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Socializing A Dog There?!

Posted by Anonymous
  • 22 Replies

Last night I went to our local county fair.  It was packed with people, strollers, and animals (4-H fair), tons of rides, games, and tons of noise.  I was super surprised, and kind of nervous, to see people there with their dogs.  It really made me nervous and I made sure to steer clear of the dogs.  My husband said it was good "socialization" for them.

I don't want to breed bash, but most of the dogs appeared to be pitt bulls and I think that is what made me nervous.  There was a person with two large German Shepherds but the dogs were really calm and quiet and muzzled.

Is a county fair truely a good place to socialize your dog?

Posted by Anonymous on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:00 PM
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by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:14 PM


by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:15 PM
1 mom liked this

A fair is a great place to socialize a dog! I always bring a dog or two with me when we go!

by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:16 PM

No it's not.

by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:16 PM

When they are at a certain level in their socialization, absolutely.

but a huge crowded place with that many distractions isn't a "starter" location for sure.

by Emerald Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:17 PM
I think it's a very good place.
by Anonymous 2 on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:17 PM

yes. but most of the time, unless its a pup they are already ok with people. Just ask if you want to pet, teach your kids to ask.

by Ruby Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:18 PM
It isn't a good place to start but it is a fine place for them to be. Were the dogs freaking out? If not, they were fine.
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by Bronze Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:19 PM
Our local fair has a rule against it because they scare the show animals in cages otherwise I would absolutely take my well behaved German shepherd, my two little yappers however are almost never taken into public because they can't handle it
by Ruby Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:19 PM
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Yes, if dogs are allowed on the grounds, a county fair can be a very good place to socialize a dog.

But, since it is an excessively loud and busy place with so many weird sights (and drunk people), it is ONLY a good place to do some of the final stages of socializing, after the dog is already very stable and comfortable in more ordinary situations.

For what it's worth, I SERIOUSLY doubt that most people take their dogs to county fairs to socialize them.   For most, they either aren't comfortable leaving the dog at a motel or host's house, or they just want people to see their dog.

VERY few of the people who do, carry water for the dog, or waste bags, or a towel that can be soaked and draped over the dog if it's hot.   I usually feel sorry for the 'bully' dogs because it's often very, very hot at those fairs and the bully breeds have a tough time on hot days, but walking on the hot pavement all day can be scorching on any dog's feet.

If dogs were allowed at county fairs, I'd take one of my dogs - as one of them is extremely relaxed in any situation and loves to make friends with EVERYONE.   The other dog doesn't enjoy so much noise and commotion, even after years of socializing.   He TOLERATES it, he doesn't enjoy it.   

The other one thinks everything is a party thrown in his honor.   Loud explosions are clearly about to scatter dog food everywhere, and any jelly-smeared child or drunken adult is a fun and bouncy toy.

I have in fact taken my dogs to county fairs simply because it's such a long drive there and back and I don't want to be apart from my dogs for that long.   We usually do everything together and I enjoy watching them enjoy what they're doing.    They're my family and I like to do things with them.  On a cool enough day, they even wait in the car for me while I am shopping - though they're so well trained they are allowed in many of the stores I visit.   Too, we often find that a parent asks us to come over and greet their children, or that a disabled or elderly person wants to pet them.

I know it's not going to make a dent in your fear (only you can do that), but there isn't any reason to be afraid of a leashed dog - simply go around him.    Further, breed isn't a reliable gauge of aggression.   Some pits and SHephers are quite friendly, and others are not.    Please go more by the dog's behavior, than by its breed - that's just not a reliable way to determine if a dog is a risk or not.

The owner of the dog is actually a far, far better guange of the safety of the dog.   If the owner appears to be swaggering along with a pugnacious look on his face and acting as if his dog is so terribly 'big and bad', that's probably some jerk who has a very poorly trained dog, and that dog, regardless of breed, is probably a loose cannon.

If the owner is smiling and the dog is heeling obediently and cheerfully at his side(instead of pulling at the end of the leash), looking up occasionally adoringly at his master, and wagging his tail at the sight of every child, that's probably a safe dog.

by Platinum Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 1:19 PM

 I bring my Rottweiler everywhere I can.  The more people the better.  My county fair does not allow dogs but I take him to parades, street parties, green markets, fireworks and all picnics.  And yes I do get "looks" from people like you.  But who cares....if people can bring their poodles, poms and chis I can bring my Rott.

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