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

  1. #1

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

    I don't think I've mentioned it before, but I used to be an advocate for more dog parks when I first got Sammy. I thought that all dogs should be fine in a fenced area and would just play together happily. Honestly, I thought that people should have enough control over their dogs that they should all just love and accept each other.

    I realised that I have very different thoughts about fenced dog parks now. I don't ever go to them really. I still believe that dogs should be ok around other dogs, be ok with other dogs walking past on the street and when meeting dogs on long walks off-lead in the bush etc. But I don't really think fenced dog parks are good for dogs. Every time I see one, there's at least one dog being bullied without anyone seeming to notice, in fact half the time they only notice when the dog starts to retaliate, at which point they tell it off. It's typically right under its owner at that point in desperation so it's very easy for them to administer punishment to the poor dog. Some young dogs or dogs that are friends might be playing together, but for the most part, it seems to be dogs bullying other dogs and their owners ignoring them.

    I don't know if everyone will agree with me, but I think I was wrong. Really wrong in fact.

    I think having safe areas where dogs can be exercised is essential. For me, that's anywhere dogs are allowed off-lead but if you don't have a good recall when then I understand the need for fenced areas but I no longer think that most dogs are happy around lots of strange dogs in a confined space. It's just most dogs are super tolerant.

    This realisation isn't due to any one incident or anything. Just found myself walking Sammy the other day and when we saw a fenced dog park, I noticed that I felt disappointed rather than seeking them out as I use to.

  2. #2
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    Damn, I lost my reply!

    One of the main reasons why I chose Banjo was that I was told she was good with other dogs. And she was fantastic in fact, when she was young. Impeccable body language and she seemed to bring the best out of every dog she met. And that was so important to me because I believed that playing with dogs we met on walks was a great substitute for a pack and that therefore dogs needed this type of social life to be happy.

    Then we had the episode where Banjo got increasingly defensive towards every dog that approached her, made worse by a string of bad experiences at the dog park.

    Eventually I learnt that interacting with strange dogs is nowhere near a good substitute for living in a pack and that it is totally fine and not sad if the dog doesn't want to interact with, let alone be nice to every dog they meet in the park. I still allow Banjo the choice to greet dogs of lead on walks. But I routinely call her after 5 seconds and don't feel bad about that at all. In the rare event that she does meet a dog with which she immediately clicks, I'm flexible and she can still play.
    Last edited by Beloz; 06-23-2014 at 07:20 PM.

  3. #3
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    I am never wrong, just not quite right at times, lol. The important thing is to realise and change and adapt as needed.

    Any posts made under the name of Di_dee1 one can be used by anyone as I do not give a rats.

  4. #4
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    I cant think of too many species including ourselves that are love and rainbows around each other all the time. Put a group of any of them together in a confined space and personalities and temperaments surface along with bullies, leaders, followers, submissives, peacemakers etc.

    My dogs are reasonably friendly dogs and one of them is very vulnerable to being bullied, a couple of others wont be bullied and will stand up for themselves and one is very accomodating and loves puppies, but expects me to protect her from over assertive dogs so I simply dont allow it to get to the point where things are going pear shaped. If others arent watching their dogs I am certainly watching mine and others.

  5. #5
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    My idea of a great dog park - is a space about the size of four football fields - where there is plenty of room to get away from grumpy dogs. And given how crap most dog owners are about looking out for their dogs at dog parks - I'd like two or three "enforcers" who would test the "effective control" and evict anyone who didn't pick up after their dog (especially when asked), and who didn't stop their dog from harassing other dogs or other people or just bowling up to other dogs and getting in their faces uninvited.

    And maybe have a separate dog park for Labradors. Somewhere else. And a separate space for small dogs for those who wanted to use it.

    There's a really nice park in Ipswich called Limestone park that meets the bill but dogs are not allowed off lead there. And the people aren't very well behaved - there's a lot of broken glass and rubbish in the areas with seats and park furniture.

