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Olive, black miniature poodle, 9 months old
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Hi,
Olive has been given all her puppy shots, including rabies. We would like to do some off-leash, long lead recall training. Our nearby trail is not an off-leash area but the dog park has off-leash areas. Olive is currently in heat. What are the risks of going to the dog park, should we take Olive there?
 

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Short answer; no. Long answer: dogs in heat are especially in danger of causing a dog fight. The quality of dogs at a dog park is extremely variable. For example, Fluffy, my male intact dog, was flipped and nipped on the stomach at a dog park because he licked another dog his size in the face. We were lucky the owner was standing nearby to pull his dog off before it did further damage. And there is also the bigger issue of Olive becoming pregnant--or badly injured by an attempt. I'd say that it would be fine if there were no other dogs at the park for what you are trying to do, and there would be no dogs for the entire time you were there.
 

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I would not take an in heat dog to a park even if it is empty. Dogs communicate by pee. Leaving the urine of an in heat dog there is likely to cause issues. I would not do any off leash training until she is out of the heat cycle. There are plenty of other things to work on in the mean time.
 

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Olive, black miniature poodle, 9 months old
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Short answer; no. Long answer: dogs in heat are especially in danger of causing a dog fight. The quality of dogs at a dog park is extremely variable. For example, Fluffy, my male intact dog, was flipped and nipped on the stomach at a dog park because he licked another dog his size in the face. We were lucky the owner was standing nearby to pull his dog off before it did further damage. And there is also the bigger issue of Olive becoming pregnant--or badly injured by an attempt. I'd say that it would be fine if there were no other dogs at the park for what you are trying to do, and there would be no dogs for the entire time you were there.
Most of the dogs here are fixed.
 

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I would not take an in heat dog to a park even if it is empty. Dogs communicate by pee. Leaving the urine of an in heat dog there is likely to cause issues. I would not do any off leash training until she is out of the heat cycle. There are plenty of other things to work on in the mean time.
That's true; I forgot about that. Sigh... I need a new brain.
Most of the dogs here are fixed.
Even fixed dogs will react to the hormones.
 

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Definitely not. Besides all of the above, dogs in heat are prone to reacting in ways they normally wouldn't. She may be be unpredictable.
I don't think dog parks are ever a good idea though. They are reservoirs for disease and parasites, and are often frequented by owners who do not have control of their dogs. Unless it's a small local park where you know all the dogs, you run the risk of an incident which can result in long term reactivity, or injury. Not worth it imo.
I used to use deserted tennis courts or baseball fields for off-leash training and games. Maybe you have access to something like that?
 

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I can't speak for your local dog park but taking an in heat dog to a dog park is not only against dog park etiquette but in many it is against the rules. Here's the rules at the local dog park I take my boys to on occasion:

Leawoof Park

Leawoof Dog Park is located east of City Park at 106th & Lee Boulevard.

Hours of Operation
Sunrise to Sunset
(closed Thursday, 6:00-10:00am for Maintenance)

Rules & Regulations
Dogs must be current on all vaccinations as required by law
Dogs must be licensed in the City they reside
Collars, Vaccinations and ID Tags must be worn at all times
Dogs must be leashed (6′ or less) until safely inside the fenced area and returned to their leash prior to exiting the fenced area
No visitor may bring more than 2 dogs into the off-leash area at any one time
Visitors must have possession of a leash at all times
Visitors must clean up after their dogs and deposit waste in the receptacles provided
Dogs must be supervised at all times by persons at least 12 years of age
Dogs must be kept in owners sight at all times
Visitors must keep gates closed

Not Allowed in the Off-Leash Area:
Sick Dogs
Puppies under the age of 4 months
Pinch, spiked or choke collars
Aggressive dogs and Pit Bull Breeds [per city ord. 2-109]
Food of any kind
Glass containers
Female dogs in heat
Any animals other than dogs
Strollers, bicycles, chairs, skateboards, etc.
Commercial trainers or walkers using the area to conduct their business
Alcohol
Smoking

Please Be Responsible & Enjoy the Park!

By using the park, visitors waive any claim of liability by the City of Leawood for any injury or damage and visitors are solely liable for injuries or damages caused by their dog(s).
 

