As large dog parks become more restricted and rare …

May 9, 2017 at 9:19 am
As large dog parks become more restricted and rare ...

So what are you doing for your dog this autumn? A last hair cut? Some suspect supermarket treats that they seem to like a lot (but get addicted to because of the additives?) .. or perhaps take them with you to the cafe?

Chances are you are doing a lot better than that, because true dog lovers who walk their dogs regularly are more likely to be reading these pages than a person who has a casual (non dog understanding) relationship with their dog.

So much social media is still floating around, often propaganda started by councils – trying to have people stay clear of dog parks. This is further enhanced by the exaggerated social media posts of : alleged ‘packs of snakes’, dog fights and aggressive people that social media loves to pass on. Makes you wonder how dog parks got built in the first place doesn’t it?

One local council went so far as to dress up their bird wildlife park initiative (placing another major restriction on were dogs can associate in a dog park) as a fun dog day gave away. In a dog park, they provided free dog advice, micro-chipping and a sausage sizzle as a way of giving a lecture on the value of native birds in our parks! The shame for people who love that park is that besides the inadequate fence that separates them from a 70 Km/hr road, birds occasionally land on a long sandbar at the end of a river. The sandbar only exists because authorities chose not to dredge it. While dredging might be expensive, it is usually done for the health of a river (and this one’s mouth is almost closed). So now we get ponds of stagnant water made worse by birds fouling the water. Instead of fixing the dog park (and river) the council has decided to repackage the sandbar as a ‘natural formation’ for rare birds (no dogs allowed anywhere near).

This begs questions like, ‘If bird sanctuaries were such a priority I doubt that the same council would allow the spoiling of natural bird lands at Werribee south’. Yes developing wilderness will provide a windfall of new high council rates but what about the birds that used to use the area before the luxury marina was put in? As a dog owner, its hard not to imagine that the priority is: Houses (and more rates) first, birds second. anything else third, dogs last. THAT is the unfortunate trend I am seeing in a lot of the “dog” parks I visit.

I wouldn’t mind so much with yet another council restriction if dogs could roam anywhere they liked across the suburbs, JUST LIKE BIRDS, but of course that will never happen, again. THIS is why I am such a strong campaigner for single use dog parks, not a ‘shared resource’ where dogs get the lowest priority.
If non dog owners get an education about dogs, the ability to read dog language and not be fearful of what they don’t understand, then these parks could be enjoyed by a lot more people. With such a small amount of land Australia wide that legally allows dogs to be off lead, we should really question how much we as a community really care about ‘man and woman’s best friend’. Dogs need off lead experiences to become and remain social – actively discouraging that is wilful neglect of a species and disrespecting all dog owners.

BIO: Bruce Dwyer is a professional dog walker based in inner west of Melbourne Australia. From an original career in Electronic Engineering and Corporate Marketing he chose to concentrate on the dog service industry. His company ‘Dog Walkers Melbourne’ has been in business since 2010 and is based on providing the best dog walking and pet sitting solutions for people in Melbourne. The only two times that he has been away from his own dog, he has used his own company’s 24 hour pet sitters. His own dog Archie (an 9 year old spoodle), enjoys TWO dog walks per day with many of the images and videos from his daily off lead dog pack walks featured on the following sites: | | |