Dog park rules

I notice that some small-dog guardians at the Ashland Dog Park tend to allow them to be rude because they are small and cute. This behavior can cause harm to their dogs and trauma to the big dogs' guardians if altercations occur.

Recently, I took my dog to the park and, upon leaving, leashed up, walked to our car parked on the far side near the bathrooms, and just as my dog was about to jump into our SUV, a rogue toy poodle, without collar or leash, ran over, jumped on my dog and tried to get into our car! Both startled, my dog bit the poodle. She quickly released when I said "leave it." The poodle ran away screaming to her guardian who was back at the park!

My dog could have killed this little dog and then be blamed as the "big bad pit bull." The guardian was not only in violation of the city leash laws, but also the dog park rules which are clearly posted to leash outside of the park. Dogs characteristically will act aggressive around their vehicles and guardians when other dogs approach rudely. Sadly the poodle suffered due to the guardian's negligence.

Lisa A. Frost, certified behavior consultant canine — knowledge assessed