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Curious about your experiences and methods.

How do you enter a dog park with your dog?
How do you handle your dog being bullied?
How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog?
Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog?
What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved?
How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park?
Are there park rules you ignore, and why?

What is your BEST advice to dog park goers?

What is your WORST experience at a dog park? (that happened to you or even another person)
 

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I have a shy dog.

How do you enter a dog park with your dog?
- I take off the leash in the 'airlock' and wait for any other dogs to get bored and move away.

How do you handle your dog being bullied?
- I squeak a ball and call my dog, then we leave.

How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog?
- Hasn't happened, lot's of under reactions though, at which point we leave. (If Echo is growling and snapping something is not right)

Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog?
- I leave, no way to identify them and intervening is likely to get heated which is not appropriate in that space.

What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved?
- exchange details, even if not involved I'd be a witness.

How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park?
- only have one dog.

Are there park rules you ignore, and why?
- no, and the only one I've seen broken was bringing young kids in which seems incredibly stupid.

What is your BEST advice to dog park goers? Always go prepared to leave, set rules on what is acceptable environmentally, number of dogs etc.. and behaviorally.

What is your WORST experience at a dog park? (that happened to you or even another person)
- seeing someone whip their dog with a leash as we left because their dog was bullying ours.
- Echo getting surrounded by 6 dogs and growling and snapping defensively. Not a single person called their dog away because "they were just working it out". I had to pick her up because a little staffy was taking offence. We'll never ignore our three dog, including ours, limit again. Totally our error but compounded by the lack of intervention from others.
 

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I hate the dog park and won't go. The behaviorist I worked with when Jasper was really little told me that our local park attracts non-local people who are irresponsible and overstay their dog's welcome. Lots of fights b/w dogs with little intervention. I am typically pretty anxious and cautious so I knew if I went I would be a basket case. We instead have a smaller group that meets at a near-by field in the mornings from 8-9 am. Unfortunately b/c of my work schedule, it is rare I can go, and the last time I went it took me 20 minutes to "catch" Japer b/c his recall sucks, lol. I now have him enrolled in a play group Fridays where it is 4 dogs in a woman's back yard, totally supervised, for an hour. Enough play time and all dogs play really nicely. He gets to be socialized and I don;t have to deal with the stress. He also plays with our neighbor's two dogs once in a while.

Anyway, I know I didn't at all answer your questions but figured I would add my own experience with our local dog park. Bummer b/c before I got Jasper, I had fantasies about spending an hour there every afternoon and I have never set foot in it after the stories I have heard. Oh, and it is also this gravelly surface that is dusty in dry weather and mud in wet weather- so really dirty. Not sure who decided that when they built it. It cost a LOT for the town to build too.
 

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How do you enter a dog park with your dog?

As calmly as possible. We don't go forward unless they are walking nicely, and when I put my hand on the gate, they know to sit so I can remove harnesses and leashed, then we go in.

How do you handle your dog being bullied?
I tend to go during off-peak times, and to less busy parks, so this doesn't happen a ton to my dogs. I just call my dog over and body block the other dog until he goes away/gets distracted.

How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog?
Has never really happened to me. Someone gave me the stink eye once because Heidi told a dog off that wouldn't stop mounting her, but I don't really count that. Maybe people are quieter, but I like to think I interrupt anything my dogs do that might be considered rude/inappropriate.

Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog?
I don't say anything. Unless they were full-on abusing/hurting their dog, it really isn't my place. Even working as a trainer, I don't say anything.

What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved?
My dogs don't get in fights, but when there is a fight, I call my dogs over (which is kind of a moot point, because they both move away from squabbles anyway).
Unless there is a serious size discrepancy/one dog is going to be seriously injured, I don't get involved. My priority is my dogs and my safety.
If the dog who initiated the fight isn't removed from the park, I generally leave.

How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park?
The same as when I bring one dog, I just have to pick up more poop. :) My dogs are keen to hang out with me/play ball so I don't worry about one of them running off.

Are there park rules you ignore, and why?
You're supposed to keep your leash in your hand. I always just throw it on the picnic table.

What is your BEST advice to dog park goers?
Even if you drive to the park, spend the time walking nicely to the park, you need to be prepared to leave immediately. If you walk up and see something you don't like/a dog your dog really doesn't like/a person you hate/something going on that makes you go "Oooh, I don't know if I like that" just leave. It isn't worth the risk.

What is your WORST experience at a dog park? (that happened to you or even another person)
The worst thing that ever happened to me was when this dog charged at Levi, all teeth and fury out of no where. We were in the park, playing with his ball, and they came in. I never let my dogs hang out at the gate, because that is where all the bad stuff happens. So we were playing and this big Rottweiler mix once unleashed just charged him, snarling and barking. He ran back to me, and between my husband and I we were able to block this dog, while picking up all 50 pounds of Levi, and turning. The owners grabbed her and left, but it was terrifying.

