There’s been a lot of discussion of dog parks lately at a couple of my favorite sites, two at Dog Star Daily (see Dog Parks and Why You Should Avoid Them and Rethinking Dog Parks) and one at Kenzo The Hovawart, titled Kenzo Stopped Visiting the Dog Park.
The talk centered primarily around good dog parks, bad dog parks, and reasonable alternatives to dog parks that allow dogs to play with each other. But in his second post on the topic, trainer Eric Goebelbecker, who blogs regularly at Dog Spelled Foward, noted that the following suggestion in his first article had gone virtually ignored:
….Skip playing with other dogs and just play with [your dog] yourself. (Assuming you only have one dog.)… Does your dog really need to play with other dogs to have a completely fulfilled life?
I don’t think so.
Well, I’d like to respond on Friday. Frankie tolerates other dogs most of the time, though he often growls, barks, and snaps at those who are invading his personal space when I’m around. He has not evinced any desire to play with them, at a dog park or anywhere else. Does that mean his life is unfulfilled?
Or to repeat what Eric said: Does your dog need to play with other dogs to have a completely fulfilled life?
Please send articles and comments, pro and con, on the topic.
Update: I should clarify that Frankie walks peacefully with a variety of other dogs, and on rare occasions even does a bit of butt sniffing. So, outside the house, where almost canine interactions occur, he doesn’t react unless another dog gets in his face and even then it’s just a warning growl.