I still don’t understand what exactly dog park etiquette is. It seems like every dog owner has his/her own rules and that differs when who their dog is interacting with, the time of day, which dog park, etc. I pretty gave up trying to figure out what they’re ok with and what they’re not ok with as far as what’s allowed for dog-dog interaction. But I do know one thing: I need to mind my own dog business.
For example, if my dog humps another dog, some people seem to get squirmy about the situation. Actually, what a lot of dog owners don’t realize is that, this act is usually not sexual in nature. According to this blog post,
Although humping is considered a sexual action, it can also be used to signal power and rank. Dogs do, in effect, employ humping as a way of asserting authority.
Have you ever noticed that male dogs tend to hump male dogs more than they do females? Exactly because they’re trying to assert dominance. Most people think this has to do with the dog’s lack of neutering (i.e. testicles or ovaries still intact), but that’s not the case either:
Intact (unneutered) male dogs are most likely to engage in this disturbing behavior but neutered males and females may also express the behavior.
I admit, my dog Cocoa is a bully. He’s a 1 year old miniture pinscher / chihuahua mutt. With this puppy energy and pinscher blood, he is full of life. Sometimes a bit too much.
One time I took him to a dog park and he was, well, hump-y on this (some type of) terrier. This time, a little more than usual. He was excessive, I would even say. In fact, it looked like the terrier didn’t mind Cocoa’s humpiness because it, too, was trying to hump Cocoa back. At times, when Cocoa lost interest, the terrier would come back and taunt Cocoa till Cocoa decided to get hump-y again.
Keen on this dog etiquette issue, I watched them like a hawk, including the terrier’s owner. He didn’t seem to mind. In fact, he told me that he was glad that his dog found “his match” and that Cocoa was teaching him a lesson. Apparently, that terrier is a bully too.
Good, I thought. Cocoa’s happy, the terrier’s happy, he’s happy, and so am I. Time to boogie on down.
Till… this lady showed up.
She mentioned how if I neuter my dog, he’ll be less humpy and every dog and his/her owner would be happy to have one less jumpy dog. ‘Great, thanks for the tip. I’ll neuter my dogs for your happiness. I’ll take that into consideration’, i thought. Sure, I can take a stupid comment. No problem.
Then for the next 30-40 minutes (in couple minute intervals), she literally FOLLOWED all around the dog park nagging me to neuter my dog. At this point, I’ve had it. I tell the lady to “piss off”. She proceeds to give me this evil look and leave the dog park with her dog, which NEVER left her side nor did my Cocoa even interact with her dog.
I’m no Dog Whisperer, but i think he’ll say “mind your own business”.