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Thread: Is there anything you were wrong about that you've realised as your dog got older?

  1. #21

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    Well I was in an off-lead area once and a family shows up. They had no dog, they were just looking for a park to play soccer. Unfortunately as soon as they started, half the dogs in the park went after the ball. Sammy got there first, picked the ball up immediately and started trotting around proudly. I told him to drop it, but I knew the only reason he could hold it up was because his teeth had already gone through. The family got so angry at us, not just me, but all the dog owners. He said the dogs should be on a lead, and when it was pointed out to him that this was one of the few places in the whole city where our dogs didn't have to be on lead, he went on to say he thought that was a dangerous and stupid idea (English was not his first language so it was hard to understand what he was yelling about). I then admitted to owning Sammy and offered to buy him a new ball but his response was that he would never be coming back and there was no way he was going to tell me where he lived, obviously he didn't believe I would be coming around to drop off a ball.

    I think your dog/s should always be under effective control but given there are so few off-lead areas, I also think that if you don't have a dog and you want to do other sorts of activities in a park, well unlike the dog owners, you do have a lot of options. Sammy doesn't run into people much anymore which is lucky, but he did as a younger dog. He seemed to have a lack of spatial awareness and he grew so fast and so big it was like he just had an ever increasing mass to be aware of. Add that to the fact that if he tried to turn whilst running he fell over and the fact that he always stayed near me, well you see how I ended up with bruised shins. I mean if I had ever seen someone who was obviously disabled at a park when Sammy was younger, I would have left and gone elsewhere because there is a real risk and you can't train puppies/adolescents to be more spatially aware or tell them off for wanting to run around in the one place they really can.

  2. #22
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    I was really talking about other dog owners that may be older or disabled who also have a right to exercise their dogs. Most people at my mothers local dog off leash areas will take their pups at the off peak times to minimise any problems but will also often have them on leash as they train their recalls ot will keep and eye on who is using the park. It can be done with a bit of management. The probelm is with people who just think off leash area anything goes and turn a completely blind eye to what their dog is actually doing or have no understading of the damage that their dog might do to someone older.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 06-25-2014 at 09:05 AM.

  3. #23
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    I'm not old but have severe arthritis and if I get knocked over by a dog over 30 kilos, there's a high risk of injuries. I'm that person that screams in fear when a large dog comes running to me. I did stay close to the fence when I used to go to the dog park. But if I had to cross the park for whatever reason, I'd expect other people to keep an eye on their dogs. If my dog runs straight up to another person at full speed, I will call her and if need be we will move away.

    Sheesh, how different would this conversation be if it was a child crash tackling someone because they weren't watching were they were going? Regardless of where that happened.

    "If you know your dog is prone to being bullied you keep an eye out for the boisterious labs everyone seems to hate."

    If you know your dog is prone to being bullied, you simply cannot go to the dog park. That's what this post is basically about. The civilised thing to do would be for other dog owners to keep an eye on their dogs if they know they're prone to bullying other dogs. It's not my job to be fending off someone else's overexcited pup/dog in order to protect my own. I've been there and done that and having to jump in between my dog running to me for help and a dog that doesn't take no for an answer to prevent a fight is not my idea of fun. So no dog park for us because if my dog bites to protect herself, guess who will be blamed.

  4. #24

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    I think the bullying is sort of inevitable though, and that's why I now avoid fenced dog parks for the most part. I have worked Sammy on a field with lots of other large, powerful entire dogs but that was when we were actively engaging with our dogs, everyone had great control and all the dogs were trained. None of these things regularly happen at dog parks. I have seen people just leave their dogs in a dog park and go off to do other things.

    I don't think it's just one breed either. Labs can be boisterous, I've seen plenty of herding dogs make other dogs uncomfortable by circling them and hard staring, I've seen dogs that won't let other dogs approach their owners without attacking, I've seen terriers and Cattle dogs spoiling for a fight, little dogs that go around constantly trying to hump larger dogs, and my personal least favourite, Daschunds that bark constantly at your dog's face. Like because of their dwarfism, they are actually larger dogs that are short and they have very loud barks and the people who buy them aren't typically people looking for a dog to train etc so half the time they don't even bother telling the dog to stop barking because they know it won't listen to them. If it's giving me a splitting ear ache I can only imagine what it's doing to my poor dog.

