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Discussion Starter #1
I am set to drive out in about 20 minutes for 45 minutes to take Roxy to a dog park. Seems on the internet like a good place...but the whole off leash thing has me a bit worried...but I'll deal with that

have your experiences been good...and my biggest concern is people who don't clean their dog droppings up....If I don't have a leash on roxy how do I keep her out of that crap ( sorry no pun intended) ..and aren't there diseases in that?


ok ...hurry with your thoughts / opinions/ experiences PLEASE AND THANK YOU )
 

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My dog park has been only positive experiences. HOWEVER it's an expensive paid membership with people watching that do not hesitate to kick any dog out that is aggressive. Never any poop on the ground, but still a risk of course. I would not go to a public one
 

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I don't like dog parks. People tend not to watch their dogs and it's just annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
just mainly wanted it for some off leash running time in a fenced in area...but not sure then this sounds like the venue to do it.
I wish we have a track area or playground that so many of you have that is fenced in and it was ok to take them to...can't even think of anything. We have made a make shift running area in our yard big enough to play some ball in and my best friend and I do 2 walks a day with her dog and Roxy..so maybe that's enough exercise for a 5 month old? Do I need to not worry about getting her more socialization and more off leash running time?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
she is in obedience class 1 night a week so she is around other dogs then too. Just sounds like a lot of fun but I'm reading too many horror stories :(
 

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Maybe it would be better for you to go and see what it is like, and make the judgment for yourself. I don't like public dog parks, but other people love them. All I had to do is go check one out, and that is all it took for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am leaning towards the no at this point and reading this stuff. I do NOT want a situation setting us back on the progress we have made. Thank you all
 

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Nope..my golden was attacked at a dog park and it wasn't pretty. My lab that passed away was mounted at the dog park and it actually hurt him. I can't imagine either of my GSD's doing well in a dog park, they play way to rough.
 

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Socialization does not have to include interacting with strange dogs, it's about exposing your puppy to new people/places/things, and should always be a positive experience.

We do take our dogs to off leash parks, but the ones we frequent are large multi-acre open space areas, not smaller fenced parks like the typical "dog park". We're basically walking with our dogs off leash in a place where other people are doing the same. They play with us and each other, not the other dogs. And the reason we go is because our yard is very tiny, not even big enough to throw a ball for them, so it's impossible for them to play and get exercise at home. One place we go is on the ocean so they can run on the beach and play in the water, and another is on the San Francisco Bay, where they can swim. Because these parks are so large and spread out we can have plenty of room for them to play, even on very busy days when there are a lot of other dogs there, and to avoid any that we don't want our dogs around.

But many dog parks are much smaller, and the (sometimes untrained and poorly behaved) dogs are allowed to run amok while the (often clueless) owners stand around and ignore them. That's not an environment I'd put my dogs in, and certainly not a puppy.

Here are some pictures of the kind of off leash park we like - Fort Funston:







Point Isabel:









Fairmont Ridge:







None of these are "dog parks" per se, but they're all public parkland where dogs are allowed to be off leash under voice control.
 

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One bad experience can possibly ruin a dog around other dogs for life. It's up to you if you're willing to take that risk. I wouldn't.
 

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i won't take mine to the dog parks as I don't trust most ppl to be honest about their dogs being friendly. Too many horror stories. They get plenty of exercise when I take them to the lake and stuff to walk :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
ok here is the dog park that is the one I would be traveling to

City of Bettendorf, Iowa / Crow Creek Dog Park

can you tell anything by looking at it? I think what we will do is maybe just take the dogs up there sometime just to walk the onleash trails and check it out. Go on a midweek day and at an off time to maybe just be a few people there. We decided it would probably be crazy there today and not a really good day to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ps I am officially jealous of all of you who have these beautiful places to go with your dogs. :( I live on the dirty Mississippi ( afraid to let her wade in that) ....best hiking places ( also loaded with ticks -- state park)

limited to walking the riverfront and staying out of the water. Hiking at state park and removing ticks when back home

walking a discovery center trail ( very very nice place) ...not sure why not more people with dogs walk out there. So limited distractions to practice with.

I want a beach or lake or something :(
 

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I thought a dog park would be good interaction. It turned out somewhere in the middle. There were good experiences and bad. I will no longer go to dog parks. My dogs mental state is too important.
 

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i used the dog park as a traing tool. i use to train along
the fence. once my dog wasn't reactive to training along
the fence i moved inside. once inside the fenced i
continued to train adding in the distractions
 

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Doggiedad has the right idea!! A dog park is an excellent training tool. That is what I am doing with Lucca right now... working on the outside of the fence. He's had some bad experiences with loose dogs, and as a result he has become dog reactive. The dog park provides perfect training opportunities as far as working out the reactivity.

I used to take my older dog into the bark park, & had multiple bad experiences. She was harassed by a pitt bull (not aggressive, just pushy) & had problems with an aggressive corgi. The last straw was when an akita and a pitt bull got into a fight, in my lap, over my dog's water dish..... no thanks! I won't go in now unless I know the dogs, and the owners. Haven't gone in for over a year though.
 
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