Author Topic: Dog Park and Toddlers  (Read 13462 times)

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Roo

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2013, 06:13:42 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.

YummyMummy66

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2013, 06:26:58 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. 


November Rain

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2013, 06:30:56 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? 

Bluenomi

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2013, 06:44:30 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.

Roo

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2013, 06:50:15 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?

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #50 on: March 04, 2013, 06:52:53 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.

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November Rain

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #51 on: March 04, 2013, 06:57:46 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.

Need to Change

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #52 on: March 04, 2013, 07:19:42 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?

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #53 on: March 04, 2013, 07:24:10 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.
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November Rain

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #54 on: March 04, 2013, 07:25:29 PM »
I think that you are right.  My park may be a bit different than other parks. I live in a semi rural area.

DoubleTrouble

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #55 on: March 04, 2013, 07:31:53 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.

GreenEyedHawk

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #56 on: March 04, 2013, 07:34:19 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".
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alis

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #57 on: March 04, 2013, 07:37:34 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.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2013, 07:39:39 PM by alis »

Hmmmmm

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #58 on: March 04, 2013, 07:44:37 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

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.

CharlieBraun

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #59 on: March 04, 2013, 08:18:25 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.
"We ate the pies."