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February 24, 2008 at 7:51 pm #586446
(Last thread wouldn’t allow add)
….I’m sorry you have a bad experience, and if the dog or the owner was being rude or irresponsbile – then yes, you should definitely say something or call….
BUT…what about us responsible dog owners? When I moved to WS I thought this place was so dog friendly, but it’s really not. The only real dog park is Westcrest – and with all the car break-in’s and illicit activities going on in the woods (ick), I do not feel safe there anymore.
I can’t always make the drive to Ballard or Edmonds to a nice dog park. I live across from a public park and fenced schoolyard. I take my dog and let her run there when there is no one else around – except other dogs and their owners. I have yet to see someone not pick up a mess or let a misbehaving dog off-leash.
I resent the ‘no dog’ signs (our is a city sign duct-taped to a post = classy!). Just because they’re there does not make it right. I pay my share of taxes but have no children. I put up with the kids yelling on the swingsets during school days and the soccer field dust and overflow of street parked cars during games. Our taxes are paying for new skate parks. That noise should be fun. Why can’t I use the area resposibly when I’m not bothering anyone else?
The questions is – why aren’t there more resources for dog-owners? This place is full of parks – but nothing reasonable for the four-legged furkids of WS to streth their legs. Remember, there are more dogs per household than kids!February 24, 2008 at 9:02 pm #615962
look…it’s very simple…there are laws that say that you have to have your dog on a leash. Do you have a yard? Your dog can play there. You haven’t seen anyone not pick up dog poop…that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. You haven’t seen a dog be agressive to another dog, or another human…that doens’t mean it doesn’t happen. We are dog friendy, to a certain point…dog ownership means owner responsibility. I shouldn’t have to dodge your dog or any other just because I want to walk in a public park, or on the street. If everyone had your attitude, it would be a free for all out there…February 24, 2008 at 9:20 pm #615963
What is it with people being so upset about dogs?
How about a little grace? Like the grace childless people (like me) give rude, ill-behaved children that disrupt my time in parks and museums…or the grace young people give older people who get off the bus very slowly….
Jeez. If the dog isn’t aggressive and his poop is picked up, big freaking deal.
And I don’t even *have* a dog.February 24, 2008 at 11:06 pm #615964
I can’t stress enough- no one is griping about responsible dog owners. Look, you may think you have the right to let your dog run loose whenever and where ever… you may even think that your sweet lab couldn’t hurt a flea, let alone a child at a park. But what happens when a kid pulls on your dog’s tail and your normally sweet dog turns around and bites the kid? Any dog can turn aggressive at any time. At the very least you’re looking at a lawsuit and possibly having your precious little doggie put down. Not to mention the possibility of scarring a child for life! One other thing to consider- if your dog runs out in traffic and is hit by a car- you are responsible for the damages to that vehicle- not the driver being responsible for your dog’s injuries. It’s very simple: if you cannot handle a large breed dog that needs to run, you shouldn’t own one. The most irresponsible thing in the world is to have a large dog in an apartment. How about this- if you don’t have a yard, don’t have a dog. There is a leash law. It is a LAW. If you don’t like it, don’t have a dog. The city of Seattle has been more than accommodating with off leash parks.Think about that poor guy that just got attacked last week in Lincoln Park- all because some irresponsible dog owner thinks the world is his off leash park. Now imagine if that would have been a four year old. Would you feel differently about this debate??February 24, 2008 at 11:27 pm #615965February 24, 2008 at 11:31 pm #615966
From what I can tell people are griping about ALL dog owners, one of the arguments (besides the obvious “against the law”) is that other park users have to deal with dog poop and THAT is why dogs shouldn’t be allowed off leash. Don’t dogs on leashes poop? So should dog owners not be allowed to take the dog out at all because no matter what it will probably poop. As for the possibility that a child could come up and do something to the dog and the dog would defend itself then maybe kids should be on a leash also, because a kid could do something to a dog while the dog is on a leash also. I’ve seen many times a parent walking over with a child to a dog to “pet the nice doggy” without asking “may my child pet your dog”. So is it the dog owners fault if the dog doesn’t take kindly to being pet? I know that there are irresponsible dog owners and I know that it’s the law, but it would be nice for dog owners to have somewhere (local) to take their dogs to play off leash, because really how many people have huge yards to play with their dogs in? Oh, and the comment about having a large breed and not being able to handle it and it being irresponsible to own a large dog in an apartment, some of the smallest dogs need A LOT of exercise, more than some of the larger dogs, and just because someone lives in an apartment/condo or small house with no yard doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be “allowed” to have a dog. Oh, and in the other post JenV, nice attitude about the poodle biting someone where the sun don’t shine…classy.February 25, 2008 at 12:15 am #615967
I think when you’re comparing dogs to human children, the human children win most of the time. However, it is the total responsibility of the “parent” in either case. That goes for the child, that goes for the dog. Yes, dogs on leashes poop…and there are irresponsible dog owners who use a leash who simply don’t pick up because it’s “icky”. Well, what the hell were you expecting? And if we someone who is not picking up we need to say something. I really don’t care if it’s a big dog or a small dog…they need to be on a leash unless they’re in an “off leash” are. If you want more off leash areas closer to your home, you can possibly contact the powers that be and advocate for that. But you’re the adult…you’re the responsible one…be responsible. That goes for all pet owners…even those who allow their cats outside to poop in other people’s yards…now there’s a pet peeve, too.February 25, 2008 at 2:04 am #615968
Thank you Kayleigh – I agree. And again, not everyone can afford a home in this city with a yard! JenV – If what I can afford is a condo or apt, then I shoudln’t have a dog? What kind of comment is that? I guess I should expect that from you as you are the one who wishes a dog would bite me. Nice.February 25, 2008 at 4:29 am #615969
My 8yo daughter and her friend were very frightened by an off-leash dog at Me Kwa Mooks Park last Friday when we went there to enjoy the sunshine. No one was hurt, but when a strange dog runs at you (or your child) barking while the owner is both too far away to do anything to intervene AND makes no effort to call the dog back, it is not a comfortable experience.
