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Discussion Starter #1
We are making our first trip to a dog park this weekend. Is it ok to take your dogs there? Our vet told us after we first got Macy not to take her to dog parks because of the soil, I am guessing because dogs are always going to the bathroom in the same area?

I just want Macy to get to play with other dogs and I want Guido to become more socialized. Has anyone else gone to a dog park? Is there anything I should prepare for before I get there?  :?
 

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That kind of makes sense (you know, what your vet said) but I would think that anyone that loves their pet enough to take them to a dog park would be making sure they are disease free. Hubby took Odin to the dog park last Sunday there were only three other dogs there 2 big and one little... Odin wouldn't really leave the little one alone but hubby said the real problem was Odin was acting like he was dying. I guess from training class and being out at the dog park for a few he was just exhausted.

I heard some where that dog parks aren't as safe as they could be because owners should actually take there dogs for a walk (to wear them out a little) before taking them to the dog park. They also stated that normally a lot of the owners aren't paying attention to their dogs which can cause problems. Dogs like the same bench or the same tree... and sometimes that becomes a problem. I think it would be okay... the only thing that would drive me crazy... if it was even a problem... is that owner that goes there to read or talk on the phone while the dog is running around terrorizing the other dogs.

You should have fun though... just be cautious.
 

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I dunno about your dog parks but the one we have here sucks..Just be cautious of other people's dogs..I took Chloe to our dog park last summer and it was a disaster..A lady had her huge doberman there because she claimed it had "issues" with other dogs and she was tryin to fix it..Those issues ended up with her dog attacking Chloe and pinning her down biting at her neck. After about 5 mins and 3 other people coming to try and get Chloe free..The lady looks at me and says..I told you she had issues and laughed! That's all I had to hear and I went right after her..Thank god for the other people there who held me back because the cops were called and even tho her dog attacked mine I would of been the one arrested. Just be careful is all I can say because some people just don't care and will bring their dog into a off leash park knowing the dog will attack at any given moment. They don;t have a clue that the dog should really be with a trainer and not running around off leash with other dogs.
 

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If you don't keep a close eye on your dog, there is potential for disaster.  Stagnant water and other dogs you know nothing about can carry parasites, worms and any other number of problems.
 

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Dog Parks are a haven for disease (I had a full grown dog that was about to go for her Parvo booster [appt was in two days] and took her to the dog park...she was "confronted" [I stopped it before it became an attack] by another larger dog and became ill shortly thereafter; she came down with Parvo and the vet believes that this ONE AND ONLY trip to the dog park was the reason for it!!!)

As an owner:

I hate dog parks because, although, like Mastray said, one would think that the dogs that visit the dog park are healthy and up to date on shots and the like, the truth is that some are not and NO ONE but the owners know for sure.  I won't take that chance with my dog...NOT AGAIN!!!

As a trainer:

I Hate dog parks!!!!!  You know your dogs behavior and temperament, but not the other dogs that are there!!!!  You don't know if the other dogs have an easy trigger or if they are over exuburant when playing or if their owner can handle them if something goes awry.  Too many owners don't watch their dogs appropriately (in this environement they should watch their dogs like a parent watches a small child) and dont know their dogs limits or triggers and just flat out CANNOT handle their dogs!!!

You have two Boxers, so there is really no need for your dogs to play with other dogs.  You can socialize/teach them to behave appropriately around other dogs through training without the use of a dog park.

If you choose to take your Boxers to a dog park:

Watch your Boxers and their interactions with the other dogs closely (I recommend reading/studying the dog body language stickey in the behavior section)!  React quickly if anything goes awry and don't be afraid to talk to another dogs owner if their dog is behaving inappropriately.

Good luck and have fun!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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We have a membership dog park here, it is run by the city.  The dogs have to licensed (which requires the dog to have rabies shots and I brought my vet records).  Then you apply for your membership tag.  The park has park patrol, but they are not there every minute of the day (but a good amount of the time someone is there).  I have taken Kiah there for a month now and it has been great.  There are a great bunch of people who bring their dogs and I have never seen a problem but was told a bad one will show up everyonce in a while but they are weeded out real quick.  There are communal water bowls but I have a travel bowl that I bring for Kiah to drink out of.  It is 16 acres and really no trees except on the other side of the fence.  Mowed areas for people to walk and prairie areas for the dogs to run. A few benches to sit on.

