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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Just a post Labor Day vent here--I was hoping to get some sympathy from fellow dog lovers. :)

I tend to be a bit of a hermit, and one thing that dog ownership does is get me out into the world. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Yesterday, I think it was more of the latter.

Visit number two at the dog park, the place is packed. As soon as I get there, I hear a guy tell his wife to take the toy away from their lab mix female. Says "It causes problems" when she has a toy. Wife complies, but dog has found another toy about 10 minutes later. People let the dog keep the toy this time--probably because they are too busy chatting to notice. Sure enough, my dog goes over and the lab mix snarks at her. My dog backs off, but gives a couple of barks from a safe distance. Lab mix goes after her, she runs to me. I pull my dog in. The lab mix stands about six inches from us, barking and showing her teeth, for about 30 seconds before they come over and remove her. They KNEW the dog had an issue when she has toys, but they don't watch her carefully with toys.

Third visit of the day to the park (I took my foster dog there separately early in the morning). After getting mauled at the gate (playfully, but roughly), Sasha settles in and plays nicely with a smallish boxer and a smallish lab/ACD mix. A woman comes in with her very large GSD. She is gabbing on the phone--and continues gabbing on the phone for the duration of her visit. Boxer and Sasha are trying to wrestle, and GSD grabs the boxer roughly by the neck repeatedly. Boxer is clearly uncomfortable about this. Woman recognizes this, and pulls her dog away (still on the phone). Great, except she lets him go 30 seconds later and continues to gab as he engages in the EXACT SAME behavior for another 10 minutes or so when the boxer's owner takes him home. Thank goodness the boxer was submissive and good-natured, so there was no fight. But again--you recognize there's a problem and do nothing to intervene! Stupid!

Final annoying, dog-related incident of the day. My chickens are out of their pen, making their way to their coop for the evening. It's just barely starting to get dark. I want to play fetch with my foster dog (a large pitbull) before it gets dark. Don't want to throw the ball into the backyard, because I don't 100% trust her to ignore the chickens yet. She has a 30 ft. training leash on, so I throw the ball across the street into the yard of a house that's been vacant for over a year. I'm watching carefully for cars. We live on a relatively quiet side street. Admittedly, not the best situation, but I'm being careful and the dog needs to run. Guy comes over from a couple of houses down. He's big, bald, and menacing looking. He walks into my yard, stops maybe 30 feet from where I'm wrestling with Sophie, trying to get her to give up the ball. Stands there staring at us. I'm feeling uneasy. I've got the leash in my hand, so I've got control of the pitbull. But REALLY? WTF is this guy THINKING? Finally he talks. Says "I'm wondering why you're throwing the ball across the street?" I explain pretty much what I just described above. He continues to argue with me. I finally say, "Yeah, OK, thanks--I'll stop throwing the ball." He goes away. But seriously. First, don't walk into the YARD of an unknown pitbull and stare at her owner menacingly. Second--WTF? Just leave me alone!

OK--rant over. It was a great Labor Day because I got to play with the dogs lots. Too bad people had to be involved, too. :)
 

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I'm really glad my local dog park is mostly empty. I don't have a lot of patience or much of a filter around irresponsible dog owners. I WILL say something to someone if they are putting their dog or other dogs in a compromising position. As for the third guy... what? That's nervy of him.
 

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The dog park by my house is pretty great for the most part. Most of the owners are attentive to their dogs are quick to diffuse a situation involving their dog if one should arise. This past weekend was a little different though. There was a 6 month old lab puppy that was at the park for the first time. She was FULL of energy. She kept jumping in the pond and swimming around and having a great time. Well, there was a pit bull that apparently had something for her. He wasn't aggressive toward her at all. But he was trying to be very dominant. Well, the puppy ran and jumped into the pond like she had done several times before. But the pit bull followed her and jumped in as well. the puppy had swam out to the center of the pond when the pit caught up to her and was trying to dominate her in the water. The pit was full grown. So of course he kept plunging the puppy under the water. The puppy would come up for a split second before the pit plunged her under again. The lab's owners were standing at the side of the pond too shocked to move. I guess they are new dog owners. They didn't know what to do. But what REALLY pissed me off was that the pit's owner was standing like 5 feet away from me, watching all of this unfold. And yet, I was the one that had to go rescue the poor puppy. When I got the puppy back onto land she coughed quite a bit and then ran to her owners. The guy with the pit just put the lead onto his dog and left, without saying a single word.

