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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I took Onyx, my puppy to a local dog park today that so many people told me about. Well my lab/border collie mix is about 28 lbs now and got the last of her puppy shots on Thursday so I was excited to go.

I was there about 10 minutes....Most the dogs were all large but they were under control.

I was nervous right away when a massive shepard and a rotti came up to her. She just rolled on her back and both the dogs just sniffed her and were nice.

About 2 minutes later a boxer (off-leash) came running at Onyx. A lot of the dogs were off leash as people tend to do here but they were behaved.

The boxer however started nipping at her pretty bad. The owner just says "oh she just really wants to play with your dog and since she is on a leash she is more excited because she wants to run with her." Well...the boxer kept on nipping and at this point Onyx's tail is so far up her butt and is almost quivering jumping on me to save her.

Long story short ....Onyx was submissive and pretty calm with the others but the boxer would not let up. It followed us ALL the way to the car. I had to pick her up and the boxer was still jumping at her even when she was in my arms. I realize some say don't pick the dog up but this boxer was really hyped up and would not stop.

I tried to stay calm but I was 2 seconds away (and I am a big dog lover) from punching the dog square in the face.

I am saddened that people can't control their dogs and that a great place for dogs to socialize is now off limits for my dog. I don't care if it was one bad experience, it taught me enough and I will never take her to a dog park again....ever
 

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I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience. I guess we're lucky where I live in that the park is sectioned off (big and little) and all are off leash (it's all fenced in). Most of the people there control their dogs (always a few who can't or won't). My dogs love going there and I'm ready for it to be cooler (than 95!!) so we can start going again.
 

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Yeah I recently took my two to the dog park, and mainly held the puppy off the ground and let her sniff noses but not play since she doesn't have her shots..I only go if there is a small amount of dogs, around 10 being my max. I watch too see how the dogs behave to new dogs and dogs leaving, and how they play with eachother.

Of course there's always the bad eggs and about 45 minutes of being there this GSD shows up and is well..a bully. He kept a frizbee in his mouth the entire time and just ran around barking in the faces of other dogs(with the frisbee still in his mouth) and hitting them with it... He was really hyped up and was just running around barking and scared the crap out of both my dogs so I had the one who could run around stay by me until the guy left..which he did after like 20 minutes once he saw all the dogs were sitting by their owners terrified!

They can be dangerous...which is why I only go when their are a few dogs, it's fun when it's just a few like 2 or 3 and you can see that the dogs are very social. If it's a bad situation I just leave, or go on a walk and wait for the bad egg to leave.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience. I guess we're lucky where I live in that the park is sectioned off (big and little) and all are off leash (it's all fenced in). Most of the people there control their dogs (always a few who can't or won't). My dogs love going there and I'm ready for it to be cooler (than 95!!) so we can start going again.
This dog doesn't have a section for smaller dogs, which is where I would have brought her where she is still small if such a thing existed. It really shook me up too, this dog was bad. I don't think the dog was being viscious but what really freaked me out is I decided to leave when I realized "this guy is not going to control his dog" and the dog followed me all the way to the car. Then all the other dogs followed as well, granted they were behaving. I am sure me being inexperienced letting her play with other dogs had a major role but what if his dog really attacked worse? He couldn't get control of him at all.

As far as I am concerned if you can't get your dog to listen you shouldn't have your dog offleash. I am not going to risk having my dog hurt because some person has not trained or has no knowledge of how to handle their dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They can be dangerous...which is why I only go when their are a few dogs, it's fun when it's just a few like 2 or 3 and you can see that the dogs are very social. If it's a bad situation I just leave, or go on a walk and wait for the bad egg to leave.
I know...I wish I could have that attitude. I guess I am real protective of her and after that first experience I just don't feel safe. She is very docile. She seems to just role on her back for every person and dog and wag her tail. She rolled on her back and the boxer just kept biting.

Here is a couple pics of her by the way.
 

