View on dog parks

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Princesse's picture
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Hello everyone, just wondering what your guys experience and views are on taking Dobie's to dog parks? We have had mixed positive and negative experiences, most problems we saw are due to dog owners not dogs...Duke really enjoys the running and exercise, he's s still socializing with other dogs...thank you for your comments in advance

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When we first got Bella at 10 months we too her to a large dog park with small/ larger dog areas. She would get extremely excited in the car and we thought that was a sign of enthusiasm. Her experiences there were mixed. Once she was cornered by a pack of dogs and I had to yell at the other owners. But usually we could go off to one side and play fetch or she played with other dogs her size; she was about 55 lbs then. There are pics of her there in our profile. There was a huge gentle Doberman there, he was Mr Mellow and loved visiting with everyone there. There were some owners and dogs we liked!

We then realized that her excitement was likely due to fear, an uncontrolled situation and too much excitement, so we stopped going there. She was leash reactive to other dogs during and after that time which we were able to overcome with training and desensitizing.

We have Loki now too, he is 1 1/2, and we will probably never take him to a dog park. He is very dog reactive and we are slowly working on that.

Our dogs are lucky they can go off leash on private lands near our home and run and explore to their hearts content. We also have a 1/2 acre yard. 

I can't tell you what to do, there are others here with a lot more experience than us. Please consider your dogs safety and don't let him ever get in bad situation, he might not be able to forget it. Your dog can be perfectly trained but there are the other unknown dogs that their owners can't or won't train, they might be at the dog park when you are there. 

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Hello everyone, just wondering what your guys experience and views are on taking Dobie's to dog parks? We have had mixed positive and negative experiences, most problems we saw are due to dog owners not dogs...Duke really enjoys the running and exercise, he's s still socializing with other dogs...thank you for your comments in advance

 

You do not have to be at a dog park to have another poorly trained / aggressive / unrestrained dog or any other animal come screw with you and your dog. You could be taking a simple walk around the block and have any number of off script things run up on you / cross you and your Dobies path... 

I suggest the dog park as often as possible AND seek out any and all dog friendly stores near you and visit them frequently with your Doberman.

I hardly ever spend any money at my local Sportsmans Warehouse but.. They are dog friendly as heck and have a set of pretty steep, smooth and long stairs going to the upper section.

My point here being - The more places and more different environments you can get out to with your Doberman the better. Your dog will not learn by sitting at home watching youtube videos by your side. 

 

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This guy ran up on Patience and improperly tried to stick his nose in her butt:

He saw from her body language that he needed to slow way down with that idea (and did).

I do thank god that no poodles have ever had to put the chomp down on my Dobergirls at the dogpark (or anywhere else).

:)

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Good morning Principessa, thank you for your input. Yes absolutely there is risks to encounter irresponsible owners with their aggressive dogs at dog parks and of course I would never put Duke in a bad situation. My husband is also on the lookout for trouble makers. But I also agree that sometimes it's just too late. I was reading through the post and saw a thread about a dog that got attacked by the off leash neighbor's dog! Not a pretty picture. It's also true that it can happen anywhere like dobermanguy said...that's why I had concern about dog parks because just the other day a guy showed up with 2 black dogs and as soon as they came in they both jumped on a golden retriever, no harm done thank God. But the guy didn't even try to recall his dogs to make them stop. So you are right they were there when we were. But I dont have a big enough yard or live close to a trail to let him hike off leash and exercise him to what he requires, so that's why I was opting for dog parks.thanks again for sharing your experience with me!

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Good morning dobermanguy, yes I know it can happen anywhere that I encounter a bad experience with aggressive/ unrestrained dogs! And I guess it's part of life. Since I dont have the luxury to have a huge backyard or to live close by a hiking trail my only option to fully exercise him is at the dog park, he loves to run full speed! with Princesse we were renting back then a cabin at the lake with a big backyard and she would get plenty of exercise there for 10 days at the time once or twice a month so we didn't realy go to the dog park.. now we have the RV so we stopped going to that cabin. I do take him to pet stores every chance I get and he's doing really well. I dont have a sportsman's warehouse where I live but for what I understand Home Depot allows dogs to come in, I will start to take him there as well. I can see in the pictures Patience body language, Duke acts the same. For my personal experience yet I love every minute of going to the dog park! Just like Duke lol my husband has reservations of course I'm concerned also for bad situations but I think his physical health is really important as well right? Thank you for weighing in and for the pictures! I love it.

