Why people fear dog parks, some real owner quotes !it wouuld be funny if it wasnt so sad, and causing so many dogs to lose the best thing in their life, contact with other social dogs. The foloowing is some group "think" on a recent dog trainer fb post about dog parks being bad. These were some of their statements and what the reality is behind them::
Real life inappropriate 'pro training' dog people's thoughts1 THEM: "Hate going to dog parks. I love using the areas near them to prove my obedience. "
US : They set out with a negative mind set, and think a dog park is there for them to reinforce their dogs training its "obedience". They have little concept about socialisation (the ability of any dog to meet any other dog and react friendly and socially).
The obedience thing often is more about their than safety or dog balance. After a dog is trained, it should be in dog parks. Parks should not be there to have unstable owners train their unbalanced dogs, forever, and earn a dog trainers star.
2 THEM: "Weirdly, in the suburb I'm in, there are more reported dog attacks from walking dogs on the street, than there is at off lead dog parks - so its a bit of a bind."
US : They think its weird that dogs are social in a dog park?? How weird is this human? When you walk your dog down the street, its going to meet the largest concentration of dogs that have never visited an open space and been off lead, that it ever will.
Many of these sad imprisoned dogs are protecting territory, because when you are in prison, that is all you know to do. How is the option of going to a dog park and encouraging your mostly social dog to be 100% social a "bind".
3 THEM : They say that they are a 'dog walker', "Not a fan of entering a dog park unless it's empty. I generally charge a surcharge if owners really want me to take a dog there. But whether I go or not is still all at my discretion."
US - Pity the poor owners and dog who think this "dog walker" is any good.
The whole point of dog walking is with the aim of off lead walks, so the dogs can explore and make their own choices and become more social. If the dog doesn't meet any new dogs, how does it increase its social skills? It cant.
We charge a surcharge if someone only wants their dog walked by itself, because that is taking up our time on one dog. We know its not ideal for the dog, but if we have to, because they can't commit to having a balanced happy dog, or the dog is red zone, then so be it.
4 THEM "Dog parks are a good idea in theory... but the reality is that they are a recipe for disobedience and disaster... I can honestly say I would have no use for one other than to use as a distraction when I’m training plus my idea of socialisation with other dogs is to ignore them - not play."
US - these are the kind of owners we would like to see banned from owning dogs. They are in a position of responsibility in the dog industry and they have their understanding about dogs completely wrong. They see dog parks as some kind of game for their own free training space, where all other social dogs get to be endangered guinea pigs (mostly from their unsocial dog).
They think that " socialisation with other dogs is to ignore them... not play". Pure irony in that the definition of socialisation is the complete opposite, because dogs should be walked for their own benefit (the dogs not the human) and play should be encouraged.
Dog walking is about socialisation and dogs playing if they choose. If they choose not to , they socially decline. That is how our dog park functions, but then again we don't have a lot of these unsavoury amateur dog trainers trying to scare people away with their bad attitudes, poor dog knowledge and anxious un-muzzled dogs on tight leads..
Train your dogs by all means, but when they are no longer a threat, they need daily dog walks in an off lead dog park to learn to be social, to be healthy, to be a good member of society.
If anything, councils and state governments should look into clamping down on the dangerous ideologies that some of these dog trainers are attempting to spread. Dog parks are the thin line of defence between having a society full of anxious aggressive dangerous dogs (non social) and happy, healthy fit social dogs.