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Dog parks = sick dog?
  • Hi all - the sidewalks here are iced over and unsafe, and those which aren't iced are now salt-encrusted. I took Kit on campus (where the walks are always clear and safe and sanded, not salted) for walkies but she was doing her polite guest in a new place thing and wouldn't pee or poop on campus. So then I took her out to the dog park, where I know for sure she will do both. The dog park here is huge and has lots of large separate enclosed yards so you can have some control over who comes in to play with your dog - they have chairs next to the double doors that secure the entrance. I am not comfortable having Kit interacting with off-leash dogs so we just take a yard to ourselves. Her breeder lives nearby and said she'd like to go on walks with us and her new puppies but honestly, Kit does not walk well with other dogs. She has a strong preference for walking on the grassy side of the walk and gets too distracted if there is another dog, we can't get good exercise and it's just a tumblefest. So I thought we could meet at the dog park but the breeder says that they are not health-safe. I have found lots of info on aggression in dog parks in the forums but I am not adding this to an existing thread because I am wondering about the health safety beyond aggression/violence - which she won't experience out there because there are enough yards to not have to share during the day.
    Post edited by Kitsune1 at 2012-12-22 13:54:38
  • tkfushtkfush
    Posts: 131
    Post edited by tkfush at 2012-12-21 17:26:09
  • Kit is 4 years old and in excellent health - and I am inclined to agree with you that it's always possible for a person or a dog to get sick, but it's better to go out in the world than to be cooped up in the apartment all the time and only ever see one tiny slice of the world in the form of our known walking circuit. I'd like to be able to give her more freedom now and then.
    Post edited by Kitsune1 at 2012-12-22 13:55:17
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Dog parks, in my opinion are the perfect storm for diseases. The main reason being that you have a large concentration of dogs mixing and passing stuff around. While there are some diseases that your dog can get from walking around, others are more about being in close proximity to other dogs.

    A good example is at my own local dog park. A case of canine flu broke out, either due to ignorance, or selfishness, people repeatedly brought in dogs they knew were infected. The problem snowballed to the point, i havent been able to take kenshin to area in general. Then you have the fleas, ticks (which can transfer lime disease) pink eye, parasites, mange, and of course the things you vaccinate against. Remember vaccines are not 100% its all about herd immunity. If you have unvaccinated dogs going in they put other dogs at risk.

    Granted a healthy dog should avoid most of these illnesses, but it sucks when they don't. Health is only a small reason why I prefer playdates on private property. Even a dog park with a membership is better, at least you know the dogs are vaccinated.
  • My town has no private dog parks with memberships and there are no other fenced areas where I can let Kit off her leash. In all honesty, she doesn't seem to care much for being unleashed - she does one turn around the yard (my dog park has lots of separate large enclosed yards - chalk that up to Kansas having lots of space) and then sits at my side like she's waiting to be put back on the lead. So she's not that crazy into it, it's more my own projected idea that it would be nice to not always be on the leash (while in a supervised, secure, fenced large yard). So no, my "only option" is not a "cramped, densely populated dog park" - my only option is a spacious yard which we never have to share with any other dogs because there are several other yards just like it or larger.
    Post edited by Kitsune1 at 2012-12-22 13:55:52
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    If you are in the yard alone with Kit I would take the opportunity and play with her to make it fun, run around and chase her or let her chase you. It's a great bonding opportunity. Juni prefers to play with us than other dogs usually so if we just sit still in the park she won't do much else than a bit of sniffing around too.
  • I will give it a try! But I think she has not been encouraged to chase people - when I try to play with her or get all bouncy (weight from side to side, clapping hands, running around) she looks at me very quizzically. Quizzically and slightly concerned. I might just go with that being a positive since she's 4 and I think her temperament is just very mellow.
  • Post edited by sandrat888 at 2012-12-22 14:11:17
  • Sandrat - it's so great to find another owner of a dog like Kit, Maluko does truly sound like a kindred soul. I think Kit would love nosework, she takes a lot of pleasure in sniffing/tracking on our walks and it would be great to be able to play that as an indoor game too. I'm excited to learn new things to share with her to enrich her life and keep her happy and fulfilled. She's perfectly happy just to sit with me at home (I am an academic and spend most of my time at the computer) but I would like to have some indoor activities/games/communication-training to do at home in addition to our walks outside. I'm looking forward to talking more with you!

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