|08-29-2013 03:01 AM|
Ive brought my girl to the dog park but kinda stopped, not quit but stopped going as much. Some idiot has a big wgsl gsd and he was letting Baron get too rough with Apache. I stopped it and he gave the typical dog park line that its ok theyre just being dogs... His dog was on top of mine mouthing her while she yelped.
That said my dog can handle it, no issues. I think thats from bringing her to the park as a pup instead of sheltering her. Sheltered dogs have major issues from little things.
|08-28-2013 12:41 PM|
I read your posts carefully and addressed the points you mention.
If I were you I would not take the risk, having seem some knock down drag out dog fights at dog parks. IMO it's too much of a risk to take with a service dog that you rely on, period. I would view the two incidents you mentioned as warning signs. Again, just my opinion.
I also respect that she is your dog and you have the right to make those judgment calls.
Best to you and Corey too.
|08-28-2013 12:32 PM|
Gwen - A few things.
First, my main reason for taking Corey to the dog park at all is because I have no where else to let her run or play fetch. While usually her guide work is enough to tire her out, sometimes the dog just wants to play and run, and as I live in the city, I don't have a yard for her to do that in. So I opt to go to the dog park. And, as I said, most of the time it's been fine. And in both these two instances, while I was frustrated, I was able to remove my dog from the situations at hand.
You asked about my vision. Yes, my vision is severely impaired. However, I have enough vision to see most of the park and to keep an eye on Corey and the language happening between her and other dogs. Typcially, though, my sighted roommate is with me, so if something is happening that I can't see, she can.
And, as someone else said, I kind of ended up answering my own question for the solution. Taking Corey earlier in the day, when there are fewer dogs, seems to work well since it's not the interaction she wants but the chance to run off-leash for a bit.
|08-28-2013 10:08 AM|
Hi KodyK, firstly I'm sorry that you've had these bad experiences, especially with your very precious and loved service dog. It's scary enough when bad things happen to our dogs but to have such a highly trained dog that you need to help you function more fully in society amps that concern up I would imagine.
So I pose the following to you as food for thought with all due respect but I feel you wouldn't have posted your story if something wasn't already niggling at you..... I'm not trying to make you feel badly just, well IMO, you're taking some chances in an environment not suited nor safe to you or your dog.
So the question is, does your dog 'really' need this sort of interaction?
I've seen it too many times at dog parks, serious dog fights that break out in a split second. You may go to the park and never have it happen to your dog but all it will take is just one time and it could seriously damage your precious dog, forever.
The other item to think about, you said you are legally blind. Based on my knowledge of that term your sight is severely impaired. So you will have a harder time seeing those dog body language signals ahead of time and may not be able to intercede, even if you have a friend there.
Your dog is trained to be submissive it sounds like. Dog park bullies are going to take advantage of that, that doesn't seem fair to your dog.
I dunno, you have a very special dog with very special training why take the chance at a dog park with people as you described in your first post?
If you must take her somewhere find a private dog park, or doggie playcare center where the dogs are monitored and handled by experienced staff or as others have mentioned play dates. Perhaps you could find other service dogs in your area and set up play dates.
I would respectfully urge you to consider if it really is in the best interest of your dog's well being to be exposed to increased risks in a very uncontrolled environment. Everything has pros and cons and given you are legally blind and have a very special service dog, IMHO the cons outweigh pros.
Best to you and your Corey, she sounds like a wonderful dog!
|08-28-2013 07:52 AM|
I only take Ozzy to the dog park to swim. He has zero interest in the other dogs, and if a dog starts bugging, I move to the other side (there's two main sections) or leave.
First time I went to the dog park, a chi was harassing a pit bull. Chi's owner thought it was funny until the pit grabbed it by the head and started throwing it around like a ragdoll underwater and a hoard of other dogs wanted in on the action. Pit's owner did nothing to intervene - a random guy whose dog wasn't involved rescued the chi.
I am very observant at dog parks - to my dog, to other dogs, and their owners. I've noticed that most people pay absolutely zero attention to their dogs. Many that do are totally oblivious to the behaviors their dog is displaying. Many see a precursor to a fight as playing, and there has been more than one occasion where I mentioned this to an owner, they tell me, "Nah, he's friendly! He's just playing!" Not five minutes later, they were splitting up a fight.
