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When Is A Good Time For Off Leash Park To Spooked Greyhound?


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Hi,

 

I've a one month adopted female and she is very spooked, but with the time Laila is getting better and better. We live in Downtown Seattle in a apartment, so I would like to know if should wait to get her in a off leash park, is too early?

 

We went to Magnuson Park they have a big off leash area and I was afraid of get her off leash, I don't know her reaction and in the beach area of the park which is a smaller confined area she got very scared of the dogs sniffing her. We walked through the off leash area with the leash and I have to hear some people complaining we were with leash and harness.

 

I wanted to see her running free, sometimes living in a apartment and big city I feel maybe she is not enjoying herself so much, although she is a really couch potato and can sleep for the whole day if I let, she also seems to hate long walks.

 

Has anyone let your Greyhound free in those off leash Parks? Is it ok? Don't they jump the fence? Usually the fence is not 5 feet high.

Any suggestion of places, besides Magnunson Park near Seattle area?

 

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Hi & welcome!

 

You will get a lot of very strong opinions on dog parks - there have been a lot of people whose dogs were hurt, in part because greys have such thin skin, so be prepared to be told that it is the worst thing ever to go to dog parks.

 

With our first girl, we took her to dog parks occasionally including shortly after we adopted her, and the most she ever did was sniff and pee. She's always been laid back and easy going, however - we could take her anyway.

 

Our second boy is more nervy - not spooky but just a different dog altogether and because he is more anxious and reactive, I won't even think about taking him to a dog park anytime soon, if ever. I also don't trust other dog owners to not keep small dogs out of the big dog areas.

 

It is NOT cruel to not let them run.

 

Looking forward to others' opinions.

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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With a spooky girl you might have more success taking her to a fully fenced ball field where she can run without the stress of other dogs sniffing her or potential for scuffles. We did that for the first 18 months we had Sweep since we lived in a townhouse with no fenced yard. She could run like crazy for a few minutes and we didn't have to worry about her getting snarky with other dogs (she's not spooky, but she's a breed snob, so dog parks are definitely out for us). Good luck!

Edited by ramonaghan

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Rachel with Sweep and kitties Olive and Momo.
Always missing my boys Mud and
Henry

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With a spook, the answer is NEVER. (Caps for emphasis - not yelling) Especially being in a downtown or suburban area.

 

The least little thing can spook a hound at anytime, and a spooky hound is about 10 times more likely to spook over something you don't expect. If you group has play events in a secured area for off leash dogs, then it may be fine, but many greyhounds can clear a 6 foot fence when spooked, or may run and slam into the fence if they don't see it.

 

Most people here think dog parks are a bad idea anyway due to the thin skin of a greyhound and the chance for injury during normal dog play from nipping or from a nail digging into skin.

 

Your hound will do fine with regular walks, car rides and every day activities. Off leash running is fine once in a while if the setting is completely secured, no chance of it becoming unsecured, no other dogs around, or if there are other dogs then everyone should be muzzled for safety. Greyhound play often involves nipping, so a dog park incident could be blown out of proportion rapidly if a nip turns into a bite or a skin tear. The last thing you want is to have your dog accused of being vicious from normal play. If the other dogs aren't muzzled. you dog cannot defend herself if necessary in a situation that escalates.

 

The only time we've routinely gone to dog parks is during travel when we need an area to stretch legs and have a potty break. Even then, we usually keep the leash on, do what is necessary and leave. We have a number of dog parks near our house, but I won't use them if other dogs are there, and will leave if other dogs arrive while we are using them.

 

Good luck with your new hound. Be sure to post some pictures when you can. I know there are some other people on GreyTalk in your immediate area, so maybe they can help you with a play date or point you to nearby greyhound activities.

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Camp Broodie. The current home of Mark Kay Mark Jack and LaVida I've Got Life.  Always missing my boy Rocket Hi Noon Rocket,  Allie  Phoenix Dynamite, Kate Miss Kate, Starz Under Da Starz, Petunia MW Neptunia and Diva Astar Dashindiva 

 

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I think it really depends on how bonded she is to you. When I first adopted Rebel, he was extremely shy and fearful. I couldn't let him off leash in any enclosed area because he wouldn't come back to me. After several months Rebel and I developed a strong bond. I finally decided to try the dog park with him. It was a completely different experience then I expected. He had no interest in running, was just content to follow me around. He knew I would protect him from the strangers and other dogs.

