Monday, November 9, 2009

Dog Park Fiasco

I was all set to post about my experiences at the Duke Canine Cognition Center but I am so mad that I will have to postpone that for another day. On Monday mornings we like to go to the dog park in Chapel Hill to meet our pit bull friend Cherie. She is a sweet girl but sensitive so we don't go to the park at times when there are lots of dogs and people. Unfortunately when we got to the park today it was packed. Cherie's person decided not to bring her in but Barbara let us go in to run around for a bit. The park is quite large and Ambrose and I mostly played with each other since Barbara did not like the play style of some of the other dogs and was rather annoyed with the casual attitude and general cluelessness of some of the people there.

We weren't there long when Barbara decided to take us out. All of a sudden a big dog fight broke out. She called us over to her and put on our leashes and took us straight out of the park as she didn't want us involved. The dogs were picking on a young Bernese Mountain Dog but the worst thing was the idiot owners! Barbara said many HBO words about their lack of intelligence. One idiot person grabbed his dogs and did an alpha roll on him. Like that is going to teach the dog not to fight! None of the people whose dogs were involved in the fight took their dogs out of the park even though the dogs were still very aroused. They let their dogs go after the Bernese again and pin her.

We did not hang around, even outside the fence, to see what happened but I have a few things to say. First of all the alpha roll is a ridiculous way to train a dog and it is a good way for a person to get bitten. No matter what some famous TV trainers do, it is still not right. The Association of Pet Dog Trainers has come out with a position statement on "dominance" in dog training. You can read it here along with lots of good information about proper training, dog park play and safety tips.

Just say no to the dominance model of dog training!!!


Lindsay said...

We're not fans of dog parks for this very reason. It happens so often and people can be so ignorant!

Gus, Louie and Callie said...

We are sure glad that Mom got you out of there. We wouldn't want anything to happen to you two..
While we were at the park one day some stupid humans let there Rottie out without leashes. Well one of them decided to come check us out. Of course we were all on leashes.. Well Me the Blueman sensed that mom was in dangers so I grabbed that big dog by the neck and threw him down.. Mom pulled me off and the stupid man came and got his dog and said nothing to mom. Mom was pretty proud of me.. She says she feels extra safe now while walking at the lake...

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

Lorenza said...

Hi, Niamh!
Sure it was a scary episode!
Glad Barbara took you away!
And the worst part... their humans!
Take care
Kisses and hugs

Hero said...

Mom says that there is a dog park where we're moving, but she's not sure if she will let us go, because of how careless some people are with their dogs. Untrained, unsocialized, and unmonitored dogs and their irresponsible hoomans so easily ruin dog parks.

Mango said...

Stupid stupid people! ARG! We have sworn off dog parks and such because it just seems you always run into some clueless people and we just know too many doggies that have been badly hurt. Stick with your dorky brother.


Tom, Tama-Chan, Sei-Chan, Yuu-Chan said...

We understand why you are so mad. The world seems to be full of idiots who still believe that force is the only way to win. You two are very fortunate to have such a wonderful and knowledgeable human looking after you. We feel really sorry for some of those other dogs.

Ludo van Doggy said...

Here Here! Me and Mum absolutely hate certain people on tv who are showing all the wrong things.
It makes me kinda glad we don't have specific dog parks here.
~lickies, Ludo

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh Niamh - my human and I were just nodding our heads as we read your post. We so agree!! (In fact, Hsin-Yi recently did a big article for her UK magazine on TV dog trainers and whether they are a help or a hindrance, setting up unrealistic expectations if not promoting downright dangerous methods which might work OK for the very experienced trainer/person who knows how to read dogs but is a nightmare in the inexperienced hands of the general public!)

We are very lucky that here in NZ, dog parks are not like the ones in the US which are just like small, fenced, flat fields and often don't have enough land features, etc, to make the environment more interesting - Hsin-Yi says a bunch of aroused dogs in a confined space is often recipe for trouble! It is always better to keep moving.

Our dog parks are big (unfenced) reserves with trees & hills & ponds and tall grass and other different land features and enough space that dogs can walk around each other and big enough that we can actually walk AROUND the park, rather than just congregating in one place...

But we will be moving to Australia soon where the dog parks will be more like the American style and we are dreading it!

The 2 times I have been bitten badly were both when I was young (and my human didn't know any better) and she took me to a local park where lots of owners like to congregate and let their dogs play, rather than walk around the park - and it has a reputation for always having dog fights & attacks - I got very badly bitten and had to have stitches...needless to say, we don't go there anymore! Hsin-Yi thinks people should not treat the walk like a social event and just leave the dogs to themselves and gossip - they should be moving and interacting with their dogs and supervising things.

Anyway, glad you weren't hurt!

Honey the Great Dane

Agatha and Archie said...

Well we stopped going to dog parks because of the stupid owners! Once someone kicked Archie!! hoo boy...... WE and PL2 don't like them at here here to your Mom..Love A+A

Deetz said...

I am so sorry for what happened in the park. Some humans can be so irresponsible with us furry kids. It was not right for that poor doggie to keep getting picked on, it is a very serious situation.
My mum says if your dog is at a dog park and not on a leash, put a muzzle on will avoid injury.

Euri said...

And I thought our experience at the dog park was bad. That poor Berner - they are so cute! I can't believe the other owners allowed that. See, that's the problem with dog park; you just never know what kind of idiots are going to go there. We're not going to anymore dog parks because of people like that.

Glad you guys weren't hurt.

Dughallmor Beagles said...

Sorry you guys had a bad least you're lucky you have Barbara who knows exactly what to do....I feel sorry for those other poor doggies whose dumb owners don't know any better :o(
Slobbers xx

Maggie and Mitch said...

We've never been to a dog park and mom says we'll never go.
We're glad you guys are okay!
Some hoomans can be so stoopid!

Love ya lots,
Maggie and Mitch