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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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Please Post Dog Park Experiences

This is my 3rd park experience. We were alone, so we are walking around and Dexter is doing the smelling and I am picking up other dog's poop!

Within in 5 minutes...
# 1 dog arrives (Very timid/afraid) 3rd visit to the park also. Two scared/timid dogs are now in the park.

Dexter remains timid and standing very close to me. We try playing very lightly and walking around for a bit. It was great for a calm visit.

Within 5-8 minutes....
# 2 dog arrives (all puppy, bigger than Dex) It did not help when the girls with # 2 dog loved Dexter to death and spoiling him rotten by petting and cooing!

2nd dog - energetic puppy; smelling the timid dog, so Dexter is left alone, and Dexter still wanting to be picked up then...................

Within 2 minutes....
# 3 dog arrives (a grown small dog) very active, I would say he was NOT a puppy.

# 3 dog and # 2 dog were doing very well with the communication game, it was taking too long for me. I remained very calm. Dexter between my legs and much afraid, not whining or barking. Dexter jumping on my legs and wanting to be picked up.

I saw lots of dog language going on.

Introduction stuff was going good. # 3 dog was trying to tell # 2 dog who was going to be the boss here.

I did see the # 2 (puppy) roll on his back several times (submission).

Introductions were lasting way too long for me. Dexter still standing right next to me and then going in between my legs as the introduction of # 2 and #3 dog continued.........

I saw teeth bared, hackles up on both dogs, too much rough housing for me.....these dogs were still trying to establish who was going to be the boss.

I did not like the teeth bared, and the hackles up on both of the dogs ( #2 and # 3 dog). I was afraid there was going to be a dog fight very soon.

This stuff went on for at least 30 seconds. Too long for me, I picked up Dexter and said goodbye to the girls as I was leaving.

I think by me leaving, the aggressive dog owner took the hint of calling off the dog if he wants anyone to play with his dog.

I think next time, I will sit on the bench with Dexter if the dogs present get to rough to handle the dog introductions.

Dexter and I went walking to the big open area next to the dog park. Leash back on Dexter. We stayed in this area for at least a few minutes before heading for the car.

As I heading toward the car and watching the dog park, I did see # 3 dog being picked up by the owner and I believe they were leaving. # 2 dog was sitting next to the owner at the bench.

For Information: # 2 dog owner (the energetic puppy) said this was their 3rd visit to the park, the owner had said when she came before, she went to the big dog park (which is right next to the small dog park) and her dog was attacked and had to go to the vet.

Next time, I will be verbal next time at the park with the owners of aggressive dogs.

Don't let dog behavior get out of hand if the dog owner is not calling off their dog. Next time, I will say something and if they still do not do anything, I will report that person and what the dog looks like and I will leave the park.

We will try again next week.

Please learn dog language! It could save your dog's life.

I am no expert, so, I am learning as I go. I wish my memory was really good because I did read a lot of books prior to getting Dexter on dog language.

Please post other dog park experiences, so we can learn from you also.

Until next time,

Dexter & Jack
"One Hav is NOT enough to enjoy the RLH skills!"
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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 02:52 PM
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Todd and I go to the dog park at least 1-2 times a week and have for the past 4 months.
He loves it!
It gives him a chance to socialize and burn off some energy and gives me a chance to work on some off leash training with him.
Our dog park is split into two sections completely enclosed by a 6 ft fence. Each section has a double gate (which I love)and so you can let the dogs sniff through the gated area before letting them loose.
We go during off peak hours usually and so I use the big dog side most of the time.
The big dog side is about an acre and the small dog is about 1/3 acre.

Our first trip was intimidating because Todd was scared of the other dog that was there and when the dog (a Pug mix) tried to sniff him Todd attacked him out of fear.
Luckily the other dog's owners were laid back about it and told me to let the dogs work it out...they did and within a few minutes they were running/wrestling and having a wonderful time.
If I would have followed my gut reaction I would have left the dog park and Todd wouldn't have the joy of meeting people and dogs...I'm so grateful to the other dogs owners for suggesting that i let them work it out.

Todd gets along really well with all sizes of dogs now as long as they don't play too rough (rolling him,ect.)

We've only had a couple of negative experiences and those were due to owners not controlling their dogs.
When there are large numbers of big dogs they seem to pick on Todd more often and so if there are more than 2-3 we usually move over to the small dog side unless they are dogs/owners that I know and trust.

When Todd gets nervous he'll hide between my feet or anyone's feet that are available.
He only acts that way now when the larger dogs are getting too rambunctious and so that's when I know that it's time to visit with the small dogs.

When he was younger he would hide between my feet and beg to be picked up sometimes but I would walk away from him and soon he was running with the pack.
I didn't pick him up or pet him when he acted insecure because I didn't want to encourage the nervous behavior and it worked really well for us.
I've met several small dog owners that thought that their dogs were afraid of other dogs.
I usually try to get them to at least try letting the dogs say hi to each other and they always do great after the initial sniff.
I think that socializing with other dogs is a learned process.
Todd has gone from a timid/shy/nervous puppy to a friendly/tail wagging/outgoing dog who looks forward to his trips to the park to play with his friends.

Eva, Mom to Todd....2 year old short hair Havanese
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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 03:24 PM
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My Stuey was always receptive and wanted to play and still loves to chase other dogs. He did not like to be chased or rolled which is usually what would happen. I have never felt comfortable in any area but the small dog park because of the weight difference of larger dogs. I just always felt that even if playing, my 10# Stuey dog at that time could get injured.

