Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: California's Central Coast
Dog Park Blues - the people need the prongs
We tried the dog park yesterday, first time in about a year. We originally wanted a quiet walk on top of our local community college. They have a horticulture center on top of a large hill with excellent views of the ocean. It was fenced and locked, maybe due to recent increase in agricultural theft in our area. So we tried the dog park nearby. We took a walk on the outside first, it seemed mellow and Molly showed a big interest to go inside. The first 3 minutes were OK, until a couple with a GSD mix made a big deal about leashing their dog inside the park. Molly went to investigate, saw it was GSD, got excited and wanted to play (which is very growly). That set off some people who made awful comments. I calmly and quietly called Molly away and told her to lay down. She did that. The GSD mix left, then Molly found a medium sized pit mix, she did a little chasing and her play voice is usually growly so it's owner and about 3 other people really freaked and over reacted, saying this park has been awful the last half hour, we need to move away, blah, blah, blah, over dramatic like they owned the park. Not wanting to escalate the mood I again calmly and quietly called Molly over and had her lay down, she did so immediately. One woman was very kind and greeted Molly nicely and gave her a good rub down. But we decided to leave, after about 5-10 minutes.
My daughter lives near the dog park, so we visited her afterward. She said, Sundays are the worst, and she avoids the place. She's seen dog owners call the Sheriff on each other twice there. It's too bad, as we've been working on Molly's social skills and she's been doing very well. I was seriously considering going in the small dog area, she plays well with them, but there was an elderly, frail man there and thought it best not to go in. On the positive side, at least I know Molly will obey commands under distractions.