I love the dog park by my house. It is rare that there are issues with bad owners. That incident was only the second I have ever experienced at that park. But 99% of the time the dogs and their owners are a joy to be around.

Edit: I am in no way trying to stigmatize pit bulls at all. I love pits. The issue here was not about the dog, nor the breed. This was an issue with the owner failing to maintain control of his dog.
 

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This is why I dont go to the DP anymore, not because my dogs didnt enjoy it, because I didnt due to the people, there were a nice bunch of regulars that came, most with rough and tumble dogs like Izze was (who was a young dog at the time), but every once and a while some moron would come in.

For the most part, the area around here is very dog friendly and the people are always very nice and polite and ask to pet before they do (which I oblige to because my dog needs the socialization LOL).

But the ones who ARENT polite and dont ask first, and think that because I am in a public place, that I owe them get told off very rudely, I am ashamed of nothing, because at the end of the day, preventing any behavior ramifications that would come of such an interaction is more important to me than some stranger's feelings LOL.

Dont be afraid to channel your inner "b" when it comes to people like that, THEY are the rude ones, not you. Your dog is your "property" ( in the eyes of the law)and you have every right to tell them to shove off.
 

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Amen to that! I would much rather hurt someone's feelings than have my dog hurt their face. Why? Because, even if they deserved it, they will accuse my dog of being aggressive and the government will make me put him down. I'll be damned if I am going to let that happen. You can pet my dog. You can't mess with my dog. He isn't a toy. He isn't an object purpose built for your amusement. You can pet him. You can feed him a treat if you'd like. You can sit and talk to me about what animals you have if you would like to. But the second you start messing with my dog you are going to have problems from the both of us. My buddy had a guy ask if he could pet his dog. My buddy said yes. So the guy started petting him normally. And then all of a sudden he started grabbing his scruff and puling it back a little bit making the dog's eyes look goofy. The guy was laughing about it when my buddy told him to take his hands of his dog and to get the hell away. He told the guy "I said you could pet my dog. I didn't say you could mess with his fur and his eyes." The only thing that saved that guy's hands is that the dog was one of those dogs that actually enjoys that. But that's still not something a stranger should do.

I love taking my dogs out in public. They get a ton of socialization. But there are just some dumb people in the world that make me not want to expose my dog to.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I can see why some of you have stopped going to the dog park. Sasha LOVES it there--she loves nothing more than to run at top speed, being chased. But she is FAST, and energetic, and I couldn't possibly run fast enough to make her happy. Heck, most dogs can't satisfy her urge. LOL So she loves it there, because usually there is a dog there that will at least give it a try for a short time. But the incident described in my original post was the second incident of that visit--she had been attacked by a German Shepherd earlier that morning. She was down on her back, screaming, with the GSD on top of her. No injuries to either dog--obviously it was more of an argument than a fight. But Sasha was shaken up and scared--and had not deserved the attack. This dog, according to her owner, doesn't know how to pick up on "no" signals--keeps being rough until the other dog loses its cool. Apparently that's what happened, and the GSD fought back and things escalated. The fight broke out while they were behind a bend in the fence, so I didn't see the details. I DID see the GSD being relentlessly aggressive, though. I should've pulled Sasha away earlier.

My point being, though, that yesterday was enough to make me consider foregoing the dog park in future. I think the key is not too big a crowd, maybe? There were at least 20 dogs there yesterday morning--too big a group, I think. Too chaotic. A smaller group is much more manageable.
 

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This is exactly why I will probably never take my dogs to a dog park. At least the smaller fenced in kinds where dogs are forced to congregate in one area.
 

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OMG at a petsmart there was this dude that thought it would be funny to have a squeaky toy and squeak it at every dog he came across, even to dogs who had their backs turned!!! I couldnt believe it! I didnt have my dog with me thank god, but I did grab the petsmart manager and tell her what he was doing , then I showed her as he did it, they did talk to him and he left in a huff ... WTH is wrong with people???

As far as dog parks are concerned, I just stay away now, unless they are the huge type with trails, better yet, we just go to actual trails, sure the dogs have to be on a leash, but they still get their exercise :)
 

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Thankfully, the dog park I go to is very large. It is a total of 6 acres split into two sections for small dogs and large dogs. The small dog section is about 1-2 acres. The large dog section is about 4-5 acres. So there is PLENTY of room for the dogs to run around. I do agree though. If you have too small of an area that forces the dogs to be clustered up then nothing but trouble can come from that. that is once again one of the reasons I love the park by my house.
 

