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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We took Dakota to a dog park for the first time yesterday and again today. He is surprisingly timid--I really, really didn't expect that--he totally harasses my step son's 80 pound rottie. A toy poodle knocked him over yesterday--he is 4 times the poodles size; and today a chihuahua mix was chasing him everywhere until he came to huddle under my legs. Is this the sign of a problem? Also, I so hate to judge breeds, but today a young pit bull was in the park and I was a bit nervous. I don't want to be a bad person, but I want the best environment for Dakota . . . are dog parks safe places and are pit bulls and other potentially aggressive breeds safe to socialize with?
Diane
 

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Hi Diane,
I am not an expert on behavior so I won't try to guess about Dakota's reactions to the dog park...but I wouldn't worry too much. He will probably get used to it all and be fine.
I also don't know about ALL Pit Bulls, but my husband's daughter owns two and they are the most sweet and loving dogs around. They frighten me too, because I have heard so much about them...and I know that they are very strong dogs...so if anything DID go wrong, the Pit could cause serious damage...but our dauther's Pits have played with our dogs and are very sweet. Even so, I wouldn't leave them alone. I'll err on the side of caution.
As long as you are near and the dogs don't show any signs of aggression, I'd not be too concerned...but watch him and if you become concerned about any behavior, take what ever steps you feel are necessary for the circumstances.
Our dogs are precious to us, and the thought of them in a fight or getting hurt is horrifying...but they are also good dogs to know how to get along with other dogs too...so unless you have a reason to fear, just let them play and enjoy the exercise. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Jac! The pit bull "Riley" seemed to be quite a sociable fellow. As I said, our son has a rottie which is also reputed to be aggressive and he puts up with a lot more of Dakota than I would! I'm afraid I'm being an over-protective mother and I'll do my best to shed that! Since Dakota is acting so timid, we're going to take every opportunity to take him to the park to socialize him . . . got get him ready for our doodle romp!!! :wink:
Diane
 

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I think the first time at the dog park Chester was a little bit overwhelmed---so many play options. Then next time we took him as we turned into the parking lot he was drooling and whining in the car to get out there. We were so used to seeing him in his normal environment.
As for the pit bull I'd be cautious as well...just in case. From what I've seen at these parks the dogs are usually well socialized but you never know.
 

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We have been going to a park here for a little while every day. I don't turn Toby loose with the very small dogs for fear that he would accidentally hurt them. We have been lucky to be there mostly with dogs his size...or close. A doberman got him down one day last week and the owners very quickly removed their dog from the park. Toby wasn't scared, he just layed real still until he saw that we had the problem under control.. (very good instinct on his part) The important thing at the park, is to stay attentive to the moods of all the animals that are there. I stay within ten feet of Toby at all times. Also, I think six dogs at a time is PLENTY. If the crowd gets any bigger than that, we leave. You can tell very quickly by observing if everyone present is in control of their pet. If people don't have control..we don't play. A young lady was there this Tuesday with 2 very large dogs who did not mind her at all. They weren't mean...just wild, Toby ran with them for a few minutes and when I saw things getting too rough I just took him on home for fear she wouldn't be able to rein hers in if need be. Always, err on the part of caution!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
All went well, although I should have heeded Wannadoodle's advice--there were too many dogs in the park. There were three pit bulls and they were just fine. However a labbie-mix (not as finely blended as ours!!) did chase Dakota and throw him which caused Dakota to yelp. It took everything in me, but I held on and waited for the "pack rules" to take hold. Within a minute, Dakota was socializing with some of the other dogs--tail high in the air!
Diane
 

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Good job Diane! It is so hard to watch your baby learn life's lessons...but sounds like Dakota did learn...and has adjusted very well!
 

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this is my worry, other dogs, I think I wont be able to pick Otto up to protect him, if he grows really big
 
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