Finally took Frankie to the dog park the other day..shockingly he did not seem to like it...???

Got a new, young, furry love in your life? This is the place for you to ask all of your questions-big or small! Just remember that you are receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a vet or behaviorist! Most important is to remember to have fun with your new fur baby.

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Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 12:33pm PST 
Frankie is 16 months and we took him to a not-so-local dog park the other day. Been wanting to check this dog park out, as it is in a newly built up section of the city, so I figured it must be pretty decent.

There is a regular park near it, and that regular park is very nice..Then there is the dog park, one side for large dogs, the other side for small dogs.

There as one large-breed dog in the large dog section, and some lady brought 4 of her small-breed dogs to the small-dog section. One was a toy poodle/chihuahua mix, two were lhasa apso-mix siblings, and the other was some other chihuahua mix.

The chi-poo was the friendliest and the liveliest. The other chi mix was a little reserved, he/she mostly hung around the hose getting cooled off, and the two lhasas were also pretty chill, but they all romped around a bit. It was a somewhat hot day, but not terrible.

Frankie made a bee line for the lady who owned the 4 dogs, giving her TONS of puppy love..then he romped VERY briefly, very nicely and rather well-behaved, but then he pretty much hung around right beside me the rest of the time, sitting beside me, on the park table bench. We put him back down on the ground and he romped very briefly then jumped back up beside me on the bench.

He normally loves going up to other dogs, but he really stayed near the humans. It was not that hot that day, we have had days hotter than that and he has been more playful..

But he really kinda just hung by the humans..

I do not know how to get him more socialized with other dogs. I know as a baby he was around LOTS of small-breed dogs but other than a puppy class we took when he was 4 - 5 months old, he really has not had much exposure to other dogs, esp dogs not on leashes.

I guess on one hand yes he needs more socialization with dogs, but is it terrible that he seems to prefer humans over canines...?

I really do not know how to get him more dog socialization. Everyone we know who has dogs has very large dogs, nobody close-by with small dogs..

Maybe he was just being a little bashful.
We were only there maybe 15 minutes, max.
S/O decided to take Frankie out of the heat, even though it really was not that hot..

I like this dog park idea well enough but it gets pretty muddy with the hose/shallow water for the dogs to romp in, and then romping through the grass. Which is no big deal if the dog has a blast, but he did not seem to have a blast..

And this park is not close by, so if the lady with her other dogs was not there, it would have been realllyy boring...

At any rate, not sure if this is him losing out on dog socialization since he was a baby, him being shy, or just preferring the company of humans over dogss, being a companion breed...? thinking

Maybe it was just too hot..
at any rate, I guess if he is going to bond more with dogs or humans, humans is better..smile

And here I was weorried he missed his siblings and his playmates from his babyhood...I guess he is a pretty happy pup...or is he..??? thinking

Like I said, I really do not know how or if it is even really possible for him to get regualar dog socialization, so is this seeming human-bonding bad for him...?
Princesse- Lily CGN

I am RoyalChi!
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 2:21pm PST 
I have done as much socialization as I can with Princesse. She is pretty picky about who she likes, both dogs and humans. She also has no interest in the dog park. Even when we go and no one is there, she just sits around. She likes it much better when I put her long leash on and let her run in the grass at one of the regular parks. I think it's great that you are socializing Frankie and you should probably keep it up, but he may never be a "dog's dog" and there is nothing wrong with that.smile

Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 5:08pm PST 
So very true, thank you smile
I beat myself up way too much analyzing what the dog does and second-guessing what I do in response to his actions.

Thank you.


Woo-woo- whineybutt
Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 8:58pm PST 
Hi Frankie!
It is true, not all dogs are dog park dogs. Beyond puppyhood dogs don't really need to have 'playmates' or friends, socialization is great, but a lot of dogs don't really play outside of their 'pack' or groups. So just taking Frankie to the dog park, letting 'im meet new dogs is good enough. When me and Nare go to the dog park it is a lot less play now, we mostly use it as a distraction and train. Occasionally a 'regular' will pop by and he'll have a romp with their dog, but he very rarely plays with strange / unknown dogs.. Is quick to warm up though but is more owner-oriented now. Sometimes I feel bad cause he'll blow off other dogs, and would like him to play. But that is just me humanizing him, I figure.

