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Q: How many of you think dog parks are good or bad??

May 27, 2009 | By Courtney H. | 7 answers | Expired: 1868 days ago

Courtney H.

I am just curious. Some people think dog parks are a wonderful thing. I am one who thinks they are a nightmare and would not go to them. I see so many pictures posted on this site of dogs at dog parks and the headings have to make me wonder. People think a dog is having a good time yet the dog is exhibiting all stress signs. How many of you go to them or have had a bad experience and will never go back?

Readers' Answers (7)
Midwestwoman
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May 27, 2009

Good idea but not well thought out - an idea that in my opinion has come and gone. Will not go back. It is an unnatural social situation for dogs, and an accident waiting to happen. I have witnessed, and heard about attacks in the dog park in Dubuque.

Dogs aren't children who need to go to the playground and play with others. Yes, dogs need socialization. Yes, they need to meet a variety of dogs and people, but under controlled situations. I don't think dog parks are the way to do it.

The dog park situation, especially if it isn't a very large area, allows for the creation of a free-form, unstable pack. Dogs come and go and this creates tension that can erupt as an altercation at any time. Dogs have varying degrees of social skills as well as personalities, and not all dogs read other dogs' body language well. Further, owners tend to gather at one end and chat while the pack of dogs just takes a free form. I think this is a very bad message to send to the dogs. Dogs should be under their owner's control, and I think dog parks can teach dogs to ignore their owners while running with the pack.

There are all kinds of people there - some polite and friendly, some responsible owners with some knowledge of dogs and some irresponsible who don't pick up after their dogs, who don't call their dog off of another dog when it is getting aggressive and occasionally some very odd or antagonistic people.

There are far too many people for my taste who frequent these parks that do not have much knowledge of dog behavior. They cannot tell the difference between play and aggression. Furthermore, there is the risk of infectious disease. Many owners do not feel the need to pick up after their dogs, and even if everyone did, there is still a risk of disease with so many dogs eliminating in the same area. There is no guarantee all dogs are up to date on vaccinations and are free of contagious disease.

And there are owners who knowingly bring unsocialized dogs that don't get along with other dogs to the park...incredible, but true!

I think dog parks are a bad choice for socializing and exercising dogs, and I do not recommend them.

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Gleb S.
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May 27, 2009

It is a good option until something bad happens... If you know the dogs and their owners than it becomes more of a private party, if you come a t the right time. But going there w/o any knowledge of what other dogs are there can be dangerous... I use it to walk outside the fence to have Carrot get used to the look and movements of other dogs. This works well.

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Vtech505
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May 28, 2009

It could potentially be a good thing for dogs. Infortunately there are too many ignorant owners and way too many untrained dogs that I would never recommend to go or take my dogs there!!!

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