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It's strange, but Rumo and I have passed more people hitting/kicking their dogs than you would ever think. We once rounded the corner in an apartment complex and came upon the shocking sight of a well-dressed young lady kicking her dog again and again...a medium-sized brown hound dog. The dog came up to us with tail wagging and I said, "She looks like a sweet dog??" Her owner said, "But she's been so BAD today!" My immediate thought was - the dog is now out on a walk and probably has no idea why she is being kicked for something she did earlier ( go potty in apartment? bark a lot? chew up a sofa?). Anyway I thought about beginning a conversation, but the lady looked cranky and not in the mood to discuss dog training or dog psychology, so I let them be. It made me sad though and I still wonder about that dog...haven't seen her since, and I wonder if the lady rehomed her (maybe, not a bad thing)...
 

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I guess that is where we get the phrase, "being treated like a dog". Even though people claim to love animals and the dogs are their family, they are also often the recipient of built up frustration...made at your boss, kick the dog. Spouse annoying you, kick the dog. Kids driving you nuts, make them take the dog out and they'll drag the poor thing around.

I guess sometimes you don't address the treatment of the dog directly. You could try something like, "rough day?" and then get around to teaching about dogs later. Just my 2 cents.
 

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I stood by, for a bit today, watching two little boys trying to get their dog to drop a ball he'd just fetched by hitting him with the chuck-it, or kicking him, while their dad talked on the cell phone ignoring the scene.

Of course the dog did not drop the ball ever, but the kids were equally committed to their "task" and didn't take non-compiance for an answer. After just a few minutes I couldn't take it any longer!

So, I explained and helped show the boys the two ball technique, which I personally have never used with my own dogs, but have with others...and violla, their dog started dropping its ball right away - no hitting or kicking required!

Just another day at the dog park, which due to circumstances we visited 3 times today...
Just wondering if that dad took notice of your help.
 

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Dog park has something of the MVD about it.

A few days ago there were only two people there in our giant park, separated by a fence. Girl nearest me keeps suspiciously looking over at the other lady, who's under the shade. Jupiter and I come in and start playing fetch. Walking the perimeter as we usually do, the two dogs bark viciously at Jupiter, guarding the entire south park area from us. I think "it's not worth it," and stay in the north area.

A few days before that, we were there and this lady's dog, looked a bit like a Shelty, came out of nowhere to bite Jupiter's leg. He kind of shrugged it off. Later the ball landed near the dog and it and its brother gang up on Jupiter, attacking him and biting him, apparently not noticing that he's over 70 lbs now. I kind of gave the owners a "really?" look and just moved to a different area. Luckily, she left after that.

Two owners bringing their aggressive dogs to the dog park in just a week. Makes you wonder.

Jupiter seems to have really settled down, and interacts peaceably with all dogs, with the exception of sometimes nipping a bit at the ones who want to be chased. He is pretty neutral to both dogs and people and mostly just wants to chase the dang ball for miles. I rarely hit him with my Chuckit stick, and I doubt that tough little beast would feel it even if I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #205
My approach was to engage the boys, one about 7 and another about 4 or 5, telling them I'd show them a trick! I gave the older boy a ball and explained what he needed to do, then had the younger boy throw the ball. Of course showing the dog another ball when he returned worked first time and he dropped the ball in his mouth. Which made the boys very happy and excited to try that trick again!

And yes, dad did take notice and, acting embarrassed, explained that he'd forgotten his treats that day as if that explained everything!

If that was the worst treatment or training mistake I see on a daily basis though, that would be awesome...sadly it isn't. What bothered me about this so much is that these were young kids...already thinking that abusing a dog was (a) acceptable, and (b) teaching the dog something?!

I hope the kids learned something!
 

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Dog park has something of the MVD about it.

A few days ago there were only two people there in our giant park, separated by a fence. Girl nearest me keeps suspiciously looking over at the other lady, who's under the shade. Jupiter and I come in and start playing fetch. Walking the perimeter as we usually do, the two dogs bark viciously at Jupiter, guarding the entire south park area from us. I think "it's not worth it," and stay in the north area.

A few days before that, we were there and this lady's dog, looked a bit like a Shelty, came out of nowhere to bite Jupiter's leg. He kind of shrugged it off. Later the ball landed near the dog and it and its brother gang up on Jupiter, attacking him and biting him, apparently not noticing that he's over 70 lbs now. I kind of gave the owners a "really?" look and just moved to a different area. Luckily, she left after that.

Two owners bringing their aggressive dogs to the dog park in just a week. Makes you wonder.

