Sunday, August 21, 2011

Aggressive Dogs Ruin Dog Parks

At the dog park this morning, an owner said to me, "Oh, dogs will be dogs" after his dog  attacked mine for trying to play with the same ball.  Yes, dogs will be dogs, and there will be a certain amount of what can be termed "rough-housing" in the dog park, but it is important, as a dog owner, to know when to draw the line on your dog's behavior.  The owner admitted that his dog can sometimes be toy-aggressive (officially called "territorial aggression").  What I said to the owner was, "If your dog is toy aggressive, perhaps it would be better not to play with toys around other dogs?"

Unfortunately, since our dog park opened a few months ago, I've heard many stories of dogs that were/are allowed to act aggressively in the dog park - to the point where some owners have stopped coming to avoid this.  As one of the individuals who worked very hard on bringing the dog park to our community, this is a bit of a bummer, to say the least.

Bottom line - your dogs should NEVER act in an overly aggressive way in the dog park.  If they are, please correct them and leave the dog park, if necessary, do not just say, "dogs will be dogs."  Although most aggression "flare-ups" can be controlled (and the dog we interacted with this morning did not show any aggression again after the incident), the Bloomingdale LeDroit Dog Park Association, with support from the DC Department of Parks and Recreation, reserves the right to ban dogs from the dog park that show consistent aggression toward other dogs.  We hope to never have to do this, of course.

In addition, many parks around the country DO NOT allow any toys, sticks or balls within the dog park - to reduce aggressive behavior.  We don't want to have to do that either.

So please be alert, monitor your dog, correct aggressive behavior, leave the park if you have to . . . so that all our community canines can enjoy a little off-leash fun.

- Maria, President, BLDPA

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Maria. To your post, I would add this plea: If someone asks for a moment to take their dog out before you bring your dog in, do not just wait inside the double gate so that the dogs are then forced to pass in a very small space. Step out of the gate and give them some space. The inconvenience and short wait might prevent an incident between two (otherwise sweet) dogs that just don't play well together.