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Let me just say, we LOVE our tiny little local urban dog park. We're there twice a day, Biscuit loves it (most of the time), and we've learned to roll with the punches that come with tiny little urban dog parks.

However! That doesn't mean I can't laugh at the stupid things the other owners do. For example, our dog park (being tiny and urban and surrounded by apartment buildings) has a "no excessive barking" rule with signs posted. Especially in the early mornings, the neighbors have called in complaints and/or leaned out the window to yell at owners of excessively barking dogs. Don't ask me how you teach a dog not to bark at the dog park or what constitutes "excessive" barking.

Anyway, this morning, a giant, rambunctious black lab mix was play-barking her fool head off and her owner thought that a good way to get her to stop would be to hit her in the face with a mitten!(?!?) I've seen her do this before. What is the thought process there? "If I hit my dog with this mitten, maybe she will shut up"? Baffling!

I know we've had threads about this before, but why not a new one. What silly/useless things have you seen other dog owners doing?
 

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I think that an excessive barking dog rule at a DOG park is stupid I have cattle dogs ... Who bark a lot, so I would ignore that rule lol.... No matter how much anyone complained, ESP if it's during the day.
 

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It is stupid, but I can see how without it the neighbors (giant apartment buildings and rowhouses on all sides) would be miserable. It's only open during the day anyway (which is riciulous, they lock it at night), but yeah. It's a self-policing rule for sure, but I have been admonished by other dog owners for Biscuit play-barking. Maybe I should have tried hitting Biscuit in the face with a mitten, obviously that is a great solution!

This dog park also bans all toys including tennis balls during "peak hours" to avoid doggy conflict, since it's such a small space. That rule really makes some people mad! And it's very inconvenient when you're watching your dog mill about doing nothing when she could be chasing a tennis ball. And the park is made of Astroturf, which you're supposed to hose down if your dog makes a mess on, yuck. It's just the price we pay to have a dog park so close to us in such an urban location, I guess. Can't have it all.
 

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That is a bit ridiculous. I mean, it is a DOG park. Haha.
[Although, sure, I understand people might get a bit angry hearing "excessive" dog barking while they are trying to sleep...]

And hitting a dog in the face with a mitten is absolutely ludicrous!

Astroturf is convenient, but is is it sanitary? o_O
 

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Astroturf is convenient, but is is it sanitary? o_O
They hose it down with some sort of sanitizing stuff from time to time, but aren't all dog parks disgusting? It's some sort of special doggy astroturf actually, with fancy drainage. It's disgusting, but definitely more sanitary than urine-soaked grass and mud would be. Blech.
 

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lol What an idiot. My cattle dog,Marlin, can be an excessive barker if he get's to excited about things, so we use Pet Corrector on him during times when it's either getting on our nerves or we're in an area where a lot of barking in inappropriate. It's just a can of compressed air that makes a loud hissing noise when you spray it. It works GREAT. Now all we have to do is show it to him and he stops.
 

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but aren't all dog parks disgusting? It's disgusting, but definitely more sanitary than urine-soaked grass and mud would be. Blech.
I agree, but maybe if it was an ENORMOUS dog park it wouldn't be drenched in pee or poo?
[Or, at least, and hopefully, there would be enough time between dog intervals for the poo and pee to decompose?]
 

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We usually just grab our dog and distract/redirect her if she's barking "excessively." She's probably just barking at/riling up another dog anyway. If she was an inside barker it would be a different story.

I think the pee/poo problem is less in bigger dog parks for sure -- this one is particularly tiny. But when it's raining and muddy, I sure am glad not to have to de-mud my dog after every dog park trip. When I lived out in the country with a bigger grassy dog park, there was no way a dog park trip could be a daily occurrence due to mud.
 

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I don't think it's too much to ask for dogs not to bark excessively at a dog park, although I suppose it depends on the location. The closest dog park to my house is in the middle of a fairly high density residential neighborhood. We're lucky to have it there, and the city can take it away any time they like. I don't blame residents for being upset, continuous excessive barking is definitely annoying- especially if people are trying to work during the day. Anyhow, I really don't think mitten-hitting is going to shut a dog up -_-

I would ignore that rule lol.... No matter how much anyone complained, ESP if it's during the day.
It's attitudes like this that make dog-less residents so resistant to cities putting in dog parks.
 

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I don't think it's too much to ask for dogs not to bark excessively at a dog park, although I suppose it depends on the location.
The problem with that is that it's a subjective rule. All subjective rules are basically nonsense. How do you define excessive? Unless the park has a posted decibel level and we all carry devices for measuring that as well as an acceptable number of barks before its "excessive" the rule can't possibly do anyone any favours. It just leaves people arguing over their opinion of what's acceptable...same as if there was no rule at all.

