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 Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?

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lhnqmb
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PostSubject: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:05 pm

Hi guys! My name is Linh and this is my first post on the forum! Just a little insight, I have a Siberian Husky (like most of you do) and his name is Ziggy. He is a little over a year old and weighs 49 pounds (which is a beautiful size). He has many dog pals and a girlfriend named Aleu. Smile She's a Siberian Husky/Malamute mix. I am saying this with a lot of promise, he is one of the most sweetest, intelligent, and playful dogs. It has been a year since my boyfriend and I brought him into our little family. I think we've trained him very well! He's house broken, easy on the leash, socialized, does not hump & others great things. We used to have a decent sized dog park at our apartment complex that we'd always take him to. He LOVES the dog park. Whenever he was a pup, we'd always get him hyped and say like "you ready to go to the dog park!?" Every time the words dog & park were used, Ziggy's ears would perk. At that time, there were a good amount of puppies at our complex so he had a blast socializing. We have also taken him numerous times to the big Twin Lakes dog park in Columbia, MO (he loves this place even more), it's a great dog park if anyone is ever in the city! Ziggy has met a lot of friends there, I remember one night we went around 6 and there were only huskies there (maybe 11 of them). All the huskies were running together in like a pack. It was the best night ever for Ziggy.

Now to the serious thoughts of this discussion post, Ziggy is an intact male dog. Yes, there are many stereotypes and a lot of disrespectful people who always have negative things to say about intact dogs. I believe it should be a well thought out decision for the (hopefully) responsible dog owner. I don't take sh-t nor do I give any for those who try to put me down for my belief or decision on that. I have been disrespected numerous times on this subject, and I am over it so let's stick to the main discussion... since Ziggy has gotten out of his puppy stage, there has been 4 dogs that have tried to attack him. Let me remind you, Ziggy is a very sweet dog. The first dog that attacked Ziggy was an intact Malamute named Ace (he lived in our apartment complex). The owner used to take the Malamute off leash all the time before the incidents and swears that Ace never acts like how he does with Ziggy. Ace would dart at Ziggy whenever he'd see him and start being real aggressive. It is terrifying because this dog is big, at least 90 pounds and running straight for you. It's safe to say, he keeps him on a leash all the time now. All that my boyfriend and I could do whenever the attacks happened was to hold Ziggy up like a baby and wrap around him tight so that Ace couldn't get to him. My boyfriend was knocked over with a bloody hand from one of the incidents, it is not fun. We tried having the dogs closer to each other and socialize the two to have Ace know like "hey, there's no threat here." It didn't work, Ace would just pull and pull on his leash and get real angry when he's close to Ziggy. That was the beginning of incidents like this. The second time was with a random Border Collie. It belonged to our neighbor's friend that was visiting. We let it come up to Ziggy after saying he was friendly and all that. The dog sniffed a bit and then nipped/clawed and consistently barked at Ziggy. At that point, the owner pulled back and apologized saying "sorry, I knew that was going to happen." Not sure what he meant by that, maybe his dog is not good with other dogs? Past that little bit of violence, we took him on campus one day and ran into a Pitbull and it's owner. The owner, again, asked if Ziggy was a nice dog and all of that. We let the dog come close to Ziggy and with slight sniffs, the dog went crazy biting Ziggy! The last dog to attack Ziggy (sadly) was my roommate's dog, Kai. Ziggy and Kai have been together since they were little puppies. They grew up together and were best buddies! Kai was recently neutered and the first few times having them together after the neutering process (2 weeks after), Kai was just hush while Ziggy would want to play. The last time they were together, Kai quickly lashed out on Ziggy whenever he started playing with his toys. Kai has always been protective of his toys and has nipped numerous times at Ziggy before. It hasn't been this bad though. Maybe they needed more time to socialize after Kai was neutered? They have been together almost everyday since we brought them home as puppies though, so I don't see how the socializing aspect was a problem. I was pretty devastated after all this happened. Ever since early spring, we have not taken Ziggy to the dog park with the scary thought that he could be vulnerable to an attack there. It makes me really sad though because (like I said) Ziggy LOVES the dog park. It has been a while (months) since we've gone and I feel bad keeping the place away from him and for not letting him go socialize and play with so many dogs. I honestly get sad at least once or twice a week when I think back on this. It's hard and I feel like I just need some tips or comforting help on what I should do. What do you guys think? Is it right for me to do this? Should I try taking him to the dog park again?

