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Discussion Starter #1
I know quite a few of the people on here don't like dog parks, but I was wondering how long you'd wait before taking a dog there. Nala is almost 5 months now and is very sociable with other dogs, and a family friend wants us to tag along on their next trip to the dog park. Is Nala too young? I plan on walking around the outside before letting her in, to observe the other dogs and her reaction to seeing that many dogs together. Any advice is much appreciated. :D
 

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Does she have her vaccines? Is she fixed? If not, definitely wait. Problems can arise. If she's got all that, just be vigilant. One personal suggestion, if it were my dog-if there is another dog there that is being a booger, don't make her stay. It could cause her some socialization stress.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I guess I did forget that little bit of important information. She has her vaccines and is spayed. She's happy, healthy and very energetic :)
 

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I started to take mine at 4 months (Labrador)...she did just fine. Then again she has an older sister so she knows how to "fight" back when being harrassed. lol. I think it depends on the size of the dog and the temperment of the dog.
 

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I would definitely wait until she is fully vaccinated and spayed before taking her.

I just got back from the dog park and we saw people bring in a puppy I would have guessed to be around 8-10 WEEKS! Now that is TOO young.
 

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Does the park have a "big side" and a "small side"? I don't remember how big Nala is. I'm glad mine are small because the big side is over 20# and some of the dogs over there are BIG and rough.

I think she's old enough but watch her (and others) closely. I always know where Butch is...well ALMOST always. :eek: Roxxy rarely leaves my side.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I started to take mine at 4 months (Labrador)...she did just fine. Then again she has an older sister so she knows how to "fight" back when being harrassed. lol. I think it depends on the size of the dog and the temperment of the dog.
She does play with Elvis alot, so I think she'll be used to other dogs playing rough. He loves to play rough and he's very vocal sometimes too.

Does the park have a "big side" and a "small side"? I don't remember how big Nala is. I'm glad mine are small because the big side is over 20# and some of the dogs over there are BIG and rough.
This park doesn't have a separate side for small dogs, but she's about 35# right now, and she definitely can handle a larger dog (Elvis is 70#). I would almost be afraid to let her near small dogs because she might trample them :p She's still quite clumsy when she's going full speed lol
 

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I don't see any reasons to wait BUT I'd stick to times when it's not TOO full. I think if you're planning to use the dog park for exercise, it's important to start going when your dog is still pretty socially immature so they can really learn the rules from the ground up. Dog parks are SUCH an unnatural social situation for dogs that I think it's important to introduce it early if you're planning to use one.
 

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Thanks for all the replies, I think I will probably go with them tomorrow. They usually go around ten or eleven in the morning, there's usually only 4 or 5 other dogs there at a time. I don't plan on using them regularly, as I have plenty of time to take her out to get her exercise, but I was invited by my friend so I figured I would get a consensus of if she was too young or not :) I'll still check back periodically to see if anyone else has suggestions.
 

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I took Stardust out to Dog Park after she had her second set of vaccines at 5 months.

I made sure that the park had small dog/large dog seperate pens. I don't have any friends that had dogs or knew anyone that had dogs, so I wasn't really sure how Stardust would react to other dogs. I talked to a few people what to watch for in bullying behavior and how they thought my dog was doing. Stardust really loves the dog park, but there has been some occasions where she would get picked on. She never intitiates the taunting and usually gets a little submissive (laying down, rolling on back, etc...not peeing or anything like really submissive dogs would do). Good thing is that Stardust just picks herself up and just ignore it. She doesn't seem to get affected by it at all.

It took me a while to really recognize some "bad" behaviorial dogs and really good dogs. There has only been one occasion when I had to take her out right away because she was really being picked on two 40 pound basset hound/lab mixes.

Having said all that, do expect there will be some "drama" at the dog parks, try to go on less busy hours. I go around later afternoon up until 5pm during the week, and almost rarely go on weekends because the parks get so many dogs (perhaps 20 to 30 dogs), and it's hard to have EVERY single dog get along.

Someone once said on this forum, that not every dog that your dog approaches will be sweet and friendly, vice versa. Just like trying to stick 20 people in a room together, not everyone will like each other.

However, if you're going to do some obedience training, I suggest you to refrain from going to dog parks and instead have Play Dates with dogs you know.

When your dog is fully trained, he probably doesn't really care for hanging out with other dogs and rather play with you (anyone please correct me on this, but I'm getting that assumption).
Sorry for so long of a post. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for that article Lolas_Dad, it had alot of good information. I did end up going the other day, and it went really well, there were only 3 other dogs there when we got there. Nala didn't rush any of them, and she wasn't playing too rough with them. :) She was really casual about it. She had fun playing chase with an Aussie and a Golden Retriever, and was well worn out afterwards. I don't know how often I'll return, but she did do very well for her first time going.
 

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Glad to hear it went well. Dog park's can be good places to socialize dogs and humans as long as you have sociable people and dogs when you go.
 
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