Going to dog park Sunday--need advice

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, May 23, 2009.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi. I know so many of you love critters like I do so I'm hoping to get some friendly advice and help. We don't have a nearby dog park so we have to travel a bit. My dogs have never been to one and I'm a little nervous. They are sort of difficult child dogs (all of them).

    Lucky is part Lab, but is pretty small--She is the BEST dog to anything human and can be ok with certain dogs, but tends to get dominant around female dogs, at least when we are walking. Is this a red flag that she will not do well? She's a pretty laid back dog in general and leaves my boys alone.

    Rufus is a cocker spaniel who can be nasty when somebody comes over. We crate him when somebody knocks on the door. He doesn't like visitors. However, when he's not protecting the house, he is very laid back and friendly and good with other dogs and people. It's weird how he's just sort of aggressive at home because on our walks he is the friendliest, calmest dog in the world. Tail wags, he's Mr. Personality...as long as he's not at home.

    Prince is my favorite dog (see picture). I love him to death. He is a very submissive cockapoo who puts his little paw up a lot. Rufus picks on him sometimes, if Prince dares to try to go outside in front of him or something else that is considered dominant to a dog. Usually they are great buddies. I'm afraid Prince may get bullied. He is a friendly, easygoing dog, although once he growled at a fellow cockapoo while we were walking!!! Maybe he was afraid?

    We only plan on bringing one dog in at a time. We are pretty sure Rufus will do really well since he will be on neutral territory, but aren't certain of the other two. Should we try them on the leash first?

    This is a big deal to our family (well, except Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) son who probably won't go because he doesn't like the sound of dogs barking). But hub, me and daughter N. are all excited. How can we make it fun? If I like it, I'll go back during the day when the humans are at work or in school (except for me) :D
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Based on our experiences you don't "do anything" to make it fun. You just chill and watch and smile and talk to other dogs and their owners IF it seems like the right thing to do. Usually they have a "small dog section" and a "big dog section". My adult easy child and her husband have a little dog who loves to "run with the big dogs in Atlanta at the dog park". They get such a kick out of it. We have always had big dogs and so far we have never had one who didn't LOVE playing with canine friends. The rules are posted and usually say to remove your dog if it appears to be uncomfortable. There are rules about food, water, etc.

    We are not hugely extroverted doggie people but it has been just plain fun when we have done it in the past. I bet you have a great time. DDD
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I would be very careful with your female if she can get at all aggressive with other dogs. You might want to keep them all on a leash for a while until you see how they do. And don't count on other people following the rules either. Some people bring aggressive, dominant dogs, turn them loose, and then don't watch them at all.

    And don't bring any kind of food, dog toys or treats with you - it can start fights when all the dogs want them and some can be very aggressive about food or toys.
  4. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I was just at the dog park this week. My little guy is playful and his big brother isn't playful in the least.
    My 4 yr old does not play at the dog park. He walks the perimeter over and over then sits by the gate to go home. He is a working breed of dog.
    12month old loved playing. The dogs do their own dominance thing without our interference. Aggressive behavior/dog fight is frowned upon since no one wants their dog hurt. Most little tiffs are harmless but I won;t stay if there is someone who isn't policing their dog and it is very aggressive.
    The 12month old was learning to walk the perimeter in between playing with the dogs. I love seeing all the dogs running free.

    Have fun. If one of your pups isn't happy then remove him and let the others play.
  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yikes. Thanks for the heads up. I know better than to bring food or toys. And I think the female--I may just walk her around outside the park to see if she growls at the females. If she does, well, she can sit in the car and sleep (all three of the dogs love the car and in Wisconsin it's not hot out yet so they can stay there with the windows open and some water).

    I would take them to the small doggie park. Prince would freak at the big dogs. Rufus is ok with any size dogs, but I don't want to risk him getting picked on by a big dog who wants him for dinner ;)

    Any other helpful hints are welcome. I'm very excited.
  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Fran, I didn't know you got another dog! Great! What kind did you get?
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Should I let them all three go in at the same time? I've never seen a dog park. Yes, I know. It's sad. I am buried in the sticks. I'm thinking that my three may get into pack mentality if they go out at the same time.
  8. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'd try going at a time when it isn't very crowded to start off with. The one I've been to has separate areas for large and small dogs- which is a great thing. You might want to get out of the car and look at it pretty close before taking the dogs in. If it's not crowded, I'd probably try taking them all in at once but removing one if he/she gets aggressive or nervous.

    At the time I went, I took our lhasa apso and she freaked although she is never a nervous dog in any other situation- except at the vet's. I also took a border collie that we were fostering and he loved it. His running did stir up some other medium and large sized dogs though. Based on what I saw, I guess they get like kids do sometimes and just go wild and not want to settle down. The medium and large dogs could have unintentionally mauled my lhasa to death if we hadn't grabbed her.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm going to the small dog section. My dogs aren't very big. I don't want them with Rotties. :tongue:
  10. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Well??????? Did you have fun? DDD
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh! Thanks for asking, yes!!! I went today too...lol. Rufus and Prince were great yesterday. Lucky can't be in a dog park. She was stiffening and getting all dominant on other dogs. She has to stay home. I feel bad about that, but she's nice to humans, not dogs.

    Today Rufus got a little nippy with a few dogs who wanted him to chase them. He was ok, but snapped a little at a few. We'll see. The boys really do need to get out and run around. Our new house doesn't have a fenced yard. The dog park is all they have (plus their walks). Lucky will just have to be walked more. She's mostly lab and requires lots of exercise. Poor girl.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Glad you had a great time. There is one dog park (that I know of) in Florida that is actually a Family With Pets beach! Yes, a real live beach. the dogs just run back and forth and in and out of the waves, as the mixed age and culture dog owners cook on hibachi's and have a great time. easy child/difficult child and I took our last boxer there and he didn't want to swim with easy child/difficult child....he insisted on running back to the beach to play. It was
    quite a day to remember. Hope you have many happy ones. DDD
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow, that sounds like FUN!
    Well, we don't have that in WIsconsin, but the dog park was a lot of fun, even though Rufus was a bit cranky today. I'm sure I'll go back often. Hopefully, Rufus will chill a bit.