My dogs love the dog park. The highlight of their day, every day, is a romp at the park.
Creatures of habit, they like to walk the same path, smell what’s new and, in general, pee everywhere.
Both my Airedale terriers are well socialized. They each get an A+ for playing well with others.
My female is almost 13 and my male is four and a half — and intact. He remains co-owned by the breeder.
I watch him closely when meeting new dogs, especially males. He likes to be top dog but when they weigh more than he does, he intuitively defers to their size. He is no dummy.
Intact or neutered, froufrou or pitbull, they all meet, assess and then eventually tails start to wag.
Some days he has been known to develop a crush on another dog. Being an equal opportunist, the victim of said crush could either be male or female.
When this happens, I need to leash him and walk him away.
Today, I was both shocked and appalled to discover that his “crush” was a female rottie in heat.
He was leashed in 1.3 seconds.
This is not the first time I have run across someone who has brought their female in heat to the dog park.
However, I was assured that they bring their female to the park all the time —when she is in heat — and nothing has ever happened. I felt much better after that.
That’s akin to saying, “I play Russian roulette all the time and nothing has ever happened.”
Wait for it.
No responsible breeder in their right mind would take a dog to a public place, much less a dog park, and allow it to roam at will.
Female dogs in heat can cause dog park fights. In even plainer English, nature and instinct take charge and male dogs fight over female dogs in heat.
Please do not create dangerous situations for others or put my dog and people in risky situations.
I do not want my normally well behaved dog fighting to win the attention of a female. I don’t want him injured needlessly because of someone else’s reckless actions.
I especially don’t want children, adults or other dogs caught in the middle.
You can’t trust a female off her leash or out of your control. Not even outside in a fenced yard if there is any possibility of male dogs nearby.
A dog in heat can be walked, as long as she is maintained on a lead at all times or away from other dogs, especially intact males.
Even the best trained and behaved female dog will succumb to hormones. Today, both dogs ran off into the bush. Unsupervised. Alone. Need I go on?
The dog overpopulation problem is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.
Reputable breeders have years of experience and education.
Irresponsible breeding can also create puppies with health problems and unless you are a serious dog breeder, you should certainly consider having your dog, male or female, neutered.
After this scare, I’m definitely calling my breeder.
I would appreciate it if the city would take more responsibility in educating dog owners.
A simple start may be to post dog park rules at both dog parks. A second step would be to post dog park rules online.
For the record, “Failing to confine a female dog or aggressive dog in heat” can net you a $250 fine for the first offence, $500 for the second, and $750 for the third. [City of Red Deer Dog Bylaw 10(1)(f)]
Some dogs are inappropriate for dog parks. Avoid taking her there when she is in heat.
Its the (by)law.