There are so many really excellent reasons to keep dogs on leashes when they aren’t in areas set aside for them to run free. The obvious ones include public health and safety issues. Less obvious ones that I have encountered include dogs harrassing wildlife (I once watched an off-leash dog chase a juvenile great blue heron around a WS beach for a good half an hour while its owner did nothing) and damaging new plantings in parks, yards and habitat restoration sites. I have a very dear friend who is terrified of dogs and an off-leash dog in his presence is a threatening thing for him. I know he’s not the only one with this issue.
With respect, mlyn, no one is owed pet ownership as a privilige granted for being alive. I agree that it is not responsible to commit to caring for a companion animal if you do not have the appropriate circumstances to care for one. I would love to have a horse, but can’t afford to board one or move to the country, so I don’t get to have a horse.
If you choose to be a law-abiding citizen who has a dog and no private space for it, then you are committing to the incovenience of taking your dog to the nearest place where it is legal and appropriate for it to run around off-leash. I’m not wishing dog bites on anyone, here, but I would sure appreciate it if people followed these rules for the safety and consideration of others.February 25, 2008 at 11:41 am #615970
I have a dog. Actually, we have two dogs. Never in a million years would I let them run loose in a park that is not an off leash park. Heck, I won’t even let them run loose in an off leash park. We drive 45 minutes each way to a dog ranch a few times a week to allow them to run off leash in their special fields. We also walk them 3 miles a day for their exercise—on leash, generally in parks or Alki. And forget about off leash dogs running up to them—they are both service dogs and trained to protect us, so when an off leash dog comes bounding up to us they will growl if that dog gets up against us. Your “friendly dog, he won’t bite” may misinterpret that and start a fight. Yes, some dogs know social behavior and will back off, but others are either alpha dogs and won’t tolerate that or else not socially aware of dog communication and therefore attack in response. We have had it happen; don’t say that “friendly dogs” never do that. We become more than just irate therefore when an off leash dog approaches us. And please don’t tell us to just avoid the parks. We have had off leash dogs approach us at Alki, even, and that park has way too many people for dogs to be off leash.February 25, 2008 at 1:18 pm #615971
We live in a city. Dog ownership is a privilege not a right.
Dogs may take the place of children in some peoples lives, and both can be nearly wild in some situations.
I have had both gentle and territorial dogs and they both follow the rules of the pack and (sometimes)their training.
Off leash is always a gamble. A small dog in some ways can be more aggressive than many large breeds. Terriers are one of the few breeds bred to attack and kill prey in addition to the basic dog instinct. Friendly dogs can do damage as well to those who are afraid or not prepared. (My friendly husky, on a leash, knocked a kid off a skateboard during greeting behavior and he almost fell through a plate glass window.)
Those with large breeds, especially territorial breeds may be unprepared for the changes these dogs will exhibit in stressful situations. Never take a dog to a fireworks display unless you outweigh it and have pinch, choke or muzzle collars. Some dogs do not require the stress level of a fireworks display to become irrational.
Here in Highpoint, the majority of dog owners are responsible, but several do not seem to get the idea that poo should be picked up. The low income residents have almost no dogs. This is people who spent 400k on a condo/townhouse and yet feel the landscaping is provided for their pets convenience alone.
Off leash areas are a city service, paid for with tax dollars and are located throughout the city. They may not be convenient to all but they are accessible to everyone.
