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Dog Parks, safe or inviting trouble?

  1. #1

    Angry Dog Parks, safe or inviting trouble?


    I live in an area where dogs must be kept on leashes at all times, no matter where you are, unless you are on your own property. This sucks, because my dog is so small, and she doesn't handle leashes very well.

    This led me to look around for a dog park, and I finally found one that was a reasonable distance from my house. So I loaded my dog up and we went for a ride down to the park. Remember, my dog is tiny... think of a chihuahua, but stretched out like a dauchsund, and you have my dog. so we get out of the car and as I enter the park, almost all the other dogs in the park started homing in on my dog and sniffing her rear end and all that stuff. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but since my dog is so tiny, if one of those other dogs wanted to, just on a spur of the moment, could decide to bite my dog, and it wouldn't take very much at all to kill her. I was completely defenseless against the other dogs, and I just had to hope that the bigger dogs in the park wouldn't murder her for a snack.

    It just doesn't seem right to me that you can mix all breeds of dogs together at a dog park with zero segregation between dog sizes. I just couldn't relax and enjoy myself at this park because I was constantly watching the other, bigger dogs and making sure they weren't messing with my dog. I mean, forget going to the park to read a book.

    It wouldn't be so bad if dog parks were divided into small dog and big dog areas, because you know your dog at least has a some-what fair chance at surviving an attack from a dog that is similarly sized, but if a rottweiler bites a chihuahua, even just playfully, it could seriously injure or even kill the chihuahua easily.

    Anyone else feel the same way? Any other small dog owners avoid public dog parks because of the prevalence of the bigger and more vicious dog breeds that seem to be fashionable these days? Wheres the love for the toy/small dog breeds?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I've been taking our dogs to a big wooded dog park for over twenty years now. In that time, my dogs have been bitten twice. First was my Standard Schnauzer puppy girl, she was less than a year old, chased by two medium sized brown dogs, attacked and bitten. Luckily it wasn't a severe bite, we didn't even really see it until we got her home and examined her. Another was recent, my boy was bitten in the back by an Akita. My husband was walking him at the time, and said there was a rumble, but didn't think he was bitten. When he got home I shaved the area and treated it myself, again a minor wound.

    But, having said that, all in all, the majority of dogs I see at the park are friendly and not aggressive. Some dogs just mind their own business, mine doesn't really romp around with the others, he sticks near us. I can see worrying abut a small breed, it would be nice to have a separate area for the little ones. One woman started coming to the park with her Airdale, using a muzzle. She said that the dog had a strong prey instinct and seriously bit a small dog there, so your concern is warranted.

  3. #3
    Alpha1, is the dog park packed with dogs? I would love to see a picture.

  4. #4
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    No it's not packed with dogs, even on the weekend it's not too bad, but I generally go on weekdays, more relaxing. I'll look around for some old dog park pics, and if I can't find them I be sure to take some new ones and post them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matrix View Post
    Alpha1, is the dog park packed with dogs? I would love to see a picture.
    I just finished adding some dogpark pics in my Hans album...http://www.petforums.com/album.php?albumid=2

  6. #6
    Thanks for the pictures, the dogs are sure very happy there!

  7. #7
    Dog fights can and do occur. The most successful dog parks are the ones with an active user group. An active users group can reduce the risk of dog fights significantly. They step in and encourage or demand leashes or removal of aggressive dogs.

  8. #8
    I wouldn't take my dog off leash yet because she is waaaaaaaaaaay to excited and a big dog. There are a lot of off leash areas around where i live and the dogs i see there when i am walking are perfectly fine. I've never had a bad encounter. As you go more, you may possible get to know regular dogs and dog owners and feel more comfortable around them.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    Another thing to consider is contagions. My husband's boxer gets to visit the dog park whenever he doesn't have to work and can take him out, and recently poor Cooper caught a pretty bad cold and had to take a visit to the vet. We're pretty sure it was caught at the dog park. Next thing we know, all the dogs in their household are sneezing and coughing like a bunch of kids with a cold. >_< Definitely fun for Cooper, but the consequence this last time was not so good.

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