Doberman Forum : Doberman Breed Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
im starting to wonder about dog parks. this culminated quickly over the last couple of weeks. guinness is a ridiculously well behaved dog socially speaking. i cannot express how proud i am with how he behaves around people and other dogs. by this i mean, he doesnt have an aggressive bone in his body. hes very excited to meet, but is not pushy. he adjusts his play level for the strength and size of the playmate. he even adjusts his speed when running if hes playing with a slower dog. its almost comical to watch. i have been taking him to a local dog park sporadically over last few months. its an upscale joint, fairly expensive. i was initially attracted to it because they vet record check and temprament test all who want to come. i thought that it would be a pretty safe bet that it would be a safe place for him. of the six or so times weve gone, i have never had a stress free good time. we will pair up with a buddy and have fun, but at some point a trouble maker will enter the scene and act "aggressively". i dont claim to be a dog behaviorist, but i do know when im not comfortable with whats going on and i also know when the dynamic has changed from fun and laid back.

ive recently been watching alot of the leerburg training videos. i agree with a good deal of the concepts they give. but then i notice that they are not in favor of dog parks and that an attack can scar your dog for life. this is what im most afraid of and what i have been most afraid of even before seeing this video.

so i dont know what im ultimately going to decide, but im leaning towards saying good bye to the dog parks and just letting him play with small handful of trustworthy friendly dogs of family and friends. i just wanted to bounce this off you guys and get your opinions on it.

thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I toyed with dog parks as well and in the end decided it wasn't a good idea.

Stopping wasn't easy as I hadn't had a bad experience, by boy loved playing, played well, and came home good and tired making my household much more peaceful.

My decision came after two things happened. First, I noticed the recall work I had put in to my dog was diminishing. At first he came every time I called him from other dogs (and I have to admit that felt really good) but little by little the other dogs were becoming more fun then returning to me. I felt all my good work with him was quickly slipping out my hands.

The second reason which made my final decision was when a woman told me that the day before she had witnessed a horrible dog attack. Apparently there was a golden retriever (who'd a thunk right?) that was fine with other dogs AS LONG AS no dog came within a ten foot circle of it's owner. Well, a nice little Weimaraner pup apparently didn't know that rule and ran up to this Goldens owner to say hello. The Golden went right for the pups throat and would not let go. The Weimaraner suffered major damage with punctures and tears to his throat. I don't know what the outcome was for the poor little pup but it didn't sound good.

Now this dog park I'm referring to is beautiful. It has plenty of space for everyone, is not over crowded, and has a history of being very much enjoyed. Had this women not told me what had happened I'd have never known as I wasn't there to see it and no one else mentioned a word to me about it. People don't want bad press on their beloved dog park, they don't want to lose it, so a story such as this can just disappear. It's my understanding that this Golden continues to attend the dog park.

That's all I needed to hear. My past dog park experiences had been good, my boy got a lot of positive socialization with people and with dogs. I'm going to take my good fortune and quit while I'm ahead.

In addition.. my girlfriends rescue shepherd (the same dog that gives her kisses and sweetness at home) just pulled his leash out of her grasp and attacked a small dog who he viewed as prey. My friend is in the middle of being sued. No good deed goes unpunished!

The more I experience, the more I think Leerburg knows exactly what he's talking about. Has tempting as it can be, no more dog park for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Those attack stories are enough to keep my puppy away from them at this point. I socialize my pup with dogs from friends and family only. He loves my sisters dogs and they also have taught him some valuable lessons about being a dog.

But, strange dogs on the other hand are something I don't wish to risk at this point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
125 Posts
I have taken Harbinger to the dog park here in Greensboro, NC. It seems like a nice place. He gets along with everyone. My only worry is the community water bowl. It is damn near impossible to keep him from drinking from the community bowl. Everytime, we have gone to the park, he comes home with a belly ache. So, I tend to not take him. You never know if someone has their dog vaccinated, even though they are supposed to be. Also, sometimes the owners just sit out there and read a book, while their dog goes around crapping, and sometimes starting stuff. The small dogs are usually the culprits for starting stuff. I really like him interacting with other dogs, though. He loves it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,026 Posts
The idea of a Dog Park is sterling, the practicality of it from what I have read on this forum is they are not well managed and can become a nightmare. To be honest half of me wishes we had them here and then the other half, the half that is actually switched on realises they would be the worst thing to ever happen.
Your dog might be absolutely wonderful, a friend to all he meets, but it takes only one dog with a nasty streak to ruin it all.