I had also heard horror stories about dog parks so I was really leary but my sister had taken her rescue there for over 6 months and had nothing but good to say about it.  I went without Kiah the first time to check it out and the first time I took her my sister brought her dog so Kiah would follow him.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's what I was afraid of. I definitely don't want my babies getting sick. They have a lake there that I know Macy would like to swim in, but I am also worried about what might be in it.

I was going to put their electric collars on them so that if they weren't listening, or if Guido decided to get in a fight, it would be easier to control them.

I definitely wouldn't take them and not watch them. I want them to go just so that they can run around without a leash on, they can't do that at our apartment complex and they are used to having free reign from living at our old house.

So do you think they'll be fine if I keep them away from the other dogs or would it be best not to take them at all?
 

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Every dog park is different..Like the one Kiahsmom has near her..Now that sounds like the ideal dog park!! You won't really know until you try it and you never know it could be a great experience for you and the dogs. I was just telling you my example on what happened. And if I didn't have a huge yard for Chloe to run around in I would be looking for another park to take her to so she could run.  I would say try it just be cautious is all.
 

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You might be able to keep them away from other dogs, but you cannot keep other dogs away from them!!!  There isn't going to be the level of control you are hoping for at a Bark Park.  I also don't agree with using the electric collars on your dog at a Bark Park (I don't agree with their use at all, but I won't go there with you as you seem to be a nice guy and I really don't want to tick anymore people off today).  The use of those collars may work on your dogs, but they have no affect on other dogs.  Your dogs eed to be able to defend themselves should the need arise.

Also, another point, should something bad happen and one or both of your dogs are attacked, you could end up with other dog aggression.  This has long term affects and is not something that can be cured, only managed and prevented.  Basically, if another dog attacks one or both of your dogs, it could ruin them!!  Be very careful (I know you will)!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, I am rethinking taking them there. I don't want them to get sick or get hurt. We are going with a friend that has taken her dog there before. I guess you have to get a permit to take your dog there which requires shot records and current dog registration and a couple other things. So I guess that's good.

[quote="lillyzmomma\";p=\"16785":chqhbzra]
 

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It sounds like the Bark Park your considering is run by C&C (City and County), so It is largerly going to be sick dog free, however, there are still the behavior issues concerning the other dogs and owners.  

Whatever you do...Have a blast!

Liz and Lilly
 

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lillyzmomma\";p=\"16772 said:
If you choose to take your Boxers to a dog park:

Watch your Boxers and their interactions with the other dogs closely (I recommend reading/studying the dog body language stickey in the behavior section)!  React quickly if anything goes awry and don't be afraid to talk to another dogs owner if their dog is behaving inappropriately.
I took Odin to a Pensacola dog park... as Mastray stated, there were only three other dogs in the park when I went there... but even then, I had no clue who owned what dog.  All three owners were sitting on benches reading magazines or talking on cell phones... not one seemed to be watching their dog or paying any attention to what the dogs were doing.

I was watching over Odin's every move, not 100% sure how he would react to untethered strange dogs while he himself was off-leash (I kept him on leash for awhile in the dog park to see how he adapted on-leash, then finally released him).

Odin interacted with all three dogs in the park... he seemed to be quite-good with the two bigger lab-mixes that were there, but was a little too-playful (in my opinion) with a dachsund, so I would call him back if he was getting rough (ruff).  At no time did any of the other owners in the park seem to care about what Odin was doing with the other dogs either... they just all kept reading or talking on their cell-phones.

I had no idea which person owned which dog (I could have been sexist and assume the dachsund was owned by the only girl in the park and the two guys owned the bigger dogs).

The park itself was well-shaded, large and had water for the dogs.  I was comfortable, but Odin seemed to be getting worn-down/overheated quick, so I decided to call the trip/experiment over faster then expected and take Odin home.  I think I was only in the park for 15-20 minutes.  I still don't think the other owners blinked the whole time I was there with Odin.

