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Old March 12th, 2005, 09:03 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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Question How do you feel about dog parks?

I have been criticized (not on this web site) for going to dog parks. People think dog parks are the worst thing in the world-- not safe, not healthy, etc.

I like them up to a point. I mean my doggies love going there (we go to the St-Benoit park in Ahuntsic (montreal), it's HUGE and all grass, except where the grass had died...) but I get fed up sometimes with the lack of training of the other dogs. When two dogs fight, it's always up to me to split them up. People ask me for doggy advice and then keep doing what they do (usually it's nothing ). I get annoyed sometimes but after a while, I get the bad dogs trained enough so when I am there, they know not to bug me as much.

It's a lot of responsibility to take on and it's not supposed to be my responsibility (I'm not these dogs' owners, nor am I paid to train them...), but in the end, I do it for my doggies. I know that pretty well all the dogs there are up to date on their vaccines and if we see ones that aren't, we boot 'em out. There are a lot of doggies there who are out of control or aggressive and the owners should not bring them there. That's the dreadful part but they are relatively rare.

We are trying to pass a rule in the park that prevents unneutered dogs from coming inside. All of the really bad fights this summer involved a not castrated male. But our lazy president won't step down. Last year he assured me he would be planting grass and not to worry. Spring came and went and no grass. The doggies ran around in weeds and mud. Nobody was impressed. Our park is maintained by the members (we mow, do the garbages and pick up after bad dog owners...).

I think the trouble for me is less important than the exercise and the fun my doggies have. It's also a good way to network in the doggie community, even though there are not many people there that I can learn from...

So what do you think? Do you go to dog parks? Do you think they are safe?
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Old March 12th, 2005, 09:08 PM
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Sorry, I never go to dogparks. There are just too many variables. Dog with issues, owners with issues. Besides, if I had ever taken my rottie girl to one and there had been an issue, she would have been blamed. Not a position I would ever have put my girl in.

My mom has a huge fenced in double lot and 4 dogs of her own for mine to play with. If Missy needs to socialize, then she goes to mom's.
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Old March 12th, 2005, 09:21 PM
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That's true, there were 2 show rotties that came to the park and they were awesome and sweet but people started spreading rumors about them. The guy stopped coming because as his male got older and bigger, the other castrated doggies had a problem with him, as they do with all hormone-abundant males...
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Old March 12th, 2005, 09:43 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Even if I didn't have a pit bull, I would never go to a dog park. Too many clueless people there who think their dog is playing when it's actually being dominant or getting ready to fight - body blocking, head over another dog's, etc etc.

You might have the best behaved, gentlest and most sociable dog in the world, but that won't help when somone else's out of control and aggressive dog attacks yours which in turn may make YOUR dog defensive or aggressive, with reason.

When I had my dog in obedience classes, a man with an unpredictable and seriously aggressive Chow (who wanted to kill some other dogs in the class) told me "He's fine at the dog park".

No thanks.
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Old March 12th, 2005, 09:52 PM
Prin Prin is offline
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I guess people just listen to me when i am at the park. There is a group of us who are on the park's committee who can kick people out and who also know doggie behavior pretty well. There are accidents but considering we have somewhere in the range of 300 members, accidents are relatively rare.

The worst accident was a pitbull who ripped the face off a labernese. The police were called on this guy 3 times and now he is legally banned. His dog was sweet as a puppy but the guy encouraged him to be aggressive.

I've been going there for 3 years now, nearly every day and there have been only a handful of big problems. On a day to day basis, it's not so bad. It's not nearly as bad as other parks in our area.
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Old March 12th, 2005, 10:10 PM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Quote:
The worst accident was a pitbull who ripped the face off a labernese.
Anyone taking a pit bull that is not a young puppy to a dog park is an irresponsible IDIOT who is not only putting other people's dogs in danger, but his/her OWN dog in peril, and MY dog too!!!

To anyone who does so, THANKS GUYS FOR HELPING THE PRO-BSL MOB.
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Old March 12th, 2005, 10:23 PM
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I occasionally go to our dog park. I have to agree with the negatives voiced above, every idiot who has a dog feels that they can take the dog to the dog park because its off leash and the dog will get to run and play. However so many of these dogs have no social skills or obedience training, and I blame the owner 100%. My dogs have been jumped on, or rushed, or attacked. I only go at specific times when I know the park is quiet and I am meeting friends there.
There are lovely dogs and owners there too, but the negs outweigh the positives at our park.
My youngest dog also picked up a virus there, and when I was at the vets I heard that all the vets were telling people to avoid the dog parks except in the winter when viruses were dormant, that they are just breeding grounds for viruses.
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  #8  
Old March 12th, 2005, 10:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuckyRescue
Anyone taking a pit bull that is not a young puppy to a dog park is an irresponsible IDIOT who is not only putting other people's dogs in danger, but his/her OWN dog in peril, and MY dog too!!!

To anyone who does so, THANKS GUYS FOR HELPING THE PRO-BSL MOB.
I don't understand the pitbull plight. I thought I was clear about it but now I am not so sure-- can a happy well adjusted pitty go to a dog park? I thought it was only the bad owners' dogs who shouldn't? I'm lost...
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Old March 12th, 2005, 10:44 PM
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The fact of the matter is that not many dogs will put up with being attacked or bullied. If a labrador attacks a pit bull and the pit bull defends itself, I promise you that the pit bull will take the blame, simply because it is a pit bull.

Most responsible pit bull owners would never put their dog in that position.

If only responsible owners with dogs that had training went to dog parks, then there wouldn't be many problems. Fact is, most of the people who go to dog parks are not responsible owners and have dogs that have no training.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 12:24 AM
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Actually, in our park it's mostly black labs and golden retrievers that take the heat. It's weird but I think around here people think getting a lab or golden is a free pass to a nice dog and thus they don't need training. I can tell you that the most aggressive doggies that come are 2 goldens (they don't come much anymore --one attacked its owner and the other started working 7 days/wk.. Yey.).

The worst dog that ever came was an Akita. He attacked my dog 3 times from behind when my dog wasn't even looking or paying attention and my man and I grabbed him and got the guy out of there. He never came back.

I don't worry so much about bad experiences for my doggies because I am always ready and there is nothing worse that can happen to them than what already had before we got them and they are ok.

But like I said, these events are really rare. I mean there is probably one minor fight every two weeks and one major incident every year.

With the pitty I described above, we called the city to ask what we could do and they told us "You don't have to be in the park, you know". I was so mad, I responded "So 15 of us have to leave because one a** comes in?" This guy was terrible. I asked him why he didn't think of getting his dog fixed very tactfully so as not to upset him and he started screaming at me that he was going to kill me with his other dog. Great dog owner.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 01:15 AM
Dahlia Dahlia is offline
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OMG! That is terrible. We don't have dog parks here, and I guess it's just as well. Most people here don't train their dogs and a lot of them are not up to date on their shots, if they've ever even had shots.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 02:44 AM
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twodogsandacat twodogsandacat is offline
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it is a great idea for socialization but:

Rule number one: Not the little puppies. Shots are needed including kennel cough. There is another older thread here regarding this question. Until then take a puppy socialization class.

Last edited by twodogsandacat; March 13th, 2005 at 05:09 AM.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prin
I don't understand the pitbull plight. I thought I was clear about it but now I am not so sure-- can a happy well adjusted pitty go to a dog park? I thought it was only the bad owners' dogs who shouldn't? I'm lost...
Michael Bryant actually had the gall to use the statement by a responsible pit owner. 'Pits shouldn't go to a dog park because although they might not start the fight they will certainly finish it' or something to that affect as a justification for the pit bull ban.

I guess if Michael Bryant's kids are being bullied then he is OK with them getting the snot kicked out of them. God forbid they defend themselves.

