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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Mischief is my- middle name
Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 6:39pm PST 
I started the topic because I wanted to know what NOT to do laugh out loud not to be put off going...

The first trip went fine because there were only about 4 other dogs max on the big dog side, so it was no problem keeping an eye on the dog interactions. So avoiding peak times will be ideal for both me and the dogs.

We had fun and are going back smile If I ever go back at a busier time with both dogs, I'll have my daughter with us so we each have a dog to watch instead of me watching them both in a crowd.

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 6:48pm PST 
Barefoot in a dog park is super icky. But, I may have an ickier story.

The beach we go to always has kids running around and digging in the sand. The poopy sand. Most everyone picks up their dogs poop but I'm not sure I'd let my kid dig in this particular sand.
So, a few months ago a couple and their 2 yr old son, maybe younger, show up and are standing next to me. Their dog races past them and knocks their son to the sand. Face down. Mouth open. The poor kid had a mouth full of sand and he seemed not to understand how to spit it out. Well, he was crying, hard. Luckily I had Moose's water in my back pack and offered it to them to rinse out their kids mouth.

There's also a large stream that runs from the bay through the beach to a marsh area. When the tide is super low, the stream ceases to exist and what's left is a mini lake.
Well, dogs seem to love to poop in this lake. Moose among them. And kids love running through this mini lake.
So, yesterday this 6-7 yr old girl is playing at the edge of the lake and is building little sand castles and is walking through the water. As she's playing in the sand Moose goes in the water, not 10ft from her, and proceeds to poop. The little girl didn't see him do it and as Moose walked out of the water, she started to walk right in. I stopped her about 2 or 3 steps into the water. When I told her why I stopped her, she was naturally grossed out and I'm sure she'll think twice before she goes in there again.

And I do try and fish out Moose's poop usually. Rain boots help.

Member Since
Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 9:11pm PST 
What really annoys the wits out of me is when I take my dog to the park and there are dog owners who would let their dogs loose in the hopes that their dog's preoccupation slash annoying behavior towards other dogs would count as socialization. Some people just shouldn't be having dogs if they don't know how to take control of their dogs. They don't even consider and think that what they are doing could pose as a danger, especially if their dogs are truly aggressive.

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Sun Jan 6, '13 10:42pm PST 
Oh gosh.. I have to agree with Cobain.. Children is a pet peeve of mine.

In fact.. I don't think ANY child under the age of seven/eight should go unless they're tucked safely inside of a stroller to be honest. I've seen FAR too many issues crop up. Why? Many of the dogs I see at dog parks are rescue dogs who had bad experiences with small children or just weren't properly socialized with them and fear them.

Seeing that two year old running up to every dog to put her face right in theirs? That SCARES me. What do those parents THINK they're doing? I'm about to have a baby in the summer, and I wouldn't DREAM of taking my baby to a dog park, ever unless they were far older and knew how to respect a dogs space. It's simply NOT SAFE.

And I agree... The cyclists who don't announce they're coming really make me angry. A few weeks ago, one almost mowed me over, and I was in a park with Ria off leash. Luckily, she didn't take off after him, and all I got was nicked in the arm and shoved a little. To say the least, I was shouting obscenities at the jerk, while flipping him the bird and leashing up my puppy. He didn't even take a glance, let alone care if he'd hurt me. NOT difficult to either a) go around a person(Ria was RIGHT next to me) or b) announce that you're behind a person so they can get out of the way.

I'm also one of the people who won't allow others to feed my dogs food. Some foods can trigger Charlie's seizures. Not exactly something I want out on a walk.

I do micromanage my dogs a little. Not to the point that I'm freaking out about their interactions with other dogs because I'm pretty good at gauging what my dog can and cannot handle and at what point he's getting overly agitated, but many WOULD see it as micromanaging when I notice he's getting carried away and I end a play session, while they believe that it was going fine.

Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 8:01am PST 
People who bring food into the dog park drives me crazy. In what world does it seem like a good idea to bring a bag of burgers into an area filled with dogs and then sit on a bench and eat?! It basically stops half the dogs from playing and running around and they just sit around and stare at the food.

I'm also shocked by how many people bring small children into the dog park - especially over in the "big dog" side. There was a guy who brought his toddler the other day and he proceeded to ignore his dog the whole time while he chased the kid around the dog park. I'm pretty sure a 100+ pound dog vs. a 20 pound child will not work out in the kids favor if she gets run over.

Oh and people who bring squeaky toys or anything out of the ordinary. Of course all the dogs are going to want your "special" toy and it's going to create issues. Just don't do it.

