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 First Dog Park Trip

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mssuchy
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PostSubject: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:37 pm

So I see there are several topics on the dog park, a lot of them very mixed (making me very nervous). Klaus just finished his shots yesterday (4 months old) and we'll be getting him registered soon for our city dog park. I'm excited to take him, he absolutely loves playing with other dogs. However I couldn't find a board that specifically mentioned what to expect for the first time. If there is a board on this topic I couldn't find, please direct me there!

I'm just wondering what I should expect for our first visit. His recall outside is still pretty bad, we're working on it, and he'll come towards me but zooms past because he doesn't want me to grab his collar and bring him in the house. So my main concern is letting him off to play and not being able to get him back lol, but I also know it's probably going to be a long time before he has a solid recall and don't want to have to wait that long to take him to the park.

I don't plan on bringing anything with us but a water bottle, am I missing anything that I SHOULD bring? I know treats can cause problems.

There is a large dog section and small, thank god because he plays rough with the small ones. I'd rather him play with larger dogs who can handle him. However, I know he will probably be put in his place - hopefully nothing too aggressive as I'm not sure what the best way to break it up? Or trampled even Shocked Not to mention I don't want him being injured.

Any advice for our first trip would be very appreciated Very Happy
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:12 pm

Haley, We don't have dog parks here, Sad , but a few things I would have done myself if we did would be to invest in a 20-50 foot leash, have it on him, and if he doesn't come back to you, you can step on the leash and with using your recall bring him back to you. I'm not sure how others feel to that approach, as an adult I wouldn't but for a young pup leaving it on until recall is better makes sense to me. That way he can still run around and play, if he seems to be getting tangled up then I guess it wouldn't help to leave it on. as far as adult dogs go, i would try and observe as you approach, if all the dogs are playing nice, I see no problem, most adult dogs put puppies in their place in a non hurtful way, so again observe.

Hopefully others will chime in and give you personal experience and advice.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:24 pm

The 2 dog parks I have been to instruct you to remove the leash in the "ante-room" before entering. We've never had a problem, even the first time with Ami and other dogs. The small park is smaller than my back yard so I don't have to worry about recall.

The Ithaca park, however, is several acres...I don't remember how, but I know eventually we got him back on leash.

My first thought would be, if he is not much on recall, is to just go to the entry area and act as if you are leaving. then invite him in. Or run away from him. Just leave lots of time lol!
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:51 pm

Amy, thank you for mentioning the no leash rule....I had no idea, but certainly makes sense, as in not to get dogs tangled up. I wonder if that is a general rule for all dog parks? Yes Haley, I agree with Amy, if that is the case, no leash, I would leave plenty of time, and act like the most interesting thing there to chase, haha, and then grab him.....
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 3:58 pm

Is this dog park enclosed fully?

Renee that's a good strategy for teaching recall, generally, but in a dog park that's a really unsafe idea. It's generally not a good idea to have dogs leashed interacting with dogs unleashed.

There is nothing you can do to eliminate or even minimize the risk of other dogs attacking your dog in a dog park. The public, as it were, is unpredictable and for the most part will always have some degree of risk no matter what. That just comes with the territory.

But, there is a ton you can do with your dog to make her experience beneficial for you both.

You can

-not let her rush in like a crazy dog
-wait until she is settled and calm before opening the gate, even it means waiting 30 minutes
-pay attention at all times and advocate for her whenever you can
-randomly run the opposite direction from her, make yourself look crazy, and provoke her to chase you. If she does, that mean you are more interesting and attractive than the dogs, which is HUGE!
-repeat that over and over again
-not be stressed or worried yourself when you enter--this creates stress in your dog which then prevents her from socializing like a normal, relaxed dog
-have treats *discreetly* in your pocket and use them sparingly and *discreetly*. The chances of needing a good bribe when you are ready to leave are very, very high

All of this will ease the excitement and anxiety over the park and make your experiences that much better.

But sadly, you will never be free of the possible danger of being in a dog park with "the public."
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:01 pm

@MiyasMomma wrote:
Amy, thank you for mentioning the no leash rule....I had no idea, but certainly makes sense, as in not to get dogs tangled up. I wonder if that is a general rule for all dog parks? Yes Haley, I agree with Amy, if that is the case, no leash, I would leave plenty of time, and act like the most interesting thing there to chase, haha, and then grab him.....

I've never seen it as a rule, per se, but it should be. It's just unfair and unsafe.

