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There's a great dog park near our house, complete with pond just for the doggies (only open in the warmer months). The boys have always loved going there but I always had trouble with them listening to me. When they went to their trainer's for their last board and train session, we asked her to work on dog park behavior with them. Now they're a pleasure to take there and listen to me when it's time to go or when they (namely Fitzgerald) get a little too rough with a puppy or smaller dog. I recognize people and dogs each time we go but haven't ever really talked to anyone. Not sure if anyone recognizes us. Today someone asked what Fitzgerald's name was--it made me feel like we're being accepted into the park community. A little thing, I know, but it made me proud that we're getting accepted in the "pack!"
 

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Congrats! It's the little things that can really make our day. Isn't it funny, she will probably never even know how good that made you feel. :)

I am really interested in the board and train thing. I was thinking about this the other day...

I posted in the obedience section about a little train wreck of an agility session we had last weekend. I am the primary trainer at our house. Kevin decided that he would like to try to do agility with Simon. Simon has already had a lot of classes, so I thought OK, why not. Simon's a pretty obedient boy overall, so I thought I would let Kevin work with Simon and I would work with Angus, who is more of a beginner.

Well...

We came to the conclusion, after Simon ran out of the ring a few times, and the final time jumped the wooden wall separating the ring from the lobby and darted up the stairs, that maybe his skills were not transferable to another handler. :p

So it got me thinking about board and trains. I wonder how someone else can train your dog so that the dog reliably behaves the same way for you as the person who trained them. I wonder what they do to make this work.
 

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Yep, the little park next to me (where Abbey got attacked..) has a pretty tight-knit community and are pretty well self-policing. After Abbey was attacked, the guy was asked not to bring that dog back to the park. I've ventured there a couple times when there weren't any others there or only a couple dogs I know are safe and we've had a good time. :)
 

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I go to four or five different dog parks. One is my primary weekday park, one my primary weekend dog park. The others are for those days when I just want a change. I am not the most out going, make friends easy, type. But I have found that almost everyone at the dog parks are nice people. And they really will welcome anyone. Often the dogs provide the introduction of the humans, but sometimes not. So, I just start walking with others, keeping K in range. Something will be said by someone and a comment comes out. That is usually the ice breaker. I think I have learned, and this is not universal, that many of us dog people are more comfortable with our dogs than with people, even other peoples' dogs. But we are mostly good and nice people and will welcome anyone into the activity and conversation. Just have to try to give them the opportunity.
 
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