Thursday, July 2, 2009

Dog Park Adventures

So I've been going to the dog park a LOT lately. Every day this week in fact. I decided to start going because I wanted a change in pace for my dogs and I wanted to see how people in the community interact with their dogs. Somewhere different and fun to work on some stuff. This way, the dogs also get an hour or more of playing off leash with other dogs and I work on some of our off leash stuff with mega-distractions so it's a win-win.

I have to tell you all, there are some crazy weirdo people out there at the dog park! I thought I'd share a bit with you. (Funny part is that I don't even know where to start! There is so much!) My next goal is to remember to bring a camera with me so I can take pictures and give you a visual.


The first one is the Burnese Mountain Dog owner (big guy - over 6 ft, heavy set kinda guy). This guy comes in with a 3 year old fugly intact male (weak hind end; roach back; fugly fugly fugly) and a 9 week old puppy. For an intact male, the other dogs didn't pay much attention to him - I don't know why ... sure makes me wonder though.

Owner lets them both off leash and then calls repeatedly five or six times (the only one that came back to him was the puppy - not the adult). He didn't do anything when the adult refused the recall (how about put him on leash for a few minutes then try again? Doesn't matter - just follow up!), looked frustrated at the adult then patted the puppy saying "good girl" and started up a conversation with the people around.

After talking to him a bit, we find out that he has FOUR more at home and this 9 week old puppy is the male's new "wife". Great - another BYBer. Just what we need. *headdesk*

Can't these BYBers get it right? At least breed dogs that don't look like crap. Get some titles in SOMETHING (obedience, conformation, anything!), register them and don't make more fuglies. Wish I had a picture I could post - I'll be bringing my camera to the dog park from now on. We learn as we go, right?

I was really impressed at the other people in the park. None of them said anything negative about this guy breeding, but he got the cold shoulder and was left to walk by himself after that. Go dog park regulars!


The other one I want to share about today is a Great Dane. This big guy is the calmest Dane I've met. He did play (wrestling gently and mouthing a bit) with a few of the smaller dogs when he first got there but for the most part he walked near his owner. His body language was so subtle it was beautiful to watch. He projected a calm and confident attitude to all the dogs and people. He watched everything going on without showing he was watching. When other dogs wanted to sniff him in greeting, they would approach and stand back far to stretch in for a sniff.

The best part? His owner displayed the same demeanor! You know the Fido commercials? Well, this dog and owner are the embodiment of these Fido commercials. The two of them were like mirrored images. Wow.


GoLightly said...

hey, DDF, forgot to answer your question.
I can't remember the darned name of the "famous" trainer. She was featured on an Animal Planet "Dogs that Bite" show, or something..
I REALLy didn't like her. Neither did Flip, or Blaze.
darnnnn. hmmm. First name Jennifer?...
gah, brain cell freeze. Dog Training That
(maybe) I'll go look. She was nasty, downright nasty.

Anyways, I am So Lucky (touch wood, right now) to have the amount of acreage I do for my dogs. We can walk our 40 acres, and never see anything but well, dirt and 'coon poops and stuff.

When I first got Blaze puppy, yes, AFTER shots, I took her to my sister's dog park in the Pape/Dundas area. She was freakin' petrified. My fault, as I listened to kid sister, who said, just let her go. No, Blaze got mobbed and overwhelmed. My bad.

Blaze was totally fascinated by a Great Dane puppy, who finally got her to lighten up and have some fun.
I hadn't watched Cesar's Dog Park Etiquette show yet.
I know, now, what I did wrong.

I'm still not comfortable at dog parks. I worry about sick dogs. Stupid owners. Heck, I'm not comfortable in the city, period, though. Gotta get out!

I take my girls to a conservation area near where we live, for special treats after vet visits etc. We never have any problems there:)
It's pretty rugged, so you get the calm owners... Mostly. Very rarely we'll run into someone who has their dog on leash. The owner invariably Gasps at my fierce looking dogs;)

So important, isn't it? Being Calm.

Flip Totally agrees, she hates the city..

sorry for the long blather.

GoLightly said...

Yup, I was right, for a change

I'm not saying that she's terrible for everybody. She didn't help me much, is all. Wanted to put a choke-chain on my Flip. (I refused) Made my Blaze puppy scream in pain, for NO reason. I had asked her about Blaze's aggressiveness towards another puppy, so she showed me how to make her scream in pain.
Not good.
She does Schutzhund..(sp?)

I got WAY more from Cesar.
Just sayin'.

Heck, I've gotten more from you! For free!

Thanks, DDF!

Snowball said...


I am being chosen to be one of the 5 finalists for Ike's Summer Photo Contest. Can you please go visit his blog at and vote for me?

Thank you in advance.



shane rocket said...

funny... love the part about the Dane- need photo of the pair. :)

LilliGirl said...

Good post. I stay away from the dog park though for the most part. Too man studpid owners there for me to put my dogs in a risky position.

Andrea said...

I work with Sophie a lot at the dog parks as it's great for working on calm sits and focus during alot of crazy distractions. It also keeps her used to being around other dogs. However, I agree with some of the other comments....the owners at some of these parks can be ridiculously unattentive to their dog and have little if any control...a dangerous combination. I steer Sophie clear of those dogs and owners and we haven't had much of a problem.

DogsDeserveFreedom said...

GoLightly ...

I have found that many dog trainers will find a technique that works for a few dogs and try to use it for all. They are encouraged by their belief that it worked for another dog already so "it works". Stick to your guns. You know your dog better and if you know it doesn't work, then don't use it. I find a lot of Schutzhund trainers (though not all!) use a lot of force to get their point across. While this works well with some dogs, for others it can be detrimental. I'm not sure why there is such consistency with Schutzhund ...

Snowball ...

Thanks for your post. Though I haven't replied on this entry to your post, I did go and vote at the beginning of July.

ShaneRocket ...

I haven't seen the Dane since ... I keep hoping to see them around. When I do, I'll get a pic

LilliGirl ...

There are many stupid owners. I agree. For that reason, I never go alone. Ours is remote, away from all roads and no one walks there unless they are going to the park. This way I can ensure both my safety and my dogs. Between me and my hubby, we can control most scenarios (and because our dogs will respond to verbal command, regardless of the scenario, at a distance up to 30 ft - still working our way to 150 - we don't have to have a person handling them).

Andrea ...

I love the distractions the dog park offers! Between that and the many dogs that my guys get to play with, it's a great tool.

I have found if there is a group of people / dogs that I don't want my dogs to be with, there is nothing stopping us from leaving.