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I have two pitbull mixes (adopted from the pound about a month ago), and they are FULL of energy. I go running with them in a field by our house, but they have to stay on their leashes. This hardly puts a dent in their energy level (even though we run around everywhere for about 30 min.). The only way I can really tire them out is by taking them to the dog park (LOADS of fun) because of the very wide open spaces. There are only about 5 to 7 dogs there when we go. I have a pretty big back yard, but it's not very 'safe' for their reckless playing and it only settles them down for about 5 min. of rest! (they are crazy dogs but i love them to death!) Recently, though, I heard that dog parks are a BAD place to bring them, especially because of the little bit of pit in them. What should I do?? How else can I tire them out? Why are dog parks so bad?
 

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Because sometimes dumb people bring dogs that are uncontrollable and antisocial to the park, and then ignore them and let them run amok. In other words, you need to be aware and careful about which parks you go to. Some breeds are more of a liability (pits and racing greyhounds are two I hear stories about). Not because a pit would necessarily START a fight, but if a fight ever happened, the pit would get the blame. And racing greys can have such a highly trained prey drive that they sometimes get triggered by small running dogs to chase and grab them.

Scope out the park before you bring your dogs -- see the size, upkeep, and kinds of people that go there before you bring your dogs. For example, there is only ONE offleash park I go to in my area, because it is very large and well maintained. The others I've been to have been either too crowded, or else many folks there do not ensure their dogs behave and don't harass others.
 

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Dog parks get a bad rap because some of the dogs can have poor socialization skills, or bullying behavior and may not be up to date on shots. Also, some owners have little to no control over their dogs, pay little attention and don't pick-up after their dogs.
On the other hand there might be times or groups of owners that are very responsible.
If you have good recall and control of your dogs and they have good play and socialization skills then it should be fine.
 

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I think it definitely depends on the area you live in and the kind of owners there are. I went to our local dog park without Bridgette several times and asked around to get people's response the the park.

I've now been taking her there for several years and she loves it! I've never had a single problem and never seen a single fight. I think there are enough people who are truly responsible pet owners that we don't take any crap :p

A few times there have been dogs with questionable socialization and I am usually right there with the other owners to ensure no problems arise. This park is also kept immensely clean and has some really fun agility equipment, running water and a small fenced area for smaller dogs.

I'd just scope the park(s) out first. Ours is also open until 10pm and I've found if I do go later it's almost always empty so I can work on training in a nice open area which is awesome!
 

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I think you should practice your dogs in a very comfortable place everytime so that they will get used to it and won't go anywhere else.
 

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how much is a "little bit of pit"???...:D

I don't go to the DP by my house because it is packed with people and dogs....and its way to crazy:eek:....


Many pit people don't go to the DP and have found other ways of exercising their "full pits"..LOL

I am fortunate enough to have a fenced backyard so we do......fetch, tug, flirt pole (one of the best ways to tire out my dogs), spring pole, weight pull.....we also go on very long walks every day....and will be going hiking once the weather gets a little better........you can also bike,Rollerblade, swim.....I have a 100ft leash that I use when we go to a park that has a river...I let my APBT swim and run up and down the water line :D

You can also find tennis courts and baseball fields that are enclosed and use those as space to run and fetch :D
 

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it depends on the dog park. i have had GREAT experiences at a dp and have had very bad experiences.

i find dps very frustrating because some owners just let theri dog off leash and ignore it, when you need to keep a watch on your dog at all times.

actually the last time i was at the dp i heard this phrase uttered "yeah, she's not very well socialized, but oh well!" meanwhile her dog is growling and snapping at other dogs. :rolleyes:

as for the little bit of pit in them, i think it really depends on the individual dog and situation. Personally we have never had a problem with any of the pit mixes in the dp.
 

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if they even just LOOK pit...they don't even have to actually BE pit, and something happens, like a fight involving your dogs...even if they didn't start it...the way pit bulls are percieved by many to be "dangerous vicious" dogs could very easily get you into A LOT of trouble...meaning lawsuits, the threat of having your dogs seized and put down as "dangerous". Not to mention the VERY REAL possibility that such an incident could very well set off a chain of events that leads to Breed Specific Legislation...something that will adversely affect EVERY SINGLE pit, pit mix and pit looking dog owner in your area and possibly beyond..

Like Pugmom says...there are other ways to exercise and socialize your dogs that DON'T involve that risk.

and on the off chance you don't know what Breed Specific Legislation is...take a look..

www.stopbsl.com
www.denverkillsdogs.com
 

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You can also find tennis courts and baseball fields that are enclosed and use those as space to run and fetch :D
Be careful. Some tennis court surfaces are extremely abrasive to a dog's pads. Also, local officials may not take kindly to using the facilities in that way.

Opinions on dog parks are all over the place on this forum. Some think they are the greatest thing since sliced bread and some think they are the source of all that's evil.

I had a dog that was ideally suited to dog parks and we had ten years of daily fun there. My current dog is a bit too assertive for the dog park so we don't go. Since there are, at any given time, between 2-5 dogs in our large fenced yard, it's not a hardship.
 

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I have two pitbull mixes (adopted from the pound about a month ago), and they are FULL of energy. I go running with them in a field by our house, but they have to stay on their leashes. This hardly puts a dent in their energy level (even though we run around everywhere for about 30 min.). The only way I can really tire them out is by taking them to the dog park (LOADS of fun) because of the very wide open spaces. There are only about 5 to 7 dogs there when we go. I have a pretty big back yard, but it's not very 'safe' for their reckless playing and it only settles them down for about 5 min. of rest! (they are crazy dogs but i love them to death!) Recently, though, I heard that dog parks are a BAD place to bring them, especially because of the little bit of pit in them. What should I do?? How else can I tire them out? Why are dog parks so bad?
Like your dogs, my Donatello is full of energy, and the only fool-proof way of releasing all that said energy is to let him off his leash and let him run.

