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Pearl bit a dog at the off leash park
  • PearlPearl
    Posts: 66
    She was ball guarding and barked twice and nipped at a 6 year old beagle. The nip caught the edge of his massive ear and left a cut that we didn't notice until later.

    Yes, I'm aware that I should have done more to keep her attention and been able to get the ball away. I tried. I go to the park at 7 am on weekends to avoid the ball throwing crowd. Rest assured, I'd been putting 2 hours / day into midnight off leash recall time, focus training and exercise. If you're going to start the chorus of 'shouldn't have been at the park' vs. 'needs obedience class' go right ahead but we're a bit past that now.

    I'm trying to decide if going to the park with a muzzle will help. She won't be able to bite anything that way. Balls wouldn't be a problem either. She'll need the exercise and loves playing with other dogs, so the off-leash is the best way to get her the exercise she needs to not be an ass in the apartment.

    So sad. Has anyone else gone through something similar? If so, I would like to hear about it. Are there good muzzles for dogs who like to wrestle and roll around with other dogs?

    Also, I did a search and couldn't find anything on this specific decision / plan on the forums already, advanced or vanilla search.

    [mod edit: re-categorized due to addition of new category]
    Post edited by sunyata at 2013-06-06 10:11:43
  • You may want to just read up on some of the resource guarding threads on here and work that into his training at home. Try making them trade the ball/toy for a tasty treat. If you have a friends dog that you trust to get along well with Pearl maybe try working on resource guarding with just your friend and their dog in a more controlled situation then a big park. The only time I have ever had to muzzle Ryu was at the vet when we had to have the eye stain test done. He hated it and the muzzle just made him more agitated (worked with him at home to learn to just sit still if I gently put my hands around his mouth). Other dog park patrons may also get nervous if they see a dog with a muzzle.
    Post edited by RyuDragon at 2012-11-10 11:53:16
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    I agree with Ryu. Muzzles don't help. Just makes the dog more temperamental and other dog owners worried.
  • PearlPearl
    Posts: 66
    Really? Wow. I'm hoping someone has a muzzle success story somewhere. I'm pretty much done with off leash parks without it. This would pretty much end almost any socialization the dog gets, I would assume frustrated socialization where she realizes that she can play without being mouthy or picking up balls would be better than isolation.

    Muzzles and clickers are never used as a training aid?
  • Well, I know you don't want to hear this, but the obvious solution is don't take her to the dog park. There is a reason most experienced owners of any Nihon Ken (and many more breeds) don't take their dogs to dog parks. Because dog parks and owners are unpredictable and uncontrollable (there should not be a ball in their in the first place). And because Shibas in particular (out of all the NKs) are the WORST with being reactive with other dogs. This gets worse as they get older.

    A muzzle is not a good idea. She will just get more frustrated and likely more reactive. A muzzle is a management (not training) tool, and is useful for certain circumstances (the vet, say), but is not a solution, and is a very bad one when a dog is likely to be confronted by a lot of other dogs.

    There are plenty of ways to socialize your dog without taking the dog to a dog park. A better solution is to find dogs you know for her to socialize with. A dog park, especially with a resource guarding dog, is a nightmare waiting to happen. You could even find some dogs she gets along with well at the dog park and make play dates with these dogs in a more controlled setting.

    You might also read some of the training books on resource guarding, such as Mine! which talks about how to handle and work with resource guarders.
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2012-11-10 13:32:59
  • The muzzled dogs I've seen at the off-leash parks are not typically there to play with other dogs... they're there to be walked, kept in motion (in part to distract them from the annoyance of the muzzle), and to keep them out of trouble with other dogs. I wouldn't say they're very good during play either, as the basket style ones could get caught on the other dog's teeth, and the fabric ones are usually too tight for comfort, let alone "normal" social interactions.

    The vast majority of dog owners will want to avoid a dog with a muzzle, too. So you'd find yourself explaining and explaining, if not having your dog treated as a social pariah...

