Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: Dalek on March 04, 2013, 12:33:47 PM

Title: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Dalek on March 04, 2013, 12:33:47 PM
Is it ever okay for toddlers to run around a dog park? Yay or nay?

I'm seeing a trend of parents letting their young children run around dog parks. Occasionally, a kid will get knocked down by an overly excited and curious dog. Parents feel dog owners should keep their dogs restrained within the dog park. Owners feel dogs should have a place to run and play without worrying about being stressed by kids.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Knitterly on March 04, 2013, 12:37:36 PM
It's a dog park.  It's specific purpose is to provide a safe environment for the dog to run around off-leash.

Parents who want the dogs restrained so their kids can run around are being extremely special snowflakes.  Not to mention ridiculous! 

If the parents want a place for their kids to run and the dogs to be restrained, a regular park will much better suit their needs.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Auntie Mame on March 04, 2013, 12:38:46 PM
Seriously,  Seriously?  Parents are going to Dog Parks and whining about all the dogs there? SERIOUSLY???!!!

I am going to have a glass of wine and look at pictures of kittens until I calm down.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Moray on March 04, 2013, 12:40:21 PM
I would feel it's really irresponsible to bring a toddler into a dog park. Not only is it unfair to the dogs, who are there specifically to play or interact with other dogs in an off-leash environment, but as a pet owner I'd be pretty peeved at having to worry about whether or not my enthusiastic dog is going to "play" with the kid and maybe knock them down.

I mean, they already have parks for children. They're called "parks" and "playgrounds".
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: cattlekid on March 04, 2013, 12:40:36 PM
Nope.  Dog parks are DOG parks, not CHILD parks.  I would not allow my dog to run free in a regular park, so please extend those of us in the dog park the same courtesy.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Firecat on March 04, 2013, 12:41:52 PM
The short answer: No.

The longer answer: It's a dog park, which means it's primarily for use for people with dogs. If it's an off-leash dog park, it's intended for dogs to be able to run and play, and a running child could easily be knocked down, possibly injured.

In this case, the parents are being very entitled and special snowflake...surely there are playgrounds or areas where dogs aren't allowed that could be used by the children instead? Besides, why would anyone let a toddler, who is as likely as not to put dirt or anything else in his/her mouth, run around in an area dogs have been using as a toilet? In an area where dogs have been doing their business, it's quite possible the kid could pick up a parasite or something. Seriously, what are these people thinking?
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Jones on March 04, 2013, 12:44:35 PM
I have kids and dogs, and if I had access to a DOG park I would expect it to be full of excited dogs. Some dogs and kids aren't safe around each other.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: miredrose326 on March 04, 2013, 12:45:09 PM
Our local dog park does not allow children under the age of 8 in the park and anyone under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The dog park is for the dogs to run freely. There are plenty of kid parks for them to run freely.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: GSNW on March 04, 2013, 12:46:16 PM
Seriously,  Seriously?  Parents are going to Dog Parks and whining about all the dogs there? SERIOUSLY???!!!

I am going to have a glass of wine and look at pictures of kittens until I calm down.

My thoughts exactly.  D O G park.  Woof.  The whole POINT of the dog park is that the dogs are unleashed.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Deetee on March 04, 2013, 12:53:16 PM
I'm with everyone else.

Toddlers should not be allowed to run free in dog parks.

Dogs should not be allowed to run free in toddler parks.

They just don't mesh well when behaving in perfectly appropriate Toddler-like or Doggy-like ways.

 (I have a long post about a dog and a muffin and my kid where I was NOT pleased with the dog or the owner's initial behaviour.  If the exact same situation had happened at a dog park versus a kid park, I would have held myself entirely responsible)
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: hobish on March 04, 2013, 12:53:43 PM
Seriously,  Seriously?  Parents are going to Dog Parks and whining about all the dogs there? SERIOUSLY???!!!

I am going to have a glass of wine and look at pictures of kittens until I calm down.

Pour one for me, too, please. That is ridiculous.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: WillyNilly on March 04, 2013, 12:53:57 PM
I am one of those people who really really really gets ticked off when I see an unleashed dog in a non-dog park.  I don't care how well trained your dog is, IMO it should never be off leash in public unless in a specifically "unleashed dog area". (I understand various localities have differing laws/rules about dogs, but I'm coming from the viewpoint of someone who lives, and jogs, in a city with leash laws; in other places obviously the local laws should be observed.)

As such the idea of a parent getting incensed over an unleashed dog in a dog park infuriates me!  Because I want more dog owners to use dog parks and I want them to feel like its a safe, fun, welcoming place for their dogs, thus to encourage their use of dog parks. I would have no problem telling such a parent to shove it.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: ITSJUSTME on March 04, 2013, 12:54:03 PM
This reminds me of people who buy a house next to a dairy farm and then complain about the smell, flies, noise, and expect the dairy farm to change its operations to suit them.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: EllenS on March 04, 2013, 12:54:44 PM
I'm with Firecat.  My kids preferred eating things off the ground to eating off their plates.  I shudder at the thought of taking them to a dog park.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Betelnut on March 04, 2013, 01:05:03 PM
Only people accompanying dogs should go into a dog park.  If a toddler is with an adult with a dog I guess it would be okay (unless expressly against the rule) but that toddler is in no way supposed to be allowed to run around.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Tabby Uprising on March 04, 2013, 01:18:39 PM
Seriously,  Seriously?  Parents are going to Dog Parks and whining about all the dogs there? SERIOUSLY???!!!

I am going to have a glass of wine and look at pictures of kittens until I calm down.

I'll join you.  I need the brain hurt to go away.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: mstigerlily on March 04, 2013, 01:27:18 PM
I'm wondering how many of those people (the toddler-in-the-dog-park people), when asked why they brought pwecious to the dog park, would reply 'because pwecious loves doggies!'

 >:D
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Jones on March 04, 2013, 01:30:06 PM
There has got to be a punchline to this situation....

....Where is this becoming a trend? The Dalek world?
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: BarensMom on March 04, 2013, 01:34:28 PM
Dog piling on here to agree - loose toddlers should not be at the dog park.  It's a incident waiting to happen.

Baren is a curious creature, as all dogs are, and if he sees a small human wandering around, smelling of milk and cheesy goldfish, he wants to go sniff and maybe get food/petses from him/her.  Fortunately, I am at the end of the leash to control this urge.  The dog park is the one place that he can indulge most of his other "urges" off-leash. 

I hate having to curtail his privileges because some moronic parent decides to plop their unrestrained kid in the middle of the park.  It's worse when the kid is scared and starts screaming their head off, then the parent gets angry at dog owners for not controlling the dogs.  I have actually said, "It's a flippin' dog park - take your kid to a tot lot."
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: MrsJWine on March 04, 2013, 01:41:05 PM
There are all kinds of parks for kids where dogs have to be leashed. There aren't near as many dog parks. People go to dog parks so their dogs can run free. I understand people often have kids AND dogs, but in that case, the should keep the kids close while their dog plays. They shouldn't make everyone else worry about their dogs hurting or terrifying kids.

Plus, a lot of dogs who are great with people in general are more nervous about small children. In a space like that with so many dogs running around, it's just a disaster waiting to happen.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: lowspark on March 04, 2013, 01:41:47 PM
Seriously,  Seriously?  Parents are going to Dog Parks and whining about all the dogs there? SERIOUSLY???!!!

I am going to have a glass of wine and look at pictures of kittens until I calm down.

Pour one for me, too, please. That is ridiculous.

Me too. These are the same people who take their toddlers to adult movies, nice restaurants and other completely inappropriate places. There are some places where little kids do not belong. Period.

I am pretty curious as to what brought this question up. I hope the OP is going to come back and give us the whole story.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: MasterofSquirrels on March 04, 2013, 02:01:09 PM
lowspark,
I can wager a guess,  the "whole story" was that Dalek saw a toddler at a dog park, wondered about it, and decided to post here.   ;)

Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: floridamom on March 04, 2013, 02:01:34 PM
Seriously,  Seriously?  Parents are going to Dog Parks and whining about all the dogs there? SERIOUSLY???!!!

I am going to have a glass of wine and look at pictures of kittens until I calm down.

Pour me a glass as well LOL!

I'm with everyone else!  It's a dog park not a children's park. Shaking head at the lack of common sense with some of these parents.  As my father used to say and I like to say "Common sense is not so common".
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Need to Change on March 04, 2013, 02:10:24 PM
Most of the dog parks I know are right smack in, or adjacent to, a "people park," some of which have tot-lots.  Plenty of dog goodness for a dog-loving tot to see -- from the other side of the fence.

On a bit of a tangent ... some folks take picnic lunch to a dog park.  Now, even though many dog parks discourage dog snacks, my hound highly recommends people picnics!  Since I'm the one who had to apologize when he vacuumed up somebody's sandwich, I beg to disagree.

ETA:  Just remembered.  Years ago, a now departed old dog of ours once knocked over a toddler in the dog park.  (I didn't even see the kid until after the fact, but I still felt awful about it.)  The parent apologized.  Unfortunately, they did not leave the park, but they did keep hold of their toddler after that, and they stuck to the perimeter of the park.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: MrTango on March 04, 2013, 02:12:49 PM
It's a dog park.  It's specific purpose is to provide a safe environment for the dog to run around off-leash.

I completely agree.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: bah12 on March 04, 2013, 02:17:38 PM
I think it's presumptious of parents to think that owners will restrain their dogs in the dog park, simply because a toddler is there.  The purpose of dog parks is to provide a safe environment where the dogs can run around off leash.  Introducing a hazard, IMO, is on the one who brought in the hazard, not the dog owners.

Now, is a toddler necessarily a hazard?  I think it would depend on the toddler and the parent is the one who should own the risk of the toddler being knocked down or otherwise injured if they allow them to run around with other dogs...dogs they don't know.  If the dog park doesn't already have a restriction on the age of the person who can enter, then I think that toddlers can be allowed, provided they are properly supervised and don't interfere with the dogs.  For me, personally, I would not take my toddler to a dog park.  There are plenty of other environments structured for her.  A dog park is not one of them. 
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Winterlight on March 04, 2013, 02:25:33 PM
The whole point of a dog park is that the dogs will be unleashed and running around. Toddlers shouldn't be in there, and older kids should understand that this is dogspace, not playground space.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Docslady21 on March 04, 2013, 02:30:50 PM
Is it ever okay for toddlers to run around a dog park? Yay or nay?

I'm seeing a trend of parents letting their young children run around dog parks. Occasionally, a kid will get knocked down by an overly excited and curious dog. Parents feel dog owners should keep their dogs restrained within the dog park. Owners feel dogs should have a place to run and play without worrying about being stressed by kids.

