dog park visit and it can be a bit uncertain at times.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Thanks so much for the feedback!

    Shelley

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    It really depends on the people who take their dogs. I have met some absolute idiots at dog parks. One woman who brought her dog carried a branch around and any dog that came near her dog he would threaten it with the branch. I told her that she is more likely to get hurt by doing that because she is exhibiting threatening behaviour. I asked her why she brought her dog to a dog park if she doesn't want it to socialise. One dog tried to mount her do and she went to hit it, I grabbed the branch before she could and told her she needs to do some serious reading on dog behaviour before she goes to a dog park again. ABSOLUTELY NUTS!

    At another dog park my Bella was attacked by a German Shepard. Now all Bella was doing when this happened was sniffing near the fence, a small dog came up and growled at her and nipped at her, she growled back and turned back to the fence, the other dog growled again and then the German Shepard came and grabbed her flank and sunk its teeth in. My husband got her away, and we were so upset. The man with the small dog apologised and took his dog, and a couple of other people with small dogs left but the people with the German Shepard stayed and started playing fetch! I was so mad! I took her to the vet and she had shallow puncture wounds. I wish I could take that day back and tell those people off and ask them to pay for the vet bill.

    My advise is to look at reviews of dog parks and find one in a decent area.
    There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.
    - Bern Williams

  9. #9
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    We have yet to take Abby to a dog park, but we did take Charley, our first Cavalier to a few dog parks. We found one in Iowa City where they have their dog park divided into two different areas for large and small dogs. Small dogs were allowed in the large dog area, but if you were concerned about the large dogs that were there, you could just go to the small dog area instead, which is what we did most of the time. We did have a couple of mishaps at another dog park, nothing serious that caused an injury...once a large gentle dog picked Charley by grabbing him near the neck area....the owner of the large dog came right over and put an end to it....he apologized and explained he has cats at home and this is what his dog does with the cats....picks them up very gently and puts them where he wants. One other time Charley was literally run over by some large dogs and took a tumble, but not injured. After those two incidents, we found that Charley would not go more than a few feet away from us. He would shy way from aggressive dogs and do normal dog socializing with non-aggressive dogs.

    I would say dog parks are like everything else in life....you just have to be really careful....some dogs are nice, some not...some owners are considerate and wise, some are not considerate nor wise.

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