Dog Park

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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » June 8th, 2006, 3:21 pm

Why do people feel the need to socialize their Pit Bulls to other dogs?


I've always heard that it's important to socialize puppies with dogs (and people, strange situations, etc.) when they are young. I guess I never got a definition as to why the dog socializing is that important. However, I think of my dog (who obviously was not socialized as a pup, I got him at a year and a half) who doesn't know how to play, and think perhaps that is the reason? So they know how to behave around other dogs... they don't get nervous, or over excited, or confused? I guess if you don't plan on having multiple dogs, or hanging out with other dogs it's not that important. But I'm sure at some point in your dog's life they will encounter other dogs, and it's good for them to know how to behave... not just in a well trained sense, but in an instinct sense.

Interesting question... I'd be interested to hear what others have to say.
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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » June 8th, 2006, 3:25 pm

haha. I take too long to write responses. :oops:

I've seen lots of "pit bulls at play" pictures, and it seems to me that they love to run around and wrestle with their housemates. I don't mean play, as in playing with a bunch of strange dogs, I just mean being able to enjoy being a dog with their "pack".
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Postby msvette2u » June 8th, 2006, 3:25 pm

Just in my house, puppies get all the socializing they can stand. The more new things you can introduce a puppy to, the better off they will be. Car rides, crates, cats, other animals, other dogs, new places (once they are vaccinated that is) new people, TONS of new people, they will be a much easier to deal with adult than one who's not been anywhere or done anything.
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Postby mnp13 » June 8th, 2006, 3:26 pm

socialization on a leash in a controlled environment is completely different than letting your dog run loose with strange dogs.
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Postby Fear_the_Sheeple » June 8th, 2006, 3:30 pm

mnp13 wrote:socialization on a leash in a controlled environment is completely different than letting your dog run loose with strange dogs.


Oh yeah, I completely agree! I guess I went kind of off subject to answer Demo's question. I didn't mean socialization at a dog park... I would think socialization is done better in a controlled environment, you wouldn't want to traumatize the puppy!
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Postby dogcrazyjen » June 8th, 2006, 3:35 pm

Tess enjoys playing with other dogs she knows. She has a little female springer spanial she loved to run with, they never really touch, but run side by side with big grins on their faces. Jack and Tess wrestle and chase each other all over the house, they sound like they are killing each other, but Jack and Tallulah play the same way, and Jack, Tallulah and Llyan used to all do that when Llyan was still alive. Jack is just a very vocal player, and teaches it to the others.

You need to know the dogs you are socializing your pit with, and make sure it is in a safe, controlled environment. A dog park is not that. I think you made a normal mistake, not the end of the universe, you now won't do it again. You are not a bad dog mom because of this.
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » June 8th, 2006, 6:09 pm

Wow, I really opened up a can of worms here!

In regards to the question of why we feel the need to socialize our dogs to other dogs: EVERYTHING I have ever read (even pit bull books) emphasizes the need to socialize your dog to everything, including other dogs. I always figured it would teach them that other dogs are not a big deal, and possibly stave off (or slightly control) any future dog aggression.

I know Inara's genes will ultimately determine whether she becomes DA or not. I just like to think (again, possibly naive of me) that by socializing her extensively to dogs, she'll be at the very least controllable. :|

Re: the dog park - I will not take Inara there again.
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Postby Verderben » June 8th, 2006, 6:51 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:I broke one of my cardinal rules tonight - I took Inara to a dog park. I'd never even seen one before, so I debated it for about an hour before packing her into the car and going out to one. We got there and it just looked like such grand fun! Dogs galloping everywhere, owners actually watching and supervising. It felt very strange letting Inara off-leash in public - I'd never done that before.

She had such a great time! We were there for a smidge over an hour. All the other owners were extremely friendly and welcoming, and appropriately oohed and aahed over my baby. She played so well - I hovered the entire time, but I'm allowed to be a paranoid mom, right?

Inara is apparently part greyhound - she's never had the room to really stretch out and run, but she did tonight! She was outrunning a rottie and a rottie/shep mix that were 18 months old. Even the other owners were commenting at her speed! She was beautiful, all stretched out, muscles flexing, tongue lolling out of her mouth!

I know dog parks are supposed to be horrible, but we had such a good time. I'm hoping that if I take here there enough, she'll learn that it's not that big of a deal to meet new dogs, so maybe she'll relax out in the general public? I know, that's probably wishful/naive thinking, but oh well!


It is totally IRRESPONSIBLE to take your dog to a dog park. i once took a 12 WEEK old puppy thinking oh It's a pup it will be fine. Guess what . A fight broke out and guess who was blamed? The 12 week old pit bull puppy. and the other dog attacked my dog. My dog didnt even start it. STAY AWAY FROM DOG PARKS!!!!
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Postby mnp13 » June 9th, 2006, 1:06 am

pitbullmamaliz wrote:In regards to the question of why we feel the need to socialize our dogs to other dogs: EVERYTHING I have ever read (even pit bull books) emphasizes the need to socialize your dog to everything, including other dogs. I always figured it would teach them that other dogs are not a big deal, and possibly stave off (or slightly control) any future dog aggression.