    I'm a pro-dog park person myself (with a lot of caveats!), but I also don't think that muzzles and that kind of space are particularly compatible. I would echo RyuDragon that continued work on resource guarding is your best bet if you want to continue going to dog parks. I had similar problems with Bowdu trying to steal other dog's balls, then guarding when he got them. I had to do a few things -- 1) I had to stop going to the parks where the space was just too small to avoid the ball-throwers, who can come at ANY time morning or night (hopefully that's an option for you), 2) I had to train a combination of leave-its and look-at-mes to distract him IF I ever noticed he might be going for someone else's ball, and 3) in the rare case that he still ended up poaching another dog's ball, I had to be very proactive about body-blocking the other dog and communicating to the other dog's owner that *I* should retrieve the ball while I took it away from Bowdu. Luckily for him, once the object was out of sight, it was out of mind.

    So over time, it stopped being an issue. But during that time, you'll also have to account for all the risks of your specific dog park and its regulars, too. A muzzle might seem like an immediate fix, but it's not the solution if you DO use a dog park for dog-to-dog social interaction. If you're using the dog park for other reasons... then maybe there's more to discuss, perhaps with a trainer.
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-11-10 14:05:53
  • AWE46M3AWE46M3
    Posts: 357
    Sorry I can't add much value here but I always find it interesting when people say balls/toys should not even be in a dog park. Every dog park I have been to has always had tennis balls there. I'm not sure if people bring them and leave them or if they're provided by the city/county. I can't think of a single dog park I've been to that didn't have a bunch of tennis balls just laying around.

    I guess that may further reinforce shibamistress' point about not going if the environment is unpredictable. I (fortunately) have not had to deal with resource guarding - but I hope you're able to find a positive solution to your problem.
  • RikkaRikka
    Posts: 1501
    I'm going to have to agree with @shibamistress in that there shouldn't be balls there in the first place, but unfortunately, there will always be toys there. Every dog park I've been to in the past and present, there is AT LEAST one tennis ball or a frisbee.

    I went to a dog park two weeks ago and Sagan absolutely loves playing fetch. He loves toys; balls in particular. There was a guy who was tossing a ball for two dogs, and Sagan got in the mix of it, trying to retrieve it as well. A sesame Shiba grabbed it first and he came back to the owner (I'm assuming). Sagan being the puppy that he is, was both simultaneously trying to get the ball back and play with the sesame -- having his butt in the air, barking, and wagging his tail. The sesame didn't appreciate this, and while Sagan was trying to reach for the ball, he snapped and basically lunged on top of him. He didn't cause any damage, but Sagan was crying and screaming while under this dog. The owner grabbed the sesame and immediately walked out of the gated area.

    Sagan was fine, but I think he wasn't interested in playing with the ball anymore because he switched to being more interested in the mud and running around. It's just interesting that a tiff happened all because of the ball, when that could have been avoided by either a. not having tennis balls at all, or b. resolving the potential resource-guarding that the dog might have had.
    Lauren, living with a 4 y/o Shiba named after a scientist. ☆
    Post edited by Rikka at 2012-11-10 14:25:13
  • A regular at our dog park uses a basket muzzle for his dog. It is the most comfortable. The dog does not need it because of the possibility of biting though, it is because the dog will eat sticks and other things and get sick. I have to say that I see a lot of people get nervous seeing the muzzle and leave. I don't think that a muzzle is a good idea for your situation. It will probably make your dog more anxious and the other dogs will pick up on this. The other dogs will not be muzzled and might react/bite. Since your dog would be muzzled, this will leave your dog defenseless and in a potentially dangerous situation.
  • kumaDUDEkumaDUDE
    Posts: 1259
    No input on the muzzle I'm sorry, and I am sorry to hear what happened to you at the park.
    Main reasons I veer away from my dog parks are just the same reasons and then some. Bad owners and anti social dogs, I do have to admit I'm one of the people that play w my dogs with a tennis ball or frisbee (but only if someone else is in there already playing)
    Now I go to a enclosed basketball court and let Kuma run wild and play, some other dog owners join me so their dogs can socialize a bit. Seems much easier to manage than a dog park.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    I saw one dog with a basket muzzle from what I gather from owner it was because he was a bit dog reactive so they are trying to work with the dog. :\

    I avoided the dog due to that didn't want Saya be their training buddy..

