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 Dog Park Opinions/Questions

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Madison Clary

Join date : 2016-07-08
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Dog Park Opinions/Questions   Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:33 pm

Yesterday my boyfriend and I took my 1-2 year old neutered Husky to our local dog park yesterday, and he LOVED it. There were plenty of pretty nice nature trails, three fenced leash-free areas (large dogs, dogs in training, and small dogs), and even a cute little pond the dogs can play in!

We went on a long hike to burn some energy before taking him to play, and once we got there I was immediately discouraged. There were a lot of dogs around us. Two other huskies, two golden retrievers, a blue heeler, and some sort of beautiful great dane mix. Again, these were just the dogs AROUND us. All the dogs were sniffing and wagging tails, then out of no where, Lance began snarling and growling and began jumping. All of the owners freaked out. My boyfriend and I put Lance back on his leash and retreated for another hike before returning to the area for dogs in training. He was the only dog in that area. He'd sprint around then meet the big dogs at the fence and they'd lick each others faces. It was so sad. He wanted to play with them.

I felt very outsided after this, because I realized it looks like they may be regulars and all know one another and they did not seem eager I brought a new pup in. Every time another dog growled or snarled, or even seemed aggressive, no one batted an eye. To be fair, Huskies sound scary to people who aren't used to it.

Lance is a VERY vocal male husky and I feel like they are intimidated by it.

Lance lives with a 6 pound neutered Maltese and is doggy friends with my mom's 7 pound neutered chihuahua and my best friend's female Schnauzer that is not spayed. He is yet to ACTUALLY play anything with them, though he will sprint around the Maltese and bark, but that's about the extent. Again, it always looks playful. The Maltese is older and not in the mood to play lol. Lance has had all three of those dogs growling, barking, and sometimes snapping, and all Lance has really done is walk away unless he gets riled up. My problem is I can't vouch for his behavior around large dogs. He is in training.

MY MAIN QUESTION: What can I, as a dog mommy and newcomer to the local dog park, do/say to better make the other patrons comfortable? Obviously it's a training situation, but I'm afraid of being the person that always tries to let their dog off leash to "play with the big boys" to have to take him away when he becomes "too much" for the other park goers.
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Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

PostSubject: Re: Dog Park Opinions/Questions   Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:01 pm

I would start by going when there are less dogs there. Any dog that isn't used to mass amounts of dogs around can become insecure and act out in a manor that they might not normally do. Another thing is know your dog. The other people at the park are relying on you to know when your dog has an issue and to know if his growling/snarling means something. Most people aren't accustomed to how huskies play except other husky people so you are going to have to be confident that he is only wanting to play, make sure their dog isn't misreading his playful body language and then just talk to them. Explain to them he is new and figuring out his way as much as you are and just encourage them to tell you if they have any issues or if they have any concerns with what they see so you know what dogs you may need to keep him away from. Starting a good line of communication is usually a good way to get in the better graces of people. It might not get you in the clique but it might at least make the clique not give you nasty looks all the time.

You may also try sending him to doggy daycare a couple times where the people that will be watching know what to look for and won't be as shocked by his behavior. Use doggy daycare to teach him some pack manors and then try the park again.

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Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Dog Park Opinions/Questions   Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:10 pm

Well, I got sidetracked and lost the partial response I had type, so here goes ...

While I'm in an area where there are *no* dog parks (unless you consider thousands of acres of desert "a dog park"), I'll hazard a comment or two.

I'm thinking that you're probably right when you say "they may be regulars and all know one another" from comments others have made about their local parks, people get to know each other (and their dogs) and the dogs get to know each other.   I'll bet there's a certain degree of "I wonder how *this* dog's going to behave?" and Lance behaved just like a Husky, tolerant up to a point.

When I add Sky to my pack she was more than a little skittish with just two other dogs "sniffing" and that was after riding 4 hours in the Jeep with Avalanche.  Lance was probably getting disgusted / irritated and had no way to say "Cut it out!" until ....

