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So Tanner and I love going to the dog park. We go almost every night, for at least an hour after dinner. We play fetch, but most of all he LOVES chasing after other dogs. I am thankful when the other V's are there or the occasional Rhodesian Ridgeback who love to RUN!

Lately, however, there have been numerous dog owners who are very nervous with the way Tanner plays. Us V lovers know that this is just the way they play. Tanner likes to charge and tumble and chomp and make lots of noises. Never once has he actually hurt another dog. But lately I have heard complaints from other people about how "agressive" and "crazy" my dog is :'(

I try to calm their nerves by telling them he's never had any issues with other dogs before, and he just likes to play rough, it's his nature. They just don't seem to understand :-\

How can I make the dog park a pleasant experience for everyone? I will not stop taking Tanner, I need others to understand he is just playing and is being his normal crazy ;D Vizsla self.
 

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http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2010/05/poor-city-dogs.html

I will not stop taking Tanner, I need others to understand he is just playing and is being his normal crazy Vizsla self.
Good luck with that. I couldn't do it anymore with my two. I'll drive 1/2 hour to find a place to walk them off-leash. If I can't then it is an hour walk along the sidewalks in town.

The down-side just outweighed the up-side for us. Maybe my introvert self doesn't help. :eek:

http://redbirddog.blogspot.com/2012/08/hungarian-pointers-character-over.html

RBD
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had a feeling someone was going to say just that...
I'm afraid that's what it might come down to if other's continue to complain.
 

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There is a dog park not too far from where we live and sometimes the owners get into fights also ;D

Staying away from dog parks makes it less stressful and is the only real way to ease the experience.
Unless, you feel the park is where Tanner belongs and in that case you can get together with a few "stable" dogs and their owners. For the time your group is there the offended dog owners can p**** off and go their marry way.

Organizing into groups is the only way.
We don't go to dog parks but have been known to take over the local urban forrest when we get together with GSPs and Vs :) its quite a sight.
 

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I avoid dog parks like the plague. I think they're partly responsibly for Flynn's issues. He went all the time as a tiny puppy and a few times he was really scared by bigger, older aggressive dogs. It made him fearful - which developed into fear aggression. (I have no proof it was the dog parks but the behaviorist seems to think so too).

Now, he's not great with other dogs. He's never bitten a dog or hurt one but given the chance, he has pinned them down, scared them, growled at them. It's scary for the other dog owners and I don't feel right about letting it happen. If it continues to happen it could escalate. You have to do what's best for you and your dog, but I felt too much guilty about being the parent of a dog other dogs and/or people feared so I took him out of that situation.


Flynn has a few select dogs we know he gets along with and that's about it (and we got him a sister last year whom he now loves). Until we got our second vizsla, we felt guilty about the lack of socialization but the behaviorists said "your dog doesn't need dog friends. You are his pack." Of course, this was when he was about 3 years old, so the necessary socialization period with other dogs was already over.
 

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I guess another question is, are you sure it's just play for your dog and that he's not exhibiting aggression? In my case, I could tell it wasn't just normal play but in your case, it may be.
 

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Here's an idea -- Put up a real fence around your own acreage and get another Vizsla. Problem solved!! ;D ;D
 

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I keep away from parks with dogs I don't know now as well. I love getting together with other vizsla owners and their vs because 1/ all the owners I've met seem like really awesome people. 2/ they obviously understand Otto's energy and most importantly 3/ Otto seems the most comfortable amongst them


Otto would play with any dog - big, small, old, young, male, female - however, other dogs tend to dislike something about ottos personality. Quite often, he is the target and gets "bullied". It's very upsetting - so now if I don't know the owner - I don't even give it a chance. Too often, people claim their dog is "friendly" but when they approach Otto, they are anything but. So now I steer clear.

Maybe ask the Rhodesian ridgeback's owners and other V owners if they want to meet up on trails away from the park. I would assume this would be much less stressful for you
 

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I just don't see my dogs having much to do in a dog park.
They mostly like to run out to the front and hunt. They will let another dog sniff them and then go on their way. To much sniffing will lead to a snap by my dogs. It means leave me alone, you interfering with my hunting.
I run them with other dogs that feel the same way.
Don't get me wrong my dogs do play sometimes, but its with dogs they know real well. Its a high speed chasing game through water.
 

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OttosMama said:
Otto would play with any dog - big, small, old, young, male, female - however, other dogs tend to dislike something about ottos personality. Quite often, he is the target and gets "bullied". It's very upsetting - so now if I don't know the owner - I don't even give it a chance. Too often, people claim their dog is "friendly" but when they approach Otto, they are anything but. So now I steer clear.
I feel the same way. I've found out when certain "good" dogs are at the park and I go then and only then. I will be very strategic about introducing penny this month to the park. Luckily our park also has a "small dog" side that is rarely used for that purpose so sometimes were able to use it to seperate two groups of dogs.
 

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Ottosmama, I've found we have a similar issue with our V- he's SO friendly and loves everyone and every dog but they seem to dislike him for some reason. Even though he's 5 months he'll go up calmly to greet a dog and in no time they snap at him. It makes me sad but it doesn't seem to phase him. Luckily the only dogs he has found to play with live in our neighborhood - a rott, a mastiff and a GSP. Any dogs we've met on walks through parks or even friends dogs will snap at him. I'm hesitant to take him to a dog park for this reason. I really wish we have Vs in the area for him to play with.