    Saya has been lunged at by a white husky the husky had like 4 or 5 balls with her laying there with the balls. Saya was just passing by no interest in the balls either..

    This book covers working on resource guarding I know it covers food it might cover toys too not sure..

    There was a shiba who went to dog park who resource guarded any source of water only way Saya could play with him if we removed all water bowls. Even a mud puddle he'd get bit grumpy over. :\

    I stopped going myself due to dogs that were rude to Saya she gets plenty of exercise with walks, training and so on. I could have lost her when the dog lunged and tried to go for her. Dog's owner did nothing so I had pry the lab mix off Saya then her other dog tried get Saya.

    is there two different areas? My dog park as a large area 1 and 2 and a small dog area. I usually go to the area with no dogs so Saya can enjoy sniffing and exploring.

    Once my membership runs out I'm not renewing it not worth it I could use the $60 a year to put towards my car or get some grass fed/free ranged meat for me and Saya.

    It's hard thing because when ever people who only go to off leash park for fetching my two dogs give chase when the dog runs for the frisbee or ball. My dogs aren't interested in the ball they think the dog is playing chase..

    If you want do muzzle fine, but you'll need desensitize it to your dog or Pearl might see it as a negative thing.

    I like Kumadude's idea.. Coarse depends if the tennis court allows it..

    I now mainly go on this Sunday group dog walks Saya gets exercise and the dog owners are nice and friendly and don't let their dog act out so Saya can walk with the dogs and see they're not there to hurt her. She isn't comfy meeting all the dogs yet, but some she is warming up to.

    coarse Bella loves most dogs her only issue she is a damn fun police for poor Saya whenever she finds a dog she loves and plays well with Bella tries screw things up.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • Yes, the reason the toys shouldn't be there is because of resource guarding by dogs who might get along quite well with other dogs without it.

    I have a resource guarding Akita, and we have more scuffles in our house over toys than over food. Granted, I wouldn't take him to a dog park, but the thing is, toys can be a problem for dogs that are toy motivated.

    And thanks for linking Mine! It's a good book for this topic.

    Also worth noting Curlytails point about the muzzles. The basket muzzles allow the dog to pant, have normal movement of the mouth, but another dog could get teeth caught in them. The fabric muzzles are too problematic to be left on all the time, because the dog's can't drink/pant normally, etc. (Well, they can't drink in the basket muzzles either). Also, I haved tried to muzzle my female Shiba, and have not found one that fits on her that she can't get out of. (I was going to try to use it to desensitize her to other dogs, and keep the other dog safe in the meantime, but it never worked as she could get out of the muzzle, and in the end, I realized the whole plan was dubious in the first place.)
  • I am a pro dog park person myself. I have been very lucky that there is a great group of regulars that are responsible owners that attend my dog park. The park also has a number of criteria for dogs to be able to join
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    To the muzzle issue, there may actually be a rule at the dog park stating that muzzles are not allowed. Even though not everyone follows the rules, if something should happen then that time you broke to rule could bite you in the butt.

    You're best bet is to find other means of socializing her, preferably in a controlled environment. Dog sport classes (obedience, agility, etc), play dates with doggy pals, or even just walks around the park can be great opportunities to socialize a dog while still having the control to keep them safe.
  • If you're working on resource guarding please do watch out for any hint that your dog considers you a resource. Our younger pup occasionally slips into this and though I hate to admit it, that's mostly when our two get into a fight since we're not as meticulous with that as we are with treats. The fight (imo) can also be much worse if the owner is the resource being guarded.
    Post edited by violet_in_seville at 2012-11-11 09:01:30
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    There is great advice in this thread. I can't add much other than in this situation I would totally disagree with a muzzle being used. I would get with a positive behavioral trainer and work on the resource guarding issue.

    I believe in dog parks, but the ones we go to luckily have always been 95% positive and the issues are not from Bear so only in a few occasions have I felt the need to move to a different area to avoid owners who I do not believe properly and actively were teaching their dog polite dog interaction manners.