If she is bonded to you and she knows she can trust you, then give the dog park a try. If you aren't her "safety blanket," then no I wouldn't trust her off leash for fear of fence jumping like you mentioned already. Can they jump a four or five foot fence? If they are spooked, absolutely!

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Carolina (R and A Carolina) & Rebel (FA Ready).
At the bridge: Kira (Driven by Energy) 7/19/97 - 6/17/04 & Jake (Jumpstart Dude) 9/12/00 - 1/24/15

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develop more of a relationship w/ your pup thru training, positive reinforcement and time. once she has her basics down, come, heel, stay, leave it and she is totally bonded with you then a baseball field sounds ideal. lots of interactions with people and good long walkies and hikes(when you leave the city) will give her plenty of exercise and stimulation. i have never had any wonderful experiences in dog parks unless they are totally empty. a thin skinned dog does not do well playing with hefty dogs who use their paws- especially boxers.

 

you are not neglecting your dog by not going to a dog park. you are avoiding disease, mishaps and possible stitches or staples.

 

our shy girl came around in 3 years or so after adoption. she always had a solid recall, so year 2 i started to let her run w/ my well trained male at the beach- there was no were for them to go. and honestly, when the college base ball field is open it's always at the wrong time, just after they ate. your dog is not suffering and they are always more active in cooler weather.

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Guest johnnydrum

I was trying to find somewhere for my 2 year old girl Sasha (retired from Racing in May) to run free too as I would love nothing more to see her stretching her legs, bum zipping around, and we do have 2 nice , spacious parks in our area.

I approached the subject with an ex trainer who has been a great help to me, and I asked about Sasha being "let off the leash for a run" in the park......and he looked at me and said, "you are kidding right?!?...Do not let her off at all..!"

 

Seeing my disappointment he explained that she will be more than happy, even as an ex racer, to trot along/run along with me on the lead, sniffing the plants & scents (now she is no longer muzzled) and enjoy "normal " dog walks.

 

He pointed out ,that although she is very well behaved, her racing/greyhound instincts can take over at any time, her acceleration alone, can cause damage & panic to her and others.

Edited by johnnydrum
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Guest RockRoos

If you live in the Seattle area and are willing to make the schlep, there's a Greyhound rescue in the Woodinville area that has its own breed only dog park. For $7 a year you can bring your dog to the park between certain hours each day (the rest of the time it's used for turn-outs and adoptions). Feel free to ping me if you want more deets.

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I live with w very spooked Galgo. He loves dog parks but I would never take him to one that is crowded or is not full year enclosed. NEVER! With Iker, the contact with other dogs seems to give him confidence. He avoids the people but loves the dogs.

 

Let me qualify that with, never take a dog to the dog park who doesn't have excellent recall.

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Xavi the galgo and Peter the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09, Allen the boss cat, died late November, 2021, age 19.

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Guest katie_dog

I also have a female greyhound who seems to not like other dogs. I've had her for almost 4 months now and we have come across only one other dog she seems to be OK with. It was a pretty relaxed pit bull. A dog trainer told me once that it is bad to introduce dogs face to face. A lot of dogs consider that confrontational. She said if you want to introduce your dog to another dog, walk them side by side while leashed or let them sniff butts. This particular pit bull sniffed my dog's butt the first time they met. She seemed to not be bothered by that. Then they met face to face while leashed later and my dog was totally OK with it. I think for her, the other dog needs to be medium to large size, adult dog and also a calm dog. She does not like dogs who are playfully jump around, like most puppies do.

 

We have a dog park in our city, but I would never take her in there if there was any other dog there already. Our dog park has 5ft tall fence and there is actually two fenced in fields, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. I have taken her in there early morning when no one else is there a couple times. It is not far from where we live so sometimes we go on walks past the dog park. If no one is there, I'll let her go in. She seems to have no interest in running around off leash once she is in there. She mostly wanders around close beside me and sniffs the ground. Some greyhounds might be able to jump a 5ft fence, but I'd think they'd need some motivation for that. My dog is closely bonded to me. She doesn't want to leave my side if she can help it, so I don't see her trying it unless she was trying to get to me. She has normal amount of prey drive, but animals seem to stay clear of the dog park because they know dogs hang out there.

 

Hi,

 

I've a one month adopted female and she is very spooked, but with the time Laila is getting better and better. We live in Downtown Seattle in a apartment, so I would like to know if should wait to get her in a off leash park, is too early?

 

We went to Magnuson Park they have a big off leash area and I was afraid of get her off leash, I don't know her reaction and in the beach area of the park which is a smaller confined area she got very scared of the dogs sniffing her. We walked through the off leash area with the leash and I have to hear some people complaining we were with leash and harness.

