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I thought that today would be a good day to take Sam to the local dog park. I figure it was a nice bright day with new snow fall on the ground, why not leave work early and take him so he can play with other dogs.

Now this is the same park where all of the handful of "incidents" have occurred in Sam's life (he's a year now). The incidents all involved other dogs attacking Sam as he was a pup. None of them serious except for a patch or two of missing fur on his face.

Well today we're not there long before Sam starts trying to play with another dog his tennis ball. The owner commented that her dog is possessive with balls which left me wondering "then why play ball with him in a DOG park where other dogs might go for it?" I tried to keep Sam away but eventually they end up playing near each other and that's when Sam sees the ball on the ground. Sam goes to get it when the other dog growls and clamps down on his muzzle. Sam whimpers at first but then starts growling and wanting to go after the other dog. This is the first time that Sam has ever defended himself. We separate the dogs and I do a quick check. He's got a small patch of hair missing at the base of his muzzle with light blood. I also suffered some cuts on my hand as well when I separated them. The owner never once came over to apologize or ask how Sam was.

Why must I never learn that leash free dog parks always attract the most irresponsible dog owners??? I had stopped going for a couple of months but went back as I wanted to give him the opportunity to socialize.

Oh, later I ended up getting into an argument with her and her little "clique" of other "regulars" and her justification was that her dog is only 8 months old (which is worse!) and that having your dog getting attacked on occaision is just part of going to the dog park. :rolleyes:
 

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I feel your pain! It's so hit and miss at our dog park -- some days we have a great time and Ez gets wonderful exercise and socialization, some days I leave a nervous wreck. Once I was bitten pretty hard on my inner thigh (ouch!) breaking up a fight. I'm getting better at walking away/keeping away from any dog or situation that I don't feel comfortable with and that has helped. I don't feel bad anymore saying "I don't like they way they're playing so we're going to move on". It's also helped to go in the middle of the day when most folks are at work and only a few dogs are there at a time. AND there's usually a "hot spot" where many people & dogs gather and I avoid it like the plague. If there's going to be trouble, it's usually right there.
 

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having your dog getting attacked on occaision is just part of going to the dog park.
I'm sure it is "just part of going to the dog park" at this particular park if all the regulars there are as clueless about dog parks as this particular person.

I really wish that dog parks could be supervised and regulated better. Unfortunately, most "dog parks" are simply a patch of land with a fence around and anyone and their cousin can come out and use them. Which is really a shame because a lot of people know very little about dogs and they are usually the ones causing trouble.

I'm sure we've all seen them: The person who comes in, sits down, and starts texting or reading a book, completely tuning out where their dog is or what their dog is doing. The person who brings aggressive dogs. The person who brings dogs that are toy possessive and a bunch of toys for them to play with. Etc. Etc. The stupidity just never ends!
 

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I'm glad (or should I be sad?) that you guys can relate!

Not sure if anybody has seen the Dog Whisperer where Cesar goes to the dog park. He said he said he saw so many red flags he had to take a few deep breathes and walk away from the dog park.

Sam defnitely has a tooth mark in him that is still slowly bleeding. If it were any larger he would need a stitch.

It speaks volumes about a dog's training when he's starting fights at only 8-months old!
 

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No, it wouldn't need a stitch - they don't stitch puncture wounds. They need to be able to breathe and drain. You need to get him on antibiotics and clip the fur around that area and keep it clean or you're risking it getting infected.

Little puncture holes can turn into big nasty wounds quickly. They appear to heal up fine but what happens is they are deep and narrow, so the upper skin heals up leaving a wound below the skin surface to get infected.
 

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The park I take Uschi for walks has a dog park there as well. Everytime we are there we hear dogs having a disagreement over something. So I've never taken her in there for that reason. Sorry your dog got hurt.

But I agree....definitely clip the area and keep it cleaned up.
 

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the reason to go to a dog park is because they're leash free.
going to a dog park where your dog has to remain on leash
doesn't make sense to me. i agree with you about bringing balls,
frisbees, toys to a dog for your dog to play with.
 

