Dog Park Frustrations
So I recently started taking Corey to the dog park near my apartment (I live in NYC). It's a pretty small park and most of the people there are awesome with awesome dogs. But I had two frustrating encounters recently.
The first happened two weeks ago. I was at the park with my roommate when this couple comes in with their Pit Bull. I LOVE pits (my sister and brother both have one) and this dog was gorgeous. And he immediately caught my attention because he couldn't bark - he made these really garbled, screaming sounds. It was bizarre.
The dog seemed really sweet and friendly, but he started trying to hump one of the female dogs in the park and wouldn't leave her alone. The dog had been there when I was there before and knew me, so she ends up jumping on the bench with me and hiding. (The owner asked me if it was okay and I said it was.) The dog kept trying to get to her and the owner just kept yelling at him but doing nothing about it.
Then another pit owner came in with a female, and this dog's owners start chatting him up clearly trying to see about breeding thier pits. Turns out, this young dog was not fixed.
Now, I know some have feelings different from mine on this, and I respect that. For me, personally, though, I"m completely against casual breeding, especially of pits as there are TONS of them in shelters, especially in this city. But that wasn't what upset me. What upset me was that they knowingly brought their intact male who they admitted likes to hump EVERYTHING to a dog park where there is the possibility of intact females and were doing NOTHING to keep the dog off the females.
I ended up leaving about twenty minutes later because this dog started going after Corey. Corey is fixed, but she doesn't take well to dogs mounting her (who can blame her) and he would. not. leave. her. alone. His owner just yelled lazily at him but did nothing. Corey ended up crying and trying to hide behind me, too. So I started putting her harness on so we could leave (Corey is a guide dog, I"m legally blind, and my harness makes that really clear.) So I"m putting her harness on and this dog keeps jumping on her, scratching me. My roommate is trying to help keep the dog off both of us so I can get Corey's harness on, and meanwhile the owners are standing THREE YARDS AWAY just saying "bad dog . . . stop it . . . don't hump."
Let's just say I wasn't the only one leaving at that point. About half the park emptied out around the time I left.
The second issue was similar, but with a different dog.
I went to the park another day (also with my roommate) and there's a bulldog there. His owner is on the phone and a little girl (maybe 8 years old) is running around the park with the dog. This dog seemed nice to people, but he quickly showed to be dog aggressive and dominant. He snapped at Corey and growled at a dog entering the park so aggressively that the owner turned around and left. My roommate said something to the little girl - who was clearly a little afraid to intervene with her own dog - suggesting that she let her dad know the dog was gaurding hte gate and snapping at incoming dogs.
The dad didn't get off the phone. He just told the 8-year-old to "be firm" with him. This dog weighed more than the girl did. And, again, it's clear she's too scared to grab his collar or intervene if the dog starts snapping at another dog.
Seriously - if your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, the dog park might not be the right place, but ESPECIALLY not if you're going to sit on your phone and make your scared kid watch the dog.
I love the dog park most days, but man, some people just amaze me.
Corey - female GSD, b. 12/21/10. (Fidelco Guide Dog)