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No More Dog Park?


Guest Marsroving
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Guest Marsroving

Hey everyone! We haven't been around much since Mar's and I have been out exploring our new hood. We love Milwaukee and even better there is a huge, 3 block-all grass dog park that was just put up a few blocks from our home. Mars has been getting some great socialization and has actually started seeking out other dogs to play with as opposed to always being the lone wolf. He seems to gravitate towards Dobermans, it's almost like he thinks they are greyhounds. Anyhow up until yesterday we have never had any issues with another dog, whether it be large or small. Mars has been a complete gentleman, even if another dog tries to mount him, he just gets them off of him and trots away. He even had a herding dog barking in his face and completely ignored it.

 

Ok so this is what happened in the best way I can describe it. I am not sure if it was play or something more serious. We were at the park playing ball with Mars when he decided to go play with two other dogs. Everything was going well, they were all running together and no rough stuff was happening. Then comes the pit bull. Suddenly Mars starts chasing this pit bull, I mean really going after it, and then he knocked it down! At first I said, that's weird, wonder why it fell? Then the pit bull got up and tried running away, which of course it couldn't because Mars is soo much faster the poor dog didn't stand a CHANCE...and Mars knocked it down again. Again the dog tried to run away, Mars chased him down again...by this time I wrangled Mars away and leashed him up. There was no barking, growling or snapping. I noticed as soon as I got Mars away from the dog, one of the dogs Mars was playing with Lunged at the pit bull who at this point was completely exhausted. Those dogs tusselled around a bit and the owners seems to just think the dogs were playing around.

 

No one was hurt, the pit bull owner didn't seem concerned at all...but I've never seen Mars bully a dog like that before. Was he just playing with the pit bull? I didn't know if I should punish him or what!? Like I said no one else seemed concerned but I've never seem Mars act like that and I didn't know how to respond! In my mind all I could think was that I had to get Mars away from that dog before he accidentally (or purposefully) hurt him.

 

Mars loves going to the park. Absolutely loves it, and he is getting in great shape as well as starting to socialize with others. I don't know if this is a one off thing or how to go forward from here. Maybe we will have to go during the off hours...I know with dog parks there is always a risk...but geezz...I never thought my dog would be the meanie!

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Honestly, Walter does the same thing. He gets into this "bully" mode where he just wants to push other, slower dogs around. I react differently depending on the situation so bear with me.

 

1. Walter is usually over-tired when he starts doing this. I call him over, chastise him and we usually leave in a few minutes.

2. Walter is NOT tired at all, I give him a "time out", and monitor the situation carefully when I release him. This is usually effective.

 

I also pay VERY close attention to how the other dog reacts. If it's a dog that looks like it would mess Walter up, I usually grab him and we leave right away. I always always always judge the situation, the other dog and the other owner because I like being proactive and I enjoy not spending my free time at the e-vet (I"m not trying to be nasty, just very very honest). Basically, my biggest fear is that Walter will need to get stitches from being scratched up and that drives about 99% of my decisions at the dog park. Use and trust your judgement.

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^^^^^^^^^ This.

 

You need to monitor both your dog and the dogs he's interacting with to keep things under control. If your dog is being a bully, and the other dog(s) isn't enjoying the attention, corral your dog and do a time out. If he's being bullied, and not having any fun, leash him up until you can determine what, if anything, the other dog owner is going to do. If you've been there for a while and your dog is tired, just leave. If you just got there, you might choose to wait out the other dog until they leave the park to let your dog play again. Take him for a short walk, or a cool off in the car. It doesn't matter what it "looks like" or what another owner *says* is going on. Read the body language of the dogs in question and make an appropriate decision.

 

Don't ever count on another owner to keep your dog safe. Don't be the cause of another owner being distressed for their dog.

 

Stupid owners are the main reason we never go to the dog park.

Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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I saw something similar once at a greyhound reunion. They held the event at a dog pool that was still open to the public on the same day. Imagine 30 or so greyhounds and a handful of other, smaller dogs. There was a group of greyhounds running after another dog (can't remember what kind- probably some kind of mix). Anyway, the greyhounds were getting very competitive running, and they all started ganging up on this other dog. They were boxing her out, knocking her over, barking. And when she tried to get away, they would not let up. It was like the more she struggled, the more amped up the greyhounds got. Eventually, the owners had to physically pull their dogs off, because it was clear the other dog was panicked and distressed.

