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Because we so often caution people about possible issues when frequenting dog parks I decided to post this excerpt from an article about socialization because of its discussion of using dog parks. It might lend support in future when the issue comes up again, also because of its identifying dog parks as potentially problematic for any type of dog, not just border collies. Dog parks Even though they're called DOG parks, they're not a good option for every dog, and despite conventional wisdom that says the best place to socialize a dog is at the dog park, they're an exceptionally bad idea for dogs who aren't socialized. If your pet is fearful of other dogs, aggressive or if you have little or no control over him (i.e., he doesn't respond to your commands), taking him to a dog park is asking for trouble. "Dog parks are meant for dogs that are already social with their peers, not for those in need of socialization," says Schade. "Taking a socially questionable dog to the park puts everyone at risk. The action moves quickly and requires that the players understand the rules of engagement. If your dog hasn't had ongoing, positive experiences with a variety of other dogs off leash, he might misinterpret the play and react inappropriately." In order for the dog park to be a good experience for your pet and for you, your dog should enjoy interacting with others in a friendly way. If he doesn't go near other dogs due to fear, or if he approaches most unfamiliar dogs aggressively, this behavior should be addressed before you attempt a visit to a dog park. (https://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2017/08/14/worst-places-pet-socialization.aspx?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=facebookpets_ranart&utm_campaign=20180901_worst-places-pet-socialization) The link in the article is about dog park etiquette is also a pretty good read for people not already familiar with them.
I am certain I am not the first to post on this topic, but it is something of concern. I recently moved in with my partner and she has a 7-year old, poorly behaved cat. I am trying to find the best solution toward getting them to live together peacefully. Some advice would be very helpful. I will describe the two animals: My BC: very well behaved and listens to commands. Was socialized at a very young age around cats and since has had numerous inconsequential interactions with cats. She always listens to me around them and has yet to show any aggression toward cats. Cat from hell: This is a challenge, and I hate to sound like I'm placing all the blame here, but the cat has very poor behavior. She usually hisses and swats at almost any visitor, often hissing at her owner and myself. She has bad behavior toward other cats and dogs and often charges them in full aggression mode. (fear aggression I am assuming) Initial interactions between the two were fine, but a couple weeks ago they caught each other off guard and the cat charged my pup. The pup was very scared, and assumed a very defensive position of retreat while making a pronounced frightened bark. This was the first time I have seen her so scared. The cat never made contact with her, but now the pup acts very scared around her. Not only that she will get a bit more offensive when she sees the cat and has occasionally raised her hackles and barked and advanced. This only makes the cat more aggressive. So, there you have it. We are working to find a solution. Personally I'm much more concerned with protecting my pup in this sensitive phase of her life. The last thing I want is for her to develop an issue with cats. Any advice will be very helpful! Thanks!
I have posted quite a few times throughout my pups early months. I received so much guidance from people here. Somewhere after about 6 months of age, I began to sit back and admire my mostly well behaved, well socialized and generally adorable BC pup. In looking back I realized how much work I had done with her, how many early mornings and late evenings I committed to her. People would even praise me on how happy, well behaved and wonderful she is. I suppose that means my job is done, right? Time to sit back and reap the rewards. Wrong. I will say that my puppy continues to be a well behaved, socialized and generally adorable little dog with one caveat...she is changing. She is 8 months old now and while I enjoy every minute with her, her behavior has begun to evolve. Around 6 months she discovered that the ball is the only thing worth living for and I discovered that the ball was an almost automatic means of having a wonderful experience with my dog. With the ball I taught her to lay down reliably, then to lay down immediately when she is 50-100yard away from me. I taught her to wait reliably untill my "ok" before sprinting off to retrieve the ball. I joyfully observed her speed and grace in a huge open field. I was completely in love. But, recently things have been getting a bit more difficult. In a bit, I will rant about how thankful I am for a few specific resources that manage to highlight these times and give me guidance on how to work with them. The pup has discovered that she loves the ball so much that she's now not as willing to wait in the car while I gather her things and instead feels the need to push against me trying to get out. On leash, as I walk her through the city streets en route to the field she tugs relentlessly. Even though I try the "red light, green light" method, she manages to just tug and tug. This leads me to get frustrated and even lose my temper. Not good. I pride myself on being sensitive to my dog, so I can immediately see how my mood change affects her. Today was the final straw, a highly frustrating walk to and from the ball session in which she seemed to only want to go where I didn't want her to go. Tug, tug, tug despite all my stop and go until I was literally pissed off. I failed her. Luckily I have these few resources that I refer to and in coming home to find them after feel very bad about how I worked with the pup today I realized how long it had been since I referred to them: First, The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell Ph.D. This book was my invaluable education into the mindset of dogs before getting my pup. What a savior as I had always subscribed to the dominate and control method of raising dogs simply because it was all I ever saw around me. This book changed EVERYTHING about what I knew and taught me 1. that dogs are always seeking and growing into positivity and 2. that I as a human with all my non-canine behaviors was a veritable liability to her well being. This book taught me to think like a dog and alway use positive reinforcement even if it is the more difficult option. Second, After You Get Your Puppy by Dr. Ian Dunbar. This book is an invaluable insight into dog training by a true master. When you read what Dr. Dunbar says, it all becomes so painfully obvious that you wonder why you didn't figure that out yourself. His insight into bringing up a well behaved dog is amazing. Third, and this is a bit unrelated, I feel really grateful to have watched the movie Buck about the horseman Buck Brannaman prior to owning my pup. While this movie is about horses, it highlights some of the exact struggles I am going through with the pup, namely my own human element. Watching this movie gives me inspiration and hope in working with my dog. So, the lesson learned today is that I got lazy, but luckily I realized in time to keep up working with my dog so that I can actually maybe sit back when she's...oh...6-7 years old and enjoy her. Puppyhood was difficult, but the time invested has paid back in spades. I intend to navigate adolescence with the same determination. Thanks for listening!
This little pup is getting big so fast. It seems like overnight she went from a little clumsy sausage to a small agile, fast and smart dog! Impressive to see the change so quickly. She's 12 weeks old and has had the first two of her vaccinations. The vet projects another two shots, which means she will be 19 weeks old before I am able to get her out into "the world" This has worked out fine so far, but lately she's developed so much mobility and curiosity. My question is concerning the risks for parvo. I know this is a very vulnerable age for pups and have read all the warnings (know the history of a yard, lives up to 1 year in soil, etc.) This week I have had the strong desire to get her out of the house a lot more in a controlled way. The vet mentioned that concrete or hard surfaces were probably ok, but I am curious what everyone's experience is with the true risks here. I have no plans to take her to the dog park, or busy hiking trails yet, but I would like to walk her in the neighborhood and take her on errands around town to keep up with her socialization (which she is doing so well with!) As it stands I only take her to a few places I know are safe and carry her around outside of the house. I'm worried now that I'm being one of those parents that won't let their kids touch any dirt for fear of "germs". Then again, I don't want her to get sick! Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks!