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Now that summer is almost here I have noticed that there are more and more people bringing their little tiny kids and babies in strollers into the dog park. I'm just curious what everyones opinions are on this.

I live in the Vancouver area of Canada and there are dog parks everywhere here. For me I would never bring a child under the age of 9 (that's my nephews age and I even feel weird about bringing him there) But it seems very common here even though there are signs posted at some parks stating a minimum age for children.

It just makes me uncomfortable and often times I end up staying near the child like a creepy stalker incase anything might happen! Anyways I think I might take a break from dog parks. My pup is just six months old and I don't want to put her in a position where she could unintentionally hurt a child.
 

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I think it's awful, there are some people who bring babies and hold them with these giant mastiffs and what have you jumping around and I don't understand why they would ever put their babies in that position.
 

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I think it's awful, there are some people who bring babies and hold them with these giant mastiffs and what have you jumping around and I don't understand why they would ever put their babies in that position.
This is basically what I was going to say. The dog park here hasn't officially been open but maybe a bit more than a month, and quickly has become known. So now it seems there's usually a crowd whenever we go, and of course there are toddlers rumbling around, families with babies in strollers, and yes, sometimes I'll come across someone holding their infant baby. I dread the day when something happens. Something as simple as 2 or 3 dogs running about and rumbling into an unsuspecting child or knocking over someone holding a baby. I've seen a few toddlers bumped over already, but nothing major and the parents haven't reacted in any negative way. But wait till something a little rougher happens...
 

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Most of the parks here are huge, so it's not as big a deal to have a stroller or little one along for the walk/hike. There's more than enough room for the dogs to play and avoid crashes usually.

I did say something though when some parents brought their kids to the dog park to play and chase strange dogs, they were hanging around the water bowls and running up and hugging strange dogs. I just told them my one dog had a bad back and was likely to bite them (well not really but come on people, THINK) and that since it was a dog park and not a petting zoo it would be their own fault. Then walked off. I think they got the message because they quickly packed up the kids and started to leave.

I do take my kids to the dog park but they walk with us and don't pester or interact with strange dogs - but again these are huge areas, not a small fenced in type set up. Oh and we don't take kid food in or anything silly like that.
 

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The local dog park has a rule no children under 10. But people ignore it like they do the rules against bringing baby puppies into the park. Children run and scream and grab dogs. But some parents don't mind endangering their children, I guess. Though I bet they'd be the first to scream lawsuit if the inevitable happens.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your input on the situation. You all have reiterated my thoughts exactly. With the exception of today I would say the last 5 times we've been to the park there has been a little kid tottering around. I just warn the parent that my dog is 6 months old and she may jump and that I'm afraid she could knock their kid over. Then I usually begin my creepy stalk and guard the kid routine (kind of awkward). I don't know the whole thing really stresses me out...

That is a good point about large open areas being safer, maybe I will try to find a park with more area to it.

Also you need to be able to watch your dog at the park and I don't see how with a kid running around or a baby in your arms--how are you able to react if something happens with your dog?
 

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Thanks everyone for your input on the situation. You all have reiterated my thoughts exactly. With the exception of today I would say the last 5 times we've been to the park there has been a little kid tottering around. I just warn the parent that my dog is 6 months old and she may jump and that I'm afraid she could knock their kid over. Then I usually begin my creepy stalk and guard the kid routine (kind of awkward). I don't know the whole thing really stresses me out...

That is a good point about large open areas being safer, maybe I will try to find a park with more area to it.

Also you need to be able to watch your dog at the park and I don't see how with a kid running around or a baby in your arms--how are you able to react if something happens with your dog?[/QUOTE]

The bolded part is what gets me. Suppose there was a dog fight, and your dog was involved. What do you do with the baby in your arms? Or how do you protect your dog without your kids rushing, trying to help? I suppose these things don't happen often, and we, as humans, tend to think it won't happen to us (until it does), but, then I am a worry wart!
 

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That happened this weekend at the dog park. Officially, no kids under 10 (maybe 13, I don't have kids, so I didn't pay too much attention to that), but this was 4 kids in the same family, looked to be 8, 6, 4, and 2. They also had 3 large lab mixes all in the big dog side. So two adults were thoroughly ignoring 3 large dogs and 4 small children. Understandably, this led to all the other dogs, big and small, either leaving or moving to the small dog side* as the kids screamed, ran, cried, chased dogs, pulled tails, and then when all the dogs but theirs were on the other side of the fence, the kids started throwing the gravel at the dogs, and people, on the other side.

The worst part is, there's a very nice children's play are right next to the dog section where no dogs are allowed. One of the parents could have had the kids in the play area, where they would have had a much better time, while the other watched the dogs. That's why the play area is there.


*Most of big dogs left, a couple of boxers came over and they're under 50 lbs, and then the 9 year old mastiff who is very gentle and stiff and only wants to lay in the sun.
 

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One time at our dog park a lady brought her kid in with no dogs just because the kid wanted to play with the dogs... I was really irritated.
 

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There are people that bring their kids to the dog park here. I remember thre worst case was a girl and a boy who literally followed their dog around the park the whole time screaming his name and trying to get him to play with the stick/ball/whatever they had. I felt so bad for that poor dog because he had a hard time actually playing with the other dogs there because he spent 3/4 of the time with a kid hanging on to him. They also would hug random strange dogs when they got temporarily bored with their own. I wanted to smack their parents.
 

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God NO! That is such a dangerous, stupid thing to do!
 

