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Old 03-07-2009, 11:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Did you say dog park?

More often than they should, pit bull owners wonder about the dog park issue, finding themselves explaining to others that their dog is not a "killing machine," it is not "one of those pit bulls" and there is no reason that their dog can’t enjoy off leash time with unknown dogs. Some will even insist that "you only add to the misconception toward this breed when you don't allow your friendly pit bull to go to the dog park.” After all, these people argue that it is all about "how we raise them" and providing socialization is the key to no problem dogs. Unfortunately, that’s not true.

Dog aggression in our own dogs should not be a problem. Good management and knowledge prevent trouble. Responsible and caring pit bull owners have done their homework and know what to expect from the breed. This breed's genetic traits involve dog aggression, to varying degrees. Even the most well socialized pit bull can one day decide that other dogs are not play buddies. It happens most often when the dog reaches maturity between two and three years of age, and it can happen without apparent reason.

Here are some good articles for basic breed information:

http://www.pbrc.net/breedinfo.html
http://www.realpitbull.com/fight.html

Because of the breed's background, it is unfair to expect dogs to behave the way we want them to when it comes to dog aggression and dog to dog relationships. We set our dogs up for failure when we decide to let them off leash in a public place and allow them to romp with other dogs. Dog parks are a place where people like to chit chat with each other, paying very little attention to what happens around their dogs. Posturing, body language, subtle looks and even vocalization are often misunderstood or overlooked by dog owners. Even when dogs let us know what is about to happen we might not see what is happening until it is too late. Most dog owners have no idea of what body language means, and don’t know how to intervene if things go wrong. They panic, scream, yell, and hit the attacking dog; all of which often just makes things worse. A fight between two dogs can be hard enough to stop; now imagine a fight among 4 or 5 of them. In fights like these, pets and even people can be seriously injured.

Dog parks are also a place where unknown dogs are present. We don't know if they’re fully vaccinated or in good health. They can be sick and our dogs can get ill as well.

We don't know if they are truly friendly dogs or if they may be aggressive. Everybody's dog is friendly, according to their owners. When the "friendly" dog decides to snap at ours, a fight starts.

Who is going to be blamed for that fight? Will it be the pit bull or the cute little fluffy dog? The answer is obvious.

Here is the story of one accident at a dog park, involving a pit bull.:

http://www.badrap.org/rescue/dogpark.cfm

Below is an article about a pit bull named Nettie that attacked a police horse, in San Francisco, in 2003. Nettie was let off leash at a public park by her irresponsible owner. The dog did nothing wrong, but she was set up for failure by the person who should have protected her. Nettie belonged to an SPCA volunteer and she was often taken to senior centers to comfort the elderly. Nettie was a good dog. This pretty pit bull female paid the price for her owner’s ignorance and irresponsibility with her life. Many dogs have lost their lives the same way, due to the same kind of irresponsibility. It took her life for her owner to "get it.” Like most situations of this sort, the events that ultimately resulted in Nettie’s unfair death were totally preventable.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/gate/archive/2003/11/23/horse23.DTL


Each time a pit bull is allowed to harm another pet all pit bull owners and their dogs suffer. One common defensive reaction of dog park lovers is "the dog is mine and it is nobody's business where I take it.” This is not true. It is every pit bull owner's business as well. We are surrounded by BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) all over the Country. The news media report dog to dog attacks or dog to cat/cow/horse/sheep attacks almost every day, and with the same attention as if Osama Bin Laden had been captured. Reporters often compare human aggression to animal aggression. How many times do we hear "it was a dog but it could have been a child"?

It is ridiculous but it happens every day. “There goes another vicious pit bull attacking an innocent dog or cat!” What happens after a pit bull attacks another dog in the neighborhood or at the local dog park? It is like we suddenly own wild animals that have no right to exist. Our friendly neighbor suddenly stops talking to us and no longer lets her children come around our dog. The person we used to walk our dog with is no longer available because she fears for her pet. The two men down the street no longer come and pet our dog when we walk by their homes or rush into the house if they have their dogs with them. People ask for a ban. We did not change and our dog is the same as always but this is the result of one mistake, caused by someone who obviously did not care about the rest of us. It is a sad situation to be in.

This breed doesn't need any more accidents, we can't afford them. We are in this situation thank to those who failed their own dogs. When a whole breed suffers because of someone's action it is our business as well. No doubt on that.

Vet bills aren't cheap, emotions can be overwhelming, the guilt stays, so why to risk it? It isn't fair that only one breed is targeted when dogs of other breeds have killed or attacked other dogs. Today, a dog behaving like a dog has become a sin. Fair or not that is how the situation is and every pit bull owner needs to understand it.

The point of socialization is for a dog to have positive experiences with other dogs. When people take their dogs, perhaps puppies, to a park and something happens, they are responsible for the consequences. A young dog that is attacked for no reason won't be so willing to be friendly the next time it meets an unknown dog. An experience like that is a bad start and can often lead to problems in the future. There are no guarantees on what can happen at a dog park because dog parks are often full of different dogs with different personalities and tolerance levels. Even an easy going adult dog can change its approach after an attack. It is hard enough for a dog of this breed to tolerate other dogs and it is a big mistake to contribute to bad experiences. Dogs should always rely on us to defend them--the trust factor is important. We are responsible for protecting our dogs from harm. A dog that has no choice but to defend itself loses its trust in the owner and knows that in the future it needs to take care of itself. It then becomes fearful of other dogs and not so willing to behave like a well-balanced dog that was socialized in the appropriate way.

