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Hello everyone,
My baby poodle is almost 7 months. I started taking him to the dog park since last month. I’m very careful about his behavior at the park and most of the dogs behave nicely too.
Yesterday an adult Pitbull was in the park (you barely see a pitbull in that dog park) and the owner was a very respectful lady. She was basically following me and my dog and she asked her dog to play with my dog. The pitbull was kind of playing aggressive and the owner keeps asking him to be gentle and be nice (I was uncomfortable during the whole time). Finally Pitbull got my dog’s neck and keeps pulling him on the ground in a very aggressive way. My dog was crying loudly. I was super scared. I punched with my hand (definitely not hard) on his face to take him off from my dog. Finally the owner was able to get his dog off and kept him on the leash after that.
Thanks god my dog was ok but scared. After that I apologized from that lady for kind of punching his dog (it is my first dog and I had no experience like that and didn’t know what to do at that time. Of course I‘m still feeling bad for punching the dog). The owner said she understands and it’s also her first dog too.
Anyway, now I don’t know what do do from now.. should I take him there or not.. how can I be more careful when I’m at the dog park. He is very playful.
I would appreciate any advice that you may have.
Thank you
 

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How frightening! You handled it pretty well, I’d say, considering this was your first fight. I’m not entirely sure how else you would have done it, the only issues I’ve had are with small dogs and little skirmishes that ended quickly, so maybe someone with more experience can help?

Personally, I wouldn’t go to the dog park, I’ve had too many bad experiences, and they’re basically centres for disease and bug bites. A much better alternative is play dates with dogs you already know are safe.

If you do decide to go to the park again, remember it’s okay to leave immediately if you suspect a dog is too aggressive. It’s not your fault if the dog is poorly trained, so don’t feel bad about it, even if the owner calls you out on it :rolleyes:. Just keep your dog safe.

At least the owner was polite, although they themselves should also probably avoid the dog park in the future, at least until the dog is reliable around other dogs. If you see them there again, leave. The next time might not be so nice.
 

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I don’t take my dog to off leash dog parks. They are too dangerous. I once had a Rottweiler chase my dog as prey and several dog owners helped me catch and pick her up. The Rottweiler body-slammed me try to get to my dog. The owner of the dog wasn’t there, it was his mother and she didn’t care, nor did she try to call the dog off. This was the first and last time I took my dog to one. I‘ve since heard worst stories. When those instincts to fight kick in you can’t call a dog off.

I did find that some of the local human societies have dog socials for well behaved dogs. I went to one for a while until I had a conflict with my schedule.

You can find friends with dogs and arrange to meet for play dates. If you don’t have friends with dogs, take some dog training classes and you’ll have lots of friends with dogs. I highly recommend taking basic obedience classes and work to the goal of earn your AKC Canine Good Citizen title.
 

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I avoid dog parks all together a) bc I have tiny dogs, but b) bc I hear too many horror stories and wouldn’t risk it. It’s sad but some people don’t care how their dogs act or their dogs hygiene (vaccines, etc)
If I was going to go, I’d probably sit outside and watch to see how the dogs there are acting then decide if it’s a safe time for mine to go in.
 

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Dog parks are risky. Most owners are not knowledgeable enough to distinguish between correct behavior and behavior that is going to escalate.

Since this is your first dog, and because this type of event has a high risk of happening again, I would avoid dog parks. The few minutes of play are not worth risking traumatizing (or even worse) your dog.
 

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Terrifying! Dog parks vary so wildly depending on who's there at any given moment. Yes, sometimes you get that perfect balance of balanced dogs and savvy owners, but it can turn fast.

What we've done is assemble a small "play group" with folks and dogs we met through puppy class. How about reaching out to some local trainers that do group classes and find one you like? From there it's easy to start building a list of compatible playmates for your pup. Plus, the classes themselves are (I think) better than dog parks in just about every way. Your pup will be exposed to dogs of all shapes and sizes, and get both physical and mental exercise, all in a more controlled environment.
 

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It does sound pretty scary. I agree that there are a lot of clueless owners with ill behaved dogs, and many of them seem to end up visiting the dog park. Big sigh.

It sounds like you got kind of lucky, in that the other dog was willing to break off when you went at his face. Keep your hands away from the biting end if you ever need to break up a fight. Grab the hind legs and drag the aggressive dog like a wheelbarrow.

I think it would be a good idea to try to arrange play dates if you can. Your dog is getting to the age where adult dogs will start treating him as a young punk instead of a cute puppy. They will no longer tolerate certain behavior. A well socialized dog like my Pogo will put him in his place with a growl and a snap that never connects. It's good and healthy for your dog to know what "knock it off" sounds like in dog speech, as well as knowing how to properly apologise and start playing again.
 

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I also do not do dog parks. If though it is your wish I would be very careful and take him when there is not a high volume of dogs, and dogs of similar size. The only thing I like about dog parks is that they are usually fenced in areas where your dog can safely run and play. Its nice socialization to get them use to other dogs but really dogs don't have a need to play with other dogs. They much rather have their human to play with them. I actually like my dog to ignore other dogs, and not react to them.
 

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Hello everyone,
My baby poodle is almost 7 months. I started taking him to the dog park since last month. I’m very careful about his behavior at the park and most of the dogs behave nicely too.
Yesterday an adult Pitbull was in the park (you barely see a pitbull in that dog park) and the owner was a very respectful lady. She was basically following me and my dog and she asked her dog to play with my dog. The pitbull was kind of playing aggressive and the owner keeps asking him to be gentle and be nice (I was uncomfortable during the whole time). Finally Pitbull got my dog’s neck and keeps pulling him on the ground in a very aggressive way. My dog was crying loudly. I was super scared. I punched with my hand (definitely not hard) on his face to take him off from my dog. Finally the owner was able to get his dog off and kept him on the leash after that.
Thanks god my dog was ok but scared. After that I apologized from that lady for kind of punching his dog (it is my first dog and I had no experience like that and didn’t know what to do at that time. Of course I‘m still feeling bad for punching the dog). The owner said she understands and it’s also her first dog too.
Anyway, now I don’t know what do do from now.. should I take him there or not.. how can I be more careful when I’m at the dog park. He is very playful.
I would appreciate any advice that you may have.
Thank you
I’m not a fan of dog parks. Too many dogs are not closely supervised by their humans. Or, the owner is not able to control their dog. And, it’s a great place to pick up any number of diseases (to say nothing of injuries). You probably keep you dog’s vaccinations up to date but you can’t know that everyone who uses the dog park is as conscientious.
 

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I have a 5 month old spoo and have debated taking him to dog park. He loves other dogs and people. I worry about this very thing!! My solution is I found a dog sitter who has a farm that’s gated and I’m gonna take him there occasionally and let him play with her dogs..which they all get along. Worth $20 to me!
 

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I have a 5 month old spoo and have debated taking him to dog park. He loves other dogs and people. I worry about this very thing!! My solution is I found a dog sitter who has a farm that’s gated and I’m gonna take him there occasionally and let him play with her dogs..which they all get along. Worth $20 to me!
Yes, like a supervised playdate for your dog that lets him run AND keeps him safe. This is what groups of friends and I do. We all have dogs that get along and we get together and let them play. Everyone is mindful of what the dogs are doing, and if one of them ever steps out of line or gets "crabby" and forgets themself and proper play behavior for a second, it's nipped in the bud before anything goes awry.
 
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