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Dog Parks

Dsc_0594_thumb By Annie Manty | June 26, 2013 | Answers (10)

What are your thoughts on dog parks? I adopted a 2 year old, very energetic, very social and sweet little pit bull mix. I live in Chicago and there are many off leash places we can go, but I am very cautious about going there. I have already ruled out the small concrete parks because there is just not enough room and I feel nervous about the confined space, it never seems to be a rewarding playtime and I don't usually trust the owners, who stand around talking and drinking coffee usually. Luckily, we also have large off leash parks and beaches which are a great time and he just loves it. I try not to go during peak times when it can feel very chaotic. All that being said, I am still a nervous dog mama and have heard stories of dogs getting attacked or bitten and incidents like that can make a dog fearful or aggressive. What are your thoughts on dog parks? Worth the risk?

I would also love to hear from any other pittie owners, because there is a serious divide in our community of people who think pits should never go to a dog park because of the risks (not even necessarily that their pit will cause a fight, but that if anything happens they will be blamed, and it can bring down their image even further). Believe me I have gotten many dirty looks and rude questions from people when I bring my dog into public. The other side of the debate says if your dog is happy and social, it's good to bring them out and spread positive awareness.




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I have a 10yr old pit bull & a 7yr old rottweiler & there's no way in hell i'd take my babies to a dog park. I personally think I should be able to pick the "friends" they have playtimes with & know their owners before I trust my babies to be around their babies. Esp. with the breed prejudice & even ignorant fear...it's just a safety precaution. Us bully owners need to me 10x more careful than others. Our dogs get blamed, ripped away from us & put to sleep in a heartbeat. I don't trust very many people around my dogs for that reason. I do not recommend dog parks if you want to get a dog that is a bully or of the molosser breed group.
I love pits but I agree with Robin and would not take mine to a dog park. So many have the wrong idea of the breed and if something happened, It would not shock me if they tried to blame your dog. Worse yet, Your dog could get hurt. I have 3 dogs. Not pits but there is no way I would ever take mine to a park.
i would not go. my female pit bull Nala, very docile, was walking with me on her leash. an akita got loose from his yard and nearly killed her. she hid behind me and he bit through me to get to her. the vet said he sees a lot of pit bulls injured and killed by other dogs, but because of the prejudice, the pit is always blamed by law enforcement. he didnt even muzzle her while he dressed her wounds. she thanked him by licking his hands. i just wouldnt take the chance. she was terrified and very aggressive on walks after that, and we ended up just playing in the yard. she passed at age 14 of cancer, and now i have a little boy who is two and neutered, i just would not want to chance it with him getting into an altercation.
I live in Franklin Park, IL and my first dog was attacked at a dog park. I didn't want to take him back so after 2yrs of just walking him I decided to bring him back and he is doing better with his fear of bigger dogs. Keep in mind that you can start your dog off slowly and keep him on the leash just to introduce them. Aggressive dogs aren't supposed to be allowed at the dog park so if you see anyone that has one you can report them. I am fostering a pit mix now and she LOVES the park, it's really the only she can burn all that energy. I first walked her in on the leash just so I can have control in case she or the other dogs acted out but after a few minutes I took it off. I only go in the evening hours when there is only one or two dogs there and that I know they are friendly. I too know how it is to get the "oh, you have a pit" look but just ask them if it's ok if you can come in and if their dogs are friendly if they say yes then slowly introduce them. Once you find a group of people and dogs you are comfortable ask them what time they are there so you can meet up with them. Or find out when there is really no one there and that can be your time. Hope this helps and good luck. I'm sure it will work out.
I would research the dog park you are considering. In the area of E. Tennessee I live in we have a wonderful almost 2 acre dog park that we take little girl our black lab mix Scooter to. Its on a membership basis and they want a background/vaccine record to approve it. She loves meeting other dogs, she doesn't have a fenced in yard so going there allows her the freedom she craves. Just keep an eye on your dog and watch the behavior cues from yours and other dogs around.
I own a year and a half old pit bull mix. We used to have a membership to our local dog park but I had to cancel it because she was attacked a couple of times. I have a tie-down in my back yard, but she misses running around and playing with other dogs... I think dog parks are great, regardless of the breed. It's just about keeping an eye on your dog and defusing any situations that might turn bad, quickly and calmly. As for anyone who is biased against/ignorant about pit bulls, just smile and inform them to get educated
I take Miss Penne (that's here as avatar) to local dog park which usually has multiple pitt bulls running around all the time. My observations so far: 1) only 1 incident in multiple years of a pitty being pitifully behaved -- young owner who by behavior seemed to think owning one would confer "tough" status had no control. Pitty was not person aggressive, just dog aggressive and poorly socialize. So - all the owner's fault. 2) all the other pitties so far have had to major faults: never saw a mud puddle they weren't going to run through or play in and then let's play leave muddy paw prints all over the place by jumping up on people. 3) one pitty did have the most unusual (only seen in once before in a bulldog) of approaching men and bonking the family jewels as a way of getting your attention and then standing there waiting to be petted. 4) most pitties do not have an off switch when they decide to play. the biggest trouble I've noted over all -- when those dogs get it in their mind to run as a pack, look out they'll run you down. Oh, and be a responsible owner and pickup after pitty goes potty.
ill make him a dog bandana that says "Im Nice" www.jdesigns360.com Pits do get a bad rep, but as long as he's not corner aggresive you will be fine. Our dog park has had some scuffles and there normally broken up pretty quickly. If you know how to control your doG then your golden. Remember, there's no stupid dogs, just stupid owners.
It's too bad they have such a rep and all because of irresponsible people teaching them to be vicious. I would be wary if I were you also. Your dog may not provoke any kind of fight but, if it bit someone, because he's a Pit, the community (stupid as it is) would be up in arms and your baby would probably be impounded and killed. There is a lot of ignorance out there concerning Pit Bulls. I hope you can find a nice place to take him without any concerns. :0)
I live in Colorado, the dog parks here might be a little different then what they are like in Chicago but overall I think that dog parks are a very good thing. When I first got my two pits I was a little nervous too, but, I actually think that the dog park helped train my boys. They learned to be social and now they get along with every dog the come across. Although, there are some downsides to dog parks as well. Sometimes a dog will be there that won't get a long with all dogs and all you can do is just make sure you avoid them and watch for signs of aggression. My pits have been attacked before at the park but that did not change their attitude towards other dogs at all. Even if other people aren't paying attention you will be OK if you keep an eye out for your dog/s.
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