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Nikki-Rose 03-09-2014 06:22 AM

Dog parks
I had a meeting with my trainer I have lined up for my future dog today and he will be helping me pick the right dog for me.
I want one, that among many other things, would enjoy going to dog parks which are very popular things here is SoCal.

He said dog parks are more for the owner then the dogs. Since dogs are pack animals it can be confusing and often leads to dog fights.

Any thoughts on this?
I've always brought my past dogs to dog parks, honestly mostly for my own enjoyment as they were just as happy going for a run on leash with me.

Twyla 03-09-2014 08:00 AM

Your trainer is correct.

Your pup's pack is you, your family and any other dogs(pets) you may have, not strange dogs at a park.

While some on here have had positive experiences at dog parks, there are more who have had bad ones - from the pup just being overwhelmed to the pup being attacked.

Msmaria 03-09-2014 08:27 AM

Even though my dog does well at dog parks, not all dogs do. You should therefore listen to your trainer, if you trust his/her advice. As she would know your dog better than an online forum and also what ur planning to do with your dog. I do have to add that during training issues ive had to cut the dog park visits back because my dog wanted to go play with every dog he saw.

gomagoti 03-09-2014 09:06 AM

I have been going to dog park since she was 16 weeks old. She LOVES it. At first,as a pup, i had to keep a close eye on her to make sure no bigger dogs scared her, but the difference it made within a few days was obvious; she suddenly knew her boundaries with different dogs, was happy, tired, fulfilled.She made regular friends who we see to this day (she is nearly 2). Sure some dogs told her off when she was being an adolescent pain. As she has grown older she has grown into a very well balanced young bitch, confident and calm around all sorts of other dogs (aggressive, nervous,overactive, the lot) and I attribute a lot of this to her experiences at our dog park.
I have heard some people have had bad experiences, but in my personal experience, just keep a close eye on her, step in before anything gets out of hand, and basically just act like a parent with a child in a yard.

Lilliam 03-09-2014 11:54 AM

I lived in Southern California, in the San Fernando Valley. I used to go to a dog park right off Reseda, I think. Can't remember now.

It was at that dog park that my border collie, Cassie, was attacked. That was in 1998. I almost lost her.

I would suggest joining an activity such as herding, obedience or maybe rally and then setting play dates with dogs in that group. Where are you in California? There are herding facilties in the L.A. area and Santa Monica that I know of.

shepherdmom 03-09-2014 12:42 PM

I am one of the ones who avoids dog parks. Too many ill mannered owners around and frankly I don't want my dogs getting germs from whatever the other dogs might have. Of course I have a pack of my own so they don't need to go play with other dogs. They have plenty to play with right here at home.

kjdreyer 03-09-2014 01:31 PM

Oh, boy, I have some thoughts on this, thanks for asking! I wish I hadn't taken my puppy to the dog park when she was so young. One of the parks here has several individual runs, and one community park. I took her to the individual runs often, but one evening they were all full, and there were only a couple cars at the group one, so I thought we'd try it. She was maybe 16 weeks, after all shots anyway.

Two huskies, with no owner in sight, came galloping up to us and just kind of swarmed around her - in no way aggressive, but for a little puppy, totally scary. I was too stupid to pick her up and show her I had her back, I just stood there like a fool saying "good girl Jedda" in a happy happy voice, like that was any help. I still feel so guilty thinking about it! She had her tail totally tucked up and ears back and was just trying to get away from them - they were simply checking her out, but she was really scared. If those two were anything other than curious, I could have ended up with a dead puppy.

This by far wasn't the only mistake I made, but for a while she had some fear aggression issues I had to work on a LOT. She still is scared when two or more dogs approach. We sometimes go to a really large dog park (because it's such a great place to hike off leash) where I can easily see what's approaching, and I just give other dogs a wide berth, especially two or more dogs. I avoid like the plague the flats where owners congregate and let their dogs run amok.

I wish I had read this before I got my pup: Leerburg | Socializing Puppies.
When your post says that you specifically want a dog you can take to the dog park, my advice is to wait until your dog is an adult, and pick the park REALLY carefully. Good luck and have fun!

trcy 03-09-2014 02:19 PM

The trainer is correct. I'm not a fan of dog parks.

zyppi 03-09-2014 03:23 PM

Not a fan either.

Don't know what you will meet - temperament and health -- that goes for the four legged and two legged folks there.

onyx'girl 03-09-2014 05:42 PM

I agree with your trainer too.

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