I think what I'd try, if I were in your shoes, is to bring Lance back to the training section, let them all sniff through the fence and then pick one dog with whom he seems particularly comfortable and ask their owner if they'd consider bringing their dog into the training section to play with Lance. That way he gets to meet just one dog and you get to meet and talk with just one owner.
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Madison Clary

Join date : 2016-07-08
Location : Texas

PostSubject: Re: Dog Park Opinions/Questions   Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:25 pm

These are great suggestions! Thanks guys!
@aljones, I hate a question, or statement, rather, that will sound odd. Lance seems to dislike other Huskies more than any other dog breed. In fact, the other Husky was the dog he seemed to detest. Have you ever heard of that? Or perhaps have any theories you could share?

He was so sad not getting to play with the other dogs, he wouldn't even play fetch. He loves fetch.
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Female Join date : 2016-07-25
Location : Birmingham, AL

PostSubject: Re: Dog Park Opinions/Questions   Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:58 pm

I frequent the dog park with my husky and she has a pretty alpha dominant personality and at first I thought she didn't like small dogs or puppies, but it turns out, she just likes to pick on insecure dogs. Sad

I have been bringing her to the same dog park since she was a puppy and I know some of the regulars, but I still get some weird looks when my dog is being a husky. I don't generally bring her into the park if there are too many dogs there, just because I think it's a recipe for disaster. Even well behaved dogs can get into trouble if there are too many strange dogs around.

My dog is pretty good at following me if I call her to come, even if we're off leash in the dog park, so I typically let her play in the back of the park where there's fewer dogs and I can watch her better.
Most huskies are very vocal when they play and a lot of other dog owners mistake it as aggression.
I think Al gave amazing advice on letting Lance get to know one dog at a time so he can feel more comfortable in the new surrounding.

Sometimes if my dog is misbehaving too much for my liking or the other owners there, I put her in a time out (make her either sit at my feet and watch the other dogs play) or take her into the other pin (which is usually empty) and reintroduce her again after she's calmed down. She usually behaves very well afterwards.

I always let tell the owners around to let me know if how my dog is playing with their dog makes them uncomfortable and I can take her out, but luckily most of the dog owners that go to that park as used to how dogs play and we typically don't have any issues.

About your husky disliking other huskies, are you sure it's dislike? Mochi tries much harder to be the dominant dog when it comes to other huskies.

Hope you have some better experiences next time!
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Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

PostSubject: Re: Dog Park Opinions/Questions   Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:00 pm

Madison....do you know if the other huskies were males, and if they are neutered? Sometimes male dogs get territorial, especially those not neutered, and that may be the reason for the discourse. Lance may be reactive to male dogs as well, so socializing one on one may be best to begin with, so you can see how he reacts. I do not have dog parks close by, but I found that my girl, who has a dominate attitude, plays real well with other huskies, and with my gsd, she prefers playing with dogs her size, and sees little dogs as if they are cats, cute, haha, but not the type of animal she is willing to rough house with. They play incredibly rough, and may take time for you to get used to, and others who may not be familiar to huskies.
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Female Join date : 2016-05-20
Location : Corpus Christi, Texas

PostSubject: Re: Dog Park Opinions/Questions   Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:25 pm

I've been going to the dog park since my girl got her shots and I will say you definitely get to know people there - and typically we just go by our dog's names (i.e, Arya's mom or Buster's dad or Arctic's parents) LOL. I think people fear for their dogs getting hurt because we've had new dogs come in and start attacking the dogs that wanted to play with them. Usually they will come back and it stops after a few visit. Smile My girl plays very well with other Huskies, and small dogs.. However she HATES pitbull type dogs and I have no idea why. We have one that comes named Angel and she's the same age (5 mo.) as mine. I think they play too rough for her because they grab each other's necks and wrestle.. she just likes chase/being chased.
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