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Dog Park Question
  • I wanted some advice from people who have been through this. Our dog park has 2 areas, one for small dogs and 1 for large. The small dog side is very small and there are rarely dogs in there at all. Kishi prefers to play with the large dogs. She is pretty rough. I used to own a high prey drive Borzoi who could have killed a dog like Kishi in a split second. Is it fair and or safe for me to let her play with the big dogs? Are there unwritten dog park rules? I am new to the dog park thing so any advice would be appreciated.
  • Mika chooses to play with big dogs..I watch her very closely tho....Sometimes I have to carry her past the entrance where the big dogs gather because they are going at it pretty rough
    Fred and Jodie...Madison WI

    **Mika....The Shiba Inu**

    **Zoey....The Schipperke**
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    My dog park doesn't have big or little dog sections, and there is almost never a problem with bigger dogs playing with the little ones. The park is big enough that if someone wants to, they can move off somewhere else and not be bothered.

    I actually prefer non-separated dog parks so Conker can interact with dogs of all sizes.

    But my general rule is: If there's a dog of any size going after Conker in a malicious way and the owner won't leave (my dog park has an actual written rule that if someone's dog is aggressive they have to leave) then I won't risk the safety of mine and I'll be the one to go.
  • cmed24cmed24
    Posts: 75
    we used to bring kuma into the big dog area, and he was fine. we have been bringing him into the little dog area lately becuase he plays much nicer with the smaller dogs. he has a few beagle friends. we notice he is much rougher with the big dogs and ends up coming home and being rough with the cats. he is a nicer pup when playing with the little dogs. he runs more and chases, and plays. with the big dogs its mostly wrestling.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Be mindful of predatory drift.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 270
    Maya likes to play with big dogs and she plays like one, so we usually take her to the big dog area. However, there were once or twice when all the big dogs are extremely big and would gang up on new-comers. I could tell Maya was stressed and frightened, so I took her out immediately and went to the small dog section. I find it kind of nice that Shiba's size works well on either side, and we get to pick the fun one or even go to both.
    Shiba Inu Maya's blog and FB page
  • SakuSaku
    Posts: 372
    Both of my dogs are not interested in playing with either big or small dogs! When Saku was younger, he likes to get chased by other dogs. Now he just wants to play fetch with me in the dog park. Mina is a loner. She likes to sniff and greet other dogs then wonder around by herself. They are not unfriendly to other dogs but they don't care much playing with them, either big or small.

    We usually go to small dog park because it's almost always empty and no one will compete fetching wtih Saku or bother Mina. Is my dog anti-social?
    Saku & Mina's mom

    Saku & Mina
  • We don't go to dog parks, partly because like Lindsay mentioned, predatory drift is a scary thing - and I've seen big dogs "pack up" and get a little weird with Koji. (right after he hit puberty and his "puppy pass" expired...

    Also my vet told me he gets about a dog a week that has been injured at the dog park..He's just one vet...

    PS...I think there are different quality in parks and the people who frequent them make a huge difference, but I prefer a long line in regular on leash parks, beach etc...have a little more control over his interactions...

    Small dog areas are going to be safer of course. But still don't know who you'll be in there with :)
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    I don't go to the big dog area unless there is a regular I know there. From my experience, MOST big dogs (at the park i go to) don't know how to play with smaller dogs. I have had one situation where a dog got too aggressive with my Shiba and all the owners thought I was a horrible owner for letting her into the big dog area.
  • our dog parks are separated into areas by behavior-- "active" vs. "shy/timid." this seems to translate into "big" vs. "small," but not always. we get big dogs on the shy/timid side that really build our puppy's confidence in interacting with dogs 20x her size. Then we get little dogs with tons and tons of energy. We haven't taken her to the "active" side yet, mostly because it's such a mud pit this time of year in Portland, and the "shy" side still has grass!
  • kirinkirin
    Posts: 68
    wow, predatory drift is so scary!!
  • Stef777Stef777
    Posts: 246
    The only dog park I've been to was seperated the way yours is (big dogs and very small dogs) Kendaux was a few pounds over the small dog required weight so I brought him to the big side. We went a total of 3 times, 2 times with no problems and the last time he was attacked by a dog and was swung around by his neck until I could pry the other dogs mouth off..... lets just say I no longer go to dark parks. Be careful.... Bigger dogs pose a bigger threat if anything were to happen.
  • lucylulucylu
    Posts: 500
    Seems a lot of people are scared of dog parks. Sure, every park has a chance for a problem, but so do "children" parks. Would you never take your child to a park because of that? I go to different parks probably about 4-5 times per week. Never had anything serious happen or seen anything serious. I mostly go to the large dog areas as my dog plays a lot better with the bigger dogs.