My advice would be to find a few friends whose dogs you know and trust, go find a field somewhere, go out for a drive into the countryside and let them play in safety, away from the ignorant buffers who don't watch or control their dogs and keep away from Dog Parks. (IMHO)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
939 Posts
I have to agree with the folks who avoid dog parks. I love the idea, I really do. It sounds like such an awesome idea! The execution is awful though. I went once with our Shiba, and some young guy had an Am Staff there, an unaltered male! are you kidding me? I couldn't turn around and leave fast enough. I think that because they are unfortunately unmanned, ignorant dog owners just run rampant. Maybe if it was more controlled to keep the 'stupid' out, I'd consider going again.

My vets office has a doggie social hour every week at a people park :) much safer, much more structured, and I know all those dogs are healthy! Perhaps you could look into something like that?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,834 Posts
I have to agree with the folks who avoid dog parks. I love the idea, I really do. It sounds like such an awesome idea! The execution is awful though. I went once with our Shiba, and some young guy had an Am Staff there, an unaltered male! are you kidding me? I couldn't turn around and leave fast enough. I think that because they are unfortunately unmanned, ignorant dog owners just run rampant. Maybe if it was more controlled to keep the 'stupid' out, I'd consider going again.

My vets office has a doggie social hour every week at a people park :) much safer, much more structured, and I know all those dogs are healthy! Perhaps you could look into something like that?
This is exactly why I have never gone to a dog park, most people arent in control of their pets or think their dog is "just playing" or that "yours started it" and it's asking for trouble, even with my last dog, a lab, who was bomb proof basically, she was accepting of everyone and always good about telling the puppies to calm down and go away but never ever touching them and instead coming to me to say mom help!, and I would never have risked it. And of course currently taking mabel would be asking for a disaster with that many dogs swarming her the second you open the gate (what I always see at the few around here)

Thats why I prefer our Dog Run, an unfenced off or on leash 5 miles of criss crossing, looping, trails through half praire half woods, with a pond, creek, and large open prarie grass area. I am able to keep my pet leashed and in control and watch for others much easier, and have the chance to protect or hold onto mabel while I tell the owner to get their dog (90% compliance on that at ours too! yay for people who listen).

It isn't 100% safe but its ten times better than a dog park imo.
 
  • Like
Reactions: merlin00724

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
Not worth the trouble. You have alot of stupid owners and you can't fix stupid. And
as everybody knows, if there is any kind of problem, regardless of the facts, the
Doberman is going to get blamed.
 

·
u mad?
Joined
·
6,476 Posts
You will get a fair mix of responses on this. What it comes down to is that when something goes bad, chances are it will go VERY bad. More times than not a dog park will be full of ignorant owners with terribly socialized dogs (or just plain aggressive ones) who shouldn't be there. Also, because the doberman is an "aggressive" breed, chances are your dog is going to be blamed for whatever happens, if anything happens, simply based on his breed. You also need to take into consideration the potential for male/male aggression that is rather prominent in the breed.

That being said... When I was living where there was a dog park I was taking my boy there 5-7 times a week. He LOVED it. I was lucky for two reasons though. First, he has been very well socialized around people and dogs. I worked at a dog boarding/day care facility so he learned how to play with dogs of all sizes from a young age. Second, and this is the big one, the "regulars" at the park that I went to were pretty competent and, since I went so often, I was also a regular. The advantage to that is that if anything were to happen they know my dog and would stand up for him (unless he truly did start it). It was never an issue with my boy but it happened with a dog belonging to another regular.

I personally love dog parks and think they're especially good if you don't have a large yard and/or can't afford a daycare (or if you don't have one near you). I don't trust my boy off leash anywhere so taking him to an open field isn't really an option (I'm sure he'd be fine but I couldn't live with myself if he took off after something and didn't come back). I've taken him places on a long line but dobies are large enough that a 30-50 ft lead doesn't really allow for much space. If you're going to take your dogs to a dog park my biggest suggestion is read up on dog body language and stress signals. Along with that, make sure you watch your dogs like a hawk and be fair. For the first few visits I'd suggest going during a "down time." Avoid the weekends, avoid 5-6 o'clock when most people get out of work and bring their dogs. I'd suggest going in the afternoon or in the morning where there are little or no people there so that the dogs can get used to the place. Also remember that the "new guy" is ALWAYS the most interesting and the moment other dogs notice your dogs they will run up to them and surround them to sniff and get acquainted. This is REALLY stressful for some dogs (its even worse for a leashed dog) and this is one of the reasons I suggest the first few visits being made during a less popular time.
 

·
joie de vivre
Joined
·
11,272 Posts
No dog parks for my girls. My girls may not start something but neither one will back down if confronted - even sweet little Tali will flip a switch and hold her ground. And to be honest, Fiona is a dog who has a pretty damn good chance of starting something with another dog. She's not DA but she doesn't love other dogs and she is a pushy, domineering bitch who occasionally likes to pull sh*t with other dogs and some dogs won't put up with it.

There are too many lazy, ignorant owners who love to take their ill-mannered dogs and they don't even attempt to pay attention to them. My dogs are fine playing with me and each other. They don't need other dogs in their life to be happy and fulfilled.
 
  • Like
Reactions: merlin00724

·
Registered
Joined
·
345 Posts
I used to take Aries to the dog park and he did great. He loved being able to run around with other big dogs like great danes and other hounds that could match or beat his speed. I soon learned that the dogs were not the problem at parks but the owners. Owners were taking their dogs pent up energy and just releasing them into the park. I noticed that owners thought of the dog park as a place to release their responsibilities of their dog. They let their dog go into the park and instead of watching how their dog is reacting to the other dogs in the park, they are socializing with other humans. Owners would become uneasy about seeing a doberman in the park which transfers the energy and feels to the dogs. Aries gets to meet plenty of dogs along his walk and still gets to interact with dogs that way. After a long walk we go into a baseball diamond and I release him there to finish burning off whatever energy is left in him (which soon recovers by the time we get home).

In short if you want to have your dog spend time with other dogs find someone on your block that you can take walks with. They may not be off leash but they are still able to be social with one another
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,993 Posts
To be honest, I do take my dogs to dog parks sometimes. Usually about once per month or every couple of months, though we did go almost a year without ever entering a dog park (for no real reason) and kept Ripley away from them for even longer. I didn't want him at a park intact, and dogs were too high value to him for a while anyway and his recall was non-existant around them. So I waited for him to grow up a bit, get neutered, and worked on his recall more.

I agree that some really bad things have been known to happen at dog parks, but around here, if I want to give my dogs a good, long run there is nowhere else legal to go. Everywhere you look that has a nice grassy field either has a "No Dogs Allowed" sign/policy, or it's private farmers' property. I used to run Tango (a previous dog) on school fields and baseball diamonds and we never got caught, until one day we did and I got a stern talking to by an officer. Fortunately for me, he was in a good mood that day and let me go with a warning since I was young. After that, I've been really nervous about doing anything like that again. I don't want a fine for exercising my (well behaved) dog. There is a park here that you can pay a fee for and use privately, but it's on the total opposite end of the city from me, and the year we did use it, somebody else would show up and then we were only allowed to stay a 20 minute maximum. 20 minutes is nothing to my dogs, and that's a lot of time and gas gone to only stay for that long. Usually when we head to a park, we're there for at least an hour, usually longer.

I do try not to go to super busy parks, though. The one place we go isn't even really a dog park. I'm not sure what exactly it is, but was told about it by a dog walker. So we do run into off leash dogs there, but not too many. And the one other park is a dog park but it's not usually very busy, and the other park we try to go to when it's quieter.

