Dog park socialization - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 21
Dog park socialization

Our pup has been going to the dog park now at around 5 months of age. She seems to have a great time there, and she's dead tired after from all the running. I was just concerned because she loves rough play (with smaller dogs :P because she's the boss) but with bigger dogs shes a bit uncoordinated still and gets knocked around a lot. She will run to me for a break if shes getting run down and I create some space for her so she can take a breather. I initially thought she was getting scared, but she would immediately run and chase the dog again once I got them to leave her. And then if it gets too much again, she'll run back to me. I don't know whether to just stop with the dog park, or just continue because she doesn't seem to be bothered by the fact she keeps returning to play. She is a quite friendly and submissive I guess with the teeth licking and the body-down-tail-wagging poses.

Insight?
mchy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 07:39 PM
Crowned Member
 
onyx'girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW, MI
Posts: 27,287
Personally not a fan of dog parks...too much can happen, especially when the dog matures. And a GSD usually will get the blame if something happens.
Not fair to pups if they are picked on all the time, either( it can take away any confidence they may have) I'd rather have a structured environment for my pup, JMO...
Maybe find a couple dogs you can have play/training time with instead?

Jane~
Kept by
Gambit zu Treuen Handen

Guinness auf der Marquis...Karlo son!

Always in my heart
Karlo aka Gideon vom Wildhaus
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
3.02.09~12.03.18
Kacie
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
7.21.05-5.01.15
Onyx
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
11.08.06-9.28.18
onyx'girl is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 08:08 PM
Junior Member
 
RichardMorris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
Posts: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by onyx'girl View Post
Personally not a fan of dog parks...too much can happen, especially when the dog matures. And a GSD usually will get the blame if something happens.
Maybe find a couple dogs you can have play/training time with instead?
I agree. All it needs is for your GS to be sniffing, minding its' own business, when it looks up to see an out of control yapping ball of fluff a couple of feet away coming in at 20 mph. The result would not be pretty, and another GSD horror story would be in the media.
Our GSD plays with her "select" friends 5 or 6 days a week and that is enough to keep her happy. I am not a big fan of uncontrolled socialization. I can recall my dog, the majority of "responsible owners" who let their dogs loose in a dog park have no chance of calling their dogs off.

Have a good week
Richard

No matter how eloquently the dog barks, he cannot tell you that his master is poor, but honest
Bertrand Russell
RichardMorris is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 09:29 PM
Master Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ma.
Posts: 960
I agree that dog parks are fraught with negative possibilities. Better to find local dogs they can play with regularly.
lrodptl is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 09:37 PM
Elite Member
 
Veronica's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 1,243
I agree too though I was a big fan when my pup was young. I loved taking Panzer to the dog park, but one too many uncomfortable situations for me and I decided it was a better choice to have play dates with friends. If you can go to the dog park at non-peak hours you might find a smaller more controlled group.

"Folks will know how large your soul is by the way you treat a dog." -Charles F. Duran
Veronica is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 09:38 PM
Elite Member
 
Packen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,316
Socialization does not mean taking your pup to the dog park, it means taking pup to different environments (elevators, stairs, Home Depot, gas stations, different surfaces, airports, horse barns, in front of Walmart etc). At least that's how I see it. Dog parks can really ruin some pups, be very careful or get ready for endless trainer/behaviorists.

Gnash von den Sportwaffen IPO3x2, AD, HOT
Brimwylf Creasy BH, HOT

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Packen is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 09:43 PM
Crowned Member
 
onyx'girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW, MI
Posts: 27,287
There is a trainer near me that holds community type dog gatherings, it is more structured and they do some training while the dogs are socialized in different venues(as described in Packen's post)

It is very popular and though they do go to a public dog beach at Lake Michigan, they still keep the dogs in check.
Maybe set up a group in your locale to do this?
Here is a link to his site, I think it is a great idea compared to a dog park type exercise outing...and probably the same cost or less. Free website built by ts342003 using Hi Tech Consultancy

Jane~
Kept by
Gambit zu Treuen Handen

Guinness auf der Marquis...Karlo son!

Always in my heart
Karlo aka Gideon vom Wildhaus
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
3.02.09~12.03.18
Kacie
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
7.21.05-5.01.15
Onyx
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
11.08.06-9.28.18
onyx'girl is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 09:43 PM
Zombie Queen Moderator
 
NancyJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 16,534
I agree. No dog parks for me.

