We are very lucky here in Tampa. We have several dog parks and indeed, each has it's own "culture". We have taken our 3 basenjis to a dog park almost daily for over 6 years, and before that we took them to a big off-leash area far from traffic every day. When the first dog park opened in this area, several of us that knew each other from various internet basenji lists got together and discovered that off leash in neutral territory, basenjis got along with other dogs and with each other far better than anyone expected. I daresay we were the first "social experiment" of ongoing basenji meet-ups and I think most people (on the chat lists) didn't really believe how well they all did! We currently have a regular get-together with other basenjis every Sunday at a larger 6 acre park, sometimes only 5, often as many as 10 or 12 basenjis that play and chase for a couple of hours. Some of us have been together since the start of our little group, some we have recently met, but all get along very well. The girls are, well, bitches, and snark at the boys from time to time, occasionally at each other, but nothing like a fight. If things get tense, we all get up and go for a walk and everything smooths out. I am the biggest fan of dogparks that you will ever meet!
Of course you have to pick your park, and even a good park changes by the hour. Go alone at different times of day and chat with owners, hopefully you will find a group of like-minded responsible people and hook up with them. One of our parks is pretty much a 'pit and rottie' type of park, but others are great! Like someone else said, watch the other owners and be sure they are watching their dogs and not just socializing. And if a dog that comes in that makes you nervous, leave!
I won't say we have never seen a real fight, or that no dog is ever injured, but it is very rare. And the dogs LOVE it, they are very social creatures and love to meet new dogs and play, and really love seeing their pals every Sunday. Whoever gets there first always says that their dogs just sit and watch the gate till another basenji gets there, then they start to socialize with everyone. I could go on and on about the pleasures of dog park! We have met some of our very best friends there, and 2 good friends that met at dog park just got engaged,so it can be very good for humans as well.
If anyone is ever in Tampa, let me know and we'll meet up. We have met (in person) at least 10 people from all over the country that I knew from chat lists, all are amazed at our little basenji gang!
MacPack (Anne in Tampa)