Rethinking Dog Parks/

Discussion in 'Dogs - General Dog Chat' started by Bobsk8, Oct 30, 2006.

  1. Bobsk8

    Bobsk8 Guest

    Well the new dog park next to my home has been open for a week now and I am starting to have some concerns about how smart it is to bring Smokey there. I see people bringing dogs in with no Rabies tags, despite the fact that it says on the "big " sign on the entrance that Rabies tags are required. Some owners just walk in the gate and turn their dogs loose without even making sure that the other dogs and their dog are going to get along. I notice that periodically one of the dogs seem to be doing alot of scratching and itching and am wondering if they have allergies or mange or fleas?


    Today this young teenager comes in with a large puppy about 7 months old and it is about 2/3's the size of Smokey. No tags or anything on it's collar. They played for awhile and then the puppy got rougher and rougher nipping at Smokeys ears and head and neck. At one point, Smokey got a little fed up I think, and put her entire mouth over the dogs entire neck :yikes: , but didn't bite or anything. After reading some of the discussions on this forum about dogs fighting and playing, I realize that some of this is normal, but how can you tell when it has gone too far? I suggested to the teenager that maybe the dogs should cool their jets for awhile and he told his dog to stop, but his dog basically ignored him after a few seconds and started right in again. At that point I said " we have to go, see ya " and put Smokey's leash on and started heading for the gate, and his dog was still following and nipping until "I" yelled at it to stop....

    It was fun watching Smokey chase this dog around and play and Smokey looked like she was having a good time, but I am wondering if this playtime is worth the risk of something happening to Smokey or her getting something from one of these dogs because they weren't up to date on their shots or flea medications. I can't figure out whether I am being paranoid or just cautious......
     
  2. squirtsmom

    squirtsmom New Member

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    Okay, first of all, I have an APBT and do not take her to dog parks. I used to take my poodle, until I realized a couple of things. Some of those dogs have not been vaccinated and could be carrying anything and infect my dog, not to mention the parasites and fleas they could pick up. Second, you never know how a dog will react to yours sometimes until it is too late. My poodle may look defenseless, but let me tell you she got a hold of a GS, and tore the ear up because she was threatened. Just an accident waiting to happen. Might be fun for some, but to me, not worth the problems and the potential of issues with other dogs and o wners. Just me, though.
     
  3. elegy

    elegy overdogged

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    nope, definitely not paranoid. all of your concerns are very legitimate ones.
     
  4. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    It really depends on the park and how it's controlled . If it's a " free" park , stay away !!
     
  5. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    There are some good free parks...they just require a closer scrutiny. The one I go to is a free one and it's great...BUT I only go at a certain time (8:30am during weekdays), because I know the small group of people that will be there, and that their dogs and mine get along. I also know what trails to take to avoid others if I want/need to.

    But your concerns are quite legitimate!
     
  6. Rubylove

    Rubylove Training the Trainer

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    I think it depends on the park and the people who go - why don't you spend some time just observing? (If you have time that is - it's hard to come by!) See what times of day are better - and usually at dog parks, the same people go around the same times of day, and you get a feel for who is nice and who isn't. If your dog has all of its vaccinations up to date you can feel safer, although I don't know about rabies because it's not an issue here.

    I think if Smokey had a good time then she will benefit from off leash romping with other dogs - you just need to make sure that you know when is a good time to take her. Perhaps you could arrange with some people who's dogs you know, to all meet at the park at a certain time? That way, you could trust the people and your dogs whom you meet, and they can all have a romp together and you can feel safer about it. Play time is so vitally important to a dog's all round happiness, it would be great if you could utilise this park and feel safe at the same time, too.
     
  7. bubbatd

    bubbatd Moderator

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    It's good to be concerned !!
     
  8. StealthDog

    StealthDog New Member

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    For me, the benefits of a dog park (socialization, hard core exercise) outweight the risks. Winnie is a happier, more well-behaved dog when she gets to the park once or twice a week. We've only had problems with one other dog ever, and she did pick up kennel cough from somewhere (although more than likely, that came from someone at the vet school rather than the dog park). People at our parks are so nice, and if I ever feel the play is too rough for Winnie to handle, we just go for a walk in the rest of the park. She's made some nice dog friends, and it's fun to see her recognize dogs that she knows.

    There's just no substitute for good dog play!
     
  9. Julie

    Julie Are You Blowing Me Off?

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    I would never take any of my dogs to a dog park.
    For all the same concerns you have, and Some people
    do bring aggressive dogs or out of control dogs.

    But we don't have them where I live so I don't really consider it anyway.

    I would really like to go to one and really watch how well that many
    strange dogs get along together and how many owners actually can
    control their dogs. It would be interesting. :)
     
  10. Brattina88

    Brattina88 Active Member

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    There isn't one in the area, but there's a dp in a neighboring city that I would someday like to visit. Your concerns are perfectly legit... which is why I haven't went to a dark park yet. The dogs are excited, and they're not in a very stable mode IMO, so I worry about aggressive behaviors. Also, I don't think I would take Maddie because she's little, and I'm afraid if I took Missy and "something happened" it would automatically be her fault, because of her breed. Despite their temperments ;) In addition to that I know Missy would love it because she's such a puppy when it comes to playing with other dogs. She's in an instant play bow most of the time when she meets other dogs
     
  11. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    YOu would be suprised. I have many pics in my gallery of our dog park. I only wish it was closer so we could go daily!!!!!

    none of these dogs live together but they are great park buddies..i call this one raspberries in your ears http://www.chazhound.com/pictures/showphoto.php?photo=7963&cat=500&ppuser=2623
    these are first time friends http://www.chazhound.com/pictures/showphoto.php?photo=3665&cat=500&ppuser=2623
    aslo first time meet..tag your it.. http://www.chazhound.com/pictures/showphoto.php?photo=7323&cat=500&ppuser=2623
    vic and Mary adore their dog park! My friend Kelly goes almost every day with her coonhounds.
     
