Dog Park "Right of Way"

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Joined:Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:31 am
Location:A little gambling town in the high desert
Dog Park "Right of Way"

Post by Fundog » Sun Aug 18, 2019 4:25 pm

Hi all,

The dog park in my town is very rudimentary: a fully enclosed parcel of lawn. It is not divided into sections, nor does it include an enclosed entrance/exit cell.

A few altercations have come up with a person who's dog does not get along with certain dogs, and she stresses about it anytime anyone she doesn't know comes to the park.

From what I can see, the conflict arises because there is not a clear rule of who should defer by leaving the park. If the person with the aggressive dog got to the park first, should the newcomers leave and return later, or does the owner of the aggressive dog have to defer?

There seems to be two points of view in my town, and that is causing people fights. :shock: What is the rule at your park?
If an opportunity comes to you in life, say yes first, even if you don't know how to do it.

Joined:Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: Dog Park "Right of Way"

Post by jacksdad » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:47 pm

I lean in the direction of if your dog can't be around other dogs without fear, anxiety, or aggression, they shouldn't be in a dog park.

It is possible provide a really good quality of life without the dog park.

Joined:Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location:Dorset, UK

Re: Dog Park "Right of Way"

Post by JudyN » Mon Aug 19, 2019 1:45 am

I'm not in the US, so I can't account for 'local custom', but I agree with Jacksdad. People with dogs who can rub along together shouldn't have their dogs' enjoyment curtailed by dogs with different needs. Apart from anything else, there aren't enough hours in the day to walk to the dog park, see another dog there, walk away, and come back later - it could stress the dog too if there aren't alternative locations nearby.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Joined:Wed Dec 03, 2008 8:31 am
Location:A little gambling town in the high desert

Re: Dog Park "Right of Way"

Post by Fundog » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:23 am

Thank you, that's pretty much my own consensus too. "If your dog is being a jerk, then YOUR dog needs to leave." I think we need to post that on all the gates, lol.

One of the problems is that this park is used by a lot of retired folks who can't walk well, and apartment dwellers, and travelers who are staying in the hotels, and need an off leash area for their dogs, so for most dogs who use the park, that is the only exercise they get.

It is very aggravating to these travelers with small dogs to be told by a local, in a nutshell, "My dog won't get along with your dog, so if you insist on coming in, it won't go well, and I won't accept responsibility."

I have also been told, "You know, that toy will no longer exist once you let go of it." (Because their dog is a toy thief). So I can't bring in any nice toys for Zoey to play with because the other dog will take it and destroy it, and it is too much work for the owner to tell the other dog no.

Regarding yesterday's incident, both parties were clearly in the wrong, and unfortunately, as happens in tiny towns, witnesses are caught in the middle because we're friends with both parties. :cry:
If an opportunity comes to you in life, say yes first, even if you don't know how to do it.

Joined:Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:07 am

Re: Dog Park "Right of Way"

Post by Ari_RR » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:20 pm

But there is no universal definition of “being a jerk”, is there? Puppies or teenagers are often jerks in the eyes of adults (and not just 4-legged, by the way).
Is the bouncy puppy, trying to rally everyone up for a game of chase, the jerk?
Or the old grump, growling at everything that moves faster than a snail?
I bet opinions would differ :)

Same for “getting along”.

What’s a “toy thief”? If a puppy sees a toy on the ground, do we really expect her to understand the notion that it’s not her toy, and she shouldn’t touch it?

My rule for city dog parks (just a fenced in area of grass full of random dogs) - stay away. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong in any particular conflict situation - it’s the dogs who are exposed to stress, and nothing good will come out of it.

Hopefully folks who can’t walk their dogs and have to rely on dog parks can manage this somehow. If it was only those folks - perhaps dog parks wouldn’t be such a Wild West. But in my experience - dog parks are full of lazy bums, sipping coffee, chatting on cellphones and socializing with each other. Some even bragging about their dog “kicking someone else’s dog’s a$$”, believe it or not. If I could undo one thing from the past, when Ari was a little puppy and then a teenager, I would have not set foot in dog parks.

But live and learn, so with Baby Miles - NEVER!
Ari, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Sept 2010 - Dec 2018.
Miles, Rhodesian Ridgeback, b. Nov 2018

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Joined:Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Dog Park "Right of Way"

Post by Nettle » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:17 am

We don't have much in the way of dog parks, but we do have similar smallish areas where many people, some infirm, some accompanied by young children, come to exercise their dogs, gossip, drink coffee etc. No way would I be bringing a dog that needed behavioural training to such places, because the environment can't be controlled. Nor for the same reason would I be bringing a young dog still developing its social skills or an old dog that wanted to be left alone. It's asking too much of too many.

I have a quiet well-behaved very well trained dog that does not want to be "friends" or "say hello to" badly behaved dogs. I am now of an age where I can't withstand being smacked into by dogs without spatial skills or general dog manners. So I avoid these places. I can't honestly think of any circumstance under which I would put my dog in such an environment, but I understand that others like the social experience.

When training other people's dogs I describe that environment as the prison exercise yard. Being nudged to provoke a reaction, having someone go through your pockets etc.

As for the original very sensible query - who should give way to whom - in an ideal world it's incumbent on every person/dog to be polite to every other person/dog, so each encounter is on a case-by-case. And it would be a hot day in Manchester if it actually happened.

I don't know from whom the original quote came, but there is a saying that there are no rights without responsibilities.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog


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