 

I think you get some of that "competitive fixation" when there is a group of dogs running together. It could be a fluke. But if he starts doing it all the time, I'd just stop going. Not worth the risk.

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Guest DogNewbie

We go to the dog park often. I know there are risks and everything, but Wiley just loves it and he has a great time. I don't think he would be as happy just out in the yard. On the other hand, because of the risk, we do watch him VERY closely and never let him get out of site. If he starts play fighting with a dog and it gets a little dodgy, we leash him up. If he starts being to rough on our friend's greyhound, we also leash him then. I think as long as you are watchful and prepared and minimize as much risk as possible it is OK. But, greysmom is right, there are a lot of dumb dog owners at the park.

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Ahh, it's all good fun until your Greyhound ends up at the e-vet!

 

What you need to remember is that your dog IS playing, but even so, his skin is much, much more fragile than the skin of a "regular" dog, and even normal dog play can send him to the emergency room. Imagine if he picks the wrong pit bull to bully. He won't stand a chance, unless he runs away. Replace pit bull in the sentence prior with Labrador, mongrel, Rotty. Any other dog who takes exception to his play style will have the upper hand if there is a fight.

 

Fights are common--usually pretty minor. They happen ALL THE TIME and if you haven't had one at your dog park yet, consider yourself very lucky.

 

My last dog decided to not to share a stupid stick with a Rotty. They went at it full force. Thank God the Rotty's owner was a big guy--he grabbed my dog and threw him off his, and no one was harmed (my dog was a pit bull mix), but if he had been my Greyhound, I shudder to think what might have happened.

 

If you're prepared for the risk, and the cost of stapling your dog together, then have at it. But please don't just blow off all the warning signs and the very real danger. Simply because your dog has fragile skin. And virtually no body fat. So if a tooth goes in, it does a lot more damage than it would if a dog bit a Labrador with their nice layer of cushioning!


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Nobody likes a bully, if you think that the way your dog is playing is too rough or inappropriate in any way call time out. Here in the UK it is normal for dogs to be off leash most of the time in suitable places we don't have dog parks and I often encounter this kind of scenario. People will say "They are just playing" and then it gets out of hand and a dog gets hurt. People's children sometimes need to be told to "play nice" and so do their dogs IMO.

<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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Dog parks come with an increased risk of injury to all dogs and people. That said, you *never* want to be in the position with your dog being the jerk.

 

I do take the risk of taking Fenway to the dog park/dog beach. He LOVES it and it's a risk I'm willing to take. We have twice ended up in the e-vet's office on the weekend, both the result of normal dog play with GSDs. (I adore GSDs and would love to have one some day.) Anyhow, what would have been nothing at all for a lab or our airedale turned into minor trip to the vet for Fen, one requiring stitches and the other just a good cleaning.

 

Fenway grew up with two yellow labs, so tends to wrestle like a real dog. This get him into trouble, so I do monitor him closely. As soon as the other dogs shows signs of annoyance with Fenway's play, he's leashed up and walked away. And for some reason Fenway loves pit bulls, so he's allowed to play with them only if he's gentile. Yep, it's my fragile flower of a dog that's usually a jerk in these very rare situations. But he's always removed immediately so things don't escalate.

Introducing Tessie, PK's Cat Island 12/9/13
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Guest Lillypad

What can be said about dog parks that hasn't been said already. Take the advice of Georgeof NE. IMO you can "monitor" the situation all you want, but things go bad VERY QUICKLY before humans get a change to interven or breakup a dog fight. I only go to dog parks when they are vaccant. I don't chance even one dog, even one I know. My friend's lovely standard poodle play jumped on my hound's back and stratched her (it was all in fun) Hounds wear muzzles for a very good reason, to protect one another. You would be wise to try to find a more suitable play/run area for your hound. I am confident in giving this advice. We had a very bad situation were our hound was seriously injured. Many weeks of recovery, great expense monetarily and emotionally. Our hound has never been quite the same since.

 

Now having told you not to go to dog parks, what is your alternative you many wonder. We have a small group of greyhounds who meet at least once a week at a ball diamond. The diamond is fully fenced with the exception of 4 small entrances. We have cut pieces of plastic snow fence and velcro fastened them to the chain link at these openings. This creates a safe enviroment for our hounds. I often go with just my hound and play with a flirt pole and or ball. This could be something to consider. http://www.homedepot.ca/product/snow-fence-48-inches-x-50-feet-orange/953142

 

Secondly, work with adoption groups about playdates.