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Thankfully, the dog park I go to is very large. It is a total of 6 acres split into two sections for small dogs and large dogs. The small dog section is about 1-2 acres. The large dog section is about 4-5 acres. So there is PLENTY of room for the dogs to run around. I do agree though. If you have too small of an area that forces the dogs to be clustered up then nothing but trouble can come from that. that is once again one of the reasons I love the park by my house.
that sounds fun! I wish there was something like that close to us :(
 

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I've had no personal problems at the dog park but you guys makes me nervous haha
I try to get Sans in there once a week so she can rip around with the bigger dogs and make friends. She's very attached to me and won't wander without my consent and when she's playing she'll keep looking back to me to make sure... I don't know... that I'm still there and/or are still approving of the play? Haha
So I don't allow her to approach dogs that I'm leery of. Some dogs are waaayy too much and I just call her to me and make her uninteresting and they buzz off.

I also am a little discriminatory and I don't allow her to play with GSDs ever. They always look uncomfortable, and the way they approach play usually sets the other dogs on edge. We've also never met a nice/friendly one so I usually tell the dog to go away and hold Sans back for a bit so we end up on opposite ends of the oval.

You're lucky for having a big one! Ours is two separate enclosures of large dogs and small dogs. With a height chart when you walk in. I couldn't tell you how large ours is in distance, probably a 15 minute walk to walk the entire perimeter walking track.
 

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I've had no personal problems at the dog park but you guys makes me nervous haha
I try to get Sans in there once a week so she can rip around with the bigger dogs and make friends. She's very attached to me and won't wander without my consent and when she's playing she'll keep looking back to me to make sure... I don't know... that I'm still there and/or are still approving of the play? Haha
So I don't allow her to approach dogs that I'm leery of. Some dogs are waaayy too much and I just call her to me and make her uninteresting and they buzz off.

I also am a little discriminatory and I don't allow her to play with GSDs ever. They always look uncomfortable, and the way they approach play usually sets the other dogs on edge. We've also never met a nice/friendly one so I usually tell the dog to go away and hold Sans back for a bit so we end up on opposite ends of the oval.

You're lucky for having a big one! Ours is two separate enclosures of large dogs and small dogs. With a height chart when you walk in. I couldn't tell you how large ours is in distance, probably a 15 minute walk to walk the entire perimeter walking track.
I have had the exact opposite experience. Every GSD I've ever met has been totally friendly and lovable. They are really amazing dogs to be around. We have two packs that frequent the dog park I go to. Each pack has 3 GSD's in it. And they are awesome! They play fetch with their owners for a bit and then run off and make friends with the other dogs. My dog loves the GSD's because he is a wrestler. He loves to wrestle. But most dogs his size either don't really want to wrestle or they can't handle the way he throws his weight around. But the GSD's are bigger than he is. So he can throw his weight around as much as he wants and they keep coming back for more. He'll wrestle with them all day long.

Also, each dog park is different. Some dog parks are garbage. Some are great. It all depends on how well the park is kept up and the type of people that go there. Some parks have owners that just walk in, unleash their dogs, and then go sit on a bench to visit with friends, and completely forget about watching their dogs. Find a park that has attentive, and responsible, owners. Dog parks are great for you and your dog. You just have to find the right one.
 

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unfortunately there is only one dog park in my area and it isnt very big. But every time I have gone the people were respectful, mostly because they saw that Nova was unsure of people and didnt know what she would do if they just reached out to pet her all of a sudden. There was one lady though who had a resource guarding doberman.... She didnt even pay attention to her dog she just let him bite any dog that got near him when he had a toy and just figured the other dogs would "figure it out" -.- So I would just call my dog back whenever she got close to hers. There was an elderly obese dog that got close to him, didnt even want the toy he was just walking by and the doberman got up and got into a fight with him. There was another lady who brought her un neutered dog that was mating all the dogs in the park, I just took Nova and left cause she didnt seem like she was gonna stop her dog. Another time there was a young couple that worked their dog past its limit, I felt really bad. You could clearly see the dog was extremely tired, and it was 95 degrees that day, but they would throw the ball and she didnt want to go get it, but they kept making her, and then they would make her do the agility course. I like the dog park only to keep Nova dog friendly, but other than that I would rather have nothing to do with it. Nova loves to be chase by other dogs, but she doesnt seem to participate in any other play. We have only been three times but so far there was only one dog she liked, which was a crazy golden retriever. At a pet store one time some lady brought her dog that was aggressive towards children. So far those are the only experiences of annoying people at the dog park or stores I have had. Oh wait! One more, when I was getting stuff from a tack store, one of the other customers had her dog with her, and let the dog PEE ON THE CHICKEN FEED BAGS!! She didnt even clean it, stop her dog or tell a worker that the dog did that..... Poor chickens who had to eat that pee soaked food

My park sounds like yours kdawnk.
 

