I despise a dog park, hubby on the other hand thinks they are the best thing ever invented. Before we moved to the farm we used to take the dogs to one. Every single visit something happened that made me hate the dog park. A few examples:
- dogs that were too aggressive for that environment
- people that were too harsh with their training methods
- lack of understanding of dog behavior
- lack of owner attention/intervention in situations that needed it
Obviously all these examples are just my opinion. To the owners, I’m sure their dogs were not too aggressive or their methods too harsh etc..etc..Which to me is exactly the problem with the dog park. Everyone has their own unique and individual standards of what is acceptable.
When we used to bring Radar he cared less about the other dogs and only wanted to go tree to tree to tree looking for squirrels. The other dogs found this fascinating and just wanted to get in his face, jump at him and get in his path of hunting. It used to drive me crazy because it aggravated him and interfered with his mission at dog park. The only time Radar would give up squirrel searching was when another dog was playing fetch with a ball and its owner. Then he fixated on that dog and became the type of dog that had aggravated him just a few minutes ago as he barked and interfered with that dogs plight of playing fetch. Once he would lock on hubby and I had our own unique and individual standard as to how long it was acceptable to let him get in the other dog’s way. I always thought we should leave immediately, hubby on the other hand thought it ok to try to re-direct or even let it play out for the other dog to take a stand. It got to where I didn’t think the dog should ever go to dog park because it was just too damn much stress on human and dog. A nice walk in the woods was just as effective and enjoyable. Having 3 dogs there was no lack or need for additional socialization.
Thank God when we moved the dog park debate kind of resolved itself. On the farm there were plenty squirrels to search for right here at home and the time to take a dog to dog park was replaced by other things.
When we got the new puppy one of the first things out of my hubby’s mouth on the drive home was how now he could have a dog park dog. Ugh. I once read an article written by a vet that said the only thing he hated to see come through the door more than a dog park fight was bloat and a dog that had been hit by car. Ugh.