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Okay I know how important it is when it comes to socializing dogs. I have seen ALOT of dogs not socialized well where I'm at, and that are off leash (I have nothing against about being off leash.),not even being watched by there owners. What if I'm in a park, and find tons of dogs around my junior 5 month old dog? How should I react if there is a dog that seem like he can cause harm to mine?
 

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Turn around and go home. I've hear way too many horror stories about dog parks to ever take one of my dogs to one. If you already know that are poorly behaved dogs there, I'd just avoid them. Do you have friends with well-behaved dogs? Set up play dates. Find a puppy class and let your dog meet other puppies there. You may even meet people there that would like to have a play date with your puppy outside of class.

Good luck!
 

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I go to dog parks all the time. And yes, sometimes there are troublemakers. You just have to watch out for them and avoid them. Work on your dog's recall and whenever Mr. Trouble Dog comes anywhere near your dog (as in 30-50 ft, if not more), call your dog to you. That's what I do. I have to be diligent, because Mr. Trouble Dog can easily kill my dog, because usually Mr. Trouble Dog is at least five times Ozzy's size.
Try to seclude yourself to the least populated area of the dog park, if at all possible. Find the well behaved dogs and see if they all get along with yours. I follow Ozzy around all over the place when we go to the dog park so he can safely meet other dogs. Since he doesn't try to eat big dogs, he hasn't had a problem yet, but in case there ever is, I'm always right there.
 

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I agree with Leah 100%. I wouldn't put my dog in a situation that he or I didn't have control over. I understand completely what Konotashi is saying, and it's good if it works, but you can't control OTHER people's dogs. You don't know what other people's dogs will or will not do. To me it's just not worth it. Kudos to Ozzy though! I;m glad he has such a reliable recall...we are still working diligently on ours :)
 

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It's up to you to protect your puppy. Don't bring him to situation where aggressive off lease dogs roam freely.

One good tip I can offer is to carry mace with you when you go to places where something bad may happen. If an aggressive dog ran up to me while I was walking Lucy looking for a fight, I wouldn't hesitate to break out the mace to protect her.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to kick a dog in the head if I felt Ozzy's life was threatened. I'm sure I'd get a lot of heat from the other dog's owner, but if it means protecting my dog, then fine. I would want to take every precaution before injuring a dog, but if I had to, I would.

The most I've had to do so far is body block. Ozzy and another large mixed breed were sniffing noses, then the large dog got stiff, so I stepped between them and everything was hunky-dory after that.

Just know your dog and watch other dogs. Because chances are, their owners aren't watching them. Every time I've gone to the dog park, a majority of the owners are standing around talking to each other, paying no attention to their dog. Then there are a few like me who don't take their eyes off of the dogs.
 

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Are we talking about a dog park where dogs are supposed to be off leash or just walking down the street and you happen to come across an aggressive off leash dog? I'm definitely not trying to tell you to mace some dog at the dog park when they're supposed to be off leash. I'm not a fan of dog parks, so I just don't bring lucy there.

My neighbor actually lost her thumb while out walking her german shepherd about 10 years ago. Another person was out walking her two bully breed type dogs and they got loose and went after my neighbor and her GSD. A big fight broke out and while trying to break up the fight, her finger ended up being bit off by one of the dogs.

In those type of situations, mace would have definitely come in handy. If not mace, at least some kind of deterrent spray. I know they make a citronella deterrent spray if you don't want to spray mace - probably doesn't have quite the stopping power though.
 

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I have never felt the need to socialize a dog in a dog park. Socislizing to me doesn't mean playing with a bunch of dogs. I do that dog play very selectively. Mostly we get out around neutral dogs and learn to be neutral to them. Good obed classes are a place this can happen.

A bad experience by a five month old can be very difficult to undo. I make sure my risks with a puppy and other dogs is minimal.
 

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I have never felt the need to socialize a dog in a dog park. Socislizing to me doesn't mean playing with a bunch of dogs. I do that dog play very selectively. Mostly we get out around neutral dogs and learn to be neutral to them. Good obed classes are a place this can happen.

A bad experience by a five month old can be very difficult to undo. I make sure my risks with a puppy and other dogs is minimal.
I totally agree with this.

And FWIW there are definitely bad "side effects" to group play. You can read about that in this article: http://www.apdt.com/petowners/park/docs/DogParks_King.pdf
 

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We don't have a dog park here but we do go to classes and activities at a dog obedience training club. See if there's one in your area-- you can get together to socialize and rain with others that are at least attempting to train their dogs. Stosh made two really good friends that we have play dates with regularly. You might find a doggie friend rather than getting out with a bunch of strange dogs
 

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I agree with Stosh. Find a playmate for your pup. We chose not to go to a dog park because we never know what they or he will do. What we did was post on Craiglist asking if there were any other GSD parents who were willing to come by/us go there to have our pups play. It's been great for the dogs and for us to bond with other GSD handlers.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to kick a dog in the head if I felt Ozzy's life was threatened. I'm sure I'd get a lot of heat from the other dog's owner, but if it means protecting my dog, then fine. I would want to take every precaution before injuring a dog, but if I had to, I would.
I wouldn't mind if another owner kicked my large dogs (as long as it was warranted). I'd rather have them break up the fight before it escalates than have them cry to me that my dogs killed their smaller dog because they did nothing to mitigate the damage.
 

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I have never felt the need to socialize a dog in a dog park. Socislizing to me doesn't mean playing with a bunch of dogs. ...
A bad experience by a five month old can be very difficult to undo. I make sure my risks with a puppy and other dogs is minimal.
Socializing to me means exposing your puppy to people, places, sounds, smells etc etc. Once our pups have had their shots, I take them to Home Depot, Lowes, PetSmart, the supermarket parking lot - - - you get the picture. I also socialize with friend & family dogs (there are plenty of them!) A basic puppy obedience class is a must. You have interaction with other dogs and other people.

We have two or three dog parks in our area - I've never set foot in any of them. Good Luck!!
:):)
 
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