    My advice is dog parks are great socialization for your dog and really allow them to burn energy. Keep an eye on them though. You can usually tell if something is going to happen before it actually happens.
  • there is only the 1 park in my area. I plan on taking her next weekend to see how it goes. Its just hard having a 2yr old and finding time to go as children are not allowed at the dog park (I understand why it just sucks)
  • @Saku ... Penny is the same way! When we bring her to our parents' houses all she does is chase my family's beagle or my fiance's family's chihuahua and want to play. But when we bring her to a dog park she either stays with us or sits alone and observes! We just want to socialize her, lol.
  • I'm not scared of dog parks, I just think they're generally a bad idea for my dogs, and probably there are plenty of other dogs that shouldn't be in them either. I would much rather socialize my dogs with dogs (and owners) I know. anyone can come into a dog park, and from what I can see, the vast majority of dog owners are idiots and have not control over their dogs, no ability to read dog body language, or to understand what is appropriate play and what isn't.

    NK's can be touchy dogs, are often (not always) reactive, and certainly have a different play style than other dogs. If I had a lab, I'd probably go. I used to take my GSD to a dog park sometimes, and he was fine. But my reactive Shibas? No way. And my Akita? He's fine with well mannered dogs, but will not stand for rudeness, and it would be way too risky to take him to a place where there are dogs that might get in his face.

    Then there's the predatory drift issue mentioned here.

    To me, there's just way too many unknowns at a dog park, and I don't want to put my dog in those situations.

    If other people want to go, fine, but I think there are better ways to socialize a dog.

    Post edited by shibamistress at 2011-12-08 14:10:23
  • Don't see correlation between "childrens park" and dog park...3 yr. old children are not likely to go from playing in the sand box to ganging up on another child and breaking his/her neck and killing them in a split second...(predatory drift).

    They are not likely to get in fights with puncture wounds etc...yes, they may trip and fall and scrape their knee...

    and if someone goes to parks regularly and has never seen anything bad happen, well then they are very lucky! and good for them...I don't think it's a matter of being a scaredy cat.

    If someone has a great dog park with educated owners, 100% reliable dogs with great temperments they are very lucky indeed...I haven't found one here..

    If you are educated about doggie body language you can usually see a problem before it happens, but dogs are way faster than I am, and even so, I would be "scared" to be in the middle of a nasty dog scrap, being a small woman...

    I don't find it difficult to socialize and/or burn off energy with combination of meetups, friends and neighbors, and classes and outdoor areas/long line....and don't have to deal with clueless or "scary" dog owners...

  • Stef777Stef777
    Posts: 246
    Amen shibamistress!! ;)
  • LucaLuca
    Posts: 27
    Luca has been with the big dogs since day one (started going at 11lbs) and now that he's 32lbs, he's big/strong enough to still keep up with them. My $0.02 would be if you're uncomfortable in the big dog area, go to the small dog part. Big or little, malicious attacks from other dogs aren't acceptable but can also happen on either side. Just be aware of the surroundings, other dogs, and the natural behavior (if there are any changes) of your own pup, and you'll be fine.
  • I also thought the comparison to kids park/dog park was a little shaky as an analogy, so yeah,Koji'sMom, you've addressed that well.
  • LaRen616LaRen616
    Posts: 221
    I personally would not put a small dog in the big dog section. JMO

    Big dogs play very rough with each other, they can accidently harm your Shiba.

    Some large dogs have very high prey drive and can see your Shiba as a toy.