Glad the experience was a good one! Keep it up. C:

Cheese? PLEASE!
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 8:39am PST 
Thanks, Nare! smile

The Tinydog
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 9:56am PST 
Megatron came to me at 6 years old fearful and reactive towards other dogs and people. I have another, larger, much more active dog who I took to the dog park regularly, so Mega got to tag along with me regardless. She didn't particularly enjoy the dog park to start with - she was barky, underconfident and didn't see the allure vs sleeping inside somewhere comfy all day. She had zero interest in meeting other dogs, and had to be managed carefully.

Now, about 9 months later, it's like she's a new dog. She's actually started approaching other dogs to sniff them. She passes by them without trying to avoid them. And she'll approach people if she thinks they have a treat. I have people approaching me now after seeing her earlier in the year and commenting on how much her disposition has changed. It's great.

Basically, I credit a lot of her increased comfort to getting her out to environments where she'll see other dogs, but not necessarily interact with them if she doesn't want to. Now she's very tolerant, which is exactly what I need from her. You don't necessarily need your pup to play at a park, but, as long as you're careful, it can go a long way to acclimatizing dogs to others' presence.

And to plop an undersocialized dog into a dog park and expect him to play the entire time is probably unrealistic.

Also, of course, dog parks can be dangerous. Don't mingle with people and take your attention off the dogs. It's better if you can walk laps to keep yourself and your dog moving. It keeps trouble to a minimum.

Miss- Pig!
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 10:14am PST 
Sounds like he did perfectly fine to me.

From what you've described, he was happy to greet the other dogs and have a brief romp around and that's fine. His behaviour sounds that of a well mannered pup and that's VERY desirable when around other dogs. If he'd shown any sort of aggression or fear than i'd be inclined to agree that he perhaps needs more socialization but from what you've said that doesn't seem to be the case. Obviously you know your dog best though, and if you don't think he's entirely uncomfortable in the dog park set up than perhaps meeting up with dogs he already knows for playdates at home or elsewhere are more his thing.

I wish my Ty would ignore other dogs more, but he's the other way around, preferring other dogs to people wink
Savannah Blue Belle

A Heart of Gold!
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 10:14am PST 
Dubs does NOT like the dog park. She didn't like puppy school either. The trainer there always laughed about how "mellow" she was, but she is not. She would lock down and go to sleep under my chair. She only wanted to play with a big Golden Retriever that reminded her of Savvy, I guess. She would get enraged at a horny pugdog that would not leave her be.

She still only likes her own pack and a small selection of other dogs. Lately I have been finding out more about Corgi's and that is not untypical, apparently. Some dogs just don't.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 5:51pm PST 
Oh it's okay, I was going to suggest one way to encourage group play in the dog park sometimes is to throw a ball and a bunch of doggies including your pup might join in. But the other thing is to learn to read our dogs. Sophie isn't antisocial, just shy sometimes. Her favorite places at the dog park are in the high grass munching...grazing I guess heeheehee and on the bench happily beside me. She'll play from time to time or jump in the washtub to cool off and she's wonderful with me holding other dogs. But for the most part she just likes to sit on the bench with the humans.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Thu Sep 6, '12 5:57pm PST 
Jackson will zoom around for dogs for a while, then likes to jump on the bench with me a bit, beg treats, then off to eat grass - then maybe another little play, and sitting next to other dogs - I just let him do what he wants. As long as he's not snarking (which he is entirely capable of, trust me) that's socializing to me.

He is not what I would call dog park material because of his defensive aggression issues. But Frankie sounds like he did really well. I would definitely take him there again.
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