Author Topic: Dog Park and Toddlers  (Read 13739 times)

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trailgrrl

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #90 on: March 07, 2013, 03:38:53 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. 

Sharnita

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #91 on: March 07, 2013, 03:59:20 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.

Piratelvr1121

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #92 on: March 07, 2013, 04:08:30 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. 

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.  You have a right to be here. Be cheerful, strive to be happy. -Desiderata

trailgrrl

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #93 on: March 07, 2013, 04:52:52 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.

StillandSilent

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #94 on: March 07, 2013, 07:13:12 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!

lisastitch

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #95 on: March 07, 2013, 07:29:51 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. 

trailgrrl

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #96 on: March 07, 2013, 07:43:35 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

Sharnita

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #97 on: March 07, 2013, 08:04:40 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.

Need to Change

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #98 on: March 08, 2013, 01:37:23 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.

Sharnita

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #99 on: March 08, 2013, 08:38:05 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.

Need to Change

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #100 on: March 08, 2013, 11:30:41 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.

mbbored

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #101 on: March 08, 2013, 11:41:51 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.

wyliefool

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #102 on: March 08, 2013, 12:44:55 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.

Hawkwatcher

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #103 on: March 08, 2013, 01:49:31 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.

Sharnita

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #104 on: March 08, 2013, 01:56:36 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'.