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Oh, my she is a pretty thing! Love the first one with her ears perked up. I love the way a black dog looks when it's all shiny and she has a very shiny coat. And of course, the name fits her! ;)

Is that white on her chin...if so, too cute!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh, my she is a pretty thing! Love the first one with her ears perked up. I love the way a black dog looks when it's all shiny and she has a very shiny coat. And of course, the name fits her! ;)

Is that white on her chin...if so, too cute!
Yes! She has a white patch on her chin and her rear paw.
 

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I've had bad DP experiences too so I only go after dark when everybody has left. I put doggy reflective things on my pooches and we don't have to worry about a thing. I recommend the same to you. Plus, you don't have to worry about the heat.

For example:
Yesterday, I made the mistake of going before dusk and there were a bunch of little unsupervised kids running around with their dogs. The youngest tried to take my dog off leash and proceded to leave both gates of the double gated entrance open. I put Kaki in a down stay until they left.
Some woman had the brilliant idea of letting a stray in. Good thing it was friendly and vaccinated. The woman made no effort to contact owners. As I was the last person there, I was the one to return it to its family.
 

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Be pro-active, not a victim.
Some people would argue that refraining from future DP visits IS being proactive.. rather than being reactive once your dog gets hurt.

Mixing on-leash and off-leash dogs sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. I think you are making a wise choice in staying away from this park.
 

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Some people would argue that refraining from future DP visits IS being proactive.. rather than being reactive once your dog gets hurt.
I agree, I would stay away from them completely, but some dogs do enjoy them, and love being social butterflies! haha I think people need to survey the park before just rushing in with their dog, watch how the dogs play, if you think some are playing too rough and you don't think your dog will be okay with that, then don't go. It's pretty easy to spot a bully or a very dominant dog looking to pick fights. Also a lot of boxers play very differently than other dogs, a lot rougher than most breeds of dog, so the boxer was probably playing, and didn't realize not to play rough with a puppy, or wasn't taught to play nicely with smaller dogs/puppies. I don't think this should ruin you ever going to a dog park, but you can sit and watch for a few minutes before going inside when there are fewer dogs, or socialize through the fence, until your pup is bigger and has more confidence.
 

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I agree, I would stay away from them completely, but some dogs do enjoy them, and love being social butterflies! haha I think people need to survey the park before just rushing in with their dog, watch how the dogs play, if you think some are playing too rough and you don't think your dog will be okay with that, then don't go. It's pretty easy to spot a bully or a very dominant dog looking to pick fights. Also a lot of boxers play very differently than other dogs, a lot rougher than most breeds of dog, so the boxer was probably playing, and didn't realize not to play rough with a puppy, or wasn't taught to play nicely with smaller dogs/puppies. I don't think this should ruin you ever going to a dog park, but you can sit and watch for a few minutes before going inside when there are fewer dogs, or socialize through the fence, until your pup is bigger and has more confidence.
I agree 100%

Some dog parks are better than others. It is possible, TD, that your park is not one of the better ones.
 

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I kind of have the opposite problem. We moved 3 weeks ago to a small town and it has a very nice dog park ,about 2 acres all fenced in and have not seen another person or dog there at all. I have been taking Red there for about 2 weeks now . He seems bored cause no other dogs come there . It's kind a like having your own 2 acre fenced in yard 5 minutes away .
 

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Socializing and traumatizing a dog are different things. You were smart to leave.

Molly is a bit skittish at our small, local dogpark. She's fine if Esther is with her, but then there's the risk of Esther beating the crap out of a dog for knocking Molly over.

I'm fortunate. Ours is a very large, fenced yard and, at any given time, there are 2-5 dogs in it. They all know each other and get along very well.

But, as I've mentioned a few hundred times, my previous dog was a great dogpark dog and visited the large one at our old home nearly every day for ten years. It didn't hurt that he was 115# and few dogs were inclined to bully him, and he was pretty tolerant of foolishness from other dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I am sorry, I really didn't want to start a debate. The place is large and most dogs were off leash. I am one who feels pits, rottis, I.e. larger dominant breeds are not bad but owners can be bad. Being that the case I am not going to risk taking my friendly happy go lucky docile dog to a park where there may be a bad owner with their untrained 100 pound dog OFF LEASH.

