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I wonder if the best time to go is like between 4pm and 6pm, like over the dinner hour. That's the usual empty time at Home depot.
At my local parks, that's when people come home from work and then immediately head to the park with their dogs, most of whom have been cooped up all day. So it tends to be crowded and a bit crazed.

Could be different where you are, though.
 

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We've had both fabulous and dreadful dog park experiences.

When I lived in a high rise just outside NYC for a few years, the development had a dog park. Every morning early (before dawn in winter) it was the same group of people, and our dogs got along fabulously. Jupiter even met with another mini who was the love of his life (and he was very, very sad when we moved to a house). Once a woman came with two greyhounds who bothered Jupiter and some of the other dogs. I asked her to keep her dogs away from Juppie and she told me it was my fault because I had a "woossy foo-foo dog". The group ganged up on her (verbally) and she stopped coming.

Other parks we've been to in various places have been varied. They've not had a consistent group, and there always seems to be the tough fellow with the pit. At one park, when Pericles was a pup, someone came in with two grossly overweight Ridgebacks, the male of which immediately started rushing Pericles. I said something, the man said, "Oh, he's just telling your dog who is in charge". I immediately left before it escalated.

I wish more dog parks were pay-to-get-in, or in self-policing communities.

I would try not to allow other people to blow me off and tell me it's my fault. So at that point I would take out a fake gun, LOL. I believe in having fun with people who are idiots. Or carry a water spray bottle and tell someone like her "people like you are the reason why I carry this bottle of ammonia".
 

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I would try not to allow other people to blow me off and tell me it's my fault. So at that point I would take out a fake gun, LOL. I believe in having fun with people who are idiots. Or carry a water spray bottle and tell someone like her "people like you are the reason why I carry this bottle of ammonia".
I know you're joking, but I know someone who's been arrested for threatening someone with a fake gun (as a joke, though the victim didn't see it that way) and has a criminal record because of it. You really need to be careful with stuff like that.
 

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I know you're joking, but I know someone who's been arrested for threatening someone with a fake gun (as a joke, though the victim didn't see it that way) and has a criminal record because of it. You really need to be careful with stuff like that.
Locally, there was a woman arrested recently for pulling out a fake gun on officers. It could have ended badly. They drew their guns on the woman, who then gave it up, but my goodness, how scary.
 

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Yes, the fake gun was not serious but faking the ammonia is serious. With the gun, we have a "stand your ground" law and if someone's big dog was running towards me and I didn't want to be ripped to shreds, I would use a real gun. I could not lawfully shoot the woman. A few years ago, my father was attacked by someone's Doberman and ended up in the ER.
 

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In the city I used to live in, there were many dog parks. We tried a lot of them but there was absolutely no enforcement of any rules, and they were very busy. We tried going early but soon learned that many people with aggressive dogs chose that time too, to avoid other dogs. Our poodles were beaten up several times and I just got sick and tired of dog parks. Now, we use the dog park called the vast Canadian wilderness, lol. The poodles run and sniff to their hearts content and it's fun for our family too. I DO think the idea of a well-run dog park is a great concept, though. I've just never experienced one.
 

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In the city I used to live in, there were many dog parks. We tried a lot of them but there was absolutely no enforcement of any rules, and they were very busy. We tried going early but soon learned that many people with aggressive dogs chose that time too, to avoid other dogs. Our poodles were beaten up several times and I just got sick and tired of dog parks. Now, we use the dog park called the vast Canadian wilderness, lol. The poodles run and sniff to their hearts content and it's fun for our family too. I DO think the idea of a well-run dog park is a great concept, though. I've just never experienced one.
For those in cities well run "doggie day care" would be the alternative. I think anyone who ran a well run vetted day care would do well.
Eric.
 

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I probably wouldn't take my tiny dog to the dog park. When I'm at the park with Naira, I'm always watching. There are good owners around that keep an eye on their dogs too. I can see a situation where Naira could get attacked and injured.. But I don't think standard poodles have the same risk of getting killed in an instant like smaller dogs. The park I frequent, there is no size divider. I definitely wouldn't take my smaller dog there.
 

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I've been taking my spoo since he was 4 months he's 10 months now.. I take him every morning that's Disneyland to him! At first it was a little sketchy only because he was the new dog, he was hesitant and dogs would feel that and to top it off I was anxious. That lasted a few trips, now he has his buddies he plays with. When I see new dogs what better than sire to welcome them in.


