Study: Dog Park PoliticsPublished November 4, 2011
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According to a report in the Montreal Gazette, the human social interactions and the politics (so to speak) that take place at dog parks are now the subject of a new study in Montreal. And the early findings of the study might surprise you.
Early research has indicated that, while most dog park interactions are positive and beneficial for humans, there have been more negative interactions than one might think. These negative reports revolve around the idea of a sort of hierarchy being developed among the human pack in the dog park, where a select few "dog park regulars" assert their will over the rest of the dog park attendees.
In addition to some of the surprising reports of negative human interactions at dog parks, some feel that humans hyper-socialize at dog parks. Essentially, these people are of the belief that some folks spend too much time talking with their human friends, and in turn don't pay enough attention to their dogs. Of course, not paying attention to your pup can result in a whole host of issues that are in violation of appropriate dog park etiquette.
To be sure, the study isn't disputing the overall benefit of dog parks; in an age where face-to-face social interaction is fading in favor of online connections, dog parks provide a real-life area where people can still meet face-to-face and talk about their common interests. In fact, the aim of the study is to garner some universal findings that might be able to improve dog parks on a large scale.
What are your thoughts about this interesting study? Have you witnessed the "human pack" behavior at your own dog park? Are you looking to change certain things about the particular dog park that you go to? Let us know in a comment!