Dog Park Pet Peeves: Human EditionPublished December 28, 2011
Victoria Schade/Do no reproduce
Our community is incredibly dog-friendly, but we don’t have a dog park. At least not yet. A dedicated group of volunteers have been working hard for the past two years to raise a ton of money and get the necessary approvals from the township to build a knock-your-socks-off park. As in, a private gated park with a key card entry system. We hope to break ground in the next few months.
One of the requirements to become a member of the dog park is attending a dog body language presentation so that people can decipher behaviors like play-wrestling from true aggression. I’ll be leading several of the sessions, so I have the luxury of tailoring the message to suit my agenda.
Sure, I’ll discuss the critical aspects of canine body language, but there’s a secondary behavioral suite I want to address; how people act at the park. Dogs will be dogs, so a certain amount of misbehavior is to be expected, but there’s no excuse for ill-mannered people in the park. Here are a few of my “bummer human behaviors.”
Pet peeve #1; People who don’t pick up after their dog. I don’t understand this one. Bags and trash cans are plentiful at dog parks, so why do people fail to pick up? Those who leave their dog’s waste show disrespect for the park as well as the health of the other dogs attending.
Pet Peeve #2; People who bring small children to the dog park and let them wander. Even the most loving dog can get hyped up and sassy about a 3-year old getting in the way of his game of fetch. Plus there’s the risk of a child getting accidentally knocked over by a pack of running dogs.
Pet Peeve #3: People who stand around talking instead of watching their dog. Sure, it’s fun to catch up with fellow dog owners, but a trip to the park is about the dog, not gossip. Watching your dog is essential to make sure that he’s being appropriate with the other dogs, and that other dogs are being equally appropriate with him. It’s all about safety!
There are many more dog park bummer human behaviors … what are yours?
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