There's always some young dog willing to test out another. Bully breeds will take the blame for any fight they are in. Win or Lose - they lose. In reality it's just not worth it. Take them while they are young but at a certain age find dogs they like and walk with them instead.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 09:25 AM
OdinAndAlan OdinAndAlan is offline
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Well, there's no dog park in my neighbourhood, but there are dog owners who take their dogs to play at the local school yard after school during the week. We've never had any major problems so far (knock on wood). Almost everyone who goes has either been there a while or takes their puppy (with all shots) there. My dog has an absolute blast and I find that he tries to pull me in the direction of the school everytime we go out.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 10:26 AM
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I have reservations about dogs parks, but still go on occasion. I have gotten to know a few of the other owners, and so far, their dogs are ok. If there is a dog I don't know in there, and it's the only one, we steer clear. If there is someone I know there, and he/she trusts the other dogs, then I will go.

No one i know has dogs, and we don't have a yard, so the dog park is really the only place we can get socialization at all, and let our dog run.

Brampton has a set of rules for their dog parks. No one under 10 is allowed in the park, all dogs must be up to date on shots, all dogs must be spayed/nuetered, and any dog that has been agressive at all, isn't allowed in.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 10:47 AM
Lucky Rescue Lucky Rescue is offline
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Quote:
can a happy well adjusted pitty go to a dog park?
No. Pit bulls were bred to fight other dogs. They were bred never to quit and to ignore signs of submission in other dogs.

I've had people tell me "I keep an eye on my pit bull at the dog park". Really? And if your dog is 20+ feet away and grabs another dog, what are you going to do? A fight can start in the blink of an eye, over the most minor thing.

Most pit bulls, upon maturity, will have some dog aggression to some degree - ranging from slight to severe. Pit bulls with NO dog aggression after maturity are the exception. It's like, for example, border collies. They may not all have the same drive, but most of them will have SOME urge to herd, and this cannot be loved or trained out of them.

A pit bull who has happily played in the dog park may, at 2 or 3 years old, suddenly decide he hates another dog, or hates all other dogs. It doesn't matter who starts the fight, the pit bull will be blamed and WILL win.

Is going to a dog park really worth it if your dog ends up "ripping the face off a labernese" while people watch in horror and start screaming for BSL?

My dog is a happy, well-adjusted, obedient and people loving girl. She is not particularly aggressive but is intolerant of rudeness in other dogs. I would never put her or other dogs in jeopardy by expecting her to mingle in a dog park. It's my job to protect her,and I wouldn't be doing that if put her in a situation like this.

Most pit bulls much prefer the company of people anyway.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 12:35 PM
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I think sometimes they are ok,but really depends on the owners that go.Do they do stupid things,like let dog aggressive dogs off leash,or bring toys for their dog to play with,and ignore bad behaviour?Then I would not go.Vaccinations would not worry me,and if your own dog is vaccinated and you have solid obedience and the dog is not going to be eating poop,drinking dirty water and stuff,I wouldn't worry about that.I have a dog who loves dog parks.My other dog would not do well at one and does not go.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 01:41 PM
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This is great (so far). I've learned things (especially about pitties) that I didn't know before.

I guess I feel my park is safer because we have a huge group of responsible regulars that set the rules. When we have to kick someone out, we have good back up.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 02:00 PM
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I rarely ever stop at offleash dog parks, as I find mostly larger dogs use these. My dog is too small (6 pounds) - cant join in with a group of big dogs racing around full tilt. Too much power and speed for him.

Sometimes if I am passing one on my walks, I'll stop while holding him and just chat with a few people. I found the experience very unpleasant last time, didnt stick around. Some of the dogs were out of control in the way you mentioned.. a furious fight broke out, one dog barked incessantly and non-stop at the whole group, and another was humping everything in sight
It was... chaotic.