Does this even happen? Where, so I don't go there. Why would someone even bring the toddler into the dog park when there is nothing for them to do? Why would they get mad about unleashed dogs in a no-leash zone? Although I could see the occasional special snowflake doing this, I have a really hard time wrapping my mind around this becoming a trend with tons of toddlers and dogs creating community mayhem. Even the crummier parents in the world usually try to avoid having their knee-high children in areas full of unleashed, unpredictable dogs. And most dog parks have an age restriction to prevent the parents with no common sense. Bummer for places where this happens.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Dalek on March 04, 2013, 02:35:07 PM
The dog park we go to is a large fenced in area. There are tunnels and hydrants, and things for them to play on and in.
 
My dog does not love toddlers. Its something we have been working with him on and training. Hes not necessarily aggressive towards them, but I think because they are his size, he is more curious with them. Hes generally a very sweet dog, and great with people.
The last two times we have taken him, we have had an issue with toddlers being there. He has jumped on them, in an attempt to play, and knocked them over.
He usually stays pretty close to us as we walk around the park, but on Saturday, for some reason, he was running around like a crazy man. We were on the complete opposite end of the entrance, and he ran over there. We saw a couple come in with a baby and a toddler. As soon as we saw them, we started to run over there, and yelled out to our dog, but it was too late. Our dog jumped on the kid and knocked him down. The parents were not happy. We were very apologetic, but honestly, I was ticked. They are running around and yelling in a place with 30 dogs.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Betelnut on March 04, 2013, 02:40:53 PM
It is definitely fun to take a kid to the dog park OUTSIDE the fence and look at the dogs together.  My daughter and I used to do that all the time.  But no way would I take her inside.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: siamesecat2965 on March 04, 2013, 02:49:53 PM
Oh no no no. Absolutely not. As everyone else has pointed out, a dog park if for that, dogs, a place for them ot run off leash, and play and interact with other DOGS. Toddlers do not belong there. Or any children.  Pour me some wine too, please. Toddlers and dogs can be very unpredictable. You never know how a normally well-behaved dog will react to something they aren't familar with. And some dogs just don't care for, or react well to toddlers.

And I also speak from experience, not at a dog park but my own family pet.  Not all dogs are good with kids. Mine was not. And when i put my face right in his, he reacted and nearly bit my eyelid off. Resulting in 100+ stitches and an overnight stay in the hospital.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: LadyClaire on March 04, 2013, 02:53:30 PM
Toddlers do not belong in dog parks. Actually, anyone who has an issue with dogs does not belong in a dog park.

A friend of my sister's was at an off-leash dog park with his chocolate lab. The lab was chasing her tennis ball, and the ball bounced near where a woman was jogging. The dog ran to get the ball and then did that kind of happy-lab-dance around the woman, who pulled out a can of pepper spray and sprayed the dog full in the face. Her excuse? She's "afraid of dogs and thought the dog was going to attack her".

She was jogging in a DOG PARK. A place full of dogs. Luckily the poor dog was OK, after having her eyes flushed several times.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: lowspark on March 04, 2013, 03:07:13 PM
The dog park we go to is a large fenced in area. There are tunnels and hydrants, and things for them to play on and in.
 
My dog does not love toddlers. Its something we have been working with him on and training. Hes not necessarily aggressive towards them, but I think because they are his size, he is more curious with them. Hes generally a very sweet dog, and great with people.
The last two times we have taken him, we have had an issue with toddlers being there. He has jumped on them, in an attempt to play, and knocked them over.
He usually stays pretty close to us as we walk around the park, but on Saturday, for some reason, he was running around like a crazy man. We were on the complete opposite end of the entrance, and he ran over there. We saw a couple come in with a baby and a toddler. As soon as we saw them, we started to run over there, and yelled out to our dog, but it was too late. Our dog jumped on the kid and knocked him down. The parents were not happy. We were very apologetic, but honestly, I was ticked. They are running around and yelling in a place with 30 dogs.

I have to say that I would probably not have apologized. Ok, maybe I would have. But it would have been a qualified apology. I probably would have admonished the parents with something like, "Oh so sorry, but you do realize that this is a dog park where dogs are supposed to be able to run around without a leash. Might not be the best place for the tots."
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: NutellaNut on March 04, 2013, 03:07:44 PM
Dalek, I'm annoyed for your sake, and LadyClaire, I'm positively mad about your story!  That poor dog.

This is like a figure skater trying to skate through his long program in the middle of a hockey game, and getting mad that the hockey players keep getting in his way.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Docslady21 on March 04, 2013, 03:11:28 PM
The dog park we go to is a large fenced in area. There are tunnels and hydrants, and things for them to play on and in.
 
My dog does not love toddlers. Its something we have been working with him on and training. Hes not necessarily aggressive towards them, but I think because they are his size, he is more curious with them. Hes generally a very sweet dog, and great with people.
The last two times we have taken him, we have had an issue with toddlers being there. He has jumped on them, in an attempt to play, and knocked them over.
He usually stays pretty close to us as we walk around the park, but on Saturday, for some reason, he was running around like a crazy man. We were on the complete opposite end of the entrance, and he ran over there. We saw a couple come in with a baby and a toddler. As soon as we saw them, we started to run over there, and yelled out to our dog, but it was too late. Our dog jumped on the kid and knocked him down. The parents were not happy. We were very apologetic, but honestly, I was ticked. They are running around and yelling in a place with 30 dogs.

I would not have apologized. Period. It's like getting angry if a drunk person in a nightclub steps on your kid--why is your kid in the nightclub? Kids are small, easily toppled, and face level to an animal that has teeth that can kill them. Why people do this, I will never understand. I have had my own black lab for 9 years. I adore her and she is my family. My kids adore her. I actually trust her to never bite--but I also never put her in a position to be tested. She's a dog. I don't allow kids to crawl on her or corner her or pull her ears and I really, really resent when I take precautions (say, going to the dog park for leashless play) and then someone intrudes into it with a potential minefield of trouble. What if a toddler wandered into a minor dog scuffle and got bit? Or got knocked over and hit his or her head?

I wonder if it would have been rude to say: "I'm sorry your child got hurt. Dogs have priority in this area. You may want to take your kids somewhere that is geared to humans." Retrieve dog, walk away.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: mbbored on March 04, 2013, 03:19:54 PM
Children should not be unrestrained in a dog park just like dogs should not be unrestrained in every other kind of park.

That being said, who would let their child run free in a dog park? Every dog park I've been in has constant eau de dog, since a big part of a lot of dogs playing and exploring is marking their territory, in more than one way. I'm not a germaphobe, but I won't touch anything afterwards until I coat my hands in hand sanitizer.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: TootsNYC on March 04, 2013, 03:30:13 PM
There has got to be a punchline to this situation....

....Where is this becoming a trend? The Dalek world?

yeah, I'm agreeing. I just can't see this as a huge trend happening in very many places.

A single person, or a small cluster, does not a trend make.


Is it ever okay for toddlers to run around a dog park? Yay or nay?

I'm seeing a trend of parents letting their young children run around dog parks. Occasionally, a kid will get knocked down by an overly excited and curious dog. Parents feel dog owners should keep their dogs restrained within the dog park. Owners feel dogs should have a place to run and play without worrying about being stressed by kids.

Does this even happen? Where, so I don't go there. Why would someone even bring the toddler into the dog park when there is nothing for them to do? Why would they get mad about unleashed dogs in a no-leash zone? Although I could see the occasional special snowflake doing this, I have a really hard time wrapping my mind around this becoming a trend with tons of toddlers and dogs creating community mayhem. Even the crummier parents in the world usually try to avoid having their knee-high children in areas full of unleashed, unpredictable dogs. And most dog parks have an age restriction to prevent the parents with no common sense. Bummer for places where this happens.


Otherwise, I think it's a "snakes in a restaurant" trend. We can all enjoy expressing our outrage, but I have trouble seeing it as very common.

Maybe I'm wrong. I hope so.

I wonder if it would have been rude to say: "I'm sorry your child got hurt. Dogs have priority in this area. You may want to take your kids somewhere that is geared to humans." Retrieve dog, walk away.

I don't think so.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Ms_Cellany on March 04, 2013, 03:30:32 PM
I once saw people attempting to eat lunch in the dog park. They were succeeding as much as one can, holding a sandwich at arms' length above your head while surrounded by jumping dogs.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: sweetonsno on March 04, 2013, 04:14:56 PM
That's super snowflakey, I think. I'm not sure if there are different regional terms for "dog park," but I'm assuming that in this case, we're talking about a smaller, probably fenced, area that is dedicated for off-leash running about. If that's the case, then it's mostly for dogs, and humans should stay on the sidelines to let the puppies frolic as they will.

However, I think it's important for any pet owner to have verbal control over their pooch, even in areas where the dog is allowed to be (or encouraged to be) off-leash. It's simply a matter of respect for other people and other dogs. A kid getting knocked over because he was tearing around and collided with a dog is mostly at fault (okay, his parents are). However, a kid standing off to the side watching isn't really to blame if a big dog jumps up to say howdy. Should people bring their toddlers into the dog park for the heck of it? No. But I'm not sure I think families with children should be banned from bringing their own dogs into the dog park if the kids know and respect the rules.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: magicdomino on March 04, 2013, 04:21:56 PM
I'm wondering how many of those people (the toddler-in-the-dog-park people), when asked why they brought pwecious to the dog park, would reply 'because pwecious loves doggies!'

 >:D

I've also heard the excuse that the dog park is fenced, so that the toddler can't run off.  Yes, that was a serious excuse.

If you don't mind, I'll skip the wine and go straight to the rum. 
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: MrsJWine on March 04, 2013, 04:23:14 PM
My kids love cars, but I don't think I'm allowed to let them play in the street.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: WillyNilly on March 04, 2013, 04:25:59 PM
The dog park we go to is a large fenced in area. There are tunnels and hydrants, and things for them to play on and in.
 
My dog does not love toddlers. Its something we have been working with him on and training. Hes not necessarily aggressive towards them, but I think because they are his size, he is more curious with them. Hes generally a very sweet dog, and great with people.
The last two times we have taken him, we have had an issue with toddlers being there. He has jumped on them, in an attempt to play, and knocked them over.
He usually stays pretty close to us as we walk around the park, but on Saturday, for some reason, he was running around like a crazy man. We were on the complete opposite end of the entrance, and he ran over there. We saw a couple come in with a baby and a toddler. As soon as we saw them, we started to run over there, and yelled out to our dog, but it was too late. Our dog jumped on the kid and knocked him down. The parents were not happy. We were very apologetic, but honestly, I was ticked. They are running around and yelling in a place with 30 dogs.

If the children weren't actually harmed, I don't think you should have apologized.  I think it would have been perfectly reasonable to say "yes well that's what happens in a dog park, you'll have to keep a better handle on your children here.  This area is specifically for unleashed dogs."