Nancy



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
-NAPWDA Certified Cadaver Dog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
- Partner in Crime
Waiting at the Bridge: Grim (NAPWDA), Cyra, Toby, Oscar, Linus, Rainbow, Arlo, & Waggles
NancyJ is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2011, 10:18 PM
Ava
Member
 
Ava's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Alabama
Posts: 124
I like the dog park we go to, but its split into two spaces. under 35 lbs and over 35 lbs. Most, literally 97 out of 100 dogs I've had no issues with and the other 3 were only slight issues, but the owners were engaged. Much of this has to the neighborhood the park is in. I visited a park in another part of town and I would NEVER take my dogs there - I'd be afraid to let my kids near those dogs off leash.

But, for me 5 months would be too young to go. Too easy to get bullied and damage confidence. I didn't take Ava to ours until she was 8 months old. She really enjoys it - the smells, open space etc. She is not a social butterfly, but usually makes one or two friends per visit and ignores the rest.

Ava has tried to make friends with some young pups and obviously intimidated the **** out of them. I'd do the right thing and keep Ava away. Sad, but most folks aren't as aware and don't manage their dogs or let their own pups get intimidated.

I wouldn't write off the parks forever, but at 5 months I'd stick with playdates with known dogs.

Steve

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Pedigree
Ava is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2011, 12:17 AM
Member
 
Salix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 92
No more dog parks here either.

Some hard lessons learned. You'll just have to learn it yourself if you insist. Don't say you weren't warned from this forum anyway.

A few things I'll write specifically tailored to your questions/situation:

In my opinion, at 5 months the dog park for a GSD pup isn't 'too much'. I threw Denver in at 3.5 months right after his last shots. Perfect. Grew up to be very confident and shies away at only cranky goats with big horns. (There are a few farms just behind our suburban neighbourhood).

However before 3.5 months and in conjunction I was continuously taking him all over different neighbourhoods and window shopping with him in busy streets. Met many people, many other dogs walking on leash. He wasn't just thrown into dog parks with zero other means of socialization. To me, this is critical. I see a lot of young or skittish dogs with behavioural issues just thrown into a dog park and expected to socialize - BAM problems. You'll have confident dogs sniffing out the fear.

Second, I 10000% agree with GSDs (at close to or at their full size) being blamed for being too overly confident or for picking on smaller dogs. I wouldn't be too overjoyed with the fact that your dog is playing boss so confidently with the smaller dogs. As a mental exercise I would even suggest you curb it every now and then to practice obedience and some inhibition towards smaller dogs. This can become a really big problem if you find yourself with a full grown GSD chasing smaller dogs in a park.

Third, I found that on-leash walking became unruly and difficult every time the GSD was exposed to another dog on the street after so much dog park exposure. Denver felt that it was he was entitled to meeting every single dog. NO. He has no such entitlement and I've cut this behaviour out totally.

Lastly I want to mention that I've met some lovely folks at dog parks and the socialization was not just for Denver perhaps but also for me. I learned a lot. I read bulletins, met all kinds of breeds, conversed with many dog lovers and owners who offered me greater insight into the world of dogs. I went to many around my area. I was so often at dog parks I even once had my car vandalized - such was my frequency. But that was an unsafe but popular dog park where signs were up everywhere in the parking lot. Unfortunately my car was targeted. Nothing was lost except some damage to the perimeter of my rear windows. I've also met nasty and insecure owners as well as their dogs. Ex-prison inmates, elderly women who put their toy breeds on picnic tables, young children and every character under the sun. We used to go at least 4 days out of every week.

Denver is 1 year old now and I refuse to take him to a dog park. I have found that the dog park has served its use as a socialization tool in his earlier formative period and is now more disadvantageous than it is advantageous. It has served its purpose in the sense that Denver has very good nerves, is more confident than I'd like to admit and is a generally very laid back and friendly dog. Most importantly, he's already learned the critical social skills and is already wellversed with social cues in the dog world. My job is done at the dog park.

Although I think you may not believe this right now and will continue to go to the dog park (which I think is not a horribly bad idea considering your dog is only 5 months), I hope you will read this and keep it at the back of your mind as he begins to get older. Good luck.
Salix is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome