Going to dog park for first time and asking a really stupid question.
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Thread: Going to dog park for first time and asking a really stupid question.

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    judiz's Avatar
    judiz is offline Senior Member
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    DefaultGoing to dog park for first time and asking a really stupid question.

    We are planning on taking Hamilton to the dog park on Memorial day for the first time. Hamilton is not around other dogs so what should we expect?
    Hamilton, Rescued October 4, 2011 at the age of four, background unknown. Hamilton is extremely lovable!!!!

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    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    Is there a special event or reason you are suddenly going to the DP? How has he been around other dogs since you've had him? Have you socialized him?

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    It pretty much depends on Hamilton and the other dogs that are there. It could be smooth sailing or it could be a nightmare! If he's never around other dogs you can probably expect some pretty keyed up behaviour from him. It's not something I would plan to do on a major holiday when there are probably going to be a LOT more people and dogs there than usual. Why not introduce him to the park at a time when it's likely to be less busy? You know, an odd time of day during the week (unless you are at work, of course). Let him get to know the smells of the park first and the intro to more dogs later?

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    tammyhuffman is offline Senior Member
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    If he is not well socialized and has never been there before it could be a disaster. I agree with Nance, a less busy time would be a better idea for his first time. I am not a fan of dog parks, at least not of those near me. Maxx is very well socialized and a very easy going, mellow boy but the assortment of ill behaved, aggressive dogs and idiot owners made our few tries a disaster. He does very well when we have play dates with known and well behaved dogs, during free play in his training classes and meeting other dogs on his daily walks.
    Tammy
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    Tanya is offline Senior Member
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    It REALLY depends on the dog.

    If you are not sure how he does with other dogs I wouldn't recommend going. If he hasn't been around other dogs much, I don't recommend going. Start with play dates. Or at a minimum scout out the park and see how busy it is and only bring him if it is very quiet (a few dogs)

    Dog parks can be VERY overwhelming for dogs, especially if they have never been in that kind of environment. It can get crazy. If YOU have never been to a dog park I would even go so far as to recommend you go without a dog to get the feel for hte park.

    Remember dog parks are NOT a natural environment for dogs. Yes some dogs absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE them, but it takes time to get there and some dogs just don't care for it. Some fear it.

    ETA: do not keep him on leashed "to see how he does". dogs in an off-leash dog park must be off leash as soon as you can safely to do (door closed or away from parking lot). a dog on leash is at a disadvantage and it affects their body language.
    Last edited by Tanya; 05-26-2013 at 05:54 PM.
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    Labradory is offline Senior Member
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    You can bring him to the fence outside the park and see how everbody is geting along, before entering.
    Read the above thread on dog park etiquette.


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    Thank you for your responses. I think we are going to check out the dog park on a non holiday, I have a vacation coming up so we may go then. Hamilton is with other dogs when he goes to the groomer to have his nails clipped, the groomer has a play area where the dogs can socialize before and after grooming and he does well there. Just thought it would be fun try it, my friend took her dog and couldn't stop talking about how much her dog enjoyed it.
    Hamilton, Rescued October 4, 2011 at the age of four, background unknown. Hamilton is extremely lovable!!!!

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    Diesel_Dawg is offline Senior Member
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    Can you (or do you already) have play dates with your friend's dog? All the advice above is spot on. Particularly since Hamilton was rescued at an age where he was already an adult, and assuming you don't know his full background - I would tread lightly with this and make sure you take extra special care to ensure he has a good experience. The few minutes at the groomer's isn't really much to go on, and certainly not the same environment as a dog park.

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    Unearthed is offline Senior Member
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    Make friends with people with dogs and make play dates. Dog parks are great until they aren't. You can have a great time 100 times, and the 101st someone new brings a dog who shouldn't be there. Wounds from dog fights are nasty and expensive. You also don't know who has what or who is vaccinated. I don't think the risk is anywhere near worth the reward...

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    When I got Erns Gems and Tess I took them when there was no one there so they could get a feel for the place. Also so I could see how they reacted. Ernie ran away.
    I then went when there were 2-3 people with dogs. Ernie ran away. I could see Tess was a little nervous, but she did ok. For us this was the best thing for her to see other dogs and humans were good. Now she goes any time and loves all the dogs.

    I trained a danger signal to stop them running onto the road. They have to drop and stay, until I give the come comman. Iin all the years going to the dog park I used it once for Kassa when a dog I didn't like the look of came into the park.

    Kassa 25/11/01 - 09/02/05 O.S Jaw cancer forever in my heart.
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