Lorraine asked in PetsDogs · 9 years ago

What is your opinion on behavior at dog parks.?

In view of my TD in this question regarding Dog Parks...


I am interested to see how many people think as I do and how many the opposite. I realise that I am UK and maybe dog parks in the US are slightly different, but in general my opinion is as I answered.

The crux of my answer was :-

Just because it is an "offleash" park that doesn't mean it has to be.

It also doesn't mean as some people seem to think, that it is ok to just allow your dogs to go steaming up to others without either invitation from those people or without your permission to your dog.

Go there to teach your dog manners. Teach your dog to ignore other dogs and be able to pass them without having to pile into them and play. A well trained dog does not leave their owner and go running off to others unless invited.

Drives me totally nuts that people assume it is "ok"... and it drives me even more nuts when people assume that is what an offleash park is for... It isn't.

Not saying a dog shouldn't play at times with others, but it is on your say so and with a couple of dogs that will be ok and vice versa.


I am sort of expecting opinions to be split into two groups and kind of know who would be in which, but do want sincere opinions.


Don't worry - I wasn't actually worried about the TD..lol... I get used to them.

But I was interested in who feels the same as I do. I think from the answers so far, that I am going to hear only from those who do feel the same and quite honestly I knew who you would all be as well. (enough said).... lol.

Update 2:

lol - there are no TD's from me. I guess the TD's are from those who think it acceptable that their dogs just run amok in a park.

16 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Reasons I avoid dog parks as much as humanly possible... here in the U.S. the point of a dog park seems to be for the dogs to run wild off-leash legally (and theoretically safely). There is little or no room for training or for other activities, it is just a big, often fenced area where anyone who can show proof of vaccinations (and not even that at many) can unclip the leash and let their dog do whatever.

    Now, I avoid them because I have broken up too many fights and dealt with too many bad habits in dogs, but the concept of "free play" can be OK if someone in charge knows what they are doing. My first job was at a gundog training kennel (they also did boarding) where the dogs got supervised "playtime" with up to 30 of them at a time while someone cleaned the kennels. The difference was that the supervisor knew ALL of the dogs and that most dogs stayed with us at least a week at a time and/or were regular visitors, this meant that ONE person knew all of the temperaments of the dogs in question and that the "pack dynamics" didn't change every day (or every hour). If the running loose and playing thing was done with dogs I knew, then I wouldn't have as much of a problem with it.

    My personal opinion is that dog parks should be left for the clueless and that leash laws should be amended to allow dogs who have met certain benchmarks (i.e. obedience title, temperament test, etc) to be off-leash in designated non-dog-park areas - like the rest of the park.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    You Gave a good answer so don't know why you got a TDs but onto your question ,we have parks here ,we also have the forest and that seems to be an excuse to let your dog run wild ,i do not allow my dogs to go running up to other dogs they are in control at all times as in the case of the Forest were no one keeps there dogs under Control it annoys me .

    Its off leash i suppose yet to see any one with there dogs on leads but whilst dogs need socialisation i just wish the other owners would use some common sense and not allow there dogs to run up to other dogs with the owner having no control over them.

    It is an accident waiting to happen ,classic case was this weekend with the Local hunt and hounds out of control dogs harassing the hounds and the master getting extremely agitated with the general public that had no control over the dogs .

  • 9 years ago

    There is only one dog park that I actually go to in my area.

    This park in particular is not your average "fenced in lot"

    The park I go to is somewhat of a forest, it has a few wooded trails, a creek, and 2 "meeting places"

    It's one of the only types of parks I would take my dog to.

    The way things work there is that dogs may or may not sniff each other upon passing, and that's about it.

    The dog's minds are occupied and moving forward. There isn't the pent up energy that there tends to be in most smaller dog parks.

    IMO that's how an off-leash park should be. Although I realize it's not always possible.

    But it does tend to be under the assumption that if your dog is at the park, then it is okay for dogs to run and play uninvited.

  • 9 years ago

    I take my dog to the dog park to keep her socialized with other dogs. My dog stays by my side or my son's and doesn't wander far off. She also does not tumble or roughhouse with the other dogs. She just isn't that type.

    I have seen a couple bring young energetic pups in that will not leave the other dogs alone and when that happens I take my dog and leave. But for the most part the dogs and owners on our side are very respectful of others.

    Now on the large dog side it is a different story. All hell breaks loose over there almost every time I am there. If I had a large dog I would not be taking it to the dog park.

    The rules at our park actually state to take your leash off your dog in the waiting area before entering the park.

