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    Thread: Dog Park?

    1. #1
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      jessesnewperson's Avatar
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      Dog Park?

      There's a dog park close to my house and I was thinking about taking Jesse. He is intact is my only concern.
      He's well behaved, for the short time I've had him, and he's coming along really quickly. So he has a good 'sit', 'stay' and 'come' most of the time and he plays nicely with other dogs.


      Thoughts?

    2. #2
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      Many people on here don't like dog parks, so be prepared for lots of negative comments. Kimber, on the other hand, grew up at the dog park and I don't know how we'd have gotten through her first few years without it.

      First, check to see if there are posted rules. Some dog parks do not allow intact males.

      Next, I'd go at a non-busy time, like a weekday morning. It's best to try going when there are just a few dogs. Chat with the owners and find out when the quiet times are, who are the good/bad owners, etc. In the better dog parks, there are "regulars" who encourage good behaviors among other dogs and dog owners.

      At the park: pay close attention to your dog at all times. DO NOT sit on a bench or start playing with your phone. Follow Jesse around- not to get in the way, but so you can step in if things go south. If he plays nicely, that's great! If he seems to have fun with specific dogs, ask the owners when they normally visit the park. Informal play dates at the park are fun.

      If he starts to hump another dog, step in to break it up. If he can't stop humping, leash him up and go home. That's not a death knell for dog parks; it's just a way to teach Jesse that humping=fun ends, and for you to keep from going crazy because he.won't.stop.humping.

      If as an intact male he becomes the target, step in. Ask the other dog owner's to redirect his dog. If that doesn't happen, leave and go back another time.

      While he plays, have him "come" to you often. Just give him praise and send him back out to play. Too many new owners only call the dog when it's time to leave and then get upset when the dog makes the connection "come" means fun ends and stop responding.

      Dog parks can be wonderful opportunities for dogs. You'll hear horror stories but in my experience, the benefits outweigh the small risk.
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    4. #3
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      I hate dog parks. At least 95% of people don't even seem to know their own dogs and what they're capable of, or they don't seem to register the fact that their dog is cowering and terrified from the over stimulation. There's a few good people, but most people I know who go to dog parks don't have the slightest clue about canine behavior.

      That being said - you will most likely get some nasty comment about your dog being intact.

      You are the reason there are so many dogs in shelters and shame on you for keeping your dog intact (sarcasm).

      And neutered males tend to not like intact males - that was the biggest thing I noticed in a boarding/daycare situation even over prolonged daily exposure to the other dogs - all of the neutered boys gang up and bully the crud out of the male who still has his 'boys'.

      It can also be a great experience, it depends ok you, your dog and how well you know your dog, and the people and their dogs at the park. It just depends. Day of the week, time of day, month, season, location - it really depends.

      Good luck, and I do hope it's a positive experience for your dog!
      Last edited by Taylor; 06-29-2014 at 12:19 PM. Reason: I can't spell.

    5. #4
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      The two or three times I've been by this one, there was no one there, so it may be an ideal situation for Jesse. I think I'll give it a try.

    6. #5
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      I go to our neighborhood dog park daily and have been to many others in my county. Never had a bad experience. That said, it depends on the owners of the other dogs.
      Do not bring in food, treats, rawhides or any toy Jesse would not be okay with sharing and/or losing.
      I second Kimbersmom that you should be near Jesse, preferably playing with him and any other dogs that intercept your ball, at all times. If you get nervous about something, don't show it, just "finish up" and leave. Every complaint I 've ever heard is about poor judgement by the humans, which you can't control, except to leave.
      Most parks have some regular groups with same dogs who know each other and they are usually happy with a "newbie" joining them.
      Most parks have rules posted on the gate - obey them, but don't be surprised if others don't.
      Have fun, it's a lot of fun watching the dogs interact with their own species.
      Oh, and most others (humans) do not appreciate humping. So correct Jesse if he indulges and ask others to do the same if it is a problem for you. I personally think some to be expected, because they are after all - dogs!
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    7. #6
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      My two cents, I work at an Emergency/Specialty clinic and at least monthly, we have serious/fatal dog attacks come in that have occurred in dog parks. Last week it was a standard Poodle, she was attacked by two dogs, punctures to her carotid artery and trachea. She died moments after arriving at the clinic.

