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I live right next to a 20 acres dog park (like two mins drive). I have been hold off on dog park until Lincoln is now 6 months old. The first day we went there were no other dogs there so we just played fetch and practice recall. It wears him out within 10 minutes so we didn't spend that much time there. The second day we brought him there there were a chihuahua and look like a Pomeranian running around their owners who sit on the grass watching them. So, my husband and I chose the furthest away area of the dog park since I don't know how Lincoln would react to those dogs. We were playing fetch and this chihuahua come running to our ball. When Lincoln he that thing running he chase her right away. Recall works its just after he already chased her half the field. Scared me. And sure and heck scared the chihuahua's owner. They walked toward us furiously and yelled that I need to leash my dog. I look at them and look at the fence around us... but this is a dog park....... right? They point at Lincoln and said that thing shouldn't be allowed in the public park.... then walked off.

Am I doing something wrong???? This is the first experience for all of us (my husband, myself, and Lincoln). What was I suppose to do???
 

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nothing..you weren't doing anything wrong...the people with the yappy dog need to teach it a good recall if they don't want a gs puppy chasing it around...it's a dog park after all. I find little dog people will get overly defensive at the bigger dog owners if they think a dog will hurt their precious little thing..
 

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Wait until there are larger dogs for him to play with.
Its too bad your dog park doesn't have a puppy/small breed area and a large breed area.
There is not much you can do. GSDs are always in the wrong. Public perception. IMHO.
 

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IMO they were justified in being upset. Your dog chased theirs aggressively enough to scare everyone involved. It was a mistake to bring your guy there and turn him loose without knowing how he'd react to the other dogs. I would keep him on a long line until he shows that he is trustworthy around other dogs, and has a reliable recall.

Actually - I wouldn't bring a dog to a dog park in the first place - but if you do go back, keep him under control.
 

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Sometimes toys can become bones of contention in dog parks. However, your puppy didn't hurt their dog and dogs DO run around and yes get chased sometimes at the park. I wouldn't go to a dog park myself. I can imagine the perception of a solid black GSD tearing around (and going by his current m.o.) swatting and jumping at other dogs would be.
 

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If there are no segregated areas then both small and large dogs have to coexist. If a dog misbehaves, that owner is responsible for removing it whether it is just for a time out, or permanently depends on the issue

I have a small dog, I would take her to dog parks but she had no interest in playing, just in walking beside me calmly. So most dogs ignored her, there were a few that were overly interested but since she stuck close I was able to shoo them away from her or pick her up if needed.

It's each owner's responsibility to watch out for their own dogs. So while as a small dog owner I can see why the other owner would be upset seeing a small dog is chased down by a larger dog especially when the big dog’s recall failed (even a lapse of half a field is a fail in this situation unfortunately). I also see the opposite part where it started with their dog chasing your dog’s ball; they should have recalled their dog off the ball right away.

For now I would work on a good "leave it" with Lincoln so he learns to abort the chase when told. I don't like having a leashed dog in a dog park so I personally wouldn't be using a long leash in there and would work on that outside of the park. I would also be working at teaching him to stay close to you, working out an invisible line of how far he can be from you. A long leash is great for that but again should be worked on outside of a dog park.

Also I would not be bringing a high value toy like a ball into a dog park, it entices most dogs not just your own. If there's no other dogs there then no problem, but as soon as there's any around I would put it away. Delgado loved to play fetch so I had a rope toy that would double for fetch and tug, it was low value so didn't cause any issues but I still put it away when another dog was nearby. Same thing with treats, I brought treats for my dogs alone and put them away whenever other dogs were nearby.

What's done is done, I would continue to work on training and keep moving forward.

I had an issue with a husky’s owner always complaining to me that I shouldn’t be bringing my small dog into the park, it was an unfenced over 100 acre wilderness area with trails. I looked at my small dog sitting calmly at my feet and doing nothing to entice hers and looked back at her. “There are no segregated areas, there’s lots of space, and my dog has just as much right to be here as yours does.” I didn’t tell her that it wasn’t my problem as that would have been rude, but she still whined. The worst part was, that husky attacked Delgado for doing nothing more than sniffing another dog, thankfully there were no injuries but I wasn’t happy. Needless to say she avoided me after that and I was perfectly content with that
 

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This is a good example of why many of us just stay away from dog parks. Responsible owners get persecuted while others think they own the place and don't honestly have any control over their own dogs. Find other ways to exercise your pup. I won't comment about who is right or wrong.
 