My dogs are all dog friendly, and I don't worry about any of them starting anything. For the most part the Dobermans just run aimlessly together and Dance sticks within a 10 foot radius around me. They aren't inclined to run off and play with other dogs usually, they don't wrestle with strange dogs, and they stay away from certain dogs that I tell them to. I'm not saying something won't ever happen... it's always a risk. But for me and my dogs, going to the dog park every once in a while is a good thing. We keep to ourselves, watch our dogs, and remove them from situations or dogs that I get an iffy feeling about. Which really has not happened often. I do think about that "what ifs" a lot, but based on my own dog park experiences, I will likely continue to go every once in a while.
 
  • Like
Reactions: merlin00724

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for all the responses. i dont feel so alone now in the opinion of them being a bit sketchy. back to the woods for us it is.

i guess it will be nice to not hear "oh, thats just how he plays. he just growls and bites. its how they work things out. once he tastes the sweet nectar of your dog's blood it'll be fine" anymore. :roflmao:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
551 Posts
so i dont know what im ultimately going to decide, but im leaning towards saying good bye to the dog parks and just letting him play with small handful of trustworthy friendly dogs of family and friends. i just wanted to bounce this off you guys and get your opinions on it.

thanks
This sounds like a fantastic idea. No dog parks for my future Dobe(s).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,264 Posts
I've been around dogs all my life and have had three dog jobs and owned 8 dogs growing up. I know dog behavior really well, so when I go into the dog park I watch Odin like a hawk. I also watch how other dogs are behaving. If one isn't behaving I don't allow Odin to play with that particular dog and redirect him to a different one. I don't allow him to rush the gate, he comes when called even if he is in the middle of play. I know when a dog fight is going to happen before it happens and will prevent it. I am a regular and I usual go when the others regulars go, they know Odin and know he is harmless.

Whenever there is to many dogs that I don't know and its a god day with over 20,dogs in the park I don't go in because its filled with nothing but owners that only take their dogs out on nice days and keep their dogs cooped up on rainy days when they take them to the park they al have this pent up energy, that's a dog fight waiting to happen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Beaumont67

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,618 Posts
Nope, no dog parks for us. Gunner loves other dogs and would probably like it, but we have too many stupid people who I don't trust. I can't even go to the regular park without seeing a dumb dog owner....so I can only imagine what the dog parks are like. Gunner has not had any really bad experiences and I want to keep it that way. He's only allowed to play with dogs who I know and trust. If we are on a walk, I will judge the dog from a distance before deciding if he can meet it or not. Plus, if he was at a dog park and got bit by an ankle bitter and then defended himself, obviously the smaller dog would probably have more damage and I don't need any legal problems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
625 Posts
No parks for us either - sometimes I'll take Koa there if it's completely empty, just so he can stretch his legs and really let loose... but I always leave if someone else comes. Other times we will head there and work on distraction and training work on a longer lead outside of the park - so the distraction is there while we work, but none of the "what ifs" of actually being inside the gate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,632 Posts
I took Mo to the park all the time before her hips were sore, BUT the park we went to was HUGE lots of room to get away from other dogs, and she LOVED it. Most of the dog owners were wonderful as well and there was a regular crowd so I knew the dogs and owners. I miss going. I think there are so many variables I personally wouldn't write it off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,587 Posts
I used to go to the dog park all the time when Kyrah was younger. She is older now and doesnt require the same amount or type of exercise. The older she has gotten the more I dont care to go. Males seem to love her for whatever reason, ...hello? she has been spayed since she was 6 months old! The older she has gotten the more she doesnt appreciate the attention. I still go about once a month but I decide which one by the time of day, how busy they will be, weather is a factor in how busy they will be, then when I get there what kind of dogs are in there and how engaged are the owners? Two of the 3 parks I have other options when I get there. I can walk them or ride my bike with her. The one closest to me I can only go in the park with her.

I will tell you that the most issues I have seen at the parks are 9 out of 10 times male/male issues. I would be more worried about bringing a male into a park than a female. This is a thought that I think of often since my next pup will be a male.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,009 Posts
I have never taken Amy to a dog park (in 11 years), while I have no problem if we are at a friends place and they have a dog for her to play with.
- our City dog park, only opened up a few years ago / she hasn't missed any socialization skills, by not going
- while I am sure, most people pick up the poo, after their dog / I just feel it could be a spot where my girl might pick up worms, flees, etc.
Her Vet stool sample checkups are always clear - just want to keep it that way, diseased free.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top