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Thread: Yay! dog park advice

  1. #11
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    LOL, it reminded me of a grehound and a rabbit. This little poodle was darting and was like chase me, chase me! There was no blood or anything but because this little poodle was yelping, the elderly lady was in hysterics....we felt sooooo bad!!! It was a bad choice of playmate...most little dogs tell him off haha, so this one time kind of scarred us lol.

  2. #12
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    Some big dogs can go into prey drive a bit with smaller dogs and accidents easily happen and little dogs get hurt.

    All my dogs gets introduced to the puppies at about 4 weeks of age or when mum is ready to let them but only in small areas as it's the run down or chase that can terrify small dogs. It can start off as the larger dog just wanting to sniff, little dog get uncomfortable and moves away and then the chase is on.

    Little dogs that also live with a large dog also have an advantage of knowing how to react. Those that don't often don't know whether they should just stand their ground, growl and tell the larger dog to back off I'm going to get hurt or run like hell.

    Personally I feel that a bunch of unleashed large dogs charging around playing in an unleashed area can lead to either a possible physical accident or what was meant to be a social outing back fires and scares the little dog.

    A lot depends on the "mettle" of the little dog; some terriers are very good at standing their ground and mixing it with larger dogs but from what I've witnessed many of the finer boned breeds can sense that being in a park with a punch of giants compared to them is not what they consider fun.

    Mine can all play with any size dog individually very well, but in a pack they can sometimes get rough. I wouldn't let a small pup loose in my yard without first allowing each of them to have a good sniff of the newcomer rather than trying to chase it down to do so. This is very common behaviour and what I see happen in many dog parks.

    Dog parks are one of those things where you are damned if you do and damned if you don't (bad socialisation vs no socialisation = much the same thing). Which is why I always go back to the obedience club situation because it's more easily controlled.

  3. #13
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    I like dog parks or off lead areas that are not quite fully fenced as the people who take their dogs there are much more likely to have good control of their dogs.

    I had to suggest to an owner of a kelpie puppy that she might want to keep her dog a bit closer so it doesn't go foraging and eat some bad stuff like takeaway chicken debris including bones or skewers or the vast quantities of strapping tape available on our local oval that can block a dog's gut up and cost thousands to remove.

    The fully fenced ones have a higher proportion of owners who have totally out of control dogs and owners who just don't pay attention - so they're not there when their dog gets into a fight, and they don't notice when it craps.

    So you have to assess what you've got in there when you get there. Personally I think the space - if it is fully fenced - needs to be at least as big as your average cricket oval - or dogs can't retreat when they need to and they get cornered and beaten up by nasty dogs.

    But there are times when the fully fenced parks will be nearly empty and you can use them relatively safely. The most popular times are an hour before people have to leave for work and after school time like after about 4pm ish, until it gets dark. People go after dark but they are extremely unlikely to pick up after their dogs - because they can't see what their dogs are doing and they don't care. Those people and their dogs are best avoided.

  4. #14
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    Ok, well I took him to the park today for a little bit.

    When I pulled up in the car a girl was just leaving with two staffies, one of which came running up to me as I got out of the car(they were off leash outside the park as the girl appeared to live directly across the road) and was all over me wanting pats, so I squatted down and gave it some pats and a rub then the girl called it back and they left.

    There was no one in the park, so I let Dex have a wander around so he could sniff, but he pretty much just followed me around. After 5mins or so, a car pulled up and a woman brought in a lab x looking dog and let it loose immediately, so I picked Dexter up just in case and started walking in the woman's general direction to ask if her dog would be ok around Dex. Dex was staring at her dog running around and he started growling a little bit and making very quiet 'woof' noises. When the woman saw me walking towards her with Dex she said her dog should be fine and he's good with little dogs, so I put Dex on the ground. Dexter then started barking at the lab x and it ran up to him with its hackles up (meanwhile I'm thinking, oh crap!) .. Dexter had a bit of a snarl/snap/growl moment and got sniffed but that was it. After that he seemed fine, was a little bit scared as he kept trying to either climb up my leg to be picked up or tried to hide under me if I was squatting down. If he tried to use me to get comfort or shelter, I just stood up and took a step away from him as I don't want to encourage him to be all sooky and instead I want to encourage him to be confident. I brought some treats with me (that the lab was very interested in), so the lab was running up to me quite often and jumping at my face. I did give the lab a couple of treats, but only when he sat. I also took the opportunity to reward Dexter while the other dog was very close to him. Aside from initially there was no more growling or barking, Dex was just a little unsure. The lab was trying to initiate play with him by bowing and jumping back a little to try and get him to chase, but Dex was just a bit scared and didn't return any play behaviour so the other dog left him alone and went off to sniff things.

    Overall I don't think it went too badly, but I was a little concerned at how Dex reacted at first, especially the little snarl/snap thing he did.. though I can understand he was probably a bit terrified at a large dog rushing up to him with hackles up. The woman was completely off in her own world on her phone the entire time, not even paying attention to what her dog was doing. So I spent most of the time following her dog around and giving Dexter treats whenever the dog was near us or in Dexter's face trying to get the treats.

    Thankfully I'll never be taking Dex to the park at peak times as I don't work standard times myself. I'm asleep in the morning peak time and I'm at work in the evening peak time, so chances are there won't be many if any dogs there when I would be taking him.