Being on a leash means that the dog needs space and privacy, of sorts, which frankly nobody should have a right to have this when in an off leash dog park. The implication is that the dogs will be dogs and if a dog needs to be leashed because she/he can't be a dog, then........
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davecerv
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:10 pm

I was just thinking about posting something like this!
My boy just got all his shots like a week ago and I've been taking him to puppy class and to the near by parks. I'm very nervous to try a dog park though. I think I'll take him to one after a few weeks in puppy class. It's the leash thing that worries me. The only times I've tried having him off leash is when I'm in my drive way and I have string cheese in my hand...he really sticks close to me if I have that lol
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:24 pm

Most dog parks are enclosed, so he wouldn't run away, exactly. Especially not a puppy. It just become a huge game to get him back in the gate area and leashed when you're ready to go.

The leash game is one of my least favorite games of all.......grrrrrrr.

Don't get too bogged down by the "they'll run towards the sunset every chance they get." If the park is enclosed, you won't lose him even if this were true.

Key to recall is making yourself more interesting than other stuff. With a puppy, this is actually very easy to do.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:40 pm

So Jeff, since my area is far different than say David's, how do you suggest training recall with pups in a city environment, back yards in the city leave little room to achieve this, sure your pup can be trained for recall in a backyard that is 10 feet in distance, but in large dog parks, obviously we are talking far larger than a back yard, and dogs (stubborn husky puppy, especially) recall at a far greater distance may be a lot harder to achieve. Do you suggest my training idea, use of 20, and more importantly 50 foot leash at the dog park that is enclosed, on a day and time that no dogs are present?

I totally agree, dog parks are meant for dogs to be dogs, and in the city it enables dogs to socialize and gives them more exercise, that our huskies need. I have been lucky in that I found ways for Miya to socialize and play with other dogs, so very important, but we all know living arrangements can change, I always want to be prepared, in the event I ever have to live back in the city, and also when I get my second puppy. So I guess my second question is, using a leash on a puppy is unsafe? I understand letting them be dogs, and a leash can get tangled up in horseplay amongst dogs, but what I envision in my mind, is that a leashed pup, would be easier for me to get out of a bad situation. I appreciate being schooled, so I will and have not taken offense, so please for somebody like myself with ZERO experience in dog parks and puppies in dog parks, do you mind diving in a little deeper? study

Yes David, I totally agree with Jeff and Amy, as I mentioned above, being the most desirable thing to your puppy as well as your adult husky will encourage him/her to come back to you. Running around like a crazy person may seem odd to you, but it surely makes you very enticing to your dog, lol. Smile
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 4:49 pm

I'm curious Haley where in Michigan are you from I am also from Michigan!  If we are close we can do meets!

as for the dog park trip just make sure to stay close by him just in case.  With the no leash rule at the park I go to it is a requirement to take them off of the leash as well as no treats no water bowls (which of course they still bring in) there is a drinking fountain for the pups, and no toys etc. so I would not keep him on a leash I would take him off of the leash in the little area you walk in before entering the park.  

my only suggestion is to keep a close eye on him, when its time to go is the most tricky part I have the hardest time with my girl, I have to chase her (her recall is not very good).

With having a puppy on a leash it causes aggression, yes it may seem safer but in the long run it is not. When you first get into a park most of the time every dog there comes running up to the gate to see who is coming in, and if you come in with your dog on a leash your dog or the other dogs may get frightened and get aggressive which could end badly.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:06 pm

The only way to train a 100% recall in a city is on an e-collar.

Yes, having a puppy on a leash in a dog park is unsafe, not to mention, silly. There's no point to being in a dog park on leash.
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mssuchy
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:15 pm

Thanks for all of the advice everyone.

Jeff - The park is completely enclosed - 2 acres but it is separated by small/big dogs so our side of the park is probably an acre? I think we will be waiting a long time for him to calm down before entering the park haha he gets so squirmy and practically screams with excitement when he sees other dogs. But I do agree with the tips, I'm going to have to work hard to keep myself calm. I'd like to bring some treats in a baggie maybe, but at the same time I don't want other dogs to find out and become treat aggressive.

Amy & Renee - Yes I'm probably going to look like a crazy person trying to get him out of there. I don't plan on going alone though so my fiancé and I should be able to manage getting him back sometime.

Rachel - I'm in the Woodhaven/Trenton area so I'll be going to the Woofhaven dog park, are you part of the Michigan FB group? I feel like I recognize your pups! And I'm going to do my best to stay by him but I'm sure he'll be running faster than I can keep up.

