Liability and dog parks - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Liability and dog parks

Hi all,

Just out of curiousity, is there any type of insurance that covers dogs at the dog park? Mine have not bitten any one. Shadow our GSD is 14 months old and is getting to the teenager-attitude phase, which is making me nervous, but I know he still benefits from continuous socialization we have been doing for him since he was a puppy. Just wondering if there is insurance protection out there for dog parks or anywhere outside the home to keep someone from suing the pants off you.

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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 12:55 PM
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IMO, the best insurance is don't go to dog parks. I guess you could look into getting an umbrella policy in addition to your regular home owners*, but they can be pretty darn pricey.

*You might also want to make sure of what your home owners policy covers. I know for a fact that mine does NOT cover any injury or damage to people or property caused by my pets.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 07:57 PM
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I think that the risk that you are liable in an altercation is great. If a Lab attacks your dog and your dog, a GSD, defends itself, guess who gets blamed? If you feel you need insurance to go to dog parks, you probably know what to do. I avoid them; too many out of control dogs/owners and unpredictable situations.
My dog has a few trusted doggy friends but mostly she is still interested in working with me.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 02:07 AM
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I'm with Wolfy and Leo. Dog parks are a huge risk. Especially with certain owners. My friend has a basset/boxer mix that looks like a fighting breed, she got attacked by an owner's 3 beagles and her dog was blamed even though her dog didn't even fight back at all. Other dogs didn't have a single wound and her dog was laying on the ground bleeding.
I think the insurance availability if there is any is really going to depend on where you live, but there is something in my city's lawbooks about having liability insurance of a minimum Of $100,000 if you own an 'aggressive dog' not that it's followed or known about though. Don't know enough about insurance...
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
I think that the risk that you are liable in an altercation is great. If a Lab attacks your dog and your dog, a GSD, defends itself, guess who gets blamed? If you feel you need insurance to go to dog parks, you probably know what to do. I avoid them; too many out of control dogs/owners and unpredictable situations.
My dog has a few trusted doggy friends but mostly she is still interested in working with me.
I haven't gotten a dog yet, but the more I see the way people (don't) handle their dogs when I go on runs and bike rides makes me think the idea of a dog park is simply dangerous.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 09:31 AM
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I also say just avoid the dog park. Back when i used to take my dog to one there was a lady that used to bring her small children in to play with the dogs while she sat at a bench reading....letting her kids run amok. Didnt even have a dog. People would leave when she showed up. Her kids would walk up to random dogs and grab them by the sides of the face and stare hard at them from like 6 inches away. And she got hostile if someone tried to tell her about her kids. Great fun. Dogs love being stared down. Uhg
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 12:07 PM
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Years ago, our city had invited me (as dog trainer) to a community meeting to give input for the future dog park.
So I advised to avoid sharp fence corners to avoid dogs cornering each other (I hate fenced parks for that reason). This was accepted as a good idea and also implemented. But....when I told them no toys, no treats and no small children, they strongly objected. And this is what turns out to be a problem in that park.
The only dog park in our area is one which is not fenced with large open spaces. I sometimes use it to get access to the river for Deja to swim. I have never seen a problem (so far)
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 12:33 PM
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But....when I told them no toys, no treats and no small children, they strongly objected. And this is what turns out to be a problem in that park.
Don't get me started...

I have no issue with parents bringing their kids IF AND ONLY IF they keep the kids under control and they understand that they are assuming a risk by bringing their kids. A dog might lick your kid, run into your kid, run over your kid - you can't control any of that, so teach your kids to be attentive and alert and hug a tree.

The toys and treats actually annoy me a lot more because some dogs guard toys and get really obnoxious, and invariably the idiot who has treats in his pocket gets mobbed by a crowd of 35 dogs and has no idea what to do but it sure isn't his fault, it's the dogs'!
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 01:54 PM
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I just moved to Chicago and there are many lose dogs around with no owner and owners with tons of small toy breeds enter as I own two 9 almost 10 month old German Shepherds. And it's terrible. They let their dogs out to go to the restroom without leashes and then get super hostile when their dog starts barking attacking my dogs and mine respond back never physical just barking.

Anyway what we do is normally go to the dog park when it is odd hours and no one or only one other dog is there and it's super manageable for both parties. We have another German Shepherd our dogs play with so it isn't all worry only fun. However there are tennis courts that no one uses in normal parks that are sealed off and we let our dogs play in since they're literally torn up. The fence is stronger and it's safer for them and the people too. I see many people do that for their dogs. My dogs play a little rough though so I worry about them playing with other dogs to begin with.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 02:47 PM
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But....when I told them no toys, no treats and no small children, they strongly objected. And this is what turns out to be a problem in that park.
Our dog park has the following rules (among others):
Dogs under 30 pounds belong in the "small dog run" and dogs over 30 pounds belong in the "large dog run".
Only one dog per adult over the age of 18 in the dog runs.
No children under the age of 12 in the dog runs.
No food, human or dog, allowed inside the runs.
Pick up after your dog.

I would take Ilka there sometimes because I throw her dummies farther than I could in the yard, and she could get a good run in, but only when it was empty. The one time we went on a weekend, when there were a bunch of other people, I had to keep Ilka from trying to eat the Yorkie-mutt looking dog that decided to challenge her (we were in the large dog side), and we left after the woman with her dog, her dad's dog (who was leaving little dribbles of loose poop everywhere that she ignored), and her 3 year old daughter broke out a bag of treats.

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