Dirty Dog Run Making Pooches Sick

The conditions at the Park Slope dog run have gotten downright unsanitary, according to dog owners who regularly visit the run, and things are only bound to get worse as the weather warms. Dog owners charge that, in addition to the general unpleasantness, the urine-soaked wood chips are to blame for giving their furry friends parasites and diarrhea. The Parks Department confirms that all is not as it should be. J.J. Byrne Park manager Eric Greene said they haven’t been changed since November. “I don’t want to change them at all because it’s all going to be under construction,” he said, referring to the new park Boymelgreen has promised to start building next month because part of the old one was used as a staging area to construct The Novo. Nevertheless, Greene said compaints have prompted the Parks Department to drop off wood chips beside the park within two weeks. This time volunteers are supposed to change them. (Normally, he said, the department does most of the work, removing the fence and lugging out special equipment to change the paw padding. “It’s very time-consuming.”) Tony Chiappelloni, president of FIDO, an off-leash advocacy group for Prospect Park, said, “Personally I think small dog runs are basically unhealthy.”
Extreme Makeover Planned for J.J. Byrne Park [Brownstoner]

0 Comment

  • I agree it sounds kind of nasty but aren’t we talking about the same animals that voluntarily stick their noses in each other’s poo? What are a few urine-soaked wood chips going to do.

  • What about the “general unpleasantness” of having to sidestep dog shit on every block of your neighbourhood.

    Scoop up after your dogs. Asswipes!

  • Personally, I think having a dog is unhealthy.

  • People piss me off… I have a dog and always walk him before he goes in the dog park its just common courtesy… People are lazy thats all it comes down to…

  • Shouldn’t the Slopers make sure their dogs do their business before going to the dog run? Common courtesy dictates that they should.

    Anyways, why should taxpayers allocate land and pay for a dog run that’s only beneficial to some people but not the majority? If the dog owners want a cleaner dog run, they should buy their own stupid wood chips.

  • I’d be more apt to agree with the FIDO group if the park didn’t resemble a poop pot when they leave in the morning.

  • that dog is awesomely cute.

  • You know, the bottom line is that MOST dog owners, just like MOST parents, don’t pick-up after or discipline their dogs/kids. People suck. It’s an absolute fact. No one has any consideration or manners anymore.

  • People here are self-richeous about everything…..

    Since when is having a dog NOT go to the bathroom in a dog run “common courtesy”??

    Of course my (and virtually every) dog goes b/4 going in the run – if only because no one lives in the park and it is a good walk b/4 you get in.

    Guess what you imbeciles – dogs LIKE to pee in different spots (especially where other dogs are) so no matter what you do the dog will pee at the run – and sometimes all that running around causes dogs to shit (even if they went before)

    And actually 10:18 having dogs makes you healthier – emotionally and physically and even better having dogs as a child helps kids avoid allergies, asmha etc….

    Look it up



  • “Of course my (and virtually every) dog goes b/4 going in the run ”

    Well, clean it up on the sidewalk afterwards, its the law.

    Look it up.

  • guest at April 25, 2008 10:31 AM: “Anyways, why should taxpayers allocate land and pay for a dog run that’s only beneficial to some people but not the majority? If the dog owners want a cleaner dog run, they should buy their own stupid wood chips.”

    And playgrounds! I don’t have kids. Why should my taxes pay for playgrounds? Or schools, or homeless shelters, or baseball fields, or pools, or oh wait….what i meant to say was piss off moron.

  • thank you 10:40 I guess I’m not crazy after all

  • Kids are people. Dogs are animals. Know the difference.

  • “…the urine-soaked wood chips are to blame for giving their furry friends parasites and diarrhea”?

    Dog urine is sterile.

    I could believe that people are nauseated (or actually sickened) by exposure to urine-soaked wood chips, but if there is really something in the wood chips making other dogs sick, it’s not the urine.

    Can someone tell us what the health dangers really are? Do people complain after a rainstorm, too?