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  • 9 years ago

    I wonder why you got a TD, but I quite like your answer, its not safety to let dog offleash if they are not recalling trained. You are correct there about teaching the dog to ignore the other dogs and stay with their owner for their own safety, if dog are not trained, they would have run over the road and get injuried. Probably someone who is jealous of your professional advice. I gave you a thumb up :)

    My dog is trained offleash, she has excellent recall and very well socalized. All well trained dogs are happy

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    I saw that TD and didn't understand it but TD-ers are rife around here. Further, I think my reply to this same question shows that for me, I'd not take mine anywhere near one. In fact I hesitate taking mine up on the headland down here for the same reason - any bug that's doing the rounds is sitting there waiting for my dogs to walk past. And then there's the question of dogs who are not under proper control belting up to mine, which again, I don't want. Doesn't make for a calm walk imvho. I much prefer to take mine off over the fields inland.

    So it's not all about behaviour in dog parks - lack of control anywhere bugs me!! And that extends to KIDS.

  • Kira
    Lv 4
    6 years ago

    I go with my dogs to the large,local dog park very often- i got 10 so me and my boyfriend get one each time. My purpose was to train my dogs discipline and simple,first steps at the beginning,when they were all just puppies. Later,i aimed at socializing them and after their DSCs i went to the dog park to provide them with further practise. That's these parks' reason of existance anyway:dog socialization,basic trianing,dogs learn how to co-exist and behave themselves with other dogs!

    But,there are exceptions:last year a man entered the park- eh owned a pitbull mix and an Alabai x Kangal. Everything seemed okay but later i saw him actually 'talking' to his dogs. I was with my Caucasian Ovcharka at the park and my boyfriend was standing a bit further with our female Mastiff. After a minutes, the strange guy suddenly left both of his dogs unleashed and they started running to attack me and my boyfriend's dog. What an action:both of my dogs are trianed to deal with such situations and within minutes they grabbed them both and immobilized them keeping them on the ground unable to react. He started shouting that we hurted his dogs but his dogs didn't actually had a single wound,because my dogs immobilized them with their teth without causing damage.

    Anyway,it is so stup.id? why would anyone do this?is it called demonstration and 'new fashion in town'?Dogs trained to attack and kill. God. Striter rules in dog parks definitely!

  • 9 years ago

    In my experience, it seems like it is the expectation that dog parks are a place for dogs to run and play freely. I have seen people using dog parks as a training area for their dogs, it is a great way to see how well your dog behaves in spite of distractions. But it is more common for people to use it the way you would a playground for kids - loosely structured with the intent of a lot of free play. For most people, that is the purpose of an off-leash dog park - it's a place for your dog to be a dog.

    We go to our small neighborhood dog park at least 3-4 evenings a week. There are several "regulars" there, and I have had the opportunity to make some good friends with some of our fellow dog-owning neighbors.

    When I stayed for a short time in a small apartment, I found myself taking my dog to other dog parks frequently as a substitute for a yard to run in. Some of the larger city-run dog parks do have a different "atmosphere", so to speak, and there was one that I learned to avoid at a particular time of day because of a woman who brings her two aggressive dogs in. Dogs parks do have "rules", such as no dogs in heat, no aggressive dogs, no young puppies, and all dogs must be vaccinated, but these rules are virtually impossible to enforce.

    You don't have to go to dog parks at all. They are a relatively recent concept, most dogs live happy and fulfilled lives without ever setting foot (or paw) in one.

  • 9 years ago

    As I am sure you are aware dog parks are the exception in England, not the rule and I cherish the ability to exercise my Dobermann off lead on the downs, parks, nature reserves, common land, by the beach [off season] and on holiday hill walking/rambling.

    That said people labour under the false impression that they have a "right" to have their dog off lead however uncontrolled, of questionable temperament, in heat or dog aggressive it may be and on occasion I occasionally find it aggravating that some owners seemingly think dog obedience is an optional extra and rely on other people to keep their dogs under control.

    If I see an uncontrolled off lead pup hurtling towards my dog, then I step in front of him to physically take control of the situation and prevent it from reaching him. Not because he is vicious, but because he will correct a puppy for nipping or jumping up at him with warning growl to back off and if that fails he drives the point home with a paw on the shoulder. When the pup submits he walks away.

    I have heard a time or two that "I have a right to have my puppy off lead". Actually no they don't. If a dog is off lead then in has to be under the voice control of its owner and behave in an acceptable manner. No free passes on that for puppies.

  • i think if your dog is untrained and doesnt listen well it has no buisness being off a leash whether or not its required. i like having comoleate control over who and what my dog contacts and the fact hes an 9 week old puppy, im training him and its crucial that he understands what i allow and dont. its like a child you wouldnt let your 3 yr old be out of your eyesight or too far away if they try to run into the road you arent close enough to stop them, if you want them to run around get a retractable leash while training and untill your confident that your dogs will listen they shouldnt be off a leash, and even when they are you should have a leash with you just incase they do misbehave or you need compleate control.

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