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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone! I wanted get some advice relating to dog parks. I really would love to be able to take our two pups down to the dog park, but I'm worried about it. They haven't been socialized that well. They seem to do fine with dogs that are laid back and/or submissive. However, I'm concerned that if we take them to the park they may run into a dog that is dominant or plays very rough and that Daisy may get injured because she'll try to be a bully.

Does anyone have any suggestions for helping get them more socialized? We take them whenever we go visit my parents and work with their labs while we're there, but their labs are very non-aggressive. Although Rocky and Daisy are MUCH better than they were when we first got them, I'm still concerned about taking them to the dog park. Some people tell me just to take them and try it out, because I won't know until I do. But I don't want them (or someone else's dog) to get hurt.

Any advice??

Thanks!!
 

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isit a city or private park?

i can only share with you my experience with one of each. i live in grand rapids, michigan which is a metro area of roughly 500,000 people, depending on what measurement you are looking at. so we're relatively small but lots of dogs.

the city park - which is only two miles from my house - does not require proof of vaccinations and people do not comply with the request to have them. so for a puppy, it could be less safe from a disease standpoint.


the city park has a small dog side and a big dog side and all dogs are supposed to be neutered - doesn't happen. so yes, there are fights and some owners handle it well and others are complete idiots and dogs have gotten hurt. men have gotten hurt too as human fights have also broken out between guys who each think they are alpha...!

so, i guess you can see where this is going. even though we had fun at the city park and met some very nice people, if the rules are not enforced there will be trouble.

my family paid for my membership to shaggy pines dog park - which they claim is rated the third best do park in the country.... $340 for a year. it is well worth it. all owners must show proof of vaccinations and neutering and they have people around to enforce the rules. it is 20 acres of pathways, fields, a big pond and fenced in areas for both large and small dogs. the entire place is fenced in and they have a sand mountain for dogs to climb and dig in and free bath stations outside or you can pay $9.00 for a bath inside.

somehow the dogs are truly better behaved there. way fewer fights and tons more fun - jack usually leads a conga line of anywhere from 5 to 10 dogs three times his size in a race around the pond. it is incredible to see.

i realize that you may not have access to a private park where you live but if you do and can afford it that is the way i would go. too many off my friends dogs got sick from the public park but, then again, our park may not be the norm. either way, don't take them till they've had all their shots...
 

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What I would do is check the park out. See what time the park is fairly empty (3-4 other dogs) and then bring the dogs, and keep them on the leash at first.
After that, take them off the lead and observe. Don't be nervous whatever happens, or they will sense it.

Gradually, take them more and more, let them play with other dogs, but always observe to see that there's no unwanted excitement.

I want to add, that usually at dog parks, the excited/enthuseastic dogs, usually keep to their excited/enthuseastic friends, and the mellower ones play together - or so I've noticed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Originally Posted By: Chloe's MommyWhat I would do is check the park out. See what time the park is fairly empty (3-4 other dogs) and then bring the dogs, and keep them on the leash at first.
After that, take them off the lead and observe. Don't be nervous whatever happens, or they will sense it.

Gradually, take them more and more, let them play with other dogs, but always observe to see that there's no unwanted excitement.

I want to add, that usually at dog parks, the excited/enthuseastic dogs, usually keep to their excited/enthuseastic friends, and the mellower ones play together - or so I've noticed.
That's kind of what I was thinking about doing. It's a fairly small park with only one fenced area, so the big and little dogs play in the same place. The park is right by my work so I'll probably start driving by there to get a feel for when it's less busy. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
To beaglemom:

I wish we had a park like that, it sounds wonderful!!

The only park we have here is a small public park, but from talking to friends it seems it's pretty good. And my pups are both about 3 yrs so they're all up to date on everthing.
Thanks!
 

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We have a county sponsored park near me. It has a small dog and large dog side. Technically, Daisy should be in the small dog side but she has more fun on the large dog side. There is a rule that all dogs must be vaccinated and they have to be over 16 weeks old. Park rangers come by unannounced every once in a while to check rabies tags and the like.

I would take them in on a lead and see how they react. Like Eleanor said, don't be nervous or they can tell. This one lady came to the dog park with her two dogs and as soon as she walked in the gate all the dogs started misbehaving because of her energy. She was so worried that her dogs were going to do something and all the dogs picked up on it, even some of us humans picked up on it too. If they do good on the lead, let them off but if they misbehave back on the lead they go ASAP.

Good Luck!
 

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sounds good but i would be careful bringing your dog in on a leash where others are not. that can set up an immediate dominance challenge - i've seen it happen many, many times. good luck, have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Originally Posted By: beaglemomsounds good but i would be careful bringing your dog in on a leash where others are not. that can set up an immediate dominance challenge - i've seen it happen many, many times. good luck, have fun!
I was kind of concerned about that, but I guess the only way is to try it out. Thanks!

And thanks to all who have responded
 

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http://www.myspace.com/nicevilledogpark

the last message is a little disturbing...I would say stop in and check out the vibe from the people and dogs that are there before we take our pups down there
 
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