I mean I doubt they would apologize to you if your dog was running around barking in a playground and their kids approached your dog and scared him.  They'd most likely tell you you had to leash your dog and keep a better eye on him, a playground was not an appropriate place for a dog.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Nikko-chan on March 04, 2013, 04:41:18 PM
I'm wondering how many of those people (the toddler-in-the-dog-park people), when asked why they brought pwecious to the dog park, would reply 'because pwecious loves doggies!'

 >:D

I've also heard the excuse that the dog park is fenced, so that the toddler can't run off.  Yes, that was a serious excuse.

If you don't mind, I'll skip the wine and go straight to the rum.

Would you like me to make you a hurricane? That has rum in it :)

Also chiming in to say that dog parks are for the dogs. Seriously.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: rose red on March 04, 2013, 04:50:33 PM
Parents/people like this makes me so mad.  There are so many rules and laws for dogs and they are trying to take away the one public place where they can run free?  It's called a dog park for a reason.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Nox on March 04, 2013, 04:51:34 PM
Simply and unequivocally no. Children, particularly toddlers, do not belong in a dog park. Kids and dogs are too unpredictable and together make a volatile mix. There are plenty of places for kids to play. The dog park is not one of them.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Roo on March 04, 2013, 05:13:42 PM
I've seen this really often, actually, but I do live in a neighborhood whose name has sort of become short-hand for obnoxious, self-centered "parenting," so I've ceased being surprised when I see wee ones at the dog park. The most notable moment - and the only time I've ever actually left because of the presence of children - was when a woman dropped off five children (the littlest was a toddler, oldest maybe 10), no dog, and just left them there. And fifty feet away from that dog park is a brand-new children's playground with four separate, fenced-in, modern play areas. I don't understand the thinking at all.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: YummyMummy66 on March 04, 2013, 05:26:58 PM
A dog park is jsut that, a park for dogs.  Dogs should not be restrained, but kids should!

Those parents need to get a clue.  I am betting all it will take is one kid to get hurt, parent sues, no more dog park.

I have a five year old granddaughter and I would not take her to a dog park. 

Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: November Rain on March 04, 2013, 05:30:56 PM
I have a dog and a toddler. My dog likes to go to the dog park and so does my 2 year old.  Technically its an on leash park but about half of the dogs go unleashed. We have never had a problem.

The park is not conducive to strollers. I keep my son close to me. Am I not supposed to go to the dog park? 
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Bluenomi on March 04, 2013, 05:44:30 PM
As the mother of a toddler I say no to them in dog parks. The whole idea of dog parks is that they can run around, jump, play and be doggy without having to worry about bowling over kids or getting into places they shouldn't. I wouldn't feel my 3 year old was safe in a dog park anyway, most of the dogs that go there are much bigger than her and usually all bouncy and excited because, you know, they are at the DOG PARK!

Children go to children's park and dogs go to dog parks. It's really that simple.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Roo on March 04, 2013, 05:50:15 PM
Well, for my part, the "dog parks" in my city all have a long list of posted rules, number one of which is "No humans without dogs." They are also all fenced-in, with double gates, and unleashed. There are also off-leash times at the multi-use, public parks, and that's a completely different ballgame. I've never heard of an "on-leash dog park," actually. Isn't that just...a park?
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on March 04, 2013, 05:52:53 PM
I feel that anyone bringing a small child to a dog park is taking a HUGE gamble with their child's safety.  You know your dog.  Do you know everyone else's?  Are you willing to bet that in a large dog park, every single dog there is tolerant of kids?  Especially if your child is not yet old enough to understand that not all dogs are like their own.  Tragedy can happen in the blink of an eye, and it's often the dog that pays with its life if it bites a child, regardless of if the bite was unknowingly provoked or not.

I've witnessed several incidents at the dog park involving young kids.  One small boy about two years old was toddling along next to his mom and their golden retriever.  An overenthusiastic young boxer knocked the kid over simply running by and bumping him with her back end.  The child fell down, whacked his head on the packed-dirt path and started to wail, which triggered the golden retriever's protective instinct, and the golden and the boxer got into a fight.  The child and both dogs were injured and no one wanted to claim responsibility.  The child getting knocked down was a complete accident; the boxer hadn't even jumped on him, just bumped him on the path and toddlers are unsteady.  The golden retriever was doing what he thought was correct by protecting his family.  The boxer was defending itself from the golden retriever.  It was a mess.

Another incident involved a child who tried to excitedly grab my friend's Papillon from behind.  It was a cooler evening so Winnie (the dog) was wearing a little pink parka (I swear my friend had more clothes for the dog than for herself) and so I can see that in the eyes of a small kid, Winnie must have looked like a living stuffed toy.  The girl squealed and tried to grab Winnie from behind, who of course was startled and tried to nip.  The girl was unhurt but Winnie was frightened and the mother was furious.  Especially because SHE (the mother, not my friend) had told her daughter it was perfectly okay to go up and pet Winnie, without asking the dog's OWNER first.  Though IMO the blame for that incident falls squarely on the mother.

A few days after the above incident, we were back at the dog park again and because it was later in the season (October-ish) and got darker earlier, my dogs had their light-ups on their collars (Just LED globes that attach to the dogs' collars that either light up solid or blink, to make the dogs more visible in the dark, for both other people, other dogs, and me).  We were trying to leave the park and actually I had just finished observing to my friend how popular the collar lights are...in the dusk the dog park looked like a mobile Christmas light display...when I heard an excited shriek, followed by Radar and Jagger (my two dogs) bolting in opposite directions.  A small child was overexcited at the sight of all the moving lights and was screeching and running up to everyone's dogs and trying to grab the lights.  Radar was startled and upset by the noise and had taken off out of fear.  Jagger, on the other hand, was just as excited as the kid and in his mind the game was on.  I managed to track Radar down and it took me considerably longer to convince Jagger that the game was over and it was time to go.  Every time we made progress toward the parking lot, the kid would come back, shrieks and all, and the chase would start all over again.  After two or three attempts to catch Jagger, I put the leash back on him (Radar already had his back on) and I must have been visibly annoyed, because the kid's mom called after me, "He's just a KID and he's just PLAYING!!"  By that time I just wanted to get home and have dinner, so I didn't say anything, but in hindsight I really wish I had done.  I don't know what happened after we left the park, but that mother (and son!) will have been very lucky if that child was not bitten.  Running around and shrieking and acting like prey in a  large field full of predators is a very unwise thing to allow your child to do.

The dog park is a public place and everyone has a right to be there.  Parents have a right to bring their kids along as long as the rules permit, however I'm going to have to disagree with the idea of bringing toddlers to the dog park.  It's just an accident waiting to happen.

Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: November Rain on March 04, 2013, 05:57:46 PM
Just to clarify. My child does not run amok. The park that we frequent has a large open grassy area and quite a few trails. My dog loves going to the dog park. I am not about to deny my dog just because I chose to have a child. We all love walking the trails. We meet quite a few dogs and have never had a problem.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Need to Change on March 04, 2013, 06:19:42 PM
Just to clarify. My child does not run amok. The park that we frequent has a large open grassy area and quite a few trails. My dog loves going to the dog park. I am not about to deny my dog just because I chose to have a child. We all love walking the trails. We meet quite a few dogs and have never had a problem.

I'm not sure, but from your prior post I think maybe your park's a bit different from the parks referred to in-thread, which are set aside specifically for unleashed dogs, with a definite enclosure all around.

The dog park we go to most often is part of a larger people-park with trails (no tot lot).  Leashed dogs are permitted in the people-park area.  But a lot of dogs go unleashed there, too -- though it's against the well-posted rules.  Mostly, it works out OK.  Mostly.  (I stick with leashes in the people-park.)

If the park is mixed use, there may be safety issues, depending on who's there at the time.  But, most likely, not an etiquette problem.  However -- if it's a defined, enclosed unleashed zone, that's a problem.  If that's the case, is there a chance of joining up with a fellow adult for a dogs-&-kids "playdate," where the grown-ups can take turns playing with the kids outside the fence?
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on March 04, 2013, 06:24:10 PM
Technically its an on leash park [/]

This right here is the crux of the issue.  The parks we are talking about are Designated Offleash Areas.  They are meant specifically f or people to allow their dogs to run loose.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: November Rain on March 04, 2013, 06:25:29 PM
I think that you are right.  My park may be a bit different than other parks. I live in a semi rural area.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: DoubleTrouble on March 04, 2013, 06:31:53 PM
Ok, I'll say it ... Snakes on a Plane!

I would love to take my twins to a dog park with our pup but you know what? I don't trust my 4.5 not to rile up the dogs & it wouldn't be fair to the dogs to have a couple of over excited kids ruining their fun time. Those parents who bring their babies/toddlers into an unleashed dog park are not only special snowflakes, they're putting the kids & dogs at risk.

There's a great park near my aunt & uncle's condo in downtown Chicago that has both a kid play area & an fenced area for unleashed dogs. All the kids loved it as they could run between playing in the kid area to watching the doggies play behind the fence.

Honestly if this was a paid dog park or a dog park with clearly stated rules (as most I have been to are) I would have notified the proper authorities.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: GreenEyedHawk on March 04, 2013, 06:34:19 PM
Thank you for clarifying.  I live in a large-ish city and everywhere, including "regular" parks, requires by law that dogs be leashed *except* for these few off-leash parks. 

There are some parks where dogs are not allowed at all (on or off leash) and some that are shared usage (leashes required) and for someone who wants to walk their dog on-leash along with their small child, as you do, that'd be the place to do it.  An off-leash dog park, on the other hand, is not the safest place for a small child.  In a multi-use park, you may encounter, say, a dozen dogs around, whereas at an off leash park on a nice day you might encounter up to a hundred. (can't speak for everyone but our offleash parks are very large areas through the river valley and are not fenced; just marked with signage).  I know also in other towns, off leash dog parks are fenced areas designated specifically for people to allow their dogs offleash...not just playparks where dogs are allowed. 

In the case of playparks where dogs are permitted, that's something else.  Using it as you do, walking with your dog and child, is exactly what it's meant for.  A designated offleash area is a totally different ballgame, and I think that's what the OP meant by "dog park".
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: alis on March 04, 2013, 06:37:34 PM
NO. A big no! Toddlers and dogs are unpredictable. Dog fights can & do break out - and if a toddler happens to be too close, I would really fear what would happen.

I brought my dog to the dog park daily, but once my baby was old enough that he could no longer be kept in my tummy sling, that was the end. I do not bring my 2 kids there, out of respect of dog owners. It used to drive me nuts to see toddlers inside there back before I had kids.

My biggest peeve was parents who dropped off a kid and dog, and expected teh kid to supervise. I saw a dog get attacked once and a stranger had to 'save' the dog, as the child (8,9???) just stood there in shock. He was not mature enough to supervise his dog there.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Hmmmmm on March 04, 2013, 06:44:37 PM
I think that you are right.  My park may be a bit different than other parks. I live in a semi rural area.