The worst thing I've ever seen happen to someone else was this group of people sometimes hang out at the park with their dogs. All Bully/Boxer mixes of some variety. They are not dog-friendly. So every time we go and they are there, we have to wait for them to leave, and they usually go over to the small-dog section, where their dogs spend the whole time trying to fence fight/charge our dogs. We play fetch on the other side, so no big deal.
One time one of the guys commented on my friend's Mastiff/Dane cross, Lukas. The guy came back into the main area of the park to pet him. When he left and was back in the vestibule with the other dogs, Lukas followed him over for more pets. The door were all closed, so no dog-to-dog interaction, but one of their dogs went BALLISTIC. If it were me, I would have just left, but they were still leashing some of their dogs, so they couldn't open the gate.
The dog attacked one of the other dogs in there with him, and then when they went to pull him off, he attacked the one woman. Blood, blood everywhere.


Dog parks man. Crazy.
 
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How do you enter a dog park with your dog?

We enter the middle fencing between the run and the area that separates the two runs, she sits and waits 30 seconds and then I take just the leash off, leaving harness and collar on and we go in, assuming she's still waiting patiently and other dogs aren't standing around.

How do you handle your dog being bullied?

I tell the owner and if nothing is done we leave.

How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog?

It takes a lot for my girl to get aggressive so in a situation where that happened we'd go out of the run for a few minutes to calm her down and when we came back we would stay away from that person/dog.

Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog?

Not my place to do anything and I don't want to start a fight over it unless it's full on abuse/neglect.

What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved?

If she gets in a fight we (owners) would exchange info and me and her leave.

How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park?

Never came up, I've only ever had one dog at a time.

Are there park rules you ignore, and why?

Handlers must be 16+ years old. I can handle her and I'm only a year off of the limit anyways.

What is your BEST advice to dog park goers?

If the situation isn't safe or seems worrying, leave.

What is your WORST experience at a dog park? (that happened to you or even another person)

A dog running up and scaring my girl, causing her to snap at him and the owner to cuss me out because apparently dogs shouldn't be afraid of getting jumped on from behind. We just wondered the trails until they left.
 

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I brought my last dog, Mia, to the dog park once. There was a woman with a pit bull and a hound mix and the pit bull targeted Mia and would not leave her alone, just following her around, staring her down. I was uncomfortable with that so I went to the other section (which didn't have any dogs in it). Later, when I was playing fetch with Mia, I saw the pit bull and hound gang up on and attack a dog that had just entered the park. The owner didn't even try to break up the fight, leaving the victim's owner to do so by himself. Afterwards she brushed it off, saying, "all dogs are really just wolves and that's natural for them." Working at a dog daycare that accepts "special cases" and dog aggressive dogs (not something I necessarily support), I can easily imagine owners of those types of dogs bringing them to dog parks and not having any clue that their dogs are behaving dysfunctionally.

I do bring Delilah to a little dog meet up at the dog park. I feel comfortable with her being around dogs her size and feel comfortable in my own ability to assess the situation, dog behavior, and how my dog is feeling. It's just really nice to see her playing with other dogs her size though- she's able to be around the strange owners without freaking out at them because she's too busy playing and has plenty of space to get away if she feels anxious. Those little dog owners always listen to me when I tell them to ignore her and not try to pet her, talk to her, or even make eye contact with her. They must be used to smaller dogs being nervous. If I felt that any of the owners or their dogs were behaving inappropriately, I would just leave.

How do you enter a dog park with your dog? Make sure no one crowds her and that she keeps moving. If she's pees that's perfect because the dogs wanting to smell her will stop and smell her urine instead and leave her alone. I wouldn't take her into a crowded park anyways, but even if there are only one or two other dogs, I just make sure they give her space. She is also fearful of strangers but can ignore them in open settings like parks, so I tell the other owners to completely ignore her. Haha, I'm not a fan of Cesar Millan at all but his saying "no touch, no talk, no eye contact" is perfect for Delilah.

How do you handle your dog being bullied? I use spatial pressure to move the other dog away if I notice the dog's owner isn't going to do anything about it. If I can identify why she's being bullied then I address that as well (for example she'll get really excited about the pools and start screaming at the water- makes a huge target of herself so I address that behavior and empty the pool if needed). Never had a dog hump my dog in particular, but at work in cases like that I usually grab the dog by its hips and pull it off. That usually discourages the behavior, most dogs will get the message. If it doesn't stop harassing my dog, or my dog seems uncomfortable, then I leave.

How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog? I've never had that happen to me, in fact if Delilah does something like correct an obnoxious dog or bark at a person who forgets and tries to talk to her, people are actually always cool about it. Very accepting about her anxiety too and very good about ignoring her.

Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog? Hasn't happened.

What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved? I've never seen one happen while I was in the same space. If there was a source of water conveniently near by me, like a hose or water bucket, I would try drenching them to help- for most dogs that's usually enough to break up a fight. If I was next to the fight or assistance was needed, I could grab the aggressor by the hips, swing them around, and fling them away so they're too busy worrying about keeping their balance than biting. Pit bulls fights can be nasty though- the worst fights I've seen, with the most damage, and hardest to break up were between pit bulls. Once they start, it's hard to get them to stop, and if they get a good hold, they won't let go easily.

