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Old 09-16-2007, 09:24 PM  
so your thinking about a dog park
wheezie wheezie is offline 09-16-2007, 09:24 PM
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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/articl...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


(crossposted with permission)

 
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Old 09-24-2007, 02:58 AM   #16 (permalink)
 

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fine around other dogs until provoked is the key, tuck plays great with dogs he knows but if provoked his breed comes out and he will be the one to be blamed for hurting the other dog i prefer to just stay out of the situation
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Old 09-25-2007, 03:31 AM   #17 (permalink)
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This is a great thread, and I'm moving it on to the How-Tos section as I think it makes a great guide for anyone thinking about attempting a dog park, and I want it to remain readily accessible to people instead of eventually getting lost amongst general doggy threads
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
 
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my story

When I lived in Missouri, I finally understood what "uneducated pitbull owner "meant. I took my nine year old 1/2 pit 1/2 german shepard Miss Hannah and my then 10 week old Ruthie to the dog park . One day a man with his 2 kids and female brindle IN HEAT (maybe pregnant) came to the park. That dog was cranky towards the other bigger dogs there and everyone was getting frustrated with his in attention to his dog "That's how they are." he said.

Miss Hannah always stands on the side lines now to watch the activity. She only likes particular friends. Even then it is only one at a time or she plays with me.
Ruthie was her usual self frolicking and playing unaware that not all other dogs are her friends. Well, the new brindle pit started roughing Ruthie up a bit and at the one hi pitched squeal from Ruthie, Miss Hannah charged the Brindle and gave her a what for. It was on then! Fortunatly, I was within reach of Miss Hannah and pulled her off and the other guy finally said "Huh? What? Oh they are just horsing around." One of the other park goers had enough of it too and got the park ranger. By the time the ranger got there, it was over with the other guy and the brindle gone. Miss Hannah was still fired up and Ruthie was ok but Boy did I learn something myself! Miss Hannah is a pure breed but she will step up to the plate if "her kids " are hurt! I just don't want to see her do that again. She IS almost 10 years old. Ruthie on the other hand Looked up at Miss Hannah with in her eyes as if to say "She likes me! She likes me!"
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Old 09-25-2007, 05:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
 

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i agree. my wife just got a job at a kennel and she is aloud to take our dogs to work and she ask what i thought. my thoughts are NO. they play all day out side, 10 to 15 dogs, bad situtation. friday the owner's st. bernard started a fight with a smaller dog, he had a hell of a time get that dog off of the other. just proves my point.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
 

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I'am guilty of taking my pup to the dog park... I figure she' still VERY young (4 1/2 months) so yeah its ok and besides i dont "chit chat" and well she sticks up my butt lmao and its always the little dogs picking on her (poor pup)
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Old 09-17-2008, 05:56 AM   #21 (permalink)
 

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Dog Parks are a joke, its just a bunch of lonely single people who are lookin for someone else just as lonely as them to talk to ... Kilo and i went to tha Dog Park near my house once simply cause i was walking him around tha park and i never even seen or heard anything about a dog park. There was 2 sides one smaller than the other the smaller one was empty so i took Kilo in tha empty one since there was dogs much bigger than him in tha other side. I wasent there for 10 minutes when 2 women came up to tha fence and asked me if my dog was under 25lbs and i said "no why"they pointed to sign that said dogs under 25lbs only. Mind you these 2 women didnt have any dogs with them. As they sat there and watched me i simply put Kilo back on his leash and fallowed the 2 women to the other sid of the fence where the sign said 25lbs+ the 2 women put thier dogs on leashes and left, no more than 5 minutes later 3 more women took thier mutts who were twice the size of my puppy and left. Needless to say i was left in tha park with 3 old men that would not leave me alone and a middle aged couple pointing and whispering.
Honestly i dont kno tha point of this post but i can say i really wished i had read about "Dogs Parks" befor i saw one .... I have a huge back yard anyway
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Old 09-17-2008, 07:16 AM   #22 (permalink)
 
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they are a joke a dog attacked my mums pup for no reason and ended up costing my mother 5-600 in vet bills. if u goto a dog park ur looking for trouble imo.