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Oh Principessa, I just looked at you photo album she is really beautiful ! What a nice color she has:) I'm reading throughout the treads and looking at people's photo albums, I love dogs pictures!

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I dont have a sportsman's warehouse where I live but for what I understand Home Depot allows dogs to come in, I will start to take him there as well.

Don't think Home Depot has a dogs welcome sign as yet but I take my girls in there anyway and nobody ever says squat.

Lowes for sure has (leashed) dogs welcome signage up where I am at. We go there a bunch. Tractor Supply Co is dog friendly as well.

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Okay great thank you for the information dobermanguy, I will definitely take him to Lowe's as well...

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Okay great thank you for the information dobermanguy, I will definitely take him to Lowe's as well...

Was in the local Lowes one time with the last pair I had doing some shopping and this lady rounds the corner of an isle with a tiny furball riding in her basket.

Her dog went apeshit nuts when it saw the girls. Barking, growling, going nuts towards the girls more or less. The Dobergirls remained calm and under control the entire time.

People in the store were not looking at me - The guy walking along shopping at Lowes with his 'calm' Dobermans. They were all looking at the lady trying to control her flipping out, small breed, basket riding dog.

:)

 

Current girls have never experienced that sort of thing. All of the basket riding, small dogs they have seen so far have wanted to lick their faces and they were cool with that.

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Lol yes I can see that from happening! The little ones are often the yappers! Something similar happened to me at pet supermarket twice with a medium size mutt both times, they spotted Duke and barked at him...them first both occasions but in my case Duke responded! Is that a sign of aggression from Duke you think? Or just simply letting them know don't mess with me? I'm still learning of his body language and temperament he's still a pup.
Also Dobermanguy I have a question, as I'm reading throughout the threads and post in the forum I'm coming through some threads that are interesting to me and I would like to join in but the posts in questions are old , so is it okay to revive a thread and bump it back up? Like I did once with chin pimples... Or I'm better just start new ones? Again I'm new to the forum world and want to go by the rules;) thanks for sharing your expertise with me.

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Princesse, thank you on your comment re Bellas color! She is 1/2 Lab, we think!

Yes that was me. Our Bella was attacked by the neighbors off leash Cane Corso. Today we are on vacay with the dogs near Idyllwild Ca and went for a walk, we saw many nice cabins like our rental with dog fences or high gated decks. Wouldn't you know we saw an unfenced Cane Corso.... Thankfully the owner heard it barking and had it under control, I almost flipped!! After that it was decided to return to our cabin via the same known route rather than by a new route.

Loki is dog reactive and he goes to malls, Lowes, Home depot, and leashed dog areas, I'm not taking him inside Petsmart yet as there are often several dogs inside.

We'd like to get some (small friendly females) family members' dogs to meet him, not sure if it would be better at our home or at their home 1st.

I am hyper vigilant after what happened to Bella. Remember that you can transmit fear or uncertainty to your dog easily. 

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Also Dobermanguy I have a question, as I'm reading throughout the threads and post in the forum I'm coming through some threads that are interesting to me and I would like to join in but the posts in questions are old , so is it okay to revive a thread and bump it back up?

 

I do it frequently. Have not been fussed at for doing so as yet...

