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Discussion Starter #221
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.
Nyx is vaccinated for most common diseases, so no, I'm not too worried about it. Since she's no longer a puppy there isn't as much close exposure. She rarely plays with other dogs anymore. But it gives us a chance to walk and play fetch off-leash. And she does like to run.
 

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Tim, the DP negativity is warranted to some degree, but certainly does not apply to all. The dogs, people, and the parks themselves all play a role. People have to weigh the advice commonly given against the dog in front of them and as you know it doesn't always line up. By the percentages much of the advice given here is accurate, but never blindly accept it and sell your dog short.
 

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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:
You make a very good point! :grin2:
 

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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.
Sounds very romantic, frankly. Keep us posted. Pictures wouldn't hurt... ;)
 

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Well I have another Dog Park success story despite what I thought could be a disastrous attempt to allow dog parking.

My 100% rescue GSD, Heidi, has (against my desire) been introduced to dog parks by my adult son who comes to visit
and takes Heidi around the town to various spots and parks and trails to socialize her and give her "Disney World" as he
calls it.

Fearing initially that she was dog aggressive or reactive, we've learned she was mainly just not socialized with other dogs
and slowly we realized she really wanted to interact and play. She can play rough so little dogs so far are not in the mix,
she's just too big and rough for the little ones.

She got put in her place a couple times- mildly- by bigger GSD's who had better manners and doggy skills. She listened and learned. We are absolutely thrilled that she's made this turnaround. She now goes weekly to a town doggy park
where most of the larger dogs are "city dogs" and she tones down her rough play. She has no breed bias and accepts
any dog who is not actually aggressive. She does stand her ground at those, so this is a work in progress.

So far, it's been tremendous fun for her and my son who is her social director. So there is hope for many dogs that, like Heidi, is an 'only' dog who needs playtime with others.
 

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Discussion Starter #226
When my dog acts badly I use that as a teaching moment. No need to freak out, just teach!

Don't allow your dog to ever act innapropriately. Done!

Dog park or no! Just don't allow it...that's what "balanced" training is all about - - clear communication!

Simple, but not so simple if you listen to the purely positive folks

For me and my dog, I don't use no ever, unless I've given a command and she's blowing it off!

But tell your dog NO when they do anything that's unacceptable.

As others have said, teach alternate actions that are desired. It's easy, it's all positive, and it's fun!

The thing is, no matter how much you've trained, your dog will do stuff they shouldn't.

It goes with the program. Get over it! LOL!

And learn how to tell them NO! Because some things are best handled NOW! Don't wait...

It will get worse if you don't! Good LUCK!
 

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Discussion Starter #227
To elaborate, at one point, probably around 9 or 10 months, my dog decided that playing with other dogs was beneath her. She was focused only on her ball.

And she decided that it had to be rigorously defended, in order to keep that precious thing!

She became an almost maniac, freaking out at any dog that had the audacity to come within 10 feet of her ball!

I calmly told her to "knock it off", and over time I could see that her defensive circle kept shrinking.

After a few weeks, she'd let unknown dogs come within a few feet before freaking out...then closer and closer.

Now, she lays down with her ball and silently shows her teeth to any dog that comes within a foot. Doesn't freak out, but doesn't give in either!

HUGE improvement! Still guards her ball, but in a confident and not frantic way.

I have yet to see a dog or puppy that doesn't clearly understand her warning. Case closed!

Dog is awesome!
 

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Discussion Starter #228
We were playing on the river beach the other day and two dogs came up to say hi. It was all good, so we went back to paying fetch. One of the other dogs was one that enjoyed chasing my dog rather than the ball. OK... Nyx warned her a couple times, and the dog then maintained a respectful distance while still having fun.

Totally lost on the owners of said dog. They just heard growls and such from my dog and were panicked to get their dog away!

They came and took their dog away...but it kept coming back. 4 times they took her away,...

Wasn't a problem, but they were worried. People are odd.
 