 

Thirdly, try to find creative ways to exercise your hound, flirt pole, bike ride (use a harness rather than collar for this)

 

Also ask the opinions of greytalk members to help with ideas to exercise/bond your hound without going to dog parks.

 

If you must go to dog parks, as you well know, be on guard at all times. Protecting your dog must be your main focus. Even if your boy "seems" to be the bully, things can turn badly for him in a flash.

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Brady loves dog parks too, but there is always a risk. One time he ended up at the vets for stitches and he was the only dog in the dog park. I was lobbing tennis balls, which he loves and a twig got caught in his doe claw and ripped his skin on the front of his leg. I got him in the car and went straight to the vets.

 

I also learned that if he tired it was time to go also, less nicks and scraps to his paw pads.

 

For a while there was a particular GSH coming to the park that made me very nervous. Other GSHs and dogs never made me nervous, but this particular GSH was not fixed, and had taken to stocking Brady and never leaving him alone. Brady would move to the other end of park and GSH was right there. I asked the owner to call his dog off and the guy asked me what the problem was and he was only acting like a dog. I leased up Brady and left.

 

The next time, Brady had finished his running and was laying under a shade tree cooling off, the owner and GSH came in to the park and again the GSH made a beeline for Brady and tried to mount him, I was already there with Brady's lease to get him out of the park. The GSH kept crowding us and trying to mount Brady. The owner was laughing, stupid person... I finally asked the owner to hold his dog's collar until we were out of the park. There were a number of other dog owners coming to help, so this time the guy grabbed his dog's collar and we could make it safely out.

 

I wanted Brady to cool down some more before I put him in the car for the ride home and walked the outside perimeter of the dog park to cool off a little more. Another dog in the park became the new target of this GSH attention.

 

I was amazed at the number of dogs that became agitated in the park because of this guy and his owner was clueless.

 

I guess what I am saying is trust your instincts and if you feel your dog is exhibiting inappropriate behavior put him in time out, where I go with Brady they have a time out pen. Or take him out of the park and walk him and maybe take him back in.

 

The other thing I would consider is the time of day you are going, there maybe other times of the day when there are fewer dogs and maybe your grey would be less stimulated by so many other dogs but still gets a chance to run and be social.

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Don't ever count on another owner to keep your dog safe. Don't be the cause of another owner being distressed for their dog.

 

Stupid owners are the main reason we never go to the dog park.

 

:nod

 

 

Ahh, it's all good fun until your Greyhound ends up at the e-vet!

 

What you need to remember is that your dog IS playing, but even so, his skin is much, much more fragile than the skin of a "regular" dog, and even normal dog play can send him to the emergency room. Imagine if he picks the wrong pit bull to bully. He won't stand a chance, unless he runs away. Replace pit bull in the sentence prior with Labrador, mongrel, Rotty. Any other dog who takes exception to his play style will have the upper hand if there is a fight.

 

Fights are common--usually pretty minor. They happen ALL THE TIME and if you haven't had one at your dog park yet, consider yourself very lucky.

 

If you're prepared for the risk, and the cost of stapling your dog together, then have at it. But please don't just blow off all the warning signs and the very real danger. Simply because your dog has fragile skin. And virtually no body fat. So if a tooth goes in, it does a lot more damage than it would if a dog bit a Labrador with their nice layer of cushioning!

 

:nod

 

Nancy...Mom to Sid (Peteles Tiger), Kibo (112 Carlota Galgos).   Missing Casey, Gomer, Mona, Penelope, BillieJean, Bandit, Nixon (Starz Sammie),  Ruby (Watch Me Dash) Nigel (Nigel), and especially little Mario, waiting at the Bridge.

 

 

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It could have been play behavior, but play can turn into prey behavior in an instant. Good to remember that Greyhounds are a hunting and racing breed. Similar to a_daerr's example, I've seen a pack of 25-30 hounds join a fight within about 3 seconds. Greyhounds can run up to 45 mph. There is no way humans can run across a dog park in time to prevent an attack from happening.