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My husband and I own and run a PRIVATE dog park. I'm glad that communities see the need for places for dogs to get out and be a dog, but am usually shocked at the behaviors I see in them. This is why we opened our property (12 acres) as a dog park. All of our members are screened prior to membership. We allow a wide variety of dogs as members. We don't expect perfect dogs, but do want the members to be willing to learn and work with their dogs. In the 3+ years since we opened, we have not yet had a real fight (some growlies but that's it), knock wood! Our members are always happy to listen to us and work on their dogs and their handling skills as needed. I must say, we have been very pleasantly surprised at how much we ourselves have learned while managing the park.
Toys are allowed, but can be used in a secluded area, or among dogs that are not resource guarders. Our members are very respectful of that rule and it makes all the difference.
 

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My mom brings her gsd to a dog park that's actually supervised! It's part of a county recreation area and attached to the no kill dog shelter so they use it to exercise the dogs-in-waiting. It's divided into small and large dog areas and a separate area for dogs that don't play well with others. I've been there many times when visiting and I've always been impressed with the volunteers at the shelter supervising the play areas. It's such a simple concept, I don't know why others don't follow suit.
 

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a 12 acre dog park. that's awesome!!!! 10 minutes from my
house there's a 1,400 acre park/woods. there's a section where
people meet everyday with their dogs. sometimes there's 25 dogs
romping through the woods, in and out of the creek, etc. where the dogs
play the creek is low. people riding horses cross the creek there. it's really
a nice site to see the horses crossing the creek and the dogs not reacting.


This is why we opened our property (12 acres) as a dog park. .
 

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The place we take our dogs to isn't actually a dog park, it's a fenced in area of land owned by a trainer. The only people allowed to go are people who've taken classes with him.

The nice thing is, the trainer is always there. (set hours, it's not available all the time) If there's a problem between dogs, he handles it. If a dog decides it's his day to be grumpy or all alpha like, the trainer puts the dog on leash and settles him down. The best thing is, the trainer is always pointing out things the dogs are doing, and what it means. You learn a lot just by being there and watching the interactions.

It would be nice if more people had this kind of place to go to instead of public dog parks.
It's interesting that the majority of people who go have bully breeds or large dogs. I guess small dogs don't need to be socialized.:p (no offense Ozzy and owner, I know you do lots of socializing)
 

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We had a wonderful park 5 minutes from our house. 10 years ago, we went there every day. No one really knew it was there so it was heaven.
Now, there is a yearly fee (no problem) and registration, but nothing supervised or enforce. Once in a while the rangers come through the lot and ticket cars without a pass. The last time we were there, 6 months ago, we went through the first gate, unleashed the dogs and as we opened the 2nd gate, a large collie charged our shepherd and latched on to his muzzle. I was trying to get around to seperate the dogs and the lady that owned the collie came over and started kicking MY dog. I lost it. I yelled at her to get the **** away from the dogs and then I was able to seperate them. There were several people nearby and they all started chewing the woman out. Gunnar got a large scrape on his muzzle and under his eye. Worst part for me was that the lady called the Sheriff's Office to report that her dog had been attacked. We waited around for the deputy to arrive and he ended up writing her an exclusion from the park. Luckily, the deputy that arrived knew my dogs and knew me and the other people who witnessed the incident stuck around and told what happened.
We love the park, and the dogs normally sort out their own problems, but it's the owners who have the problem. We watched someone carry around their shitzu puppy because he was afraid his dog would be injured. Um, why are you at a dog park.
When I was still a deputy I got called to the same park because a woman and her daughter were afraid of dogs, but thought walking in a dog park would help them get over their fear.
We haven't been back since.
 

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I used to take Panzer to the dog park all the time. Some days were great, some days made me nervous. It's a lot like Chuck E. Cheese for kids - so much stimulus. Occasionally I contemplate taking him back there, but then think all it takes is one time. One time and he could get seriously hurt - or what if he hurt another dog. We've been arranging private play dates with friends and those are much less stressful.
 