Think I'll stick to the peaceful trails..
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Old March 13th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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There is a dog park near us that has a part fenced off for the little dogs(but little dog owners say it's too small...). As for humping, I get in there and remove the dogs humping because that is a definite fight precursor. I don't have much regard for the other owners as much as for the dogs' safety and that is my reputation at the park and people don't mess with me so much. People at first yelled at me for grabbing their doggies but when they start a fight, and I jump in, they realize what I am there for... (especially if their dog gets hurt. I'm the only one with a first aid kit and I know how to use it...)
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Old March 13th, 2005, 03:40 PM
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The only off leash park I go to is the one that's on our SPCA property.And I have to admit,there has never been a problem there.There are quite a few different breeds.Pure and Mix.And quite a few are ones that have been adopted from the SPCA.And I must say,these dogs are all very obedient that go there.And this may be rare,but there are 2 pits who are very good with the other dogs.The one pit owner also has a Boxer.And if I recall,the pit is about 4 and the boxer(from the SPCA) is about 2.Both very well behaved.When all the dogs are called by there owners,they come running.Especially when they say "home time"...It's actually cute.
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Old March 13th, 2005, 04:00 PM
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Well, Mona, I too know the pit owners that you are talking about and the dogs are very good. We get to the park about once a week and always have a good time! You folks have confused the pitbull argument even worse now on this thread though. I thought that if a pitbull was brought up properly as a pup, then why wouldn't they be able to be in a dog park, or are they really too unpredictable???? I don't know which side of the fence to be on now!
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Old March 13th, 2005, 04:31 PM
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mommyof two bullies, did you say choke chains, why would they do that?? my dog will not walk on anyhting but a choke, it is never used these days but she is comforted by the sound and the way it feels, we have had the same one for 9yrs and it is part of the routine, she jsut flat out refuses to use anything else, truly she likes her routine and she is the best girl around, i found that a bit strange is all. if i came to your park and explained our situation, they would let us in wouldnt they? oh i hope so .

i love our dog park, but im not sure what your parks are like, i know the ones in the cities are pretty small and very crowded, eg in sydney thay certianly are. but i have never lived n a city with my dog, and our dog parks are huge and not used very much. every dog park we have had is liek that, it is usually a series of sports ovals etc, our dog park is used by about 6 dogs on and off, and we rarely see each other, the place is that big we can all fit and have a big play area without bothering one and other. pitbulls are banned here and have been for a long time, the only dog i know for miles to stay away form is a very aggressive rescue, he looks like a lab cross, he is muzzled and never of leash, they jsut run through a part of the park in the morning and no one goes near them, the owner is also very responsible and works with aggressive and sad dogs. you see her running for miles with the dogs, jsut to excersise them.. we hardly see anyone and often if we do it is a wave over a long distance. the onyl fights we have are actually walking on the streets to and from the park, that to me is the danger, we always get picked on and it always happens on the road with the traffic roaring about, we have no foot paths here, jsut tracks along the sides of the roads and loose dogs really get me going, dogs in the street growl it makes me furious.

and if charlie did not have her run in the morning, well she would be really sad and that would be no good at all, she loves her runs and it is the high point of her days.

but i would never ever go to those city parks, it would stress charlie out too much, she would totally freak out at the amount of dogs and noises and traffic. if she didnt run away terrified i think she would be the one causing the fights (i totally understand)
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Old March 13th, 2005, 07:50 PM
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Dog Parks

Last summer after much anticipation they opened a dog park in the city I live in. It was built by the city but the location is terrible. They couldn't have found a more remote area. I took two of my dogs last fall. My oldest was 4 and my youngest about 7months. Both are goldens so they are large dogs.
Our first visit was great and the dogs had a great time chasing balls with a group of border collies.
On our next visit there was a group of different dogs there. My youngest is very calm and had never shown any form of aggression to people or dogs. After being in the park for a little while and being constantly bullied by another dog he bared his teeth and growled. My other dog jumped and barked at a young teenage girl who tried to pet her. Because this is so unlike her I realized that the situation in the park was probably too stressfull and packed up both dogs and left. I haven't been back.
As I mentioned the first visit was very positive and the dogs had a great time but the second time was awful. The attitude of the dog owners the second time was unacceptable. There was one particular man with a very overweight golden retriever. The dog could hardly walk, never mind run. Other dogs were terrorizing this golden and the owner stood there and ignored the situation. Another man owned a mastiff and allowed him to bully other dogs. There was also a group of people who were obviously in a clique and I felt like my dogs were intruding on their space.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melanie
mommyof two bullies, did you say choke chains, why would they do that??
We sat and watched as our young pup after months of taking playful beatings from his friend seemed to finally have the better of Sadie the Italian Mastiff. Wow how does an eight month old pup hold down a mastiff. Sudenly we realized that he had his tooth stuck in Sadie's choke collar and was in fact 'choking her out'.

