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Discussion Starter #1
I'm teaching classes at the off leash park, great distractions for the dogs, but so ready to call animal control on some people! Not sure how to deal with them!

Dog #1 is an intact male pitty. NICE boy, good with everything. EVERY week he wanders into the group looking for food, marking the bags/purses on the ground. EVERY week I end up holding his collar for 5-10 minutes while teaching so the dogs in the class can work without a fight breaking out. EVERY time his owner wanders over from wherever to collect him and says 'he won't start anything'. True, but he doesn't seem the type to back down either, and if anything happens he's going to get blamed and possibly killed for it! One of the dogs in the group is a bit snarky with other dogs and tonight this pitty was standing his ground. Then later, same owner, her other pitty was pestering the small dog in the group as they were leaving - this is a 5 pound dog and again, no owner nearby and no control. At least the owner in my class got the message from us yelling and picked up the dog so she could better fend off the pitty - who jumped up on her at that point before the owner got there...

Dog #2 - gsd mix of some sort, clueless moron owner. Dog likes balls, so great, toss the ball for him but it's a HUGE park - go away already! Don't stand almost in the group tossing the ball only to have your dog run through the group over, and over, and over again.

Dog #3 - lab with zero training or manners and owner on another planet! This lab jumped on half the class, including the 7 year old girl and almost knocked her down. Then was jumping at the other dogs. Again stood holding the dog's collar, looking in the direction of the owner who said the dog's name ONCE but never came to get him or looked around to see where his dog was. I finally let the dog go and he headed away from where the owner was walking and still no response.

I'm quite ready to start taking slip leads and collecting these dogs, and taking them in as 'strays'! The law is the dogs are to be under control - not on their own doing whatever. The pitty is weekly issue, again huge park and often she's nowhere to be seen as this dog wanders around - how is she going to clean up after him if he's not in sight at all?

Any suggestions on what to do? I'm thinking maybe of calling the city. Totally annoys me, animal control should go walk the park and hand out tickets to some of these 'owners' to smarten them up! At the same time don't want to annoy people...

Lana
 

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I'm teaching classes at the off leash park, great distractions for the dogs, but so ready to call animal control on some people! Not sure how to deal with them!

..... <snip>.....Any suggestions on what to do? I'm thinking maybe of calling the city. Totally annoys me, animal control should go walk the park and hand out tickets to some of these 'owners' to smarten them up! At the same time don't want to annoy people...

Lana
Find a better place for your classes? Why in the world would you be teaching class in an off-leash dog park and then consider calling AC on dogs who are doing the things that dogs commonly do in dog parks? It's a dog park. There are going to be idiots.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
According to the bylaw, dogs at off leash parks are to be under control at all times and owners are to clean up after them. If a dog is on the very far side of the park and the owner is nowhere in sight, then how is she going to see him taking a dump or getting into trouble?

The classes are at the parks because there aren't any other places to legally work off leash. And the owners like having the distractions of dogs going by etc. as well as getting their dogs used to listening at the dog park.
If they can have police giving tickets for drinking coffee while driving or looking too long at someone walking down the street, they can give tickets to unruley dogs. Always been an issue here, the bigger parks aren't really safe because there are so many out of control dogs.
 

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According to the bylaw, dogs at off leash parks are to be under control at all times and owners are to clean up after them. If a dog is on the very far side of the park and the owner is nowhere in sight, then how is she going to see him taking a dump or getting into trouble?

The classes are at the parks because there aren't any other places to legally work off leash. And the owners like having the distractions of dogs going by etc. as well as getting their dogs used to listening at the dog park.
If they can have police giving tickets for drinking coffee while driving or looking too long at someone walking down the street, they can give tickets to unruley dogs. Always been an issue here, the bigger parks aren't really safe because there are so many out of control dogs.
Yes, people suck. Why else would there be a dog park rant several times a week here on DF.

But what is AC going to do about it? Show up in 3-6 hours to write a ticket for a less than vigilant dog owners?
You're out there in an off leash park with a bunch of dogs and a bunch of yummy treats. You're bound to make some new friends whether you want them or not.

The best thing you can do is make some friends and find a facility that you can use.
 

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Maybe those people w/annoying dogs are looking to join your training group - they just don't know how to come up and ask like normal people so they have their dogs do it for them?! LOL

You could offer them a discount to join in? If nothing else, it may be a way of saying "your dog needs some learnin'" without being mean about it.

Other than that, there's nothing you can do except hold the classes elsewhere. Like Tofu said, make some friends at the park....could work something out for use of a fenced-in yard?
 

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My guess would be that some of those owners at this off lead dog park are fairly annoyed that they should have to remove their dogs repeatedly from a group of people and dogs with treats. My guess is also that to these dogs- you all are pretty darn interesting!
Standing together in a group, probably with treats- what doesn't entice a curious dog about this situation?
You wanted distractions and you got them. You have 'in your face' distractions. What better way to proof these dogs?
If your class and you feel it's rude then I would suggest finding another location. Maybe instead of inside the park, outside of it with long leads on. Still the distractions and all the madness going on without the 'problem'.
Personally I think calling AC on owners whom have their dogs loose in a dog park is pretty darn silly. But then again (IMO) so is being upset about dogs coming to 'visit' you in a dog park.
 