  • The fact the park uses wood chips instead of planting and maintaining a grass lawn in the dog run is stupid. If it’s a larger space and there’s grass and therefore more of an ecosystem, then the urine isn’t such a problem. Woodchips for a dog run is gross. What’s with that? And it’s so ecologically irresponsible. There’s nothing they can do with those woodchips when they’re removed to be refreshed, but bring them to the dump. You can’t put them into compost with all that dog urine on it.

    After the new dog run is built (hopefully with grass!) they need to make it a rule that owners should do their best to get their dog to pee elsewhere before entering the dog run. Then let the dog owners there police whether other dog owners are following the rule.

  • Brooklyn Fire Alarm Guy –

    Your post makes the most sense. I couldnt agree more, why do tax dollars have to go to schools, or homeless shelters, or baseball fields, or pools…etc.

    It is no different than a robber reaching into your wallet and taking whatever he wants for his own selfish needs. Where in the constitution does it say the government (i.e. you and me) is responsible to pay for any of these things?

  • “Kids are people. Dogs are animals. Know the difference.”

    Ah, the reading comprehension issues always arise.

    Kids and dogs are similar in the sense that they both have a responsible adult looking after them, no? And that adult, in most cases, is entitled, oblivious, and irresponsible, and has zero consideration for anyone outside their bubble of existence.

    I have a dog, and I always pick up its shit, including when it craps on the grass. I’ve always done this. It’s a no-brainer, second-nature. But the amount of dog-shit I see on NYC streets is proof-positive of the many lazy, spoiled, and inconsiderate dog owners that exist. Just like the amount of spoiled and misbehaved kids is a clear indication of their parents’ total disregard for others. So, very similar situations indeed. Get over it.

  • Look people. Here’s some facts:
    1. we live in a democracy. if you don’t like dog parks, then get the city government to get rid of them. Point is, its just like anything else. there’s not “they’re not people rule” pertaining to “things that government does for a minority”. I believe that dog parks are good for everyone because they are a place for the dogs to burn energy and get socialized. (you do realize there’s gonna be people with dogs no matter what, so we might as well get those animals happy and calm). But the point is, this is just like any other issue, no matter what weird ad hoc rules about city services you can come up with.
    2. I use this dog park and the reason i think its terrible is cause its so small, has barily standing fences (so dogs could potentially get out), and no drinking fountains. Also, rats live in the ground/wood chips. As long as we’re gonna have a dog park, why have one that is a shit hole?
    3. This is a totally rich neighborhood with lots of dog owners, and I’m kinda surprised that there isn’t a local effort to get a better dog park, especially with the rule change at prospect park.
    4. Hey Brownstoner–take a look at the rule change at prospect park (and city-wide) due to a lawsuit by Committee for Responsible Dog Ownership . I haven’t seen any coverage of this…they took away the afternoon dog hours from Prospect park due to some concerned bird watchers.

  • Grass in a dog run would be uprooted and destroyed within a month, tops. It simply wouldn’t withstand the activity, which is why sports fields are routinely covered with synthetics. Urine is indeed sterile, but I must agree that it stinks if left to dry in the sun. Woodchips are already a by-product of park maintenance and Xmas tree disposal. In fact, if the city chose to do so they most certainly could be further recycled, despite the urine and to claim this is impossible only displays ignorance of the recycling process.

    The notion that dogs should be made to pee before entering the run is ludicrous in the extreme. Dogs are pack animals and are keenly aware of social structure. One of the primary ways they communicate is through scent ( their sense of smell is estimated to be 400x more powerful than ours) and urine is the way they leave their scent. From it one dog can determine everything about another. For a dog to enter an outdoor area that’s constantly populated by strange dogs and NOT mark the territory is asking the impossible.

    With regard to feces, it is a shame that people feel entitled to leave their dog’s droppings ANYWHERE without picking them up. Not only is it the law, but it is unsanitary and downright antisocial. I have two large dogs and never neglect to pick up. It is one of my least favorite aspects of dog ownership yet one of the responsibilities to my neighbors that I don’t take lightly. When people neglect to do so it reflects badly on dog owners across the board.

    As long as it remains legal to own a dog in NYC the city is wise to attempt to set aside places where the dogs can exercise and socialize away from people that don’t care for them. The alternative would certainly be dogs running off-leash on soccer fields and picnic grounds.

  • Now dogs need to ‘get socialized’? what next already. Want medicare for when the thing gets old?

  • so you like really aggressive mean barking dogs around you that attack other dogs and people? dogs that are locked all day sure bark more at the very least.
    that’s what socialization prevents…maybe its too big a word for you.

  • one problem with the park in general is that until a couple of years ago, it was a barely used ghetto park for stupid teens to party in. it was covered in broken glass in fact.

    the park simply has not caught up to the gentrification of the area.

  • Grass or wood chips are not good ideas. Carl Schultz park has a great small dog run that is made with a green, padded plastic. The bif dog run is tiny pebbles. If a dog pees or poops you can just go and wipe it up since it is easier to see. It was my favorite dog run when my girlfriend lived up there. When she moved to the Slope we checked out old schoolhouse run and hated it. Big dogs messing with small dogs, smelly chips, jerk-off owners, gaps in the fence. That dog run sucks. Everywhere else in the city there is a big dog run and a seperate small dog run. I don’t need my 6 pound dog getting mauled by a 100 pound rotweiller.

  • Dog pee is not nearly as nasty or as likely to induce human or dog illness as much of the other stuff we step in on the sidewalk every day — trash, shit, food, sewage, bleach, oil, etc. It’s a dirty world out there. Get over it. If there’s an outbreak of some sort at this dog park, that should be investigated and corrected, but I doubt it’ll be linked to pee.

  • People that know absolutely nothing about dogs are posting their opinions here. Why? Are you on plumbing forums and tree surgeon forums and tax reform discussion groups and going to medical conferences?

    Dogs, as stated before, are pack animals. Therefore ‘socialization’ IS important and is not a ‘pet party’ as you’re probably imagining. A dog in isolation is miserable and often becomes a menace. They need to be ‘socialized’ to the sights and sounds of the city (including strange people and animals) and they need exercise.

    As far as a ‘small dog run’, are we discussing a dog run that’s small, or a dog run for small dogs? I agree that it is best to separate the lap dogs from the large dogs.But where there’s no distinction made I believe it’s the responsibility of the small dog owner to understand that by allowing him in the dog run he’s putting his pet at risk.

  • Park Slope is a dirty little ghetto.

  • Small Dogs can play with large dogs just fine – its just that people with small dogs think they dont have to train their dog b/c the thing is so small and cute…. So tired of small dogs barking and growling at every dog they see – you had the thing (unnecessarily) bred, the least you could do is train it.

  • “It is no different than a robber reaching into your wallet and taking whatever he wants for his own selfish needs. Where in the constitution does it say the government (i.e. you and me) is responsible to pay for any of these things?”

    Well NewSouthSloper, if you live in a place without these amenities it makes your area much less valuable than the areas that DO have them. Therefore, follow me here, taxpayers are willing to pay for these things even when they themselves don’t use them. Interesting huh? Same thing with schools.

    South Slope might be hot (in some minds) but it ain’t Park Slope and it never will be. No parks, no playgrounds, no dog runs.

  • Hey, NewSouthslope….
    I think Fire alarm guy was being sarcastic. Why do your taxes go to schools when you may not personally have kids? Or to pools, baseball fields, and homeless shelters? The constitution doesn’t say a thing about that stuff because it is busy with other rights and responsibilities, like Free Speech and Habeas Corpus. Maybe it’s because the founding fathers didn’t think it was such a bad thing to let local governments and communities decide for themselves what amenities are needed or desirable. The fact that there is no constant section of the park available to off leash dogs is a shame. Or at least a well lit area that allows dogs to be themselves during the currently set off leash hours regardless of the amount of daylight. Then we wouldn’t have to worry about tainted wood chips or sub par dog runs.

  • 2:11 – I know Fire Alarm Guy was being sarcastic…

    If you feel so strongly about dog runs, you and like minded people should get together, buy a plot of land and have a dog run. Charge people a dollar or two and make some money out of it if you want. If it is a desireable thing then others will do the same and dog runs will flourish. Dont look to the government though for a handout to institute what YOU consider a beneficial thing (i.e. Special Interest) and thereby forcing taxpayers to pay for it.

