So you wanna go to the dog park? :) - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,612
So you wanna go to the dog park? :)

The dog park is a very hot steaming topic here, and probably with many dog forums. I understand that. I'm fond of saying it is a CRAPSHOOT because that's just what it is. You never know what you're going to get from day to day.

I'm not declaring myself as the dog park expert , I truly am not, but I've sure spent a good amount of time in them, and didn't waste that time. I watch, listen and pay attention every second I'm there. As in, pay attention to the dogs, not the picnic table holder-downers.

So herein I am going to *try* to cover everything I have learned about dog parks.!

Sure, you are supposed to have a permit or license to go into most parks. Many people break this.

You are supposed to abide by the rules. Many people break them.

You are supposed to control your dogs, and be in control of them at all times. MANY people break this.

Many humans see the dog park as a combined opportunity. Bring the dog, let the dog run and play and the humans sit around and discuss.. whatever. Social hour. Their dogs are too often well across the park and they don't know where and don't care much.

Said afforementioned humans will occasionally be snide about new folks coming in. "Gee, that woman was so jumpy - doesn't she know how dogs are supposed to play?" This type of statement usually comes from the worst-behaved of the "established" crew.

Every dog park has the regulars. This is good and bad. With the regulars, you get to know their dogs. You know exactly what things will get them going. If you pay enough attention, you can probably understand their dogs better than they do, simply because they're sitting at the picnic table discussing politics, the latest news story, etc.

And then you have those who are new. They come in, not knowing what to expect. Their experiences vary greatly. If the regulars' dogs descend on that dog and no one controls the dogs, the newcomer is often upset. Some newcomers are strong in their own right, and step in to control it, and some are so offput, they pick up their dog, leave and don't return. Every dog park "pack" *will* sniff on the newcomer. You must be ready for that in a new park. It will happen and you cannot depend on the owners to control this. If the owners *are* in charge and paying attention, that's a bonus.

Then you have those who bring in their dog aggressive dogs during off hours, because they think they can avoid the "crowd." Be aware of this if you also use the reasoning of the "off-peak" hours.

Many, many, many people bring dogs into the dog park that shouldn't be there. These dogs hate being sniffed, have no desire to play with other dogs but their owners have some belief that it is best for the dog to "play" with other dogs. Maybe they do so out of guilt. Maybe they do so believing it is a good socialization opportunity. It is not. It is overkill, it is too much for these dogs. They simply do not like it and spend their time there avoiding contact with the other dogs.

Taking the above a bit further... granted, not everyone has large, safe places to take their dog(s). So they go to the dog park. Ok. But everyone in a dog park must understand.. their dog *will* be approached by other dogs. It is just going to happen. You don't have a "right" to be left alone. It's a DOG PARK. In a perfect world, you have the "right" for your dog to not be "assaulted," but it is not a perfect world. Other dogs will approach your dog. I don't know how many times I've heard people say, "My dog just doesn't like other dogs." Ok then don't bring your dog to a dog park. It really is that simple. If you want to socialize your non-socialized dog, for goodness sakes, do not bring it to a dog park. There are simply too many dogs. Again, overkill.

During your time at the dog park, if you frequent it often enough, you will see many things that are probably completely against the rules. Aggressive dogs. Very young children. Treats handed out to entice the dogs. Toys thrown around to bring about guarding problems. Tiny puppies.

Yet another issue I see over and over and over.... small, but very aggressive dogs. They instigate and entice. Terrier types. My dog loves these nutty terriers, but they're often a step away from honest injury. If that's YOUR dog, you need to understand it really isn't "cute." It's an accident -- an attack -- just waiting to happen.

Ok, so I want to summarize:

--If your dog is aggressive to other dogs, don't go to the dog park unless you feel very secure in your handling of your own dog and any that might approach.
--Don't take your itty bitty pup to the dog park for socialization/exposure. You're more likely to scare the snot out of the dog than anything.
--Don't park your behind on a picnic table.
--If your dog is a jerk, shut your dog down. (What is a "jerk" ? Pestering another dog. Humping. Dominance behavior. You can know it when you see it, the other dog will show clear signs that your dog's behavior is not acceptable.)
--If another dog is a jerk, shut it down, but if the owner is as much of a jerk as the dog -- LEAVE.
--Pay attention. At all times. Be where your dog is.
--Be smart about toys and treats. Don't use them if you're within the "pack."

So all of that was pretty negative, but it is very important to understand all the aspects! My dog likes the park A LOT, but there may be a day we no longer go. It depends on him and his behavior. My dog has benefited in many ways. It has helped his *human* socialization more than I ever expected. So there are definitely positives.

Just be careful.
chelle is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 02:19 AM
Crowned Member
 
Konotashi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,135
I agree.

I haven't taken Ozzy to the dog park for a while (mostly due to the cold weather, and I usually take him to go swimming), but we have had a few run-ins I could have lived without.

1. Two boxers ganged up on Ozzy. I think the younger one was there mostly because she was following the bigger male, but still. I pay attention to Ozzy every second we were at the park. Ozzy was about 2 feet from me, waiting for me to throw his ball out. Boxers just came up and the giant brindle one pinned him. Thankfully, it was mostly him being above Ozzy and growling (not a real attack), but enough to scare everyone involved half to death. Sadly, as a result of that, Ozzy doesn't like boxers much.