How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park? I used to bring Mia and Delilah when I had both of them- we'd only go when the park was empty though.

Are there park rules you ignore, and why? The only one I don't exactly follow is the one where she needs to be wearing her rabies tag, because she's so small and it is so big it doesn't fit well on her collar. I always have the paperwork with me in my car though in case someone asks.

Best advice?

1) Don't let dogs crowd when greeting a newcomer- this creates a lot of tension and things are most likely to go wrong during the initial greeting. Keep the dogs moving, make sure they don't stop and get tense or posture, use spatial pressure/body blocking to give your dog (or the incoming dog) space. After they get to sniff each other they tend to settle down.

2) Don't bring toys or food in to the dog park, especially if there's a lot of dogs or not a lot of space. Dogs tend to resource guard more against other dogs, even if you never saw your dog act possessive towards a human.

3) If you sense something is off, just leave. A dog that's out of control. Owners that aren't paying attention. Whatever. Not worth the risk.

4) Don't bring (young) puppies to the dog park! They can easily get overwhelmed, older dogs don't always appreciate their annoying puppy behavior, and if they haven't had all of their vaccines yet, they could catch something. We have a puppy playgroup for pups aged 8-16 weeks once a week at my job. One owner brought in a tiny little cavalier puppy- about 9 weeks old. She was traumatized and wouldn't even go into the playgroup without screaming because the owner had brought her to the dog park earlier and she had been "chased" by an older dog. We had to make her her own special group with some lower key puppies and she still hid the entire time. Later, her owner asked us to put her in with the main group and I was like, no way.

5) Don't let dogs "work it out." If there's a dog that keeps humping your dog, or chasing your dog, or harassing your dog in any way, stick up for your dog! If the bully doesn't back off and get the message, just leave. You could try letting your dog correct that dog, but I've seen unstable dogs attack other dogs over a fair correction. If it's bullying in the first place, it probably doesn't read other dogs' signals very well anyways.
On a related note, if two dogs are playing well and there's a third dog trying to get in on it, nipping, dive bombing etc, get that third dog out of there before someone feels ganged up on.

6) If dogs are getting too rough, excited, snappy, etc when they're playing, feel free to break it up and let them take a break. You won't offend them by asking them to take a time out.

7) Watch for sprinting/chasing games. If there are a lot of dogs they'll start chasing the sprinter, gang up on them, and start nipping or jumping at them. I don't know if it's predatory drift or a pack mentality thing or what, but if a dog's sprinting in a group of dogs, that dog will probably end up getting surrounded.

8) Keep small dogs in the little dog section! I've met a number of dogs (a few huskies, a mastiff, and a catahoula) that don't understand little dogs are the same species and treat them the same as they would squirrels or cats! You just never know with strange dogs.
 

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The dog attacked one of the other dogs in there with him, and then when they went to pull him off, he attacked the one woman. Blood, blood everywhere.


Dog parks man. Crazy.
WOW! Was it her own dog that attacked her? One of my family's dogs attacked Draco and I was trying to break it up, in the process I tried to grab the other dog, and got my arm in front of Draco as he was "air biting" (neither of them were doing anything other than biting the air and aggressive paw punching each other lol) and he got me. They both stopped completely and looked at each other and me, they were both shocked and didn't even care about each other any more. I grew up always being told to stay out of dog fights, but I can't help it. I guess it was just a matter of time before I got bitten. Moral of the story, at least the fight stopped :p
 

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How do you enter a dog park with your dog?
All of the dog parks around me have a two-gate system (which I suspect is how most dog parks are). I make sure no one is coming or going, then bring my dogs into the first gate and close it. I then take their leashes off, so they don't get tangled when I walk into the park. Then I go into the second gate and let them run free.

How do you handle your dog being bullied?
Unfortunately, one of my dogs (Addie) is kind of the bully. She can get a little snappy, so I always have to keep an eye on her. If she snaps at another dog and I know who the owner is, I always apologize right away. If she does it more than twice, we leave.

How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog?
I generally apologize, even if it's ridiculous, just for the sake of not getting into an argument. I did have something happen the other day that I was kind of proud of. Addie snapped at my other dog, Bubba, and a lady was right there when it happened. I didn't really scold Addie for snapping (because it's just par for the course at this point), and the lady must not have realized Bubba was mine too. She made a comment along the lines of "She shouldn't be around other dogs if she acts like that." So I said, "Oh, I'm sorry. Was that your dog?" She said "no." And I said "I know. He's mine, too, so mind your business." Mic. Drop.

Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog?
Luckily I've never seen this.