    BTW, maybe its not in the constitution because the founding fathers felt a cradle to grave entitlement state was not in the best interests of freedom.

  • Why isn’t the Parks Dept. maintaining this? Why are they just dropping chips off and having volunteers do the labor? They wouldn’t dare just leave a broom and dustbin by the playground and let volunteers sweep up or just leave grass seed and lawnmower by the field area.

    The dog run is falling apart- the “bench” for people to sit is broken, the corner of the fence is held together with bungee cords, there are barely any chips left- it’s just a dirt pile- which turns to mud for days every time it rains without chips to absorb the water.

  • Newsouthsloper, ths US is not a cradle to grave entitlement state. Stop watching Fox News and get a grip.

  • So, I guess we should start a pay as you go society? No kids? You don’t have to pay for schools! No Old people in your life? You don’t have to pay for medicaid. House not on fire? You don’t have to pay taxes toward the fire department. Why would you even be on a forum like this? Taxes pay for parks, which are for the public use. Deal. With. It. You don’t get to pick and choose and neither do the rest of us. We live in a city with all different types of people, you fascist. I don’t think the dog run budget is really breaking the city’s bank. And if you could perhaps look at the bigger picture, you might see that dogs while providing companionship to those who need it, teaching responsibility to children, and exercise for their owners, have needs of their own. We might read about less dog-bite incidents and less animal cruelty if people saw these “animals” as having just as many rights and feelings as other living beings. How you can see a desire for space as “cradle to grave entitlement” is beyond me. Perhaps you should leave us to our blue state misery and take your pathetic case to another state where your close-mindedness might be better tolerated and perhaps even appreciated.

  • I think everyone should have access to a high quality shoe shine whenever they want. Think about it, it will help people’s self confidence and make the whole city look and feel a bit more professional.

    Therefore, we should pass an additional tax of $5 per week on all residents to set up free shoe-shine stations thoughough the city.

    If you dont like it, dont have your shoe shined, but you still have to pay.

  • newsouthsloper is The What’s alter ego.

  • Sounds like the dog-mafia is fiercer than the stroller-mafia.

  • “Perhaps you should leave us to our blue state misery and take your pathetic case to another state where your close-mindedness might be better tolerated and perhaps even appreciated.”

    Actually guest, the brand of politics I am supporting is neither fascist or closed minded. In fact it is the simplest and most open-minded policy on the planet.

    You are free to enjoy your life and property in whatever way you see fit, so long as it does not endanger or intrude on my rights to do the same. The goverment is in place to protect my rights and safety, end of story. Worship any god, or none, have an abortion every year or start a Charity to help others so they dont have to have an abortion, buy land and operate a dog run, whatever. The key is its your responsibility to run your own life, not everyone elses. You are responsible for your own sucess and failure, the government should be the absolute last resort saftey net, not the primary provider of every special interest, social service, or aid for every misstep or misfortune suffered by individuals.

  • Newsouthsloper-
    I will agree with you on a few points. I agree that “You are responsible for your own success and failure, the government should be the absolute last resort safety net, not the primary provider of every special interest, social service, or aid for every misstep or misfortune suffered by individuals” But we are talking about a dog run for public use. Not social security. Not affirmative action. Not school vouchers. There is a significant amount of the citizenry who not only own, but LOVE their dogs. As such, it seems only likely that they would want a part of their tax dollars, and a part of the land set aside for public use, to address the desire of that group of citizens to not only spend some time outdoors with their dogs, but to allow their dogs to socialize with each other so that they are healthy and well adjusted members of their families. And while I agree with you in essence that the government should not be the “primary provider” of special interests, if there is enough of a percentage of the populace who not only want but need access to that “special interest” then it IS the government’s job to address it. I don’t need my tax dollars going towards many things that our government puts our taxes towards. But the basic idea behind government and the social contract is that I give up certain things in order to get certain things. If it makes you feel better, perhaps you should view it as your tax dollars going towards the building of the new sports stadiums, and those of us who want and need a clean, accessible, and spacious dog run/park will see our taxes going towards that.

