Author Topic: Dog Park and Toddlers  (Read 11618 times)

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Betelnut

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #105 on: March 08, 2013, 01:57:04 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.
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Sharnita

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #106 on: March 08, 2013, 01:58:44 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.

MrsJWine

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #107 on: March 08, 2013, 05:01:32 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.


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Sharnita

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #108 on: March 08, 2013, 05:04:59 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. 

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #109 on: March 08, 2013, 07:02:45 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.
 

Sharnita

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #110 on: March 08, 2013, 07:35:14 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.

Need to Change

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #111 on: March 08, 2013, 07:44:53 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.

MOM21SON

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #112 on: March 08, 2013, 07:46:35 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.

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #113 on: March 08, 2013, 07:49:19 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.

Dr. F.

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #114 on: March 08, 2013, 08:16:36 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.

MOM21SON

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #115 on: March 08, 2013, 08:19:31 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.

TylerBelle

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #116 on: March 08, 2013, 08:36:42 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
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trailgrrl

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #117 on: March 08, 2013, 11:09:07 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.

mbbored

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #118 on: March 08, 2013, 11:26:54 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.

trailgrrl

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Re: Dog Park and Toddlers
« Reply #119 on: March 08, 2013, 11:43:22 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.