Jupiter seems to have really settled down, and interacts peaceably with all dogs, with the exception of sometimes nipping a bit at the ones who want to be chased. He is pretty neutral to both dogs and people and mostly just wants to chase the dang ball for miles. I rarely hit him with my Chuckit stick, and I doubt that tough little beast would feel it even if I did.
A lot of people don't understand dog behavior or just don't care. They can't imagine their cute and precious dog being a problem or just don't care when it is. That's partly why dog parks can be so hit or miss.

I would warn you to be careful playing fetch there especially if you're using a chuck it as that's generally longer range. Toy aggression can cause fights to break out and if you've already had incidents so close together there's definitely the potential there. Some dog parks ban toys, I wish all would and enforce it. I know they're good places to go and run off steam but if you haven't thought about it before it's something to think about. If you're alone most of the time then probably not an issue.
 

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"And yes, dad did take notice and, acting embarrassed, explained that he'd forgotten his treats that day ........."

Sometimes all it takes is ignoring what's being done wrong and showing what can be done to help. Along with a little bit of causing inadvertent mild public embarrassment is a pretty good way to get someone to think about it.

You probably made their "aha" light bulbs lite up.
 

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We brought our puppies to the dog park for the 1st time yesterday. Our 5 month old male was very vocal and in the face of every dog that walk by, but all he wanted to do was play and he had no clue how to play yet. Him and our female are very rough with each other, bark and roll around, he was doing the same thing with every other dog. The concern was that not every other dog would understand that he was doing this playfully. So we let him tire out in the secure holding gate before letting him in with the other dogs. 15+ dogs all running around playing happily, no one got into it... it was awesome to see. There was 1 older GSD named Hurricane that defiantly let the puppies know when they had gotten to close, but even he settled and never did anything but bark. I will admit I tend to go more on the cautious side when it comes to dogs but I feel if you can not control your dog or have fears of aggression then the dog park is not for you. There is nothing worse then bringing your dog to a "safe" place to play and have an attack happen.
 

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There is no such thing as a safe place with 15 random dogs running about.

It's all fun and games... until it isn't.
Trust me, my anxiety was at a all time high while my husband and I kept an eye on both our puppies. I always go to the worse case scenario and I thought for sure something bad would happen but it was such a peaceful situation with all the dogs getting along and playing. Some were playing rough of course but there was nothing to yell about. Our male was so happy to run around with all these new friends, our female basically sat next to me and wouldn't allow anyone to sniff her... it was quite hilarious because at home she is the bossy player and he is more laid back.


What I meant by "safe place" was that most people bring there dogs to the dog park and do not want to worry about an aggressive dog attacking there dog. If I knew our dogs would have been that way I would have never let them off leash in that situation.
 

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A lot of people don't understand dog behavior or just don't care. They can't imagine their cute and precious dog being a problem or just don't care when it is. That's partly why dog parks can be so hit or miss.

I would warn you to be careful playing fetch there especially if you're using a chuck it as that's generally longer range. Toy aggression can cause fights to break out and if you've already had incidents so close together there's definitely the potential there. Some dog parks ban toys, I wish all would and enforce it. I know they're good places to go and run off steam but if you haven't thought about it before it's something to think about. If you're alone most of the time then probably not an issue.
I could see that being a problem, but frankly we wouldn't go if it weren't for fetch. Normally I keep Jupiter running most of the time so he doesn't get into trouble.

Today there was this weird dog who had his ball in his mouth the whole time and kept chasing Jupiter around and kind of ramming him in the ribs until Jupiter started to fight back and bite him. The owner didn't seem to notice his dog kept pestering my dog, chasing him all around the park, repetitively, or that Jupiter was starting to get annoyed.

Most of the owners and dogs at this park are good, but then you get things like this and makes you wonder. I know there are incidents, sometimes serious ones, and I guess we all have to weigh things in our own way.
 

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I just reread every post in this thread, and very much enjoyed it!

So I thought I'd give a little update...

Nyx is now just a month shy of 3 yrs old. No dog aggression, still good with puppies, still intact (though that is more due to situational issues than my desire!).

We lived in Colorado for her entire life, until early this year. Now we're nomads, living on the road. I bought a truck and a slide in camper and since this past May we're traveling...mostly, so far, in the western half of the states.

She's consequently been in dog parks in many many cities, in 6 different states, and continues to be just fine with any dog she meets.

I'm staying for the winter near the Oregon Washington border, so I've been frequenting both the Oregon-side river beaches, and an off-leash dog park in Washington.

She is soo good with little dogs, it amazes me! A small Chi snapped at her just today at a completely new-to-her dog park, and she turned the other cheek and walked away! Trust me, she no longer does that with mature dogs her size, but with a little dog, no problem.

Anyway, folks, predictions that my dog would be dog reactive or dog aggressive due to her encounters at dog parks clearly missed the mark!
She's good in all environments, dog park, home depot, in leash people parks, friends houses, you name it. She is appropriately aggressive toward aggressive dogs, but can be called away easily.

