Alanis explored the park.
Time for a sniff-fest
Sheila the groomer brought her Airedales.
Miro and Rummy introduced themselves to each other.
Then they played. The park is built on a slope, making it difficult to keep the ground cover (hog fuel) in place. Soon we'll be raising funds for more work on the park, adding names to the donor board you can see in the background.
That's Miro with Lupe walking toward the action.
All the big dogs ran, played and sniffed until some people came in with a small dog who threw a wrench into the works. The small dog, Stanley, had a particularly piercing, persistent yelp. He kept yelping and leaping at the larger dogs' faces until there was a big pile-up of wrestling dogs. People waded in to break it up before the excited dogs forgot their manners and somebody got hurt. This happened a couple of times. There was an even more dangerous pile-up when some larger dogs rolled a small Sheltie onto her back. I said to Stanley's owners, "You know, there's a small dog area and several small dogs here today. You could all go over there and be safer." They shrugged me off.
It's important to note that none of the dogs were aggressive; they were simply getting excited, just like children. How many times have you seen childrens' games end in tears when no harm was intended?
Soon after that, I gathered my dogs and left, hearing Stanley begin his yelping again at another part of the park.
I wrote once about a large dog scooping up small dog by the harness and carrying it around (park rules ask that people remove harnesses). Being on the volunteer group, I've received reports of other problems between differently sized dogs, usually on sunny days when the park attracts lots of visitors. Differently sized dogs who get along fine at home or in small groups encounter a changed dynamic at a busy dog park or a doggy daycare. Every dog daycare I've seen separates large and small dogs for safety reasons.
So my question is: why do so many people persist in putting their small dogs in the large dog area, even when they can see it's not working out? Is it OK just because the people happened to be alert enough to stop anyone, canine or human, getting hurt?
I'd really like to see your answers. Scroll way down to the comment section.