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I dont think anyone is right or wrong here. Face it the best behaved nicest dogs can turn and stop listening or be aggressive no matter what breed. It is a risk you take going to the dog park. The more concerning risk are the things you cannot see... Like what dog carries some contagious illness, where the last dog that had worms pooped, what your dog just picked up and ate when you turned your head, and drinking out of a community water bowl with unknown history on every dog before.

Dog parks were the worst idea man ever came up with. While I know not everyone lives in the country and can let their dog roam free, it is the lazy mans way out of exercising their dogs. (sorry OP dont be offended)

There are always issues related to dog parks and unfortunately no matter what the scenario your GSD will be at fault. Find a buddy to hook up with and have doggy play dates with them, socialize other ways, stay away from the Germ Park....
 

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I dont think anyone is right or wrong here. Face it the best behaved nicest dogs can turn and stop listening or be aggressive no matter what breed. It is a risk you take going to the dog park. The more concerning risk are the things you cannot see... Like what dog carries some contagious illness, where the last dog that had worms pooped, what your dog just picked up and ate when you turned your head, and drinking out of a community water bowl with unknown history on every dog before.

Dog parks were the worst idea man ever came up with. While I know not everyone lives in the country and can let their dog roam free, it is the lazy mans way out of exercising their dogs. (sorry OP dont be offended)

There are always issues related to dog parks and unfortunately no matter what the scenario your GSD will be at fault. Find a buddy to hook up with and have doggy play dates with them, socialize other ways, stay away from the Germ Park....

pretty much.

If you are in need of other dog people, put an ad out there for doggie play dates or doggie day hikes. Vaccinated, well mannered, dog and people friendly dogs welcome. Aggressive dogs will be asked to leave. I know a few people who have successfully started on weekly hikes after putting out an ad on craigslist. Some have been breed specific, others have not but even breed specific groups have welcomed other breeds.
 

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I get dirty looks just for having two shepherd type dogs. It happens. But that said, I would be very careful around a running chi. My GSD is not dog-aggressive but I could see that behavior kicking her prey drive into high gear and it only takes a quick grab and shake. Avoid the park if you see a small dog, and make sure your dog is under control. It is simply a risk I am not willing to take.

As long as my dogs are controlled and acting politely in public I am happy. They are my dogs and I am the only one who needs to like them. You'd be surprised how many people really like GSDs. It always makes my day to get compliments on my dogs.

I don't go to dog parks, but I can see how off leash freedom is appealing to those living in the city.
 

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I have to agree with the poster who said work on your recall. In a dog park both dogs should be able to go up to other dogs and visa versa without being aggressively chased and or hurt. I also think both of you need to learn how to accept that there are bigger and smaller dogs (not big thing or little things) Id work alot more with socializing your dog to dogs of all sizes. Maybe take this chance at the dog park to introduce your dog to the other dog so they can play. if they see that your dog can play with smaller dogs they wont be so worried with your dog chasing the little ones. You dont want a liability which will be you whether the small dog starts it or not. If you dont want to socialize your dog, then the dog park is the wrong place to take him or her.

of course, you may always get dirty looks whether your dog is playing nicely or not. One day i went to the dog park and a smaller dog (which the old woman that had him was bragging what a fighter he is) kept trying to bite my gsd puppy . my puppy is 5 months so he didnt even feel it. however i sprayed the little terrier with water. she got upset. But i told her, hey if you wont stop him I will have to do it for you.
Needless to say she gives me dirty looks..LOL
 

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This is a good example of why many of us just stay away from dog parks. Responsible owners get persecuted while others think they own the place and don't honestly have any control over their own dogs. Find other ways to exercise your pup. I won't comment about who is right or wrong.
Why is the OP a responsible owner? Because they posted the question and are telling their side of the story?

I can think back to all the dog park threads...this 6 month old puppy and the owner breaks pretty much breaks some of the biggest rules people have:

1) Don't bring toys into the park, and if you do be prepared to share those toys. If you want to play fetch with just your dog, find a place where it will be just you and your dog. You cannot expect everyone in a park to keep their dog away from you throwing your ball 50 yards...why is it expected that a person can carve out a section of a public park and have it all by themselves?

2) Control your dog. The GSD decided to chase the chihuahua half way across the park...where the OP had ZERO control of what was happening. If for some reason a fight started out...the owner of the GSD would be helpless to stop it.

No offense...but if the other dog didn't do anything aggressive...you have no right to believe that your dog was just fine. Sure...those other owners didn't need to say anything, but they did. If this was my dog...and he didn't have such a good recall and ended up hundreds of yards away from me, he could react to another dog and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it. Even if you think your dog isn't aggressive, they will still stand up for themselves, and no one will care if the chihuahua started the fight...because the GSD will finish the fight.
 