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I am going to throw this in here. Dog parks vary widely from place to place, and one of my big issues with them is filth. I used to cringe when I saw people with pups in the ones in Calgary.
Some dogs should never be in dog parks and some owners take a hugely entitled view of them. A dog park is NOT a place to bring an aggressive dog. No dog that is out of control belongs in one. If you need to chase/corner/lasso your dog to catch it then that needs to be addressed first.
I had any number of people suggest that I muzzle Shadow and turn her loose at a dog park to solve her issues. And I have seen people do just that with their dogs. It's inappropriate and potentially dangerous.
I have had dogs that loved dog parks, dogs that were fine either way and dogs that hated them. Bud loved them, Sabi was fine but, like Nyx, had issues with rude behavior and Shadow is terrified of dogs so that's not even a debate.
I think people need to know their dogs, know the warning signs and also know their area.
It's not a park, but I had a popular area recommended to me last week. I took Shadow there to check it out. I literally was stepping around dog feces every other step, no way would I let Shadow play there! We walked for a couple of minutes to see if it was just a parking lot area issue. It only got worse.
I do/have utilized dog parks, with Shadow, over the last year. We've found some nice and some terrible. Sometimes we had to wait for them to clear out and sometimes we went really late or really early.
Tim I think it's fantastic that Nyx is as good as she is, but I don't know that she is typical. Most of the GSD's I have had were cool with other dogs, but not really wanting to interact with them beyond perhaps a greeting. Bud would have been the exception. Go figure, the intact male LIKED playing with strange dogs!
 

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I don't know why it's odd that people are worried that your dog is growling at their dog. I'd be worried and trying to intervene as well, if my dog was chasing another dog who was chasing a ball, and there was growling going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #231
I don't know why it's odd that people are worried that your dog is growling at their dog. I'd be worried and trying to intervene as well, if my dog was chasing another dog who was chasing a ball, and there was growling going on.
See that's what is funny! This wasn't a dog park, it was a state owned river beach. My dog and I were content playing ball alone. But these two dogs ran over to us, not once but numerous times to see my dog.

After an amicable greeting, we started playing fetch again. My dog, as anyone watching could clearly see, was just communicating that the ball was off limits.

Nothing to worry about. Just a statement. Nyx showed no tension, no further hostility.

The other dog was respectful of that and followed, but stopped short each time. No problem. They worked it out just fine.

It wasn't a situation where Nyx was repeatedly growling at this dog (though, of course, that's what you're imagining). It was a one time communication thing.

And let's not overlook the fact that we were a couple hundred feet down the beach keeping to ourselves and their dog came to us!

What I find funny, is that the people show all kinds of concern for their dogs, but not enough to teach them! See, everytime their dogs came running to us, they were attempting to call them back all the way LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #232
Tim I think it's fantastic that Nyx is as good as she is, but I don't know that she is typical. Most of the GSD's I have had were cool with other dogs, but not really wanting to interact with them beyond perhaps a greeting. Bud would have been the exception. Go figure, the intact male LIKED playing with strange dogs!
Nyx does not play anymore with other dogs, except briefly and very selectively. But she's okay with them, and actually likes them being around.

Day before yesterday we were walking and playing fetch on that same beach, and we encountered an older couple with 2 female spitz dogs.

After a greeting, we walked along the beach together talking for a bit before they started throwing a ball for their dog. Nyx, of course tried a couple times to steal their dog's ball, but I called her off. No issues. No fights. No problem!

The guy kept telling me it was okay if she got the ball, he'd just found it on the beach. But I don't want her to practice bad habits, so call her away I did.

As we were walking and talking, we came across a young mother and her 2 little kids playing on the beach. They also had a little cattle dog, who, seeing us approaching had run up the bank to watch from a safe distance. Nyx noticed and showed interest, but since the cattle dog showed tension, I kept her from greeting him. And this is all off leash of course.

My point is, it's important to train your dog. No one can just throw a dog into novel situations and hope they'll do what you want! Especially with other dogs and people around!

Nyx has had years of practice!
 

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Nyx does not play anymore with other dogs, except briefly and very selectively. But she's okay with them, and actually likes them being around.