 

I wanted to see her running free, sometimes living in a apartment and big city I feel maybe she is not enjoying herself so much, although she is a really couch potato and can sleep for the whole day if I let, she also seems to hate long walks.

 

Has anyone let your Greyhound free in those off leash Parks? Is it ok? Don't they jump the fence? Usually the fence is not 5 feet high.

Any suggestion of places, besides Magnunson Park near Seattle area?

 

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Guest katie_dog

The rescue in Augusta, Maine also has the same sort of deal. It is 30 minute drive from us, so we haven't tried it yet.

 

If you live in the Seattle area and are willing to make the schlep, there's a Greyhound rescue in the Woodinville area that has its own breed only dog park. For $7 a year you can bring your dog to the park between certain hours each day (the rest of the time it's used for turn-outs and adoptions). Feel free to ping me if you want more deets.

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Guest xengab

Just remember a spooked dog CAN jump a six foot fence. So unless this dog park has tall fences there is a chance she could get free and run.

 

BUT I'd wait until she at least comes when called, when distracted big time in her home. You NEED to be able to recall your grey when at a dog park.

 

Personally at this stage unless you can make sure she'll be the only dog in the dog park, I'd not risk it.

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The Ft. Steilacoom dog park has a greyhound only hour every Sunday morning from 9-10, which I HIGHLY recommend. I realize this is a bit of a drive from downtown Seattle, but IMO it is SO worth it (I commute every week from West Seattle because Max loves it so much). This way Laila will be able to socialize with other greyhounds as well as people, while getting a chance to run.

 

Max doesn't do too well with non-greyhounds and we don't have a yard, so this has been invaluable for us. I think it will help Laila's personality shine as well. :)

Loving life with my first greyhound Max (4 year old dark brindle boy)! :wub:

Check out our hiking blog! www.greythikes.blogspot.com

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Welcome!

 

I agree with what several others have said that maybe you should wait a bit longer before taking your girl to the field. I've had several spooks over the years. The first one I got a long time ago, I took to a large fenced field after I'd had him for a month or so. There were some other greyhounds there (it was greyhounds only) I thought he'd want to run and enjoy being off-leash. It was too soon for him - even though he and I were fairly well bonded, once I let him off leash he walked around a bit but was visibly nervous about the situation. Not only would he not come back to me, he wouldn't let me approach him. He was too uncomfortable in that situation at that time. It took me quite a while to be able to slowly approach him, with lots of calming signals and talking, to get him back on his leash.

 

I'm not a fan of dog parks, but if you do decide to go, I'd wait until you've had your girl a bit longer. Good luck!

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Don't push the dog park. In my experience most greyhounds appreciate a dog park as much as they appreciate all breed day care play...which is not much. Two of mine only liked the lake access and two others stood by the double gate waiting for someone to let them go home. If you can find a ball field that will allow use with other greys as mentioned that is a better answer IMO.

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Agree with everything that's already been said! Whether or not you decide a dog park is appropriate in the future, it is never a good idea to bring a leashed dog into an area where all the others are off-leash. Doing that has the propensity to create severe anxiety in the dog with the restriction. It also changes the group dynamic, as other dogs pick up on the one with the 'disadvantage' and try to bully him. The leashed dog feels trapped, unable to escape, and 'fight or flight' kicks in. It can escalate quickly, and a normally sweet, passive dog may channel that anxiety into aggression (either toward the other dogs or the thing nearest by- you).

 

Ideally, in a group situation, leashes/muzzles are all or nothing (meaning, all the dogs have them, or they all don't).

Edited by a_daerr
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The reason you were scared to let her off leash is because your intuition KNEW it was wrong and dangerous. So many things can happen to a houndie like you describe in such a park and the overwhelming majority of things are NOT good at all. I have been involved with greyhound adoption for many many years and no way would I release her into such a location at this time. She is counting on you to protect her and keep her safe. I totally understand the desire for her to run but it just HAS to be somewhere SAFE-its no fun if injury or worse is too high a risk. I would try and network with the folks you adopted her from or other greyhound folks in the area and find greyhound picnics and events etc where they have "fun runs" and your girl can run and have fun SAFELY with other muzzled houndies. I have heard of some folks' going to fenced tennis courts etc at off hours etc. so they could run in safety. But imo to turn her loose in a park with other dogs, such a low fence, and especially with her flightly scared deameanor right now is courting disaster. Remember EVERYTHING is new to her right now. A month is nothing-her head is still spinning and she's still sacred and trying to figure stuff out. If she gets scared right now she won't come to you-she'll go into avoidance and try to run away and it could be quite difficult to catch her again. Go SLOW wit her. Establishing a loving relationship with her cuddling on your sofa is far more important to her well being than running in a dog park-which frankly many consider are dangerous even for well adjusted dogs. It takes time-a lot of time- enjoy the journey. Right now she is like a rose that has not unfolded yet. Just nurture it and wait for it. In time you'll find she is more beautiful than you could have ever imagined. Thats the way greyhounds are :)

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I agree with all of the above.

