Dog Parks-Are they safe?

My thoughts on Dog Parks was “Confined area to run and play, socialize with other dog lovers, my dogs could make friends and burn off excess energy, what could be better?”

My view has changed in the past year.  Almost daily I see on the news or social media how dogs are hurt or killed, especially small dogs like chihuahuas or other small breeds or mixes.  I personally own an 9.52 lb Brussels Griffons (a cocky, in your face pooch that can try the patience of saints, never mind a large, dominant dog!)  He is a boisterous, bouncy 2 years old and still a teen-ager in behavior.  

7 Pound Chihuahua Mauled To Death at Local Dog Park

Excitement turned to dismay, a new dog park opened locally last year after much campaigning by residents.  It wound up being closed for quite a while due to parasite infestation.  That can be controlled, if not prevented, by visitors doing their duty and disposing of any waste their dog leaves.  I became paranoid that dog haters would visit the park leaving poisoned treats, the same fear people have for their children Trick or Treating on Halloween.

A responsible pet owner will make sure their pet is vaccinated, not sick with something contagious and socialized.  Many feel their dog is socialized because he/she’s friendly  and romps well with a neighbor dog but in a group situation everything can change in a blink of an eye.  On the surface my BG is friendly and loves to play with other dogs.  In reality he is pushy, lacking in group manners and will bully a submissive dog unless supervised.   My fault, he needs more training, for now he would not be a good candidate to run at the dog park.

There should be a park attendant.

Someone to monitor that all follow rules, help with fights or emergencies and get help when needed.

There should be parks for small dogs and parks for large dogs. 

Allowing very small dogs to run with large dogs can be a very dangerous situation for the small dog. The average pet owner has no idea how to break up a dog fight. They also can’t comprehend how quickly a large dog can kill or seriously injure a small dog.

There are some basic common sense rules that good owners should follow when they use a park.

  • When at the park and a dangerous or out of control dog shows up, leave the park. While you may feel you have the right to be there you gain nothing by pushing your limit and risking a dog fight.
  • Go to the park at off-peak hours. You will learn when the quiet times are, those are the times to be there with your dog. If you dress for the wind and rain there is nothing wrong with having the entire park to yourself.
  • When your dog is off leash at the park, 100% of your of your focus should be on your dog.
  • If you wish to socialize with other dogs owners that fine, just do it when you have your dog on a leash.

Watch This Video Before Going to a Dog Park