When Bernice was a baby, everyone told me a great place to socialize her is at the Dog Park. Bernice was (and is) my first dog as an adult. Being a naïve dog owner, I started taking her to the dog park daily. This went on for about a year.
During the year at this wonderful mecca of socialization, Bernice:
- Tore both knees from holes made by other dogs. As a result, she had 2 TPLO surgeries. Thankfully I have awesome Pet Health Insurance.
- Was attacked by dogs in 4 separate incidents (3 of the attacks were Chocolate Labs and the other was a Dalmatian Mix).
- Got kennel cough twice.
Needless to say, we no longer go to the dog park and I’m embarrassed that it took me a year to figure this out.
I’m not saying all dog parks are bad. If you know the owners and have a group of responsible “regulars,” dog parks can be great.
The problem I have with dog parks in general is:
– There is always the person not watching their dog since they are too busy talking/texting on their cell.
– Dog parks are a haven for Giardia. Giardia is an infection of the small intestine caused by a microscopic organism. Giardia is found in pools/puddles of water. If the water dries up, Giardia has a protective outer shell and can lie dormant for up to a year without water. Once it rains, Giardia can come back to life. Giardia is super fun because not only does your pet get it, but it can also be transferred to humans. Symptoms of Giardia are abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, headache, loss of appetite, fever, nausea and vomiting.
– You dog can tear their knees and ankles by holes made by other dogs. TPLO surgeries average about $4000-$5000 a knee.
– If you have a Pit Bull and there is a fight, your Pit can be 200 feet away and somehow people will always want to blame the Pit Bull. Notice above how I mentioned the specific breeds that attacked Bernice. At that time, she was too young to defend herself. On the 4thattack, Bernice fought back and it was scary. I soon learned that responsible Pit Bull owners keep their dogs out of situations where their Pit Bull isn’t going to be set up to fail. On a random side note…a dog fight is terrifying. I have broken up dog fights by sticking my finger up a dog’s butt. I know it sounds disgusting, but it doesn’t hurt the dog and it gets their attention.
– How about those wonderful pet sitters that bring their caravan of dogs? How does one person effectively watch that many dogs?
– There are also people that bring dogs that have been cooped up for hours while the owner is at work. These dogs can be in a heightened state of anxiety as they haven’t had an energy release all day. This heightened state can take rough playing to a nasty fight in seconds.
Here’s an email from one of our clients regarding a situation she had with her Italian Mastiff (which remotely resembles a Pit Bull) at her local dog park:
Yesterday was a beautiful day at the dog park! In most parts of the park I keep Bob on a leash. Here why… Yesterday we walked the entire park. Bob really doesn’t pay attention to other dogs unless they want to play. I was walking with him and noticed about four little tiny dogs. I walked in the other direction to give them some space. This little dog decides to approach Bob with his high pitch bark and even went to bite Bob. Bob just stood there and knows how to treat little dogs. The owner said “Ha my dog put your dog in his place, what kind of guard dog do you got?” I responded to them by saying “Should I unleash my dog? If I do, I know for a FACT my dog will put your dog in his place. However, my dog has manners and respects other dogs, unlike you. Your dog should be the one on a leash.” I feel people think because they have tiny dogs and allow their dogs to bark and act up. Although upset by this women’s remark, I laughed and walked away. She wasn’t worth the headache. It’s because of the breed I own, I take responsibility for my dog. Why can’t people be more like that? This is the only bad thing about dog parks. Owners don’t seem to care about what their dogs are doing.
To be a responsible Pit Bull (and all other dog breed) owner it is also important to make sure you have:
– Home insurance that covers your Pit Bull.
– Renters insurance that covers your Pit Bull.
– Condo insurance that covers your Pit Bull.
– And/or Liability insurance that covers your Pit Bull.
For more information regarding insurance to cover your Pit Bull, visit https://einhorninsurance.com/dangerous-dog-liability-insurance/, call 858-336-4644 or email us at Agent@EinhornInsurance.com. Even if your dog has a history of aggression or bites, we can help.
As proud Pit Bull owners, we are passionate about Pit Bulls. We have worked with Pit Bull Rescues for over 10 years and are happy to help and educate fellow responsible Pit Bull Owners.
Great information imparted to those out there who don’t really know about Pits. Ignorance is the root of a potential disaster.
This is the exact same reason I don’t take my dog to dog parks. Your statement “why set them up to fail” is exactly how I feel.
I had a horrible experience at the dog park one day… this lady was playing catch with her skinny lab who didn’t want to have anything to do with any other dog there. It was a sunny, busy weekend afternoon, so it was a challenge for her dog to avoid any other dogs. My pittie has a knack for trying to play with the dogs that want nothing to do with her. She tried to play with this lab, who turned around and snapped her. I tried a couple times to stay on the other end of the park and keep my dog away from her, but alas, it didn’t work to well…. the very last time my pittie attempted to “play” with this lab, they started to get into a bit of a fight (well, fight on the lab’s side, my dog thought they were playing). The lab’s owner freaked out!!! We finally got them apart and as I was putting the leash back on my dog and leading her away from the dog park, the lady came up to me and accused my dog of injuring her dog. When she pointed out her dog’s injury, it was very apparent that the “wound” wasn’t fresh. A couple that was there with their pitt spoke up on my behalf, and let everyone know that the lab had “gotten into it” with a mastiff before we even got there. But of course, since my dog is a pitt, it was all her fault. Needless to say, we haven’t been back to the dog park since then. It’s terrible how one experience like that has ruined how comfortable I feel taking my dog out to play and socialize with other dogs.
I was at the neigborhood dog park yesterday for the first and last time. I have 2 pit bulls, male and female. As soon as I opened the gate to bring my dogs in on their leash, another bully breed (maybe mixed pit/stafford terrier/bull dog) approached my male dog and growled and him and my dog got in a little tiff before even getting in park. The owner called the dog back and said, “Oh, he’s usually very nice.” Famous last words.
Anyways, my dogs just stood there and my male pit did not want to enter. I coaxed him a bit and kept them both on the leash. Walked to another side of the dog park for a few still on the leash, then let the male off his leash. He ran around as happy as could be. No prob. Walked my female around a bit more on leash then let her go. She went ahead with her business. I called my dogs a couple of times and then I go to sit down for what was about a minute on a bench.
I see Lucky running around and then go up to that bully breed, who was with his other owner, and, then, I hear a fight. I see it’s my male and that bully breed and run over there and grab my dog by its collar. The other owner has ahold of his dog. My dog has a grip on what I thought was the other dog’s ear or side of face. But the bully breed owner says it’s his dog’s collar. So I said can you slip the collar off? And he does easily and that was the end.
When it was over, the other dog I think went into shock for a second then came to. Then somebody says his tongue was bleeding and that my dog bit his tongue. I didn’t see any other wounds on their dog, but they said they were taking him to the “emergency.” We exchanged names and numbers.
Then there was an old man with a bassett hound that would not keep his mouth shut. He was telling me to get outta the park and calling me white trash, why don’t I get a dog that I can control, yada, yada, yada. My dogs were both abandoned. I rescued them!!! And they’re not out of control.
As I was leaving the park I notice my dog was bleeding on the side of his face and neck. I got home and took a picture and cleaned him up. He has 4 teeth marks and one is very deep puncture. I took another pic after I cleaned him up.
So I don’t know who instigated what, but my dog was wounded, too. I haven’t heard from the other owner yet about their dog. Was going to call them today and see how he is. I think his name was Bruiser…lol
The other owner of