Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dog Parks

I was reading this story about a 110-lb dog who killed a 10-lb dog as the smaller dog was leaving the park.

According to Tampa Bay Online, the dog was a 110-lb Mastiff Mix.

But according to the St. Petersburg Times, the dog was a Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Both reports are posted on the same day.

A 110-lb Ridgeback, while not impossible, is large (unless the dog was fat). A 110-lb Mastiff is more likely. Without pedigree, we don't know. Without pictures, we can't really guess much. But we are label freaks, so we have to call this dog something, right?

The owners of the smaller dog don't want to see the larger dog killed. They would like to see new rules in place. The dog park is new and it allows large and small dogs to intermingle. This is a recipe for disaster, even by accident (a large dog "playing"with a small dog could result in harm).

I have mixed feelings on dog parks. When used properly and when large enough, they can be great for many dogs. Small parks with too many dogs are a disaster (there is one at the 400-acre park I take my dogs to; it's like an 1/8 of an acre, and every time I walk by there's a skirmish or all out fight). Dogs need to be run off leash, I feel this is very important to being a Dog, and I think it can enhance their dogginess and our relationship with them.

But really, I want to see more off-leash hiking areas where people can exercise with their dogs. Dogs are less likely to be neurotic when they can't see fences and can really escape, run, play, sniff and explore. This is hard in urban areas, but I think it would be good for both people and dogs.

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