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This article is from the Pit Bull Rescue Central's website. This information pertains to all bully breeds, not just pit bulls. American Bulldogs can be dog aggressive just like pit bulls. I thought this was a great article, short, to the point yet gets the information accross.

Permission has been granted from the author to post here.
Original article: http://www.pbrc.net/dogpark.html

PIT BULLS AND DOG PARKS


Some people bring their pit bulls to off-leash dog parks because they want to show the world how wonderful their dog is and dispel the rumors and negative media hype. They trust their dogs because they haven't (yet) shown an ounce of aggression towards anything. This is irresponsible and here's why...

It is a FACT that our pit bulls, AmStaffs and pit mixes come with a built-in fighting heritage. It doesn't matter where we get them from, whether it be the pound, a stray we pick up, or a puppy we buy from a breeder. The majority of pit bulls will, at some point in their lives, exhibit some degree of dog-on-dog aggression. This type of animal aggression is completely separate from human-aggression; a well-socialized pit bull is very good-natured with people. Yet, chances are that a "normal" pit bull will not share his affection with other animals. We cannot predict when or where it will happen and we can't love, train or socialize it out of the dog. Pit bulls may not start a fight, but they will finish it.

It is common to see one dog running out ahead of a pack. This game of chase can easily escalate. Sometimes small scuffles erupt over a toy or tug-o-war, or several dogs gang up one dog, or a wrestling match gets out of hand. This kind of action will be hard for a pit bull to ignore and walk away from.

If your pit bull is involved in a fight at a dog park, it gives purpose to breed-specific legislation and affects the rights of others to own these amazing dogs. Don't set your dog up to fail.


Responsible pit bull owners:

* Research and understand the breed
* Don't put other people's pets at risk
* Keep their dog leashed at all times in public places
* Clean up after their dogs (yes, that means pick up the dog's poop!)
* Vaccinate and license their dogs
* Spay and neuter their dogs
* Train their dogs


Other activities you can enjoy with your pit bull:

* Play fetch in an enclosed tennis court or baseball field
* Ride a bike and have your pit bull jog along
* Walk, jog or hike with your pit bull. Don't forget her bandana!
* Take an obedience class together


Respect your dog and the dogs of others...don't learn the hard way
what your pit bull is capable of.

Download our informational flyer in PDF to print and distribute: http://www.pbrc.net/misc/dogpark.pdf
 

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Such a good article

And very timely! I am heading up a committee to build a dog park in my townhouse community. I have stated several times that I fully expect that Chyna will not be playing there much, if at all.

We may go occasionally to meet up with one or two of her buddies that she plays with frequently, but if anybody else shows up, we'll call it a day. I love her, and she's never been involved in an altercation, but I fully realize the unspoken "YET" in that sentence!
 

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pit vs. great dane

I've been taking my dog to the dog park for about two years now. The most alarming thing I've seen to date is a man who let his three year old daughter walk freely around the park. She was knocked over a couple of times by exuberant dogs. I waited outside until they left. The other day a great dane owner got miffed because my dog kept pinning the dane's neck down on the ground. They looked like they were playing to me. The dane was male and mine's female. Anyway, the thing that concerns me the most after the little girl episode is the vaccination record of the other dogs.

Jackie
Concerned Citizen
 

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I don't completely agree

I am from South Carolina where there are TONS of pit bull owners. I assume because dog fighting was and still is pretty popular eventhough it is illegal.

I currently own an AB mixed with a Boston Terrier. The mother was a 60lb tiny johnson AB. The father was a tall 25lb boston terrier. My dog is absolutely awesome. Now I understand that she isn't a purebred AB but if you looked at her, she looks like a mini AB. She is about 45lbs now at 8 months old.

Anyways, she is totally submissive. I demand that. She knows that I am the pack leader. She has also been very well socialized with people and dogs since she was 12 weeks old. We go to the dog park about once a week. I have seen tons of bulldogs, boxers and pitbulls out there. The biggest issues I have seen are herding dogs that want to boss dogs around the park. Lucy does great out there. She knows when dogs are playing and when a dog is fed up with her goofiness.

I have never witnessed a fight out there. I have seen some aggressiveness but I haven't been overly concerned. The worst thing I have seen is a group of dogs that got interested in some idiot who brought a pup out to the park. The puppy dog stepped on by a dog and started whining and tried to run. All the dogs ran with the puppy creating more whining. I had to use my body to block off some of the dogs so the owner could get the puppy away from the dogs prior to bending down to pick it up. Unlike some owners, I keep an eye on my dog and I am within sprinting range of my dog at all times. Lucy is always submissive to other dogs that have shown aggression which pretty much ends everything. A few weeks ago a herding dog decided she wants to back Lucy up and ran at her aggressively. Lucy dropped to her back and let the dog know there was no issue.

It ended there. I understand this article is something written that generalizes things but I believe each owner of any type of dog needs to understand and know their dog intimately. I can look at Lucy at any moment and know what she is getting ready to do. Dogs are NOT complicated animals and if you are their pack leader and they trust you, they have no reason to be dominant over other dogs. I know it is in the nature of pitbulls and AMSTAFFs to be dog aggressive but with proper training it shouldn't be an issue. I certainly don't recommend going out there and not paying attention to your dog. You need to watch your dog and your dog needs to ALWAYS obey your commends.

I am getting ready to get an AB/EB mix puppy. I am not worried in the least about brining him into my home because it is MY home. Lucy does not run the household.

Personaly I believe bull breeds bring stability to the table especially at dog parks. The unstability comes from herding or hype dogs that don't get the proper exercise prior to coming to a dog park. Never do I just show up to the dog park so that Lucy gets exercise. Lucy goes to the dog park after proper exercise. The dog park is there so she can interact with other dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: I don't completely agree

jleonar said:
Personaly I believe bull breeds bring stability to the table especially at dog parks. The unstability comes from herding or hype dogs that don't get the proper exercise prior to coming to a dog park.
Although this is mostly true, bullys are usually more stable IMO, who do you think is going to win the fight when the little yappy jack russel starts with a bully? And who do you think will be blamed for whatever happens regardless of who started it? The bully of course. Especially if it is or looks like a pit. The bully would be put down in many places. My AB girl is a very happy stable dog and I'm sure she will remain this way. But I think its playing with fire to allow your dog off leash in a dog park. Its in their blood to be aggressive to other dogs. Some may think "My dog would never hurt another dog. He has never showed any signs of it". It only takes one time. I value my dogs life more than her being able to run free with strange dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dogs are NOT complicated animals and if you are their pack leader and they trust you, they have no reason to be dominant over other dogs.
That is completelty untrue. They are complicated animals and you being the pack leader is not going to prevent your bully from snapping and attacking a dog if it wants to. Its in their genes to fight. As much control you have over your dog you will not always be able to prevent theirs natural instincts from coming out. There are many Schutzhund and Obedience titled dogs who are dog aggressive. The best you can do is to not allow them in a situation where this can happen. Its not a generalization, its the truth. Why take the chance?
 

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There are many Schutzhund and Obedience titled dogs who are dog aggressive
Obedience and training have nothing to do with this. When you are at the dog park, the dog is not doing sit, stay, and come. They are running around being dogs. My dog simply knows that it is not to fight with any other animal. End of story. I do not allow aggression in any form. We as owners set the rules.

You saying that a dog might go back to natural instincts and end up in a fight in like saying the dog might go back to its wolf heritage and attack a human. It is really no different. If a dog attacks another dog or if the dog attacks another human, it is the fault of the owner. Simple as that.

It is flat out not acceptable for my dog to get involved in any altercation with any dog. I guess if your view is that then you believe in the crap that people say that people's pitbulls are just gonna snap one day and attack them. We all know that is bull.
 

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A dog being stable has nothing to do with dog aggression. Lots of EXTREMELY stable dogs can be either dog aggressive or dominant, either of which has no place in a dog park.

If a dog is running loose at a dog park there is aboslutely no way the owner can control what happens. Even if a person were to have extreme obedience on their dog, enough that they have off lead control (like say a SCH dog or other high level competetion dog), there is still no way of controlling other peoples dogs. You could yell at your dog to DOWn if you see trouble coming, and even if your dog obeys there is no way that any dog with an ounce of balls is going to allow another dog to dominate or challenge it.

IMO dog parks are a liability. I wouldn't go to one even if I owned a poodle.

People who have bull breeds and take them to the dog park are asking for trouble and are putting the rights of other bull breed owners at risk.

99 out of 100 visits to the dog park may end without any problems, but its that one time that matters. Your bully doesn't need to play with other dogs to be happy anyways. Most dogs are prefectly happy having fun within their own pack. It's certain PEOPLE who seem to think dog to dog socialization is so important, not the dogs.
 

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Lisa said:
A dog being stable has nothing to do with dog aggression. Lots of EXTREMELY stable dogs can be either dog aggressive or dominant, either of which has no place in a dog park.

If a dog is running loose at a dog park there is aboslutely no way the owner can control what happens. Even if a person were to have extreme obedience on their dog, enough that they have off lead control (like say a SCH dog or other high level competetion dog), there is still no way of controlling other peoples dogs. You could yell at your dog to DOWn if you see trouble coming, and even if your dog obeys there is no way that any dog with an ounce of balls is going to allow another dog to dominate or challenge it.