This is typical of the dog park we tack our dog to.  Huge area of open land and ponds and dogs run wild while most owners are wandering around, sitting on a bench, or throwing stick for the dogs. It is the dog's chance to be completly off a leash.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hdpa/5043421692/in/set-72157631653808335 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hdpa/5043421692/in/set-72157631653808335)

A toddler out here is very likely to get run over on a busy Saturday morning.

One of the funniest things I've seen at a dog park was an owner who had trained her labs so well, they wouldn't leave her side to go run and play.  She kept encouriging to "go, go", would throw a stick, or would walk off and they just stayed on her heels the entire time. 

My dog... I'm lucky if he comes back after the 5th time I call him.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: CharlieBraun on March 04, 2013, 07:18:25 PM
If you don't mind, I'll skip the wine and go straight to the rum.

(shoves magicdomino over and grabs for the rum)

Me first.

If I were to guess, I'd say this is 1) Florida; where 2) I live; and 3) these SS's were "visitors."  The kind who bring a one-gallon thermos into the grocery store to fill up with the free coffee.

I could tell a bunch of stories here, but if I start, magicdomino will snatch back the rum bottle.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: mmswm on March 04, 2013, 07:32:41 PM
I think that you are right.  My park may be a bit different than other parks. I live in a semi rural area.

This is typical of the dog park we tack our dog to.  Huge area of open land and ponds and dogs run wild while most owners are wandering around, sitting on a bench, or throwing stick for the dogs. It is the dog's chance to be completly off a leash.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hdpa/5043421692/in/set-72157631653808335 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hdpa/5043421692/in/set-72157631653808335)

A toddler out here is very likely to get run over on a busy Saturday morning.

One of the funniest things I've seen at a dog park was an owner who had trained her labs so well, they wouldn't leave her side to go run and play.  She kept encouriging to "go, go", would throw a stick, or would walk off and they just stayed on her heels the entire time. 

My dog... I'm lucky if he comes back after the 5th time I call him.

This is Baxter.  Though I have a very good reason for it.  Brazilian Mastiffs are considered "dangerous" by many, sort of like pit bulls.  They are actually banned in some countries and very heavily regulated in others.  While they are very sweet and loving toward their families, they can be a bit over protective of them.  I actually take Baxter to dog parks precisely to train him to stay put and follow my voice commands when he's off leash.  My parents' property is several acres, which he has free run of whenever he wants, so I don't worry about him getting off leash time.

As for the OP, I agree.  Toddlers shouldn't be in dog parks.  That's what tot parks are for.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: LifeOnPluto on March 04, 2013, 08:19:33 PM
That's super snowflakey, I think. I'm not sure if there are different regional terms for "dog park," but I'm assuming that in this case, we're talking about a smaller, probably fenced, area that is dedicated for off-leash running about. If that's the case, then it's mostly for dogs, and humans should stay on the sidelines to let the puppies frolic as they will.

However, I think it's important for any pet owner to have verbal control over their pooch, even in areas where the dog is allowed to be (or encouraged to be) off-leash. It's simply a matter of respect for other people and other dogs. A kid getting knocked over because he was tearing around and collided with a dog is mostly at fault (okay, his parents are). However, a kid standing off to the side watching isn't really to blame if a big dog jumps up to say howdy. Should people bring their toddlers into the dog park for the heck of it? No. But I'm not sure I think families with children should be banned from bringing their own dogs into the dog park if the kids know and respect the rules.

I tend to agree with this. So long as the child is closely supervised and not running around, I don't think it's rude for them to be in a dog park. It might not be the ideal place for them (because of the safety aspect) but I don't think it's rude per se for a well-behaved toddler to be there.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Miss Understood on March 04, 2013, 10:18:12 PM
I just need to interject (somewhat off-topic) that when I first moved to Chicago I was delighted to find that there is a dog park called "Wiggly Field."  (For anyone non-U.S. or U.S. non-baseball fans, this is a pun on one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the nation, Wrigley Field - I think only Fenway Park is older.)  I love puns in general but cute animal-related puns are my favorite.

Back to topic, DH and I have cats, not dogs, so we do not visit Wiggly Field.  We do sometimes (when the weather isn't freezing) walk down to the lake and watch the dogs playing at Montrose Beach - it is so much fun to watch them, all breeds, from huge to tiny, running around freely, interacting with each other and enjoying themselves.  The dogs are so incredibly happy - when their people are driving into the parking lot the doggies are literally jumping for joy. 

Until this thread it never occurred to me, but actually I have never seen any child there, much less a toddler.  Not even a teenager (but that's probably because when we visit there it's early AM on Saturday).  I can't really imagine a small child there - so many dogs of all sizes bouncing about and doing their business (their people are good about picking up but still I wouldn't want a kid of mine rolling around in that sand).  There are so many places for parents with little kids to go and so few places for dogs in an urban environment - I would hate for the dogs to have to give up the few places they have.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 04, 2013, 10:36:16 PM
Seriously,  Seriously?  Parents are going to Dog Parks and whining about all the dogs there? SERIOUSLY???!!!

I am going to have a glass of wine and look at pictures of kittens until I calm down.

Okay first off I must be tired because I read the thread title as "Daleks and toddlers." And I've only ever seen one episode of Dr. Who, though I have a fbook friend who is obsessed so there ya go.

Second, I'm with Auntie Mame. Really? Our town is looking at putting in a dog park and I hope that won't be the case here!
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Sharnita on March 05, 2013, 05:59:19 AM
I think that the situation in the OP is terrible.  That being said, kids can be dog owners and can be actively involved in dog care and training.  Obviously a toddler isn't there yet but parents might be teaching younger kids and middle to older kids might actively work with the dog.  If the kid is where they are supposed to be, doing what they are supposed to, then they are fine.  Yest there are dogs that don't react as well with kids.  There are also dogs that don't react as well with men.  SOme might be react to a wheel chair.  If your dog misbehaves just because the person is a kid/a man/in a wheel chair then you need to control your dog (even in a dog park) not say "They shouldn't have been in the park".
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: LadyDyani on March 05, 2013, 07:08:55 AM
Dog piling on here to agree
*snerk*  Puns are bad, m'kay?

I'm in agreement as well.  My Sadie is 80 pounds of love, but she thinks anything smaller than her is a puppy, which she also thinks needs to be held down and cleaned.  In a dog park, she'd be the first one sitting on a toddler and washing behind the ears. And Brutus is 80 pounds of cuddle, but he thinks he's a lap dog, and brushes up against people like a cat does. That would just knock a little kid down, and then he would proceed to lay on them for cuddles.

Not exactly a fun time for toddlers.

(http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c394/VictoriaE77/2013-02-01/056.jpg)
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 05, 2013, 07:31:14 AM
Awwww!!!!! I have to say, while that behavior would probably scare my toddler, it's still hilarious and adorable! :)

There's a service dog trainee at our church. He's not training to be a seeing eye dog so he can be petted and his people are training him to be able to interact in various surroundings and with various ages.   He's still a puppy now, a black lab and his head is now about the height of my 16 month old.  Piratebaby's not afraid of him, and willingly puts out his little hands to be licked but backs up before the dog can get to his face.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: buvezdevin on March 05, 2013, 07:44:39 AM
I agree with what would have previously seemed to me the obvious statement that off-leash dog parks are for the dog's benefit, and that small children would not be wisely added to the mix (unless, perhaps, very closely supervised) - and I also wondered if this was a frequent issues, so I googled.

Who knew.

The most recent article, from within the past week is about such a park changing rules in a California city, and the related variety of rules for other such parks in the area:  http://www.thealamedan.org/news/city-rescinds-ban-kids-dog-parkshttp

The article has an interesting sentence towards the end, referring to a grandmother stating that her four month old puppy needs the outlet of the park, so she brings her dog and her two and a half year old grandson twice each day on the days she cares for the grandson.  The sentence is isinteresting as it is a quote from Grandma, but the reporter closes the sentence noting it was said as the grandson ran around the park. 

Last quote of the article, from a different person "the dogs are fine, it's the people."

Editted to fix link
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Pigeon on March 05, 2013, 08:24:54 AM
My city has an off-leash dog park.  The rules state that no children under 5 are allowed in the park at all; no one under 16 may enter unless they're accompanied by an adult.  Yet, I have seen the situation posed in the OP play out.  A young girl (who was running and squealing with a dog rope-toy in her hand!) was knocked down by an exuberant Lab. A shouting match between the parent and dog's owner ensued when the parent attempted to kick the dog (who had wandered off after licking the little girl's face - he was in no way threatening her after the accident). 

The parent was screaming that her child is "ONLY FOUR YEARS OLD;" a few patrons pointed out that the child wasn't even allowed to be in the park in that case.  The real kicker (well, besides the parent trying to kick the dog!): they didn't even have a dog at the park!  They were just there seeking some cheap entertainment for the child.  They left in a huff, with the parent threatening a lawsuit all the way to her car.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: jaxsue on March 05, 2013, 09:45:44 AM
I agree with what would have previously seemed to me the obvious statement that off-leash dog parks are for the dog's benefit, and that small children would not be wisely added to the mix (unless, perhaps, very closely supervised) - and I also wondered if this was a frequent issues, so I googled.

Who knew.

The most recent article, from within the past week is about such a park changing rules in a California city, and the related variety of rules for other such parks in the area:  http://www.thealamedan.org/news/city-rescinds-ban-kids-dog-parkshttp

The article has an interesting sentence towards the end, referring to a grandmother stating that her four month old puppy needs the outlet of the park, so she brings her dog and her two and a half year old grandson twice each day on the days she cares for the grandson.  The sentence is isinteresting as it is a quote from Grandma, but the reporter closes the sentence noting it was said as the grandson ran around the park. 

Last quote of the article, from a different person "the dogs are fine, it's the people."

Editted to fix link

The link still didn't work for me.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: jaxsue on March 05, 2013, 09:48:29 AM
My city has an off-leash dog park.  The rules state that no children under 5 are allowed in the park at all; no one under 16 may enter unless they're accompanied by an adult.  Yet, I have seen the situation posed in the OP play out.  A young girl (who was running and squealing with a dog rope-toy in her hand!) was knocked down by an exuberant Lab. A shouting match between the parent and dog's owner ensued when the parent attempted to kick the dog (who had wandered off after licking the little girl's face - he was in no way threatening her after the accident). 

The parent was screaming that her child is "ONLY FOUR YEARS OLD;" a few patrons pointed out that the child wasn't even allowed to be in the park in that case.  The real kicker (well, besides the parent trying to kick the dog!): they didn't even have a dog at the park!  They were just there seeking some cheap entertainment for the child.  They left in a huff, with the parent threatening a lawsuit all the way to her car.

Per the bolded: the fact that our country allows such frivolous lawsuits shows how out-of-whack things are!  ::)
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: LadyDyani on March 05, 2013, 09:49:47 AM
I agree with what would have previously seemed to me the obvious statement that off-leash dog parks are for the dog's benefit, and that small children would not be wisely added to the mix (unless, perhaps, very closely supervised) - and I also wondered if this was a frequent issues, so I googled.

