Dog Blog

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Let it be known I 'm not a big fan of dog parks, mostly because of ignorant or arrogant dog owners, not the dogs themselves. It's not just dogs sometimes misbehaving at dog parks, it's their owners. People mistakenly think that the dog park is the place to initiate their unsocialized dog. That means dogs which may not get along well with other dogs can end up starting fights or reacting badly to other dogs that are too in-your-face for dog parks. Dogs should be well socialized before you ever enter a dog park with your canine. 

This happened yesterday at Glenbrook Park. I met a nice young woman with a young, exuberant German Shepherd Dog, but she was a bit clueless about dog park etiquette. The pup obviously hadn't had much socialization with other dogs and didn't know the limits. It was quickly taught to him by a testy senior Boston Bull Terrier, which got the young dog down on its back. That show of dominance caused the pup to react with aggression. Next thing you know they were fighting. Both women erred in not leashing their dogs immediately and exiting the dog park. If other aggressive dogs had been in the vicinity, things could easily have escalated with injuries and not just to the dogs, as in the case of the Playboy model who was punched out by a sheriff's deputy while trying to protect her Min Pin from two pugnacious Pugs.

People are on edge these days, on the roads, in the dog parks, and just about everywhere else. Tempers are shorter than the fuse on a Piccolo Pete, and the heat doesn't help. This doesn't seem like the best time to be relaxing gun laws, ya think? What if the deputy had been packing a pistol at the time the dog fight broke out? I really don't want to see a shootout at the local dog park, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up happening if things keep going the way they are. We already have road rage; we don't need Rover rage, too.

Problems like these at the dog parks can be alleviated if visitors take time to read the rules at the entrance and abide by them, and practice some civility to fellow dog park visitors. I have met some of the most unsociable people ever at dog parks. If they are not talking on phones or texting and tweeting (instead of minding their dogs and scooping poop) they are just plain rude. I find it quite puzzling. You'd think it would be different since you have a love for dogs in common. Apparently not. 

You may think your dog gets along fine with others, but he may not do well in a dog park setting, which can be pretty frenetic with dogs racing around uncontrolled. Considering the unruly behavior I see from children in public places when their parents are present and oblivious to the disturbance their offspring create, I really don't expect much better from dogs and their doting parents. Perhaps it's the people, not the dogs, who need socializing.



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