The Dog Park Debate

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.

6 thoughts on “The Dog Park Debate

  1. You bring up some very good points. I was a very strong supporter of dog parks. It was the a place I could take my dog and he could run free (off leash) and play with other dogs. Then I started to run into problems, most of them caused by people. In one instance was someone bringing their small dog into the area for big dogs (despite the fact that there was a separate area for small dogs). Once I was shocked by a lady that brought her young children into the park, sitting them on a bench then brought out food for her children. I quickly left what I thought was a potential for disaster.

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  2. I despise dog parks sooooo much. The socializing, whatever. You can grab a friend with a dog and manage that socializing aspect together, no biggie. It’s really the diseases that are awful. Most dogs that get parvo, ringworm, roundworm, heartworm, etc get them from dog parks. Unfortunately not everyone believes in vaccines, making it a breeding ground for all sorts of fun puppy sicknesses. Personally, I don’t believe in unnecessary vet bills or a sick/dead dog! Besides doggie dates are a way more fun way to keep in touch with my friends 🙂

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  3. I have never taken Daisy to the dog parks that are not far from us. We live in the country and she has room to roam when we are outdoors. To me, that is honestly better than the dog park. I think the dog parks were invented for people who live in apartments or houses with tiny yards. Our daughter will bring her 2 dogs here for me to babysit so that gets her around other dogs. We have always been a 2-3 dog family our older dog died in June of this year she was 16 years old. Now we are a 1 dog family and I am trying my hardest to stay that way.

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  4. Well said. I’ve had my one girl ripped apart, completely unprovoked, in a dog park. She was standing close to me, just sniffing around, and I was talking to the other dog’s owner. His dog decided no other dog could be close to his owner, and ripped up both sides on my girl. A great afternoon.
    Total $500 in vet care, extended home care, she has scar tissue.
    I haven’t taken her back…


      1. Yeah, I never took her back. With our next puppy, we took him for many months, but to the small dog side…
        It has paid off now, and he is respectful of small sized dogs and won’t run them over. He was on the large dog side several times, but for short visits, and I kept moving around, always completely engaged with him, never standing around. Once he was an adult, haven’t taken him back…


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