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Good morning Principessa, wow breath taking picture! The scenery with your 2 beautiful dogs is absolutely gorgeous! Enjoy your vacation! Oh thank God no encounter occurred again with the cane Corso! Oh it was your Bella on that post I read, Jezz sorry that was horrific!Nice mix on Bella! And Loki is handsome. Yes that would be good for him. I didn't know that you can take dogs to malls, unless they were service dogs I thought. I live in Florida and haven't seen dogs in malls...so far I take him to pet stores and today we're going to home depot
for the first time... lowes will be for another day. My Duke is a purebred bloodline doberman dad is American and mom is European. He's registered with CKC. He's also very handsome if I can say so myself lol. Yes good advice there as I'm still learning his demeanor as he's becoming a young adult. Here's a couple of pics of my baby. My pride and joy

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Oups sorry posted 2 of the same picture... I just learned from Dobermanguy on how to post them and I'm still learning...here is Duke's Mom and Dad:) absolutely extraordinaire dobermans! I felt in love with Duke when I first picked him up and held him in my arms! He was my boy right then and there. At that moment the love affair started! It was a litter of 10 puppies 6 females and 4 males. All black and rust for the exception of 1 red.

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I remember when my girls were that tiny. :)

The breeders daughter cautioned me that they were going to be BIG girls but I could not figure out how she came to that conclusion.

She was right though. I was pretty sure my scale was broke when it said the slimmer looking of the two was 98lbs so I took them to the Vet to check on their scale. She was 98.4lbs at that Vets office and 98.6 at the second we stopped at! Her (bigger looking) sister hovers just under 90lbs. 

Yes, Muscle weighs more than fat. :)

 

Good grief they got big fast!

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Awww they're so cute! Wow yes good weight on them both. They do grow up so fast! They are precious. But I must admit that I'm not missing the dobershark days...lol, my husband's arms have finally healed. So to go back to the subject of my original post, Duke did fine at home depot really well behaved with seeing a whole lot more people than at pet stores for example and we're going back to the dog park today...we're always on the lookout for trouble makers and make sure we dont get in a bad situation with an unruly dog...there's 2 parks that we can enter there with our size dog so it's easy to just change park if a problem arises. He loves to play fetch, be off leash, run full speed and sometimes play with other dogs:) thanks to all for weighing in.

Not a fan of dog parks for Dobermans. Most people have no idea how to read dogs and they don't pay enough attention to their dogs even if they did know how to read them. The best thing you can do is find a couple of other dogs that get along well with yours and have playdates. 

Dobermans are one of those breeds that tend to play really rough - too rough for a lot of other breeds - haha.  They are also not a pack breed, and can be same sex aggressive.  It is not a fault for a Doberman to be somewhat dog aggressive - it is recognized as a possible breed trait. 

Lowes are great places for socializing a puppy - lots of the associates will even carry biscuits.  I also go to my local feed store, Petsmart, and Petco.... but not until they are fully vaccinated with the puppy vaccine series. 

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Hi Fitzmar, thank you for your great input. Yes I would love to schedule playdates with my neighbor's 2 1/2 year old boxer. I've been asking her since Duke is 6 months old or something like that well since he was done with his puppy shots..And she seems too busy with her life to ever get together as of yet. Thank you for letting me know some more traits about the dobermans...( Duke is my second doberman and first male) I do take him to pet stores and he does well only a couple of times he reacted to another dog that barked at him first and that was towards the beginning of us going. I'm still learning his personality and temperament as he's growing to be a young adult. We did go to home depot and he also did well. I was told by another member also that lowes is a great place to take him for socialization, that will be his next trip. Yes I understand about the dog parks that it's more dangerous than not. And I sure dont ever want to see Duke get attacked. Fitzmar I wrote an additional post in the behavior thread and if you have the chance I would like to get your expertise on how to correct that behavior That Duke is portraying lately. You probably didn't see it yet. Thank you for everything and I'm taking in all of your great suggestions and knowledge.

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great places for socializing a puppy - lots of the associates will even carry biscuits.

 

Bad idea to allow others to give treats to your dog. Once you get the dog to thinking is is 'ok' to accept food from strangers you set that dog up for potential problems down the road.

All it takes is one hotdog filled with 'fill in the blank' and that dog is screwed.

But it is good to use those associates to help the dog learn to refuse food from strangers.

Being that my dogs are all show dogs, it pretty important for them to take food from other people.  I don't take them to dog parks and am careful to scan for stuff on the ground when walking.  

