Training interference RANT & advice needed
Living in a pretty highly populated city means that tracking areas are hard to come by. My club has gotten lucky enough that the park director of the town of Guilderland in Albany county has given us permission to use the soccer fields at the 3 local Guilderland parks. We are allowed to use them for tracking as long as no children are there to play soccer...Fair enough.
Last Saturday we head out to one of the 3 fields that we haven't used yet. I arrive with another club member and we lay our tracks. Upon returning to our cars, a man parks his Lexus and opens his door while his off leash Vizsla comes flying out of his car towards us. The dog is friendly enough, but the man proceeds to let the dog run through the parking lot and towards the soccer field where our tracks are laid. I politely explain to the man that we are tracking and ask if he could use the soccer field across the lot, where we aren't tracking. He agrees and moves on. A few of his 'friends' show up with their dogs and we come to find out that they use this area as a 'dog park' every morning between 7 and 9a.m. Fortunately there is enough room for us to all do our own things, and the 'dog park' people use the opposite field, far enough away that they won't interfere with our tracking.
Fast forward to this weekend, and the same people are there again. It was obvious that the owners are ticked because we asked them to keep their dogs off the tracks. So now there are off leash dogs running all through the parking lot and fields, jumping on our cars, getting all of our dog riled up. They ignore our requests to leash them and allow them to eat all the food from the tracks, pee and poop all over them, and not pick up after their dogs.
Vizsla man then came over and confronted me about the situation. I agreed with him that he has just as much of a right to be there as I do, but there are still laws and our dogs are always leashed, and we always clean up after them. When I told him about the leash law in New York State, he continued to tell me that it doesn't apply to him because he lives in Guilderland and he 'paid' for this park with his tax dollars (because I'm not a tax payer, right?) I pointed to the sign less than 10 ft from us that clearly stated that the dogs must be leashed at all times and all dog waste must be removed, and he storms off screaming. One of his 'friends' drive by while the Vizsla was still running in circles around our cars and told us to shut our f'ing dogs up..Then he circled the parking lot for twenty minutes after. It was an ugly situation overall and made me super uncomfortable. I debated calling the police, but I wasn't sure if I was just over-reacting.
I did contact animal control and they will be coming to tracking with me on Saturday. I'm not crazy right? There's still a leash law in this state. The dogs are tearing up and defecating on the children's soccer fields, and this guy sees nothing wrong with that. Never mind the fact that Guilderland built a dog park right down the street for people like this. I'm trying to avoid having one of our club dogs get into a fight when an off leash dog confronts them in the parking lot. I also don't want to have to worry about possibly running these dogs over in the parking lot every weekend that we go tracking...
What would you have done in my situation?
Feuergarten German Shepherds
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Last edited by GatorDog; 07-22-2012 at 03:59 PM.