  5. #25
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    It is a shame that it is inevitable. I have herding dogs and cattle dogs and there is definitely no spoiling for a fight or making other dogs uncomfortable or any other of that stuff like bullying. I simply dont allow it. If they want to be off lead they can darn well behave and they had better come when called. They are also very spoilt and loved but that doesnt equate to doing anti social stuff. One has to work hard to get there but that is part of owning a dog? Recently there were complaints once the general public started to be allowed to used the fenced ANKC grounds mainly used by members. Things started to deteriorate with people not picking up poo and allowing their dogs to become a menace to others. Why is this?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    The civilised thing to do would be for other dog owners to keep an eye on their dogs if they know they're prone to bullying other dogs. It's not my job to be fending off someone else's overexcited pup/dog in order to protect my own.
    Fair enough. But maybe it's worth it pointing it out to the other dogs owner. I'm having one of these boisterous labs although he never runs into other people. He doesn't like being touched by strangers and always gives other people a lot of space. So I'm not worried about him running someone over and tend to be pretty relaxed about him doing zoomies around people. Yet, if someone seems uncomfortable I'll take him away. Naturally! Mind you Rox slams into people. And I'm very cautious about her doing exactly that since she totally wiped me off my feet once. I'm pretty solid and she's only 15 kg but she slammed so hard into the back of my knees that I ended up flat on my back watching the clouds in the sky.

    As for other dogs... Rox is not a problem but Nero still thinks he is a big puppy and often charges at other dogs. He is pretty good at reading the signs though and if the other dog seems even slightly pissed about such a speedy approach he'll do a big u-turn and come straight back to hide behind my legs without getting into the other dogs face. I find a lot of dogs don't seem to mind this way of approaching. Maybe because he almost never approaches directly but gives them a lot of space. Many will actually respond and play chase with him. Others won't and then he'll leave them alone without bugging them.

    Maybe it's often just a communication breakdown between owners. I'm getting pretty good at reading my own dogs body language but I realise that I'm not so good with other dogs. If I notice another dog is uncomfortable with Nero I'll take him away immediately. But quite often the signs aren't that clear and while it may be obvious to the owner who knows their dog inside out to me it's unclear whether they're excited or uncomfortable or anxious or getting annoyed. So if in doubt I tend to take Nero away but quite often the owner then tell me that it's all ok and their dog is just excited. So I'm thinking I must be crap judging other dogs mental state and often just wish people would just tell me (politely please) if they want me to give them and their dogs more space or if they're happy for us to hang around.

    But then, as I said, I don't have a lot of dog park experience. Most dogs in our area we know so it's only really a problem when we go to the beach.

  7. #27
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    I guess the difference is that if you're frail and/or elderly and chose an off leash dog park of all places for a walk
    You don't have to be frail or elderly and neither does your dog - to be damaged by other dogs out of control.

    And I don't see why we should exclude frail or elderly people from using public spaces. Some dog parks - have on the gate - no small children - and I'd put that down to small children not making the best decisions around dogs. I know some people who try to have picnics on the ground in dog parks - and that doesn't seem right to me either. A few say no food and no toys in the dog park - to avoid resource guarding reactivity and fights over toys and food.

    There's usually a list on the gate that if everyone followed there wouldn't be so many problems and if something did go wrong - it would be clear who should be apologising. But these signs are routinely ignored. And the ranger doesn't come when you call.

  8. #28
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    I think a change in the space inside the park is paramount

  9. #29
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    I wouldn't have a problem with your dog, Margoo. But i have found myself more than once in situations where i was backed up against the fence or gate, trying to stay in between Banjo and one or more dogs who were adamant about ignoring all her "stop getting in my face" signals. And the owners were either not watching, ignoring it or at most called their dog's name a couple of times and then simply gave up when the dog didn't react at all. But then when i couldn't prevent Banjo from lashing out eventually, i got glared at.

    And it was unfortunate that a few of them were labs, because I know some lovely labs, but now Banjo snaps at any lab that comes near her, even if they're old and harmless. Unfortunately, labs are popular with inexperienced dog owners who think that they will just naturally turn into the perfect family dog, without any effort on their part. But they are not as easy as most think because of their high energy levels and intelligence, as you would know. I think they probably have similar needs to working dogs so not the ideal beginners dog.

  10. #30
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    Yes I have noticed that a few times when dogs snarled at Nero when he was approaching. To me it's just their way telling him to piss off. And Nero gets the message too and turns around straight away. But then I quite often I see owners scolding their dogs for being rude when they were just drawing a line really.

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