I was taking him to my father's house to run around with their dogs, but I have since stopped going over there and needed to find another to let him run around off his leash. I live in an apartment complex and that's just not possible.

So I looked up online dog parks in my area...

I personally don't find dog parks a bad place to go; You have to find the right time to go... and that time is usually when they first open. I live in a huge city and I still found a profitable time to go. I haven't been able to go as faithfully because of all the rain the last few weeks...

I would take your dogs to a dog park when there aren't any others around, let them run around for awhile, but keep your eye out for other visitors, if you see others showing up I would probably leave if it's not possible to go into a closed off section.
 

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Be careful. Some tennis court surfaces are extremely abrasive to a dog's pads. Also, local officials may not take kindly to using the facilities in that way.
I guess I assumed the OP would use common sense and good judgment ....of course that can be a major feat for some people.:D (not directed at you OP)

to me it goes with out saying....if dogs are not allowed find somewhere else ;)
 

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On the same night that I got to meet the wonderful Berners at the dog park, a tough looking guy came in and brought two pitbulls with him. The white one was really sweet and submissive with other dogs.

The black one attacked another dog very, very badly. The guy was told to leave and that if he came back, that his black dog was no longer welcome.

I guess some dog parks do it dog by dog.

If you do really want to take your pits, be prepared for some "breedism" as it is termed on this forum. Some people will take one look at you and just leave the park.

And, if your dogs DO get into a fight, people are going to say, "Yep, just like a pitbull. That other dog is probably lucky he wasn't killed!" You don't want to be the reason that people dislike pitbulls more then they already do.

I would say that if I had a bully breed, I would only allow it around other dogs if I knew for a fact it was an incredible ambassador for its breed. I mean, you don't want more stereotyping then there is already.

A dog park is not a good place to experiment and see if your dog will tolerate being around other dogs. Not that you would do that, but just saying.
 

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I go running with them in a field by our house, but they have to stay on their leashes. This hardly puts a dent in their energy level (even though we run around everywhere for about 30 min.).
How old are your dogs? Provided they are not still puppies, 30 minutes is not very long of a walk/run. I would take them for a long walk/run (run until you get tired, then walk awhile, etc.
 

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Here's a link for you Packing . It's specifically about backpacking with Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs but the info can apply to any breed.

Get a backpack and start taking them on walks with that on and then weight added to it. That will get them tired out quicker and it's a cool thing to learn. You could also look into training for weight pull, gotta get a dog into shape for it but just doing that will have them tired out and happy.

Oh! Also see about doing some obedience and then maybe agility or even something like flyball. I'm a big believer that if dogs have extra energy it shouldn't just be run out of them, something positive (besides a tired dog) should come from it.
 

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There are definitely many other ways to tire out dogs that don't involve dog parks.

- bikejoring
- flirt pole (and you can make one yourself for cheap)
- buying 50' leads and going out into open fields, letting 'em rip!
- backpacking, as mentioned
- treadmill

I used to love my dog park. Love it. And there are still many people there that I do like. But I'm finding it less "worth it" to make the 20 minute drive there. There are always extremely rambunctious dogs that annoy all the others. There are people who monopolize the small dog area with aggressive dogs by themselves, forcing small dogs and big dogs to be in the same 100 x 100 run (yep, it's tiny). A Mini Poodle almost got eaten by a Greyhound that way.

Oh, not to mention the ridiculously irresponsible bully owner who led her dog into the park a few weeks ago, pinched the dog so hard with its prong collar that it cried out, and then let the dog loose despite the dogs obvious state of EXTREME fixation and excitement. And guess who she ran right for. My dog.

Thankfully it was all bluff. But after that, I can't really justify going back. I feel like I put my dog in danger and I couldn't forgive myself for a while after that.

So, no more dog parks for us. The ONLY way I'd go is if I knew everyone in there, and there were VERY FEW dogs.

There are exceptional dog parks out there, yes. But as mentioned, with a bully breed, your dog already has points stacked against him. It's just not a chance I'd take.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you all for your help. We go to the dogpark every sunday, when there are only about three to for other dogs there. Brady LOVES other dogs and has a great time chasing them around the park. Gracie just enjoys the chance to run around in circles untill she's tuckered out (the dogpark we go to has 2 acres for the big dogs and 1 acre for the smaller dogs). Both of them don't show any signs of DA, but the minute they do, we'll just stick with weekly visits from their cousins (my brother has two funny looking mutts and a miniature yorkie that Brady and Grace have a ball with in our back yard). I have a pool, and there is a creek behind our house, but Gracie is not a very big fan of water over 2 inches deep. Whenever I go swimming, she'll make this hoarse whiney bark and run around the pool like a mad dog!
What is a flirt pole? Where can I get one? I like the idea of getting 50' leads. They both would LOVE that. I do have a large back yard, like I have said, only half of it is suitable for the crazy running and chasing they do. I think the agility training would be great for Brady beacuse he is increadibly light on his feet (very much like a border collie). What is flyball? They both love frisbee, but gracie is more of a tug-of-war gal. Packing sounds like a lot of fun too :)D) Can't wait to try it all out!
Thanks again
btw, CrzyBritt, does your dog really have bad gas? Gracie has terrible gas, it's not even funny!!! It's crazy... :eek:
THANK YOU ALL!!!!!
 
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