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Old 10-30-2006, 06:45 PM
Bobsk8
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Question Rethinking Dog Parks/

Well the new dog park next to my home has been open for a week now and I am starting to have some concerns about how smart it is to bring Smokey there. I see people bringing dogs in with no Rabies tags, despite the fact that it says on the "big " sign on the entrance that Rabies tags are required. Some owners just walk in the gate and turn their dogs loose without even making sure that the other dogs and their dog are going to get along. I notice that periodically one of the dogs seem to be doing alot of scratching and itching and am wondering if they have allergies or mange or fleas?


Today this young teenager comes in with a large puppy about 7 months old and it is about 2/3's the size of Smokey. No tags or anything on it's collar. They played for awhile and then the puppy got rougher and rougher nipping at Smokeys ears and head and neck. At one point, Smokey got a little fed up I think, and put her entire mouth over the dogs entire neck , but didn't bite or anything. After reading some of the discussions on this forum about dogs fighting and playing, I realize that some of this is normal, but how can you tell when it has gone too far? I suggested to the teenager that maybe the dogs should cool their jets for awhile and he told his dog to stop, but his dog basically ignored him after a few seconds and started right in again. At that point I said " we have to go, see ya " and put Smokey's leash on and started heading for the gate, and his dog was still following and nipping until "I" yelled at it to stop....

It was fun watching Smokey chase this dog around and play and Smokey looked like she was having a good time, but I am wondering if this playtime is worth the risk of something happening to Smokey or her getting something from one of these dogs because they weren't up to date on their shots or flea medications. I can't figure out whether I am being paranoid or just cautious......
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Old 10-30-2006, 06:51 PM
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Okay, first of all, I have an APBT and do not take her to dog parks. I used to take my poodle, until I realized a couple of things. Some of those dogs have not been vaccinated and could be carrying anything and infect my dog, not to mention the parasites and fleas they could pick up. Second, you never know how a dog will react to yours sometimes until it is too late. My poodle may look defenseless, but let me tell you she got a hold of a GS, and tore the ear up because she was threatened. Just an accident waiting to happen. Might be fun for some, but to me, not worth the problems and the potential of issues with other dogs and o wners. Just me, though.
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:03 PM
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nope, definitely not paranoid. all of your concerns are very legitimate ones.
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:11 PM
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It really depends on the park and how it's controlled . If it's a " free" park , stay away !!
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:18 PM
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There are some good free parks...they just require a closer scrutiny. The one I go to is a free one and it's great...BUT I only go at a certain time (8:30am during weekdays), because I know the small group of people that will be there, and that their dogs and mine get along. I also know what trails to take to avoid others if I want/need to.

But your concerns are quite legitimate!
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Old 10-30-2006, 07:24 PM
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I think it depends on the park and the people who go - why don't you spend some time just observing? (If you have time that is - it's hard to come by!) See what times of day are better - and usually at dog parks, the same people go around the same times of day, and you get a feel for who is nice and who isn't. If your dog has all of its vaccinations up to date you can feel safer, although I don't know about rabies because it's not an issue here.

I think if Smokey had a good time then she will benefit from off leash romping with other dogs - you just need to make sure that you know when is a good time to take her. Perhaps you could arrange with some people who's dogs you know, to all meet at the park at a certain time? That way, you could trust the people and your dogs whom you meet, and they can all have a romp together and you can feel safer about it. Play time is so vitally important to a dog's all round happiness, it would be great if you could utilise this park and feel safe at the same time, too.
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:25 PM
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It's good to be concerned !!
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:42 AM
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For me, the benefits of a dog park (socialization, hard core exercise) outweight the risks. Winnie is a happier, more well-behaved dog when she gets to the park once or twice a week. We've only had problems with one other dog ever, and she did pick up kennel cough from somewhere (although more than likely, that came from someone at the vet school rather than the dog park). People at our parks are so nice, and if I ever feel the play is too rough for Winnie to handle, we just go for a walk in the rest of the park. She's made some nice dog friends, and it's fun to see her recognize dogs that she knows.

There's just no substitute for good dog play!
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:52 AM
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I would never take any of my dogs to a dog park.
For all the same concerns you have, and Some people
do bring aggressive dogs or out of control dogs.

But we don't have them where I live so I don't really consider it anyway.

I would really like to go to one and really watch how well that many
strange dogs get along together and how many owners actually can
control their dogs. It would be interesting.
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:57 AM
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There isn't one in the area, but there's a dp in a neighboring city that I would someday like to visit. Your concerns are perfectly legit... which is why I haven't went to a dark park yet. The dogs are excited, and they're not in a very stable mode IMO, so I worry about aggressive behaviors. Also, I don't think I would take Maddie because she's little, and I'm afraid if I took Missy and "something happened" it would automatically be her fault, because of her breed. Despite their temperments In addition to that I know Missy would love it because she's such a puppy when it comes to playing with other dogs. She's in an instant play bow most of the time when she meets other dogs
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