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Old 10-16-2012, 08:03 PM
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Default What would you do?

In this situation?

Okay, so, I go to my local dog park almost every day. I love it, and have never really had any issues aside from a couple aggressive dogs (first timers) and I've been going for about a year. It's a small dog park, we have about 12-14 people that go regularly and we all know each other pretty well and we have a Facebook group. There's another 12-14 people that come as well, just not quite as regularly. Every day we will have one or two new people show up, but they usually don't come back. I like my dog park because its small and the people and dogs are nice. The location though, has lately become a problem.

It's located where all the other recreational areas are... Right next to the public ball fields and courts (football, soccer, baseball, basketball, tennis etc.) where a couple of the local schools bring their students for sports practice. Since school and sports are in season, there have usually been a good bit of kids and parents at the surrounding areas. This wouldn't be an issue if the kids who didn't participate in sports (younger siblings of the ones who do I'm guessing) didn't come wandering into the dog park. (Which is fenced separately and clearly says on the giant rule sign "No children under the age of 16 unless accompanied by an adult).

Now Chevelle, she is spectacular with kids. She won't jump on them, is gentle with them, will let them stick their hands in her mouth... She's great. One snotty child even stomped on her tail and hit her in the head and she did nothing except for look at him expecting a scolding. (Of course I tore him a new one...he claimed he was trying to get her to "run".) But she's awesome with kids...

Baloo, however, is NOT. Polite kids, he's fine with. But he does not like kids chasing him, and he does not like kids taking things out of his mouth. He will tolerate these things from adults, but not children. A couple weeks ago, we had an incident where an 11 year old boy chased Baloo for about 15 minutes (even though I yelled at him to stop..and I tried to catch Baloo to leave, but once he gets into "run away" mode, it's not so easy) because Baloo had "his ball". Once he cornered him, he shoved his hand straight into his mouth and sure enough, Baloo bit him. He didn't draw blood or even bite that hard, but he freaked the kid out and me. I was on the phone with park service immediately telling them about the issue with unattended children in the park.

Since then, park service has been coming to escort kids out of the park, but not every day. The days they don't come, sure enough, we have kids running around in the park. We call park service and nothing happens on those days...they don't come. Today was the straw that broke the camels back for me, because Baloo was laying down, minding his own business, when a child TACKLED him. He said he wanted to wrestle, but Baloo certainly didn't. Luckily I was close by, and was able to grab a hold of Baloo before he caught the kid.

I just...ugh. Is this a training issue with Baloo? I don't really blame my dog for not having a high tolerance for unruly and rude children. However, I don't want this to continue happening. Stopping park visits isn't out of the question, but it's last resort. Baloo loves the park. Should I step up more and ask every child to leave when I get there? That leaves me open to their parents wrath (which we have had to deal with a few times), but it does keep my dog safe. So... I don't know. I don't bring my dogs to play with kids... I bring them to play with dogs. /:

In this situation, what would YOU do?
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:11 PM
JessLough JessLough is online now
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I'd stop bringing Baloo to the dog park. Something happens, it's not the kid that's gonna be blamed -- even if there is a sign.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:13 PM
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That sucks...a lot. Can you take it upon yourself to ask the children to leave? I mean if the kid is close to age 16, then I can see it being difficult, but if I saw a 10 year old come into the park I'd say "I'm sorry, but the rules are you can't be in here without an adult. Please come back with your mom or dad." Most kids will leave and won't return. If I saw a kid chasing or trying to touch my dog and my dog was uncomfortable, I'd have absolutely no problem telling them that a) they're not allowed to be here, 2) they're bothering my dog and 3) I've already called park services to report a child disturbing the animals at the park and they said they're on their way.

And I'd also make it **** clear to any parent that comes to gather their child that their kid shouldn't be there.

Is it possible for you go to go to a dog park at another time? Like either during school, or find out what nights don't have many practices and go then?
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:15 PM
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:18 PM
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If the parents get annoyed with you for saying something, I'd tell them their child was chasing and acting inappropriately towards the dogs (not YOUR dog, just the dogs in general) and that you know some of the dogs in the park (without naming names) do not tolerate being bullied by children, and you've seen kids acting similarly get bit there before.

Plenty of them will probably freak out and blame you and the dog and make 10000 excuses for their snotty faced little brats, but a good portion of them WILL keep their kids away.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:21 PM
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Can you call the cops instead of park services?
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2012, 08:21 PM
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I could certainly go earlier. If I can do something else, though, I will do that. We all meet at the dog park around the same time. (The other regulars and I.) Tomorrow I think I will try asking all the kids to leave and see what happens. We have done it before with a couple kids, but not all. (Because not all the kids are monsters.) Maybe we will get a different reaction when we ask all of them to leave?
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostAndConfused View Post
Can you call the cops instead of park services?
I don't know how that works. Maybe. It says on the sign they're not allowed there, so maybe I could. Lol. I just didn't think of that. I didn't figure it could be a matter for the law.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:23 PM
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How many entrances are there to the park? I don't think it's a training issue.. but you WILL be liable (regardless of the sign) if a kid gets bit.

I would play by the entrance, with your back facing the door if you know what I mean.. and anytime someones starts to come in, call Baloo back to you. If it's an adult, YAY! Go back and play, it's just a fun recall game! If it's a kid, YAY! Let's put on the leash and go play WAAYY over there/go outside the park and get some treats!

Also, kids have school. So i'd avoid going to the park after 3.. (which is when kids get out of school) and perhaps go EARLY or dinner time on the weekends.. since most families tend to do parks in the afternoon.

I would also feel free to inform the parents that your dog is scared of children and to please ask their children to stay away from him. If they get upset? Fine. Better than a bitten child and a lawsuit.
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Old 10-16-2012, 08:52 PM
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I would tell the kids to leave or not let them enter. Let them go complain to someone, because they were trying to get into a posted restricted area. I would also, tape any kids in the park, what they were doing to the dogs and send it with your concerns to the local media. I would avoid a lawsuit and teaching my dog to get defensive by avoiding the dog park when kids would be there..........last I would put a lock on the gate and only give the combo to other dog people (of course removing it when I left)

I would do all of the above in the order they needed to happen
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