Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Darndest Things Dogs Do: Episode 3

  Last week I was outside a local dog park, just hanging out, watching for how people interact with their dogs, the types of play allowed by owners, basically just people and dog watching.  It’s been a long time since I visited a dog park so I thought it was time to go see who’s new, what’s changed or not changed. 

  Amongst so many other inappropriate dog to dog interactions, this was the worst of them all:  A Doberman (approx 5 months old) fixated on a Pit (approx 10months – 1 year old).  FYI both dogs intact. 

  One of the owners is by the bench talking away, the other on the cell phone walking around in circles…. Dog park classics hey! 

  Every time the Pit would try and get up, the Doby had him pinned down again. Just as the Doby got slightly distracted by another dog, the Pit would try his escape, low to the ground, but the Doby was on top of it all. He did not once miss the opportunity to pin him to the ground.  Then this confused pup, who may have well thought he was playing (and so was the pit), backed off his body weight and went into a play bow (front legs stretched out, rump in the air), but the pit new all to well its not the play he was familiar with.  The pit (smart puppy) just lied there, totally ignoring the Doby, making it so boring for him that the Doby left to instigate another dog. 

  This time he picked on this tiny dog, looked like a Poodle Yorkie mix.  He runs over to him and with his right paw and slammed the Yokie Poo (the silly hybrid name) to the ground.  Of course the small dog owner was right there.  She picks him up and carries him, trying to avoid the Doby from jumping up at him, taking cheap shots at the Yorkie Poo’s rear.   

 All of a sudden the Doby offers a sit (for the prize right) and the lady takes her puppy and in a “you want this” manner teases the Doby.  The Doby is all sorts of excited, stare is intense, lip smacks, you can see his lips tense up, still sitting, but could not take his eyes of the “prize.” 

 She continues to tease him a few more times, and then decides “ohh the Doby is sitting and waiting politely, I can put him down now,” and so she does. 

 Tell me this was not a major accident waiting to happen!   

 The poor Yorkie Poo got slammed immediately; Doby had his mouth on his neck holding him to the ground as his butt wiggled up in the air helpless.   

  Thank god, the Doby was still quite young to be experienced, but it is a shame that his owner (and all the others) is totally oblivious to what practicing and allowing this type of play will result to in the future.  Not to mention the lady who acted like her dog was a toy… it is amazing how many people have not a clue on how certain breeds think and what those actions mean to that dog. 

  This is why dog parks are dangerous.  A healthy, safer alternative (although expensive) is doggy day care.  But be sure you do your homework, there are many dog day cares owned and operated by people who love dogs, but don’t know anything about them.

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