I love the concept of the dog park. Dogs having room to run and play with other dogs, people meeting people with at least one thing in common, dog.
But the reality of the dog park is something very different from this ideal. This I blame totally on the owners of the dogs.
I try to pick times when no one else is there or if the small dog side is open we will go in that side. Today I was in the park with my three dogs and no one was there. Great, Louie G can get in a great run, Pippen will chase her, Walter can sniff and mark to his hearts content and I will have pooped out dogs all day.
Another woman shows up with a young mini aussie and all is well. Better than well, Louie G is actually running with a dog she just met, more exercise. 🙂 I walk the perimeter and the dogs run around me. The other woman is keeping an eye on her dog and I on mine, everybody is doing great.
On our way out and I recognize this big guy with the big Shepard, whoI know is not neutered. One thing you have to understand, Walter can smell an unneutered male a mile away, and he thinks he can take him, no matter that dog is 3 times his size. I leash my guys up and move over to the side to get as far away as possible.
I’m not sure if the guy recognized us from the walks in the neighborhood but at least he was smart enough to leash his dog up. He used a long piece of heavy rope as the leash, maybe 10 feet, and wrapped it around his body to control the dog from bolting. What he didn’t do was move away and he had the room. He just kept saying “my dog is friendly”. Dude, my dog is not friendly to intact males. At least we got out without incident.
I few weeks ago I got a call from a neighbor asking for help with her Boarder Collie mix. Apparently the night before they were at the same dog park. Dogs are playing and everyone was having fun. A guy with a Pit Bull was on the small dog side. Apparently that fence wasn’t big enough. The dog climbed the fence, attached her dog, bit it’s leg and broke it in 2 places! Apparently this man knew this dog had issues with other dogs, why else would he have separated him by putting him on the small dog side.
Too many times I see owners ignoring their dogs while they are having a great time with the other people in the park, reading the paper and my personal favorite “they’re just dogs” when the dogs are engaging in inappropriate behavior. If you take your dog to the dog park, you need to know what your dog is doing at all times and you need to step up when something is going on.
Also, I believe dogs that are not fixed should not be allowed in the parks. I have seen people bring females in heat to the park. WHAT ARE YOU THINKING! Or not thinking. Un neutered males can sometimes get along fine with the other dogs. But sometimes……..the dogs can sense all the hormones and you could be asking for problems with the wrong mix of dogs. This is for all the macho men who can’t stand the thought of getting their dog “fixed”, by not having them fixed could cause them to die at an earlier age from certain cancers.
On a lighter note, one of my favorite dog park scenarios. I guess at North Shore they were having a big problem with people thinking that the park was free doggie day care. I saw a woman come into the park with a young Viszla. She walked around for a bite, turned around and left the park. The dog went nuts! Running and barking as she walked away. Well the dog had the last laugh. It jumped the fence and was running wild all over Vinoy Park. So much for your quiet afternoon honey.