Dog Fights in Brooklyn Parks

After reading about a recent dog-on-dog attack in Fort Greene Park during off leash hours, I realized it was time to address this serious issue. Most dog owners enjoy taking their dogs to dog runs and parks during off leash hours, I know I do. Unfortunately, not all dogs belong in a public run.

There are several problems here. One, is that some owners fail to recognize that their dog is dog aggressive and best left to burn off energy in another way. Another, is owners that fail to recognize when their dog is being inappropriate with other dogs (could be for a myriad of reasons) and don’t take them home. Still another problem is owners that fail to watch the dogs that their dogs are interacting with… just because your dog is super chill, doesn’t mean that everyone is.

Have you seen a pattern here? Yes, it’s not the dogs’ fault that they are fighting, it’s the owners’. Now, I’m not about to blame the woman whose dog was attacked in Fort Greene, and blindside attacks do happen. However, as the owner of a sweet and friendly dog, it is your job to supervise the area where they are playing and who they are playing with. If a dog makes you uncomfortable, then leave. Yes, it’s a bummer, but it’s a public place and you do not have control over who is there. I encourage everyone to survey a dog run before you enter. If any of the occupants make you nervous, skip it. Take an extra long walk or a jog with Fido instead.

Likewise, if your dog is the one that always starts trouble then stay out of the park. Dog to dog aggression is very common and does not mean that Fido is “bad.” You just need to manage him. You may love taking him to the park in the morning, but unfortunately, that’s not the best place for the dog you have. Dogs do not NEED to play with other dogs. Chances are, if your dog fights in the dog run, he doesn’t even WANT to play with other pooches. Find another way to occupy and exercise Fido that you both enjoy. If you can’t live without going to the dog run, hire a dog trainer experienced in aggression to go with you and see if anything can be done about Fido’s behavior.

I will never forget the worst dog fight I’ve seen. While at Dog Beach in Prospect Park on a beautiful day, an un-neutered male Pit Bull came around the corner off leash. Charleston’s greetings tend to be a little exuberant (and off-putting) with unfamiliar dogs so I leashed him up and kept him close. Another un-neutered male Pit Bull came along on leash, but walked by a careless dog walker who payed more attention to his ipod than the dogs. As soon as the dogs approached each other I backed away, fearing what could happen. Indeed, the off leash dog lunged at the other in an instant and over the next few minutes almost killed him. Everyone that witnessed the attack was shaken. (I’m not blaming the breed for the attack, I will talk more about my feelings on Pits at another time).

The lesson I learned from that day, was that if I feel uneasy about a dog I should listen to my gut. And you should too. PLEASE, manage your dogs and their playmates… it will make for fewer fights and you and Fido will be much better off.

4 Responses to “Dog Fights in Brooklyn Parks”

  1. Anonymous

    Awesome post. I agree 100%. And, incidentally, if you change the word “dog” to “child” you actually could teach a few parents out there a thing or two.

  2. Anonymous… what an idiot.

    unleashed children are not a health and safety threat and do not bite the faces off of people and animals.

  3. Anonymous

    Apparently you do not understand my comparison. I am not suggesting that there should be a literal tether on children. Nor am I saying that if you let them run around, they are going to bite people’s faces off. I am merely stating that parents should keep an eye on their children in public, and in general. Maybe if they took notes on common sense, (which in a nutshell- this post advocates exercising) we wouldn’t have to pad all our playgrounds with rubber foam.

    For you to take my correlation literally, I would gander that you David, are the idiot. Not me.


  4. Anonymous

    I agree w/ Anonymous on both posts. And I think this is a wonderful & important blog…more people should be aware that dog parks are not meant to be a free-for-all spree for your pets. Fun should be tempered w/ responsibility, that way it STAYS fun & things don’t get out of control.