      There are signs at every dog park in our area stating that you enter the park at your own risk. There is no retribution should you encounter any problems with other dogs. And while I am confident in how my dogs will behave, I have zero confidence in unfamiliar people and their dogs. It only takes one time, one brief instant, for a horrible incident to happen.

    8. #7
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      All good suggestions.

      I have been to lots of dog parks over the years. It's easiest when you have mature adult dogs who are passive but friendly. I find young dogs, especially intact, easily become targeted for bullying and dominating. While I haven't had any serious problems over the years, I feel like every time I go (not often) there are issues stemming from someone not knowing how to deal with their dog or not understanding the behavior or just completely ignoring bad behavior. I also on occasion have gotten people who's dogs are nasty to intact dogs blame me for their dog's behavior and then talk to their dog park friends like I'm irresponsible and shouldn't be there.

      So, in addition to the above, I would suggest that you become very comfortable with being able to say to someone, "Hey, can you please get your dog?" or "Please call your dog off" or "Please don't allow your dog to do that, it makes me uncomfortable." The reply will often be, "What? They are just being dogs?" or in your case, "Why isn't your dog neutered? Everyone knows that intact dogs cause other dogs to misbehave." Also, be prepared to leave if your dog can't behave or if there are dogs there starting trouble and they won't leave.

      Be prepared for your dogs good manners and training to go out the window in this scenario. Don't ask for a recall at all because you would likely be setting him up to fail and to learn that he doesn't have to come. Follow your dog around as someone else suggested and as he turns to come to you and you know without a doubt that he is coming to you, tell him "Name, come!" in a happy tone, clap your hands, do whatever you need to do to encourage him, and praise like mad, then let him go back to what he wad doing. Whenever I do go to a dog park, people yell for their dogs over, and over, and over, and over again. Sometimes the dog will eventually come, but usually the owner gives up and goes to get the dog. If you haven't already, work on collar grabs and treats (not at the dog park, but at home). I see a lot of dogs at dog parks evading and the owners needing assistance catching their dog so they can leave. It also comes in handy when you need to get your dog out of a bad situation really fast and don't want to get bitten yourself or have your dog duck right out of your hands.

    9. #8
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      I am also nor a fan of dog parks. I have seen and heard if too many bad situations. I went once with a friend, without my dogs, just hers and just could not imagine putting my 2 in that type of situation(s). Definitely not the fault of the dogs but really hard to believe so many clueless owners exist and were able to find each other so easily.
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    10. #9
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      There are many parks around us. I have visited many of them, without the dog, different times of day, and just observed, talked with owners. There is only one park I would take our dogs to run by the forest preserve. It's $40 a year for all the visits you want to make. The people there are involved with their dogs. Mostly water dogs cause the big draw is a large lake.

      The city parks do not allow intact dogs. Plus, the owners are not very observant. Incidents have happened.

    11. #10
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      I love the dog park that is close to my house we have out little group of dogs that are all young that love to play together! We usually meet up I'm the morning for a 30-45 min romp then in the afternoon for 1-1.5 hours. Everyoneis very attentive of their dog and there hasn't been an attack when we have been going since December. We usually recognize if a new dog is coming in we all call our dogs towards us to give them space and slowly let them go. Newcomers usually pick this up very quickly. When it's one of the dogs we know we still do the same thing. Just don't hold them as long.

      Emma met her two BFF at the dog park one is a german short haired pointer that is just a week older then her and the other is a a BC Mix. When they were a lot younger we had a sort of the puppy breakfast club going on in the afternoon. I think it was invaluable socialization for Emma. She got corrected a few times by the older dog that really taught her some doggy manners.

      But there are some dog parks in the city I would never go to due to the reputation the have. So I think I've been lucky. We also have a few intact males here. And there hasn't really been a problem with any of the other pups. Good luck! And I hope you find a good group and your boy has some fun!

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