22 Aug 2014
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Patch Instagram photo by zyla417
Patch Instagram photo by zyla417

Toys at the Dog Park: Good Idea or Bad Idea?

Taking a toy to a dog park and not letting other dogs play with it is the same as putting candy in front of a child and saying he cannot have it.

One would think that bringing a toy to the dog park is a good thing. I agree, as long as you're willing to share.

The majority of my friends and I do not bring toys. However, there are a lot of tennis balls and an occasional Frisbee for the dogs to play with at any time.

One friend told me that a lady recently came to the park with a Frisbee for her dog to play with. As her dog went after it, my friend's dog, Murphy, picked up the Frisbee. The Frisbee's owner started yelling at Murphy to “Drop it!” 

First off, not all dogs know the same command, so Murphy might not have known what "Drop it!" meant. Secondly, you can’t expect other dogs to not play with a toy — they don't know who it belongs to.

Another lady brings a ball for her dog and gets upset when other dogs chase it after she throws it. It bothers her so much that I have watched her pretend to throw it for my dog and then send it the other way for her dog. 

I am not sure why it matters who gets the ball and brings it back, as long as the dogs are getting along. And they were!

Bringing a toy to a dog park and not letting dogs play with it is the same as putting candy in front of a child and saying he cannot have it. This ends up causing friction with the owners, who all protect and treat our dogs like they are our children.

I have taken toys and left them at the park because other dogs are enjoying them and want to keep playing with them. I understand that some dogs need a toy at the park. All I am asking is, if you bring toys to the dog park, then expect other dogs to want to play with the toys, too. 

Do you take toys to the dog park? Is it OK for others to play with them? Share your opinion in the comments.

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