I'd like to go during the slower hours, any idea when that would be? Maybe like 9-10am? My biggest concern is when we first enter if we have a ton of dogs run up to him, not really sure how he'll react. He's never shown aggression but he has definitely been timid around bigger dogs than him for the first few minutes (then he won't leave them alone!) I just don't want all of these dogs to smell fresh meat and tackle him or something...
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 5:24 pm

actually im from woodhaven as well Smile
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capellalayla
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:02 pm

Great advice so far. I'd actually recommend waiting a couple months until Klaus is at least six months old to take him for the first time. Four months is a little young to go to the dog park. Some dog parks even have age restrictions on puppies. They will often be ganged up on and bullied by the older dogs, and some puppies can't handle that. It can also teach them bad habits that they could in turn use against younger dogs later in life.

There really is no way to minimize the risk of an attack at the dog park. When you go, feel out the situation and the types of dogs and people there, and if any of them (dog or person) makes you uncomfortable, you can just leave and try again another day. Sometimes people will bring dogs to the park that definitely do not belong there, and you don't want your dog around that.

As for things to bring, if there isn't running water at the park it's nice to bring a gallon jug of water to share with the other dogs. And don't forget poop bags!
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capellalayla
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:07 pm

Oh, one more thing I just thought of: Educate yourself on dog behavior and dog body language. Know the difference between playing and fighting. Learn the cues of when a fight might be about to break out. Learn the body language of a nervous dog (tail between legs, licking lips, ears down, "whale-eye," etc.) that may attack out of fear. Also learn the safer ways to break up a fight, should one break out. You may never have to use it, but this knowledge can be immensely helpful if you need to get your dog out of a situation that may become a fight or one that already has. It could even save a life.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:31 pm

Yup, very important Liz.

It's do easy to get overprotective and over worried at dog parks, especially with puppies.

With a husky though, very likely you'll end up with "that dog" at the dog park. They can be real jerks with their mouthyness and self confident play styles.
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:16 am

Haley and I are from the same city so when she feels ready to take Klaus to the park me Nala and Oakley are going to meet her there Smile our park already has water bowls and poop baggies and garbage's for the poop bags so no worries there. The park we go to is really off and on and usually there aren't many people that go in the winter so she can usually let Klaus run free and no one would be there we used to do that a lot with Nala because the park is so huge.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:24 pm

@RachelNala1694 wrote:
 The park we go to is really off and on and usually there aren't many people that go in the winter so she can usually let Klaus run free and no one would be there we used to do that a lot with Nala because the park is so huge.

That was my disappointment in dog parks - I brought Ami there to play with other dogs. Usually there were not other dogs and if there were, they were little and old and yappy, not fit for husky rough-housing. Since I have plenty of safe space for him to run free at home, the dog park turned out to be a bust for us. Thank you, Josh for Archer!

The 2 around here also have poop bag dispensers, garbage cans, water bowls and one has big tanks of water in the summer for splashing. The other has a beach on the lake.

I also did the "discreet treat" thing at the Ithaca place - 5 acres is a lot of room to try and corral your dog
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:27 pm

Yeah thats how it is at our park, unfortunately we can only make it on sundays and no one really goes those days and during the week people go around 5 or 6 when they are off work and I have school so i never get to go it sucks. I heard there are alot of huskies that go to our park but i never know when! i've never seen them!
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mssuchy
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:53 pm

Thanks Liz, I feel like I have a decent grasp on body language so hopefully with that and me keeping a close eye everything will be okay. He'll be about 4.5 months when I take him since I won't have him registered with the city until sometime next week. He's pretty hefty for his age 37 lbs, I feel like we'll give it a shot and if he's getting bullied or if he is too uncomfortable we'll just go home and try another time, we're going to just get a yearly pass.

Rachel I also posted in the FB huddle group and there were a few others in our area that might be interested in going, I'll make sure I post in there when I have a date (will be a Sunday morning). I'd feel a lot better if we had a couple husky friends with us for the first time Smile
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:02 pm

Yes! Nala and Oakley would love to play this will be Oakleys first time going he is 5 months old and the same weight as Klaus so Im sure they would get along well Smile Nala is a rough houser so Ill keep a close eye on her no worries! We just registered them yesterday so we now have the code, but a Sunday morning would be perfect! I will keep an eye on the husky facebook page!
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mssuchy
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:17 pm

Honestly I'm sure Klaus will be fine with the rough housing, he's done well with a Doberman, Cain Corso/Great Dane, and a German Shepard. Small dogs... not so much he's nice they just don't like him lol. I think his sharp puppy teeth would be what would annoy anyone.
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RachelNala1694
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PostSubject: Re: First Dog Park Trip   Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:19 pm

Nala is the same way with small dogs she likes them they dont like her, it usually ends in a small scuffle and I tell the person they shouldn't have their small dog in this area and quite often there are small dogs in the big dog part of the park so that is quite annoying Mad
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