What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved?
Definitely move as far away from it as possible, or leave altogether. I have to keep a close watch on Addie, and if things start to get a little heated, I distract her has best I can. I'll also try to put myself in between her and the other dog, as long as it's safe. Luckily, nothing has ever escalated to the point of a fight with her, and she generally runs away before anything happens.

How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park?
As best I can, lol. Addie generally stays pretty close to me and Bubba is all over the place. I've noticed that if I sit, both dogs will start to wander, so it's harder to keep up with them. My favorite dog park has a walking track in the middle, so I walk the track and they tend to check in with me more as I'm moving around. I also try to go with other people, when I can. More eyes=less lost poops :)

Are there park rules you ignore, and why?
Not that I know of. I may fudge some, like staying a little past sun-down.

What is your BEST advice to dog park goers?
Grab a poop bag or two right when you walk in the gate. If you take your eye off that poop spot for one second, it's lost forever.

What is your WORST experience at a dog park? (that happened to you or even another person)
I will preface this by saying that I HATE when people bring their children to the dog park and they are without a dog. It's a dog park, not a child park, and I think it should be against the rules. Only well-behaved children with dogs should be allowed in the park. A few years ago, pre-Bubba, I was at the park with Addie. There were only a handful of other dogs, and a woman showed up with like 4 kids, then promptly sat on a bench and started reading a book, ignoring them. They all started running around and rolling in the grass (gross) and crowding around Addie, who has fear aggression issues. I tried to tell them she was scared, but they didn't understand. One of the little girls kept trying to get her to play fetch, i.e., throwing a stick at her. When Addie wasn't having that, the little girl started to chase her. I asked the mom if she minded giving me some space, but she ignored me. I could have left, but I had to stay on principal. At one point, the little girl cornered Addie, so Addie snapped at her (but didn't actually bite her). Of course, the little girl flipped out and the mom and I got into an argument. Around the same time, one of the other kids started freaking out because he rolled in dog poop and got it in his hair and on his face. They left to get him cleaned up, and hopefully lesson learned for them!

PS: I know I would have been at fault if Addie had bitten the little girl. That's a topic for another post!
 

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I will preface this by saying that I HATE when people bring their children to the dog park and they are without a dog.
Yep, agreed. A woman brought her 7 year old daughter to my local dog park a few weeks ago. The park is clear about no kids under 12 allowed in the park. Her kid immediately gave Draco a hug that was kind of abrupt. Usually kids are taught to ask to pet dogs, so I get a little warning and they don't usually go straight for a hug. Draco tolerated it but backed up because he was only interested in a toy he was trying to get. That would have been so dangerous had she done it to a dog not used to kids or that was fearful! Yesterday a guy brought 4 unruly dogs and a very loud 8 year old boy. He was angry and yelling at the dogs when they bark and smacking them on the head for every little silly thing. Then his kid fell into the mud and poop and started yelling for the rest of their visit.
 

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How do you enter a dog park with your dog?
Walk calmly to the double gate, even if that means to stop ever 2 or 3 steps because Bri is pulling.
Make her sit in front of the first gate, so I can open it, let her in, make her sit again, take the leash of, open the door and let her go in.

How do you handle your dog being bullied?
I go to her (if she's not coming to me herself) and body block the bully.
If Bri is the bully (which she sometimes is as well), I put her in a time out to calm down. Sometimes, if it gets too much (she loves small dogs and can be exactly the annoying one following the small dog every where, not leaving it alone) and I see that she is not letting me distract her, goes right back to trailing and bullying the small dog, I leave.

How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog?
Bri is an AmStaff mix and as such, there are people who think she is dog aggressive just because of the breed. She is not. But I have it happen that people see us coming and they leave. I don't have a problem with that.

Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog?
Never had that happen.

What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved?
Had two fights happen while being in the park as of today. One Bri was not involved in and I was too far away (the other owners broke it up very quickly) and one fight in which Bri was involved as the victim getting bit by a husky who put its ball right in front of Bri and when Bri went to pick it up all hell broke lose. Luckily it was right next to where I stood, so I grabbed Bri and brought myself between the two. The husky owner was very apologetic. Huskies in general seem to have a problem with Bri or other dogs at my dog park in general. For me I don't have any uneasy feeling when a bully breed is entering, but when I see a husky is about to get into the park, most of the time I leave.

How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park?
Only have one.

Are there park rules you ignore, and why?
Sometimes the food rule. I have treats on me sometimes, but only give them to Bri when there are no other dogs around.

What is your BEST advice to dog park goers?
As the others have said already: Watch and see if you like the dogs already in there or how the people behave. Be prepared to leave at all time. Never let your dog out of site and walk with him/her, so you're never too far away if you need to intervene.
Don't bring small children.

What is your WORST experience at a dog park? (that happened to you or even another person)
I don't have a "worst" experience except the husky fight I mentioned above, but even that was not too nerve wrecking. It can happen (even though I wouldn't have loved the husky owner to know that her dog might be a resource guarder and therefor not bring any toys...).
But, after reading the other posts, I have to strongly agree to not bring small children. The dog park is for dogs to romp around. Bri does love to sprint and does not always look where she is running. Having to watch her to no knock over little kids should not be something I should be doing. On top of that: Don't bring children that are afraid of dogs and will cause them with their screaming to go crazy. Just. Don't. Bring. Children.
 

