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Discussion Starter #1
Last evening at the dog park our Chi mix was attacked by a beagle mix. Fortunately, she wasn't physically hurt but it's too early to tell if there's any psychological damage. She seemed OK and was friendly with other dogs afterward as well as doing some of her jumping tricks we've been working on.

The dog also tried to start fights with other dogs and finally, after a few more attacks, the owner leashed and removed his dog from the park. Park rules state that any aggressive dog needs to be short leashed immediately and removed from the park.

This was in the small dog area of the park that is only supposed to allow dogs under 20 lbs. I'm not sure how much this dog weighed but it looked more in the 30 lb range. I guess the owner didn't want to take his untrained, aggressive, dog into the large dog area where some pits and GSDs would have explained the facts of doggie life to an aggressive smaller dog.

It was also annoying that some other people had larger dogs in the small dog park. While these dogs behaved themselves, having them there encourages people with less trained large and mid sized dogs to bring their dogs into this area.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm going to have to rethink taking her to the park. In previous trips there though we've only encountered well behaved small dogs and conscientious owners. This was the first time there were larger dogs or aggressive dogs in the small dog area.

I'd hate for her not to have the opportunity to run around outside without a leash or to socialize with other dogs just because of a few bad apples.
 

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Maybe in a more controlled environment - like doggy daycare or puppy training classes. There ALWAYS seems to be one or more bad apples at the dogpark - unless you are the only one there. It only takes that one apple one second to cause a horrible situation.

I know where you are coming from, I was bummed the day I decided I was sick of breaking up dog fights at the park because some moron had no control over their dog. If you have a good eye for the "trouble makers", it might be okay.

Just too stressful for me, personally.
 

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I'm going to have to rethink taking her to the park. In previous trips there though we've only encountered well behaved small dogs and conscientious owners. This was the first time there were larger dogs or aggressive dogs in the small dog area.

I'd hate for her not to have the opportunity to run around outside without a leash or to socialize with other dogs just because of a few bad apples.
One place I've considered is Wolfbrook--it may be close to you, too. It's a private park, and there is a charge to be a member.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, we went back to the same dog park yesterday, for the first time since July, and got treated to a repeat performance by other owners/dogs. :(

At first, things went well. There were a couple of other dogs when we got there and greetings went fine. I started working with Chloe's off-leash recall in a distracting environment and she was doing great. Some other dogs, including a cute little Yorkie and some poodle mixes, arrived. They were fine. Then somebody brought in a dog that had dog aggression issues.

The dog seemed OK at first but he couldn't handle the stress of standard doggie greeting protocols. He attacked our dog and one of the poodles before the owner got him leashed. They explained that they knew he was dog aggressive and that he had been kicked out of two obedience classes for it. Their current trainer had suggested that they take him to the dog park to socialize him. :doh:

But, that wasn't all. Chloe was glued to me and my wife after the attack so she didn't get attacked again. But, the main victim this time was the Yorkie. A couple brought in two dogs that apparently also had issues. It was also questionable if the dogs were under the 20 pound weight requirement. They let them off leash and the dogs immediately began to charge and attack the other dogs and ended up surrounding the poor Yorkie. He was a scrappy little dude but obviously couldn't hold his own against two 25-30 pound dogs. His owner waded into the fight and removed his dog and the owners of the aggressive dogs managed to get their dogs leashed and removed them from the park pretty quickly.

Well, I don't know if we'll go back again or not. I just don't understand why people don't control their dogs better if they're going to bring them there.
 

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I am not saying this to be snarky or rude - if people know their dogs have issues, absolutely they need to keep them away - but the bottom line is:

It's a bunch of dogs, running loose. There is no one present with the authority to enforce the rules, or requirements to use the space. The people who are present are 'just' other dog owners - members of the general public. Those things add up to potential for disaster - big time disaster, sometimes even with dogs that are fine with other dogs. You get a well meaning owner bringing their dog in on leash. Some dog gets spooked by a flapping plastic bag. Someone brings in a ball. Some perfectly dog-friendly dog comes along who just happens to be 'rude' -not aggressive, just socially inept. A dog running lands funny and twists and ankle and yelps.

ALL OF THOSE THINGS can set off dog fights, in an environment where two dogs squabbling can turn into 5, or 10, or 20 - where someone is seriously hurt, or dies; they don't call it a dog pile, for nothing and MOST dogs won't recall in that kind of hyped up, over charged situation.

For what? The opportunity to run off leash for a little while? Find a soccer field, take a hike, go to doggy day care where people are trained and actually, closely, supervising, set up playdates with one or two other friends, or just - take the dog on a leashed walk.
 

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This is the reason I do not take Bambi to the dog parks. Because although she will not start anything, if given the opportunity she WILL finish it... And whether we'd like to admit it or not, it is usually the biggest dog on the block who gets the blame...
 