Day before yesterday we were walking and playing fetch on that same beach, and we encountered an older couple with 2 female spitz dogs.

After a greeting, we walked along the beach together talking for a bit before they started throwing a ball for their dog. Nyx, of course tried a couple times to steal their dog's ball, but I called her off. No issues. No fights. No problem!

The guy kept telling me it was okay if she got the ball, he'd just found it on the beach. But I don't want her to practice bad habits, so call her away I did.

As we were walking and talking, we came across a young mother and her 2 little kids playing on the beach. They also had a little cattle dog, who, seeing us approaching had run up the bank to watch from a safe distance. Nyx noticed and showed interest, but since the cattle dog showed tension, I kept her from greeting him. And this is all off leash of course.

My point is, it's important to train your dog. No one can just throw a dog into novel situations and hope they'll do what you want! Especially with other dogs and people around!

Nyx has had years of practice!
Train yes! Without a doubt. But again, KNOW YOUR DOG! I fostered a mill dog that was just a hot mess. No chance that she would have ever been ok with a bunch of dogs. Even Sabs was delicate with her, helped keep her calm in my rowdy pack of hooligans. And the punk here is seemingly curious about the odd dog, but freezes and tries to bolt if they even look at her, goes to battle mode if they rush. Years of training and conditioning have made her controllable. Beautiful Dobe on the corner rushed the fence and scared the bejeezus out of her. First time in a long time she has tried to slip her collar. She will only walk by that house now if I let her hide her face in my hand. Can you imagine her in a dog park? Lol.
 

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See that's what is funny! This wasn't a dog park, it was a state owned river beach. My dog and I were content playing ball alone. But these two dogs ran over to us, not once but numerous times to see my dog.

After an amicable greeting, we started playing fetch again. My dog, as anyone watching could clearly see, was just communicating that the ball was off limits.

Nothing to worry about. Just a statement. Nyx showed no tension, no further hostility.

The other dog was respectful of that and followed, but stopped short each time. No problem. They worked it out just fine.

It wasn't a situation where Nyx was repeatedly growling at this dog (though, of course, that's what you're imagining). It was a one time communication thing.

And let's not overlook the fact that we were a couple hundred feet down the beach keeping to ourselves and their dog came to us!

What I find funny, is that the people show all kinds of concern for their dogs, but not enough to teach them! See, everytime their dogs came running to us, they were attempting to call them back all the way LOL!
Well, a growl is a warning. Only the dog growling knows exactly the boundary of that warning, at what point they will or won't fight, or how severe it will be.

I have dogs that growl at each other and I'm totally fine with it, I know what the growler will do and whether the one being growled at will respect, but for dogs and people who don't know each other it seems prudent to physically separate them in the scenario you described.
 

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Discussion Starter #235
Well, a growl is a warning. Only the dog growling knows exactly the boundary of that warning, at what point they will or won't fight, or how severe it will be.

I have dogs that growl at each other and I'm totally fine with it, I know what the growler will do and whether the one being growled at will respect, but for dogs and people who don't know each other it seems prudent to physically separate them in the scenario you described.
Dogs actually indicate pretty clearly what they're thinking via posture and body language. Which is why I said it was obviously not a problem!

The real point is, a dog should not be allowed off leash with other dogs unless you have a little better obedience and experience off leash.

But people do that kind of thing all the time, at dog parks, on mountain trails, beaches etc., and then they blame others for their unruly, poorly trained dogs, or for not micro managing their dog, when it's really their out of control mutt causing the problem!

I let dogs be dogs, and I refuse to micro manage! I do watch, and if there's excessive tension between a couple dogs I'll call mine away and go for a walk or something. But I simply refuse to do that avoidance thing for a prolonged period.

If your dog can't handle being there and interacting with "strange" dogs, they have no business off leash on in the first place!

That being said, I've seen very few dogs that are always okay with every dog they meet, and Nyx is no exception. I will and do manage that and won't allow bad behavior by my or any other dog!
 
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