    So I wouldn't give up on dog parks, but before going back work on the resource guarding issue in positive settings gradually where he can succeed and work up to the dog park. Balance distance, duration, and difficulty as you train.
  • PearlPearl
    Posts: 66
    Thanks to all of you for responding. I really appreciate the discussion, I've taken what we've discussed here and combined that with her behaviorists advice and I'll be focusing on resource guarding and controlled environment play dates. (Un)Fortunately, we live right next door to the off-leash park at least I can sneak in there at night to let her run her Shiba 500 and stretch her legs.

    The new tool I'll be using will be an e-collar, and I feel she'll pick up on the concept quickly because we've worked with the clicker since she was a pup.

    So no muzzle. I'll just have to work a bit harder to control the environment and situation. If she can get over her food psychosis, she can get over resource guarding, I just need a new approach.

    I also appreciate the discussion on the balls and toys at dog parks. It feels like I curse people who bring balls to dog parks now (I call them the ball people to myself.) but my dogs handicap isn't their fault. It sucks for me, and I secretly hate them for it, but there is no way you can say they should change their play because my dog isn't disciplined enough. I really wish I could though, the ball wasn't even in the park, a woman walked by and threw it in!!

    I also disagree with peanuts being banned from schools, so maybe this is some karmic perspective for me.

    Thanks guys, I would have went crazy this morning if I didn't have some sympathetic ears.
  • PearlPearl
    Posts: 66
    I'll also do as much positive training as I can, but she knows what to do in controlled situations. Its when balls and dogs start flying that she goes AWOL.
  • Hold on, you mean an e-collar, like electronic collar?

    Is this something that your behaviorist suggested?

    Because that could produce even worse results than muzzling her at the park...
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • CaliaCalia
    Posts: 3664
    Shock Collars do NOT work well with shibas, and should not be used at all. If your behaviorist suggested that, then you really need to find somebody else. Shock collars will do nothing for resource guarding, actually aversive training in general is a terrible choice for resource guarding. Correcting a dog for being fearful, which is what resource guarding is (the fear of loss of food), only causes them to learn that communication/negotiation is useless. Without communication, the dog will not warn you when they are unhappy or fearful, they will just go straight to biting. At best, you will make a very fearful dog, at worst a biter that will take a lot of work to fix (if possible).
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    E-collars aren't positive reward in anyway, and are a very very different concept to clicker training. I would look for another means to teach the dog.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • I agree with @curlytails and @Calia on shock collars and aversive training methods in general. I would work on positive reinforcement training methods. There is a lot of info on here on how to work on resource guarding in a positive way (ex. using treats to trade a dog for the ball/toy). Try using the advanced search.
  • An e-collar? That is the worst possible idea, and honestly I can't even believe I just read e-collar and clicker in the same sentence. If this is your behavioralists idea, than you need to get away from that person as quickly as possible. But really, how can anyone even talk about positive training and then go from that to deciding to administer an electric shock to their dog?

    I'm utterly baffled. And very disturbed. This is not a solution--this is a good way to ruin a dog. There are plenty of studies that show that electric shocks and other forms of extreme aversive training cause MORE aggression, not less.
  • PearlPearl
    Posts: 66
    whoawhoawhoa.. okay. Thanks for your input. It'll talk it out and we'll come up with a new plan. Thanks for the heads up. so e-collar is worse than muzzle, which is worse than avoiding the park entirely. The ideal solution would be to train the dog using positive methods noted in the above links.

