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Dogs in Parks

(28 Posts)
Walney Mon 03-Jun-19 14:05:22

I've been reading a lot of views about what is/isn't acceptable with dogs in parks.

I take mine every morning to a local park after the school run as part of a very informal doggy playgroup. All dogs are off lead and spend their time playing, chasing balls and running and are under control. I know mine doesn't have the best recall but as long as her doggy pals are around will just play and not run off. I am always on the lookout for on lead or new dogs and call her back until they are gone, and other owners are the same. It is also an area set aside for dogs to run.

I'm a little paranoid now that this isn't acceptable but I'd also hate it if we didn't as all the dogs get so much enjoyment from socialising and exercising.

OP’s posts: |
rosie1959 Mon 03-Jun-19 14:08:46

Of course it's ok dogs need to run free and socialise Sure they have a great time

WeedsAndMoss Mon 03-Jun-19 14:10:31

Not acceptable. Absolutely hate this in our local park. If your dog doesn't have immediate recall don't have it off the lead in public spaces.

UrsulaPandress Mon 03-Jun-19 14:10:52

Sounds fine to me. Used to do this with mine until he became reactive so now I try and walk him where it is just likely to be us. If I took him to a busy park he would be on the lead and I would prefer it if other dogs didn't come bounding over but as long as the owner is making an effort I wouldn't have any beef.

Thatsnotmyotter Mon 03-Jun-19 14:13:31

Totally fine. People on mumsnet are mental when it comes to dogs.

LoopyLu2019 Mon 03-Jun-19 14:18:00

Afaik correct etiquette is:

1. Dog under control off or on lead ie good recall.

2. Recall your dog if you see another walker with dog on lead or if it is particularly boisterous then for any approaching dog. If you see someone with small children also recall yours.

3. Always clean up after your dog. Make every effort with every kind of deposit, I always find leaves help get up the softer kinds into a bag.

4. Always have your dog on a lead around live stock. Don't enter a field full of cows, especially bullocks, find a route around.

5. If you see horse riders recall your dog and put it on a lead. Even the best of dogs can chase. It's for your benefit as much as the horse and rider. My old horse kicked a dog once that wouldn't leave us alone. I'd dismounted after my horse spooked in fear, galloping half the field. It still chased us. I kept spinning the horse to face the dog but it would run straight to the back legs and try to bite so the horse kicked. Owner had no recall. Luckily dog survived as my horse did not have shoes on and only did a "light" warning kick. Still needed a vet. Could have been worse with either me coming off horse or dog being killed by the kick. From then on I always put my dog on a lead around horses even though she was good as gold around mine. Not worth the risk.

For your play park it sounds like you are doing fine. Be mindful of other park users and stay close to your dog.

BiteyShark Mon 03-Jun-19 14:22:03

If all the owners are happy with all the dogs playing then that's fine.

However, if your dog doesn't have good recall be careful it doesn't follow another dog out of the park.

Also we stopped going to parks because my dog wants to play ball with me and it was annoying when other owners want to use your dog to effectively exercise theirs when mine wasn't interested in playing (and they couldn't or wouldn't recall their dog).

mycatisblack Mon 03-Jun-19 14:24:00

I take mine to the local beach and have ad hoc doggy play dates if anyone else is there at the same time. The beach is small, difficult to get to and only used by a few local families during weekends and the school summer holidays. If anyone does turn up, we put the lead back on ddog and go home.

I wouldn't let ddog off lead in a normal park though. I presume other people are also using the park and some people don't like dogs so you'd be stopping them from enjoying the amenity.

Slicedpineapple Mon 03-Jun-19 14:26:52

Sounds fine to me.

Walney Mon 03-Jun-19 14:28:45

It's a big park with separate areas like an enclosed playground, basketball courts etc so the area we use is set aside mainly for dogs. It's a lovely group and we get new owners/puppies all the time and we share dog balls, frisbees to play with.

OP’s posts: |
OhJustElfOff Mon 03-Jun-19 14:36:09

sounds like a nice dog friendly park, personally I avoid areas like this as I often find other owners will feed my dog and I would rather they didn't as her recall is usually excellent, but particularly good for other owners when another dog is being called as she has picked up over the years that dogs who get called more than once almost always have owners who carry treats and if she answers quickly and sits nicely they will feed her and it drives me insane my own fault for not watching closely enough I know.