On the other hand, people who take toddlers to the off leash area are in my opinion, just as irresponsible as dog owners who let unleashed dogs run in playgrounds and parks.February 25, 2008 at 1:37 pm #615972
On July 2001, Washington joined 15 other states with a law that specifically protects
guide dogs. Now it will be a misdemeanor to knowingly interfere with or recklessly
injure a guide dog, or to allow oneâ€™s dog to obstruct or intimidate a guide dog. Repeat
offenders might be charged with gross misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence
of one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The Americans With Disabilities Act says that any state law that reads “guide dog” rather than “service animal” nonetheless applies to all service animals. So an off-leash dog that interferes with our service dogs could result in a gross misdemeanor charge.February 25, 2008 at 1:38 pm #615973
As a runner, I’ve gotten to know the animals in my neighborhood and consider them my buds. The very few dogs I’ve found running free, I’ve helped them get home for their safety. I’ve only been bitten once (by one I wasn’t helping) and it didn’t discourage me from helping the critters when they’re lost.
We (as humans) domesticated cats and dogs for our own benefit. We do an crappy job of protecting them in return for all they do for us.
So when I hear the kind of intolerance and hostility that some expressed here to dogs….it’s just distasteful. Of course they should be on leashes in most cases. That’s no reason for the hate, though.February 25, 2008 at 3:15 pm #615974
To set the record straight- if I had a yard, I would have a dog. I don’t, so I don’t. When and if I am lucky enough to rent a home with a yard, the very first thing I will do is get a dog. If I did have a yard, and a dog- I would observe the law. Look, where I grew up, there were no leash laws. No need for fenced yards. you want to know how many dogs we had to put down because they got hit by a car? That alone makes a leash law worth it for me. I don’t really even care if you pick up your dogs poop. So many people don’t I have just come to expect it. I just get tired of people thinking because they have a dog their rights trump everyone else’s. Like Ken said above- dog ownership is a privilege-not a right.February 25, 2008 at 3:57 pm #615975
I have a big yard. That is what determined that we could have several large dogs. The landscaping in the back yard is nearly all devoted to dog protection, fun and safety. There are digging areas, shade, rain protection even video so we can keep an eye on them from off site.
The BIL has 2 large dogs in an apt. He walks them twice daily and pays for a trainer as well as a dog walker for days he has to work late. He drives 30 miles to the off leash area once or twice a week. These are his children for all intents and purposes and his vet and other pet related expenses could probably have put several kids through college.
But that is what it takes to be a responsible large dog owner in a city.
Maybe I missed it, but what comments were interpreted as “hate” for dogs? Blaming owners for poor choices does not seem to fit the bill. Implying that those not prepared to care for a dog should perhaps refrain from having one may seem harsh but it has a logic that is consistant and it is the reason I did not have a dog for many many apartment dwelling years.February 25, 2008 at 5:17 pm #615976
Rainy Day, I don’t doubt that your dogs are well-behaved, but there are a lot of bad dog owners who really think they are good dog owners and that their dogs are great when they really aren’t. And when those owners see other well-behaved dogs off-leash where they shouldn’t be, they think it’s okay and then everyone starts letting their ‘good’ dogs off-leash and that is when problems could erupt. It’s just easier to avoid unpleasant encounters by obeying the law.February 25, 2008 at 6:29 pm #615977
I never said what I was doing was ‘right’ – I just said, I do it. Ideally – of course we should follow the laws, and when we don’t agree – work to change the law. I don’t like sneaking around. And yes, I have a yard, or else I would not own the one (small) dog I do.
I only let her off within a fenced park-like area when NO ONE ELSE IS AROUND. If anyone shows up – I leash her immediately. If it’s another dog-owner, I let them sniff and then maybe it’s back off the leash….
>Off leash areas are a city service, paid for with tax dollars and are located throughout the city. They may not be convenient to all but they are accessible to everyone.
My question is simply – where are these areas? Certainly not in West Seattle. And sorry – Westcrest does not count anymore, not without constant police patrolling.
I’m just looking for equal time here for my tax money. So many parks and so much of it laying to waste – it’s a shame.February 25, 2008 at 7:07 pm #615978
RainyDay… I second the idea of a dog park in this area. Since we moved here, we haven’t made it over to WestCrest, simply because it seems a little far from where we are. If there was a park in this area, we would be there all the time. We have a tiny dog, so it’s not a huge issue (she’s actually more like a cat). But if there is something that can be done in regards to getting a dog park in this area, I would like to help!February 25, 2008 at 7:58 pm #615979
I’ve been to Westcrest Park before and it really doesn’t seem all that bad. And besides, you have your dog with you to help protect you anyway. There are weird people all over West Seattle; don’t think they only congregate at Westcrest. Besides leash laws, I don’t exactly see dog owners obeying beach laws either. Yes, dogs playing fetch in the water is cute, but you’re not supposed to be doing it.February 25, 2008 at 8:45 pm #615980
How about the dog owners and the parents working together? I am a parent. Dogs loose make me nervous for my kids’ safety. Your dog may be safe but I have no way of knowing that when it’s loose. My uncle’s safe family dog attacked me when I was very young – I thought he looked like a pony and his ears were reins, can’t blame the dog for that. However, I almost lost my eyesight and it could have been so much worse.
