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dan1205

Our Dogs Have Become A Nuisance At The Dog Park

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Hello All,

Two months ago, we adopted two beautiful hounds. They are 2.5 years, littermates (sisters), were at a breeder / training facility (but not raced), and not housed together until adoption. Overall, they're doing very well with the transition to our home...mastered the dog door, no destructive behavior, settled into a routine. They have bonded with each other and with us. Best of all, they are very sweet and gregarious. They greet everyone with wagging tails and smiling eyes.

 

Our city has a nice dog park that's great for greys. It's huge with wide open space for sprints / zoomies. On the first couple of trips, our dogs were the hit of the park...gentle and playful with other dogs, actively greeted people.

 

But on our past 10 or so trips to the dog park, our girls have become the 'nuisance of the park.' A couple of minutes after arrival they team up and fixate on one dog to chase, usually a much smaller dog. Sometimes the other dog will run and enjoy being chased, but in many cases the dog they chase is overwhelmed and apparently threatened by the playful albeit menacing presence of our two. They surround the other dog often squeezing it between they as they run. Sometimes, one of them jumps back and forth over the other dog as it's running. A few owners have said 'it's okay' but others are clearly bothered by their intense style of play. I've tried redirection and distraction, but within a minute they are usually pestering the same dog on which they were fixated earlier. I just have to pack them up and leave the park.

 

Is anyone familiar with this kind of behavior? Or have suggestions on how to remedy or better manage it?

 

I would hate to just stop taking them to the park as they enjoy it and benefit from the exercise. Thanks so much for any input you have to offer!

 

 

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We took our first grey to a dog park. There were two other greyhounds there and all three teamed up and went after a Jack Russell and pushed him to climb a fence. I have never gone back. I don't want to be responsible for someone else's dog getting hurt.

 

On the other side of the coin, I have read numerous posts here, and else where of occasions where greyhounds have gotten injured or bit in a dog park.

 

No dog parks for us.


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I agree with Houndtime. No dog parks for me.

Big dogs and little dogs should not be in the same area. Most people are not paying attention to their dogs. All it takes is a little dog to squeek or cry and it can set off some greyhounds with a high prey drive. Have heard too many stories of greyhounds being attacked at dog parks. Not worth the risk to me.

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Thanks houndtime and lukasmom for the helpful feedback.

 

After posting this, I discovered how to search the forums for previous threads and found an informative discussion on dog park behavior (original post 12-22-18). In hindsight, I regret starting a new thread and wish I could delete this one but don't see a way to do so. My apologies for the redundancy of the question posted.

 

Thanks again.

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A new thread on the topic isn't an issue as everyone's circumstances are different. You are seeing basic pack behavior from a dog breed that has been used to hunt for hundreds of years. In their mind, they are playing. Greyhounds play rough with each other which is why muzzles are required at greyhound meetups and playgroups where dogs will be loose to play.

 

Honestly, the dog park is best avoided in my opinion, but if you continue to go, find one with separate areas for small and large dogs. You don't want your dogs labeled or reported as being aggressive. It's not worth the headache.


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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

 

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Thanks, Time4ANap. Based on the comments here and on other threads, we likely won't be going back to the dog park much if at all, which is sad as they seem to enjoy their sprints.

 

One of the main problems with our local park is that a number of small dog owners insist on bringing their dogs into the area designated for larger dogs. The sign on the gate clearly says '30 lbs and up ONLY.' But there are always several 5 - 20 lb dogs in with the large ones (even though there is a separate small dog area). I've heard some small dog owners say things like 'my dog prefers to be with the big dogs' or 'my little one is a terror with other small dogs' so they put them with the large ones. Of course, this creates a potential problem when a grey with high prey drive is present. And based on how she responds to squirrels and rabbits on walks, one of our two has a *very* high prey drive.