    Very helpful indeed.
  • JuniJuni
    Posts: 1269
    I'll bring back the conversation to the dog park. You like the dog park because Pearl gets to run around and socialize with dogs? Someone suggested earlier that you find some dogs she gets on well with and have play dates with them. I think that is a great idea. And if you worry about her exercise you might have to come up with some new ideas.
    Juni stopped liking other dogs at around 1 year, she would find one sometimes that she played well with but the rest she would get snippy with. I don't think dog parks are that much fun for her when she constantly needs to be on guard. There's one we sometimes go to because it is huge so it is easy to avoid other dogs and we can play chase together.
    Juni is very playful at doggy day care so I think she gets all the dog interaction she needs there. I think meeting new dogs are just stressful for her, here she knows the others, they don't all get along but there's always someone who's up for some playing and the staff supervise and can intervene if need be. We have some areas we let her loose for Shiba 500s but since she doesn't play much with other dogs at home it means we have to be more active instead. Bicycling, jogging, walking in hilly terrain or off road.
    And there are days when she's really antsy at home so then we bring out her activity toys, hide treats around the apartment etc to 'wear her out'.
    Post edited by Juni at 2012-11-11 02:24:11
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @Pearl please don't use negative methods like e-collars. Please avoid anyone telling you things like e-collars, choke chains, prong collars, ect are the way to teach your Shiba. This is just not the way for any dog, and with a Shiba who is very independent minded is a for sure way to teach them the wrong messages. Respect and value the breed, which means you have to respect their proud independence. You should not be trying to break it down to a submissive (possibly aggressive) fearful Shiba.

    I also don't remember how old your Shiba is, if they are still young things will take time and even as they age the first few years they will seem to regress (just like teenage kids can). I know the road can seem long and hard shaping proper behavior using positive based methods, but it is so much more rewarding and will create a long and positive bond between you and your Shiba.

    I am presuming you are newer to training a dog using good positive methods, please know I am too. Bear is my first dog, and yes, I choose a Shiba, so I understand that it is us as the humans that need to learn a lot (and fast), but while doing this can become overwhelming trying to work out how to use good shaping techniques. This though does not mean we should resort to easy negative methods that seem simpler for our minds to understand, these methods are only going to leave us more frustrated later on.

    For example, my issue is that I would love to elevate my relationship to Bear to the point that he is one of those dogs that when I call to him, even at a dog park, he will come over because he feels I am more important than whatever he is doing (I want it to be a conscious choice he makes). Right now I am one of those silly looking humans that has to creatively coax my dog into a moment I can catch him at the dog park if the humans are ready to leave before him. I really look funny sometimes when I try running around like a maniac (doing my own Shiba 500) trying to get his attention to chase me instead of other dogs and sometimes having to do a funny dance until he lets me grab his collar.

    I know how overwhelmed I get at moments wondering if I will ever easily leave a dog park like others do. I won't even address the fact I would love to do agility as a sport with him in a totally controlled setting around other dogs off leash. I

    Complications because at our dog parks leashes are not allowed inside (and I agree with why), but that means practicing recall with the thing that distracts him most (other dogs) is hard for me as I know I can't practice recall there yet. I don't really have a group of friends myself with dogs, so I don't really have a relationship to people that I could "borrow" for training distractions of other dogs. So at times, while I know what techniques I need to use, I know what I need to work on, I still feel helpless figuring out how to be able to have the right controlled training environment often enough to reinforce the distance, duration, and difficulty training for distraction of other dogs.

    I am telling you this so you understand that I know how it feels to look at your goal and wonder how and if you can get there, but I know through this forum and some good friends online, that it will be possible if I can learn and invest the time (and patience). Please don't take the easy way out and use negative training methods, while the road will require patience to get to your goal, know you will get there with a much better positive relationship with your Shiba if you are willing to take baby steps towards the goal.
    Post edited by redcattoo at 2012-11-11 05:41:31
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Socialization in a dog is as much about picking up negative cues from another dog and rolling correctly with these signs, as much as it is not attacking other dogs. You might say Pearl is unsocialized, but I would argue that the Beagle is too, and by ignoring signs of frustration on Pearl's part, got bit.

    As a responsible dog owner, I can see why you'd freak out. Obviously you feel bad. But it's maybe not as much of a big deal as it might be in your head.

    Take her to the dog park. Watch her closely. Pick up on signs of oncoming aggression, and make sure you redirect. Go ahead and provide a full disclosure to other dog owners that your dog might be aggressive but don't overdo it (something to it about a self fulfilling prophecy). Skip the muzzle, e-collar and other random freakout solutions. Your dog got pissed and had a bad day. Don't penalize her for it without getting more data.