IMO dog parks are a liability. I wouldn't go to one even if I owned a poodle.

People who have bull breeds and take them to the dog park are asking for trouble and are putting the rights of other bull breed owners at risk.

99 out of 100 visits to the dog park may end without any problems, but its that one time that matters. Your bully doesn't need to play with other dogs to be happy anyways. Most dogs are prefectly happy having fun within their own pack. It's certain PEOPLE who seem to thing dog to dog socialization is so important, not the dogs.
Well I am sure there are incidents at lots of dog parks but like I have said, I haven't witness much. I am not the typical coffee drinker owner out there. I am always within 20-30 yards of my dog. I am always watching other dogs around. If any dog showed true aggression around my dog then we would be out of there.

Problems occur in dog parks when owners go out there to chat and ignore their dogs. They also use the dog park to exercise their dog. Both lead to issues but like I said, I pay attention to my surroundings. I know that things can get out of hand quickly but I also believe spotting unstable dogs is pretty easy.

To each his own. I just don't think bull breeds are the issue at dog parks. I think unstable dogs are the issue. My dog isn't unstable and I am confident that as long as I pay attention to what is going on at the dog park then I am pretty safe. I think just as safe as walking my dog around my neighborhood. Bad things can happen anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No offense, but I really don't undertand what youre trying to say. I am a big fan of Cesar Millan also but you "being the pack leader" will not fix all problems. The Dog Whisperer isnt everything. Cesar has even said on multiple occassions that you always have to be aware that your pit bull can fight at anytime.

I'm a little sensitive about this whole "BSL thing".
 

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There are parks where for large breeds here in GA. :D Our dogs are our family pets and we love them but it is also our responsiblilty to watch them like hawks because not every dog is created equal!!! This dogs can and are (by some) used as weapons and we must handle them with the utmost care...It is like the article says your dog may not START the fight but they will END IT. We had a Rotty for a while that killed a smaller dog by stepping on it, it was a total accident on the Rotties part but that did not take away the pain of the lose of the other pet. If you are insistant on taking your dog to a park where all dogs of all sizes play without a leash I suggest carrying mace. I carry mace in case anything ever happened that was out of my control the way I END THE FIGHT plus it has no long term effects. :D LOL Their owners I am sure will be pissed , but I would rather mace some dogs then lose control and them kill each other.
 

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Dog parks

I'm a little new here but not to bull breeds. The dog park issue seems to never go away and none of us are Cesar Milan. I have watched his show and I'm grateful for the positive light he sheds on bull breeds but I promise you he has issues within his pack. You will not see it on TV but he has them. Not knowing the level of involvement within this message board I will speak in general. The biggest problem I feel the general bull breed owner faces is the have NO idea the damage the dogs can cause in a short time or how to separate them when they catch another dog. In most cases there is a lot of screaming and yelling and all this does is fuel the fire. These are not your average dogs they are very strong and focused. I'm not sure no matter how much control you think you have over your dog let the wrong dog challenge it and see what happens. I truly believe you will not be able to stop or even call off your dog so to speak after it happens, I'm talking from a real fight not just barking and posturing. Just be very careful things you are not aware of will set off or be a challenge to your dog always stay close and keep communicating with your dog to keep their attention on you.
Scott
 

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Re: Dog parks

I'm a little new here but not to bull breeds. The dog park issue seems to never go away and none of us are Cesar Milan. I have watched his show and I'm grateful for the positive light he sheds on bull breeds but I promise you he has issues within his pack. You will not see it on TV but he has them. Not knowing the level of involvement within this message board I will speak in general. The biggest problem I feel the general bull breed owner faces is the have NO idea the damage the dogs can cause in a short time or how to separate them when they catch another dog. In most cases there is a lot of screaming and yelling and all this does is fuel the fire. These are not your average dogs they are very strong and focused. I'm not sure no matter how much control you think you have over your dog let the wrong dog challenge it and see what happens. I truly believe you will not be able to stop or even call off your dog so to speak after it happens, I'm talking from a real fight not just barking and posturing. Just be very careful things you are not aware of will set off or be a challenge to your dog always stay close and keep communicating with your dog to keep their attention on you.
Scott
Excellent post, Scott and welcome to the board! You took the words out of my mouth on a lot of issues.

I agree about Ceasar Milan. I don't doubt his ability to manage dogs, BUT like I said in another thread, there is alot more going on behind the scenes that they just don't show on tv. There is no way that those dogs are just magically listening to him because of his presence. I guarantee he is using alot more than hugs and kisses to get the point across and I guarantee that he has squabbles within his pack!

