From the very first sentence, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” this article is misleading and ill informed [“A new treat for dog owners,” Jan. 2]. Dogs can learn new things at any age. As dog lovers, we spend hundreds of dollars annually to take care of our great companions. The argument given that a mere $40 a year would prevent any one of us from using such “an important resource” is false.
Fear of injury and human aggressive responses about their dogs is what keeps responsible people from using such facilities. Not to mention the lack of sanitation; providing dog waste bags is one thing but, actually getting inattentive humans to use them is another.
I have seen a dog sitter bring six-plus dogs to Ridge Road Dog Park and Black Hills Dog Park using shock collars as a means of control. Subsequently barred from Black Hills she moved on to the less ‘policed’ Ridge Road Dog Park. This type of behavior does not make the dog park a “valuable community resource.”
Dog parks are not children’s playgrounds either, yet toddlers and babies are regularly seen at Ridge Road Dog Park.
The problem is not the dogs, per se. It is the lack of human attention: texting, chatting and phone calling are all activities that are inappropriate in dog parks.
Moreover, bringing your dog’s special toy to the park creates resource guarding aggression. A dog was killed at Ridge Road Dog Park and one puppy I know lost an eye after an attack by a labrador. Many serious fights have been seen there all due to lack of understanding of dog behavior and lack of human attention. These are the real reasons behind dog park use decline.
Jean E. Robertson, Germantown