Raising Litter Mates



Kratos and Taro are most excellent (most of the time) and I am able to take them with me nearly anywhere ( providing dogs are allowed) and I am quite confident that they will settle down and behave themselves. Having said this I would like to make clear that as long as Stephen or myself are with the puppies they are confident little boys! We have been going to dog parks with them since their last set of vaccinations - about 11 weeks of age - and prior to our litter mates we frequented dog parks with our other dogs who are no longer with us. I got my first dog in 1998 - long time ago!!

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Thursday, June 23, 2011
Off Leash Dog Parks - What to Expect.

It boggles my brain when I see certain things at a dog park. I often wonder what on earth are some people thinking?!

From my experience, this is what to expect, or NOT to expect at an off-leash dog park.

DO NOT EXPECT all dogs to be as polite and well mannered as yours may be. Not all dogs do tricks, not all dogs know certain commands, but you can bet most dogs will be playful and excited when approached by new dogs and their people. Some dogs jump - I don't like it - but I won't yell and scream at the dog. Keep in mind most puppies will jump, most dogs when crazily excited will jump up - the best thing to do is stay calm and assertive. Use a firm NO! or OFF! Once those 4 paws hit the ground - praise!
DO NOT start screaming and running the opposite direction - the dog will most likely chase you and continue jumping. Most dogs respond to NO! Give it a try!

Expect your clothes to get an odd paw print on them. I NEVER wear clothes that I would regret getting torn or dirty. You never know what you will come across at a dog park - most dogs don't care if they run through a mud puddle and rub up against you or another person. Most dogs generally don't care if they shake all their water on you =) and most love white clothing!! Just sayin'.

DO NOT EXPECT to bring your ball back home! If you are one of those people who take a tennis ball or any other type of toy to a dog park - please do not expect that no other dog is going to chase after it! Dogs want to play - especially for ball obsessed dogs ( these owners know to carry a spare ball with them ) a launched ball is fair game! I do agree that all dogs should be taught to "give" - but in reality not all dogs are trained to "give" or "leave -it", which brings me to my next point..

Going back to the first point about toys/balls. If you have a dog that is toy/ball aggressive, it isn't fair to bring his trigger to the park with other dogs around. Please keep in mind that it is a public place and that other dogs like the ball as well - so respect that. Not only that, but remember that you never want to set your dog up for failure. Bringing a ball to a dog park and having your dog attack another dog for trying to play should land him a pretty heavy consequence since that behaviour IS NOT acceptable.

Kratos got a tooth tear a few weeks ago from a ball aggressive dog, after Taro managed to get away from him quick enough! The owner barely gave her dog a consequence, he was able to KEEP his ball for the remainder of this time there, and the owner didn't even bother to see if my dog was okay! This is terrible etiquette at a dog park!

EXPECT a puppy/dog to chase a running child. I understand that kids love their dogs just as much as we do, and moms often bring the younger ones when the older ones are off at school - but for goodness sakes KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THEM! Running children at a dog park not such a good idea. Puppies often chase, some mature dogs are not used to small children either, so it is not reasonable to expect that all dogs are raised with little ones. Although most puppies wouldn't hurt a child, the size and strength of a large/giant breed puppy is enough to scare a child if knocked over. I can hear the whispers now - dogs SHOULD be taught NOT TO JUMP up on people - and YES! I agree.
Keep in mind that in order for a dog to learn not to jump up on kids they need to be exposed to kids make several mistakes, be corrected immediately and praised when good (and repeat 200 times!). They may have learned not to jump up on you- but they tried didn't they? I bet they tried plenty of times! Most people I see with kids hold the child's hand when other dogs approach, or the child holds on to the stroller handle - all safe and good practice - gives you and the child some extra support in case those playful dogs come running through your legs!! Tell me that hasn't happened before =D

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