Leash Free Dog Parks - When Will I Ever Learn??? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Leash Free Dog Parks - When Will I Ever Learn???

I thought that today would be a good day to take Sam to the local dog park. I figure it was a nice bright day with new snow fall on the ground, why not leave work early and take him so he can play with other dogs.

Now this is the same park where all of the handful of "incidents" have occurred in Sam's life (he's a year now). The incidents all involved other dogs attacking Sam as he was a pup. None of them serious except for a patch or two of missing fur on his face.

Well today we're not there long before Sam starts trying to play with another dog his tennis ball. The owner commented that her dog is possessive with balls which left me wondering "then why play ball with him in a DOG park where other dogs might go for it?" I tried to keep Sam away but eventually they end up playing near each other and that's when Sam sees the ball on the ground. Sam goes to get it when the other dog growls and clamps down on his muzzle. Sam whimpers at first but then starts growling and wanting to go after the other dog. This is the first time that Sam has ever defended himself. We separate the dogs and I do a quick check. He's got a small patch of hair missing at the base of his muzzle with light blood. I also suffered some cuts on my hand as well when I separated them. The owner never once came over to apologize or ask how Sam was.

Why must I never learn that leash free dog parks always attract the most irresponsible dog owners??? I had stopped going for a couple of months but went back as I wanted to give him the opportunity to socialize.

Oh, later I ended up getting into an argument with her and her little "clique" of other "regulars" and her justification was that her dog is only 8 months old (which is worse!) and that having your dog getting attacked on occaision is just part of going to the dog park.
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 07:38 PM
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I feel your pain! It's so hit and miss at our dog park -- some days we have a great time and Ez gets wonderful exercise and socialization, some days I leave a nervous wreck. Once I was bitten pretty hard on my inner thigh (ouch!) breaking up a fight. I'm getting better at walking away/keeping away from any dog or situation that I don't feel comfortable with and that has helped. I don't feel bad anymore saying "I don't like they way they're playing so we're going to move on". It's also helped to go in the middle of the day when most folks are at work and only a few dogs are there at a time. AND there's usually a "hot spot" where many people & dogs gather and I avoid it like the plague. If there's going to be trouble, it's usually right there.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 08:45 PM
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having your dog getting attacked on occaision is just part of going to the dog park.
I'm sure it is "just part of going to the dog park" at this particular park if all the regulars there are as clueless about dog parks as this particular person.

I really wish that dog parks could be supervised and regulated better. Unfortunately, most "dog parks" are simply a patch of land with a fence around and anyone and their cousin can come out and use them. Which is really a shame because a lot of people know very little about dogs and they are usually the ones causing trouble.

I'm sure we've all seen them: The person who comes in, sits down, and starts texting or reading a book, completely tuning out where their dog is or what their dog is doing. The person who brings aggressive dogs. The person who brings dogs that are toy possessive and a bunch of toys for them to play with. Etc. Etc. The stupidity just never ends!

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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I'm glad (or should I be sad?) that you guys can relate!

Not sure if anybody has seen the Dog Whisperer where Cesar goes to the dog park. He said he said he saw so many red flags he had to take a few deep breathes and walk away from the dog park.

Sam defnitely has a tooth mark in him that is still slowly bleeding. If it were any larger he would need a stitch.

It speaks volumes about a dog's training when he's starting fights at only 8-months old!
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 09:16 PM
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No, it wouldn't need a stitch - they don't stitch puncture wounds. They need to be able to breathe and drain. You need to get him on antibiotics and clip the fur around that area and keep it clean or you're risking it getting infected.

Little puncture holes can turn into big nasty wounds quickly. They appear to heal up fine but what happens is they are deep and narrow, so the upper skin heals up leaving a wound below the skin surface to get infected.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 09:30 PM
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The park I take Uschi for walks has a dog park there as well. Everytime we are there we hear dogs having a disagreement over something. So I've never taken her in there for that reason. Sorry your dog got hurt.

But I agree....definitely clip the area and keep it cleaned up.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 09:35 PM
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the reason to go to a dog park is because they're leash free.
going to a dog park where your dog has to remain on leash
doesn't make sense to me. i agree with you about bringing balls,
frisbees, toys to a dog for your dog to play with.
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 09:43 PM
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My husband and I own and run a PRIVATE dog park. I'm glad that communities see the need for places for dogs to get out and be a dog, but am usually shocked at the behaviors I see in them. This is why we opened our property (12 acres) as a dog park. All of our members are screened prior to membership. We allow a wide variety of dogs as members. We don't expect perfect dogs, but do want the members to be willing to learn and work with their dogs. In the 3+ years since we opened, we have not yet had a real fight (some growlies but that's it), knock wood! Our members are always happy to listen to us and work on their dogs and their handling skills as needed. I must say, we have been very pleasantly surprised at how much we ourselves have learned while managing the park.
Toys are allowed, but can be used in a secluded area, or among dogs that are not resource guarders. Our members are very respectful of that rule and it makes all the difference.
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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 10:19 PM
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My mom brings her gsd to a dog park that's actually supervised! It's part of a county recreation area and attached to the no kill dog shelter so they use it to exercise the dogs-in-waiting. It's divided into small and large dog areas and a separate area for dogs that don't play well with others. I've been there many times when visiting and I've always been impressed with the volunteers at the shelter supervising the play areas. It's such a simple concept, I don't know why others don't follow suit.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 01-07-2011, 10:37 PM
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a 12 acre dog park. that's awesome!!!! 10 minutes from my
house there's a 1,400 acre park/woods. there's a section where
people meet everyday with their dogs. sometimes there's 25 dogs
romping through the woods, in and out of the creek, etc. where the dogs
play the creek is low. people riding horses cross the creek there. it's really
a nice site to see the horses crossing the creek and the dogs not reacting.


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Originally Posted by bocron View Post
This is why we opened our property (12 acres) as a dog park. .

Last edited by doggiedad; 01-07-2011 at 10:44 PM.
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