    As for other people's comments on dog parks: I get that many dog owners are idiots, and in turn they create snarky, aggressive, butthead dogs. However, I would argue that this is one of the major points of dog parks. Your dog is there to play with friendly dogs, but he will also be presented with a view of how there really are bad dogs out in the world.

    Meeting unfriendly, disgruntled dogs is an important way in which Tatonka builds his own internal database of how to deal with other dogs. It teaches him how much he can push other dogs, if they can take it, and how he can effectively communicate frustration if he needs to. I'm very tempted to insert myself into bad situations but I think you really have to be careful about letting your dog be a dog. If he spends his life without having an argument, then there's a key part of being a dog he's missed out on.

    I'm sure the term "helicopter parent" isn't totally irrelevant to this discussion. I was listening on NPR to a segment discussing GPS tracking for teens. This lady had this to say:
    "I have a very strong inner helicopter parent, but I don't let that get the best of me in raising my kids."
    Post edited by tatonka at 2012-11-11 06:32:08
  • About how dog parks can be ok: I will say this, except for a few people here, most people on this forum, esp. most people who take their dogs to dog parks, have very young Shibas (under 2). Their dogs are not mature yet. Many people don't even know how much the dog is going to change when it reaches maturity. There are not a whole lot of Shibas who, as adults, and esp. as seniors, tolerate dog parks or snarky dogs. I get Tatonka's point about getting to know a variety of dogs at dog parks, and it's not a bad idea, and perhaps dogs like Tatonka will, as mature dogs,deal better with snarky dogs because of their experiences in dog parks, and learning to read dogs.

    But maybe not. Because many of the NKs become much less tolerant of other dogs as they mature. My Akita, for example, loved other dogs as a young dog, but now at 2, he has very little tolerance for other dogs if they come near him (he's just not interested in other dogs). Both my mature Shibas choose to ignore other dogs if possible, but while the female is more dog tolerant, neither of them will tolerate strange dogs near them. This could be that we don't go to dog parks, but I have heard, again and again, from people who have had a lot of NKs, that they just do not tolerate other dogs well as the get older. I think a lot of people are going to be in for some surprises when their once dog friendly Shibas mature.

    (And i know some Shibas DO continue to tolerate other dogs, so I'm not saying it is impossible. I'm just saying it is not the norm, and a lot of people now who have very young Shibas).

    Also, I have no desire to make my dogs get along with rude or aggressive dogs. Why? They don't need to. I would much prefer to choose the dogs my dogs socialize with.
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    @shibamistress, yeah it'll be an interesting day for sure when Tatonka hits that wall.. I'm fully expecting it because the folks here with older Shibas all seem to have had the same experience.
  • And just briefly... I will say that though I will stand up for dog parks and what they should be about, there ARE times when you just have to say no. It really pained me to have to cut out one of the smaller dog parks cold turkey after it became clear that it was not a good place for Bowdu. But I did, because he needed more to do than interact with other dogs in a constricted space. We drive a little further to go to better, more spacious options now, but it's made a huge difference.

    There were also periods of weeks to months at a time where he did not go to dog parks while we worked on his resource guarding issues. He got to interact with a few friend's dogs over that time (unfortunately I don't have very many dog-savvy friends whom I can just drop by and visit), but when he was around three years old, it became clear that while he could tolerate other dogs, he doesn't really care to play with 99% of them. While we go to a dog park nearly every day, I'm talking about places that are ACRES and acres wide, where you can't even see fences or the other side of the park, and where we basically keep moving all the time. Dog park design has a lot to do with one's relative success at the park, but of course, so does your control over your own dog. If I lived in an area where my only option was a small, artificially constructed, fenced-in space, I probably wouldn't be taking my Shiba to dog parks at all and would be more of a downer on the dog park experience.

    Ultimately, I do think they're precious public spaces that both require and teach its members to act like civilized members of the public... But the "public" consists of people, not dogs -- we're the ones that have to figure out how to make it work, in cooperation with our respective communities.

