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My Basset, Geoffrey, was rescued from a puppy mill, where he was used as a stud. He has been very shy around many strange adults, though he seems to really like kids and other dogs. This week I took him to the dog park for the first time (the little dog section- he's a really small Basset.) First he just sniffed around, but within ten minutes he was running around like a madman, playing chase with the other dogs. I have never seen him so happy. Plus he was running up to the people at the park as well- Pet me, Pet me etc. I think the park will really help him with his confidence and adjusting to freedom.

I am very aware that there can be problems at dog parks- mostly people related. The small dog park seems a little safer for Geoff, and generally for the Basset personality.
 

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So glad that sweet little Geoff has found a good home. It sounds like the dog park is a great place for him. Just be on the lookout for potential aggressive behaviors such as toy or food aggression. This is called resource guarding and could pop up unexpectedly.
 

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I would agree that most dog park problems are people problems. It's generally good manners to not bring in any toys or food for that reason. If toy or food aggression pops up that is the fault of the owner who brought it in.

It is the responsibility of the good owners to maintain a good park by encouraging all owners to behave responsibly. If a dog poos and the owner doesn't clean it up, they should be reminded by the other people there. This has been the case at the nice parks I have been to.

When Anabelle goes to the dog park she has no interest whatsoever in the other dogs. But she LOVES meeting all the people. It's pretty funny when an owner stops to pet their own dog she comes running up like its her turn.

She is going in the small dog parks as well, just because she doesn't play rough and I don't want another big dog to hurt her bad neck.


Harley isn't allowed in dog parks by our own rule. He is too unpredictable.
 

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The small dog park seems a little safer for Geoff, and generally for the Basset personality.
it depends more on the dog. most of mine actual prefer to run with the big dogs where the can body slam to their hearts content.
 

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it depends more on the dog. most of mine actual prefer to run with the big dogs where the can body slam to their hearts content.
I think this is why Doppler loves going to the dog park. He's twice as heavy as Virga is and so he has to be careful with her. But when we're at the dog parks there's usually a lot of bigger dogs that can take the body slams from Doppler. If there was a small dog part of the park I'm sure Virga would be better there. She's teeny tiny and is intimidated with the bigger dogs. When there's a lot of big dogs there, she tends to stay near the picnic table where all the humans hang out.

And I've noticed that a lot of dog parents don't know the difference between aggression and play sounds. There's one Austrailian shepard puppy that continually barks and growls at Virga and his humans are constantly fussing at him and telling him to "play nice." I keep trying to tell them that he's not being mean he's just playing. But they don't listen. I know the difference between my dogs' play sounds and fear or anger sounds. There was one pitbull there once that probably shouldn't have been there. She was definitely aggressive if she felt one of the other dogs was overstepping their bounds. The left pretty soon after they got to the park though which was good. I would have hated it if she had actually attacked one of the other dogs. It was scary.
 

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Annie likes to run with the big dogs too. She is a pretty big girl so I don't worry about their rough play. She does though. There are two golden retrievers who rough house with each other, Annie stands by and barks like maybe she is the referee. Luckily everyone appreciates her very loud houndy bark :)

There is one small dog, the breed name escapes me at the moment, who runs out off leash and immediately attempts to hump Annie. Neither of us appreciate this. And the owner pays zero attention. This is usually when we leave.
 
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