Saturday, September 20, 2008

Idiots at the Park...

This is exactly why I won't bring ANY of my dogs to a park. There are so many irresponsible owners with aggressive dogs that visit, and, more often than not, when their dogs bites and or attacks, the owner refuses to take responsibility for it. Here, we have an example of some psychotic woman trying to justify just WHY she brought an aggressive dog to a park, let him off lead, and when he bit someone, her excuse is that he has "issues". Fuck that, lady. YOU have issues. Be responsible. If you know your dog is uncomfortable around other people and/or dogs, then the dog park nor the public park are not the place for you. If your dog habitually bites you in the vagina and goes after people, it's time to be put to sleep. She says when she "sees people, she tells them to run; the dog bites!" THEN DON'T BRING IT OUT IN PUBLIC!

I once took my Schutzhund pup to a dog park - where some lady promptly let loose some little un-neutered Chihuahua. The dog ran around humping and attacking everything in sight, and she sits there and watches with her kids. Now MY show dog has canine aggression issues - since the day at the park, where he was bitten and harassed by said dog. Thanks to asshole owners, they've potentially screwed over my chance at competing with Donovan (seen at left) - our Schutzhund trainer told us to come back when we worked through his aggression issues (mind you, this is a FIVE MONTH OLD PUPPY who now has behavioral issues. It's been a long, hard haul and he still holds on to the fear that all dogs he sees WILL bite him, so he has a "get them before they get him" mentality). All it takes is ONE negative experience during puppyhood to set up a ticking time bomb. Between ages eight weeks and six months, a puppy should be exposed to all types of activities, people, and dogs. A negative experience in this time frame is likely to come up troublesome at a later date. It's documented that all experiences during this time frame will have an impact on how the dog's behavior is moulded, so anything negative should be dually noted and avoided when raising your puppy.

Please be responsible at the dog park, and when taking your dog to a park in general. If your dog isn't friendly with people or other dogs, it's not the place for you. Go hiking or trail walking, but don't impose your problem on other people. I have a fear-aggressive dog and a human aggressive dog (trained for guardian purposes) that I wouldn't DREAM of bringing to a dog park, because I don't think people there deserve to deal with that kind of bullshit. If I want to take them out, I take them to an isolated park, ON LEAD, and let them play on the soccer field or hike in the local hills. There are other ways of draining your dogs energy, and if your dog isn't good around other people or dogs, it can and WILL cause them a lot of stress, which can exaggerate any behavior your dog is predisposed to.

Here's a good video on how to stay safe at the dog park. Make sure you've got all your doggy manners in a row before visiting the park - be a responsible owner!

Happy Saturday! Now, it's time for me to go back to my warm bed.


mikken said...

I think that too many people see dog parks as "playgrounds" for dogs. They bring their kids to a playground, set them loose and say, "Go play nice, now." Then they sit on a bench and talk with the other parents about whatever...

But when some of the "kids" are babies and some are big teenagers and they're all carrying knives and different levels of social skills, THAT'S a dog park. Bad things can happen *fast*.

I once brought a 25 lb dog to a dog park. She wasn't one to mingle, just liked to hang out with the people and watch, so she was sitting quietly at my feet when a dog twice her size walked past, then lunged at her, teeth bared. Because I was right there, had been paying attention, and reacted without thinking (grabbing a strange and aggressive dog? Brilliant, Sherlock.), my dog suffered no more than being knocked over and emotionally shaken.

Turns out, that dog had attacked another dog just before we had gotten there. The owner was trying to "socialize" her because until two days before, she'd been in a cage her whole life without any other canine interaction. Great, so you take an animal with ZERO social skills or experience and you toss them into an open area swarming with strange dogs?! It's a wonder she didn't go on a killing spree, lady! It's really great that she was saved from that situation, but some kind of common sense would have been nice, too.

Emily said...

I have an 8 year old Retriever mix who is reactive on leash. We only got him 2.5 years ago and have spent the last while working out other issues (we are on a farm, so leash walking is easy because there aren't any distractions). I have been working this last year on the foundation skills for heel.

Now I'm ready to take him out where he may see other dogs. I go places where dogs should NOT be allowed off leash because I know he can't deal with anything like that yet. (keeping in mind if he's off leash he's great with other dogs!) He's doing pretty well except when they come too close (his thresh-hold is still pretty far away) or when they are let off leash and the owners prove how stupid they are.

My biggest pet peeve is when people take their dog to the local soccer pitch and let their dog loose off leash. If they had control and the dog recalls on a dime, I wouldn't care. But it seems that the people who let their dogs offleash in the "No off leash" areas are the ones who do exactly what happened in the video.

Sarah said...

I can't imagine using a dog park. I have had enough trouble just using the sidewalk for an on-leash walk. The thing that amazes me is that when I look back at the really bad dog attacks I've experienced, all were from unleashed dogs in the presence of their owners. None of them tore the leash from anyone's hand, none of them smashed through a window. All came about as a direct result of owner carelessness and indifference. All were so bad that you know the dogs had shown BIG signs previously; it wasn't a case of a 13-month-old puppy reaching sexual maturity and getting snotty. I can't imagine going to a dog park. It's like dropping your kid into a shark tank.

Anonymous said...

I'm lucky enough to have a privately owned dog park in my city. It's expensive ($250 annual membership), but every dog there is temperament tested before they are allowed in, and anyone showing obvious aggression is kicked out. The city is building a public park right now, but I doubt I'll ever go there...

ladraco said...

There are a lot of dog parks around here, including the country's first off-leash dog beach (Dog Beach, Ocean Beach, San Diego, California) and other than my dog getting humped now and again have never had a bad experience.

However, my mom's friends live right in front of a small dog park, and their dog, a sweet-as-can-be yellow lab, got attacked there. He had some pretty serious bite wounds that took a long time to heal.

But this is why we love dogs, isn't it? Because so goddamn many people are FUCKING ASSHOLES!

There's a park right across the street from me. Dogs are allowed but not off-leash, but people let them off-leash anyway and don't get in trouble for it.

Frankly, I love this system. It really works at our local park because only friendly dogs are ever off-leash. People with unfriendly dogs know that if their dog attacked, they'd be in trouble. There's never been a problem there to my knowledge.

Also, for public parks, really good voice control of your dog is a must. My dog is trained: to come when I call, never to enter a street without me, to leave things alone when I say, and to go in the direction I point.

I think you can avoid an awful lot of problems just by having your dog under your control at all times. I don't just let my dog run.

And don't forget those vaccines in case something does happen! A park here recently had an outbreak of parvo and now has to be disinfected:

What I'm saying here is that dog parks can be wonderful, just take every possible precaution and remain vigilant!

mommyof3 said...

What an idiot, I hope that lady was either fined or arrested, for public endangerment, or whatever they can call it. And that dog needs to be PTS, I'm sorry. How the hell do you let your dog bite you in the vagina, multiple times? And he can make love, but not have babies????? WTF???

We take our Basset Hounds (2)to several local dog parks, we've never had a problem with our dogs being attacked, but have seen several aggressive dogs that should never have been there, much less let off leash. We don't take our Boxer or Queensland because we know that we can't trust them off leash, they've shown dog aggression in the past to unknown dogs, so we just don't take them. I think it's totally owner responsibility to make sure that your dog is properly socialized and you have to know that your dog will not cause problems. If only everyone did this....

Melmouse said...

Just like a child - if you had a child with behavioral issues, would you go let them free on a bunch of unsuspecting kids in the park? Responsible parents are sitting here saying "NO!"

Some people have yet to learn that if you are dumber than the dog, the dog doesn't deserve you.