As much as we’d love to talk with our dogs, we can’t. Dogs communicate with their behavior and as owners, it’s important to be in-tune with their behavior.
Being a responsible dog owner means picking up after their poop, walking them on a leash and knowing how they react around other dogs.
As a disclaimer, we’re not dog trainers or dog behaviorists but we write this as concerned dog owners. Your dog may love the dog park and it’s a fantastic way for them to release their energy, but it’s the other dogs you have to be concerned with. Some dogs can be well behaved angels at home, but when surrounded by other dogs, they may react differently. Dog parks also may cause your dog to resource guard and if they are possessive about toys or food, the dog park may not be the best place for them.
If you encounter an incident with another dog at a dog park, it’s important to separate them and leave to let your dog settle down. With that said, if there is a scuffle that leads to an injury, don’t just flee the scene.
Amidst all the chaos, it may seem logical to get the heck out of there to protect your dog, but if the other dog is injured, do the right thing and exchange information. You can think of it like a traffic accident and it’s against the law to just hit and run.
Recently, a friend of ours, had their two dogs involved in a scuffle at a dog park with another dog. Following the incident, the other dog owner left the scene without exchanging information.
The dogs who were injured went to the vet and luckily only needed skin staples, but it could have been much worse.
Dog Scuffles and Breed Labeling
It’s sad, but dog scuffles do happen. We weren’t there for this incident, but when we saw the original post on Facebook, it showed a photo of the dog and labels it as a pit bull. When we first saw it, we were disappointed that another dog labeled as a pit bull was involved in a scuffle. The original post has since been removed, but of the 100+ comments from the community, not one of them condemned the dog or its perceived breed. The blame was was casted on this irresponsible dog owner.
As pit bull advocates, we were happy to know the blame was being placed on the owner for being irresponsible, which in our opinion, is how it should be. According to the ASPCA’s Position Statement on Pit Bulls, “All dogs, including pit bulls, are individuals. Treating them as such, providing them with the care, training and supervision they require, and judging them by their actions and not by their DNA or their physical appearance is the best way to ensure that dogs and people can continue to share safe and happy lives together.”
If you do frequent dog parks, you can look into a product called the Pet Correcter, which emits a hiss of compressed gas which produces a broad spectrum sound (white noise) varying from a low frequency rumble to a high frequency hiss to interrupt a dog’s unwanted behavior. The overall effect is to grab the attention of a dog.