CarolDanvers Mon 03-Jun-19 14:36:43

I let my dog off in local parks every day, twice a day. His recall is ok-ish, in that he knows I am calling him but makes a decision to take his sweet time about returning - stubborn Scottie. He's not a nuisance. He likes to be left alone to do his thing and socialise in his own way. He wouldn't go flying off without me, he just prefers to walk independently of me but in my vicinity. Parks are for everyone not just people so I would never keep him on a lead just because there's a few people around. Thankfully, where we are members of the public aren't as uptight about dogs as MNetters seem to be and dog socialising often leads to owner socialising and friendliness too, it's this whole sub culture that non dog owners just don't get.

I really wouldn't worry too much OP, in RL I have never come across the rigid and negative attitudes towards dogs that I see on MN.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Mon 03-Jun-19 14:37:58

Sounds nice to me!

Recall must be fine if DDog comes back when you see an on lead dog and call her. Stop worrying!

Walney Mon 03-Jun-19 14:46:09

Thank you for the reassurance! My basset is only 11 months so still getting used to it all. It's also great for owners to socialise! We mainly chat about what our dogs have been getting up to and a few of us have anxiety issues and this interaction greatly helps with that.

OP’s posts: |
UrsulaPandress Mon 03-Jun-19 14:55:29

We need a photo.

Walney Mon 03-Jun-19 14:59:24

This is our 11 month old basset hound. Typical stubborn nature but super soft and friendly plus great with children.

OP’s posts: |
adaline Mon 03-Jun-19 16:02:58

Gorgeous Bassett!

UrsulaPandress Mon 03-Jun-19 16:24:28


DogInATent Mon 03-Jun-19 16:52:35

As long as you can recall reliably when you spot another dog on a lead you should be fine. Just keep working on improving the recall.

As an on-lead walker, it's generally the smaller yappy dogs (chi's, JRTs, etc.) that cause the problems when running loose. Larger dogs tend to be a bit more sensible.

WeedsAndMoss Tue 04-Jun-19 07:18:46

The reason I'm 'uptight' about dogs is that so many don't have good recall. I grew up with dogs and like dogs. However- my local park I've had several dogs attempt to jump on my toddler, several dogs stick their head in the buggy and one attempt to grab a snack out of the child's hand. I've had dogs jump up on me and need whole outfit changes because of mud.

I was out walking last week and seen a dog fully knock over a child by jumping on them, and another follow suit. Child was about 18 months and screaming. Dad, who was a dog owner himself, terrified and shaking as the dog's owner didn't deal with it immediately.

Guess what the excuse was... the dog was friendly apparently. Like fuck is that friendly, that's horrendous.

If your dog isn't under control, doesn't have excellent recall you don't actually know what they will do. Keep it on a lead.

WeedsAndMoss Tue 04-Jun-19 07:19:01

Parks are for everyone, not just your pets

CarolDanvers Tue 04-Jun-19 07:22:39

See, I don't want to get into yet another MN dog battle but as a previous dog walker who did multiple daily walks with multiple dogs in multiple parks I have never seen such swathes of out of control dogs as MNetters claim to.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Tue 04-Jun-19 12:53:59

swathes of out of control dogs
I have to say I don't see many either. There is a local lab who sometimes visits our playing fields who has zero recall and is an utter pain when I'm trying to train my dog, and there is a bloody nasty mastiff from the next village along who once escaped and bit my older dog, but the dogs whose owners walk them regularly up there are no bother at all.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Tue 04-Jun-19 13:19:44

This scenario sounds absolutely fine, so long as you can recall your dog when necessary.

Any owner of a reactive dog will see your playgroup and walk in the opposite direction - I'm in a Facebook group for reactive dogs (mine is reactive, but dogs aren't one of his triggers) and it's known as a ninja manoeuvre. You just need to make sure you and your dog can give them enough space to avoid you.

Cryalot2 Tue 04-Jun-19 13:49:32

Beautiful dog.
Our dog is great and was toilet trained and crate trained with no bother ,but she does not do recall . So for that reason she is never off lead in public .
We have had some hairy moments with other off lead dogs ( their owners are oblivious) Also have seen off lead dogs toilet and owners not clean up .I suppose often they are not aware.
I think if their are kids or such it's best to keep on lead or at least to heel and clear up.

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