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I've never been to a dog park, luckily we have acerage for our own dogs to play on, but just reading what others have gone through at them I dont' think I have enough nerves to go to one.
 

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My husband and I own and run a PRIVATE dog park. I'm glad that communities see the need for places for dogs to get out and be a dog, but am usually shocked at the behaviors I see in them. This is why we opened our property (12 acres) as a dog park. All of our members are screened prior to membership. We allow a wide variety of dogs as members. We don't expect perfect dogs, but do want the members to be willing to learn and work with their dogs. In the 3+ years since we opened, we have not yet had a real fight (some growlies but that's it), knock wood! Our members are always happy to listen to us and work on their dogs and their handling skills as needed. I must say, we have been very pleasantly surprised at how much we ourselves have learned while managing the park.
Toys are allowed, but can be used in a secluded area, or among dogs that are not resource guarders. Our members are very respectful of that rule and it makes all the difference.
That sounds great!!! I wish you were in my neighborhood....

I did take Conor to a dog park when he was young. I carefully vetted the ones available to me (including talking to people who went there on a regular basis to find out ahead of time if there were potential problems) until I found one which I thought would be best. In all our visits there I never saw anything but dogs having a good time, and Conor loved it. On two occasions, people brought dogs which didn't seem like a good fit - one was an older, grumpy, male lab, one was a young but very dominant GSD. Both times the owners saw that it wasn't going to work and voluntarily left, no hard feelings. It was in a nice neighborhood, was very clean and had both water and PU bags available. I had to drive further than I would have liked to get to it, but it was worth it. I think as with anything else you have to "shop around."
____________________________________________
Susan

Anja SchH3 GSD
Conor GSD
Blue BH WH T1 GSD - waiting at the Bridge :angel:
 

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I don't like small dog parks where the only way for dogs to exercise in the park is by playing with other dogs. It just doesn't sound like a good idea for dogs to expend their pent-up energy upon other dogs they don't know.
I agree. That describes our dog park. As stated above, most dog parks are hit or miss depending on who is there on a given day. We, too, had a bad experience when Abby was a puppy (no injuries) and it stayed with her. We started going back recently and she has made some progress but she will still run away when approached. Fortunately, she comes right back and tries to initiate a friendly encounter. If she gets one she is off and playing, if not she hovers around me. If it looks like an over-all losing proposition we just leave. It's very unlikely that we could change the behavior of the 'undesirables' (dogs OR owners)
 

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The concept of a Dog Park is a great, but unfortunately as some of mentioned their are owners that feel their is no need to supervise their dog once in the park. There are some owners who bring their dogs without having any vaccines, no socialization skills and are nothing more then bullies. Towns and Cities place these parks in their towns, but do not have resources to supply supervision for them. Supervision is left too us responsible pet owners it is just sad that there are so many irresponsible ones out there. I take Brewski to an enclosed old soccer field, he socializes through the fence with with the dogs running free as their owners jog/walk the track. Brewski gets the socialization he needs, and stays safe too. I agree with the others it is a must to keep a puncture wound clean. It will heal in time but cleanliness is a must, I have found a diaper creme that has worked wonders in cleaning out wounds and promoting healing. I use it on my kids and my animals, have for years.
 

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We have a big field a block from our house that is mostly used as the neighborhood dog park. I took my dog there almost every day for 12 years (he passed away 4 months ago). Every time there would be other people and dogs off leash. When he was 6-8 months he got beat up by the older dogs a few times but quickly learned to defend himself. There were also a few big dogs his age and they would wrestle around without fighting.

My point is he did a lot of living at the field. He got to run around and do all his doggie things, burn off a lot of energy, made lots of friends, a couple enemies, and in the process became a VERY socialized dog. You do run across an irresponsible owner every once in a while but it was totally worth going down there.
 
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