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Venting: dog park

Discussion in 'Dog Debates' started by Chevypride, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. Worg

    Worg Big Dog

    Just want to put it out there that either Petco or Petsmart, maybe both, do puppy play sessions with pups 6 months or under. Pretty sure they require vaccinations as well. Idk if I commented this before but it crossed my mine when the notification came up for this post. Some don't find it necessary, and I would agree, but if you want to socialize a puppy then it could be a good option for a controlled environment without adult potentially aggressive dogs that could do damage or unvaccinated dogs that could get a puppy sick.
  2. Lilith

    Lilith Puppy

    My problem with dog parks has almost nothing to do with my dog.

    We rescued her as an adult, so she missed out on proper puppy socialization, but she has tons of canine friends of all sizes and breeds.

    She is a titled AKC Canine Good Citizen and a certified therapy dog with over 100 hours under her belt. We work primarily with veterans, especially those with severe PTSD (she has a massively high pain tolerance and doesn't mind if they get "rough," for lack of a better word). But we're also on call with two hospices nearby, and they call us to have her sit with a lonely elderly person in the last hours of their lives, if they don't have any friends or family to be with them. And under the supervision of a therapist, we've worked with people with pitbull phobias, and victims of pitbull attacks. Which are incredibly high-stress, emotionally-charged environments, and she handles it all beautifully.

    And she loves her work. Twice a week, when she sees me grab her vest, she'll run to the door and just stare at me, like, "I don't understand. Why are we not leaving yet? What is taking you so long?"

    She loves what she does, and she's damn good at it. It's not something I taught her or make her do. It's just the nature of who she is.

    So you don't get much more mentally balanced than her.

    The problem is that she's an American Bully, and a rescue, and horribly abused, which means she was likely backyard-bred. Her temperament is stable, but she also has a pretty strong prey drive, and occasionally, when playing with her buddies, she can get a little too intense. She's well-trained, so a quick, sharp, "Hey!" is enough to snap her out of it, but I always have to be watching her, to recognize when that intensity starts building.

    But I trust her and I trust my ability to control her, and snap her out of potentially problematic situations. With those two things in a vacuum, she'd be a perfect dog park dog, even with her less-than-stellar genetics and upbringing.

    We don't live in a vacuum, though. And she has a healthy dose of that bully tenacity.

    Once she starts, she's not all that inclined to stop. And she's 70lbs of thick muscle packed onto a solid, compact, 23-inch-high frame. She is capable of some serious damage.

    Do I think she'd ever go after a dog? Absolutely not.

    Do I trust my ability to diffuse the situation if another dog attacks her?

    Nope. Because she will defend herself, which I am all for. If I can't get there in time to protect her, then yes she should protect herself.

    Except she's a 70lb pit bull breed, and she will very likely win that fight, with disastrous consequences for the attacking dog.

    And it won't matter that the other dog attacked her. It won't matter that she has literally saved lives. That she does more good in a single afternoon than most people do in their entire lives.

    No one will care. Because she's a big pit bull, and her ears have been cut off by some jerk with scissors, so she looks scary af.

    It will be her fault. And she'll be the one punished for it.

    I mean, honestly, do you think the headline will be, "Aggressive dog dies after attacking a therapy dog"?

    No. It'll be, "Beloved family pet is killed by a vicious pitbull."

    She may end up being labeled a "dangerous" dog, may lose her therapy dog certification, and may even end up being put down.

    Because some idiot brought an aggressive dog to a dog park, and she defended herself, as all living things do. And I'm not going to put my dog in a position where she may end up paying for someone else's ignorance.

    Doggy playdates are so much better, in literally every way.
    Nat Ursula likes this.
  3. Nat Ursula

    Nat Ursula Good Dog

    She sounds like Tonka, my blue and white pitbull mix, in the avatar.
    Lilith likes this.
  4. brindle

    brindle Little Dog

    Well the answer is pretty simple... don't take your pit bull, pit bull type, bully mutt, whatever... to any "dog park".

    Why set your dog up to fail? Why bother... find other things to do with your pit bull. (This is not directed at anyone in particular, it's just common sense for any bull breed owner...)

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