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Simply put, I won't go. Dog parks are an awful way to socialize your dog. There is not enough outside stimulation and the dogs become over stimulated by each other, and this is how fights start and why you see rude behavior like dogs ganging up on each other. Most dogs don't do well being thrown together with a group of random dogs. They're more comfortable, relaxed, and safe in a play session with one or two dogs they know well rather than a random number of strange dogs with unknown behaviors reactions etc.

After Cosmo was attacked on more than one occasion I will not go anymore.
 

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How do you enter a dog park with your dog?
Our park does not have a double gate. So, I try to enter the park by ourselves. I don't directly follow another dog into the park (more on why later) and I try not to enter when there are dogs right near the gate. Once in the park, I try to hurry the dogs away from the gate.

How do you handle your dog being bullied?
Only one of my dogs generally gets bullied (the other one is so easy going that it just doesn't seem to happen), and I call her to me and get as far away from the other dog as I can. Our park has a small trail through "the woods" and I'll direct her over there to break sight lines. Generally the dogs forget about the incident by the time we're back from the woods.

How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog?
I always apologize if my dogs does something rude, even if the other owner isn't overreacting. One of my dogs is a barker. I always try to joke and say she's like a disapproving aunt. If she sees something going on that she doesn't agree with she likes to "scold" other dogs. Sometimes she gets a bug up her butt about dogs who like to play by wrestling and climbing all over each other - probably because she HATES when other dogs to do that to her. So it's like she's telling them - "no - don't play like that!" She's never aggressive, but she can be obnoxious. My other dog is a ball stealer. I hate that, and apologize every time. Personally (probably because my dog is a ball stealer) I kind of disagree with bringing toys into a dog park. To my dog, a tennis ball flying through the air is a tennis ball flying through the air. If he's in the mood and close to the action, he's going to chase it - he's not one to think - "oh that's someone else's tennis ball".

Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog?
Never seen that.

What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved?
If we are not involved, I just try to get far, far away. Only once were my dogs involved in a fight and the other owner was great about it. She and her dog were following us the last 2 blocks block before the park and her dog was just barking and barking at my dogs the entire way. My dogs are a bit leash reactive, so I just kept moving forward especially since they weren't spinning around to see the other dog. I let them in the park (this was before I started to hustle them away from the gate immediately) and the other lady let her dog into the park and my dog just turned on this dog and started a fight. No one was hurt and it was actually the other owner who was able to pretty easily separate them and SHE APLOLOGIZED TO ME (as I was apologizing to her)! She's like, "I'm so sorry - my dog was harassing your dogs for the last 10 minutes. I'm not surprised this happened." I was going to leave and she insisted we all stay and that they would be fine in a minute and they were completely fine the rest of the time. I was a wreck, and like I said - I now always hustle my dogs away from the gate whenever we enter the park.

How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park?
It's actually not an issue. They both poop within five minutes of entering the park, which is great. My older dog has great recall and also generally stays really close (when she's not scolding other dogs about playing "wrong"). My other dog runs a lot and plays with other dogs a lot, but never has issues, so I am not that worried about him. He's a very tolerant/flexible/intuitive dog. If a dog wants to play chase, he'll chase and be chased. If a dog wants to wrestle, he'll wrestle. If a dog wants to be left alone, he'll leave them alone. He's a real "dog's dog".

Are there park rules you ignore, and why?
I don't think so. Though my pass is only for one dog because that's all I had at the last renewal. I'll register my other one when my pass expires.

What is your BEST advice to dog park goers?
(1) For my park - go early in the morning. I know I'm generalizing, but at my park, people who make time to go to the dog park in the morning are dog people. Meaning, they are there for their dogs. I know most of them now and definitely chit chat, but even when I do, we are on the move, walking around the park exercising the dogs.

The lunchtime/after work/middle of the day on the weekend crowd at my dog park seem to be there to socialize with the other humans. Not that this is a bad thing, but a bunch of people standing and not moving usually leads to all of their dogs milling around the same area (always near the entrance) and I think it leads to bullying and ganging up on new coming dogs. I always think - why can't you take yourselves to a far corner of the park if you are going to just stand around?

(2) don't bring a toy you care about. I've seen a mastiff puppy bite through a tennis ball (not his) in under 5 seconds. If you are fine with your ball getting destroyed or another dog taking it, then bring all the balls you want. Me? I only play with "park balls" or sticks.

What is your WORST experience at a dog park? (that happened to you or even another person)
The fight I mentioned above is definitely the worst thing that happened to me. But I've seen other fights as well. More common negative things that happen are the gangs of big dogs that swarm on the new dogs that come into the park. I don't often run into this because I no longer go to the park at that time of day.
 