 

Our very first Greyhound (cat-safe while indoors) exhibited quiet, hunting prey behavior while outside in a dog park setting (sight targeting, chasing closely, mouthing the neck, and taking down a smaller dog). Greyhounds often consider it (prey) "game on" while running in an outside environment with other smaller animals. Thankfully, we stopped visiting all breed public dog parks before the worst happened.

 

Next hound was adopted through a different Greyhound group who doesn't allow their hounds to attend public dog parks for many reasons: e.g., Greyhound's physical safety, other dogs' safety, expensive lawsuits happen, and too many dogs have been euthanized after being deemed unsafe (by their city) because of a dog park incident, even if the dog was acting from it's natural breeding instinct. Instead, they arrange "Greyhound only" play dates in fenced areas ensuring all Greyhounds wear turn-out basket muzzles. Greyhounds enjoy visiting other Greys during group leashed walks too.

 

BTW, muzzling only one dog in a dog park is not safe. General muzzle rule: If one dog is muzzled, all dogs should be muzzled. Otherwise, a single muzzled dog can be viewed as the "weakest underdog" by the rest of the dog pack. The muzzled dog is not able to defend him/herself. Weakest dogs often get attacked. If a yelp happens, the entire dog pack often reacts by attacking as if they were killing a weak, injured or dying animal in the wild. (Squeaky toys are manufactured to sound like injured animals to increase dogs' natural prey interest.)

 

I agree that there are other safer ways to exercise Greyhounds, including visiting fenced enclosures during off times when other dogs are not inside. Taking leashed walks, hikes, and/or short jogs with a hound. Possibly finding a fellow Greyhound owner with a fenced backyard that would be happy to muzzle their hound/s for a safer, fun play date.

 

(IMHO, I personally disagree with forcing Greyhounds to exercise along side a bicycle for many reasons, particularly because it forces them to keep up with the bike. Greyhounds are short sprinters (races only last approx. 30 seconds). Many Greyhounds tire much more easily than we realize, and they can't talk to tell the cyclist to stop or head home because they are feeling pain, overheating, or feeling fatigued and need to stop exercising.)

 

Mars sounds like a great dog. Whether he was playing or on the verge of prey behavior, it could be an eye-opener to consider populated dog park risks. Reprimanding him likely wouldn't help (especially in a large, uncontrolled space). He may have picked-up a negative vibe from that dog, or it might be his instinctual play style, or his genetic prey behavior. Racing sighthounds have long been bred and encouraged to chase moving prey outside for their careers.

 

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We used to go to the dog part fairly often but none of my greys every really cared for it except for the water access to the lake part. Rex used to stand by the main double gates hoping someone would let him out and relieve him of his boredom. Buck would cruise the perimeter and check p-mail then go stand under the other owners hands for pets.

We quit going when Poodle was packed on by five medium dogs and was badly hurt. In trying to break it up I finally fell on him (I read that somewhere). I was bitten 5 times some by Poodle who was lashing at anything and bet me clear through my lower lip. I scooped him up and ran for the vet with blood (his and mine) pouring down the front of my shirt. A woman chased after me and said her dog started the fight. I told her I'd talk to her the next day. She never returned to the park but the regulars said her dog had started several fights. Poor Poodle - all he was doing was sitting at my fee when I was talking to a lady who owns silken windhounds and an Inca Orchid. The every day regulars sat in a circle of lawn chairs and evidently the dog that started it didn't want Poodle in "his" territory.

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I used to take Riley to the dog park.

 

One time he was playing nicely with a group of dogs, and then all of a sudden, I saw him change. Yup, saw "play" become "prey". And since Riley was no longer listening, I had to get the lead dog owner's attention to call her dog over (THAT took a long time ... once she realized I MEANT it, she worked with me, but boy was I scared for a few seconds).

 

Another time, Riley was chasing a ball with a cattle dog (ok, the cattle dog was chasing the ball, & Riley was chasing the dog), and I see Riley put his (muzzled) snout under the running dog and FLIP IT OVER. We leashed up and went home .... and Riley enjoys greyhound-only playdates now. He's good with other breeds, but he DOES have a prey drive, and I don't need to spend my time worrying on behalf of every dog in the park.

 

Good luck figuring out how to best balance the risks for your hound.

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I find the best thing is to find other Grey owners and have the pups play together. While dog parks appear fun, things can change so fast and most dog owners are not cognizant of an altercation about to occur and are not willing or able to break it up quickly. Dog fights are very nasty and scary, it's not worth the trouble for you or your pup.

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