It reminds me of noise policies in apartments. A friend of mine once had a downstairs neighbour in a creaky old building that would call the landlord with a complaint every time we walked across the floor after 8pm. My friend eventually got evicted over it.
 

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The thought process behind hitting the dog with a mitten: "I know dam good and well this dog won't shut up no matter what I do, so I'll just do anything so those fools yelling out the windows will think I'm at least taking some action."
 

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So what's the solution? No rule at all? All barking is fine? I don't think the neighbors of a dog park would be okay with no limits on barking, and it's unreasonable to expect dogs to be completely silent all the time. Sure, there's room for differing opinions, but I think most people can agree that continuous barking is excessive, while occasional barks are expected from dogs. The dog park is still there even though the space is a pretty valuable downtown lot. I'd say that's favorable.
 

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I'd simply expect dog park patrons to comply with the usual local noise pollution laws. There is a certain decibel limit and there are hours under which the decibel limit drops. If the dog park is closed at night anyways and with dogs barking being comparable regular city noise (traffic, kids playing, construction, etc...) then whatever normal playful barking should be fine. Now if there are a couple dogs continuously aggressively barking at each other, it's not going to take long for the owners to wrap it up and get them out of there anyways.
 

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My Cattle Dog is an excessive barker, by anyone's definition ;). She has a super annoying bark too. NOTHING works to stop it, she does not care about any tools we've tried. The barking has gotten worse as she's aged and her eyesight isn't what it used to be. I'm acutely aware of our surroundings and avoid having her in a place where she'd bark a lot that is too close to homes and/or at early/late hours. Fortunately, I live in a sem-rural area with lots of open land, I'd never be able to use a park with a "bark policy". She's bossy, if other dogs or kids are playing, she yells at them to knock it off, so we go to places where we can be alone in the woods, no need for yelling then. At 13, we're not going to fix this (not that we didn't try when she was younger!), so we work around it.
 

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Traffic really isn't loud at all, and there's nothing you can do about construction. You can't tell a jackhammer to be quiet. I'd consider dogs to be similar to kids in this respect, though. If your kid is standing in the middle of the playground screaming at the top of their lungs repeatedly, it's your duty as a parent to stop them because it's freakin irritating. The city limits where I live don't restrict this stuff- it's just common courtesy. The city limits are extremely vague. The only noise limits are from 11 pm to 7 am, and that's not a decibel limit. If you have a problem, you call the police and they judge whether it's too loud or not. I know this because there was a drum studio right behind my house that was obnoxiously noisy from 8-11 every night. Nothing we could do about it. The only bylaw applicable stated that you couldn't 'disturb the peace'. What the heck does that mean?! It exists so that police can make a judgement based on the specific circumstances. The fact remains that just because it's not against the law doesn't mean it's okay to do. Our whole community was trying to get rid of that stupid drum studio- if dogs are too loud, that kind of action will be taken against the dog park.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'd simply expect dog park patrons to comply with the usual local noise pollution laws. There is a certain decibel limit and there are hours under which the decibel limit drops. If the dog park is closed at night anyways and with dogs barking being comparable regular city noise (traffic, kids playing, construction, etc...) then whatever normal playful barking should be fine. Now if there are a couple dogs continuously aggressively barking at each other, it's not going to take long for the owners to wrap it up and get them out of there anyways.
I don't think that's really helpful in a residential area in a big city, actually. I think without a posted rule, dumb and inconsiderate people would just let their dogs bark endlessly without thinking about it, which is definitely a lot more annoying than traffic noise in this particular location, which is light on kids and traffic, but heavy on apartment buildings and foot traffic. No one is going to get arrested or banned from the park because their dog barks, so it doesn't really matter that the rule is subjective, but the rule at least gives the neighbors (and other dog owners, to be honest) a way to remind the owners to be considerate. The noise pollution laws aren't meant to apply to a disturbing noise like a continuously barking dog, but more importantly, they're complex (because of zoning and time restrictions) and not posted on signs at the dog park. It's much easier to point to the sign than to whip out the local code of regulations, you know?

It would be different if we were talking about an area that wasn't so residential and densely populated. I don't think even the other dog parks in my city have rules like that.
 

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None of the dog parks in my city have any barking rules. We went to the dog park the other evening around 6 pm and there were only 4 other dogs there, and all of them were standing in a little circle constantly barking. It was mostly playful but still after 15 minutes of that we left. I didn't go to the dog park so we could get constantly barked at by other dogs.

Our park is also in a quieter residential area, there are apartment buildings on each side. I'm ok with dogs barking while they're playing, but when all they are doing is barking and won't stop for anything I'd think it would be annoying for the residents there. I wouldn't want residents calling in complaints about noise and get the park shut down, or locked at certain hours. This was the worst I've encountered the problem at our park, but I think if there were signs posted maybe the owners would have maybe at least attempted to quieter their dogs or distract them to actually play.
 
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