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First, I have to preface that dog parks here are green zones - wide open fields with trails running through woods. Not a thunderdome style. They are meant to be shared among nature lovers, cyclists, runners and dogs etc. Only rule is pick up your dogs' poop - and many break that rule.

How do you enter a dog park with your dog?
Generally carry him across the parking lot, and let him go.

How do you handle your dog being bullied?
Bullied is a bad term for me, 9 pound Minpin here. Some larger dogs haven't learned they can't play rough with a smaller dog, but Monty lets them know through growls. I tell owners to either back their dog down, or they may get bit - and most owners realize that it's an invaluable lesson for their dog. A fat lip is ok. And before you say it, my dog isn't the issue, why should I remove him.

How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog?
Overreact? How? People meet Monty in his boots and sweater, they melt.
If you wonder about reaction, it's generally people and their large dogs - they spot my little guy and they grab their large dog by the collar. They don't know how their dog will react to mine. I always tell them, let the dog go, it'll be fine - and it always is.

Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog?
Haven't personally seen that here. Wouldn't be happy about it tho.


What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved?
Always watching. Especially my own dogs when we're off leash. No problems with Monty yet, but Jagger (ex's Pin) would have been attacked a couple of times. The incoming dog regretted it before laying teeth into flesh - me having them by the collar and a confused owner.

How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park?
Just let them go.

Are there park rules you ignore, and why?
Only rules is pick up poop.

What is your BEST advice to dog park goers?
Relax and go for a walk. Don't try to control every move the dog makes. I'm there for the dog and some exercise, I walk and he does his thing. I love engaging other dog owners, talking about their dogs, their experiences.

What is your WORST experience at a dog park? (that happened to you or even another person)
Something that will shut my day down is the animal heros, totally clueless. IE: I meet people in parks with 8 week old puppies - and there's always someone that wants to be the hero and tell the owner that their pup shouldn't be there cause it's not vaccinated. Keep out of others' business.



I love dog parks and off leash anything, the busier the better. Second minpin in 5 years (?) and rarely any issues. Full grown Boxer pups tend to be the number 1 problem, they don't seem to learn very quick. Not aggressive, just large and want to play rough.

I tell people with kids, if you're on the hunt for a family dog, there is no better place to meet and greet the different breeds than your local dog parks. Bring the kids, talk to owners. I love watching children interact with dogs in the parks. Monty is 100% with kids, but I'll always show them how to approach any dog. "If you want to pet him, you have to do it right" - and parents are appreciative. When Monty is up in their arms licking them, it makes my day.
 

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First, I have to preface that dog parks here are green zones - wide open fields with trails running through woods. Not a thunderdome style. They are meant to be shared among nature lovers, cyclists, runners and dogs etc. Only rule is pick up your dogs' poop - and many break that rule.

How do you enter a dog park with your dog?
Generally carry him across the parking lot, and let him go.

How do you handle your dog being bullied?
Bullied is a bad term for me, 9 pound Minpin here. Some larger dogs haven't learned they can't play rough with a smaller dog, but Monty lets them know through growls. I tell owners to either back their dog down, or they may get bit - and most owners realize that it's an invaluable lesson for their dog. A fat lip is ok. And before you say it, my dog isn't the issue, why should I remove him.

How do you react to other people over reacting about your dog?
Overreact? How? People meet Monty in his boots and sweater, they melt.
If you wonder about reaction, it's generally people and their large dogs - they spot my little guy and they grab their large dog by the collar. They don't know how their dog will react to mine. I always tell them, let the dog go, it'll be fine - and it always is.

Do you react when you see someone mistreating their dog?
Haven't personally seen that here. Wouldn't be happy about it tho.


What do you do if a dog fight happen, when your dog is not or is involved?
Always watching. Especially my own dogs when we're off leash. No problems with Monty yet, but Jagger (ex's Pin) would have been attacked a couple of times. The incoming dog regretted it before laying teeth into flesh - me having them by the collar and a confused owner.

How do you handle bringing multiple dogs to the park?
Just let them go.

Are there park rules you ignore, and why?
Only rules is pick up poop.

What is your BEST advice to dog park goers?
Relax and go for a walk. Don't try to control every move the dog makes. I'm there for the dog and some exercise, I walk and he does his thing. I love engaging other dog owners, talking about their dogs, their experiences.

What is your WORST experience at a dog park? (that happened to you or even another person)
Something that will shut my day down is the animal heros, totally clueless. IE: I meet people in parks with 8 week old puppies - and there's always someone that wants to be the hero and tell the owner that their pup shouldn't be there cause it's not vaccinated. Keep out of others' business.



I love dog parks and off leash anything, the busier the better. Second minpin in 5 years (?) and rarely any issues. Full grown Boxer pups tend to be the number 1 problem, they don't seem to learn very quick. Not aggressive, just large and want to play rough.

