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Invalid Justification From Dog Owners in Dealing Pets at the Dog Park.

As dog owners, we have some points of view when handling our own dogs and dealing with other dog owners at the dog park. Some might be acceptable but some are not. Here are invalid arguments that you should've not said - to yourself and to others.

© photo by πŸ“· 3_Utah_Pitbulls

(1) "It's okay, my dog is harmless." Your dog's behavior around you in your home should not be expected as same outside. Numerous factors come into play outdoor - noise, the smell from other dogs; so stay vigilant because if humans get stressed outside the house, dogs as well. Manage your dogs’ environment so they don’t have the opportunity to antagonize each other. Stress in dogs can happen anytime and be anywhere. Remember that it’s the sum total of a dog’s stress that pushes him over his bite threshold, so the more of his stressors you can identify and get rid of, the more you’ll ease tensions between your canine and others while sauntering at the dog park.

πŸ“· (Left) Jaggo the American Bully and (right) Escobar the American Bully  at Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City

(2) "The other dog started it." Uhm, no... Animals don't have morals like what we expect from hoomans; they act on instinct. They might grab the food from other dogs or from someone dining at the park. They might get excited seeing kids and will eventually lead to running after them. They might get jealous when their owner touches other dogs. They better need training, socialization, routine and mental enrichment. 

(3) "You should not have let your dog approach mine." No blaming others. The Ethics of Pet Ownership is something that needs to be displayed in times of argument between hoomans. You control your own dog. Know their cues, look at body language and take him out of heated/heating-up situations. Many fur-parents will get offended if their dogs get hurt by other dogs, and so they also react accordingly. 

I personally, encountered two dog owners at the park arguing due to an incident - an off-leashed, big American Bully dog run towards the other owners of three leashed-little chihuahua, due to excitement after seeing those little puppies. The chihuahua owner thought that the American Bully was attacking her dogs, so she quickly pulled the leash of the three chihuahuas away. The three chihuahuas were swinging and flying in the air but the Bully kept jumping up - just to reach the chihuahuas.

My Dog was also off-the-leash at that moment, and he noticed the commotion and also joined. The other pack of big dogs also joined and the chihuahua owner was literally surrounded by big dogs trying to reach her small dogs. Good thing, I was able to grab my dog and stay away from the commotion, so the blame was focused on the remaining Big Dog. Until the two owners got emotional and the argument between them was intense. 

From then, I never let my dog off-the-leash whenever we go for dog socialization. Honestly, it is not fun seeing your dog without the freedom to run but I have to control the temptation of letting him free to run because I have to consider that not all dog owners understand your dog's behavior. Usually, I went for a dog walk during twilight when no one is at the park so I can let him run freely without hesitation. 

(4) "I just left him unattended for a little while, I didn't know that was gonna happen.".  If you cannot have your full attention on your dog, just leave them at home if you need to do quick errands. On average, you can expect to spend at a minimum, 1 - 2 hours each day on providing dedicated attention for your dog. This can be in the form of a walk, play, enrichment activities, training, or general cuddle time. Dogs are pack animals so most of them love attention and company. 

πŸ“· Escobar the American Bully sleeping under the table while I am working.

With Escobar, my American Bully pet dog, he is very attached to me since I had him starting from the lockdown in 2020 due to Covid19 Pandemic. We stayed together inside the small condo, so we really have a strong bond which leads him to be anxious every time he doesn't feel my presence. He slept under the table while I am working from home. He guarded me whenever I go to the bathroom. He slept on the floor adjacent to my feet when I am lying on my bed. And, when I slept, he will secretly transfer beside me. 

πŸ“· Escobar the American Bully secretly transfer to my bed to sleep beside me.

Recently, I started him to teach to sleep separately from me by putting a hinder between my bed and his sleeping area. And, I can now also leave him at home whenever I go for an errand.

Also, if your dog has aggression problems, DO NOT PRACTICE ON OTHER DOGS IN THE COMMUNITY. We walk our dogs for peace of mind and healthy socialization.

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