My wife and I got Calvin two months ago, and he was very timid. I posted a few times on here asking about his timidness and for the most part everything has worked out. He has a trainer now that is working with him a bit and all his vet visits checked out good.
We have worked on most of his timidness issues, and he doesn't get scared nearly as much which I am grateful for. But what we want to work on next is his timid/excitment of other dogs. Some dogs he just whines and runs, and others he just wants to jump on. Our trainer told us that taking him to a dog park on off hours would be a good idea to get him socialized to dogs.
We have a list of rules for the dog park we plan to take him to and besides having him licensed (which he is, just not in our name) he is good to go. But how should we do it? Would be ok to let him go in there or should i keep him on the leash the first time. I have read that keeping a dog on a leash with other dogs running around can really panic him/her. What happens if Calvin was to get in a fight with another dog (not a play fight, and yes I would understand the difference between serious and play).
Do you have friends with dogs and a fenced yard? That would be much preferable to going to a DP with unknown dogs.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Agree with Sharon, particularly with a dog that has history of being timid, DP is not the best place to work on issues. Love the name Calvin, btw!
One bad interaction with an aggressive dog and your dog's problems will be much worse. I'd keep this dog out of dog parks until he a far better socialized and confident around known dogs.
Sharon, Blaise and Diesel.
Agree with the above.
You need to increase YOUR confidence first. I believe dog parks are for social dogs. I test my fosters there but I know the park, I know the dogs there and have been thru it often enough to have tools to help the dog. I pick my time and day. I also test the dog with other dogs in other settings first. But generally - dog parks are for social dogs. not to test a dog out.
I recommend finding friends or family with dogs to set up play dates. Make sure they are social dogs, friendly dogs. If you don't know anyone, go online search places like Meet-Up or facebook groups to see if there is a community of dog owners doing meetings informally. Smaller groups.
If you have NO contacts, I would talk to the trainer about getting together with their dogs or if they know other trainers/friends willing to have a play date.
Some training schools have social days as well.
Charlie (foster) and Rocky
Absolutely do not have him leashed when all the other dogs are off leash. Leashes impede body language and the giver and the reader of that language can badly misunderstand each other. For down the road when maybe you do go to a dog park. If you get to that point it would be good to go with a doggy friend in off hours.
Yup, agree with the above posters. Things can go SO wrong at a dog park! Find someone that has a VERY reliable dog and set up a play date. You may not know someone now, but ask around. Your vet know anyone? Is there a doggie daycare near you? Ask them, BUT be VERY explicit that your dog is timid and needs to be put ONE AT A TIME with a reliable dog.
Eta, being able to let your dog play with others is a good thing, but you need to approach it carefully. I am watching my dogs like a hawk whenever they are near an unfamiliar dog. One instance of ANY inappropriate behavior (on any ones part), and I am all over it and intervening.
Last edited by Belles mom; 07-30-2013 at 08:51 PM.
Karen and the gang
BBI Kodi's Journey To Anotch (Journey)
BBI Kodi's Blackpowder Striker (Flint)
Tessa was very timid and I wanted to socialise her a little more with humans and other dogs.The only place to do this was the dog park. I took her about 3pm when I knew it wasn't busy. At first most people wouldn't go near her she looked so awful except for a man Jerry who took an instant liking to her. He asked if he could give her a treat when he gave one to his chocolate Lab for sitting nicely. Tess hadn't been trained and had no idea what he wanted. He was so patient and from that day on as soon as we go near the dog park she starts yelping with excitement and races in to see Jerry and Charlie his Lab.
As she became used to dogs and other people I took her when more dogs were there. Never on a lead. If I thought she was uncomfortable we would leave, but usually she was happy. Going there made a huge difference to her and other dog owners showed her people and their dogs were nice. They all love her.
ETA. I picked the times when dogs were not over the top and excitable. If there is ever a time my dogs look afraid, or another dog looks threatening I leave.
Last edited by kassabella; 07-31-2013 at 07:09 AM.