I know Inara's genes will ultimately determine whether she becomes DA or not. I just like to think (again, possibly naive of me) that by socializing her extensively to dogs, she'll be at the very least controllable. :|

Re: the dog park - I will not take Inara there again.


Socialization is VERY VERY important, especially for a "pet" dog. the problem is that dog parks eliminate the control necessary to keep your dog safe and keep the dog-dog interaction positive and safe.

It is not just genes that dictate dog aggression, it is also a learned behavior. Once it is learned, it can be very difficult to control.

thank you for not bringing her back there. We're all jumping on you because we care. really. :)
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » June 9th, 2006, 9:30 am

I know!!! I didn't take it personally at all. I knew it wasn't a good idea, but it was so alluring, ya know?
I may still take her back there at odd hours but only enter if it's empty. That way she will get a chance to really stretch out and run sometimes.
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby Marinepits » June 9th, 2006, 9:41 am

pitbullmamaliz wrote: but it was so alluring, ya know?


Kinda like crack, or a pair of Jimmy Choo's on sale, right? :backRoll:
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Postby pitbullmamaliz » June 9th, 2006, 9:45 am

Exactly!!!! :D
"Remember - every time your dog gets somewhere on a tight leash *a fairy dies and it's all your fault.* Think of the fairies." http://www.positivepetzine.com"

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Postby Marinepits » June 9th, 2006, 9:47 am

Just Say NO to Dog Parks.


I wonder if there's a 12-step program for you? :?
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Postby rockermom » June 9th, 2006, 4:21 pm

Well for me I did not mean to play and socialize with strange dogs. Rocky likes to play with my dads dogs on occasion. NO No I dont like strange dogs sniffing at us. Especially when we are out on nice walks. It makes Rocky very nervous. But other people out walking there dogs always seem to have a need to allow there dog to say hello.
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Postby GSDBulldog » June 9th, 2006, 4:56 pm

While it's fun now, sitting in court because your well-behaved, dog-friendly APBT decided to turn on at the wrong moment is NOT. I, personally, do not see the need for heavy dog-on-dog socialization of this breed. As no amount of socialization or training is going to make your dog completely bomb-proof with other dogs. It's more important, IMO, that they are loving & stable. . . Amongst HUMANS.

If you feel the need to get her around other dogs, do it in a controlled enviroment. On-leash meet-and-greets with familar dogs, ocassional trips to PetSmart, etc. But off leash romps at the dog park? NO.

Doesn't matter how kind & caring the regulars at a dog park seem to be. The minute a fight breaks out, they will be pointing fingers. . . At YOU.
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Postby mnp13 » June 9th, 2006, 9:22 pm

pitbullmamaliz wrote:I may still take her back there at odd hours but only enter if it's empty. That way she will get a chance to really stretch out and run sometimes.


they are putting three in in Rochester this year. I can't wait... to get up at 5:30 in the morning so I can be in there alone with my dogs!!!
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Postby DemoDick » June 10th, 2006, 1:16 pm

For me, "socialization" means controlled, on leash instruction with the end goal of tolerance and controlability around other dogs. It does not mean letting my dog run with other dogs. I really think that owners who do this do so more for themselves than their dogs.

Just my opinion.

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Postby 04100824 » June 10th, 2006, 2:47 pm

DemoDick wrote:For me, "socialization" means controlled, on leash instruction with the end goal of tolerance and controlability around other dogs. It does not mean letting my dog run with other dogs. I really think that owners who do this do so more for themselves than their dogs.

Just my opinion.

Demo Dick


...but if the dog enjoys it as well, then it's mutual satisfaction. We take Reno out to the country and to fenced tennis courts and let him play with our neighbors' boxer and sometimes this other mutt that comes out to play. He also gets to visit with the other pit he grew up with.

Since he'd made these doggie friends, he's become much less leash reactive towards other dogs and he's healthier from running around everywhere. The first time he met the boxer was on leash, and he was growling and barking. he hadn't had ANY dog socialization before us. Now, when you say Reno's name around the boxer, the boxer gets all excited and runs towards the door to see if Reno is there. Reno enjoys it, too. He starts running the full length of the tennis court fence when he sees the mutt come out to join the crowd.

SO... if both you and the dog are happier, then there is most definately a point, right? I don't see it as only having a one-sided benefit at all.
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Postby DemoDick » June 10th, 2006, 2:59 pm

I still see it as one sided.

You may both be happier, but ask yourself if you and the dog would be just as happy doing something else that doesn't involve the risk of a fight. Like I said, I think it's more for the owner than the dog.

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Postby SpiritFngrz » June 10th, 2006, 6:47 pm

I think just living in this neighborhood where there are a lot of people with dogs has been great socialization for Satin. At first, every time she would see a dog she would bark. Some people would let their dog play with ours, some are too scared. But now, when she sees a dog she doesn't necessarily bark at it. (Only if it barks nastily at her first). She has a couple buddies in the neighborhood that we know she plays well with, and it is during a walk with both dogs on-leash.

Today we were at my MILs and she has a fenced in backyard. It was SO fun watching her run around like a crazy woman off leash.

So yes, I can see the allure, by try doing that someplace where it is just you, or just you and a dog you and Inara knows/plays well with.


You know, though... :D
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