Honestly, seeing young children and babies at dog parks is unsettling to me. Many dogs see kids as something to chase. They're small, they make loud noises, and when a dog scares them, what do they do? They make loud noises and RUN. What does the dog do? Engage.
What's worse is the parents are as oblivious to their children at dog parks as they are their dogs.
When I get my GSD, we will simply sit on the hill outside the dog park to work on distractions and ignoring passing dogs.
|08-28-2013 07:36 AM|
I think you've answered your own question.
The solution may be to go there during off hours, when there aren't too many other dogs there.
I used to make it my business to walk past the fenced in dog park, and use the distractions to work on my dog's focus. Sometimes, I would sit on an exterior bench, and just watch the dogs interact. I can't tell you, how many of these seemingly friendly dogs, ended up almost killing each other.
Looking back almost 2 years later, and still sitting on that bench at times, I see that most of the dogs from last year are no longer there. I've had conversations with those that do frequent the park, and they tell me that one by one, the dogs work their way out of the park because of incidents.
It's just a matter of time.
Only advice I can further give you, is to be careful. If the park dynamics seem high, may be a better idea to go for a long walk that day.
If you don't mind, where in NYC are you? What park is it?
You can PM me if you'd like.
|08-27-2013 10:58 PM|
Ha. Some of Corey's favorite dogs at the park are smaller ones because they run fast and will race her. (Her favorite, favorite thing to do in the dog park is race.) I remember being a little nervous the first time I introduced her to a small dog (a friend's dog, not at the park) but she impressed me by laying down to greet him so that she was on his level and he could easily approach her. I guess I shouldn't be surprised - she went through TONS of socialization and training at the guide dog school - but I was still proud.
As for the park - I've grown up with large dogs my whole life and am not afraid to step in if I need to. In both these cases, I ended up stepping in with both the dogs at one point or another. The sad part was, both of the dogs seemed to be very friendly and sweet towards people, just poorly socialized. I think these owners thought taking the dog to the dog park and letting them be near other dogs WAS socializing them, but it ws just turning the dogs into bullies. Which is sad because, as I said, neither seemed like bad dogs over all.
Either way, I'm very glad Corey is so non-confrontational and just avoids squabbles. It does make things easier when the situaton gets bad and we need to leave.
|08-27-2013 10:35 PM|
We take Sabo on weekdays in the early/mid morning ONLY. we tried an evening and a ton of dogs were there. I ended up stepping in when strangers dogs were annoying another dog, just putting myself there an telling them firmly NO. :/ needless to say we took Sabo and his friend to the empty small dog side and let them play. They did VERY well with an older 15lb dog who had no qualms telling them to back off when shed had enough. I was more afraid that their prey drive would kick in, but they were too busy playing with each other.
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|08-27-2013 10:33 PM|
|kjdreyer||That is so frustrating when inattentive or ignorant dog owners ruin it for others. Unfortunately, your fix of just leaving is probably about all you can do, rather than risk a bad encounter for your dog. BTW, she sounds like a great dog! And you sound like a pretty patient person, too - if someone else's dog was bugging me like that humper, I'd be hard pressed not to say something! I hope you still get to enjoy the park with your girl!|
|08-27-2013 10:18 PM|
Jack's Dad - they actually try to train OUT protectiveness in a lot of guide dogs. Guide dogs are NOT guard dogs. Though some still end up being protective despite training. Corey can be protective - mostly if we're at home. (She gets upset if someone tries to open the door without me or my roommate letting them in, for instance.) And while working, if another dog on the sidewalk lunges at her, she'll often body-block me or if a dog is barking she'll deliberately veer to the other side of a sidewalk to keep me as far from it as possible. But other than that, not much protectiveness. At least not that I've seen yet. I doubt she'd take well to a stranger grabbing me or something, but that hasn' happened.
Sadly, no as far as places for her to run. In NYC, dog parks and a very select few off leash, unfenced city parks are available. And those city parks are no where near me.
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