 

Our city is building a new mega dog park that supposedly will have 4 size areas plus one for senior dogs. Not sure if even that will help, but if owners follow the size rules, perhaps we will be able to take our greys there occasionally. But again, based on our recent park visits and the feedback in these forums, I think our days at the dog park are likely over.

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It is sad that we can’t safely take our dogs to a dog park, but it seems to be the case. Some people have been able to find times when the dog park is generally empty and take their dogs then, but you still run the risk of them picking up diseases and/or parasites.

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The shelter I adopted from welcomes greyhounds to play in their fenced in area with their dogs. Muzzle required. No little dogs!

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One solution may be to not let your siblings run together. Leave one at home with the other human, or in the car, for half your usual run time, then switch off.

 

Going in the early morning will sometimes mean an empty park for zombies. You'll just have to scout different times.

 

Another option would be a weekly trip to a reputable doggie day care. One that tests and separates the dog due to size AND temperament for play groups.

 

Or see if other greyhound parents in your area can get together for a weekly play date in someone's yard or field or horse paddock.


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Your dogs are not playing. Their next step might be to grab the small dog and start tossing it around. I never take my greyhounds to a dog park just because of possible incidents like this.

 

As others have mentioned, see if there is an adoption group in your area that has a fenced in area where your dogs could run. They might also be able to suggest greyhound get togethers. I'm not a big fan of play groups as there are not many that have experienced people that are leading them but, you could try one in your area that spearates according to size and temperment.

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To insure the safety of my Greyhound and other dogs, we only use the dog park when there are no other dogs present. Soul is tremendously competitive.


You! Out of the gene pool!

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Thanks, Time4ANap. Based on the comments here and on other threads, we likely won't be going back to the dog park much if at all, which is sad as they seem to enjoy their sprints.

 

One of the main problems with our local park is that a number of small dog owners insist on bringing their dogs into the area designated for larger dogs. The sign on the gate clearly says '30 lbs and up ONLY.' But there are always several 5 - 20 lb dogs in with the large ones (even though there is a separate small dog area). I've heard some small dog owners say things like 'my dog prefers to be with the big dogs' or 'my little one is a terror with other small dogs' so they put them with the large ones. Of course, this creates a potential problem when a grey with high prey drive is present. And based on how she responds to squirrels and rabbits on walks, one of our two has a *very* high prey drive.

 

Our city is building a new mega dog park that supposedly will have 4 size areas plus one for senior dogs. Not sure if even that will help, but if owners follow the size rules, perhaps we will be able to take our greys there occasionally. But again, based on our recent park visits and the feedback in these forums, I think our days at the dog park are likely over.

 

You nailed the problem. There are no bad dogs, just bad owners. As others have said, sometimes early or late in the day you may be able to have the park to yourself. It really is sad as there is nothing more fun than seeing these hounds run and have a great time. Not sure where you are, but it may be time to make friends with someone who has a huge fenced yard or farm with a pasture, etc. When we lived in IL we were lucky that one of my friends had a huge fenced yard, probably close to an acre. Rocket loved going over there. Here in the desert a dog park would be our only other option, so that;s a no go for us as they are always full.

 

Even though your dogs are a pair, you may still want to muzzle to avoid a nipping injury when you are able to let them run. Greyhound teeth plus thin skin can equal a nasty play injury.


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Always missing my boy Hi Noon Rocket. The home of Petunia, MW Neptunia and Kate, Miss Kate.

 

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Why don't you try very early or late when the dog park would be empty?


I take my two Galgos to a soccer field and bungie cord the gates.

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Why don't you try very early or late when the dog park would be empty?

I take my two Galgos to a soccer field and bungie cord the gates.

 

Dan1205, I would not recommend this suggestion. Soccer and baseball fields are so large that even if you put bungie cords on the gates, anyone could undo one and walk in leaving the gate open. You'd be so focused on your dogs that you would not have time to warn them to stay out. Also, in my town there are "no dogs allowed" signs on those fields.


 

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