The Dangers of Dog Parks
The concept of “Dog Parks” was well intended, but a bad idea! The main problems all stem from people who don’t understand and have not established pack structure with their dogs. This means their dogs are out of control.
The average dog owner does not take the time to understand, much less install pack structure. They don’t know how strong the pack instincts are in their family pets. These drives can and often click into high gear when a dog is taken into a park with strange dogs where adrenalin and excitement run high. No matter how much training you’ve done and how passive the dog is, tolerance can still disappear if triggered into conflict by another dog’s challenge, a tussle over a toy, a tug-o-war game or even a friendly wrestling match that gets a little “too exciting.”
Scuffles and fights happen with ALL types and size dogs! However, the reality is that larger dogs have the potential to hurt smaller dogs, and regardless of whether your dog starts it or not, it could bring large vet bills, problems with your local animal control, liability concerns, and, in the some instances, you could lose your dog for good. Even more tragic, is that the smallest display of confrontation involving pit bull type dogs will also set off alarm bells in onlookers and could potentially fuel the destruction of an entire breed.
It’s up to you to protect your dog and protecting our dogs involves avoiding situations – like dog parks – where dogs are so often set up to fail.
Dog Packs in the Park
When a group of dogs; 3 or more, are allowed to run together in an area where there are no strong pack leaders (human pack leaders), they instinctively try to establish a rank order (or pecking order). If there are several dogs that want to assume a certain rank within this new pack there are often problems. Too often these results in dog fights to determine what rank a dog will assume.
It is a mistake to assume that every dog in the park is a well-mannered, well-trained pet. Just because it playing with other dogs does not mean that it will play with your dog. The issue of rank has already been settled with these other dogs and the game may be going according to their rules. Your dog will not know the rules and can easily get into trouble. Too often when a fight breaks out between your dog and the leader of this pack the other dogs in the pack will also jump in and go after your dog.
When a handler does not protect their dog, the dog is in conflict and loses confidence. As a result; once a puppy or adult dog has been attacked by another dog, it is often traumatized for life. These dogs may be leery of meeting new dogs and even become dog aggressive, wanting to fight any new dogs that it sees.
In most cases, there are too many people out there that don’t come close to the label of being a “responsible pet owner”, making the risk of taking your pet to one of these parks – NOT WORTH TAKING.