Well, looks like we just might have to get another V baby in a year or two to keep him company. Darn. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
flynnandlunasmom said:
I guess another question is, are you sure it's just play for your dog and that he's not exhibiting aggression? In my case, I could tell it wasn't just normal play but in your case, it may be.
I truly think it is just playing. If it was truly agression, I would imagine he would have been kicked out of doggie daycare by now, as they have a strict policy against agressive dogs. What can I say... he's just not "gentle" :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
mswhipple said:
Here's an idea -- Put up a real fence around your own acreage and get another Vizsla. Problem solved!! ;D ;D
Boy do I wish this were the case, however we are renting for the last and final year to save up for a house. Thankfully we rent a home with a nice large backyard :) and when we have the opportunity we take a trip to my mom's and boyfriend's home where they have a 6 month old V and they have a riot!

Seriously considering another one when we finally are homeowners!
 

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We don't do dog parks or dog beaches because there has always been an issue with Riley playing "too rough" or other dogs attacking her for no reason (usually GSD or GSD mixes). Find some Vizslas (or compatible, high-energy hunting dogs) near you & go on some off-leash hikes! :)
 

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hi tanners_mama!

I have similar circumstances in that I live in the center of Houston, TX and taking my dog to open land isn't always feasible during the week. I take my V to the dog park and have been humbled many times by both my dog and other owners. I have found that the best solution when my dog is playing with another is by calmly telling the owner, "my dog loves to play rough. If at any point you begin to feel uncomfortable please let me know and I'll take him away." Sure enough there are owners who aren't comfortable telling you that something gives them discomfort, so when it starts getting rough, I look at the owners' body language (owning a dog has made me + i'm sure all of you very in touch with nonverbal communication) and I either go get him and take him away or check in with the owner again. In this way I feel as you don't become such a dog-park outcast! I think people get really aggravated when owners allow their dogs to be wild banshees and seem uninterested in getting involved.

PS- how old is your V? This may not be the case for you but I feel as though mine plays better as he gets older. He seems to be more respectful of other dogs at a year and 8 mos. Try to find owners that have equally active dogs and are thankful of the rowdy play. That way you both can be grateful that you found each other that night!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
laurita said:
hi tanners_mama!

I have similar circumstances in that I live in the center of Houston, TX and taking my dog to open land isn't always feasible during the week. I take my V to the dog park and have been humbled many times by both my dog and other owners. I have found that the best solution when my dog is playing with another is by calmly telling the owner, "my dog loves to play rough. If at any point you begin to feel uncomfortable please let me know and I'll take him away." Sure enough there are owners who aren't comfortable telling you that something gives them discomfort, so when it starts getting rough, I look at the owners' body language (owning a dog has made me + i'm sure all of you very in touch with nonverbal communication) and I either go get him and take him away or check in with the owner again. In this way I feel as you don't become such a dog-park outcast! I think people get really aggravated when owners allow their dogs to be wild banshees and seem uninterested in getting involved.

PS- how old is your V? This may not be the case for you but I feel as though mine plays better as he gets older. He seems to be more respectful of other dogs at a year and 8 mos. Try to find owners that have equally active dogs and are thankful of the rowdy play. That way you both can be grateful that you found each other that night!
I love your suggestion, thank you! Tanner is 13 months old now, at "that age" for sure where he thinks everyone is his best friend :). I will try and word it differently next time to those that seem uneasy by his crazy tendencies.
 

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Hello Everyone,

Oso also attracts unwanted attention at dogs parks. I'm pretty confident it is his crazy hyper energy. He stirs up the other dogs. If we are with a good group it is wonderful, but especially when he was a puppy puppy he became a target. As he has gotten older, he is still hyper, but has less crazy puppy energy and that has made a world of difference.

As for the original question....Every owner has a different definition of what "nice" play is. I think the challenge is finding a group which has the same view as you. Dog parks are a place of lots of drama. I always try to avoid it. You may want to get the phone numbers of the people with v's or ridgebacks who Tanner plays well with and meet up at another park/location. That way you don't have to feel bad and Tanner can have fun playing with dogs who play similarly.

Best of luck!
 

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Dog Park - the name says it all - a place to PARK your DOG & and think you are a good owner and let anyone that will listen tell them that - went to one in Fla - never again!
 

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I think it really depends on the dog park and how you use them.

We utilize the dog park as a place for Oso to socialize (not me). When we stop going to the dog park, Oso gets really excited when we see dogs on walks - when he can't say hi to them. He lunges towards them and tries to play with the leash on. It is inappropriate and often scares the other owner. Yes, we are working on this. But, the biggest preventative is providing Oso with regular socialization/play time with other dogs. If Oso has met his socialization "requirements" he can walk by nicely.

There are other options to dog parks, but I truly think they can be a wonderful thing if used correctly. We go at off times, when it is not busy and there are few dogs. We go with the assumption that if a dog or owner is dominant/rude, etc., we will just leave. There is plenty of drama that happens at dog parks, we just don't take part in it. There are many dog parks in our vicinity and some are better than others (in dogs and people that attend).

In our area, a significant amount of people live in apartments with no yard and it is illegal in most places to hike with your dog off leash. We do hike with Oso off leash and will risk the ticket, but it's not a good place for a doggy play date. I am happy that Oso gets a chance to race around and play with other dogs at our local dog park.
 
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