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I'm trying to figure out why you would leave purses on the ground at the dog park. I don't put anything on the ground there that I don't want peed on. It's a dog park.

Seriously, I would either go at way off times when no one will be there, be understanding and prepared for dogs to act like dogs and owners not to have complete control over their dogs in such a fun high distraction environment (especially since you are doing different things) or find a new place to work like a field with some long lines. But calling AC over this is petty and just wrong in my opinion. And really not going to solve anything.
 

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My guess would be that some of those owners at this off lead dog park are fairly annoyed that they should have to remove their dogs repeatedly from a group of people and dogs with treats. My guess is also that to these dogs- you all are pretty darn interesting!
Standing together in a group, probably with treats- what doesn't entice a curious dog about this situation?
You wanted distractions and you got them. You have 'in your face' distractions. What better way to proof these dogs?
If your class and you feel it's rude then I would suggest finding another location. Maybe instead of inside the park, outside of it with long leads on. Still the distractions and all the madness going on without the 'problem'.
Personally I think calling AC on owners whom have their dogs loose in a dog park is pretty darn silly. But then again (IMO) so is being upset about dogs coming to 'visit' you in a dog park.
This -- I can understand Bordermom's frustration, but as a frequent dog parker with a very curious and playful puppy, it drives me nuts when people come to the off leash dog park with treats or toys or a puppy that they won't take off the leash, or any other nuisance that attracts dogs, and then gets mad at me when my dog keeps trying to come play or say hello or get a treat. Not sure if you have treats or not, but how are the other owners' dogs supposed to know that they can't come join the fun in your training class? Sure, these owners should be paying more attention, but they're not really creating the situation in the first place. In fact, my local dog park doesn't allow any of those things (except tennis balls, and then only at off peak hours) because they can be such a nuisance.

Also, you mentioned a 7 year old girl -- many people would say it's a bad idea to bring young children to an off leash dog park in the first place.
 

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Frustrating, but you chose to hold a private class in a public space. This comes with annoyances that you cannot control and the dogs are free to be there as much as you are. I'm near my dogs and they are behaved, but I don't see them not understanding you're a class that needs to not be interrupted. They know the park is for playing and will be saying hi to a crowd and smelling and trying to get into stuff on the floor as that is "fair game". You say you hold the dogs, but have you ever actually tried to have a civil discussion with any of their owners? At least with the fetcher, perhaps the owner can adjust where they're throwing balls.

At our off leash park, you are not allowed to do classes in there with treats, no stuffies, no food, no personal effects(purses) on the floor and a warning of no liability on the park staff for things being destroyed. I think these things make sense.

I see some doggy classes do happen at our park but it's on the soccer field that shares a fence with the dog park. Perhaps if other dogs is too much distraction then I think it's best to conduct the class somewhere where you can control the situation.
 

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I live on a military base so dog parks is about all we get...sometimes people are good about dogs but like everything else there are bad apples out there. Roll with what comes at you...if your teaching a distraction course then dog park is good but only for the most advanced.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
We were at a different park last night (there is another class that is run by other people at the far end, we're somewhere in the middle). Totally different! Still had dogs wander through, but the owners were actually with them. Still had the odd dog mooching but better control by the owners and they'd get them moving off again. Very cute 2 year old girl walking a pug when we got there, and a little mixed breed went running out of the park, across the street after a lady who came back with her dogs to go find the owner.

Yes, have tried to talk nicely to the owners at the other park (pointed out to the pitty owner that while he's never started something, it just takes one other dog to attack him first and if he does anything he'll be blamed), but they don't seem to care.

In Calgary there are 150? or so dog parks, some pretty small but the ones I use are huge (I have to specify where we'll be as people have come and not found us working in the past). Most other areas are 'no dogs allowed' so classes do take place in the dog park. The other town I'm possibly going to teach at, same thing, they have some parks but I guess they'll tell you to move if you don't have a permit to be holding something, and they don't like giving them out (someone else tried to do a boot camp and was told simply 'no').

I don't mind the dogs coming and visiting, but really rather the owners are polite and move on. The park with the issues I've had a few issues with before, like a doodle owner who didn't get that his dog was being a hormone, or that walking him on leash for 20 feet then taking him off leash so he'd come back wasn't working. At least he didn't get too upset when Ticket finally told him off for snapping at him over and over (and we were trying to move away from the dog, but he just kept coming along!).

These classes end soon and we'll be back to scrambling for space. I try to keep the classes outside so the prices aren't insane - the average cost for dog classes here is about $30 an hour for group lessons! Sometimes more!

Lana
 

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We were at a different park last night (there is another class that is run by other people at the far end, we're somewhere in the middle). Totally different! Still had dogs wander through, but the owners were actually with them. Still had the odd dog mooching but better control by the owners and they'd get them moving off again. Very cute 2 year old girl walking a pug when we got there, and a little mixed breed went running out of the park, across the street after a lady who came back with her dogs to go find the owner.
A two year old in a dog park? No air lock?
 

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Obviously some distractions are welcomed as they would help the dogs in the class learn to deal with them. That said, there are laws about behavior at a dog park, espeically if it is a government run park. Animal Control kicks people out of my local park all the time because their dogs are not watched over. Someone throwing a ball for their dog through the class is just rude and you have every right to vent about rude people.
 
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