I know that poisen laced dog treats have happened - but it's just not something I really worry about. They occasionally board and for sure they need to know how to take food from strangers. 

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Thank you guys, I can see both views here. And considering both at great lengths.
Yesterday we went to the dog park for some great exercise and more socialization for Duke but we were always on the loockout watching every dog that entered scanning for the possible bad company...its not that busy at that particular dog park so it's easy to keep track and monitor. For just about the first time since we're going Duke actually played with other dogs... they chased each other and you could tell that he was having so much fun! We lol had a great time. Here's a few pictures of the pack:)

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Yesterday we went to the dog park for some great exercise and more socialization for Duke but we were always on the lookout watching every dog that entered scanning for the possible bad company...

 

Was at the local feed store with my current pair one time when they were still young adults, say 50lbs or so each... A lady comes around the corner, walking down the isle we were on with a tiny little 5lb doggie on the end of her leash.

I said a silent prayer to myself: 'Dear Lord, please don't let my Dobermans eat that dog or use it for a playtoy'. That prayer was answered and they were both as well listening, calm, and gentle as could be. Zero issues between any of the dogs as that lady and her treat / dog walked past us while she was doing her shopping. (LOL!)

 

On our way out after we finished shopping we came around a corner and got barked at once by a tiny little lady with a Great Dane. Her dog was freaking HUGE. No doubt in my mind that that dog outweighed its owner / handler by a good 50lbs or more. 

I said a silent prayer to myself: 'Dear Lord, please don't let that horse of a dog eat my Dobermans or use either of them for a playtoy'. :)

Similar to how the tiny dog walking down our isle acted when it saw my girls - When my girls saw this horse they stopped for a second when it barked at them and then decided they wanted to go check it out and possibly play with it.

 

You got to get out there with your dog and actually have those experiences for the dog(s) to learn. 

 

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Hi Dobermanguy, yes we do take him a whole lot of different places now even more than before..like you suggested. I'm realy careful at the dog park though, when I say looking for possible bad company I'm talking about dogs that just wants to attack other dogs like those 2 black Sheppard we saw come right in and both of them bolted down on a lab it was disgusting and their owner didn't do anything to recall them! He came to the park for that purpose you could tell. Those are the circumstances that I'm avoiding at all cost. That's all otherwise Duke can play and see any dog that he wants lol!!! Which we go to the dog park about 3 times a weeks sometimes more. He loves it and I decided that I'm not going to take that away from him, just supervise that's all and if those dog owners didn't exist the world would be better place in my opinion. Haha

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when I say looking for possible bad company I'm talking about dogs that just wants to attack other dogs like those 2 black Sheppard we saw come right in and both of them bolted down on a lab it was disgusting and their owner didn't do anything to recall them! He came to the park for that purpose you could tell.

 

Where I live you are not supposed to use force to protect 'property' in most cases - Which is why you have to be careful how you explain things if the police are called. 

If they show up and you say: 'These two dogs were about to attack my dog so I did what I had to do to protect my property'. You may get in trouble depending on how far you took matters but...

If they show up and you say: 'I was standing there with my dog and these other two dogs came running at ME in a threatening manner so I did what I had to do to protect MYSELF. Their owner owes me an apology and a new bottle of pepper spray'. Most likely, The police are going to have a talk with the idiot about how he needs to learn to control his dogs and you will not face any sort of legal trouble at all.

It all depends on how you 'word' things when explaining the actions you took...

That is how the police here 'explained' it to me when I called them because the idiot across the street thought it would be funny somehow to set his adult pit bull crap loose on me and some puppies I had out on a potty break one time. The one officer was especially cool and spent a good 30 min or so explaining finer points of how to stay out of 'trouble' with the law in a 'self defense' situation should the need arise again in the future. 

Then they went across the street and had a talk with the owner... LOL!

They explained to him what would have happened if that dog had run up on them aggressively like it did to me and how it would have cost him a dog and a citation.

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you Dobermanguy for the heads up! Great advice here.