I took my puppy to the dg park for the first time today

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Posted 1/17/2013 by IPeaFreely in NSBR Board

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PeaNut 120,657
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Posted: 1/17/2013 7:02:45 PM
There was much butt sniffing going on. Poppy is not used to other dogs so I'm trying to socialize her. After the butt action, she just too off runnng and all the dgs chased her. At one point she ran and practically flew into my arms. She was definately the smallest one there. We'll try it again in a couple of days.


PeaNut 51,457
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Posted: 1/17/2013 8:26:13 PM
Butt sniffing is how dogs shake hands. And chasing and being chased is lots of fun. Do a little research on body language so you can recognize when dogs are playing or being aggressive. Also, you will figure out when she is actually scared and nervous.

Try to go when it isn't busy and stay on the small dog side if the park has one. Has she had all her shots?

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PeaNut 64,257
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Posted: 1/17/2013 8:31:50 PM
Is there a small dog area? She may feel more comfortable there for a while.

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PeaNut 174,400
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Posted: 1/17/2013 8:37:40 PM
my little dog likes all dogs one at a time. HATED the dog park. she just wanted to jump up and sit by me on the bench.

i took her once and never went back.

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PeaNut 120,657
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Posted: 1/17/2013 9:03:54 PM
She just got her last puppy shots on Monday. We were on the small dog side but at 4 lbs. she looked so tiny. But the people were very nice and everyone felt very protective of her.


PeaNut 129,876
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Posted: 1/17/2013 9:12:24 PM
We have 2 dogs who hate the dog park. The last time we tried it one dog sat on my feet and the other sat in my lap. We decided since we have the two and a fenced in backyard we've got our own dog park!


PeaNut 375,761
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Posted: 1/17/2013 9:21:19 PM
How old is the dog? Just a warning that you need to be real careful about places like that until she is about 6 months old and fully vaccinated. Otherwise you run the risk of possibly exposing her to parvo or cocidia.


PeaNut 284,707
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Posted: 1/17/2013 10:09:10 PM

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PeaNut 268,201
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Posted: 1/18/2013 12:15:13 AM
There may be another issue here. Remember that in Dog Language, Height=dominance.

You say your dog isn't very socialized yet? The hiney sniffing is good/proper doggy manners - dogs that don't do that are poorly socialized. Watch the dogs interacting - are they doing the "play bow" (dog goes down with front legs and rear legs still up so they are "bowing".) That's dog language for "Would you like to play with me?"

You picking up your dog (at his insistence) was actually you communicating to your dog and the other dogs in the park that your dog thinks they are dominant over the others (it's the height/dominace thing). That may or may not be fine with the rest of them. If you don't want to communicate that, it's best for the human to get down on the dog's level rather than carry the dog around very much. Same goes for letting dogs up on chairs, couches and beds until the dog fully understands their role in your human family "pack". Let them up too soon/much and they think they need to be in charge.

There are some really great books out there on reading dog body language that are so helpful in everyday dog training, because they teach us to communcate and "read" our dogs better.

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PeaNut 120,657
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Posted: 1/18/2013 12:51:49 AM
Great advice and info everyone. I'll follow up with doggy behavior book.

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PeaNut 224,352
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Posted: 1/18/2013 8:00:33 AM
Do you not have separate small and large dog parks? Even if your puppy will one day be a big dog, if they are small now, they shouldn't be in with all the big dogs.

You should find out about the socialization times offered at Petco and PetSmart near you. We have a 45 minute time once a week at each store where an AKC trainer is there to help manage any issues and help the shy come out of their shell and the aggressive hold back.

Dog people are a special breed!

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PeaNut 31,617
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Posted: 1/18/2013 8:28:25 AM
My bully got jumped at the dog park and since then has become a very aggressive barker (all bark, no bite) when around large groups of dogs.


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PeaNut 120,657
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Posted: 1/18/2013 9:13:26 AM
I'll try to get some pics up.

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PeaNut 464,263
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Posted: 1/18/2013 9:33:43 AM
Our beagle loves, loves, loves the dog park--she loves to be chased and loves to wrestle. Too bad she got kennel cough there.


PeaNut 455,916
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Posted: 1/18/2013 10:17:52 AM
I highly encourage you to find a local dog training club to take some puppy classes. Dog training clubs are typically non-profit organizations staffed by volunteers who have a passion for dog training.

Personally, I'm not a fan of dog parks for my small dogs. There are too many people who don't understand how to "read" dogs and a lot of dogs who haven't been socialized properly.

I love this graphic. I've seen it a lot on Facebook:

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PeaNut 59,094
December 2002
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Posted: 1/18/2013 10:34:45 AM
Thanks for posting that graphic!

My Lucky came to me at 6mos old and was VERY well socialized already. She LOVES the dog park. When we pull up to the parking lot, you'd think I was bringing her to Disney World. So sad that it's icy and cold here now.

My sister's tiny maltese HATES the dog park. Just not her thing. MAkes her super nervous and so we don't bring her anymore.

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PeaNut 33,625
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Posted: 1/18/2013 11:59:16 AM
One thing that helps us have more control at the dog parks is to go early in the morning before it gets too crowded. This way we can ease our dogs into handling the stimulation

Now our dogs love the dog park and wish I would go when it's more crowded, but I prefer when it's less crowded

~ Dori ~

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PeaNut 137,961
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Posted: 1/19/2013 8:35:52 AM
Have you considered the beginning training classes at Petsmart or another training class?

The classes we took our lab pup, and her aunt to at Petsmart started with socialization BIG TIME -- and it really helped tremendously.

We were fortunate to have a great instructor that devotes his life to animals -- and is now the Regional Manager for Training at PS -- but it really was a good introduction for her, and it helped her at the dog park as well.

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