Who knew.

The most recent article, from within the past week is about such a park changing rules in a California city, and the related variety of rules for other such parks in the area:  http://www.thealamedan.org/news/city-rescinds-ban-kids-dog-parkshttp

The article has an interesting sentence towards the end, referring to a grandmother stating that her four month old puppy needs the outlet of the park, so she brings her dog and her two and a half year old grandson twice each day on the days she cares for the grandson.  The sentence is isinteresting as it is a quote from Grandma, but the reporter closes the sentence noting it was said as the grandson ran around the park. 

Last quote of the article, from a different person "the dogs are fine, it's the people."

Editted to fix link

The link still didn't work for me.

Take the http off the end. 

http://www.thealamedan.org/news/city-rescinds-ban-kids-dog-parks
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: jaxsue on March 05, 2013, 10:03:47 AM
Thanks, LadyDyani!  :)
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: BeagleMommy on March 05, 2013, 12:57:38 PM
My city has an off-leash dog park.  It is a large, fenced in grassy area with sections for small dogs (under 50 pounds) and large dogs (50 pounds and over).  We've taken The Beagle there many times.  He is 30 pounds of exhuberance and he loves toddlers.  Why wouldn't he?  They're usually close to his level, they smell pretty good and sometimes they're sticky and in need of puppy kisses to clearn them off.

The rules of the dog park clearly state:  1.  No humans without dogs. 2. No children under the age of 5 permitted.  3.  Children under the age of 16 MUST be accompanied by an adult.  4.  No human food allowed.  5.  Pick up after your dog.  6.  Enter at your own risk.

There is also a security guard, employed by the city, that enforces the rules.  I've seen him stop people from bringing small children into the dog park.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Coralreef on March 05, 2013, 02:25:50 PM
Bringing toddlers to a dog park is a BAD idea.  I've had my feet swiped from under me and landing on my back because my dog just did not stop in time.  I'm a full grown adult and not a feather weight either.  I can imagine the damage that can be done to a small child.  Not to mention the risk of a bite.  Or the fact that dog park is also dog toilet.



Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: gingerzing on March 05, 2013, 03:41:23 PM
It may or may not be a trend, but I have seen it happen at our local DP.  (Can't say "Dog Park" since our girl knows the word). 
We have many of the same rules as BeagleMommy mention.  Though I think at the one we use to take Sadie-dog to it was No Children Under 10.  Plus you had to buy a tag for a year membership.  (Like $25, which went toward maintainance and the security guard). 

Like others - I am a "woman of substance" and have been knocked down a couple times by dogs running like mad.  (Not hurt, just not paying attention to the dog  race behind me or the guy throwing the ball to his Border Collies.)

And even with those rules, I have seen people bring in kidlets and kidlets eating something.  My "favorite" spotting was a couple who brought in their pram.  Not just a stoller, but an old fashion infant baby buggy.  And while the sleeping baby was about waist level, I had just saw a Jack Russel who could jump that high easily.  Several of us (dog owners) told the couple that it was an unleashed dog park and having an infant in there was a VERY BAD IDEATM.  Apparently, we all were horribly rude.

It got so bad that I stopped taking Sadie-dog completely.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: *inviteseller on March 05, 2013, 06:01:51 PM
If I am repeating what other posters have said, sorry, I only read the OP but cheese and crackers!  What special entitlement do you feel you have to take your toddler to a DOG park and say the dogs should be tethered?????  I have kids and a dog, but I would no more let my big yellow beast loose in a park full of kids where she could knock a little one over (or beat them with her big ever waving tail) than I would have my kids romp in a dog park.  If I had big yellow beast (who is a big sweetie but large) romping in the dog park and some special snowflake came and told me to tether my dog for their child's sake, I would just start laughing and point out the 'dog park' sign and ask that they tether their child!
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Zilla on March 06, 2013, 07:21:14 AM
My city has an off-leash dog park.  It is a large, fenced in grassy area with sections for small dogs (under 50 pounds) and large dogs (50 pounds and over).  We've taken The Beagle there many times.  He is 30 pounds of exhuberance and he loves toddlers.  Why wouldn't he?  They're usually close to his level, they smell pretty good and sometimes they're sticky and in need of puppy kisses to clearn them off.

The rules of the dog park clearly state:  1.  No humans without dogs. 2. No children under the age of 5 permitted.  3.  Children under the age of 16 MUST be accompanied by an adult.  4.  No human food allowed.  5.  Pick up after your dog.  6.  Enter at your own risk.

There is also a security guard, employed by the city, that enforces the rules.  I've seen him stop people from bringing small children into the dog park.

We too have the same setup.  I often hear parents tell the guard but my kids are well behaved, they won't leave my side etc etc.  But it isn't a park for them, its for dogs period.  If you can't enter without your kids then too bad.  Wait till they are of age and take your dogs to other places.  I once asked tbe guard how often does it happen on a daily basis. And he told me he has yet to have a day it doesn't happen.  And he carries business cards for those that want to speak to his supervisor.  ::)
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: November Rain on March 06, 2013, 11:13:40 AM
After reading the replies it is becoming clear to me.  The dog parks in my area are large, unfenced areas. They are not fenced in areas with benches for people to
sit on and watch the dogs play. We hike trails, watch our dog play in the water and with other dogs and we can bring a picnic lunch. If they are crowded it is always possible to find a secluded spot.

I would not bring my 2 year old to a dog park like previous posters have mentioned  unless he remained in a stroller or a backpack type carrier. Having him loose in that type of environment would be foolish at best.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Zilla on March 06, 2013, 11:18:39 AM
After reading the replies it is becoming clear to me.  The dog parks in my area are large, unfenced areas. They are not fenced in areas with benches for people to
sit on and watch the dogs play. We hike trails, watch our dog play in the water and with other dogs and we can bring a picnic lunch. If they are crowded it is always possible to find a secluded spot.

I would not bring my 2 year old to a dog park like previous posters have mentioned  unless he remained in a stroller or a backpack type carrier. Having him loose in that type of environment would be foolish at best.


Those are the kind of parks parents can take both their kids and dogs to if the enclosed dogs only park are not allowing kids.  And the irony is that at the one I mentioned in the post above, the enclosed dogs only park is within a huge and I mean HUGE regular park such as you described.  Sure it would be nice to let your dog go unleash and socialize with other dogs.   But if you are with your kids and unwilling to leave them with a spouse/friend/in another area etc, then don't make a stink about it. (not directed at anyone here BTW)
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: TXJess on March 06, 2013, 11:56:17 AM
I take my dog to a dog park frequently because I live in an apartment and she has a lot of energy. The park rule is no children under 9. When I see small children, especially toddlers, in the park, I get kinda grossed out. They pick up dog toys.. some will play in the sand- gross! I just keep hoping they won't put their fingers in their mouths. I haven't ever been in the situation where a parent was getting upset because the dogs were getting too close to their child though. One of the biggest concerns that I didn't see mentioned in previous posts is when a small child decides to run in a dog park. Some dogs have a chase instinct, and when she see a child running, they want to go catch it. Depending on the size of the dog, that can be terrifying for a kid! There is a great dane that comes to our dog park, and he plays great with other dogs, but if he see's a child running, he will chase! One time a little girl came in with her family and the owner of the great dane warned her not to run, but like 30 seconds later, she starting running. The great dane ran after her and put his big paws on her shoulders, but didn't knock her down. But she freaked out and started crying. Luckily her mom didn't get mad at the owner of the great dane.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Yankee-Belle on March 06, 2013, 01:09:49 PM
I was yelled at one time when my then year old lab knocked down a child in the dog park. He was running around with other dogs having a good time and happened to clip the child. The mother just went on and on about how unruly my dog was!  :-\ 

One other instance at the dog park: a woman was throwing a ball to her dog to fetch. My dog and another dog ran with her dog to chase the ball. She started yelling at my dog and the other one saying NO! THIS BALL IS FOR BAXTER! GET AWAY! I got my dog away from her and got him interested in something else.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Really? on March 06, 2013, 01:19:20 PM
Hi

I like this thread and agree, the Dog park is for the dogs. My dog is just under 10 lbs and likes to run with the big dogs. I have seen kids run up to her (ok so she's really cute) and try to pick her up etc..... But then we also have a kids area where toddlers can go and be protected from the dogs.

Most of my encounters when the kids try to pick up my dog, the parents are right there telling the kids to stop. But I did have one instance where the kid almost feel on my dog (uneven terrain) and the parent gave me a dirty look. Sweet monkey fritters!, I just called my dog and walked away.

Onlyme
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: nalapuppy on March 06, 2013, 01:39:35 PM
We have several great dog parks in my area.  Luckily I've encountered no problems with rule breakers.  Kids 8 and under are not supposed to go into the dog park.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: andi on March 06, 2013, 08:48:42 PM
Wow - that is way up there on the "I am so special the world revolves around me" meter.  Unless a toddler is in a secure stroller or back pack - you're asking for trouble.

Our dog park is decided into 3 areas: 1 fenced for under 25 pound dogs; 1 fenced in for over 25 pound dogs and behind those areas is an unfenced open area of trails for anyone to use.  Since we have 2 dogs and a child -Boo goes with me and Captian Jack (Yorkie)  and hubby takes Bailey Princess Crazy-Pants the lab.  Even being careful, hubby's been knocked over by enthusiastic dogs chasing each other - I wont take Bailey alone because I worry about other people's doggie control.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: CharlieBraun on March 07, 2013, 07:21:07 AM
Dh went to our dog park yesterday and took a picture of the new sign up there with the new membership on there, starting April 1!  It was interesting since we were talking about it here.  I think it just got to be too much financially for the county to try to "police" the dog park.  In the past month there, we have had

1.  One woman who shows up regularly stewed to the gills and drinking adult beverages, but with her kennel-cough infected dog in tow; two of our friends had their dogs come down with it right after;
2.  A toddler/big dog interaction where the unsupervised toddler was trying to mount big dog like a pony.  Big dog moved away abruptly leaving unattended toddler to fall over.  That, of course, was big dog owner's fault since "everyone knows dogs love kids and my special toddler is a very special child."   (Note please that unsupervised toddler's mommy did not come with a dog).
3.  Increasing incidences of certain breeds which have additional restrictions on being in the park (such as: must remain on lead whereas other dogs are off lead, must be muzzled, must be neutered) being let loose in the park without adhering to those restrictions.

The fee is going to be $25 per year per family, up to 3 dogs, and the picture of the DOG will go on the laminated badge/pass.  Up to date shots will be required.  You can get a day pass for $5 per day but you still have to produce ID and the dog's picture is taken.  Plus, the rules changed to no children under 7 at all (and no strollers, which seems like an odd addition since I don't see a lot of children over 7 in strollers,) no one under 16 who isn't with a parent or guardian.  And no one in there without a dog.