    Adelaide is lucky - we have the beaches - heaps of room when the tide is out.

    Victoria park is pretty good - but Adelaide city council has been talking about making the northern end dogs on lead all the time - which is sad. They already have a rule about dogs being on lead near (50m) organised sport but they don't enforce that. And there is a big road race track that cyclists and cars use without regard to anyone (let alone their dogs) trying to cross it in their walks around the park.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post

    And maybe have a separate dog park for Labradors.
    There are one or two crazy, annoying labs at our dog park but 99% of the problems we have are with staffys. I know that there are good and bad owners for each breed but for some reason the staffy owners around here don't seem to care. People came into the park with a border collie puppy and left again within 2 minutes because a staffy kept trying to play with their pup... It was normal, rough staffy play but obviously BC pup was very overwhelmed by the whole thing. His owners were trying to stop the staffy and staffys owner kept just saying "It's ok. He's only playing.".
    There were two staffys at the park over the weekend, playing tug-o-war with a SWF.. One had a hold of the tail and the other had an ear. Staffy's owners thought it was hilarious.
    Then today at the park, someone had a very, very solid American staffy that was running around and having a great time playing. I was standing up against the bench/seat and he wasn't watching where he was going and slammed right into my leg at full force. It REALLY hurt. I tried to down-play it like it wasn't too bad but my knee swelled up and started going blue instantly. American staffy owner was trying to tell me that it wasn't her dog that hit me, it was the jack Russell cross that was also in the park... All 10kg of her made my knee bruise and swell I wasn't making a big deal about it at all, but it really annoyed me how his owner tried to blame someone else.. Why not just say sorry and move on?! The poor JRT's owner was soooo apologetic even though her dog had nothing to do with it. I hope I can walk tomorrow so I can go back and tell her that it wasn't her dog.
    Generally our park is pretty good, there's a group of about 10-15 of us who have become really good friends through the park, we baby-sit each other's animals etc and they all get along fantastically. If only it was just us at the park and no 'outsiders'

  7. #7
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    Our worst experiences at the dog park were with young labs too. I once watched this big male labrador chase a little Italian greyhound there. The poor IG was screaming in fear and the owner of the lab barely looked over.

    This types of labs were a big part of why Banjo got worse so fast with the growling and snapping. And even though she is fine greeting most dogs now, unfortunately she never gives labs the benefit of the doubt.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mymatejack View Post
    You expect the dogs to be watching where they're going when in full flight playing?
    No, definitely not. My dogs run into me all the time. Like I said, I played it down. My issue wasn't with the dog, it was with the owner blaming a dog that wasn't anywhere near me

  9. #9

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    Honestly, I don't think having a bigger dog park would improve the situation. Sometimes the dog being bullied will run and lots of dogs will join in. More space just means it takes longer for people to get to their dogs and rescue them. I mean, they could screen every dog, give them a pass for the park and remove dogs that cause problems but that would involve a lot of work (and money) so I don't see it happening and I don't really know what else they can do that would address the problems.

    I would never even go into a dog park if there are american staffies in there. I probably deserve to be judged for this but I love my dog too much and I have had 4 instances now where staffies have wanted and would have killed him. English staffies I don't worry about so much. I'm prepared to accept that it's something to do with my dog, I've been told by one amstaff owner that he looks like he'd be a good fight and he holds his head and tail up high and that's very exciting to the dogs sometimes but I just don't even want to have deal with it.

  10. #10
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    I used to have a dog that got worse at bullying the more timid the other dog's reactions were. I once heard another dog owner admit that it was a common problem that she'd encountered with her dog who seemed scared of his own shadow and how that acted like a red flag on a bull to some dogs. But in the end that's just an interesting fact and doesn't change the need to intervene when your dog is being rude to other dogs. I failed miserably at this with that dog, but am way better now. Though the only times I really have to intervene if my dog does play with other dogs is when a bunch of them gang up on another dog. Even the friendliest dog seems to enjoy that game...

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