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Thread: Dog Park Theory/Question. (moved from chat to General Puppy) Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-23-2013 01:53 PM
Blanketback Yup, you sure can't paint all dog parks with the same brush I actually stopped going to mine because my vet pointed out that since it was such a very small space, the chances were good that there were nasties there that I didn't want my dog exposed to. Good point.

You can't seem to avoid DA dogs unless you never leave your own back yard these days. I guess the main thing is to have the confidence to deal with them.
12-23-2013 01:39 PM
Originally Posted by Blanketback View Post
I'm not disagreeing with you, because logically this makes sense. But IME (and maybe you've noticed it too) it's the owners that can't let their dogs off the leash that make the loudest noises.
Meh...I've run into a few, but they are few and far between. One time a guy brought in an intact Rhodesian boy ran by him, that dog freaked out (on leash) and the guy just asked, "Who's shepherd is that?" I said it was mine, to which he responds with, "Is he intact? My boy doesn't like intact males." I told him my dog was intact...but didn't bother with the guy...its pointless to talk with someone that knows their dog has aggression problems and still brings them to a dog park. I mean...did he really expect that his dog was going to be the only intact male at the park? The guy never let his dog off leash, and didn't have a problem with other dogs coming near him. So he didn't bother me much.

Anyways...I tend to chime in on these threads because they generally turn into, "I had this one experience one time and that's why dog parks are bad" threads. No one ever posts about great experiences at the dog park, or that they went to one, their dog ran around, and nothing happened. It's always "my dog got attacked!" which leads to everyone else throwing in their stories.

I think dog parks have a place in this world. I think there are very good ones and there are bad ones. If you can have control of your dog, and understand/can read dog body language, you'll probably do alright in one. Most of the dogs at the dog park are not aggressive and are very friendly. The ones around me are very well "self-policed" where aggressive dogs and their owners are shunned and tend not to come back. We also have small dog areas which are never used and are therefore perfect training spots...its awesome being able to practice a long down/sit with other dogs on the other side of the fence sniffing at my proofing ever IMO.
12-23-2013 01:20 PM
VanH i also used the dog park as a training tool. also helped get rid of my dogs reactivity. i only went when there were a few dogs in the park so i can control the situation. i stopped going at 6 months though after i felt there was no more need to go.[/QUOTE]

I haven't taken Shikha to a dog park yet. How did you use the park for training? I'm very interested to hear more about that! Thanks.

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12-23-2013 12:52 PM
Originally Posted by martemchik View Post
One too many aggressive dogs that got the town/city/county to establish leash laws.
I'm not disagreeing with you, because logically this makes sense. But IME (and maybe you've noticed it too) it's the owners that can't let their dogs off the leash that make the loudest noises.

LOL, good times with the boxer! That must have been great
12-23-2013 08:09 AM
Originally Posted by Blanketback View Post
I wonder the same thing too, Dani. What really gets me curious about DA these days is that when I was growing up, everyone used to just let their dogs out the back door and do their thing. No fences, no tie-outs, nothing. The dogs didn't suffer for it. Mind you, this was a small town and the cars weren't zooming around like they do today either. The only animals that I saw ever get into trouble were the cats, because they fought all the time. But the dogs all got along. It seems like when the dogs are given the freedom to be social, then they are very social beings.

My first GSD was raised in a similar fashion. He didn't get to roam the neighborhood because by that time I was living in the city. But he was always off leash and he was always running free in the park - with all the other dogs, in the days before leash laws and actual penned-in 'dog parks.' I never saw any dogs fighting back then either.
You know...I wonder if all that didn't stop because of the same problems people talk about with dog parks these days. One too many aggressive dogs that got the town/city/county to establish leash laws. Just because you dont' remember your own dog having issues, doesn't mean there were never issues between dogs that escalated into fights. Sadly, too many people believe their aggressive dogs deserve the same rights as regular, happy go lucky dogs and will bring them to public places where dogs are allowed. I've been in a pet store during a "pictures with santa" event where a lady brought in a boxer that literally wanted to kill every dog it looked this person, knowing their dog was DA, brought their dog to a place where they knew there were going to be dozens of other dogs in close quarters.