I tell people with kids, if you're on the hunt for a family dog, there is no better place to meet and greet the different breeds than your local dog parks. Bring the kids, talk to owners. I love watching children interact with dogs in the parks. Monty is 100% with kids, but I'll always show them how to approach any dog. "If you want to pet him, you have to do it right" - and parents are appreciative. When Monty is up in their arms licking them, it makes my day.
You rely on your little dog to defend itself against any big dogs approaching, even with the big dogs owner being cautious? :confused: Sorry but your min pin may be fierce, but I certainly wouldn't just say "no its okay" to an owner who was holding their ill mannered dog back from my 9 pound min pin.
 

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You rely on your little dog to defend itself against any big dogs approaching, even with the big dogs owner being cautious? :confused: Sorry but your min pin may be fierce, but I certainly wouldn't just say "no its okay" to an owner who was holding their ill mannered dog back from my 9 pound min pin.
@cos, any big dog yes, I have 100% faith and confidence in his ability to meet and greet, people are actually amazed by him. Trust is the big ticket - I've said it many times on this forum. If you don't trust your dog to do the right thing, how are they ever going to learn. And again, it's about reading the dogs - if i don't read any aggression in a dog that someone has by the collar....?

If I see a larger dog approaching with any aggression that builds, trust me, that dog isn't getting anywhere near mine. The last dog that came in with bad intentions was over my ex's minpin, he didn't see it coming but I did. Had the dog on the ground before it's owner knew what was happening.

Monty has met thousands of dogs off leash over the last 4 months since I've had him. I let him take care of anything that pops up - until he can't. He's a confident and fearless dog, that's what I wanted. Jagger was the very same.
 

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@cos, any big dog yes, I have 100% faith and confidence in his ability to meet and greet, people are actually amazed by him. Trust is the big ticket - I've said it many times on this forum. If you don't trust your dog to do the right thing, how are they ever going to learn. And again, it's about reading the dogs - if i don't read any aggression in a dog that someone has by the collar....?

If I see a larger dog approaching with any aggression that builds, trust me, that dog isn't getting anywhere near mine. The last dog that came in with bad intentions was over my ex's minpin, he didn't see it coming but I did. Had the dog on the ground before it's owner knew what was happening.

Monty has met thousands of dogs off leash over the last 4 months since I've had him. I let him take care of anything that pops up - until he can't. He's a confident and fearless dog, that's what I wanted. Jagger was the very same.
I was referring not to how your dog reacts, but to how strangers dogs would react. I'm unsettled by the fact that you said you encourage strangers to let their dogs go when they grab their dogs collar to keep them away from yours as they aren't sure how they'll react to your small dog. I'm also wondering what you meant by had the other persons dog on the ground? So you pinned a strangers large dog on the ground who was acting aggressively? Because that seems immensely unsafe and impractical.

Also what do you mean by you let him "take care" of anything that pops up? How does he take care of it? What is he taking care of? :confused:
 

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I was referring not to how your dog reacts, but to how strangers dogs would react. I'm unsettled by the fact that you said you encourage strangers to let their dogs go when they grab their dogs collar to keep them away from yours as they aren't sure how they'll react to your small dog.
It's me reading their dog. large dog owners that aren't sure how their large dog is going to react or treat a small one need someone to help them. If they are standing there, dog by the collar and the dog is losing it's marbles acting all aggressive - then yeah, hold on to them. if I see the dog is curious, then please, let them go and let my dog deal with it. At some point, the other owner needs to develop trust in their dog - trust that their dog isn't going to rip a smaller one to shreds. Case in point, yesterday with a Weimaraner, little rambunctious but all good.


I'm also wondering what you meant by had the other persons dog on the ground? So you pinned a strangers large dog on the ground who was acting aggressively? Because that seems immensely unsafe and impractical.
Case in point. When Jagger was in my life, he spent alot of time in parks too, met thousands of dogs. This one dog we met on a long narrow stretch, shepard cross IIRC, and I could see it meant business from a distance. Sure enough, head slung low, started coming straight in for jagger. picked up speed, mouth open, started growling and reading for the attack. The dog was on the ground, on the flat of it's back before Jagger knew what was going on. The dog wasn't hurt, but i'm not going to allow a dog to attack mine - I will protect my own at any cost. That dog should not be in an off-leash park - and the owner was too busy texting to pay attention. That's a very, very rare occasion.

Also what do you mean by you let him "take care" of anything that pops up? How does he take care of it? What is he taking care of? :confused:
Monty has never dealt with true aggression while with me. once in a while, larger dog tries to play a little rough with him. Case in point, today with a German Shepherd pup, about 8 months old. Shepherd wanted to play, big paws, Monty wants no part of it. He growled, Shepherd didn't back off, kept coming, just playful and curious but large. Monty started warning harder - growling and snapping air, Shepherd still didn't back off. Spoke to the owner, if your dog keeps coming, he's going to get bit - owner said, if my dog gets a fat lip, so be it, needs to learn. It didn't come to that point, Shepherd calmed down. They met up 30 minutes later and it was a much more respectful meeting. Shepherd learned something that day, respect for smaller dogs. But I noticed the Shepherd still wasn't great with other large dogs either, kept getting snapped at.