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I will play devil's advocate here, don't hate me but....maybe this is the only way those parents can exercise their dog. It it really isn't that effective to try to walk with slow kids or a stroller to exercise your dog every day. Or drive and hour out to somewhere with nature and no people. Especially in a city. It is always sad when people give up their dogs because of no exercise when they have a baby, so at least these people are trying. It would be great if every person with a dog and a kid could have a nanny around 2 hours a day so the parent could exercise and play with the dog, but that doesn't happen. it is a balancing act. As for the safety, of course I don't think the kids should be running around or bothering dogs. That obvioulsy isn't safe and should be avoided. But some people just don't think, or they think "it will never happen to me." I personally am glad I live in a rural area where this isn't an issue, I would not take my own small kids to a place with a bunch of strange dogs. One of those things that isn't going to change much, no matter how many times it comes up, just like people on phones while they are driving. hope you can figure it out.
 

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People are stupid!

I've seen some people do idiotic things, but for the most part, people follow the rules from what I've seen. I see a lot of couples who take turns - one will be in the park with the dog, and the other will be outside the fence with the kid. But of course you always get your occasional stupids.

Of course, I do understand that some simply don't know the "laws" of the dog park, if you will. I've seen newbies come in who are simply trying to let their dog run around a bit, but also have a kid, and they don't MEAN any harm.

I don't mind kids who are respectful - most are. But I frequent two parks and one is much more uppity and snobby, LOL, and people WILL call the park rangers if a kid is brought in or a stroller. The other park is definitely the more laid back one (it's in the back of all of these kids baseball/football/soccer fields, etc) so that tends to be where I see kids. But honestly, I love both of them for different reasons, and sometimes having TOO many rules takes the fun out of it.

Bleh, I'm rambling. Overall, kids/strollers + dog parks = bad idea.
 

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I don't mind the kids, because as already said and the same goes for my experiences, more often than not they are well-behaved and seem to have been taught a little about dogs. I was pleasantly surprised recently when a mother somewhat sternly reminded to her 2 cute little girls that they are to ask before petting someone else's dog. The mere fact that she corrected them, and in a dog park at that, was a great surprise. Of course, there are those though that let their toddlers wander the park and they aren't in a hurry to stay too horribly close. Those irritate me, even if the kids themselves aren't causing any problems. Again, these little things just make me all the more grateful that Jax is great with kids and loves attention from people of all ages. ...But not all dogs are the same...
 

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This is one of my huge pet peeves and will usually ruin an otherwise fun adventure.

I still remember this one time at the dog park, a long time ago. It was getting late and there were about 5 dogs milling about. A man enters with 2 small boys (4ish) and then proceeds to leave them in the park while he goes to his car to get there tricycles. I was on the other end of the park and was making moves to leave when the Boys begin to run around and scream and charge at the dogs. Ozzie put on a big show and alerted the entire state of the perceived threat. Things could have gone badly, I think, but I told the kids to back off.

Ugh, it still makes me really nervous even when I see a baby in a stroller at a big open park. Some dogs don't know about strollers and could easily be scared or threatened by them.

I understand the need to exercise your dog and it must be tough with a kid, but there are plenty (the majority) of people who come up with creative ways to do that without endangering their children. When I was the full time sitter for a newborn and 2 hyperactive Goldens, I thought of a new way everyday to get their needs met without ever having to go to the dog park. Sometimes it takes extra effort and may not be as convenient but at least I still had the baby and dogs at the end of the day.
 

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I have had this happen before & under NO circumstsnces will I be responsible for someone else's kid!!! If there is a sign saying no kids under (insert age) or (children must be supervised) then I will warn them that my dog doesn't like kids (when Izze was alive) I watch out to my dog & did & will run the KID off.

Why in the heck should my DOG be made to watch herself/himself at a DOG park???? Sorry but no. If I saw them hassling my dog (which didn't happen bc she'd run away) but if they chased her I would step in quickly & scare them back to their mom, of the parents didn't like it & I had a few that didn't I told them that this is a dog park, if try didn't like it too bad, either watch their brats (& that's what I called them to their face) or leave .... Most of the time they left, not too many ppl want to argue with a assertive-looking dog (Izze) watching from my side. She was cool like that, she always had my back..... I miss her :(.
 

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I have had this happen before & under NO circumstsnces will I be responsible for someone else's kid!!! If there is a sign saying no kids under (insert age) or (children must be supervised) then I will warn them that my dog doesn't like kids (when Izze was alive) I watch out to my dog & did & will run the KID off.

Why in the heck should my DOG be made to watch herself/himself at a DOG park???? Sorry but no. If I saw them hassling my dog (which didn't happen bc she'd run away) but if they chased her I would step in quickly & scare them back to their mom, of the parents didn't like it & I had a few that didn't I told them that this is a dog park, if try didn't like it too bad, either watch their brats (& that's what I called them to their face) or leave .... Most of the time they left, not too many ppl want to argue with a assertive-looking dog (Izze) watching from my side. She was cool like that, she always had my back..... I miss her :(.
There's no doubt that little kids definitely do NOT belong in dog parks, and it really annoys me that some parents would think that's an acceptable place to bring their child. However, if either of my two didn't like children, and a child showed up, I'd leave immediately. It's not fair, and I be angry, but there's no way I'd ever risk my dogs biting a child, even if said child was being a snotty brat to my dogs and "had it coming". Because even if there is a sign there stating the obvious, I'm sure my dogs could still be taken away and PTS and I could face legal BS, and even if we were able to dodge that, my dogs don't need an "attack" incident on their file. Luckily my two adore kids, so the chances of something like that happening are extremely unlikely, but still. Just like if an aggressive looking dog were to show up, despite it not being fair, we'd leave immediately.

Of course these are all reasons why we avoid dog parks to begin with these days.
 
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