  • Two different suggestions:

    1. Pave over the dog run and install a house. It seems to work for the one at Mercer and Houston.

    2. Initiate a dog/cat-licensing fee of 50-100 bucks a year and use this money specifically for subsidizing dog walks.

  • Libertarians. Kurt Loder and newsouthsloper. ‘Nuff said.

  • Why worry about newsouthslopers boilerplate libertarian claptrap. It’s just his opinion and it will NEVER be reality. So let him kvetch and be a pot stirrer if it amuses him. We all need hobbies!

  • As someone who lived right by the dog run until recently, and who also has a dog, a coupla comments:

    1. Parks does not really maintain these runs, despite what you hear. Parks dumps a load of wood chips outside the run, and volunteer dog owners shovel the chips inside.

    2. Parks does not pick up the old chips, they just sort of settle and disappear. They get picked up with poop, washed away in the rain, and so on.

    3. There is not one but two dog runs, with the other being on 4th Ave.

    4. For the fake libertarians in the house, may I point out that local real estate agents use the presence of these dog runs as a selling point, so if you are a property owner in the neighborhood you benefit from the increase (however small) with having a dog run available. See for example, Corcoran’s ad for the Novo.

    5. Also for the fake libertarians, I would suggest that we don;t need any of JJ Byrne Park. It all serves special interest groups. Not only dog owners, but softball players, handball players, people with children, and soon, skateboarders. It should be sold to Katan with the proceeds turned over to the taxpayer. Katan can then put up another yellow brick beauty to go between the Crest and the Novo.

    6. Another reason the dog run is such a dump is that Boymelgreen is supposed to supply a new one, and as usual, he is a year behind schedule.

    7. Manitoba, dog owners do pay a licensing fee, altho not of that magnitude.

  • just to clarify one point, there is a dog license fee of 8.50. I wouldn’t oppose to having it raised if the money actually went to dog parks.
    I acknowledge that there’s no real enforcement of this licensing.

  • Alright, Manitoba’s crossed the line here.

    I don’t mind my tax dollars being used to pay for a dog run, but I’m pretty sure my cat would object to paying anything to subsidize a dog run.

  • Yes my “Boilerplate Libertarian Claptrap” is much worse than you Boilerplate Repubican vs. Democrat 2 Party claptrap. It really does make sense to have 1 of 2 political parties to represent 350 Million People.

    Thank you 3:30, though I dont agree, your argument is the most articulate, relevant, and substantive, rather than the baseless name-calling and pandering of the other detractors addressing my concerns.

    BTW, I do think Manitoba has the best idea regarding the dog park issue – Institute a fee for dog owners to pay for the Park, dont count on me for a hand-out because you love your pet but want others to bear the burden and expense of providing amenities for it.

    3:38 – You forgot many others Like John Stossel, Milton Freidman, Dennis Miller, Ron Paul, Hugh Downs, Albert Einstein, and virtually all of the Founding Fathers.


  • 4:57, so then we should have user fees for all the rest of the parks, right? Playgrounds, handball courts, basketball courts, and so on, right? $10 for Central Park, $5 for Prospect Park, lol.

  • Denton – Just curious what makes someone a “Fake Libertarian”?

    Also what makes you a “Real Liberal”?

  • As a side note to all the comments – Congrats to the photographer, (Sarah?), great colors with the happy Roddie in foreground. Loved your photo, as a dog owner it was nice to see first thing in the morn. Hope all goes well with the dog run. I wish I had one in my neigh…

  • “Dogs are pack animals and are keenly aware of social structure. One of the primary ways they communicate is through scent ( their sense of smell is estimated to be 400x more powerful than ours) and urine is the way they leave their scent. From it one dog can determine everything about another. For a dog to enter an outdoor area that’s constantly populated by strange dogs and NOT mark the territory is asking the impossible.”

    All true, and this is why dogs don’t belong in the city.

  • Denton is a “Real Liberal” because he is a card carrying memebr of the communist party. I think that is the official requirements…

    Plus he is a photographer, I think that automatically gets you into the exclusive Liberal Club along with artists, musicians, union members, and communications majors.

