I love dog parks. I love taking my dog to them. My dogs love to run around and play with other friendly socialized dogs. Unfortunately, where I live, they are not always safe. The fences are sound. The benches are sturdy. But there are frequently people there with dogs that are aggressive, out of control, and un-nuetered and un-spayed. A few people ruin it for everybody else. So, my dogs will not be going to the dog park. In a large fenced in park, dogs can cover a great deal of distance in very short periods of time. A fight can break out too quickly to avoid. After being lucky for several years with my pets, the risks are just too great. Yesterday, at our local dog park, a large un-neutered dog was brought into the park. The owner went to the nearest bench and lied down. They were not watching their out-of-control dog. They were asked to leave by other dog owners but they refused to leave. Un-neutered dogs are not allowed into the dog park by law where I live. Signs are posted at every single gate. The area in question is marked for small timid dogs. The large dog started to attack a toy breed dog. The small dog's owner tried to break up the fight. Both the owner and their small dog were both bitten and injured. Police were called and nothing was done even though there were witnesses. The large dog's owner never even got off of the bench. Apparently this dog has done this before. I was not there. So, there may be more to the story. I am so glad I was not there though.
Several months ago at the same park, there was a dog there with an eye infection. The eye was oozing and the dog was frightened by any other dog that was on the infected eye side. That dog should not have been out playing with other dogs. It was very defensive and was lunging toward any dog that came near it. We left when I saw it.
If people refuse to follow the rules and the police are not able to do anything about it, I will not be risking my dog's life or good health by taking a chance at our dog park. I love the idea of them. I have enjoyed them in the past too so I completely understand the appeal. My favorite parks were in Arkansas and Texas. The Arkansas park that we used to enjoy was smaller and the crowd was more responsible. The park that we enjoyed in Texas was also much smaller. It was a fenced off area at the apartment where we lived. We knew our neighbors and it was small enough to be able to keep a good eye on our dogs. Unfortunately, the park near my home now is very large and very crowded with a new set of people that don't know each other and are irresponsible with their dogs. So, at my current location, unfortunately, they just are not safe. So, what can you do?
Here are a few things that you can do to get some playtime while keeping your dog safe:
Get out and play. Keep it safe.