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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I took Lucy to the dog park for the first time yesterday (just found out about it). I figured she would like to be able to play with some other dogs, but she just seemed to walk along the fence and seemed iffy about visiting with the other dogs that were there.

I walked along behind her to make sure everything went alright, and I was trying to get her interested in at least playing with a tennis ball or frisbe, but she wasn't at all.

Is there a way I could help her get more social? She is the only dog I have, so she's not really used to many other dogs being around her (which is partly why she is so shy, I believe).

I'll probably take her earlier in the morning one of these days when there wouldn't be as many other dogs there and maybe that'll ease her fears a little.
 

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If your dog shows any signs of being uncomfortable at the dog park: DON'T GO.

I can't stress this enough. The pack of dogs at a dog park is not usually a "balanced" pack of dogs.. you have no idea what behavioral or social problems they have that might scare your dog and make her dog-aggressive out of fear. When I used to go there was a GSD who picked up on my dog's insecurity and used to herd and bully her around. NOT an enjoyable experience for my dog.

Some dogs might LOVE other dogs, but do poorly in a dog park. Dog parks are usually extremely stressful, not to mention dirty, so don't subject your dog to one if they're uncomfortable in it. Small play groups or training classes are EXCELLENT ways to socialize your dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Alright, thanks for the advise. I guess dog parks are always the best way for socialization.

I kind of feel bad that she doesn't get much time to play around with other dogs, but hopefully I can figure out a day to make a "play-date" with a few of the other people.
 

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Don't get me wrong - there ARE good dog parks. Once people find a dog park with a group of "regulars" that they come to know and like, they can get hooked.

But a lot of them - at least in my experience - are usually too-small lots, neglected in terms of cleanup and things like that, and just totally overfilled with dogs. Maybe yours isn't like that, only you can know that!

Dog parks are so convenient and many dogs do like them - but some dogs just don't and its not worth risking it.
 

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We have 3 dogs.....one I don't take to the DP(because of her breed)....one who loves it ....and one who hates it (so we don't take her)...LOL


if I see that any of my dogs are not having a positive experience or is not enjoying the time.......I'm not going to force it.
 

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You can socialize your dog at the dog park but the way to do it would be to walk the outside perimeter of the dog park. This way the dogs on the inside come to the fence where the dog is. This is the way I socialized Lola the first few times of taking her to the dog park.

Here is also a good article on dog parks and what to expect.

http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/sample/a_bark_in_the_park.html
 

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I think dog parks are a bit over rated. JMHO. Some dogs thrive there, and with some dogs, it brings out every issue they have.

I think the play date idea is good. We've started doing that with my BF's dog. She seems to like being around other dogs when she's not overwhelmed by sheer numbers. Plus, it helps knowing that our friends have stable dogs (or more so then our dog) and that we can trust them.
 
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