  • I think dog owners are soooo cruel and selfish to keep a dog all cooped up in a tiny apartment all day while you are out at work, forcing it to shit on public sidewalks twice a day (If he is lucky) and then maybe bringing him to a contaminated dog run to socialize for 20 minutes a week(Again if its Lucky). The life of a city dog must be misery.

  • dogs are tasty morsels.

  • i love my dog so much i sleep with him and eat his poopy.

  • you can all eat my poo! thank you tina fey.

  • Are you Korean, 6:00?

  • if i ever run into you sanctimonious shitbirds in any way and hear any of you express audibly the crap you dare write on this blog i will personally rip off your heads and shit down your throats.

  • The life of MY city dogs is nothing like the one you describe, 5:33. Although I hate myself for responding what is almost certainly a BS post designed to wind up dog owners, here goes:

    From 7:45 to 9AM we hit the park and they run and play with other dogs. At 9:30 they eat and are then free to do as they please ( usually sleep at my feet while I work). Another walk at around 2:30, another around 6. Dinner, sleep, play, hang out. They have free run of the backyard. A final walk before bed and then we all hit the hay, them in their beds on the floor at the foot of our bed.

    MUCH better than my friends’ dogs in the suburbs who never leave their yard/house and are insanely territorial and dog aggressive.

  • And just to add to 7:53. Dogs don’t really care how big their territory is — my 45 pound mutt spends most of her time at home sleeping in small spaces underneath things anyway — but they like to go out, they like to travel by foot, and they like to meet other dogs. City dogs, by neccesity, get much more of this than suburban dogs confined to their yads (though not necessarily as much as, say, farm dogs). In my case, she’s out doing what makes her happiest a good two hours a day — more than most people I know.

  • 7:13 & 8:02 – I am glad to hear your pets are active and well cared for. Unfortunately that is not the majority of cases from what I have seen. Including several roomates that worked from 8 AM to 8 PM and barely had time to take the dog out once for 5 minutes. On my way to work downtown, I see lots o yups in suits with their dog, letting it shit or piss on the sidewalk and then trod off to their hedge fund or investment bank job for the next 10+ hours.

    I think the scenario you describe 7:13 is very rare in this city and given the current self-centered me generation, I find it hard to beleive the vast majority of the twenty and thirty somethings with dogs actually give them more than 10 min. of attention a day.

  • this is stupid..who is walking your dog. Get out and walk your dog now. Or write about things that actually matter.

  • I agree, this whole thread is for the dogs :)

  • Once dogs start paying taxes they can use the parks.

  • Actually city dogs do have it better than ‘burb dogs. Look at those dogs left out all day in fenced yards–they’re bored, they’re lonely, and they bark all day. sure they can pee & poop all they want but there’s more to a dog’s life than that.

    Dogs want to get out and exercise, but they (like most people) ain’t gonna do it themselves. City dogs are walked at least 2x/day–and btw, those people who work all day hire walkers to take their dogs out. Some even use doggy day care. those of us at home with our pets see that they like to sleep all day, usually close to their humans (a city dog’s pack).

    And as far as it being cruel to keep a dog in an apt., my dog was a rescue, and certainly did not enjoy the “freedom” of living on the streets.

    Oh, and back to the original post–at the Tompkins Square dog run we used to spread the chips ourselves after putting down a layer of lime. the run had to stay closed a couple of days so the lime would settle.

    BTW, why use a dog run in Park Slope? Prospect Park is off leash until 9 am!

  • Not all breeds are the same you dopes. Some breeds prefer having a cozier home space. I do think it’s sad to see the huge dogs who need more than merely walking on a leash to get proper exercise, living in a city. But small dogs are fine, as are terriers who have energy but like to feel cozy and secure, and medium size dogs. But a Mastiff, Great Dane or St. Bernard? That’s retarded. That’s somebody selfishly indulging their desire to have a certain breed and not caring if it’s the best environment for the animal.