I would like to see the play area at parks fenced. That way I know my child can’t run off into an unsafe area, I would feel more secure about someone sneaking up on my child and I would be a lot less worried about loose dogs. It seems like this would provide a way for our tax dollars to help more groups use the same space.March 24, 2008 at 2:12 am #615981
We have two dogs and often have a pack of three or four because we socialize our breeder’s show dogs and new puppies. Our dogs are well socialized and we follow the leash laws at all times.
That said, I just want to make a couple of statements about Westcrest and responsibility:
When we are at Westcrest, we set our car alarm when we are there and we don’t go there when it’s dark. We’ve been going there for over a year now and we haven’t had any problems and we are there a few times a week. I have heard that cars get broken in to there but we have yet to have a problem with it or seen anything happen while we are there.
Yes, we’ve seen the creeps trolling around in the bushes and we stay away from those areas. As far as I know, there aren’t any of those folks in the actual off leash areas… none that we have encountered at least.
The responsibility for good dog behavior (and child behavior) lies completely in the hands of the people/parents. We have no hesitations about telling children that they may not run up and pet our dogs without asking first. Then, we tell them how they are to approach them and how they are to pet them. We have also socialized our dogs to the point where they are used to being handled by children and other strangers… that is our responsibility. I can not say the same of the children we encounter almost daily.
It is a regular occurrence for some child to come running up with no apparent adult guardian in sight and try to grab at one of our dogs. I can’t imagine anyone thinking that is acceptable behavior for a child. I won’t go any further with this point because I believe previous posts have covered all of the relevant issues about responsible parenting. I will say, however, that there has been more than one nasty parent who didn’t like it that we put our hand out to their child to tell them not to just grab at one of our dogs. Don’t get mad at me because you haven’t trained your child on how to act in public.
We are probably the extreme case because our dogs can be found shopping with us in Nordstrom, Macy’s and Tiffany & Co. downtown on a regular basis. Knowing we want our dogs to be that much a part of our lives, we have worked very hard with them to make sure they act acceptably in public. Yes, we treat them like part of our family and we are happy to take them wherever they are allowed to go.
However, there are responsibilities we have just as parents have with their human children. We don’t leave their piles laying around when they do go to the bathroom and we don’t let them run wild in areas that aren’t designated for them to be off leash. Even in those off-leash areas, we follow proper etiquette and make sure our dogs aren’t playing too rough or acting inappropriately. This is the same whether you are talking about human or dog children.
All of this debating and fussing back and forth doesn’t make much sense to me. Follow the rules, vote to change them if you don’t like them, use common sense and get some social etiquette. It seems pretty black and white to me.
Just sayin…March 24, 2008 at 2:47 am #615982
the westcrest dog park just got some improvements and there is a commitment to patrol there more often…
most creepies won’t take on a dog….
the more people use the off leash area.. the safer it is.. and it is a great space for the dogs…
you just have to supervise them there like everywhere…March 24, 2008 at 10:56 pm #615983
Great. What are the improvements if I may ask….? My dog is protective – but little. I’m not worried about her safety there – I’m worried about mine (and my car!)
:)July 11, 2008 at 5:41 am #615984
I’d say clearly there’s something missing in West Seattle. I see so many people with dogs and there are no places for them to play in. It’s not that hard to make it work for both parties.
I just moved here from Vancouver BC and it’s so much dog friendlier there and no one minds. It’s an issue with no one. Every major beach has an area where the dogs can run free. Most large parks has a small off leash area where the dogs can run. Lighthouse park everyone goes and hikes and all dogs are off leash and no one minds (the dogs are typically busy doing their thing). Typically, dogs are much more aggressive when on a leash than when off. When a dog is on the leash they feel like they need to protect their owner, so they start lunging everywhere. They’re also a little more stressed out. Off leash they have no baggage, so they simply want to run and play and socialize. An unneutered dog is a different story. In Europe dogs are allowed in most stores and restaurants and everyone is okay with it, and the dogs are well-behaved to boot because it’s a relatively normal experience. Same in Vancouver. It’s a real shame here. I love going to off-leash areas and watching others’ dogs. It’s therapeutic and wonderful. I live near Lincoln Park and find it sad that there is no where for dogs to socialize properly.July 11, 2008 at 4:50 pm #615985
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