My boyfriend and I make up for the lost dog park trips by taking him on nature trails and having Ziggy pull Zach (that's my boyfriend) on his board. Ziggy loves that as well. We are trying to bring the true Siberian Husky out of him! Hopefully, he'll be able to pull on snow one day. Smile Anyway, thanks for your time! If you got this far down from reading, I applaud you. This is truly something that's troubling me and I figured resorting to a forum with other husky owners could help.
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MiyasMomma
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:47 pm

Welcome to the forum! Most people any more believe dog parks are not a good place for socializing. I belong to numerous groups and forums and that seems the majority of people think dog parks may not be the greatest thing for dogs. with that said, perhaps Ziggy still has the playful, annoying puppy attitude that mature dogs don't like and they are trying to put Ziggy in his place. My personal view, go to the dog park at times when you know there are just a few dogs. Set up private play dates with dogs that you know will interact properly with Ziggy. Or perhaps post up in a local husky group and get some huskies together to have a play date at the dog park. I do not have a dog park near me, kinda glad really, I have read some terrible things about dog parks, and have found I can socialize and tire out my dogs with out one. Good luck, and we love pics here, so a pic of Ziggy when you get a chance will be great. Smile
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jalepeno
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:23 pm

My first husky Casey was like Ziggy.
He was a wonderful friendly dog who was intact.
Other male dogs would just go after him.
He would never start fights, but boy would he fight when another dog began it.

Once when I was running with him, I had a dog that was seemingly asleep on a porch bound off the porch and attack as we silently passed by.
When she came out, the owner said that the dog had never done that before!

Casey eventually was attacked by a hybrid wolf-GSD when we were camping in the North Cascades.
The wolf dog showed up at sunrise and began cycling the tent and barking.
Casey was very upset by this.
Finally the wolf dog stopped barking.
An hour later, my wife let Casey out of the tent to pee.
The wolf dog was hiding in the woods and attacked.
My wife was knocked down; my hand was bitten and Casey received some serious wounds.
I think he was 11 when this happened.
He developed canine lupus as a result of his internal injuries.
Casey lived to 14, but he was never the same.

My next husky, Natasha, was a female who was fixed.
She was not as friendly as Casey, kind of standoffish.
She was only attacked once, by an intact male husky.

My current husky Bodhi is not intact.
He is very friendly and very social.
Body goes to doggy day care twice a week without any problems.
He has been attacked by male dogs, but not with the severity that Casey was.

You can draw your own conclusions to this unscientific set of circumstances.
I would hope that some of the breeders or people who own multiple dogs on here would respond.

My advice would be to consult your vet.
If you trust him/her, follow his/her advice.
You can own an intact dog, but you will have to be super watchful.


Last edited by jalepeno on Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:29 pm

As much as you may get a lot of flack for keeping him intact and don't like it, that decision could also play into his interactions with other dogs. Intact dogs put off a different smell that many neutered dogs don't sense and process the same. Dogs that are neutered at the proper age will sometimes not understand why an intact dog smells the way they do and can lash out out of a misunderstanding or even nervousness at the difference. Other intact males can become very aggressive with each other if there are unfixed females within a few miles of where they are. When leaving a dog intact, male or female, you are no longer going to just be dealing with a need to socialize. You will have to deal with the ebb and flow or hormones. Unless you know every dog at the dog park and how they specifically receive intact dogs it may be a long road trying to make it work. As Renee suggested, you are probably much better off finding a few dogs that he does get a long with and setting up play dates with those when you can. Or go to the park when there are few enough dogs you can meet the dogs and see how they do together while there aren't so many that he could get ganged up on.

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lhnqmb
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:22 pm

Thank you guys for the replies!

Renee,
Ziggy is actually the first dog I have ever owned. In my family and culture, dogs don't play that companion role like they do here in the US and in other places. I have grown to love dogs though! Zach has an 11 year old Bichon Frise back home, so he was super helpful when we got Ziggy. I didn't even know dog parks existed until I got Ziggy actually. I have heard some bad about dog parks, but I tried and have had positive experiences so far! We have gone on a while without taking Ziggy to the dog park (obviously) and we're doing really well without it. Ziggy is getting more than enough exercise and fun outside without the dog park. I just get these feelings of guilt a lot because I knew he loved going there and meeting all the dogs. I want to bring him to the dog park, but I don't know if it is such a good idea with all that has happened. I guess I'm just taking it to heart more haha. Right, we concluded that it was a dominance issue as well with all the testosterone the dogs can sense in each other. I didn't know it could set some dogs off so much. I am learning in my time as a dog owner though!