2. A little braindead pug mixed thing would NOT leave Ozzy alone. He would come up and try to rip his lifejacket off of him. I would pick Ozzy up, go to the other side of the park, and continue playing. Braindead monster would show up again and repeat. When I took him back to the other side, he kept doing it. Since braindead owners didn't put a collar on braindead dog, I grabbed him by the scruff and yanked him off. I yelled, "WHOSE d*** dog is this?!" The two owners were sitting there, chatting amongst themselves, while one of their kids came to get the dog. I was close to kicking it to make him leave Ozzy alone.

3. This one probably scared/intimidated me the most. There was a very large husky mix. I saw him coming and didn't like his body language as he approached, so I quickly picked up Ozzy. When the dog got to us, he jumped up on me, paws on my arm, and stared at me intently, not moving. I was frozen, not exactly sure what to do. I didn't look at him, but I thought if I ran, I might get bitten, or if I moved, he might do something besides just stare. I was standing there for about a minute before the owner realized where his dog was and he came up and dragged him off by his choke chain.

Ozzy - Chocolate Pom
-FDCh-G
-TF-III
-Fastest 2012/2013 U-FLI Pomeranian

"In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."
Konotashi is offline  
post #3 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 02:32 AM
Elite Member
 
Falkosmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Konotashi View Post
2. A little braindead pug mixed thing would NOT leave Ozzy alone. He would come up and try to rip his lifejacket off of him. I would pick Ozzy up, go to the other side of the park, and continue playing. Braindead monster would show up again and repeat. When I took him back to the other side, he kept doing it. Since braindead owners didn't put a collar on braindead dog, I grabbed him by the scruff and yanked him off. I yelled, "WHOSE d*** dog is this?!" The two owners were sitting there, chatting amongst themselves, while one of their kids came to get the dog. I was close to kicking it to make him leave Ozzy alone.
I am not making light of what happened, but the way you wrote it....way too funny!
Falkosmom is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 03:12 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: California, US
Posts: 5,921
Quote:
Originally Posted by Konotashi View Post
I agree.

I haven't taken Ozzy to the dog park for a while (mostly due to the cold weather, and I usually take him to go swimming), but we have had a few run-ins I could have lived without.

1. Two boxers ganged up on Ozzy. I think the younger one was there mostly because she was following the bigger male, but still. I pay attention to Ozzy every second we were at the park. Ozzy was about 2 feet from me, waiting for me to throw his ball out. Boxers just came up and the giant brindle one pinned him. Thankfully, it was mostly him being above Ozzy and growling (not a real attack), but enough to scare everyone involved half to death. Sadly, as a result of that, Ozzy doesn't like boxers much.

2. A little braindead pug mixed thing would NOT leave Ozzy alone. He would come up and try to rip his lifejacket off of him. I would pick Ozzy up, go to the other side of the park, and continue playing. Braindead monster would show up again and repeat. When I took him back to the other side, he kept doing it. Since braindead owners didn't put a collar on braindead dog, I grabbed him by the scruff and yanked him off. I yelled, "WHOSE d*** dog is this?!" The two owners were sitting there, chatting amongst themselves, while one of their kids came to get the dog. I was close to kicking it to make him leave Ozzy alone.

3. This one probably scared/intimidated me the most. There was a very large husky mix. I saw him coming and didn't like his body language as he approached, so I quickly picked up Ozzy. When the dog got to us, he jumped up on me, paws on my arm, and stared at me intently, not moving. I was frozen, not exactly sure what to do. I didn't look at him, but I thought if I ran, I might get bitten, or if I moved, he might do something besides just stare. I was standing there for about a minute before the owner realized where his dog was and he came up and dragged him off by his choke chain.

Does your dog park have a "Little" dog and a "Big" dog area?

Just curious as to why a Pom would be in the same area as Boxers and other large dogs. Seems like that mix would be just asking for trouble, even if the big guys are friendly (and some big dogs aren't and some little dogs think they are really tough).
codmaster is offline  
post #5 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 04:45 AM
Crowned Member
 
Konotashi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,135
There's a big and small dog area, but I think Ozzy (or my ankles) would be mauled if we tried to go in the small dog area.... We walk in, and all of them are sticking together at the edge of the gate, trying to attack anyone walking by. Then when they're off doing their own thing, they'll cower away from one another. I think Ozzy would be a bit 'much' for the little guys. He's used to playing with the big dogs.

Ozzy - Chocolate Pom
-FDCh-G
-TF-III
-Fastest 2012/2013 U-FLI Pomeranian

"In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."
Konotashi is offline  
post #6 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 04:49 AM
Knighted Member
 
paulag1955's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Western Washington
Posts: 3,467
Send a message via Skype™ to paulag1955
The dog park we take Shasta to is really big - 40 acres. I wonder if this is why we don't see this pack-type behavior.

One thing I do see that I do not understand AT ALL is people letting their very small toddlers down on the ground. That is a tragedy waiting to happen.