    / off soapbox.
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-11-11 23:46:26
  • @curlytails since the topic of dog parks seems to be a recurring one, would it be possible to create a survey on members' use of dog parks. Some questions I would be interested in are:

    1. Number of dogs owned
    2. Breed of each dog
    3. Degree of dog reactivity of your dog/dogs?
    2. Do you regularly visit an off leash dog park?
    3. Size of park?
    4. Are unaltered dogs allowed in park?
    5. Are there restrictions on children?
    6. Questions about use of other common rules
    7. (If no to question 2) Did you regularly visit an off leash dog park in the past?
    8. (If yes to question 7) Why did you stop going to the dog park?
    9. Did you feel that the rules in place were followed by the majority of visitors?

    I think this would provide some interesting insight for people on situations where dog parks have worked and where they haven't for other members.
  • @RyuDragon, feel free to play around with a site like (that's what I used for the "Getting to know you..." and the "Where did you get your Shiba?" survey on the site). You should probably start a separate thread for it. I'm a bit swamped at the moment (haven't even had time to look at, let alone update the aforementioned poll results!), but I don't see why you can't make your own poll for this.

    There used to be a polling function included on the forum, but sadly that option seems to have been lost in upgrades. I think it was available to all members? Anyway, an admin or another mod can correct me if I'm wrong.
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • RyanRyan
    Posts: 293
    We only take our dogs out with other "known" dogs. Last thing I want is the Shiba being on the recieving end of the nip.

    Based on that, I'm going to tell you not to take your dogs to dog parks around "strange" dogs. It clearly isn't worth it.
    Bella (Sherae Aka Akicho) | F | Born 27/1/2012
    Suki (Aust. Ch. Betlin Takaisuki) | M | Born 03/02/2005, adopted 10/09/2012
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Good post Curlytails.

    I much prefer the bigger spacious dog parks over small cramped ones. The one in Madison WI is awesome! Not sure how many acres, but it's huge! We were almost afraid it was unfenced it was so big.

    Saya enjoyed it when we went, but I didn't go on the third time she is defensive with strange dogs especially rude ones and I've met enough dogs to not want to deal with strangers..

    Saya will give clear as day signals she is uncomfortable and wants some space yet dogs don't give it or maybe they're itching for a argument or get revved up over it since they don't meet enough dogs that don't appreciate being barreled into or pawed at before greeting.

    Saya gives curled lip and a growl and yet the dogs persist so she had to get more snarky to get them to back off..

    A lot of the owners never walk their dogs and the dog park is sole source of exercise.. The dog park is very close to the wabash river and if it floods it is closed till it dries..

    Should see the FB page when that happens people complain constantly my dog is bugging me off the wall when will the park open!

    Constantly different people asking this. I even ask the person who checks the dog park on if it's dry enough to open if this happens all the time. She said yes it does. Sad. :\

    People would also try to rile their dog up to play with a dog by saying go get him and to me that is asking for trouble!

    The guy was so mad because his dog didn't want to play.. Umm it was hot summer day maybe your dog just wanted to sniff and relax not run and exhaust itself in the heat..

    I think curlytails has some good points.

    I think working on the resource guarding and then try the dog park on times when there is only few dogs not a ton might help..

    I'm not overly fond of E collars, but not against it either I know hunters who use it for things..

    Thing is when using a E collar with resource guarding it can cause some issues especially if done wrong or even if done right the dog might take it wrong way and associate the shock is cause by the offending dog not because she or he is doing something wrong.

    Hard to explain.

    I've dealt with resource guarding with raw items with Bella being tense and growling at me, but not much with dogs resource guarding with another dog.

    Saya and Bella did get into a argument over a new toy when my brother and his wife was over.. New toys plus excitement of people they love. My fault shouldn't had new toys out during this time.. It was minor argument not a fight. They were mainly loud noises and more intense jaw sparing not normal play jaw sparing..

    It was easily breakable by me calling their names and come.