The collars came off after that.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 12:30 AM
Prin Prin is offline
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mommyof two bullies, did you say choke chains,
That happened at our park too. There were two dogs playing and the white one turned blue. Maybe this case was particular but I believe it's because the chokers were too big and loose. My doggies play with their chokers on all the time and really rough and nothing has ever happened. My baby girl lost a tooth from banging heads, but nothing from the choker...

Quote:
Last summer after much anticipation they opened a dog park in the city I live in. It was built by the city but the location is terrible
coppperbelle, is this one in Montreal? Where is it?
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Old March 14th, 2005, 01:07 AM
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They have a no choke rule at our park because they are not tight to the neck and can easily have a foot caught in them There is no need for them either because you are in the off leash area, so you are not walking your dog.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 01:12 AM
Prin Prin is offline
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I know one of my doggies knows he's much slipperier without his collar on and adjusts his behavior accordingly. He doesn't play much with other doggies anymore so we leave it on...
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Old March 14th, 2005, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottGoodburn
You folks have confused the pitbull argument even worse now on this thread though. I thought that if a pitbull was brought up properly as a pup, then why wouldn't they be able to be in a dog park, or are they really too unpredictable???? I don't know which side of the fence to be on now!
What exactly is confusing you?

A lot of pit bulls tend not to be good with other dogs, especially unknown dogs, particularly rude, pushy or plain aggressive dogs. Most will not beck down from a fight. ALL will be blamed for the fight. Nothing unpredictable about itÖ.its actually quite predictable.

Here is an example. I know a guy who took his mature pittie to an off leash park (needless to say he is an idiot). His pit bull was attacked by an intact springer spaniel. About 8-9 ďdog lovingĒ people surrounded his pit bull and started kicking and punching him. He couldnít even get to his dog to pull him away. These ďdog lovingĒ people beat this pit bull (who by the way didnít start the fight and didnít participate in this fight too much except to defend himself) to the point where he was BLEEDING from the nose and rectum.
Both dogs were brought to the vet clinic I was working at and both dog owners told the same story. Springer spaniel started it.
This pittie was okay after spending couple of days at the clinic and his owner learned not to go to dog parks. Springer had a small scratch on his leg.

Not everything is about nurture; nature plays a huge part in how a dog of any breed will be as an adult. Pit bulls tend not to back down from a challenge from another dog. Socialization or training will not erase genetics. Itís what they are.
Breeds of dogs have some characteristics unique (or not so unique) for the breed. When someone is looking into getting a dog they need to do their research. If one wants to take their dog to an off leash park, where they can happily play with other dogs and their owners socialize, they shouldnít get a pit bull.
Of course there are some exceptions, but itís an idiocy to take them to dog parks to find out. It fuels BSL, puts this breed in jeopardy and puts my dogs in jeopardy.

We donít go to dog parks, its too dangerous, but that doesnít mean my dogs never get to socialize with other dogs. We just do it in controlled environment, with dogs theyíve known for a long time and people Iíve known for a long time.

I also find that lots of owners go to a dog park to socialize themselves and do not pay close attention to their dogs.
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Last edited by Natasa; March 14th, 2005 at 11:59 AM.
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Old March 14th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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oh i see, thanks for that clarity guys, i thought you meant when ppl walk into the park with their dogs on leed but using a choke, some ppl tend to see a choke and assume a naughty dog, i thought that was what you meant. but now i get it,. and charlie is certainly never allowed to play with a choke on, she has nothing on her when she plays..

gosh i thought the first rule of choke chains was that the dog should only have it on when they are walking (first thing we learnt at dog school 9yrs ago), i have heard horrific stories of dogs hanging themselves while being tied up with a choke chain, get tangled etc, very dangerous. and i can see how they are dangerous in play, but again we dont do that. thank you again for that
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