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Thread: Yay! dog park advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Ipswich
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    Default Yay! dog park advice

    Ok, after years of thinking there are no decent off leash parks in my area, I just found one that looks like it's pretty huge and I'd like to start taking my pup there.

    There is a tiny area a few streets away, but my back yard is bigger and there's nothing in it, literally just a fenced bit of grass with a tree or two, it sucks and I don't think anyone uses it. However, I drove past it today in the hopes there'd be someone there, but it's under construction and I think they're adding a covered picnic table at least.

    I've never actually been to an off leash dog park before, is there anything I need to know/be aware of before I go? If there's other dogs there already, how do I go about introducing my pup? (he's tiny), any body language I need to look out for in the other dogs etc? Should I keep my pup in a crate and go and speak to the other owners before letting him out to make sure their dogs are friendly or ask them if they can put theirs on lead for a bit while my pup gets used to it?

    If I happen to meet a dog there that likes my pup and they get along really well, is it weird to ask the owner if we can meet there for puppy socialising?

    Sorry for the stupid questions

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Canberra
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    Default

    I'm not a huge dog park fan myself. They always make me feel awkward. I have had some good experiences with a group of dog owners who would meet up every day on an ordinary oval in town. But it wasn't fenced... Most owners there would put their dogs on lead if they became too full on with a newcomer. But I have heard that at lots of the fenced dog parks, they may not do that. There is often an attitude of "the dogs will sort it out", which is fine up to a point, I think. But if its your dog constantly being bowled over and stood over by the other dogs, it doesn't stay fun for long. If that happens anywhere to my dog, I interfer after a while and chase the culprits away from my dog. If this is at a dog park and the other dogs wouldn't stop, I would leave.

    If you are brave enough (I am no good at talking to strangers!), asking the owners of the more boisterous ones to put theirs on lead for the initial meeting is a good idea. Maybe you could leave pup in the car - presuming you're driving - and go check it out without him first. Maybe introduce yourself and say that you have a tiny pup in the car and will their dog be ok with that, etc.

    I'm lucky that we have a really big (like 1km long) off leash area nearby. People don't tend to stand still with their dogs there, they walk. So dogs still get to interact and you might have a brief chat with some owners and watch the dogs play, but if the dogs don't get on or are not interested, you just keep walking.

    Good luck! I hope it is a good dog park with responsible owners - that's all it takes to make it work!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ipswich
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    Default

    Thanks,
    I don't know that I'm brave enough to go and speak to strangers either honestly. I might just drive over and if there's only one or two people there I might be ok to ask them about their dogs and how they might react, but if there's a number of people there, I might just walk my pup around the outside and see how the other dogs react before I go in, if at all. Interacting with dogs through a fence is probably still better than no interactions at all.. provided they're not hostile of course.

  4. #4

    Default

    We take our Amstaff to dog park to socialize with other dogs and have a bit of play.

    What to look for? see my suggestions

    1. compare size of other dogs to your dog - you don't want your small dog get run over by
    bigger dogs, cause this will give your dog bad impression
    2. Introduce your dog with leash on, not off. Me personally, I'm annoyed to owners who takes
    the leash of their dogs straight away or not even entering the actual pen.
    3. make sure that owners are present - just in case something happens unexpectedly
    4. Watch out for Dog Poops lol <----- this is true some owners uses parks for their dogs to POO

    Thats my checklist :-)
    m<(o.o)>m

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Gold Coast
    Posts
    77

    Default

    I take my dog to a dog park every now and then and most people are usually pretty good with their dogs in regards to putting them on a lead if they are a bit too full on for smaller dogs. One time i was there though and this lady left her dog in there and went for a walk with her kids and her dog was chasing all the other dogs and really agitating them and knocking people and little kids out of the way......but other than that my dog really loves meeting other dogs we have made a few friends through it for us and our dog....i think most people would be more than happy to arrange for puppy socialising as most people would go there regularly anyway

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Sydney
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    Can't say I'm a big fan of them especially for little dogs, though my large Gordon Setter always had a blast there but she's very robust.

    Your little guy looks like a breed with a long spine?? So I'd proceed with caution, but try to make sure this doesn't feed thru to your dog, I know easier said than done.

    If it's fenced then I'd probably start with your dog on a lead and with a little bit of distance between you and the fence I'd walk around on the outside of the fence, just to see how your dog reacts and the nature of the dogs within. Don't be too close to the fence as "fencing running" in dogs is very popular.

    Finding a time when some little dogs turn up would be the key. I know at our local off-leash park 5pm until dark is big crazy dog time & I wouldn't take any small breed there but all the dogs are highly social & know each other but extremely rough.

    Personally I much prefer to join an obedience club and socialise there. All dogs are on a leash and you can ask people before the dogs proceed to have a play (or stay afterwards for some off-leash fun) if their dogs are social.

    Initial introductions to new dogs is very important, if you strike it lucky and get good dogs chances are you dog will be a social butterfly, stike a few bad dogs or a bad mix of dogs and it can leave a lasting bad impression.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Sunshine Coast
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    If there are small dogs (like Dexter for example) there is no way in hell, i would let Oskar off the leash lol, because he is a much bigger dog, and being still a pup himself, he is very rough and doesn't realise his strength. If we are at the dog beach, he is onleash around small dogs, but we might go up to someone if they have a bigger dog, and ask if their dog would like to play. SOme get along, some don't and you get to know who is a good playmate and who to avoid.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Brisbane
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    So you dont let him play with small dogs?

    But how will he learn to limit himself with small dogs if he isnt exposed? Does that make sense?

    Barney is extremely boisterous and manly (translation: he is rough as al hell) with dogs his size, but he tones it right down for Pippi. Sometimes he is very rough with her, but not often and she loves it. Some small dogs ar emuch tougher than they look.

    LOL No wonder the wee ones develop attitude problems, noone lets their big dogs near em lol

  9. #9
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    Sep 2011
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    Sunshine Coast
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    He has had experience with small dogs, most of the time he will have a sniff and keep on moving on. When Oskar was about 4 mths old, we took him to a dog park and he was playing well with a very submissive poodle, then Oskar got a bit rough and grabbed hold of this poodle's ear hair. It was yelping and carrying on, and it's elderly owner was crying and stuff. Even though Oskar didnt cause any harm to the poodle, it made us feel real bad so we decided that he should only play with bigger dogs, just so we could avoid any kind of incident.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    Brisbane
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    OMG LOL!

    Yea fair enough LMAO.

    I am so mean, I shouldnt laugh but it doesnt really sound like any crying was necessary

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