Michael,
I am sorry that happened with Casey. Exactly the same though. Ziggy is such a friendly dog and never starts fights, but it seems like certain dogs are just after him. We haven't consulted our vet about the dog park, but she is supportive of our decision to keep Ziggy intact and have given us tips. We are always attentive when we're out and about; it's not a problem!

Jenn,
I agree. It is sad that having him intact makes means for other dogs to get at him. It is not something that I tread lightly on. I guess we'll just stick with his pals and girlfriend haha-- for now anyways.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:22 pm

I've been following this thread, it's been interesting.

Just gonna throw my experiences in with my current two...Kohdi (my boy) is loved by every female he meets or knows...males for the most part, can't stand him. It blows my mind really cuz Kohdi is the friendliest, most playful, guy ever...I've watched interactions closely, and Kohdi is NOT the instigator, I honestly don't know what it is (maybe it's his crazy parti eye, lol) but a few males can get down right vicious towards him. He is neutered btw.
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:58 pm

Never owned a male dog myself, but what I have witnessed at our dog park is the men can't get along, lol. There are a lot of intact males at my park who try to get on one another so it's probably a dominance thing. Cops have actually been called out for "pitbull fights" at the park (people assuming I guess..) i'm figuring it's because no one seems to neuter their male pits here - seriously, there is only 1 out of the bunch that are regulars that is neutered - so i've witnessed quite a few scuffles that needed to be separated.

FYI- I have nothing against pitties, they're cute big babies and I love them, they just seem to get stuck with cruddy owners where I live that crop their ears and don't train them.
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Stefanie Miles
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Tue Aug 30, 2016 4:41 pm

I have never attempted to take Pasha to a dog park, but Artemis...I will NEVER take her again. We have three walking tracks in my county that allow leashed dogs, and they both love going there. One is right next to the river, so they can get in the water (not Pasha...he hates all of the water right now). They have interacted and played with dogs there before, and it is a much calmer situation than a dog park (for us). Maybe you could try to find an option like that?

I have heard many people say that they have had issues with intact dogs at dog parks. Some dogs are more aggressive before they are fixed. My parents had a dog that was hyper and borderline mean, but they had him fixed. Totally different dog. I haven't had either of mine fixed yet, but plan to. I have no idea if that would make a difference or not. My personal problem is that Artemis is WILD as all get out, and she goes crazy for a good 20 min before she decides to act right and listen. It's off-putting to people, and I get that. My other problem is that other people also do not like to control their dogs, because they like to have their faces shoved into their phones at all times. It's just really obnoxious. Plus, the nearest dog park to me is about 45 min away.
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Wolfpack17
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:39 pm

My pup Carter, almost 1 year old now has the same issue-but he is neutered. He was attacked three times by the same GSD at our local dog park. All 3 times were before he was neutered and the GSD was also intact. The dog literally stops what it was doing and would run to Carter and attack him, the 3rd time it happened in the parking lot before we even got inside the park- the GSD was not on leash and came running straight at Carter... I ran into the woods with him to get off the path and he followed, almost 100 pounds to my 7 month old 40 pounds I had to kick him and scream at him until the owner ran up and pulled him off. (Then I told the owner off and now 3 months later has not returned to the park)
I say all this because it sounds like what happened with your neighborhood Malamute mix.
After Carter was neutered an heeled we returned to the dog park, now MORE males try to attack him, sometimes coming from behind when Carter was not even playing with them or any dog- just minding his business. He used to submit right away, but then one time after submitting the other dog still would not stop until I pulled it from the hind legs off my pup.
We have since stopped going to the dog park and now Carter is nervous around other dogs coming towards him. (We are working tirelessly to get him comfortable with dogs again-it will be a long battle)

Anyway- I know this is a ranting post but I say all of this to tell you: It may not be because Ziggy is intact. It may just be that other dogs (males) don't like his smell. Carter never started any of the attacks. He was neutered around 8 months old and dominant male dogs did not like him before or after.

That being said, one of his favorite pals at the dog park was an intact dalmatian.

Some dogs just don't like other dogs and it is hard to tell who will like Ziggy until it is too late.
Females are all fine with Carter. Maybe stick to female friends, and males who you know will not be aggressive.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:54 am

I have never had a bad experience at the dog park...other than once having to bring a very wet and muddy wooly home! But, can't say that, at least around here, the dog park trips have been particularly successful. Because it is a not usual experience, Ami is more interested in exploring and many times most of the dogs are old and fat and with elderly people sitting and chatting. The only time he really got to play was when we met a husky group and there were loads of huskies there and then, it was a really hot day with people and dogs staying in the shade:

Ithaca Dog Park with Empire State Snowdog Club:





Better was the group hike later in Taughannock Falls State Park - the dogs got a swim break in the one part of the stream that had water!