This is actually funny but sometimes I felt like I had the little boy at school that wanted to play but no one ever wanted to play with him. All the dogs would come to greet him when we entered but only a couple ever really played with him the way he wanted to play. When that happened, it was a great experience.

This is when I asked my husband if we could get Stuey a sister which as you can see we did. They have played so well together from the beginning. Now, we have a superb small dog park & big dog park that we can actually walk to. I have been amazed at the # of Havanese my husband & I have met there. When we got Stuey, I never met anyone who had even heard of a Havanese. The funny thing now is that all the dogs want to play with Sadie!!!

In the beginning, she was hiding between my legs as a puppy but she has played some since & isn't shy anymore but the dog park is not her favorite outing. Stuey & Sadie play with each other at home but never at the park. We still go because there is nothing like a dog park to meet and talk to other people that live in your community and love their dogs. In no people park would people talk to each other like this. Dogs do definately bring people together!!!

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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much for sharing. There is hope for Dexter!

Dexter & Jack
"One Hav is NOT enough to enjoy the RLH skills!"
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:01 PM
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We went once a long time ago. I realzed many people simply didn't pay attention to their dogs. It just wasn't worth the risk to my dogs to go back. We now only have off leash playdates with friend's and their dogs.

Tritia, Daisy, Cooper, and Bodie.
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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:17 PM
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I have had very positive experiences at most dog parks. If I don't feel 100% comfortable with the people or the dogs we dont go in and we have left when an unsocialized crazy dog with an owner who has no clue comes in. Also, my dogs all like the dog park differently. Dash is there to play with other dogs. Belle is there to chase dogs (which I try to stop since Belle picks out the dogs she can bully before we even open the gate) and visit people. Dora just loves to sniff around the entire time and usually finds shade and watches but she seems to enjoy herself.

Here is a short clip in the beginning of this video of the dog park with Tori and Leslie (miss you guys and the nice dog parks!)

However, that being said, we don't go to the dog park here. Both times I have gone it is all sizes of dogs and you see completely unsocialized intact dogs at the park. So we do playtime with people and dogs that I am comfortable with.

Dora, Dasher, & Belle's Mommy

Thinking of adding a Neezer, check out this thread!

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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:39 PM
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We have a huge dog park (Bark Park) in Greensboro with 3 different sections. Pablo used to run there like a maniac and make sure every single dog there (big and small) would chase him. See clip below.
However, after meeting a few rambunctious dogs there and in Berlin where no one gets their dogs fixed (no idea why), he's gotten much more wary. As much as I loved watching him be a headless, courageous puppy I think I now prefer the safer version.

In general, it is the duty of the owners to know their dogs and therefore carefully choose which section (empty, crowded, etc) of the park they take their dogs to or maybe not even go at all. I met a few very stupid owners and learned to quickly react if they aren't willing to do so themselves. One time, there were 2 border collies there that must have thought that my hopping puppy (he was already around a year) was a rabbit. They wouldn't stop herding him AND pinning him down, which I thought was not OK. So I chased them away, hoping that the owner would call them off. But nope, they continued. So I just grabbed one of them by the collar and asked who's dogs these were. A lady finally came and I explained to her that her dogs were herding Pablo too aggressively and her answer was: well this is a dog park and they're allowed to do that here. HUH?! I got a little 'German' (aka telling her my opinion) and she ended up leaving with her dogs.

I have also met owners that will automatically move to another section when their dogs get too wild. Most of the time, it's nice. Just watch out for dogs lifting their legs at YOU cause they get confused by all the smells, LOL.

Going to a dog park is never 100% safe, it's up to you to get a feeling for the situation and having luck that nothing happens.

Last edited by maryam187; 02-24-2009 at 05:41 PM.
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Great Video! I love the sounds! Especially "I am going to get you!" Which by the way, I was doing until dh said...."I wished you had never done that because Dexter" was not coming when dh called him., we play a game called Hide/Seek and me and my husband will call Dexter and Dexter has to find us!

Dexter finds us, it might take several calls but Dexter will find us.

I figured if I told Dexter "I am going to get you!" He would run and he would run off all that energy....he did. I may be going back to my game of chase when dh is not around.

Dexter & Jack
"One Hav is NOT enough to enjoy the RLH skills!"
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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 07:00 PM
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Linda, chase is such a fun works against you if you ever have to try to grab him in an emergency. I think the dogs think "game on!" and may take off running, grinning while they look over their shoulder at you. My son liked to play that with Tucker when he was just a pup, but it quickly got so that if you reached for Tucker he'd get real excited and take off like a bullet. I made my son stop that game.

I like the idea of your hide and seek game better!

Sheri, Tucker's Mom
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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 02-24-2009, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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When Dexter has something he knows he is not suppose to and I see and say something to him.... whenever I get close to him....Dexter will take off.

Whenever I need to do a trade with Dexter, I do not have anything to trade with, like a treat. Tonight he had 1/2 of an old wooden clothes pin that he was chewing on.. that he found in the laundry room tonight and I managed to take it away from him.

I guess maybe I shouldn't play the chase game after was fun while it lasted though.

I love the Hide/Seek. I have even hidden in the bathtub behind the curtain standing up!

My husband and I will be at opposite ends of the house and we will call Dexter to us. It is really fun watching Dexter try to find us.

Dexter & Jack
"One Hav is NOT enough to enjoy the RLH skills!"
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