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Since we only have one dog park in my town, I feel like it might be a respected one. I saw several people pick up after their dog. I also see that people donate their plastic shopping bags .And you pay your honorable $2.00 at the door. Can't wait to go again-following Dramamine.
 

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Indiana, I think what you are saying about dogs needing and benefitting from (hoping not to put words in your mouth) unstructured time and space to smell, walk, race, run, everything, around, without having to perform to a certain standard, is important. To me, US children seem overly structured these days, and also need safe free time to just be kids and see things for themselves without 'education' interpreting everything for them. Dogs I think also benefit greatly if it is possible for them to have similar free time.

Not every dog can safely have this, and those owners often "fill in the blanks" with full schedules, as Lily CD RE provides her dogs. It's true they have a different path and surely they enjoy and challenge themselves tremendously. I just wish every dog could have regular safe, undemanding time to range freely. Mine gets some, but not nearly with the richness seen here in a few users' parks. I'm sure many who don't get the free ranging do not miss it due to richness in their lives. This is not criticism of any owners, and perhaps it's just me projecting my own need for unstructured quiet time, but it seems to me all the dogs I've owned did well with their own time to enjoy and/or explore life around us. I need to do more for my own Tpoo.
 

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Streetcar I think you are right that like many dogs, many children don't have enough time for free play these days. I also think free play is important for the development ofcreativity and problem solving skills.


A dog can have that without a dog park if there is a fenced yard. I don't have much expectation that any of my dogs listens to any order than come and leave it (like leave the chickens alone) when they are playing in the yard. I do have agility equipment in the yard and I do practice on that equipment with them, but it is so unlike an agility course that they still consider that to be play.
 
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Streetcar I think you are right that like many dogs, many children don't have enough time for free play these days. I also think free play is important for the development ofcreativity and problem solving skills.


A dog can have that without a dog park if there is a fenced yard. I don't have much expectation that any of my dogs listens to any order than come and leave it (like leave the chickens alone) when they are playing in the yard. I do have agility equipment in the yard and I do practice on that equipment with them, but it is so unlike an agility course that they still consider that to be play.
Exactly, Lily. You have it covered with the work, yard, pool, and of course the chickens. I well know even though you pursue obedience that doesn't mean your dogs never stop heeling :)! They have plenty of fun time. My comment maybe sounded critical and I didn't really communicate my thinking well.

I wish we had a really secure back yard. There is a back yard and use it some but there is a dog in the building who wants to attack Oliver (and has done so), so I don't take him down there as often as he would enjoy. That dog and the stickers....

Oliver would LOVE that huge dog park with all the green grass that Michelle has available to her.
 

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Indiana, I think what you are saying about dogs needing and benefitting from (hoping not to put words in your mouth) unstructured time and space to smell, walk, race, run, everything, around, without having to perform to a certain standard, is important. To me, US children seem overly structured these days, and also need safe free time to just be kids and see things for themselves without 'education' interpreting everything for them. Dogs I think also benefit greatly if it is possible for them to have similar free time.
Yes! My children are at their happiest after an hour or two spent out on the block with the neighborhood kids. They come home so alive and confident. We don't have a dog yet but I can imagine how they would benefit from free play with "their people." We don't have big yards here, which is why the kids roam free on the sidewalks or at the park a block away. That won't be an option for our dog, so finding the right dog park is a priority for me.
 

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Streetcar I didn't read your comment as a criticism in the least! I think you and I are on the same page here. This is proving to be a very interesting conversation all around.
 
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We have been discussing the risks of dog aggression at dog parks and how we can minimize those risks.

But what about the risk of diseases? Even if our dogs are vaccinated, there are other diseases that might be spread at dog parks. It is the threat of dog flu in our area that is making me not try the dog park now.

Do any of you who use dog parks worry about your dog picking up something from the ground like dog flu or guardia?
 

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But what about the risk of diseases? Even if our dogs are vaccinated, there are other diseases that might be spread at dog parks. It is the threat of dog flu in our area that is making me not try the dog park now.

Do any of you who use dog parks worry about your dog picking up something from the ground like dog flu or guardia?
Of all the members who shy away from parks, you and Liljaker are the ones I would most easily forgive. It gets back to that H3N2 link that I posted a while ago. Few have heard of it unless you're from the Illinois and Great Lakes area. It's been deadly to immune-compromised or otherwise at-risk dogs.

Early in our dog park career, I decided that stomach bugs were a risk/certainty from a park. Like sending kids off to school, they're gonna come in contact with every bug in the area. Then they go thru it, get over it, and come away with an immunity to that particular bug.
 
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