How can we socialize around other dogs then? Good question. Socialization is a must but it has to be done with common sense and in a controlled environment. Perhaps a friend has a mellow dog of the opposite sex and he/she is willing to let the dogs play together. Both owners should know that there is the possibility of a scrap and will intervene immediately and with the appropriate tools/techniques. Both owners will watch their dogs closely and never leave them unsupervised.

Every pit bull owner should have a breaking stick available, even when on a walk, hidden somewhere. It is a quick and effective way to break a hold.

What is a breaking stick and why it is an important tool to have:
http://www.pbrc.net/breaksticks.html

Some information on how to break up a fight:
http://www.pbrc.net/breakfight.html

Obedience classes are an option too. In obedience classes, the dogs are leashed and can learn to control themselves in the presence of other dogs. It is not necessary for a pit bull to be dog friendly, but it is necessary for us to help them learn to control natural behaviors. Dogs that are exposed to this kind of environment can learn to behave with some time and work.

The local feedstore/petstore is another way to socialize our dogs, because they are another place where dogs are leashed. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t mean we don't need to pay attention to the surroundings. Respect the comfort level of your dog and move away from other dogs if necessary. Face to face interactions can quickly end badly, even when both dogs are leashed.

Those who are still convinced that a pit bull belongs to a dog park would benefit from reading these links. Their dogs and all of us will benefit as well.Please, don't set your dog up for failure.

http://www.pbrc.net/dogpark.html
http://www.pitbullpress.com/ARTICLES/DOGPARK.html

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Old 03-07-2009, 11:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
 

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Good Post.

For me it is also all the germs at dog parks that keeps me out of them (even the regular park for that matter)
There is no one there checking the health of the dogs that enter also there is no proof of vaccines. I keep my dog up to date on everything and want to keep him healthy. No reason to put him at risk of cooties and other dogs.
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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We are in this together to be responsible owners. It seems like everyday I am reading yet another story in our local paper about an attack by a pit bull or pit bull "type" ( basically, any dog that looks like it may have a similarity to what someone thinks is a pit bull) There are some people who insist that their pit bull is an exception to the rule, and these are the very same people who continue to drag the breed through the mud with their ignorance.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I'll second that.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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tomorrow morning at 6:30 am i will take Jameson and go pick up my friend's pointer that is a rough-neck maniac, probably have a massacre in my car and then let the two of them loose in the woods near our complex.... It's a county park with 300+ acres. Let the blood spill. Just kidding. They do play rough though and it's all the better for my home. I would take the two of them to the dog park but the visitors get nervous with the snarling and snapping.
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Old 03-08-2009, 01:52 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Yeah, I wouldn't bring any breed of dog I own to a dog park. Too many irresponsible owners and too many diseases.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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and when the other dog picks the fight, most the time the pitbull will get the better of the other dog, and when that happens it is of coarse the pitbuls fault,
simply because of its name.
from what i've seen anyway.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I laugh when grizz is so friendly and they say " we should have a play date... What dog park do you go to?" I feel bad for laughing in there face but it's a knee jerk reaction. I walk by a couple dog parks and I don't like what I see... Lazy people from the nearby condos with hyper dogs.
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Old 03-12-2009, 01:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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People at dog parks are very discriminative. Their in the most uppity neighborhoods and most of the dog owners know nothing about pits and are lazy owners with poorly trained dogs. My friend took his 6 month old blue pit to a park and people were staring at him and his dog before he took him off of the leash, not even paying attention to their dogs. He said that he just took him home because he didn't feel like being stared at the whole time he was there.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
 

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I had the same thing happen to me.People staring meanwhile, its like a groupie meeting and everyone standing around not watching their Dog.
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Old 03-16-2009, 03:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I had the same thing happen to me.People staring meanwhile, its like a groupie meeting and everyone standing around not watching their Dog.
yup EXACTLY.. PPL THERE DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THEIR DOGS.. i mean they sit there and chit chat, and arent look at the signs to a possible fight. when i took kenya to one when she was a little tyke, all the ppl were trying to talk to me and i was like "uh huh, yeah,, mmm, mmmhmmm..." cuz my eyes were fixed on kenya and the other dogs. someone caled me a rude b*tch but i cant help it, I WASNT THERE TO TALK TO U. lol... no more dog parks... dont want to set kenya up to fail.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Layla and I were going to the dog park pretty regularly for the socialization but I knew I would not take her after 7-8 monthes. Well she's only 4 1/2 monthes and we arnt going back. First off it pisses me off when people say ohhh a pitbull is she friendly?!? Umm ya shes a puppy are you kidding! And noone watches thier dogs at all! People are more concerned with socializing amongst themselves. Also Layla seems to get bullyed but ill mannered pups/dogs so we've experienced it and decided no more. Not to mention I think she got fleas from there and had to be treated for worms again which I'm going to assume she picked up there as well.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:47 PM   #13 (permalink)
 

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ahh learned the hard way the thought of a dog park makes me cringe. aside from all the snooty people who let their unruly dogs run wild and be jerks the cooties that are at them! there is no one monitering the health of the dogs that attend the park. yuck.
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:51 PM   #14 (permalink)
 
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yes definitely learnt the hard way! Some dogs are just not a good match for her to play with either....too rough/big.

Its amazing how rough and tough our dogs are supposed to be but she was getting her little butt kicked by a golden lol
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Old 03-31-2009, 05:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
 

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before i got on the forums and learned about dog parks when Peanut was 4 months old we took him to the dog park once. he was playing with his ball (we brought it from home to throw for him) and from behind come this big white dog with black spots and he mounted Peanut. even though Peanut was young he got angry and ran that dog off i havent seen Peanut so aggressive (i dont blame him though). we put Peanut's leash on and left immediately and havent been back. then i cmae to the forums a little later and learned more of the horrors of dog parks. never again will i take any dog to the dog park
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