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Old 01-24-2013, 06:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Is a dog park safe for a 4 1/2 month old?

Hi everyone - our little guy, "Klaus", is now 4 1/2 months old and it doesn't seem like his walks are giving him enough exercise. I have been told dog parks aren't safe for him at this young age. Any thoughts?
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Dog parks are a big series of debate in general.

I personally don't think they are safe, too many dogs of unknown attitudes and with bad owners isn't a risk I will or can take.

That being said, we have an off leash dog walk area near my house, it's basically dog hiking trails, I prefer these because while some dogs are off leash, most are in control or you at least have the option of keeping your dog in control and seeing things coming
Also they give you a chance to work on recall, puppy age is the best! age for recall training because they depend on you so much, just be sure and have a long line on and stay away from an area with hang up risks

Of the two I'd recommend finding a dog allowing walking area/field/park to let your girl have some fun but with far less of a danger aspect.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Unless you can be 100% sure any and all dog interactions wil be positive, it is not safe. I only let my puppies play with dogs I know now. Even trying to be careful at an agility event when Havoc was 10-12 weeks, a lady said her Malamute was friendly. He "attacked" (maybe not right word, he didn't connect, didn't even leave spit, but "put him in his mouth") Havoc who screamed for 10-15 minutes. Granted Vizslas are way softer, but it took MONTHS and 3 rounds of puppy classes to get him good with dogs again.

Where are you? Are any members in your area? I'm in Sacramento, but CA is pretty big so we might not be close I have a 5 month old Vizsla puppy.
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Old 01-24-2013, 06:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Young puppies generally don't have great play manners and can get themselves in trouble if they upset the wrong dog. If they're too submissive the other dogs will usually gang up on the pup and that could trigger an attack. I personally wouldn't do it, I wouldn't want random dogs whose personalities and thresholds I don't know correcting or attacking my puppy. My advice is to find a puppy socialization class at a training facility or utilize known, stable adult dogs from friend's dogs to teach the pup what is acceptable in play. If you're also trying to train your puppy, taking them to the dog park right now is counter-productive to keeping their attention and focus on you.


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Old 01-24-2013, 06:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I was an avid dog park goer until recently. There have been way to many dogs getting hurt while at the dog park in my area. The only time I go now is when there is annual Dobie get together once a year. Funny how the best time to bring your dog to the park is when there are 20 other Dobermans running around : )

I would say 4 1/2 months is too young, a negative experience would influence them to much. I have also noticed that a lot of dogs "target" puppies.
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You are all so right - thanks. I am in the bay area so Sacramento would be too far but if you are ever in the bay area, let me know. I will keep him out of the park and simply try to stimulate him mentally
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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make sure your done all your puppy shots
and take a look around before you bring your pup to the dog park and see why kind of dogs frequent there and see if they have their shots up to date dosent hurt to ask i think

or go when its not too busy where you can have more control over who/which dogs your pup interacts with
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
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make sure your done all your puppy shots
and take a look around before you bring your pup to the dog park and see why kind of dogs frequent there and see if they have their shots up to date dosent hurt to ask i think

or go when its not too busy where you can have more control over who/which dogs your pup interacts with
i agree, if its not busy and you can make a judgment on other dogs in there, you dont want a traumatised puppy it will make walking it really hard work
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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We didn't know any better when we got Duke, and eventually learned that dog parks weren't a good idea for us. Speaking from our own experience, we learned that even though our boy was young at age, he was large in size. It was difficult for him to find a suitable play mate, and dogs that were his size, were much older, and they would scare him.

We didn't want to risk our boy getting tramatized for any reason at such an impressionable age, so we stopped going. When he was older, between 6-11 months old, we would only go when we had play dates arranged, and would only go during "off times" at parks that weren't as crowded.

But since Duke turned 1, we haven't been back to a dog park yet. We started to notice that around 11 months of age, Duke was getting bully-ish with the other dogs. Intact males just aren't good candidates for dog parks. Not worth the risk of your fur-child getting hurt, or getting blamed for something he may or may not have done.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I use to take Phoenix to our neighborhood dog park all the time and it was nice because for the most part the dogs knew eachother. I assume he is not neutered yet and that could be a problem at dog parks. We went to a new park one day before he got fixed and was attacked by another male that was not fixed. The owner said he doesn't like other males--- then why would you bring him to park? But that's what you get is stupid people. When Phoenix was young we went to the park almost ever night but once he got older I don't risk him getting in fighs with other stupid dog owners. I would try to form a small play date with other dogs you know play well. I allow my dog to play with new females that we may meet but he is only allowed to at with males that he has known since. Puppy and that has worked well.

Everyone on DT would say how they don't like parks and when he was a puppy I didn't know what they were talking about. Until he wasn't so little anymore and could possibly get into a serious fight.
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