 

As the owner of a true spooky dog, I doubt if it will ever be a good idea. I had to leash walk our Cash - in our own yard - for 8 years because every little thing scared her and she wouldn't come to me (or anyone) and she wouldn't follow our other greys into the house. In the beginning she was fine, but as she got more comfortable with us, she also got more spooked by normal things - wind moving the bushes, birds, cars driving by. We did formal and casual training, worked on recall, worked on her bonding with me, but she was nearly always in such a state that I very seldom felt comfortable enough to let her off leash. Remember, we were in *our own yard* and not at an unfamiliar or strange space. I spent as long as 4-5 hours out in the yard with her, trying to approach close enough to get a hand on her to bring her inside. It was really only after she'd exhausted herself that she would let me get near her without running away. Yes, our yard was securely fenced, but she could easily clear the 4 ft chain link if she got scared, and I wasn't going to leave her out there by herself. So she was leash walked in our own yard until she passed over the Bridge last year.

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

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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Guest johnnydrum

Just a quick note, coincidentally, after joining in with this subject 24 hours ago

My girl Sasha and I were walking past the cemetery today having completed a hearty hour long walk (she will walk next to me, never runs, leaps and dosnt even have an interest in other dogs; hence my own hopes about her being trustworthy/bonded enough to have a free run in the near future) when she seen bunny on the other side of the mesh fence.

I could not belive the sheer power, force and drive she demonstrated upon her seeing "buggs"

She was leaping, up on her hind legs (like a bolting horse), charging at the mesh.....back and forward, up and down.....as a grown man (Im 6`2 and 190ilbs) i had to hang on for dear life (and for Buggs bunnys life too)

What I quickly learned is, that no matter how tranquil, docile, chilled out, and obedient she is, she completely "flipped" when she saw the rabbit.

Had she been off the leash, she would have been gone, and no amount of me calling/treats in pocket would have made a difference.

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Guest AtticusMom

Magnusson is such a vast dog park. I would worry about your pup getting overwhelmed with the space. We took a couple of our greys there years ago: as we were leaving, my male grey left our group and raced towards a medium sized dog at high speed. He pinned it down by the neck. Fortunately, that's all he did and the other dog was just a bit startled (as were the dog's owners. Yikes). It was a good reminder of how our guys see/hear things we don't, and can react way faster than we can. :D I like the idea of finding a grey-only running group, maybe a little bit further down the road when your pup has settled in a bit more.

I'll also agree that even though our greys do love to run, they can also get awesome exercise working their way up to long, stimulating walks with you. :)

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I didn't read all the responses so sorry if I am redundant but IMO you and your dog are not ready yet. To early.

 

I have extensive experience with Greys off leash, as many as three at a time, including a spook. The key is the dog's behaviour. Is the dog's highest priority to be with you? If the answer is no then I would never let the dog off leash outside of a secure fence.

 

In your case the dog park is not a good idea. It sounds like your dog is giving of the victim vibe. She could get picked on and it could be a disaster. On the other hand, the one thing I notice with some spooks is that the bond very closely to their person. If this applies to you than you may find, many months from now, perhaps years, that in the right place, fenced or not, perhaps a football field, or a park away from heavy traffic, that you could let the dog run. But you have to be confident that even if a rabbit appears, the dog would rather be with you than chase the rabbit. That is a big ask for many Greyhounds.

Edited by KickReturn
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Guest Zigglet

The Ft. Steilacoom dog park has a greyhound only hour every Sunday morning from 9-10, which I HIGHLY recommend. I realize this is a bit of a drive from downtown Seattle, but IMO it is SO worth it (I commute every week from West Seattle because Max loves it so much). This way Laila will be able to socialize with other greyhounds as well as people, while getting a chance to run.

 

Max doesn't do too well with non-greyhounds and we don't have a yard, so this has been invaluable for us. I think it will help Laila's personality shine as well. :)

This is great info!! Thank you :)

 

 

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