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unfortunately there is only one dog park in my area and it isnt very big. But every time I have gone the people were respectful, mostly because they saw that Nova was unsure of people and didnt know what she would do if they just reached out to pet her all of a sudden. There was one lady though who had a resource guarding doberman.... She didnt even pay attention to her dog she just let him bite any dog that got near him when he had a toy and just figured the other dogs would "figure it out" -.- So I would just call my dog back whenever she got close to hers. There was an elderly obese dog that got close to him, didnt even want the toy he was just walking by and the doberman got up and got into a fight with him. There was another lady who brought her un neutered dog that was mating all the dogs in the park, I just took Nova and left cause she didnt seem like she was gonna stop her dog. Another time there was a young couple that worked their dog past its limit, I felt really bad. You could clearly see the dog was extremely tired, and it was 95 degrees that day, but they would throw the ball and she didnt want to go get it, but they kept making her, and then they would make her do the agility course. I like the dog park only to keep Nova dog friendly, but other than that I would rather have nothing to do with it. Nova loves to be chase by other dogs, but she doesnt seem to participate in any other play. We have only been three times but so far there was only one dog she liked, which was a crazy golden retriever. At a pet store one time some lady brought her dog that was aggressive towards children. So far those are the only experiences of annoying people at the dog park or stores I have had. Oh wait! One more, when I was getting stuff from a tack store, one of the other customers had her dog with her, and let the dog PEE ON THE CHICKEN FEED BAGS!! She didnt even clean it, stop her dog or tell a worker that the dog did that..... Poor chickens who had to eat that pee soaked food

My park sounds like yours kdawnk.
See, this is why dog owners get a bad name, because of arses like this!!!!!
 

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There was another lady who brought her un neutered dog that was mating all the dogs in the park, I just took Nova and left cause she didnt seem like she was gonna stop her dog.
One time (before I went into the enclosure) there was an unneutered - or very humpy - Great Dane that literally ran the ENTIRE oval lap tackling dogs down to hump them and he was huge so he won every time. His final victim was a muscular bully breed and the dog was growling and trying to bite him but the Dane had one of his gangly legs on the bully's neck and was pinning her head into the ground and humping her and apparently he made a "connection" and the bully LOST HER MIND screaming. Apparently the owner of the Dane was this almost-in-the-grave-year-old lady who came running over shouting at her Dane to, "Stop it Daniel!!" and she was prodding him with her cane. It took like four people to split it up and another to help walk the Dane out to the car.
 

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See, this is why dog owners get a bad name, because of arses like this!!!!!
I totally agree. A dog is not just an object like a basket you can just push anywhere and do whatever with. They take responsibility. And those same shitty owners are the ones who own dogs like Pit Bull and allow the dogs to take a terrible social stigma for the faults of their retarded owners.
 

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One time (before I went into the enclosure) there was an unneutered - or very humpy - Great Dane that literally ran the ENTIRE oval lap tackling dogs down to hump them and he was huge so he won every time. His final victim was a muscular bully breed and the dog was growling and trying to bite him but the Dane had one of his gangly legs on the bully's neck and was pinning her head into the ground and humping her and apparently he made a "connection" and the bully LOST HER MIND screaming. Apparently the owner of the Dane was this almost-in-the-grave-year-old lady who came running over shouting at her Dane to, "Stop it Daniel!!" and she was prodding him with her cane. It took like four people to split it up and another to help walk the Dane out to the car.
I think maybe she should look into a chihuahua XD
 

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I don't do dog parks in general, but dog parks on a holiday are always bad news. That's when all of the people who don't regularly visit the dog park take their (usually under-exercised) dogs out for a special outing and the whole place turns into the Thunderdome.
 

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I don't do dog parks in general, but dog parks on a holiday are always bad news. That's when all of the people who don't regularly visit the dog park take their (usually under-exercised) dogs out for a special outing and the whole place turns into the Thunderdome.
YES! I think this was exactly the issue yesterday! But really--you all have made me feel much better about yesterday.

I threw the ball around for my foster again tonight. It was after dark, so chickens were already to roost. But I was tempted to throw the ball across the street anyway--just to annoy big, bald, intimidating guy from down the street. :)
 
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