Paula
Shasta - GSD (4/30/10)
Thor - GSD (3/12/12)
RIP Duchess - Shetland Sheepdog (12/25/88 - 2/14/04)
paulag1955 is offline  
post #7 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 05:34 AM
Crowned Member
 
Konotashi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,135
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulag1955 View Post
One thing I do see that I do not understand AT ALL is people letting their very small toddlers down on the ground. That is a tragedy waiting to happen.
Especially if they'll run and scream when a dog goes anywhere near them.... I've seen that, I don't know how many times.

Ozzy - Chocolate Pom
-FDCh-G
-TF-III
-Fastest 2012/2013 U-FLI Pomeranian

"In a perfect world, every dog would have a home and every home would have a dog."
Konotashi is offline  
post #8 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 11:23 AM
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: California, US
Posts: 5,921
Quote:
Originally Posted by Konotashi View Post
There's a big and small dog area, but I think Ozzy (or my ankles) would be mauled if we tried to go in the small dog area.... We walk in, and all of them are sticking together at the edge of the gate, trying to attack anyone walking by. Then when they're off doing their own thing, they'll cower away from one another. I think Ozzy would be a bit 'much' for the little guys. He's used to playing with the big dogs.

Oh, it appeared to me that you were upset with the big dogs trying to rough house with your little one.

I know if I went to a dog park with my 90lb rough playing GSD I would be a little surprised if someone brought a little tiny dog into that separate area. And a little afraid that my guy or another big dog might hurt the little one just by accident (much less consider it a "prey' animal).

I would also be extremly careful if someone brings a sighthound into the park - better tell your dog not to run or make any quick moves (like a rabbit!).

You might be lucky and find someone else who has a very "tough" tiny dog who also brings them into the Big dog area whom your dog can play with.
codmaster is offline  
post #9 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 11:26 AM
Crowned Member
 
wyoung2153's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: North Florida
Posts: 4,527
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulag1955 View Post
The dog park we take Shasta to is really big - 40 acres. I wonder if this is why we don't see this pack-type behavior.

One thing I do see that I do not understand AT ALL is people letting their very small toddlers down on the ground. That is a tragedy waiting to happen.
Same here. My dog park is HUGE not sure how big but it's the local Fair Grounds and when it's not Fair season it's a dog park. There are a few times I have had problem dogs but not too many. And so far i haven't seen much of a pack behavior.

I do however see people bringing their young children to the park and just leaving them to wander amongst the dogs. I have actually had a boy about 8 or 9 y/o rush my 100lb GSD and attempt to choke him until he dropped the ball because he wanted to throw it for him.. meanwhile, I rush toward him and grab his hand and tell him to NEVER do that to another dog. He never knows what might happen, he could be attacked by the dog taking it as an aggressive behavior. Of course at the point th emom notices her son and all of a sudden is upset with me for "touching her child" Once explained that though my GSD is a VERY friendly loving dog.. he doesn't take to be manhandled by strangers. And though I was right there and stopped anything from happening before Titan could even think to respond, that might not be the case next time. Of course she was apologetic and scolded her boy after the case and after she knew what he did because she didn't see him but come on.. what if I was one of those irresponsible owners who was holding down the picnic table being chatty Kathy with the Braindead pug's owner, who knows what Titan might have done. just because he's a good, none aggressive dog doesn't mean he won't snap at a person essentially choking him. I wouldn't have faulted him if he did honestly.

Sorry for the long reply, it was one of my biggest pet peeves of dog parks.. for people to bring their little kids and let them run around with all the dogs while they are not paying any mind. I think that bothers me even more than the owners who are ignorant to their dog's behaviors "oh he's humping because he's horny, hahahahaha." Yeah maybe in your world until you have no more dog because what he did was try to dominate a more dominant dog.. but I digress... lol.. oh dog parks.. gotta love them..
wyoung2153 is offline  
post #10 of 83 (permalink) Old 01-17-2012, 11:38 AM
Elite Member
 
Falkosmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,105
Quote:
Originally Posted by wyoung2153 View Post


Sorry for the long reply, it was one of my biggest pet peeves of dog parks.. for people to bring their little kids and let them run around with all the dogs while they are not paying any mind. ..
The dog parks near me have age limits on children that can come in, mostly over 12. Another pet peeve of mine is parents with children, without dogs, that bring their children in to play in the dog park, not necessarily with the dogs!

Quote:
Originally Posted by codmaster View Post
And a little afraid that my guy or another big dog might hurt the little one just by accident (much less consider it a "prey' animal).

I would also be extremly careful if someone brings a sighthound into the park - better tell your dog not to run or make any quick moves (like a rabbit!).
I've seen that way too many times, one of the reasons I won't own a small breed with my big ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulag1955 View Post
The dog park we take Shasta to is really big - 40 acres. I wonder if this is why we don't see this pack-type behavior.

One thing I do see that I do not understand AT ALL is people letting their very small toddlers down on the ground. That is a tragedy waiting to happen.
What a great park that must be! One near me is not much bigger than a backyard and the other one is about an acre on top of a hill with no water or trees. Many dogs get heat stroke in the summer at that one.
Falkosmom 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