By the way I certainly did stay between the dogs. I believe I wrote I felt it was so bad I had to pick her up. I didn't just let my pup get tortured, I would never do that. At that point the boxer was even nipping at me and circling us so I really think I handled it well. All along while the owner said he was playing....yet all the yelling and redirecting he was attempting would not stop his dog.

My dog sees other dogs on walks and there are two small breeds upstairs from where I live. I should say I am all done with this dog park at least.

I think I would feel more combfortable finding a park where dogs are leashed...I am not going to expose my dog no matter how big she gets to a situation that "may" be dangerous if I can avoid it.

I can promise you even if my dog never sees a dog park again she will live a happy well rounded life. My dog absolutely loves running off leash and if I don't let her she will be too hyper. She has a ton of lab type energy. Luckily I have a fenced in yard for her.
 

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Dogs parks should not be used for exercise.
IMO, dog parks should not be the sole source of exercise.
There are too many people that think the DP will give their dog enough exercise.
Too me, it's like some owners that have backyards. They get complacent thinking that it will provide dogs with everything I need. That's why some rescue groups irritate me because they won't adopt to people that don't have a yard. I don't have a yard. I'm a good dog owner, possibly made better by the lack of a yard.
 

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Tofu, couldn't have said it better myself about exercise. Mine love the park, even when it's windy and cold...yes it gets cold in Houston, more so because we don't have winter coats! Butch thinks the sole purpose for the humans is to give him adulation he thinks he deserves. He gets it to and it can wear a poor guy out being so cute! He has short legs, so a walk around the park (peeing on every blade of grass) is quite a stroll for him.

Roxxy will play chase with a few choice boys there and dances around a few human fellas too, looking for attention. All in all, they come home pretty tired. But if had a very high energy dog, the DP could NOT be the sole source of exercise.

Butch has had to be given a few time outs and Roxxy one or two, but nothing to the point we had to leave because of their actions. Many owners do not do the right thing if their dog misbehaves...like the parents of many children but I won't get started on THAT subject here.

I hope you can find a time to go back where you will have a better experience. Real early or real late is your best bet.
 

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Yeah I recently took my two to the dog park, and mainly held the puppy off the ground and let her sniff noses but not play since she doesn't have her shots..I only go if there is a small amount of dogs, around 10 being my max. I watch too see how the dogs behave to new dogs and dogs leaving, and how they play with eachother.

Of course there's always the bad eggs and about 45 minutes of being there this GSD shows up and is well..a bully. He kept a frizbee in his mouth the entire time and just ran around barking in the faces of other dogs(with the frisbee still in his mouth) and hitting them with it... He was really hyped up and was just running around barking and scared the crap out of both my dogs so I had the one who could run around stay by me until the guy left..which he did after like 20 minutes once he saw all the dogs were sitting by their owners terrified!

They can be dangerous...which is why I only go when their are a few dogs, it's fun when it's just a few like 2 or 3 and you can see that the dogs are very social. If it's a bad situation I just leave, or go on a walk and wait for the bad egg to leave.
OK that is the funniest mental image because my dog does that...to me! It isn't intentional, he is just a big clumsy ox, but that just made me laugh.

And to the OP, that really sucks. I decided not taking my dogs to a dog park that just opened around me because I am afraid something worse than that would happen to my dogs.
Your dog was being as submissive as possible, if that dog did that to my dogs, they wouldn't stand for it and trouble would ensue. And my dogs are ALWAYS good with other dogs. But when push comes to shove....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I hear you...From this experience it seems my dog will not be one to fight to protect herself so I have to all the way but then again she is only 4 months and not fully grown so who knows.
 

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I really hope that when she is a little older you will consider going back to the DP. I can't wait for it to cool down. There are certain dogs (and people) that I look forward to talking to at the park and I think I enjoy it as much as the dogs do...at times, maybe more!
 
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