One of my trainer friends recently shared a viral video of a human fight that broke out in a dog park and it got me thinking about what’s wrong with dog parks here in America. Check out this video, but be warned as there is a little bit of explicit language and images that may be hard to watch for some!
2) People don’t know how to handle dog fights – Most dog fights or skirmishes at a dog park don’t come out of nowhere, but should be seen coming from a million miles away, but when people are faced with a dog fight they are clueless which leads to injuries of people and dogs. It’s not a matter of if dog fights will happen at a dog park, it’s just a matter of when. It’s not easy to stop a dog fight in a wide open space even if you’re generally skilled at stopping them, so keep that in mind when you’re looking at an open field full of strange dogs.
3) People are mean to each other – The dynamics of every dog park are different. Some are open and nice, while others are snobby. The only thing that is usually true is that everyone there is always an expert. If things get testy between the dogs, it’s definitely going to get testy between the humans. There will be no shortage of advice on your training tools, what your dog is doing wrong and more!
4) Not ideal socialization for your dog – Many people who have dogs with issues take their dog to the dog park to get them some socialization practice. However, the quality of this practice is usually terrible. The dogs at the dog park are usually wound up, untrained, and ill-equipped to handle dogs with issues. Socialization should be done in a situation with professionals who can advocate for dogs when they need to, but who will also know when to let the dogs do the work. Putting a dog with issues into this wild west situation could cause more harm than good!
If you’re looking for ways to socialize your dog, I’d definitely recommend starting with pack walks or a training class before you take the step up to something like a dog park. As with anything in life, it’s always easiest to start with small steps and work your way up to giant leaps.
Stay tuned to the training blog for upcoming tips on how to be successful at the dog park!