As I visit dogs parks EVERY day, the answer to this should hold some weight.
It seems there is a small brigade out there saying they have concerns with ” domestication, .. and safety issues”. The same kind of logic should keep these commentators off the roads, because no one drives as safe as they do.
Of course the irony about not taking your dog to an off lead park regualarly, is that without off lead dog parks dogs will not be SOCIAL. Without these kinds of parks, Dogs will be anti-social and a danger to all living animals including humans.
THE OVERLY REGULATED DOG PARK method does not work
Having people have to sign up to be a member of the dog park, and have proof of vaccinations and the absence of parasites will impinge on most people’s freedoms and so they just wont socialise their dogs.
The reasons are obvious. Make people sign up, and give up privacy and personal freedoms and only the very dedicated and those not concerned about privacy will take up the exclusive offer. An already very small percentage of the population who bothers to walk their dogs will shrink further.
I know a fair amount about the dog world and the one thing that is impossible to supervise is vaccinations and whether dogs have had their monthly tablets for worms, fleas etc.,
Yes all dogs should be vaccinated, just as I believe all people should be. But lodging papers, making sure papers are not forged (illegally updated and scanned) etc will add to more confusion than provide value. How would you prove that you have given your dog anti parasite tablets? Which ones would be approved and by who?
The dog park rules that would work
The problems you get with most off lead dog parks is well meaning owners who don’t walk their dog regularly and these dogs being antisocial and aggressive. I am not concerned at all about petty things like a dog running up to another dog or a dog jumping on a person. I would much rather be visited by an overly social dog, than an aggressive one (that are mostly created because they dont visit parks at all).
A dog jumping on you is a MINOR inconvenience that most dog people can handle. Social dogs can eventually be brought under control, it is much harder to make an aggressive dog social. People who have no tolerance for such things as jumping dogs are either not dog people or are dog trainers who believe in training above socialisation. I would rather a friendly dog any day over a ‘trained’ unfriendly one.
The reason that most dog parks fail
- There are too few of them
- They are a shared resource with people who don’t like dogs. Perhaps the rule should be that if you don’t have a dog you are not allowed in a park.
- Not enough dog fences to keep the dogs in and safe.
- Not enough facilities like human toilets, bins and doggy bag dispensers.
- Anal other dog owners who think that all dogs should be on lead, not approach their dogs, not run, not play etc.
The preferred result of friendly off lead dog parks
More people would use good facilities and more dogs would be social.
Rather than keeping people out of dog parks, local authorities should perhaps legislate that if you own a dog you need to visit an off lead park at least three times per week. Since dogs should be walked daily and preferably twice per day, it would not be a stretch to demand for the sake of dogs that they get adequate exercise and socialisation.
A happy dog, a dog that is social is very unlikely to bite or kill another dog or human.
With all the dog associated deaths per year in America, wouldn’t you think it was in everyone’s best interest to make a positive legislation rather than negative ones?