The awful truth about human laziness and dog parks in Melbourne

dogparks-happydogsSure I could talk about the location as anywhere in Australia, but I walk dogs in Melbourne, and the majority of Australian's live in capital cities, so its kind of apt for almost everyone.

A lot of non dog owners or dog lovers will think that a dog park is too special to have. Too much a minority thing.  too  much a latte sipping exclusive nice to have and service that not everyone will get use of.

And that is because most people don't walk their dog regularly off lead.

With one in four houses in Australia having a dog, this kind of facility should be more common place.  And the irony of course is that a dog park, is just a place where dogs are allowed off lead. Our local council does not prohibit almost any other kind of activity in these places, meaning that often we get people who don't like dogs or who are scared of dogs, complaining in 'dog parks' that there are dogs around off lead.

The number and location of dog parks and the resulting dog friendliness equation

People who walk dogs regularly seem to take parks for granted. But I can tell you that cities that dont have many parks, or cities that have parks few and far between tend to have a lot of dog issues.  From barking, to dog bites, to dogs escaping and being anti social, its a mark of how well socialised the dog is.

The big thing that councils seem to not understand in their risk (responsibility) minimisation strategies is that less dog parks, actually make for more problems in society and not less.

And the reason seems to almost exclusively be the proximity of each dog owner to a decent off lead dog park (ie enclosed with facilities nearby).

The simple truth is that people are mostly lazy (media calls it time poor) and if the average dog owner has to go another 5 minutes down the road because of councils closing a dog park or restricting it so much that it becomes unusable, then many people either completely give up dog walks or reduce the number they do.

Changing human behavior if a fast paced world is like trying to stop the tide. Its pointless and the dogs suffer, then society suffers.  More dog parks, closer to most people, and dogs generally get more social.  Yes its up to owners to be good citizens and understand how to socialise their dogs and how often they walk their dogs.  BUT when easy access facilities for one in four households keep diminishing, then that is when I see large scale dog suffering.  Far more wide spread than puppy farms (which of course are horrid), but  I am talking about the whole dog population here.


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