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3 Reasons Why I Hate Dog Parks



Fitness is important for me and my dogs.  I am juggling so many balls that I have to choose between going to the gym or walking the dogs.  Sydney really needs the walks to help her lose weight, but I need to get in shape too – so why not combine my work out with her walk?

To make sure I actually stick to my workouts, I went to the gym today (no time like the present) and took Sydney on a 1-mile walk at Strawberry fields.  There are walking paths and a dog park and while there I was reminded of a few more reasons why I dislike dog parks so much.

Many pet parents aren't fans of dog parks because…

  • Some people don't pay attention to their dogs.
  • Some dogs are poorly behaved or aggressive.
  • Some people try to give our dogs treats.
  • Some people don't pick up after their dogs – we know you saw them taking a poop!
  • People who smoke – yes SMOKE – at the dog park.

1.  Dog Owners Who Don't Like Barking

When we're at the dog park dogs are going to bark.  They'll bark at other dogs, at people, and at a bee.  There was no aggressive barking, just happy, “I'M A DOG!!!” barking.  They're happy and excited; completely overamped and happy.  LET THEM BARK.

I saw a total of 5 dogs get snapped at and 3 dogs get yanked by their leash for barking.  This is the one place that dogs should be allowed to be dogs.  Let them bark!!!

2.  Dog Owners Who Train Their Dogs at the Park

I walked by 3 dog owners who were trying to train their dogs not to look at or notice Sydney.  Talk about the worst place EVER to train a dog.  There is so much going on, all the dogs are overexcited, and you're trying to train calm behavior?  It seemed like they were just training leash aggression.

And the dog park may be a perfect place to train a dog, but I think it should be fun and the training should fit the situation.  So train not pull by doing a zig zag walk.  Train to wait patiently at the gate to the dog park.  And train a recall while at the park.  Otherwise, let your dog have some fun!

3.  Dog Owners Who Bring Babies and Toddlers to the Park

When did it become a good idea to bring small children to the dog park? Maybe I don't get it, because I don't have kids, but it just seems to me that the dog park is the absolutely WORST place for a child.  My dogs aren't socialized around children and I absolutely HATE when parents allow their sticky-fingered little brats to rush my dogs, hands extended for a sniff while shouting “can we put your dog???”  NO!  Absolutely not!!!  What really sucks is when I stand before my dogs and say “sorry, not today,” the parents get mad at ME for allowing my aggressive dogs out at the – I'll give you one guess – the dog park!!!!

I don't take our pack inside the dog park, but I do walk them on a leash (except Sydney) around the field.  They usually get accosted during soccer season on the way to and from the fields where we walk.  This doesn't happen often, but it happens at least once a year (damn me for having such adorable dogs) and it never gets easier.  My concern is that children will quickly approach my dogs, causing stress and triggering a bite response which can result in a medical claim against me.

Learn how to protect yourself:  Guide to Home Insurance for Dog Owners.


There are many more reasons why I hate the dog park, but these are the reasons that really stood out today.

Thanks for reading my rant.  The day was good otherwise.  I didn't get enough writing done, but I got to hang out with a friend, clean the house, hit the gym, walk Sydney and play with the dogs.  Oh, and I made elk for dinner (the dogs' dinner).  All in all – a banner day!

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