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taking 6 month old gsd to dog park for the first time.....
when i take him walking he barks and pulls on the leash when other dogs pass by....i really want to take him becouse i want him to be socialized as much as possible with other dogs since we go walking alot..what do i do?? should i expect trouble?? is this a bad idea?
 

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It could be if your dog is not dog socialized very well. When your dog barks and pulls is it aggressively? IMO I wouldn't take him until he has his obedience commands down, and stops pulling on the leash. I would also socialize him and get around stable, reliable dogs that belong to friends, or acquaintances to have positive experiences before I would take him to a dog park.

On a side note, even if you have a perfectly well behaved dog, you never know who's taking their aggressive, killer dog to the dog park as well. The dog parks are hardly used in my area, as that's the only reason I would take my dogs to one. Plus, there's an area where they can swim. Dog parks are kinda risky.
 

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I mean with dogs he hasn't met before that you know are stable dogs to socialize with.
 

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Originally Posted By: kvilla-esko

should i expect trouble?? is this a bad idea?
Yes, and Yes!
 

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I would expect trouble. Having taken my puppy to the dog park (and regretted it later)...You will encounter dogs with no manners who "just want to play" who might scare the snot out of your dog, and cause him react and bite, and then you may end up having to pay some other person vet bills. Or on the flip side, your dog could be bitten and you could end with someone who refuses to pay your vet bills.

Now plenty of dogs go to parks without incident, but considering your dog's reaction on leash I wouldn't take him yet. Finds friends with dogs that you can introduce him to. Go to group obedience classes where he will learn to behave around other dogs. Teach him to focus and Sit your butt outside PetsMart or in a back aisle with him on leash to practice to see other dogs walk by and ignore. Those are going to be better ways to socialize him than to just throw him into a dog park to "sink or swim"
 

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Completely agree. I wouldn't take him to the dog park until you have a reliable recall. Take some (more?) classes for socialization, arrange some play dates with folks, maybe neighbors.

I just recently started going to the dog park because I want Heidi to become more dog social...but, I did not go until I was condifent that she would come to me when called. And, I don't go frequently.
 

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I recently began taking Shadow to a dog park near where I live. Most of the parks here are city run, but I have found one that is run by a non-profit organization, not the city.

Before we went for the first time, I went by myself to check out the facilities, how the dogs there were interacting etc. I was pleasantly surprised. It has a fenced area for puppies, small or nervous dogs etc. There is also a huge open area with gardens, gazebos for shade and lots of running room. There is a separate area, fenced and gated for agility, another fenced area with a forest environment, and finally, a small play area for young children, also fenced and gated.

This has become a fun family outing for all of us. Shadow is soo excited when we go and because we try to go on a regular basis, the dogs are mainly the same each time we go.

I think it comes down to doing your research, and checking it out before taking your dog. I got lucky with this one, but wouldn't go near the city run parks.

Good luck.
 

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We used to take our dog all the time and he loved it. We now only take him when we know there are no other dogs there! There was a dog there that kept nipping the backs of his legs and did it for about 5-10 minutes. Panzer put up with it but then got fed up with it and put the dog in its place. The owner of the other dog came over and thanked us for our dog teaching her dog manners.

I was fed up with it because her dog should never be there in the first place that it should need to be taught manners. But it always seemed to us that the rest of the people there thought it was the "mean GSD" causing the probs. We had enough!

Panzer is a totally socialized dog who is non-aggressive and we/he just had it with the annoying unsocialized dogs.
 

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Jesse for dog socialization started at 4 months going to doggy day care one time a week (which was a good and safe place) at 6 months he started going 2 times a week. He loves it. We do not take him to the city run dog parks because they are too dangerous, we did try it out and was a bad experience, most who attended brought there dogs because the people are too lazy to walk their dogs and they dogs were antisocial and full of too much energy. Jesse was attacked by a 3 year old GSD and the owners was an ass who thought his dog didn't do anything wrong. I have since heard that dog has attacked some other dogs.

Jesse is very good with dogs now, for little dogs that are scared of him he lies down and crawls to them, for a dog that growls at him he backs away and ignores that dog, if a dog wants to play he will play. If a dominate male meets him he reacts submissively to the dominate dog and then makes friends in a gentle manner.
 

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I just don't believe in dog parks. At least not in the kind of urban dog parks I've seen--a silly patch of grass where a bunch of under-stimulated dogs are taken by bored owners who stand around and expect the dogs to entertain themselves with a bunch of strangers' dogs.

I'm just not that interested in encouraging my dogs to "make friends" with other strange dogs. I want them to, by and large, IGNORE other dogs on walks. I don't want any agresssion, but I don't want any overtly friendly postures and sniffing, either. I just want to walk past without any reaction at all. Dogs don't need friends.

IMO, "socializing" with strange dogs in a dog park isn't going to do anything to make your dog react better on leash. To change that behavior you need to leash-correct when it happens, and reward when the dog returns attention back to YOU.

(Disclaimer: other members here have posted some scenes of amazing off-leash resorts with lots of activities and engaged owners--those seem to be a whole different thing--and I've enjoyed many "dog beaches," so I'm giving some places a pass as worthwhile destinations with a dog. But even so, when we get there, I want the dog paying attention to ME, not all the other strange dogs.)
 

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I am so with Tracy on this. We used to have a pure GSD female and a male mix. Brought them to dog park all the time. When the GSD was about 9 months she was herded and bitten chasing her ball by an Austrailian Shepherd. Ruined her, as it made her very dog aggressive from then on. At the time I did not put it together. But made her very unpredictable around other dogs - she would bite first!

Those dogs have since passed and now I have a new pup Udo who is about 5 months old. Dog park? No way. Having spent the last two months in very focused obedeince training, with very encouraging results, one look at the chaos and mayhem going on at Dog Park is enough to turn me away immediately: Dogs that have been cooped up all day while their owners are at work, owners who "release" their dogs, while they sit around and BS, as their dogs "get exercise". A total joke.

That said, back in the day, we really enjoyed it - watching the packs assemble, bob and weave, even the big "all in a line" circle chases. But, there were often incidents. For me personally, after one gets a handle on some genuine training (come command, leave it. blind sits/down stays, and a good off lead heal) - which I did not with my first two GSDS - one sees what is going on at Dog Park and you really can't believe you let your dog simply "go" for that kind of experience. Our GSDs can just rise to such an immensely higher and rewarding level.

I think it is a personal thing, and there is no value judgement, as we used to love to go. I guess, I have just seen and experienced different realities that makes it "not right" for us any longer. Will we socialize and let our dog play with other dogs in a controled social environment, sure! That's part of being a dog. Will we toss them in the dog park chaos? No way. He is going to be too big and too dominantly minded to risk tweaking. And one bad incident at dog park can and will imprint the dog in very powerful ways. Just not worth it.
 
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