    Sinister ~ 5.5 yr old black male GSD 3.11.09
    Draven ~ 16 month old male Dalmatian 6.20.13

    Cats: Chaos, Mayhem, Monster, Wicked
    Post edited by LaRen616 at 2011-12-09 11:06:03
  • LosechLosech
    Posts: 2516
    Well, with my Shiba, the big dogs are the prey. He doesn't let anybody beat up on him and he's often too rough for the big dogs. But I still keep an eye out. Not only to keep Conker safe but to keep the other dogs safe. If Conker gets into an actual fight (never happened with a dog that wasn't mine) he WILL NOT stop, even if the other dog backs down. I think that's a bigger problem with Shibas, since they tend to be tenacious at times.

    Anyways, I'm one of the lucky few to have an awesome dog park where incidents rarely or never happen, and they are often between two dogs who know each other quite well and were pushing their boundaries or dogs who belonged to the same person.

    Doesn't mean everyone's dogs will get along great. Like I said before, if any dog of any size is bugging Conker too much (or vice versa), I'll leave. I know what his limit is, and what the limits of most of the dogs I see at the park as well. With dog parks you ALWAYS have to keep an eye on your dog, and other dogs, even if they know each other. You can't slack off because everyone is getting along or you might miss a subtle sign that something is about to happen.

    And even if rules state that aggressive and mean dogs have to leave, it's better to just leave yourself if a dog is bothering yours and the owner doesn't care and doesn't try to stop it.
    Posts: 1507
    For those who are into scientific monograms I just found this one regarding aggression in dog parks.
  • jimjim
    Posts: 55
    My Niki loves the dog park; but sometimes we get there and when I see who is there I might leave without getting out of the car. There are some people who have zero consideration for others. My Niki is not for your two Huskies to practice their teamwork hunting. Even if not vicious, Rottweilers are big strong protective animals; you should weigh more than your dog if you need to physically control him.
    And sometimes I get there after an exceptionally busy period of visits from the "I don't think anyone saw it so I don't have to pick it up" crowd. If I see lots of piles, I take Niki to some walking trails or somewhere else.
    But when everything is just right and Niki is chasing and being chased and wrestling and boxing with the right crowd... it is really fun to watch.
  • I believe a dog park experience is very much dependent on the quality of dog owner that attends. Certain rules can be put in place to help facilitate this kind of quality environment ( is the website for the park I attend, the rules are listed at the bottom of the registration form) but if people don't obey these rules then they are worthless. I am lucky that the owners in my park will actively make sure that other people do not break the rules and monitor their dogs. I have become friends with all of the regulars since I go so often and I have yet to experience any serious incidents. I think that when ultimately deciding if a dog park is the place for you and your Shiba you should try to get to know the regulars first and also take into account your own dog's temperament and play style.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    Since I'm inept at finding the Advanced Search option, I'll just bump this.

    So, I took Sagan to the dog park this morning and it was nice; frosty and quiet. We were alone for a good 10-15 minutes, practicing recall and throwing the ball, playing fetch. A mother and her two small children entered the park with a young Lab who's already energetic as it is. Sagan and the Lab get along just fine, chase and play with each other, then he starts ignoring her and comes back to me (basically, done playing with her).

    Sagan is off on his own in the corner of the park, probably sniffing random shit, and the Lab pup comes up to me and I start petting her, talking to her, and being nice, I guess. I look up, and I see Sagan literally running his ass off to get this Lab and he goes into full-blown attack mode. They start ruffling around and the Lab puppy manages to run off, squealing, whimpering, and Sagan still in his weird aggression mode. I run after him and when they finally get into a corner, I immediately pick him up and walk out of the park. My boyfriend apologized to the Lab's owner and we have a great lengthy discussion in the car.

    I think I'm venting more than anything, but I was pretty frustrated and scared. I've never seen Sagan attack another dog, ever. Ever ever ever. This made me consider neutering him much earlier instead of in two months like I originally planned. I don't know if the children added to his stress (they were screaming and one of them was crying because she tripped on a log in the park...) or he felt jealousy, I don't know. All I know is that he came after this poor Lab when I was petting her and I hate the fact this happened.

    It's bewildering because he got along fine with the Lab when she first came in... It seems entirely too silly to say that "he got jealous." Do dogs even feel envy?