I think it's a step in the right direction.

Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: misha412 on March 07, 2013, 08:27:53 AM
Is it ever okay for toddlers to run around a dog park? Yay or nay?

I'm seeing a trend of parents letting their young children run around dog parks. Occasionally, a kid will get knocked down by an overly excited and curious dog. Parents feel dog owners should keep their dogs restrained within the dog park. Owners feel dogs should have a place to run and play without worrying about being stressed by kids.

I agree with everyone else. No young children should be allowed to run in off-leash dog parks.

It is not fair to the kids who face getting hurt accidentally by a pack of dogs running by or wanting to lick them. It is not fair to the dogs when owners have to corral them to protect the kids from their parents' stupidity. It is not fair to the owners who want to give their dogs exercise and a treat by allowing them off leash.

My town's dog park is one of the most popular places to be. Recently, the city added rule boards to the gates. One states that no child under 13 can be inside without a parent. And they have to have a dog with them. That is because a few parents decided the dog park gated area was a great place to leave their kids unsupervised.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Calistoga on March 07, 2013, 09:19:51 AM
Why in the world would you want to let your toddler run around on a lawn that's specifically designated for dogs? Ignoring the presence of excited dogs, think of the poo!
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: hobish on March 07, 2013, 12:04:31 PM
Dh went to our dog park yesterday and took a picture of the new sign up there with the new membership on there, starting April 1!  It was interesting since we were talking about it here.  I think it just got to be too much financially for the county to try to "police" the dog park.  In the past month there, we have had

1.  One woman who shows up regularly stewed to the gills and drinking adult beverages, but with her kennel-cough infected dog in tow; two of our friends had their dogs come down with it right after;
2.  A toddler/big dog interaction where the unsupervised toddler was trying to mount big dog like a pony.  Big dog moved away abruptly leaving unattended toddler to fall over.  That, of course, was big dog owner's fault since "everyone knows dogs love kids and my special toddler is a very special child."   (Note please that unsupervised toddler's mommy did not come with a dog).
3.  Increasing incidences of certain breeds which have additional restrictions on being in the park (such as: must remain on lead whereas other dogs are off lead, must be muzzled, must be neutered) being let loose in the park without adhering to those restrictions.

The fee is going to be $25 per year per family, up to 3 dogs, and the picture of the DOG will go on the laminated badge/pass.  Up to date shots will be required.  You can get a day pass for $5 per day but you still have to produce ID and the dog's picture is taken.  Plus, the rules changed to no children under 7 at all (and no strollers, which seems like an odd addition since I don't see a lot of children over 7 in strollers,) no one under 16 who isn't with a parent or guardian.  And no one in there without a dog.

I think it's a step in the right direction.

I can understand the addition of no strollers. A number of people believe that small babies don't count as children. Spelling out no children under 7, even in strollers, probably makes less confusion on that.

I don't think even well-behaved small kids belong in dog parks. I look at it this way - my dog is really well behaved, especially around small children and old people. She just is. BUT - you don't know that, and why would you? You shouldn't have to worry about whether my dog is going to bowl your kid over, or nip her, or scratch. By the same token, I don't know your kid, and why should I? You can say they are well-behaved and used to dogs, but it doesn't matter. I don't know you and have no reason to believe you, just as you have no reason to believe me that my dog is harmless. I shouldn't have to worry about your kid pulling my dog's ears, or poking her eye, or deity-forbid trying to ride her. I really don't understand people to whom this doesn't make sense.

All yous general, of course.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Kimberami on March 07, 2013, 01:31:22 PM
She started yelling at my dog and the other one saying NO! THIS BALL IS FOR BAXTER! GET AWAY!

And the dogs hear "blah! blah BALL! blah blah blah!"   ;D   Great idea!
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: trailgrrl on March 07, 2013, 02:38:53 PM
Sooooo, we used to frequently bring our youngest son with us to the dog park as a toddler.  We had precious little family time and that was what we did on nice days.  Take the dog to Large Area Off Leash Park, run and swim his heart out  chasing balls with our then 7 year old with the two year old either in a backpack, or in a tall jogging stroller.  Then take tired  leashed doggy over to the playground picnic area and eat lunch while the kids played on the playground.  As the two year old got older, he either stayed in the jog stroller or was constantly held by the hand and abided by dog park etiquette where we taught him to ask owner permission and then allowed the dogs to sniff his hands before touching other dogs.  Did he get knocked down?  At least once, the trails are all chipped wood.  No harm no foul, he got knocked down in the playground by children as well from time to time.

Our purpose for going to the dog park was to allow our dog socialization with other dogs and family playtime with him in a place where he had room to run until he fell over.

There is also a off leash beach area we frequented in the summer. It's a county park with one corner designated for off leash dogs.  Take the kids and dog to the beach and play in the water and flip over the rocks and look for critters (crabs).  No sandcastle building because our beaches are pretty rocky.  On a hot sunny day it was a great place to be able to hang out and everyone was able to keep cool.

TL;DR I have taken my young children to off leash dog parks and have never had/nor presented a problem as long as they were carefully supervised. 
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Sharnita on March 07, 2013, 02:59:20 PM
trailgirl, that makes sense to me.  I am also guessing that families with toddlers and dogs already have the kid(s) picking up dog toys and so forth at home so I can't really see getting all that grossed out because it happens at a dog park.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on March 07, 2013, 03:08:30 PM
Wow - that is way up there on the "I am so special the world revolves around me" meter. Unless a toddler is in a secure stroller or back pack - you're asking for trouble.

Our dog park is decided into 3 areas: 1 fenced for under 25 pound dogs; 1 fenced in for over 25 pound dogs and behind those areas is an unfenced open area of trails for anyone to use.  Since we have 2 dogs and a child -Boo goes with me and Captian Jack (Yorkie)  and hubby takes Bailey Princess Crazy-Pants the lab.  Even being careful, hubby's been knocked over by enthusiastic dogs chasing each other - I wont take Bailey alone because I worry about other people's doggie control.

Even then I'd be a bit nervous.  I have a moby though I don't use it as much now that my guy's able to walk and is heavier, but I'd be nervous that a big dog might knock me down which could in turn scare my toddler. 

Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: trailgrrl on March 07, 2013, 03:52:52 PM
Just for fun, here is a pic of my boys at the Large Off Leash Dog Park, a few years later.  This was taken in 2008.(http://i482.photobucket.com/albums/rr181/trailgrrl/004.jpg)
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: StillandSilent on March 07, 2013, 06:13:12 PM
Not all dogs like kids.  My own dog hates children with a passion.  Would he hurt one?  I seriously doubt it.  Would he frighten one? Undoubtedly.  Furthermore, when there are children around, he has no fun.  He spends the entire time staring at the kids and hiding behind my legs.  The dog park is one of the few off leash areas that I can bring him, and it irritates me to have our day ruined. 

Our park does not allow children under 13, but I still have to drive around the perimeter looking before we go in. 

Plus, I agree.  The poo!  Oh, God, the poooooooooooooooo!
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: lisastitch on March 07, 2013, 06:29:51 PM
IF I were ever to take a toddler and a dog to a dog-park where the dogs can be off-leash, the dog would be off his leash, and the toddler would be leashed. 
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: trailgrrl on March 07, 2013, 06:43:35 PM
IF I were ever to take a toddler and a dog to a dog-park where the dogs can be off-leash, the dog would be off his leash, and the toddler would be leashed.

*applause* ;D
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Sharnita on March 07, 2013, 07:04:40 PM
But then again, I have run into dogs that have not liked men at all.  SOme might even behave in a frightening way towards a man they saw in the dog park.  I do not see that as a reason for men to stay out.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Need to Change on March 08, 2013, 12:37:23 AM
But then again, I have run into dogs that have not liked men at all.  SOme might even behave in a frightening way towards a man they saw in the dog park.  I do not see that as a reason for men to stay out.

If a grown man is in a dog park, presumably he came with a dog, and has some acquaintance with the species.  He is also old enough to be responsible for himself.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Sharnita on March 08, 2013, 07:38:05 AM
But as trailgirl pointed out,  children can be there with dogs and have some familiarity with the species.  They might need some help if a dog freaks out when it sees them but then I think even in a dog park you do have that responsibility if your dog has issues with kids/men/wheelchairs.  The child should have a parent to help and supervise. 

I am not advocating for kids to take over but OTOH I think that kids are usually part of dog ownership in a family so a complete ban doesn't actually make a lot of sense either. And there should be balance to the dog supervision as well.  If your dog has issues with any segment of the population, even kids, then even in a dog park you are going to have to be extra careful and watchful.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Need to Change on March 08, 2013, 10:30:41 AM
But as trailgirl pointed out,  children can be there with dogs and have some familiarity with the species.  They might need some help if a dog freaks out when it sees them but then I think even in a dog park you do have that responsibility if your dog has issues with kids/men/wheelchairs.  The child should have a parent to help and supervise. 

I am not advocating for kids to take over but OTOH I think that kids are usually part of dog ownership in a family so a complete ban doesn't actually make a lot of sense either. And there should be balance to the dog supervision as well.  If your dog has issues with any segment of the population, even kids, then even in a dog park you are going to have to be extra careful and watchful.

Dogs who are prone to dangerous freak outs should not be in a dog park.  Most parks I know of do have rules to that effect.

I've seen well supervised kids around 8 and above who can, indeed, handle any reasonable situation with dogs.  But the OP, and several posters, discussed parents who did not supervise their kids ... or who brought kids but no dog ... or even worse, just dropped off kids and dogs and went their merry way! 

It is also true that supervising an active toddler in a park full of random, unleashed dogs may be well nigh impossible.  Many active toddlers will naturally tend to act like prey -- running and screeching.

Toddlers and strollers are especially vulnerable to over-friendly dogs of any size.  They just get bowled over!

Even the best-behaved, unleashed dogs do not belong in a tot lot.  In fact, many tot-lots also -- wisely -- prohibit leashed dogs.  Similarly, dog owners in an area set aside for unleashed dogs should not have to supervise a random child as well, nor should they be forced to leash their dogs because there are small children present.

One toddler running around can, in effect, take over a park.

While it can be difficult to arrange, the best policy is for adults to team up, and take turns with the kids on the other side of the enclosure.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: mbbored on March 08, 2013, 10:41:51 AM
But as trailgirl pointed out,  children can be there with dogs and have some familiarity with the species.  They might need some help if a dog freaks out when it sees them but then I think even in a dog park you do have that responsibility if your dog has issues with kids/men/wheelchairs.  The child should have a parent to help and supervise. 

I am not advocating for kids to take over but OTOH I think that kids are usually part of dog ownership in a family so a complete ban doesn't actually make a lot of sense either. And there should be balance to the dog supervision as well.  If your dog has issues with any segment of the population, even kids, then even in a dog park you are going to have to be extra careful and watchful.