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IMO they were justified in being upset. Your dog chased theirs aggressively enough to scare everyone involved. It was a mistake to bring your guy there and turn him loose without knowing how he'd react to the other dogs. I would keep him on a long line until he shows that he is trustworthy around other dogs, and has a reliable recall.

Actually - I wouldn't bring a dog to a dog park in the first place - but if you do go back, keep him under control.


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I think everyone takes a certain amount of risk going into a dog park thats not split for large and small dogs. Whats lost here is that lincoln is still a pup himself. I look at it like if your taking your small dog to a park like this, expect it to be picked on somewhat. Same goes for a pup like Lincoln. He could winf up getting picked on by a dog larger than him. It's an inherent risk with the action of going to dogparks.

Besides, it sounds to me like they should be practicing thier recall command on the little dog as he went after someone elses ball.
 

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pretty much.

If you are in need of other dog people, put an ad out there for doggie play dates or doggie day hikes. Vaccinated, well mannered, dog and people friendly dogs welcome. Aggressive dogs will be asked to leave. I know a few people who have successfully started on weekly hikes after putting out an ad on craigslist. Some have been breed specific, others have not but even breed specific groups have welcomed other breeds.
I love this idea! Its so much better than going to the dog park. You can never be sure if all the dogs there are well mannered or vaccinated. It's up to everyone to control their own dog, and some people just don't care. The best way to stay out of dog park drama is not to go to the dog park!

I think it's important to find a safer way to exercise and play with your dog. Group meet ups are a great idea. not only is it socialization for your dog but for you as well!
When my pup gets older I am definitely going to look into it (anyone in the Sacramento area? :) ).
 

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Why is the OP a responsible owner? Because they posted the question and are telling their side of the story?

I can think back to all the dog park threads...this 6 month old puppy and the owner breaks pretty much breaks some of the biggest rules people have:

1) Don't bring toys into the park, and if you do be prepared to share those toys. If you want to play fetch with just your dog, find a place where it will be just you and your dog. You cannot expect everyone in a park to keep their dog away from you throwing your ball 50 yards...why is it expected that a person can carve out a section of a public park and have it all by themselves?

2) Control your dog. The GSD decided to chase the chihuahua half way across the park...where the OP had ZERO control of what was happening. If for some reason a fight started out...the owner of the GSD would be helpless to stop it.

No offense...but if the other dog didn't do anything aggressive...you have no right to believe that your dog was just fine. Sure...those other owners didn't need to say anything, but they did. If this was my dog...and he didn't have such a good recall and ended up hundreds of yards away from me, he could react to another dog and I wouldn't be able to do anything about it. Even if you think your dog isn't aggressive, they will still stand up for themselves, and no one will care if the chihuahua started the fight...because the GSD will finish the fight.

I didn't say the OP was responsible or not. Merely stated that responsible owners get persecuted while irresponsible ones don't tend to. Please don't assume by my lack of detailed response I was saying the OP was responsible. BOTH parties were in the wrong. The whole situation could have and should have been handled better.
 

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Dog parks + German Shepherds = Bad Idea. I all honesty though, I did take my dog to the dog park a couple of times when he was a pup. The last time I went he caught something that gave him the runs. It cost me over $100 at the vet to clear it up. Never went back.
 

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I stopped going to them a while ago when Stella was younger. She was bullied one too many times. Now as a 2 year old I don't think she would tolerate it. Plus even though the local dog park here has a separate small dog area, I see quite a few small dogs in the big dog area. That alone would make me nervous bringing Stella there....some of those small dogs look and sound like her toys!! I try and take her outside of the dog park to work on her reactive issue. Although I confess that since a whole agility area was added, I am sooooo tempted to go in....but I don't think it would end well....sigh....:(
 

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i think taking toys, balls, treats in the dog park is a bad idea.
playing retrieving games in the dog park is asking for trouble.
your dog chased the Chihuahua around the field before coming
to you. work on recall.
 

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If you are in need of other dog people, put an ad out there for doggie play dates or doggie day hikes. Vaccinated, well mannered, dog and people friendly dogs welcome. Aggressive dogs will be asked to leave. I know a few people who have successfully started on weekly hikes after putting out an ad on craigslist. Some have been breed specific, others have not but even breed specific groups have welcomed other breeds.
I agree with this also. We have a locally owned dog store called ' Bluegrass Barkery ' that put on weekly walks at different parks. There was some people who aren't as knowledgeable about how to have well behaved dogs but I jumped up front of the pack walk. Met a lovely woman who has a WGSD (named Runner) and we actually have been meeting up for weekly walks. It was great for Gunner since I don't think he was socialized as a pup.
 
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