  • Actually 12:14, all the breeds you just mentioned are notoriously lazy indoors, and as long as they get sufficient outdoor exercise, are much better suited for apartment life than many smaller, more active breeds. Taking a dog for a long morning walk or run in the park can do wonders for the state of mind of both dog and owner.
    I just brought my big dog to the country for the weekend and on our walks encountered dogs in big yards that went berserk when we passed by, though my dog barely looked in their direction. People think a big yard means they don’t need to walk or socialize their dog, when in fact it’s much better for the dog to be out and about with its owner and taught to behave appropriately in a variety of circumstances.
    If the owner is up to the responsibility, almost any dog can be happy in the city. Like a lot of the arguments about kids, it comes down to basic responsibility and consideration.

  • Bklyn Fire Alarm Guy at April 25, 2008 11:16 AM writes:

    >Anyways, why should taxpayers allocate land and pay for a dog run that’s only beneficial to some people but not the majority?

    I don’t have children, but I’m paying for playgrounds. Should we get rid of the playgrounds? A majority of new yorkers don’t use them. A majority of the population of NYC doesn’t use the williamsburg bridge, should we get rid of that? I assume we are also going to get rid of the baseball fields. I know I don’t play baseball…

  • Maybe not keep animals in captivity as personal entertainment and then you won’t have this problem. And I agree — kids or dogs. You get ’em, you pay for ’em. Not me. I have neither.


  • Let’s get one thing straight. Dogs do not need to “run free and socialize” in order to “be happy”. This is a bunch of Disneyesque anthropomorphic hogwash promulgated by NYCDOG, FIDO, and others during the one-sided, done-deal “debate” over the leash laws in the parks a year or so ago.

    Listen to Cesar Millan. He says that in dog training, exercise comes first. By this he means real exercise, not standing around kvetching with your buddies while your overweight Retriever lumbers around the Long Meadow for twenty minutes. Real exercise is hand walking your dog for several miles a day. Yep that’s right..at least an hour, walking your dog on a leash. This worked with my youthful pitbull. Settled her down like nothing else. My dog is one of the happiest dogs I have ever known, and everyone who meets and plays with her agrees. But she has NEVER been allowed to “socialize” off leash in prospect park or anywhere else. According to the NYCDOG mantra, “a tired dog is a happy dog”. But offleash time in the park is not the best way to get your dog, dog tired. If it really has to run in order to be happy (think siberian husky) then maybe it does not belong *gasp!* in a city apartment.

    My dog was socialized..to people. When she was a tiny pup, and as she matured, I took her to the Greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza every single Saturday. She got used to all different kinds of people petting her and admiring her and so today she just loves all people..to a fault, really. That’s what socializing a dog means. This whole soft brained puppy playdate in the park business just holds no appeal for me. You don’t know all the dogs. You don’t know all their medical histories. You don’t know who’s had vaccinations. No proof is required. Nobody’s even checking for dog licenses. Dog “socialization” is based on rank, and canine rank is usually enforced with aggression. Anyone can bring any dog to the park and let it loose. There is no fence to protect other park users from annoying and menacing dogs. No, contrary to the FIDO chapter and verse, my dog is perfectly well-adjusted, obedience trained, and safe with all people, without ever being let loose in the park to “socialize”. I think I’ll pass on doggie play date time, thanks but no thanks. I value my animal too much to risk her life and health that way.

  • If you’ve ever watched Cesar Millan… which if you have you evidently learned little from what Millan is trying to teach… socializing dogs with other dogs is a very important element of their domestication. Millan frequently fosters his clients’ “red zone” dogs to socialize them with his resident pack of pits and shepherds to teach them submission and to defer to the pack leader (which will ultimately be you).

    A dominant dog that doesn’t behave well around other dogs will ultimately be problematic around people too. Dogs are pack animals. That’s where their instincts are. They need to know their place in the pack.

    A public dog run is one of the best ways to accomplish this, providing it doesn’t cater to idiots who bring unneutered, aggressive dogs into the run. You should start socializing dogs while they’re young, after all their vaccines.

  • Dogs should be made to socialize when they are just few months old, if not then it will be very difficult to make them socialize later.
    when comes to taking them out a well disciplined dog will not make much trouble to the owners or to strangers unless provoked.