Again, i'm not going to let my dog get hurt - or put my dog in a dangerous scenario. There's enough of that around here with the sheer amount of coyotes in this city - it's why i carry a slingshot with me.

We go to an off-leash indoor park almost daily due to the cold. The owner knows my dog well, knows he's great at meeting and greeting. If she gets a scared or nervous dog in, she will ask if she can take Monty in the other pen to meet.
 

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It's me reading their dog. large dog owners that aren't sure how their large dog is going to react or treat a small one need someone to help them. If they are standing there, dog by the collar and the dog is losing it's marbles acting all aggressive - then yeah, hold on to them. if I see the dog is curious, then please, let them go and let my dog deal with it. At some point, the other owner needs to develop trust in their dog - trust that their dog isn't going to rip a smaller one to shreds. Case in point, yesterday with a Weimaraner, little rambunctious but all good.




Case in point. When Jagger was in my life, he spent alot of time in parks too, met thousands of dogs. This one dog we met on a long narrow stretch, shepard cross IIRC, and I could see it meant business from a distance. Sure enough, head slung low, started coming straight in for jagger. picked up speed, mouth open, started growling and reading for the attack. The dog was on the ground, on the flat of it's back before Jagger knew what was going on. The dog wasn't hurt, but i'm not going to allow a dog to attack mine - I will protect my own at any cost. That dog should not be in an off-leash park - and the owner was too busy texting to pay attention. That's a very, very rare occasion.



Monty has never dealt with true aggression while with me. once in a while, larger dog tries to play a little rough with him. Case in point, today with a German Shepherd pup, about 8 months old. Shepherd wanted to play, big paws, Monty wants no part of it. He growled, Shepherd didn't back off, kept coming, just playful and curious but large. Monty started warning harder - growling and snapping air, Shepherd still didn't back off. Spoke to the owner, if your dog keeps coming, he's going to get bit - owner said, if my dog gets a fat lip, so be it, needs to learn. It didn't come to that point, Shepherd calmed down. They met up 30 minutes later and it was a much more respectful meeting. Shepherd learned something that day, respect for smaller dogs.

Again, i'm not going to let my dog get hurt - or put my dog in a dangerous scenario. There's enough of that around here with the sheer amount of coyotes in this city - it's why i carry a slingshot with me.

We go to an off-leash indoor park almost daily due to the cold. The owner knows my dog well, knows he's great at meeting and greeting. If she gets a scared or nervous dog in, she will ask if she can take Monty in the other pen to meet.
I really sincerely hope anyone reading this just dropping in doesn't think that pinning a strangers aggressive dog down on the ground is a safe or advisable method of dealing with that sort of situation.

You can do whatever you'd like with your dog. I personally would not encourage owners to let their dogs go when the owner seems cautious. The owners of those dogs know how their dogs react around small dogs. Not you.

The shepherd did not learn respect from other dogs, but what did happen is that you allowed Monty to be antagonized by a puppy instead of walking away, in which an air snap could very well have turned into a damaged cornea, which I have seen very recently happen to a puppy who got snapped at in a similar situation.
 

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I really sincerely hope anyone reading this just dropping in doesn't think that pinning a strangers aggressive dog down on the ground is a safe or advisable method of dealing with that sort of situation.

You can do whatever you'd like with your dog. I personally would not encourage owners to let their dogs go when the owner seems cautious. The owners of those dogs know how their dogs react around small dogs. Not you.

The shepherd did not learn respect from other dogs, but what did happen is that you allowed Monty to be antagonized by a puppy instead of walking away, in which an air snap could very well have turned into a damaged cornea, which I have seen very recently happen to a puppy who got snapped at in a similar situation.
look, believe what you want. Aggressive dogs should not be in a park off leash. You clearly don't have the ability to read a dog - if that's what you really believe. The owner is unsure of what their dog is going to do - if they were sure that their dog would attack a smaller dog - then they shouldn't be at the park in the first place.

If you came across an aggressive dog that cornered a child or was attacking them - what would you do? I know what I would do.
 

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look, believe what you want. Aggressive dogs should not be in a park off leash. You clearly don't have the ability to read a dog - if that's what you really believe. The owner is unsure of what their dog is going to do - if they were sure that their dog would attack a smaller dog - then they shouldn't be at the park in the first place.

If you came across an aggressive dog that cornered a child or was attacking them - what would you do? I know what I would do.
I'm not sure how you got that I don't have the ability to read a dog from that. I don't believe you know what reading a dog means as I'm unsure how you could predict how a dog will react just from a couple moments watching them at a distance.

I also don't think aggressive dogs should be off leash, so I'm thinking you missed my point. Aggression also isn't your only concern. Prey drive, over stimulation, your dog being crushed or injured by an over excitable dog, to name a couple that come to mind.

A dog attacking you or your child is much different than a dog running at your dog.
 
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