Dog Park Pet Peeves

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 11:29am PST 
OH I have about a million... People not watching their dogs is the #1... People that bring dogs that have "issues" such as beating on puppies, same sex aggression, etc... and then blaming the other dog!

People not shutting the gates behind them or handing out on the wrong side of thfrence. People who pull up to the park with their dog halfway out of the car barking like mad. People who don't leash the dog up from car to gate and then let them run down the neighborhood and through the streets...

I really do love having the dog park though, Sarah isn't trustworthy off leash and she needs to have somewhere to go to run around. smile There's a new dog park that most people don't go too, so I try to take her there more often.
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 12:17pm PST 
It's not just aggression that's not acceptable.. It's outright bullying and harassment. It's not okay to repeatedly hump a dog and not leave them alone. It's also not okay to intimidate another dog repeatedly, and not back off and then the owner not take control of that dog. Lots of dogs use the intimidation factor. Many dogs LIKE a good game of chase, but you can usually tell which ones DON'T and which ones are, in fact, more scared than happy about it.

The Husky in my previous post wasn't OUTRIGHT aggressive. He was just an intimidating bully that wouldn't quit even after Grizz gave all the appeasement signals that are necessary in dog language to keep the peace. He was posturing, standing over him, head high, tail high, hackles up, lips curled, growling and not letting up. Grizz was practically down at his belly, before he started growling back and even though all this lasted about two minutes, I knew I had to end it before something DID happen.

You can usually tell by a dogs body language whether or not they're okay with certain behavior.

I'm also totally okay with another dog telling my dogs off if my dogs deserve it and won't step in for warning signs(growl), or a snap of "bugger off!"

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 12:46pm PST 
I may be going about this all wrong, but her misbehavior ON-leash seems to stem from frustration at not having a lot of opportunity to play with other dogs. It seems to be something she just really needs. There's no dog she doesn't like so far.

That seems like a good observation. I think a lot of dog reactivity and aggression occurs because people don't let their dogs interact. Your dog probably does desperately want to play with other dogs. It's good that she is friendly. However make sure she does not pester uninterested dogs, because fights can occur from that.

Most people bring their dogs to dog parks so they can play with other dogs. Your dog should be able to find other dogs to play with.


I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 2:15pm PST 
Like others have said, humping is not polite. Nor is bullying. And if it looks like a dog isn't enjoying the play style of your dog, remove your dog from the situation.

Would it be easier for you to take your dogs one at a time to the park for their first visits? That way you're not dealing with having to watch two dogs and you can observe them easier.

Luckily I've not experienced a lot of stupid dog owners at the beach where I take Moose. Most people watch their dogs like a hawk. If there's an issue, usually the offending dog is walked away by it's owner pretty quickly.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 5:33pm PST 
I might add two extremes of bad behavior at the dog park we've seen...one dog with the unfortunate name Lucky, maybe part rottie part shepard...his owner has zero control of him, but gets into screaming fights with other owners because he want to "socialize" his dog. The park troopers have intervened some days and still they appear. If I hear anyone yelling LUCKY!!! anywheres near the park we go to the trails instead.
The other owners that stand out are the overbearing ones, shock and prong collars, muzzles, lug chains, do not belong in a dog park. There was one guy with a pittie puppy, if the dog breathed the wrong way the guy would slap him in the ribs, never mind letting him play...so sad to watch that kind of stuff and those kind of owners just don't hear anyone else...

More Bored- Collies
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 6:38pm PST 
(Please bare with me, my only computer for the next few days is my phone)

I'll echo the not supervising and humping dislikes. I've gotten to the point of telling people that of they don't correct their dog, my dog will. Oh and the "s/he's just playing!" Comments as my dogs whine on terror.

Another of my biggest peeves is those who can't be bothered to leash their dogs in the parking lot. My local off leash is a little different in that there are no true fences or gates, its a large hiking park with scattered fields. So it is more the signs that designate where exactly to take the leash off. But to me, common sense would dictate that you would keep your dog restrained when there are cars constantly backing up. shrug
That adds into my dislike for lack of supervision. There's one man that frequents the local park. He owns a puppy mill rescue beagle (overweight and over sized) that he for some reason intends on breeding..... The owner himself is overweight and parks himself on a bench and let's the dog roam along the acres of woods unsupervised.
He has the most irritating little whistle that he tweets for hours in vain in hopes the dog returns.
I aplogize for the rant there but that drives me up the wall.

Going at off-peak times, if possible is always a great idea as far as I'm concerned.

Champion PPH
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 7:07pm PST 
thinking Pet Peeves....where to begin.......laugh out loud

Do not bring food/treats & do not give any to my dog!!! I am strict about his food and if the dogs know you have treats, they will be all over you.

Do not bring your hamburger, etc. to the park. I will let my dog pester you because you should know better! Trying to eat a meal at the park just excites those wonderful noses like crazy and Dog help you if you give my dog a french fry!

I agree about electronic devices or books. If you're reading them, you're not watching your dog. I am not picking up it's poop or breaking up a fight it started.

The most alarming phrase heard at a dog park? "Be Nice!" If you hear that, most likely the dog has a tendency to NOT be nice. Keep an eye on that dog. I heard that phrase about a bully breed and 10 minutes later I was pulling it off my dog's back, trying not to get bitten in the process.

Humping & bullying is wrong, wrong, wrong. Folks try to excuse it with "That's just how Fluffy plays". I always counter with "That's not how mine plays. Handle your dog or *I* will."

Don't get me wrong: I love going to my dog park. Rusty gets to run & play hard with his buddies. His human doesn't run, so he gets a chance to burn off steam. I used to have a problem with a Sibe being too rough, but Rusty did egg him on a bit. I talked to the owner & asked his permission to intervene (with no roughness) if it got too intense. We came to an understanding and he is more vigilant of his dog's behavior. Sometimes speaking to an owner is enough to deflect.

More Bored- Collies
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 7:15pm PST 
Oh yes, how did I forget about food??
Never a good idea, especially at peak times. Besides not knowing what other dogs are allowed to eat, it could result in a fight.

Also, cyclists and joggers are something that really tick me off in the off-lead area. I am fortunate in that the 2 I live with pay relatively little mind to these activities, but what about dogs that aren't? I've witnessed dogs that are still in the process of learning to ignore such quick moving objects take off after a bicycle only to be kicked by the cyclist.
While I agree that the dog should be trained, I would think that one would avoid a designated "offleash" area with such a means for.transportation.

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Sat Jan 5, '13 7:49pm PST 
I forgot about food too. Perfect example is one morning this couple came in with their little doggies and a big ol' box from IHop...you're going to sit on a bench in the middle of a dog park and eat a full breakfast...tell me how that works out for you...Needless to say, as the crowd of dogs converged these people moved their chubby butts back to their truck.
As far as dog treats go, our park is more like a human playground with that. It's okay to have dog treats but kind of nice if you have enough to share. At our dog park most people know each other and their dogs so it's okay. If it was a strangers dog I'd certainly ask the owner before offering a treat.

Tuff Enuff!
Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 12:15am PST 
All of these responses are what keeps me from going to dog parks. Not that it's a bad thing because I don't think Angel would do well at one. She has a small tendency to be leash aggressive and I do not have firm voice control over her.
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