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PollyR
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:18 pm

We don't take Mars to the dog park too often because we always have to rinse him/wash him, depending on whether it has rained or not and how dirty he gets, so it has to be in the  morning to give him enough time to dry.

But he sure loves to go and play with other dogs and run freely.  He's like a butterfly going from dog to dog until he finds a dog that he wants to play with.   Very Happy

We took Mars for the first time when was about 6 months, he got to play with no problems.  The second time, he was still an intact male at 7 months old and he was attacked by an Australian Shepherd (the other dog's owner was unapologetic); the following time after the incident, Mars was very nervous and needed encouragement, but he went into the park and found a bull terrier puppy that loved to wrestle--Mars had a blast--we had a very tired husky for ONE WHOLE DAY!  Fortunately, he hasn't had any problems since that incident.  The main problems I see at the park are dogs that don't play, yet don't let other dogs play (maybe they have not learned how?).  And  I see owners who turn a blind eye to their dog's behaviors--This, I don't understand, because we are always so watchful of Mars.

Here's are a couple of links of Mars having fun at park.





We mainly take him to the park because he is our only dog and so he can play and because he LOVES to run. Razz
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Mon Mar 27, 2017 11:25 pm

Cute videos Polly. I blinked though and missed one of them, hahaha, they're super short Smile (I'm kidding, I watched them both)

Personally, I don't like dog parks. There is usually always that one owner that thinks his/her dog walks on water and that one dog is the trouble maker. Interestingly enough, even though I don't take mine to the dog park, I still have trouble...on one of our walking routes, I pass the park right in my own neighborhood, and between 1-4 dogs ALWAYS off leash (even though signs state dogs must be on leash outside of fenced areas) break away from their owner and come charging us, with a mangle of dogs in the middle of the street now. And many times I hear from the owner, "I just don't know what got in to him/her...I don't think he/she likes huskies" <rolls eyes>
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Mon May 15, 2017 5:18 pm

My experience with dog parks..
You get good days/bad days. Learn who comes at what time, set up play dates with dogs you know that he gets along with. I recommend taking your dog out if your not sure of a new dog coming in and seeing their reaction through a fence first and you can correct it and walk away if need to.

I've taken my gsd to the dog park sense he was able to (with shots) to socialize him(I socialized the crap out of him) to avoid having an aggressive/nervous dog. Everything was fine until he hit that 1 year mark and matured. I had waited to neuter him for growth reasons as many do with larger breeds. I had taken a break from going to the dog park because life happens and he was going to meet with his favorite great Dane friend who he used to romp and play with for hours, they we're best buds. So we meet and there was immediately aggression from both dogs(intact at the time) through the fence and we had looked at each other in shock like what has happend? Did you guys forget you used to play together for hours? So basically my Dane friend told me that dogs change at a year old, this was proof.
From that day on I could no longer take Memphis to the dog park because i just didn't trust him like I used to. So it wasn't worth it to me to go and risk injury to others and myself. He enjoys being around people more than dogs now in his adult dog life anyway. Or picking on Miya at home haha.
To this day my friend with the Dane, he will not tolerate an intact male around why? No idea. He is fixed now, we had both socialized them since they were puppies. He will play with certain dogs, male & female just not intact males. it could be the vibe that intact males usually give off scratch
So thats my advice with dog parks. You will have dogs that should NOT be at a dog park in the first place and oblivious owners..just be careful.
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PostSubject: Re: Should I or should I not take my dog to the dog park?   Tue May 16, 2017 11:01 am

You people with your dog parks...you don't know how lucky you are.
Every other home in my town has dogs. There is probably half as many dogs as there are people. But no one does anything with their dogs. We don't have a dog park. There is literally no place where it's legal for a dog to be off leash (although most people don't obey this law).
I'd LOVE to have a dog park.

Even though I'm sure we'd have more irresponsible owners than not, it would be nice to be able to socialize my dogs a bit more.

Jane, are you aware that fences cause dog aggression? Two dogs that are perfectly fine one on one will viciously bark and growl if you stick a fence between them.
I've seen it with my Husky before. A doggy friend of his comes by about weekly and they have a great time together in the yard. One day we were out for a walk when his friend stopped by. When we showed up, he was in the fenced in yard. Both dogs went ballistic, though neither was typically aggressive at all. Opened the gate and both backed down a bit, but were still on alert. After a couple minutes they were back to playing and being friendly.
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