    Sorry for posting so much, guys. I feel bad about it.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    Dogs definitely feel envy. See it all the time with Jackie. If I pet another dog she'd growl at them to back off but won't try anything physical because she knows its wrong.
  • MoishewMoishew
    Posts: 35
    @Rikka: that's definitely scary. Masa has gotten into a fight at the dog park before; a coonhound / something mix came barreling through and knocked him over while he was looking in another direction. He immediately went into fight mode and I thought he was gonna rip that dogs head off even though it was 3x the size. When shibas go into fight mode they get super scary!

    After the other dog's owners and I got our dogs, we immediately took both out to cool down on leash, then made them sit together gradually closer to each other and then lay down next to each other. We let them back in the park and they were totally fine together.

    Is Sagan normally ok with you showing affection to different dogs?
    CH Arden Masa Fusa is his full and decorated name, but I call him Masa!
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Could be due to his bad experience with dogs getting into a fight at the ranch?

    OR something else.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    I have seen plenty of dogs at the dog park who are possessive of their owners. Definitely something you need to address in a controlled environment if possible. When at the park you can avoid petting other dogs or showing them too much affection, but there are always those dogs who are just so friendly and jump all over you etc. Try working on this with a friends dog who Sagan is comfortable with already.
  • Our local dog park has two areas. The larger area is several acres with a pond at the end that has been cleaned, lined with gravel, and roped off for swimming. The smaller area is probably less than an acre and is for dogs under 30 lbs, senior dogs, and dogs with handicaps.

    I only take her to the bigger area after evaluating the situation. With it being such a large area and with shibas being so fast, it can be very hard for me to keep up with her and catch her if needed. Some people have no regard for the posted rules and will bring too many dogs or aggressive dogs into the park.

    There's a local shiba breeder that I've run into several times. When I say breeder, I mean that she knows how to produce puppies. She will bring 4 or 5 dogs to the park and leave them in different areas not paying attention to them. Her shibas are aggressive and the other mix breeds she has will go around humping other dogs at will until the other dog's owner will break it up. I can't stand that she represents the breed in such a negative way but I'm not aware of anything that I could do about it.
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    @bikingleia, Is there a dog per person limit? At my local dog parks, it's usually 3 per person; you need a permit to have more than that, up to 6 at a time. Regardless, if she can't watch over and keep control of them all at once, she's got too many, and needs to be called out on it. X( Sorry, that sucks...
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • RyuDragonRyuDragon
    Posts: 319
    I think the issue is that people don't obey the rules because they are rarely enforced. One of the things I like the most about my dog park is the group of regulars who obey the rules and will challenge people who blatantly disregard them.
    Post edited by RyuDragon at 2013-01-12 20:36:24
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I agree with curlytails sad she does this if her dogs don't behave she shouldn't bring them. Amount she brings sounds too much and chaotic! One person can't control that many dogs.

    the local dog park I go to has 3 dogs per membership if you want more dogs you pay so much more. Any aggression needs to leave or get control of their dog.

    @curlytails I have a guess who this breeder is based on location of bikingleia..

    That's all I'll say don't want this to become a thread on bad breeders. hehe

    Some dogs can resource guard their owners could be what your dog is doing or could be jealousy I'm not sure if dogs can be envious. I know Junior our last male dog would always push Dink out of the way if Dink was getting petted so Junior could get petted.

    Junior sometimes would attack Dink or Pearly if too close to mom not sure what the triggers were..

    I can't help much, but I hope the bump in the road can get fixed.

    Does he have dog friends he gets along great maybe some play dates with them would help? I dunno.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • @bikingleia, Is there a dog per person limit? At my local dog parks, it's usually 3 per person; you need a permit to have more than that, up to 6 at a time. Regardless, if she can't watch over and keep control of them all at once, she's got too many, and needs to be called out on it. X( Sorry, that sucks...

    Yes, the park has a posted 2 dog per handler limit. I would say that 98% of people adhere to that rule. I wanted to say something to her but I'm very non confrontational by nature and it was time for us to go home anyway.
  • knnwangknnwang
    Posts: 645
    Dog parks =/

    Love the pac. =)




  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Love the pictures I think I seen this on FB. :) Fun with shiba.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2013-01-12 21:41:10

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