But the park isn't for families, the park is for dogs. Dogs who are running around, chasing each other or their toys and frankly, eliminating on everything in sight. Children also running around playing are only going to interfere with my dog's ability to enjoy himself. If my dog runs into another dog, no worries, but if he bumps into a child, the child and/or the parent are going to get upset.

Maybe your child can be still and quiet, but every child I've seen (against the rules) at my dog park, inevitably starts to run and play with their dog, which works up the other dogs and the child gets bumped or slobbered on or something which upsets them. This happens to teenagers as well as little kids. I've also seen kids play baseball or soccer and get upset when dogs steal their ball.

I would compare bringing a child to the dog park like me setting my dog loose in a regular park. Maybe your child is familiar with dogs, at least your own dog, but many breeds are not good around children and many people don't have children for their dogs to get comfortable with. Small, quickly moving objects making high pitched noises are startling for most animals. Similarly, my dog might be good with kids, but not every child is comfortable with dogs, which is why my pup doesn't get to go to the playground with my niece and nephew.

It may not seem fair and if it limits your dog's time at the dog park, so be it, but there are good reasons for the keeping children out of dog parks.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: wyliefool on March 08, 2013, 11:44:55 AM
But as trailgirl pointed out,  children can be there with dogs and have some familiarity with the species.  They might need some help if a dog freaks out when it sees them but then I think even in a dog park you do have that responsibility if your dog has issues with kids/men/wheelchairs.  The child should have a parent to help and supervise. 

I am not advocating for kids to take over but OTOH I think that kids are usually part of dog ownership in a family so a complete ban doesn't actually make a lot of sense either. And there should be balance to the dog supervision as well.  If your dog has issues with any segment of the population, even kids, then even in a dog park you are going to have to be extra careful and watchful.

But the main, if not only, reason for the child bans, as discussed here, is that parents don't supervise. So while it might theoretically be  fine to have a quiet child napping in a stroller in the dog park, the ones who let their kid run around loose and then get upset when the dog(s) chase them or slobber on them or whatever are the ones who cause the problem. So in essence it's just like grade school--the 'good kids' are punished for the actions of the bad. Unparented children cause issues, and it's not practical to put up a sign saying 'unparented/disruptive children not allowed' (because of course the SS parents don't see their kids as being disruptive), therefore all kids have to be banned.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Hawkwatcher on March 08, 2013, 12:49:31 PM
But as trailgirl pointed out,  children can be there with dogs and have some familiarity with the species.  They might need some help if a dog freaks out when it sees them but then I think even in a dog park you do have that responsibility if your dog has issues with kids/men/wheelchairs.  The child should have a parent to help and supervise. 

I am not advocating for kids to take over but OTOH I think that kids are usually part of dog ownership in a family so a complete ban doesn't actually make a lot of sense either. And there should be balance to the dog supervision as well.  If your dog has issues with any segment of the population, even kids, then even in a dog park you are going to have to be extra careful and watchful.

But the park isn't for families, the park is for dogs. Dogs who are running around, chasing each other or their toys and frankly, eliminating on everything in sight. Children also running around playing are only going to interfere with my dog's ability to enjoy himself. If my dog runs into another dog, no worries, but if he bumps into a child, the child and/or the parent are going to get upset.


I imagine that upset children and parents would only make the situation worse. I also would be concerned that the toddler might develop a fear of dogs after being knocked down.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Sharnita on March 08, 2013, 12:56:36 PM
But as trailgirl pointed out,  children can be there with dogs and have some familiarity with the species.  They might need some help if a dog freaks out when it sees them but then I think even in a dog park you do have that responsibility if your dog has issues with kids/men/wheelchairs.  The child should have a parent to help and supervise. 

I am not advocating for kids to take over but OTOH I think that kids are usually part of dog ownership in a family so a complete ban doesn't actually make a lot of sense either. And there should be balance to the dog supervision as well.  If your dog has issues with any segment of the population, even kids, then even in a dog park you are going to have to be extra careful and watchful.

But the park isn't for families, the park is for dogs. Dogs who are running around, chasing each other or their toys and frankly, eliminating on everything in sight. Children also running around playing are only going to interfere with my dog's ability to enjoy himself. If my dog runs into another dog, no worries, but if he bumps into a child, the child and/or the parent are going to get upset.

Maybe your child can be still and quiet, but every child I've seen (against the rules) at my dog park, inevitably starts to run and play with their dog, which works up the other dogs and the child gets bumped or slobbered on or something which upsets them. This happens to teenagers as well as little kids. I've also seen kids play baseball or soccer and get upset when dogs steal their ball.

I would compare bringing a child to the dog park like me setting my dog loose in a regular park. Maybe your child is familiar with dogs, at least your own dog, but many breeds are not good around children and many people don't have children for their dogs to get comfortable with. Small, quickly moving objects making high pitched noises are startling for most animals. Similarly, my dog might be good with kids, but not every child is comfortable with dogs, which is why my pup doesn't get to go to the playground with my niece and nephew.

It may not seem fair and if it limits your dog's time at the dog park, so be it, but there are good reasons for the keeping children out of dog parks.

Dog ownership and care is often done by families.  I am not talking about a family being in the park sans dog, that would be stupid.  I am syaing that kids who help care for their dogs at home would understandably want to accompany them to a dog park.  banning them because your dog has issues seems like your problem, not the kids'.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Betelnut on March 08, 2013, 12:57:04 PM
But as trailgirl pointed out,  children can be there with dogs and have some familiarity with the species.  They might need some help if a dog freaks out when it sees them but then I think even in a dog park you do have that responsibility if your dog has issues with kids/men/wheelchairs.  The child should have a parent to help and supervise. 

I am not advocating for kids to take over but OTOH I think that kids are usually part of dog ownership in a family so a complete ban doesn't actually make a lot of sense either. And there should be balance to the dog supervision as well.  If your dog has issues with any segment of the population, even kids, then even in a dog park you are going to have to be extra careful and watchful.

But the main, if not only, reason for the child bans, as discussed here, is that parents don't supervise. So while it might theoretically be  fine to have a quiet child napping in a stroller in the dog park, the ones who let their kid run around loose and then get upset when the dog(s) chase them or slobber on them or whatever are the ones who cause the problem. So in essence it's just like grade school--the 'good kids' are punished for the actions of the bad. Unparented children cause issues, and it's not practical to put up a sign saying 'unparented/disruptive children not allowed' (because of course the SS parents don't see their kids as being disruptive), therefore all kids have to be banned.

Or perhaps there are dogs that are not being "supervised" either.  Kids, supervised or not, and undisciplined dogs are a bad combination.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Sharnita on March 08, 2013, 12:58:44 PM
But as trailgirl pointed out,  children can be there with dogs and have some familiarity with the species.  They might need some help if a dog freaks out when it sees them but then I think even in a dog park you do have that responsibility if your dog has issues with kids/men/wheelchairs.  The child should have a parent to help and supervise. 

I am not advocating for kids to take over but OTOH I think that kids are usually part of dog ownership in a family so a complete ban doesn't actually make a lot of sense either. And there should be balance to the dog supervision as well.  If your dog has issues with any segment of the population, even kids, then even in a dog park you are going to have to be extra careful and watchful.


Agreed, like I said, balance and responsibility on all sides seems like the answer.
But the main, if not only, reason for the child bans, as discussed here, is that parents don't supervise. So while it might theoretically be  fine to have a quiet child napping in a stroller in the dog park, the ones who let their kid run around loose and then get upset when the dog(s) chase them or slobber on them or whatever are the ones who cause the problem. So in essence it's just like grade school--the 'good kids' are punished for the actions of the bad. Unparented children cause issues, and it's not practical to put up a sign saying 'unparented/disruptive children not allowed' (because of course the SS parents don't see their kids as being disruptive), therefore all kids have to be banned.

Or perhaps there are dogs that are not being "supervised" either.  Kids, supervised or not, and undisciplined dogs are a bad combination.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: MrsJWine on March 08, 2013, 04:01:32 PM
We had dogs growing up. My siblings and I had tons of opportunities to take care of them and play with them without ever having to go to a dog park (which, actually, didn't really exist, at least not where we lived). It's not as if it's a necessary part of dog ownership. Sure, it's nice, but it's not necessary.

If someone brings a kid to a dog park, and she isn't in a carrier or a stroller (I might even be nervous about those, actually, now that I think about it), the worst that could happen is that a child gets bit and injured, and a dog might have to be put down.

If someone does not bring their kid to the dog park with them, the worst that could happen is that the dog doesn't get to experience a dog park.

I've known lots and lots of dogs who were really good around other dogs and adults, but far less predictable around children. It's pretty common. Sure, there are dogs who hate men or women or blond people, but the owners of those dogs should keep them out of dog parks. We're talking about a really common quirk of many, many dogs, which typical dog park rules allows for. The dog park is their space for them and their owners to not have to worry about that.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Sharnita on March 08, 2013, 04:04:59 PM
We had dogs growing up. My siblings and I had tons of opportunities to take care of them and play with them without ever having to go to a dog park (which, actually, didn't really exist, at least not where we lived). It's not as if it's a necessary part of dog ownership. Sure, it's nice, but it's not necessary.

If someone brings a kid to a dog park, and she isn't in a carrier or a stroller (I might even be nervous about those, actually, now that I think about it), the worst that could happen is that a child gets bit and injured, and a dog might have to be put down.

If someone does not bring their kid to the dog park with them, the worst that could happen is that the dog doesn't get to experience a dog park.

I've known lots and lots of dogs who were really good around other dogs and adults, but far less predictable around children. It's pretty common. Sure, there are dogs who hate men or women or blond people, but the owners of those dogs should keep them out of dog parks. We're talking about a really common quirk of many, many dogs, which typical dog park rules allows for. The dog park is their space for them and their owners to not have to worry about that.

Well, yeah, when there are other options for getting the dog out and playing with it then I think dog parks are less of a need for anyone. 
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Zilla on March 08, 2013, 06:02:45 PM
We had dogs growing up. My siblings and I had tons of opportunities to take care of them and play with them without ever having to go to a dog park (which, actually, didn't really exist, at least not where we lived). It's not as if it's a necessary part of dog ownership. Sure, it's nice, but it's not necessary.

If someone brings a kid to a dog park, and she isn't in a carrier or a stroller (I might even be nervous about those, actually, now that I think about it), the worst that could happen is that a child gets bit and injured, and a dog might have to be put down.

If someone does not bring their kid to the dog park with them, the worst that could happen is that the dog doesn't get to experience a dog park.

I've known lots and lots of dogs who were really good around other dogs and adults, but far less predictable around children. It's pretty common. Sure, there are dogs who hate men or women or blond people, but the owners of those dogs should keep them out of dog parks. We're talking about a really common quirk of many, many dogs, which typical dog park rules allows for. The dog park is their space for them and their owners to not have to worry about that.