So a dog park...I always tell people you have to look at your dog and figure out if they're ready for a dog park. My dog was perfect for one until he turned one, after that, a few squabbles, I just didn't have the same fun time that I used to. I was always worried/watching my dog to make sure nothing happened. I've probably had issues, or run into idiots, less than 1% of the time that I've been at the dog park.
12-18-2013 06:33 PM
Originally Posted by Baillif View Post
Good dog boarding kennels will let the puppies and very stable dogs play and interact together under constant supervision. They aren't like dog parks where owners are present and refuse to discipline or don't see a need to intervene in the interactions to prevent fights. It obviously isn't kosher to go in there and give another persons dog a correction (especially a physical one) even when the dog clearly needs it, so the control is just not there.
I don't know. I mean, let's say I'm just not bothering to deal with my dog at the park, I think I kind of forfeit my right to get mad if another owner acts to deflect my dog (not actively harming the dog but, say, an objectively mild correction like telling my dog NO or moving it aside) so they can get their dog out of the park.
12-18-2013 05:22 PM
llombardo I haven't found a dog yet that wasn't able to turn around. Dogs from the streets or shelters always turned into what I though they should be. This is my personal experience and I'm sure not everyone will agree, but it is what it is.
12-18-2013 04:37 PM
Neko We started going to parks after 20 weeks, but tried to play with smaller dogs and puppies. We did not let this happen:

"It made me start thinking about dog parks, and how he would be affected if I took him to one and let a pack of dogs rush up on him and try and chase him...."

Gsd puppies also have soft bones/joints, you don't want a bunch of dogs knocking him all over the place.

We developed a very strong bond by protecting our pup, he got a good scare once from a toy possessive dog and he ran to me and sat behind me! He knew he was safe with mom. Now he is big and he can play with small dogs and puppies because he does not play rough, just runs around. When we get our second pup, he will be a great babysitter.
12-18-2013 04:32 PM
DaniFani Thanks for the comments and discussion everyone. I just wanted to say, I don't think it's the dog's that are the problem. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. I think it's the people, and apparently I live in a not-so-well-regulated dog park area, because there are always people with a dog on a leash, yelling for others to keep their dogs away, or people with a toy yelling at others to keep their dogs from taking the toy, and of course the bully dogs with no manners, etc.

I tend to agree that a dog with solid genetics can recover from most "trauma." Although I'm not sure if I think that even a genetically sound dog, viciously attacked (like hospitalized) won't develop dog aggression/fear, and I'm not sure if I believe it can overcome that. I'm sure there are some stories of it working, and I have two dogs I know, that were very genetically was viciously attacked as a puppy. The other was attacked twice by a dog breaking the long down in a trial. Don't know how the puppy is going to do (still recovering), but the older dog has some dog aggression now.

I'm of the mindset that just because the dog is genetically sound and can recover, I don't want to put him in a situation where he can be bullied and defenseless, because he is only 12 weeks old. I also don't feel the need for my dog to interact with all dogs, I actually rather he just be completely neutral to dogs.

My corgi LOVES dog parks and almost ALL dogs. He's way faster and way tougher than most dogs he encounters but LOVES running and chasing. I've yet to meet another dog that can keep up with him, and if they get too close, he'll actually barrel roll underneath them and change directions, it's pretty hilarious.

There is one dog park I'll frequent, it's 1000+ acres, unfenced, and is really just off leash walking trails, where dogs run into each other, greet, and then we go on our merry way. There isn't a closed in, forced interaction.

Back to my original thought though, how many dogs in shelters or out in the world labeled "problem dogs" by their owners....Are genetically sound dogs, that had crappy life experiences, that made them that way? Are you saying if it was a genetically sound dog it wouldn't show ANY stress or ramifications from continued crappy interactions? I think a genetically sound dog can recover, but needs training and assistance to do that. Again, I am speaking towards dogs continually bullied, one or two attacks, etc...or a dog that becomes food aggressive because the owner sticks their hand in his food dish constantly. I just wonder how many dogs that were thrown into a shelter, or labeled as "problem" dogs, actually just had really crappy experiences, and need to be shown that they can trust again. Just wondering if the behavior problem is too quickly thrown up as genetic, when it could have much more to do with the environment.
12-18-2013 04:12 PM
Originally Posted by Sunflowers View Post
I was just signing on to reply the same thing.

I think the experiences serve to bring out who the dog is in the first place.
This is probably true, but I don't think risking the safety of the dog is worth seeing if it brings out who the dog is. There are much safer ways to do that.
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