Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Dog Park

Ursa

Ursa

I have taken my dog just twice to play with the dogs at a dog park (once at about 6 months and again at about 8 months). Both times she wanted to run, run, run and other dogs would chase after her and knock her down, roll her over and be too aggressive and I had to rescue her - seriously! It was different dogs the two times that I took her. It's as if they thought she was their prey or something - when all she wanted to do was run and play. She did not try to herd the other dogs or do anything else. She's gentle but runs at top speed.

I recently took her a third time (10 months old) and since the small dog area was empty, I put her in there and she ran with the other dogs along the fence separating the two areas. That way she could run like crazy but was out of their reach and could not be attacked. Has anyone else had this problem? Any ideas? I would really like to be able to take her to the dog park regularly.

Comments for Dog Park

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Dog Park
by: Anonymous

I have a 11 month old mini Black Tri male and he loves to run at the park too. Your story sounds just like mine. Cayden and I go to the park and the big dogs always play with him... they run and chase but then it happens... he gets rolled... thank God for my Son being there because he ran and rescued him. It's not that the other dogs were trying to kill him... but they were aggressive. I'd love to hear opinions from others on how we can effectively handle this issue.

Aggressive dogs at park
by: Richard Bryant

There is a thin line between aggressive, showing dominance and playing. Watch closely and after a few minutes they should break up with no harm being done. If the other dogs are truly hurting you dog then it's the other dogs owner who should be correcting the issue. Be aware of the the owner who state the dogs will work it out and then go back to having conversations and not paying attention. I more than one had to call over a dog owner to come get there aggressive dog. Once got heated and almost had to involve the cops. What a lot of people don't get is that the park is for you and your dog to interact and with other dogs, not for gossiping and not paying attention to what their dog is doing. Those are the types that let the dog poop and never pick up. I try to stay away from the chat groups unless we are all focused on our "kids".

Dog Park Comfort Level
by: Anonymous

I think waiting until the dog is an adult/1 year old is a good idea. My aussie was shy initially, and then ten minutes into it is very comfortable and running with other dogs and chasing them. There are certain dogs that come up and hone in on her at first, and it seems overbearing and threatening. If I ever feel like there is a nuisance dog bothering her, I walk to another area of the park. Dog owners usually intervene when their dog makes my dog uncomfortable. The dogs play rough sometimes, just keep a good watch on them and break it up if necessary. We are now at a point where she can handle her own at the dog park and practically jumps out of the car when we are parking there! I think your dog will be fine when she becomes comfortable. Most of the dog owners I have met are responsible and respectful about taking control of their dogs when they get too rowdy. You can have fun and be cautious at the same time. It takes a few times to build up confidence and a comfort level for you and your dog:)

dangerous dog parks
by: Anonymous

I have been training dogs for 18 years and i have nothing good to say about dog parks. Dogs are pack animals, expecting your dog to be "friends" immediately with other dogs at the park is completely unrealistic. I have also worked at a vet clinic a block from a dog park and you dont want to see the kind of damage i have seen other dogs come in with. My dog is only allowed to play with a few friends dogs that he has been properly introduced to. No other dogs are allowed to come up to him.

reply to "dangerous dog parks"
by: jcrply

Thank you for your comments. You have pretty much verified my experience. I took her again last week, this time to a different dog park (45 minute drive) that has keycode locks and the dogs must be registered with the organization. They require recent immunizations and charge a significant fee, and they say that any aggresive dog will be excluded from the park. So this was my fourth try at four different locations. My dog (who is now 12 months old) got along fine racing around with the other dogs. My dog LOVES to run and she is very gentle. But then a HUGE malemute entered the games and immediately singled out my pup to harrass. He kept grabbing her by the neck and then he threw her on the ground. I rescued her and left. I think I am finished with dog parks!

not a dog park fan
by: Anonymous

Our Aussie loves to play with other dogs and we were so excited when a dog park opened near our home last year. After a month of visiting regularly we have not returned. Our dog would get overstimulated by the other dogs and we had to constantly refocus him . It was strange since he goes to doggie daycare 3 days a week and is fine. I think it had alot to do with the other dogs behavior and the fact they usually werent around unfamiliar dogs. Small children were brought in against posted rules and they were let to run free. As new dogs approached park many dogs ran to the fence and barked. We did not want him doing that but he was with the pack. He was learning behaviors we didnt want him to have. Our trainer had warned us about dog parks and so many of the things she said were true. Find a doggie playgroup and meet up with them regularly.

Love the Dog Park
by: Anonymous

I'm sorry to hear so many negative comments about the dog park. Our 9 month old aussie, Bing (who looks like he could be Ursa's twin) just loves the park. We've been taking him about 5 days a week since he was 4 months old. He really loves to wrestle his doggie friends and they grab each other around the neck and roll all over the ground. When I first saw this I thought they were fighting but it is really how they play. He comes home with slobber around his neck and all but he has a smile on his face from all the fun. We've had so much fun at the dog park meeting other dogs and their "parents". And everyone else feels like we do.

dog park
by: jrply

I guess it is just the luck of the draw as to which dogs happen to be in the dog park when you go. Maybe it has to do with where you live. But I suspect that it is the Aussie tendency to RUN,RUN,RUN so fast and some other dogs treat the Aussie like prey. Since there are no doggie friends that she could have "playdates" with, I have taken Ursa to a dog park again a couple of times. It is a park that also has a large on-leash trail section. There are two fenced areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. If there are no small dogs, I will put her in the small dog area to run along the fence with the big dogs. I can tell pretty well now by the behavior of the big dogs along the fence whether any tend to be meanly aggressive or not. Occasionally they are nice dogs and I will let her then play with them in the big dog area. My dog likes to play rough, that is not the problem. If any of the dogs are meanly agressive while they run along the fence, I just take her for a hike on the trails instead.

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