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This is the reason I do not take Bambi to the dog parks. Because although she will not start anything, if given the opportunity she WILL finish it... And whether we'd like to admit it or not, it is usually the biggest dog on the block who gets the blame...
Yep. Always. Add in people who don't recognize all the possible triggers for a dog fight, and the end result is a situation I am not going near. I will stick to hiking off leash areas and little traveled paths with my dogs. Even with other dogs around, there just aren't the same issues as throwing a bunch of dogs in a fenced in area together and letting them 'free play'.
 

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They explained that they knew he was dog aggressive and that he had been kicked out of two obedience classes for it. Their current trainer had suggested that they take him to the dog park to socialize him.
Yes that's like taking a gun-shy dog to an artillery range demo. 2 idiots trainer/owner but at least the owner doesn't know better.

Well, I don't know if we'll go back again or not. I just don't understand why people don't control their dogs better if they're going to bring them there.
I just don't understand why you want to go for a three-fer.

What's that old saying, "Get me once you're stupid, get me twice I'm stupid"

Even the saying does not include a 3rd time. Now something tells me you are probably gonna try again I just want to say good luck to Chloe (think she needs it)
 

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This is the reason I do not take Bambi to the dog parks. Because although she will not start anything, if given the opportunity she WILL finish it... And whether we'd like to admit it or not, it is usually the biggest dog on the block who gets the blame...
I don't like going to DPs because it stresses me out, which in turn stresses her out. Colby is leash-reactive (we're working on it!) and she completely ignores dogs when she is off-leash. However, if one bum-rushed her or tried to attacked her, she would absolutely finish it. Personally, I prefer to avoid any negative interactions with other dogs (since we are working on the leash-reactivity) so I tend to stear clear of dog parks.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Regarding that there can be problems with off leash dogs, I understand what you mean. However, my problem is with owners bringing their known aggressive dogs into the park or bringing in dogs that are too large for the small dog area of the park. It's my observation that when rules are followed there are fewer problems. For some reason, people in the large dog area seem to follow rules better.

If we do take her back, our plan is to see how many people/dogs are there and what seems to be going on. If things don't look good or the situation changes we can leave the dog park and go on the walking path with her on a leash.
 

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If we do take her back, our plan is to see how many people/dogs are there and what seems to be going on. If things don't look good or the situation changes we can leave the dog park and go on the walking path with her on a leash.
2 dog park trips and Chloe attacked each time. I am mind boggled and speechless and gone.
 

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I'm not trying to be rude and honestly understand where you're coming from, but please hear me out....

However, my problem is with owners bringing their known aggressive dogs into the park
What defines agression? Has chloe ever growled at another dog? another person? what about barking or nipping? Most owners have a hard time defining true DA in their own dog (ie. even if chloe is fine, that doesn't guarantee that another dog wont be a problem).

I
t's my observation that when rules are followed there are fewer problems.
Except for as you've experienced (twice!), people seldom follow the rules, and it only takes one person to mess it up for 20 people.

If we do take her back, our plan is to see how many people/dogs are there and what seems to be going on.
things can change in an instant. dogfights take seconds to break out, and usually all the owners are on the other end of the dog park.

This summer I took bubba to our local one. First dog park experience, and last. NOTHING went wrong and he loved it and was absolutely exhausted, but I just don't like the idea. I was on edge the entire time, and he's an almost 80 lb lab. I really dont mean to be rude, because you're obviously putting effort into making sure your dog gets exercise, but please don't do it at the dog park :( Take her running at an elementary/middle school in the evening on the weekend in a fenced in baseball field. Much safer and she'll get off leash time.
 

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If you KNOW your dog is dog-aggressive, yeah, don't go to the dog park. Any dog that's been charged and convicted of chasing/attacking another dog without provocation is actually not legally allowed off leash anywhere but on private property, but I have a feeling that a lot of dogs aren't ever charged with anything.

On the other hand, I've been on the "giving" end of the over-excited dog who's rude greeting was poorly received. And THAT's not fun either because most people don't believe you that your dog isn't aggressive, even when he just sits there looking calmly at the other dogs that snapped at him first (not that the snap wasn't warranted...) Just because two dogs don't get along doesn't mean either one's aggressive.... sometimes living beings (be it dogs, cats, or people) don't get along.
 

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I'm moving to Toronto next month. When I was scouting neighborhoods to decide where I wanted to live, I went to High Park and sat in the dog park there for about 20 minutes and just chatted with people. In that time, I witnessed one fight (over a ball) involving six or seven dogs -- no one was seriously hurt, but one dog (looked like a pointer) was limping afterwards. And the people there at this time of day (midday on a weekday) were mostly professional dog walkers, yet none of them knew better than to get rid of that ball when a couple of the dogs kept acting possessive over it.

I think that the "Thunderdome" style parks (which High Park is, sort of -- it has a smallish sandy main area where groups of dogs play together, then a bunch of trails through the woods) are always a bad idea, especially for small dogs. I will not be taking mine in there, and I won't miss it -- not when I have the rest of the park to explore (with the dogs leashed).
 
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