Well, yeah, when there are other options for getting the dog out and playing with it then I think dog parks are less of a need for anyone.
Exactly, my point.  There are plenty of places for kids to play and places for both kids and dogs to play, leave the one area for dogs just for dogs.
 
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Sharnita on March 08, 2013, 06:35:14 PM
We had dogs growing up. My siblings and I had tons of opportunities to take care of them and play with them without ever having to go to a dog park (which, actually, didn't really exist, at least not where we lived). It's not as if it's a necessary part of dog ownership. Sure, it's nice, but it's not necessary.

If someone brings a kid to a dog park, and she isn't in a carrier or a stroller (I might even be nervous about those, actually, now that I think about it), the worst that could happen is that a child gets bit and injured, and a dog might have to be put down.

If someone does not bring their kid to the dog park with them, the worst that could happen is that the dog doesn't get to experience a dog park.

I've known lots and lots of dogs who were really good around other dogs and adults, but far less predictable around children. It's pretty common. Sure, there are dogs who hate men or women or blond people, but the owners of those dogs should keep them out of dog parks. We're talking about a really common quirk of many, many dogs, which typical dog park rules allows for. The dog park is their space for them and their owners to not have to worry about that.

Well, yeah, when there are other options for getting the dog out and playing with it then I think dog parks are less of a need for anyone.
Exactly, my point.  There are plenty of places for kids to play and places for both kids and dogs to play, leave the one area for dogs just for dogs.

In some locations, yes.  In others, that would be less the case which is why the community would establish dog parks to begin with.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Need to Change on March 08, 2013, 06:44:53 PM
But as trailgirl pointed out,  children can be there with dogs and have some familiarity with the species.  They might need some help if a dog freaks out when it sees them but then I think even in a dog park you do have that responsibility if your dog has issues with kids/men/wheelchairs.  The child should have a parent to help and supervise. 

I am not advocating for kids to take over but OTOH I think that kids are usually part of dog ownership in a family so a complete ban doesn't actually make a lot of sense either. And there should be balance to the dog supervision as well.  If your dog has issues with any segment of the population, even kids, then even in a dog park you are going to have to be extra careful and watchful.

But the park isn't for families, the park is for dogs. Dogs who are running around, chasing each other or their toys and frankly, eliminating on everything in sight. Children also running around playing are only going to interfere with my dog's ability to enjoy himself. If my dog runs into another dog, no worries, but if he bumps into a child, the child and/or the parent are going to get upset.

Maybe your child can be still and quiet, but every child I've seen (against the rules) at my dog park, inevitably starts to run and play with their dog, which works up the other dogs and the child gets bumped or slobbered on or something which upsets them. This happens to teenagers as well as little kids. I've also seen kids play baseball or soccer and get upset when dogs steal their ball.

I would compare bringing a child to the dog park like me setting my dog loose in a regular park. Maybe your child is familiar with dogs, at least your own dog, but many breeds are not good around children and many people don't have children for their dogs to get comfortable with. Small, quickly moving objects making high pitched noises are startling for most animals. Similarly, my dog might be good with kids, but not every child is comfortable with dogs, which is why my pup doesn't get to go to the playground with my niece and nephew.

It may not seem fair and if it limits your dog's time at the dog park, so be it, but there are good reasons for the keeping children out of dog parks.

Dog ownership and care is often done by families.  I am not talking about a family being in the park sans dog, that would be stupid.  I am syaing that kids who help care for their dogs at home would understandably want to accompany them to a dog park.  banning them because your dog has issues seems like your problem, not the kids'.

Dog parks are places for dogs to run.  Running dogs run into each other, and into humans.  That's not an "issue," it's normal dog behavior in an open space.  This is why dog parks are set aside for unleashed dogs, and why dog parks may be the only place that dogs can indulge in such behavior.

It's also why dog parks are not particularly safe for small children.

In my experience, playgrounds ("tot-lots") and family-use parks are far more common than dog parks.  Many wilderness areas also require dogs to be on-leash, and dogs may be restricted to small areas.  Dog parks serve a very specific purpose.

I'm afraid that, to me, insisting on allowing toddlers and infants in dog parks is similar to people insisting on picnicking in the middle of a ball court during a game.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: MOM21SON on March 08, 2013, 06:46:35 PM
For the life of me, I could not imagine having a picnic in a dog park.  Too many reasons to list.

No, a toddler does not belong in a dog park unsupervised.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Sharnita on March 08, 2013, 06:49:19 PM
For the life of me, I could not imagine having a picnic in a dog park.  Too many reasons to list.

No, a toddler does not belong in a dog park unsupervised.

I don't know that they belong many places outside their own home unsupervised.  I don't think anybody posting here is advocating for them being in dog parks unsupervised.


ETA:  Even in their own homes they should actually be supervised, it just might "look" different.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Dr. F. on March 08, 2013, 07:16:36 PM
At one point, a family decided to hold a doggie birthday party at my local dog park. They brought a solid meat "birthday cake" to the park with them at the busiest part of a saturday afternoon.

Admittedly, their goal was to share with all the dogs there at the park, but the chaos had to be seen to be imagined. I managed to pull my particular little lunatic off after 2 slices, but he always looked around for the "cake people" every time we went to that park after that. I don't live in that area anymore, so I don't know if they still do that.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: MOM21SON on March 08, 2013, 07:19:31 PM
For the life of me, I could not imagine having a picnic in a dog park.  Too many reasons to list.

No, a toddler does not belong in a dog park unsupervised.

I don't know that they belong many places outside their own home unsupervised.  I don't think anybody posting here is advocating for them being in dog parks unsupervised.


ETA:  Even in their own homes they should actually be supervised, it just might "look" different.

I don't think any is advocating it either.  However, it has been mentioned about them being unsupervised or poorly supervised.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: TylerBelle on March 08, 2013, 07:36:42 PM
A community nearby is in the process of developing a dog park, and I hope to one day soon get a dog myself. I don't have children either, but gotta say I'm with the ones who believe dog parks really aren't for small ones. I would more understand the child to be included in their dog's activities if say it was an obedience class or of course taking them out for individual walks, but it's a different setting with being at a park. For the family dog is there to be around and run and play with other dogs, and I would imagine not be paying so much attention to its people, large or small. And to keep a child tethered to a parent, either literally or by hand or instruction isn't fair to the child, for imagine how bored and restless they'd be. But to each his own.

Also if I had a child, I wouldn't want it playing around in a dog park anyway, even if there were no dogs present there at the time. The ground may look clean, but I think looks could be deceiving. This is my two cents. :D
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: trailgrrl on March 08, 2013, 10:09:07 PM
Well, as I have said, my kids are now well away from being toddlers, the toddler I spoke of earlier is now 14, nearly 15.  Our dog parks have no rules banning children.  I don't regret for a minute the time we spent as a family with our pets in the off leash areas.  I still feel that as long as the kids and dogs are properly supervised and it's not against park rules, where is the issue?   

People who feel that they can insist that dogs be leashed in off leash areas if their children feel threatened are completely out of line however.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: mbbored on March 08, 2013, 10:26:54 PM
For the life of me, I could not imagine having a picnic in a dog park.  Too many reasons to list.

No, a toddler does not belong in a dog park unsupervised.

I don't know that they belong many places outside their own home unsupervised.  I don't think anybody posting here is advocating for them being in dog parks unsupervised.


ETA:  Even in their own homes they should actually be supervised, it just might "look" different.

I don't think any is advocating it either.  However, it has been mentioned about them being unsupervised or poorly supervised.

Even when supervised, children aren't always a great mix with a pack of dogs. There are way more places for children to run around free and play with other children in a safe environment than there are for dogs.

Well, as I have said, my kids are now well away from being toddlers, the toddler I spoke of earlier is now 14, nearly 15.  Our dog parks have no rules banning children.  I don't regret for a minute the time we spent as a family with our pets in the off leash areas.  I still feel that as long as the kids and dogs are properly supervised and it's not against park rules, where is the issue?   

People who feel that they can insist that dogs be leashed in off leash areas if their children feel threatened are completely out of line however.


Perhaps we're talking about different kinds of dog parks. There's a near by town with a large field and that's up against a lake with a trail that runs through it. There are no fences and it connects to the city greenbelt. Dogs who respond to verbal commands are allowed off leash in that area and I constantly see people walking or biking along that trail and kids and dogs playing in the edge of the water.

My town has a fenced off area in the city park about the size of a soccer field, between a playground and a soccer field. Put 10 to 15 dogs in that area, chasing balls and each other, and it's utter chaos. Yet some parents ignore the sign saying no children under 5 and those under 16 must be with an adult and insist their child comes in with them. I've yet to see it end well with anybody under the age of around 12 because every single time the kid starts playing with their dog and gets bowled into by some other dog. Kids who manage to stay quiet and not run around working up the dogs inevitably complain that they're bored and it smells and can they go hang outside on the playground or on the soccer field.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: trailgrrl on March 08, 2013, 10:43:22 PM
Well the particular park I used to take the kids and dogs to was over 40 acres with river front swim areas for the dogs.

http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/inventory/marymoor/offleash.aspx

The other is a beach
http://www.everettwa.org/default.aspx?ID=541

Note: no rules discouraging or banning children.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: mbbored on March 09, 2013, 12:20:48 AM
Well the particular park I used to take the kids and dogs to was over 40 acres with river front swim areas for the dogs.

http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/inventory/marymoor/offleash.aspx

The other is a beach
http://www.everettwa.org/default.aspx?ID=541

Note: no rules discouraging or banning children.

Man, I would love to take my dog to a park like that! I can definitely see allowing children in a dog park that's so large and open. It's in the much smaller fenced in areas, like the 1/4 acre my town offers, that kids aren't a great idea.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Need to Change on March 09, 2013, 01:05:31 AM
Well the particular park I used to take the kids and dogs to was over 40 acres with river front swim areas for the dogs.

http://www.kingcounty.gov/recreation/parks/inventory/marymoor/offleash.aspx

The other is a beach
http://www.everettwa.org/default.aspx?ID=541

Note: no rules discouraging or banning children.

That's a different sort of park from the fenced areas the OP talked about -- smaller enclosed areas in an urban/suburban setting.

But I have heard of such parks before.  Most often I've seen them referred to as "off-leash areas," rather than "dog parks."  Some of our large regional parks do allow off-leash (with firm voice command) in certain areas.  Mostly, such areas are well marked, but not fenced off.  Different sort of thing.
Title: Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
Post by: Yankee-Belle on March 11, 2013, 11:43:38 AM
She started yelling at my dog and the other one saying NO! THIS BALL IS FOR BAXTER! GET AWAY!

And the dogs hear "blah! blah BALL! blah blah blah!"   ;D   Great idea!

LOL! Yes, that is exactly what my dog heard!