  12. Duke'sMommy

    Duke'sMommy New Member

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    I take Duke to the leashfree everyday for atleast 3hours or more. Your right with your concerns and I understand where your coming from. I have a dog that does not like all dogs but that doesnt make him aggressive where he will go out of his way to attack a dog. I think it comes down to you being able to read your own dog. I can read Duke when he's not enjoying himself and when that happens I call him and we go off by ourselves. The park I go to is 3 acres so theres plenty of room to be by yourself if you choice to be. My dog has his friends that he plays with everyday and thats all he needs and if there not there I take him into the forest area and kick the soccerball around. Im not gonna set him up for failure. But I will say this somedays there will be over 50 dogs at the park, Im not even exagerating about the number and there will not be 1 fight in the park, but then there can be only 5 dogs in the park and fights will break out the whole time. Theres good days and bad days. But Ive been going for about 5 months now and theres been maybe like 2 fights that have drawn blood. 99% of the time its all noise which always seems worse than it is. Im not trying to be like there dogs they fight but put 50 people together and not everyone is gonna get along and to me its the same with dogs. It doesnt make the dogs vicious. Personally Ill take the risk of going to see my dog have fun and enjoy himself. A few months ago he got manhandled by a 200 pound Newf and I wasnt made at the owner or anything it happens and ya Duke was nervous of huge dogs and barks at them but if I stopped bringing him he would be worse off for not continueing to go and see that he is fine and he has calmed down and doesnt get so scared with large dogs and barks once then walks to another area with me. Sorry this was so long but there are positive and negative parts to the park just like anything in life. Its completly your choice to take the risks or not. All in all Im all for dogparks.
     
  13. Bobsk8

    Bobsk8 Guest

    I have only gone to the dog park a maximum of a dozen times since I got Smokey. I have seen fights break out, owners not pay any attention to their dogs and what they are doing, one lady suffered a bite on her hand when she tried to grab her dog up from an attacking dog at the gate, people with no Rabies tags on their dogs, and one dog that was uncontrollable by it's owner....... Just the law of averages is telling me that this is a risky business, so I think I am going to stand outside the park and scope out the dogs that are inside and only go in if it looks safe. I think having a small circle of other dog owners that you know is probably the safest thing..
     
  14. casablanca1

    casablanca1 Happy

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    Dog parks exist for the socialization of humans rather than for the socialization of dogs. It's a bit like a writing group - take an essentially solitary occupation - in this case, walking the dog - and turn it into a social event. If you want to do it and your dog enjoys it, fine, but if you don't, don't worry about it.

    Personally, I would steer clear of the dog park when kids or teens are in it. It takes a while to develop good judgement and foresight, and kids with dogs are subject to mistakes. If their dog or yours has any issues, that's going to end badly.
     
  15. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    i beg to disagree. Not my park anyway. Vic is there for the friends, the water with no broken glass or junk, and a great big place to run without cars. He has a heck of a lot more socialization then i do! Maybe my park is just different, but i doubt people flock to a dog park to get to know each other. We are out there for out dogs to have a safe place to run and play. Our park is huge, 50 some odd acres and maybe that makes the difference, there is enough room for the solos as well as the kids that like the playground effect like Vic. MOst of the people i see say hello to each other in passing but they keep truckin on so their dogs get a good amount of run.
     
  16. ToscasMom

    ToscasMom Harumph™©®

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    We have a dog park and I never go there. There are always incidents that border on scarey. The problem with dog parks is they can't distinguish between responsible and irresponsible dog owners. If your dog is well trained, it doesn't help when somebody unleashes a dog that is not trained and is dog or people aggressive. We all know how one dicey incident can change a dog's outlook or affect his behavior.

    Like somebody mentioned, illnesses can be spread. I mean, if a person is irresponsible enough to bring an uncontrolled dog to the park, then why would they bother with things like immunizations? Even with the rules, bad dog owners just shrug, it's part of a bad dog owner's personna. There is no way I would expose my beloved dog to that.
     
  17. Bahamutt99

    Bahamutt99 Dafuq?

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    I wouldn't touch a dog park with a 10-foot pole. I'd rather have some friends over and let the dogs play in the backyard. But I, also, have an APBT, and I'm conditioned to realize that my dog isn't always going to play nice with other dogs, and that even if another dog starts the fight, she'll get the blame. Also, the concerns about unvaccinated or parasite-bearing dogs being allowed in there. Nah, too many ifs for me.
     
  18. RetrieverLove

    RetrieverLove Golden Love

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    Just from reading various descriptions of dog parks in the USA, it appears that DPs in Canada (or my province) are entirely different. You dont have to pay, or get memberships to go to any of them, and it really doesn't matter if your dog has vaccinations or not. The only dog park I frequent is fairly safe with exception to the coyotes. There are normally just 2 other dogs there around the time I go. I think you just need to pick the dog park you go to carefully .
     
  19. smkie

    smkie pointer/labrador/terrier Staff Member

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    Victor could never get the run room he has there. Going around in a big circle isn't like a hard race through acres and acres. For a hunting dog like him this fills his desire to the max and makes him a happy happy dog.
     
  20. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

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    I have to get up early on Thursday to take Sawyer. He hasn't been in so long; I've been avoiding it lately because it's prime burr season, but last night's wind should have helped some.
     

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