All in all, contrary to all the fear mongering that goes on about dog parks, she's a perfect example of what IS possible in terms of dog reactions.

She doesn't hesitate to tell a dog to back off when needed, but is fine if they listen. Dogs have a way.

And in the end, I can confidently take her with me anywhere!
 

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That is great to hear Tim! I hope your current nomadic lifestyle is of your choice. It sounds fantastic. I think the one thing you missed in your praise of dog parks and the benefits you are reaping is not only a dog that you can take anywhere, but a dog that can enjoy going anywhere too.
 

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Thanks Dee, my current lifestyle was definitely a choice, and I'm really loving it! And yes, perhaps Nyx is exceptional in that she really does enjoy the dog park environment, but I think that's as much learned as it is innate.

For me, it's about having a dog that can handle anything. That means friendly dogs one might meet, but unfriendly dogs as well.

All of the dogs your dog will meet when you're out and about are not friendly. Not all well behaved. A dog IMHO, NEEDS to know how to EFFECTIVELY deal with THOSE dogs as well... Nyx is awesome on all counts. She's a VERY good dog, although admittedly I "might" be slightly biased LOL!
 

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Outstanding! I'm not surprised, you've put a good deal of time into training Nyx, but this is good to read. One question tho: Is there a secret club of nomads on the forum or something? :grin2: What's with people packing up and going on the road? What am I missing? ;)
 

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Outstanding! I'm not surprised, you've put a good deal of time into training Nyx, but this is good to read. One question tho: Is there a secret club of nomads on the forum or something? :grin2: What's with people packing up and going on the road? What am I missing? ;)
Sounds good to me!
Over here, the roof needs replacing, the living room window has a crack, the lawn needs overseeding, the interior walls could use a paint job, the deck and fence need staining ... just last night I was saying to my husband, after the kids move out let's rent a townhouse! :laugh2:
 

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Outstanding! I'm not surprised, you've put a good deal of time into training Nyx, but this is good to read. One question tho: Is there a secret club of nomads on the forum or something? :grin2: What's with people packing up and going on the road? What am I missing? ;)
I've actually been amazed at how many people I've met that are living on the road. It certainly takes a shift in perspective, and it's probably not for everyone. But I really love it!

It's way cheaper than house living, and there's no lawn to mow, no screens to fix, no trees or bushes to trim. And wherever you're at you're home.
 

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I've actually been amazed at how many people I've met that are living on the road. It certainly takes a shift in perspective, and it's probably not for everyone. But I really love it!

It's way cheaper than house living, and there's no lawn to mow, no screens to fix, no trees or bushes to trim. And wherever you're at you're home.
Do keep us posted. I would love to hear about your travels.
 

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Tim, that is great. I follow a few RV nomad channels. Hubby and I sometimes think about snow birding for a couple of years once he retires. I've already joined the Road Life Project even though we still live in stick and bricks.

We don't do dog parks. I prefer my dogs to remember that they can't expect to go say Hi to other dogs. In the past we have had play dates. My dogs play rough and they have each other so play dates haven't been as important lately.
 

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I just reread every post in this thread, and very much enjoyed it!

So I thought I'd give a little update...

Nyx is now just a month shy of 3 yrs old. No dog aggression, still good with puppies, still intact (though that is more due to situational issues than my desire!).

We lived in Colorado for her entire life, until early this year. Now we're nomads, living on the road. I bought a truck and a slide in camper and since this past May we're traveling...mostly, so far, in the western half of the states.

She's consequently been in dog parks in many many cities, in 6 different states, and continues to be just fine with any dog she meets.

I'm staying for the winter near the Oregon Washington border, so I've been frequenting both the Oregon-side river beaches, and an off-leash dog park in Washington.

She is soo good with little dogs, it amazes me! A small Chi snapped at her just today at a completely new-to-her dog park, and she turned the other cheek and walked away! Trust me, she no longer does that with mature dogs her size, but with a little dog, no problem.

Anyway, folks, predictions that my dog would be dog reactive or dog aggressive due to her encounters at dog parks clearly missed the mark!
She's good in all environments, dog park, home depot, in leash people parks, friends houses, you name it. She is appropriately aggressive toward aggressive dogs, but can be called away easily.

All in all, contrary to all the fear mongering that goes on about dog parks, she's a perfect example of what IS possible in terms of dog reactions.

She doesn't hesitate to tell a dog to back off when needed, but is fine if they listen. Dogs have a way.

And in the end, I can confidently take her with me anywhere!
Glad to hear everything is going well! This is random but are you worried about diseases at all? That's one of my big worries and especially if I was constantly traveling to different dog parks in various states.
 
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