I think you are right in saying alot of owners underestimate what their bullies are capable of, and its too bad that it often takes a real bad scene, vet bills, BSL, and sometimes hospital visits and lawsuits, before some people see the light.
 

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Well I am sure there are incidents at lots of dog parks but like I have said, I haven't witness much. I am not the typical coffee drinker owner out there. I am always within 20-30 yards of my dog. I am always watching other dogs around. If any dog showed true aggression around my dog then we would be out of there.
I haven't posted on here much in quite some time, but I just couldn't resist this one.

Lets just say you are 30 yards from your dog, I'm not even sure what kind of Bull-breed you own, but lets just suppose. Now along comes Mr. attitude mutt and starts trouble with your dog. Unless your a world class Olympic sprinter (which I'm guesssing your not) it will take you at least 6-8 seconds just to realize what's happening and get to your animal. In that length of time most any AB or APBT would kill a small dog or seriously injure anything else.

Just because your the alpha in your pack doesn't mean squat. Anytime there is more than two dogs together they trying to establish ranking in the pack. Yours already thinks your the alpha so all the rest must be under him in his mind. That is until he meets my male, because he thinks he's the boss dog and then you would have a WWF cage match on your hands. I guess your just going to pick up your dog with a 100lbs of AB hanging of the side of his head and walk off, think again. doesn't work that way. Anyone who says their dog won't show agression toward another dog or fight is extremely nieve. My AB doesn't even give you any warning, none of this hit me b!tch stuff, it's on and right now no questions asked.

Don't take this the wrong way, because I speak from expeience. It took a tragic accident when my AB was only 1 yr. old for me to realize how quick it can be over. He killed another dog in less than five seconds and was with five feet from me in his own yard when it happened and the thing is even if he would have been on a leash I couldn't have saved the other dog because it attacked him. Fortunately nobody else was around to witness it. Since then no running loose in the yard and darn sure no dog parks.
 

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Ok since you quoted me I will reply......

Lets just say you are 30 yards from your dog, I'm not even sure what kind of Bull-breed you own, but lets just suppose. Now along comes Mr. attitude mutt and starts trouble with your dog. Unless your a world class Olympic sprinter (which I'm guesssing your not) it will take you at least 6-8 seconds just to realize what's happening and get to your animal. In that length of time most any AB or APBT would kill a small dog or seriously injure anything else.
First off, 30 yards would take all of 5 seconds to get to. Yeah that is a long time and much damage can happen.

However, I can guarantee my dog would roll. I have seen it far too often. She is absolutely positively submissive to other dogs. I required that of her. Yeah that could cause some issues with another vicious dog attacking her but like I said I pay attention to my dog and others. It isn't hard to see who the problem makers are going to be at a dog park.

Most dogs are not going to attack if a dog is submissive to them. But yes if Lucy was truly attacked I have no idea how she would react. If some dog managed to attack her then that is a failure on my part.

I guess I am some miracle worker or something with my dog. When I got Lucy, I did a lot of socialization. During socialization, any dominant or aggressive behavior was corrected. She learned from a very young age that dominant behavior was not acceptable with any dog or human. She is submissive.

But I guess you guys are correct because she could just snap and attack another dog. Just like I hear about all the APBTs I see on TV. Maybe the BSL is correct. :roll:

I am not going to argue this anymore but I am glad all the bulldog owners believe fully that their dogs can't be trained and socialized in a way that allows them to be around other dogs.
 

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What are people's opinions of boxers, boston terriers, and english bulldogs at dog parks?



Personally I hate all dog parks and think they are the worst thing ever, but I am curious if people would apply the same unwritten rule to the above 'softened' bully breeds.
 

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redbull said:
What are people's opinions of boxers, boston terriers, and english bulldogs at dog parks?



Personally I hate all dog parks and think they are the worst thing ever, but I am curious if people would apply the same unwritten rule to the above 'softened' bully breeds.
Boxers, boston terriers, and english bulldogs all fall in the bully classification.
 

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jleonar said:
redbull said:
What are people's opinions of boxers, boston terriers, and english bulldogs at dog parks?



Personally I hate all dog parks and think they are the worst thing ever, but I am curious if people would apply the same unwritten rule to the above 'softened' bully breeds.
Boxers, boston terriers, and english bulldogs all fall in the bully classification.

Yes I know that, that's what I said. I'm wondering though if people feel as though they may be a risk.
I'm not saying that I agree with any dog being at a dog park, just curious about what other's think of these individual breeds.


ps: I don't mean to sound too harsh when I say I hate dog parks. I just personally think there is great risk all around with any dog at any dog park. Spread of illness, bad behaviour, injuries, and so on and so forth.
 
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