    Oh and it's a fully fenced park and it's quite large. I'd guess maybe about 100m long and nearly the same wide.

  5. #15
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    The size difference just is very intimidating and dogs are way more conscious of it than most of their owners. But it sounds like he did ok today.

    And regarding the hackles, it's a pretty individual thing too. With my old dog, hackles definitely meant trouble. But with Banjo it seems to mean more her feeling excited or a little bit nervous and unsure about a situation, but never aggression.

  6. #16
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    It's funny how dogs react to each other!! If Oskar had his hackles up, I would be a bit concerned and want to remove him and ourselves from the situation. I just say that because it is so very rare for him to get like that, he is usually just in a very playful mood with other dogs.

  7. #17
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    But Banjo will often have her hackles up while playing. At least at the start. It seems to be more of an unconscious thing with her, bit more like with humans, whereas with my old dog, she seemed to very deliberately use it in her body language to warn other dogs off.

  8. #18

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    I have never seen Sammy put his hackles up with another dog, but he has done it with people. Last night for example we were home alone and my housemate came home. Sammy was asleep next to me on the couch and when we heard someone at the door we both jumped. He did his growl and charge routine with hackles up until he realised who it was. I think the hackles go up when the dog is a bit unsure or has a bit of a moment - just makes them look bigger and gives the message that they're alert and ready for action. Often dogs put their hackles up when they see Sammy because he's usually bigger than them, but once they see he means no harm they relax and the hackles go down. If the dog calms down after meeting the dog the hackles will go down but if they're still unhappy or scared of the dog, they'll stay up until the dog goes away - probably a personality thing.

    I agree with the size thing. I have looked after my sister's papillons a few times whilst they're away and omg I freak out. It is such a different experience from walking with Sammy because I worry that every dog is going to tread on them (the girl is like 2kg it's crazy) and it will all be over. Really gave me a new perspective because before that, I always thought the owners of small dogs were being unreasonable when they reacted negatively to Sammy but I now see it was nothing personal, it just seems so easy for something bad to happen with the toy dogs and it really wouldn't take much.

    I remember back at Centennial Park there was a guy with 2 Great Danes. These things were like another 1/3 on Sammy - absolutely massive, and they used to love romping around with each other. All the people and dogs just had to keep their distance but one time they bashed into a woman and she went flying. Would have been about 160kg colliding with like 55kg and she was actually airborne. Dogs didn't seem to notice they'd hit anything...

  9. #19
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    When i first to Molly i was all excited about going to the dog park. I was really disappointed because there were around 10-15 dog parks in my area and nobody used them! I swear i tried every single park and we would be lucky if we even came across one dog.

    I finally found a place & it's awesome - a small dog pen on one side & a big dog pen on the other. We've become a tight knit group, 16 dogs between the 8 of us that that go to that park on a regular basis and the dogs get along smoothly - you have the ball chasers, the lone sniffers & the zoomie group. We also have a mini daschund that comes into our big pen because he's too boisterous for the small poochies and the dogs just sorta know they have to be gentle with him.

    I never enter the pen unleashed (because there is usually the odd strange dog there) and let everybody have their sniff then let my two loose. If there happens to be a dog in their that is annoying one of mine i leave - i would rather eliminate myself from equation than 'wait & hope' the dog is put on their lead by the owner. It just comes down to common sense at the end of the day your taking the risk by allowing your dog in with a bunch of strangers if you feel uncomfortable - leave.

    Recently we had two incidents where a Jack Russell was attacked my a greyhound (the Jack Russell was in the Big pen unsupervised, the owner was playing soccer with her kids outside the pen) and a Husky picked a Chihuahua up in it's mouth and it had to get stitches. Both owners were negligent by putting their small dogs in with bigger dogs (especially as they have segregated areas available at that park)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kuri_89 View Post
    When i first to Molly i was all excited about going to the dog park. I was really disappointed because there were around 10-15 dog parks in my area and nobody used them! I swear i tried every single park and we would be lucky if we even came across one dog.

    I finally found a place & it's awesome - a small dog pen on one side & a big dog pen on the other. We've become a tight knit group, 16 dogs between the 8 of us that that go to that park on a regular basis and the dogs get along smoothly - you have the ball chasers, the lone sniffers & the zoomie group. We also have a mini daschund that comes into our big pen because he's too boisterous for the small poochies and the dogs just sorta know they have to be gentle with him.

    I never enter the pen unleashed (because there is usually the odd strange dog there) and let everybody have their sniff then let my two loose. If there happens to be a dog in their that is annoying one of mine i leave - i would rather eliminate myself from equation than 'wait & hope' the dog is put on their lead by the owner. It just comes down to common sense at the end of the day your taking the risk by allowing your dog in with a bunch of strangers if you feel uncomfortable - leave.

    Recently we had two incidents where a Jack Russell was attacked my a greyhound (the Jack Russell was in the Big pen unsupervised, the owner was playing soccer with her kids outside the pen) and a Husky picked a Chihuahua up in it's mouth and it had to get stitches. Both owners were negligent by putting their small dogs in with bigger dogs (especially as they have segregated areas available at that park)
    Oh my god, some dog owners are so negligent!!! Leaving the jack russell in fenced area, while they are playing soccer? LOL, it's not a bloody creche, is it. You either supervise your dog in the park, or have it out on a leash or whatever included with the family.

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