Letter: Not a Walk in the Park

To the Editor:

I was happy to see the article “When Dog Park Play Gets Too Intense” (March 9). As a certified dog trainer, I embrace the idea of dogs playing together appropriately. However, I believe too many people think their dogs enjoy playing with other dogs and therefore frequent dog parks for “socialization.” Contrary to what many believe, dog parks are not a proper place to socialize a dog.

From the dog’s point of view, parks aren’t always viewed as the haven we humans often suppose them to be. Many think dogs should get along and be friends. In reality, this is a fallacy. Sure, some dogs do get along with all groups and enjoy their time at the dog park. However, not all dogs are well behaved or appropriately speak dog language. These are the dogs that become the bullies at the park. Some dogs do OK with some situations, but dog parks can be extremely overwhelming for them. They often become the one other dogs start to pick on, making their experience much more unpleasant.

It is our responsibility to understand our dogs and keep them safe. Learning some basic body language would go a long way toward helping your pet out of a uncomfortable situation.

Michell Grimes