I don't take Indy all that often just because I'd rather be doing something with him than standing around while he plays but we do go on occasion. We actually went yesterday and and left after only 45 minutes because there was a male Aussie that kept trying to hump him and would not let up. This was after that same dog kept chasing around a much smaller dog and humping it repeatedly. The owner did tell the dog to stop several times but the dog certainly wasn't stopping. After this dog tried to mount Indy several times, Indy ended up telling the other dog pretty strongly that it was NOT okay(no blood, but there were some clumps of fur flying). At that point I figured it was just easier for us to leave before it escalated even further.
Scruffy (RIP)

In Loving Memory
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 8:59am PST 
I was talking about people who micromanage their dog to the point where the dog won't move because he doesn't know what to do so he doesn't do anything in fear of being yelled at. Then the owner just takes their dog and leaves after 15 min of yelling because "Fluffy must not be feeling the dog park today."

I agree young children in the dog park is a bad idea. I've seen kids who were sitting perfectly still just watching all the dogs, who then get bowled over by dogs playing. One poor kid got knocked over by two dogs playing and he fell on his head! Poor kid.

Edited by author Mon Jan 7, '13 9:14am PST


It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 9:14am PST 
I agree with that too, baby strollers like spiked heels have no place inside an open dog run...and I've seen people home from work with the spiked heels...they can barely move themselves and they're going to walk their dog? Not to mention the pretty dresses and slacks, stop home, put on your sneakers and jeans THEN come to the park...really, dog paws on dry clean only is a bad thing.
But back to the strollers, a baby lays in the stroller helpless waving it's arms and making high pitched sounds. That can set off the prey drive in some dogs. Also if you need to get to your dog fast are you going to leave the stroller or bring it with you? One hand on the stroller and one hand around your dogs collar? Better to always have two people when you bring a stroller. One person to sit outside the dog park with the stroller and one person to take the dog inside to play.
The other thing that bothers me while we're on the subject is people who freeze when there's a conflict. In our park most of the time a loud deep "STOP IT NOW" will distract two dogs playing too rough. But if you're in a dog park you really need to be brave enough to step in there if you need to sometimes, and definitely if it's your dog involved. Common sense there-if it's a shepard and a rottie and I can exit quickly with my dog let the park police intervene. But if it's just redirecting a simple situation, don't panic help keep the peace. If everyone works together dog parks can be a nice outing. Me and Sophie go almost every day when we can.
Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 3:14pm PST 
Oh Moose... YUCK... One dog park we go to has a pond. Lizzie always runs into the water right away and pees in it! Crazy dog!

I too, hate the people that are so hard on their dogs. I used to spend several hours at the park every day (and I still do when I'm not working in the summer). I have seen some AWFUL things. I saw a guy shock his little Patterdale terrier so hard the dog jumped in the air. I saw a woman chasing her dog swinging the leash at her because she wouldn't come when called. I also saw a guy alpha rolling a 10 week old puppy, then hitting him with the leash because the dog was trying to play with my dog, who didn't want to play. I have to leave when I see stuff like that. I've always said a little something like "please don't do that", but it's not worth it to do much more because it doesn't work and it just gets me upset.

Champion PPH
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 3:37pm PST 
shock Children running loose in the park-another pet peeve of mine! laugh out loud Strollers do not work, as the child is at face level for smooches & face cleaning. The baby wrap in front or the carrier on the back upsets a lot of dogs, plus the owner can't seem to pick up poop or pull their dog off another one.

We have wading pools at our park that are for the dogs; not your children!!! My last dog didn't like children & couldn't cool off on a hot day if children were playing in it. Also, children will play with the hose and soak the ground around the pools, making it a mud pit. I love informing parents whose little darling is standing in a pool that dogs like to pee in them. wink

When Rusty was new to me, I saw a child across the way kneel down & hug him. I froze, not knowing his reaction. Luckily, he loves children. Another dog might not be so nice. I know for a fact that many small dog owners do not appreciate having children pick up their dog.

Families trying to play football or catch must understand that if a dog steals their ball, it's their own fault! The park belongs for the dog's entertainment, not theirs.

Clothing: If it's not wash & wear, you're taking a risk coming to the park. Don't scream at a dog who wipes their wet nose on you, steps on your white shoes, and runs up you with muddy feet during a chase. (An Iggie did that once to me, getting away from another dog.)

I don't recommend bringing a purse. If it's on the ground, a nose will find it's way in there. If it's on a chair, it runs the risk of a tall dog doing a one-legged salute on it.

Once again, I will repeat that I love my park & go quite often in the summer. I deal with the children, idiot owners, and ill behaved dogs easily enough most of the time. If not, I just leave for the day.

Edited by author Mon Jan 7, '13 3:41pm PST


Buddha Dog
Barked: Mon Jan 7, '13 4:58pm PST 
I echo a few of these: children in dog parks, not picking up poop and inattentive owners. But all three of these are pet peeves in on- or off-leash park settings. It's amazing to me how many parents will let their toddlers run up to my dogs, screaming, as we walk. My dogs are small, fluffy and cute, so I get why kids want to touch them. I don't understand parents who just let their kids run up to strange dogs, though.

However, I think we are pretty lucky here in my city. We have lots of dog parks and almost all of them have separate areas for small dogs - and thankfully, we've only had good experiences at the dog parks. We have a Tibetan Spaniel and a Shih Tzu and they enjoy hanging out at the park with their small friends.
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