From our experiences socializing Odin, he seems to do best with dogs his own size or bigger (except maybe one certain Great Dane puppy Odin knows well).  Odin does seem to get a little "bossy" with smaller dogs.  Almost as-if Odin respects dogs based strictly on size.

Still, I try exposing Odin to other dogs as much as possible (under close supervision), if for nothing more then to get Odin used to differant dogs of all shapes and sizes.  The more he considers seeing other dogs as "normal" rather then "an event" the better I think Odin will be.
 

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OdinsDad---YAY for being such a good Boxer Daddy!!!!!  It is good for him to see other dogs (all shapes and sizes) as normal rather tha an event!!!  You don't have to go to a dog park for this though,  A trip to the local pet store for a bit can do ita nd reinforce your training at the same time!!!  I rarely have issues with other dogs in general (unless aggression is involved).  Its the owners that irritate the crap outta me!!!  It's like, "HELLO MARY!!!  Pay attention to your furkid!!!!"

Anyways!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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We take Odin to the pet store weekly and he sees lots of dogs there.  The most annoying thing when we have Odin out in public is not the other dogs, but rather getting asked if we have a pitbull on a weekly basis!  :roll:
 

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Lilly has been magically transformed into a Ppitbull, American Bulldog, and even a Pug (that guy was a total idiot and I told him so!!!).  Also, people automaticaly think that she is a Guide Dog.  How many guide dog owners are out there telling their dog that they are a clutz in the grocery store for walking into a display or give a command to avoid a tree/post garbage can etc...etc... (they couldn't see to do this, could they?)...  I love stupid people!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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Odin transforms into a pitbull EVERY week I'm pretty sure... however, this last weekend took the cake.

We've been going to training class every week (and yes, Lillyzmom, I don't think the training class is any better then reading a book on the subject, but I enjoy Odin's chance for socialization in the class more then anything else)... we've only been going to the same class for a month now, when one ditzy dog-owner in the class who's been sitting next to us for a month asks if Odin is a Bulldog!?!?!  I say "No, he's a Boxer"... she then responds "He's a mutt?"... I say again "No, he's a BOXER!".  :roll:

Not sure how she got "Mutt" out of "Boxer"... but Odin is now (weekly) confused for a Pitbull, and now has been called both a Bulldog and a Mutt in the same conversation.  Funnier still, there is both another Boxer and an English Bulldog in our training class.  Oh... and the other Boxer owner asked what kind of dog our Boxer was the first day in training class!  :roll:
 

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When I took Roxy to the dog park people have asked me if she was a Mastiff! LOL!  I overheard another woman telling her daughter "Look honey, another Rottweiler puppy."  I looked around just to make sure I wasn't going crazy.  Some people... :crazy:
 

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That shouldn't be funny, but it is!!!  Some people kill me.

As for the class training comment...Ther are some trainers out there that offer basic obedience and socialization skills classes (I do).  It's basically a educational puppy playdate.

My clients love it, but I've had a lot of idiots lately thinking that I'll take there 8 wk old puppy that hasn't had any shots into a class at a park.  Not happening!!

It is good that you've got him in training and that you use it to tach socialization skills (hahaha...bet you weren't expecting that remark, huh?!!!)!!!

Good luck and protect your Pitbull, Bulldog, and Mutt!!!  ROFLMAO!!!

Liz and Lilly
 

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I used to think that dog parks were a great way to get my kiddos some good socialization, now I know better...My monthly meetups are all that I will do from now on. Also Like Liz stated, if you have 2 boxers, I don't think it's as important..They exercise each other. With me, Samson does not do well in that enviroment anyways, the "pack" thing freaks him out, so he gets his exercise now chasing Angel around...You might want to check to see if there any Boxer Meetups in your area and just let Macy & Guido play with their own kind, so to speak.. :)
 

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I've been going to a dog park for years with 5 different dogs and haven't had any problems, and have had nothing but positive experiences.  I'll probably go about 20 times this year.  I'm also doing a boxer meetup from meetup.com once per month at the same dog park.  I've seen 2 boxers get into it at a boxer meetup but I personally broke up the fight within a few seconds.  I have never seen any dog fights during 'regular' visits to the dog park.  This one happened because 2 boxers wanted the same toy (a ball).
 
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