ASI Board Member, Julie Iovine, recently published the essay, ‘Dog Parks Are Great for People. Too Bad They’re Terrible for Dogs.’ in the New York Times. In this essay, Iovine describes the ways in which dog parks are often enjoyed more by humans than their dog companions, and writes that “we’d be wiser to think of dog parks as undersupervised and vaguely dirty watering holes during thunderstorms when there’s a good chance of lightning: high risk and best avoided.”
Find the full article here: Dog Parks Are Great For People, But Terrible For Dogs – The New York Times
If you are interested in reading further on the topic of dog parks, the article, ‘”Bark Parks” –A Study on Interdog Aggression in a Limited-Control Environment’ was published in the ASI-managed journal, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS), and can be found here. We include the abstract for this article below:
As limited-control dog parks become more popular, concerns arise about whether these parks encourage interdog aggression. Systematic observations made at 1 park over 72 hr across 8 months found that 28 conflicts or potential conflicts occurred (< 0.5%). Of these, 14 were clear aggressive episodes. Each lasted less than 1 min (< 0.33% of total observation time). There were 14 other incidents of possible aggression that were ambiguous in nature. Each lasted less than 30 sec (< 0.17%). None of these incidents led to serious injury. Of the 177 dogs observed, only 9 were aggressive toward other dogs (5%): 6 aggressors, once each; 2 aggressors, twice each; 1 aggressor, 3 times. Results indicate that aggression in limited-control dog parks may be relatively rare and probably presents only a limited risk to dogs and their caregivers (owners). In part, this may be because owners who frequent dog parks are self-selecting, self-monitoring, and self-limiting in regard to dog aggression.