Dog Park Safety


Honored Member
For those who take there dogs to the dog park, how do you keep your dog safe and handle situations where other dogs get over excited? (especially for small dogs)

Here's my example from today (it's a bit of a rant):
On Saturdays I usually take Holly to the dog park after obedience class.

So today, as we entered the only two dogs in there were just leaving. We were alone for a couple of minutes then two black pitbull/staffy-type (I can never tell those two breeds apart and at least one of them looked like a cross) dogs arrive (with two big men and a little boy). They let the first off the leash and it immediately charges straight towards us, Holly is sometimes a little afraid of big dogs (especially unknown ones, which is understandable) so she immediately ran between my legs before it got to us. The dog skidded (hits my legs) and started sniffing Holly and me. So then the second dog gets let off and does the exact same thing (but now I'm trying to watch the first dog while the second one is racing at us), all the while the owners are still over by the gate :mad: .
I wasn't really scared for me (I've never met an aggresive dog at a dog part of any breed so the breed was not an issue) but I was concerned that they might see Holly as something to chase in a not-playing way. :cautious:

Then one of the people from agility class (she helps with the teaching) came up from the creek (I didn't know she was in the dog park) with her small white dog and her flatemates medium sized poodle and golden retriever. So Holly felt a bit better not being the only small dog (and the new dogs were gentle) so they all started to play. After a bit the pitbull/staffys started to get a bit rough with Holly and were rolling her around (she was snarling back) so I got her back between my legs and she stayed there till I managed to calm the two dogs down (it didn't take much, they were nice dogs, just a bit rough and energetic), although I was tempted, I didn't pick Holly up because I thought that could make the situation worse. The women from agility said I handled the situation very well.
The two men didn't even come over.:mad:
Then the golden retriever told the pitbull/staffys off. :eek:
Me and the women from agility left after that.

I think I did do the right thing but I could see that the situation could have quickly gotten out of control with those two dogs ganging up on Holly, so it got me thinking about what the best things to do is in these sorts of situation.

And was I right to not pick Holly up? (even though she wanted me to)

I used to take the Cavaliers to the dog park and never had any problems, but we usually went to the smaller park and there was two of them so it was less likely that they would be out numbered by dogs from the same owner and Paris is good at telling other dogs off if they go too far.


Honored Member
I think you did the right thing!!
You gave Holly support, by letting her find a safe spot between your legs. Picking up is very wrong to do, unless a dog is actually attacking your dog.
It is great that you stepped in between your dog and the others!

It would have been nice if these dogs were introduced to your dog in a more controlled manner, but most people don't think about this, unfortunately.


Experienced Member
yep i had a horrid panic this week with Bella, 4 dogs came charging at her, and i had her onleash as we were heading back to the car and she panicked, struggled, got off it then was chased by one of the 4 dogs out the park a white alsation i think and 2 others were border terriers and not sure what the other one was. The person with the 4 dogs was a dog walker and couldnt even control them as they just wouldn't leave us alone. Grrrr i hate owner (heck they weren't even her dogs) thats just don't care. If i was a dog walker i'd keep the dogs onleash if they wouldn't respond as what happens if they had ran off.
Grrrr I was so angry and in tears but luckily Bella did what she always does, hides behind a tree till the coast is clear.

Oh and today Zara had the muzzle on and this guys dog kept barking and snapping at her, if Zara hadn't got the muzzle on that would have turned nasty.