    Actually my past dog well my parent's past dog did resource space or maybe it was my mom I think it was a combo of both. Junior would resource guard it.. Pearly and Dink didn't ever caused it or started it and way Junior was he was in for kill or to hurt.. He went for neck reminded me of a pit bull dog fight video I seen from that animal cops show. It was horrible.

    I didn't know what I know know so it happened a lot it wasn't like when Saya and Bella had argument..

    Even when we separated them if we let go of Junior he'd go back at Pearly or Dink who ever he had the fight with.

    We had to put him and another room to time out.

    Maybe time outs would help you? Maybe not maybe someone can comment on this better?

    Maybe when she resource guards you can leave the dog park till she calms down and try again if she does it again you leave? I dunno. Maybe she get the hint that resource guarding gets her removed from the area?

    I dunno how it should be handled as I'm a dog owner not behaviorist.

    I do know I never punish my dogs for growling I appreciate they warn instead of going right to being aggressive to defend item.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • tatonkatatonka
    Posts: 1210
    Honestly I really don't understand using a dog park to substitute for walking. If your dog just hangs out by himself in the periphery alone then take him for a walk (Tatonka did this a lot when he was un-neutered - he'd roam and not care to meet anyone but an unneutered female or a male he'd be interested in). Walks can really strengthen dog-owner bond and can be used effectively for exercise and training.

    If your dog goes and sleeps at the park or just hangs out very close to you at all times, again - this sort of thing in excess kind of misses the point of a dog park.

    Yes your dog might meet some nasty, stupid dog. Yes, your dog might be in danger of getting seriously hurt.

    In my opinion the risk is outweighed by the benefit of the social intelligence your dog picks up. A lot of dog owners are risk averse. I think this is as damaging to dogs in the long run as is being a totally careless and clueless owner. There has be somewhere between these two extremes that allows your dog to experience new (and sometimes scary) things, and protects him ONLY if things seem to totally get out hand and out of control. This is not hard to do. I'm not there at the dog park to meet other humans - really, I go do this at a bar or a friend's house. I'm there to observe and record 100% of what my dog does and memorize every impulse and nuance so I can step in when I need to, and leave him alone when he needs to handle things on his own.

    And regarding growling or aggression, I follow these 3 rules:

    1. In any aggression situation where it is ambiguous which dog is at fault, I will assume Tatonka is at fault. The expectations I put on him in any aggression situation are for him to handle himself properly whether or not he is the initiator. Any situation like this will come with verbal correction and then redirection. I haven't needed physical intervention yet but I'm always ready for it.

    2. In any situation where he is clearly at fault, he will get a verbal warning and then verbally redirected. My disapproval is clear to him (and I get his acknowledgement through eye contact).

    3. In any situation where he's clearly not at fault, he has to extricate himself from it all on his own. I'll step in only if he's totally overwhelmed - also, see rule #1.

    My 2 cents.
    Post edited by tatonka at 2012-11-12 02:09:45
  • redcattooredcattoo
    Posts: 1960
    @tatonka, I think I pretty much would fall in your same camp.

    I think though the design, space, and community a dog park is located in often make a difference in what a persons experiences will be.

    Out of 4 dog parks within 20 minutes of us, there is 1 that we typically avoid (and it happens to be the closest to us). It is smaller, less shade, and often the owners who go there I believe are of questionable social nature themselves with dogs equally of questionable social nature.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    "I think shiba inu love to set their play boundaries and for a group of unknown dogs that can be hard for a shiba to do."

    This is true for Saya, but coarse not all shiba it's just my experience with Saya.

    How about people go back on topic and try help Pearl with issue..

    I know of one shiba owner at the dog park he would guard water bowls and water sources only way Saya could play with him if we put the bowls up.

    He would even guard a mud puddle..

    He no longer goes to the dog park he used post on this forum too, but no longer wish they stayed. :\

    I do think dogs who enjoy exploring and checking the dog park that should be allowed Saya did that she also would interact with other dogs too.

    I mean what do wouldn't love to walk around the big off leash area or my case small.. lol

    She loved checking and smelling the big and small trees and walking around.
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • @curlytails I will try to work on something this week, thanks for the info.

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