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Old 11-01-2008, 06:04 AM   #23 (permalink)
 
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I won't take any of my dogs to a dog park not because they are pits and staffies but because I don't trust anybody else's dog. I know my dogs won't start a fight but if provoked they will end it. No need to put them in a bad situation. Instead of the dog parks every night we go to the high school and they run around in the tennis courts. 4 courts wide by 2 deep. Gives plenty of room for them to chase each other, a frisbee, or a ball. Plus closing the gate behind us and being surrounded by a 15 foot fence kind of gives me that piece of mind. Oh and I don't go in their uninvited. Took me a while before I got permission from the school district and local city council.


I know I am a year behind on the original post but since I just joined a few days ago I am taking my time going thru everything. I thought I knew alot about the breed but was amazed at the amount of information here.
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:43 AM   #24 (permalink)
 

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i dont take him 2 parks either.... i go to campus (since im a college student) and its an automatic hit with the ladies... jaja
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:46 AM   #25 (permalink)
 
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Against dog parks for this breed 100%. I find myself wondering if the folks who participate in these things have ever experienced the full, impassioned glory of this breed when they're at their best. (Meaning when they've got a mouthful of some other dog's face.) Not to mention just how blazingly fast it can go down. If you've got 10 seconds to stop it from happening, you've got an extremely generous and slow-to-start dog.

Here's a few videos I've found on YouTube which illustrate more eloquently than I ever can the folly of dog parks. (And the breeds in these vids aren't even Pit Bulls.)

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Old 11-04-2008, 02:53 PM   #26 (permalink)
 
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I also an leary of dog parks even to walk mine in. Although Levi is not dog agressive, I cannot predict the actions of another. With BSL looming over our heads, any incident is a black mark on all vully breeds. If you want to socialize your pooch, join a club of people who love the breed, it has been great for my dogs!
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:20 PM   #27 (permalink)
 

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i have taken kenya to a dog park, but it had about 5 setions fenced off. we went with a friend who has a male pitbull about a year and let the two play. and we both had out break sticks and me being a nervous mama, kept hawk vision on the two. they had a blast!!! ill def take her to that park again, only because it is fenced off and the rangers patrol the areas and make sure both parties are okay to bring another dog in "UR SECTION".

we also have another "dog park" out here. its mainly a 12 mile long trail with hills and hills of grass and pavement. since the area is so big u only run into 2 or 3 dogs a visit. kenya is let free once we find our spot where no other dogs are, and when we do see another dog, she stands put until she gets the "go" to greet.

i dont think i will take her to a regualr dog park because i would not want to be the one to explain that these are lovable dogs, but just a little pissy at times... hard to explain to someone who already hates the breed and their dog is gettin chewed on by our pitties...

GOOD POST THO!!!!!!
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:25 PM   #28 (permalink)
 

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I have taken my pups to the dog park up to a certain age. All except Lugz who has played really rough since he was 6weeks. And I haven't taken the new one cuz its been so nasty out here. I think its a great way to socialize a puppy, but I don't recommend them for adult dogs.
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Old 11-04-2008, 08:41 PM   #29 (permalink)
 

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I could never imagine my dogs at a dog park. If I were to see a bulldog getting along with other dogs with no fighting, just playing, I would wonder if the dog was indeed an a true APBT. It's because of people trying so hard to prove their dog is lovable and friendly why other dogs get attacked and killed. Let's give the media more reasons to portray these dogs as monsters and take them out to our local dog park so they can do what they do best....fight. It's not DA issues these dogs have, it's the pure love of the fight for these bulldogs. These dogs weren't bred to be pets, though there are alot of passive dogs and curs, most bulldogs will fight and enjoy every minute of it. The truth is, most people have no business owning a true APBT and that is why the breed is in jeopardy to begin with. AmStaffs and Bullies may be better suited for these dog parks but I would NEVER take an APBT to one. That's just my take on the subject.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:02 PM   #30 (permalink)
 
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I personally am of the opinion that dog parks are not as great for socialization as one might think. In the videos I've seen of dog parks, there are always at least a few keyed-up dogs. And if you think about it, socializing your dog to play with a group of random others is not really something that prepares them for real life, just prepares them for the dog park. More often, they'll probably be walking by another dog on a leash, or maybe being at a barbecue with a few other dogs. Those are the kinds of interactions that you should be socializing for, IMO.
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