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That’s a good set of rules, Rose!I cannot say I’ve ever had any real issues at a dog park, aside from my very first time there—extreme doggy moms (in comparison to snotty PTA moms if anyone’s familiar) were there with their dogs and one was an extremely hyper Maltese...the owner swore she was an expert trainer and she was probably the reason her dog was so hyper. She was his hype man lol, always yelling “good boy, Winter! Treat! Treat! Treat!” before feeding her dog a million treats for no apparent reason. The dog HARDLY listened to her. It became an ongoing joke between myself and a Shih tzu owner.

First day at the dog park, that Maltese pummeled my chihuahua to the ground out of nowhere and when my dog snapped back, they just blamed it on the breed.

I’d ban those kind of dogs and owners from my local dog park too if I could XD. Watch out for this kind of pairing too!
 

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That’s a good set of rules, Rose!I cannot say I’ve ever had any real issues at a dog park, aside from my very first time there—extreme doggy moms (in comparison to snotty PTA moms if anyone’s familiar) were there with their dogs and one was an extremely hyper Maltese...the owner swore she was an expert trainer and she was probably the reason her dog was so hyper. She was his hype man lol, always yelling “good boy, Winter! Treat! Treat! Treat!” before feeding her dog a million treats for no apparent reason. The dog HARDLY listened to her. It became an ongoing joke between myself and a Shih tzu owner.

First day at the dog park, that Maltese pummeled my chihuahua to the ground out of nowhere and when my dog snapped back, they just blamed it on the breed.

I’d ban those kind of dogs and owners from my local dog park too if I could XD. Watch out for this kind of pairing too!
Wow, that's a totally different atmosphere than my park. Mine is mostly men, very laconic "they will work it out" men. No PTA dog mom's at all.

Either way, I wouldn't bring a dog in heat to a dog park. Not a good idea, wait until she is finished.
 

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You've asked... and been answered. And the answer is NO, NOT, NEVER.
Fairly clear answers as I see them.
"Most of the dogs here are fixed." Sounds like an excuse to me.
You can argue with us if you like... but you'd still be wrong. ;)
 

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That’s a good set of rules, Rose!I cannot say I’ve ever had any real issues at a dog park, aside from my very first time there—extreme doggy moms (in comparison to snotty PTA moms if anyone’s familiar) were there with their dogs and one was an extremely hyper Maltese...the owner swore she was an expert trainer and she was probably the reason her dog was so hyper. She was his hype man lol, always yelling “good boy, Winter! Treat! Treat! Treat!” before feeding her dog a million treats for no apparent reason. The dog HARDLY listened to her. It became an ongoing joke between myself and a Shih tzu owner.

First day at the dog park, that Maltese pummeled my chihuahua to the ground out of nowhere and when my dog snapped back, they just blamed it on the breed.

I’d ban those kind of dogs and owners from my local dog park too if I could XD. Watch out for this kind of pairing too!
I now have an exceptionally stupid grin on my face. 🤣
 

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Wow, that's a totally different atmosphere than my park. Mine is mostly men, very laconic "they will work it out" men. No PTA dog mom's at all.

Either way, I wouldn't bring a dog in heat to a dog park. Not a good idea, wait until she is finished.
I now have an exceptionally stupid grin on my face. 🤣
The city is full of jogging, athletic wearing airheads who swear they know everything because they read one article on dog training lol I’m glad to have found a decent local dog park and that this lady comes around every once in awhile.
 

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Olive, black miniature poodle, 9 months old
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Discussion Starter #13
You've asked... and been answered. And the answer is NO, NOT, NEVER.
Fairly clear answers as I see them.
"Most of the dogs here are fixed." Sounds like an excuse to me.
You can argue with us if you like... but you'd still be wrong. ;)
🙄
 

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Hi,
Olive has been given all her puppy shots, including rabies. We would like to do some off-leash, long lead recall training. Our nearby trail is not an off-leash area but the dog park has off-leash areas. Olive is currently in heat. What are the risks of going to the dog park, should we take Olive there?
Addressing your statement of long lead/recall training. You do that with a long line attached to your dog - which means your dog should not be off leash. Keep your dog on a leash until you have a rock solid recall even with distractions.

Find a quiet park with open areas or a sports field to begin training recall, not an off leash dog park which is far too distracting. Wait till your dog is over her heat.
 
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