For the first time in a couple of years, I ventured into Prospect Park early on a Saturday morning. It became clear immediately that nothing has changed regarding the unleashed dog problem and, in fact, it has gotten much worse. If I had had the time (and inclination) I could have easily filled the memory card in my camera with videos of unleashed dogs outside the approved areas within the first hour I was in the park. There were unleashed dogs on the ballfields (despite another new sign expressly forbidding it), Lookout Hill, the Peninsula Woods, in Prospect Lake, the Lullwater, Midwood, Ravine - name the location, they were there, both during and after offleash hours. Here are just four videos. Note that the dog in the Peninsula video had been running through the woods on the Peninsula before I started the camera. The owner and dog continued down Wellhouse Drive after leaving the Peninsula.
It seems that irresponsible dog owners are a problem on Oregon hiking trails too. From a pro-dog blog:
Now, I'm all for training dogs to be well-behaved and reliable off-leash. However, there are times when leashes are required by law or for safety reasons. Additionally, there is a HUGE difference between having you're dog under control off-leash and simply having your dog off-leash.* * *
NEVER should an off-leash dog be running up on people and other dogs while you lag behind. Sorry, but never. You don't know if that person is afraid of dogs or if a leashed dog is aggressive. Besides that, it's just plain rude!
When hiking or camping, it simply isn't safe to have dogs off-leash in areas that they don't know well. While dogs are pretty agile and smart, they can still misjudge a trail or lose their footing. They can be lured by a new scent or interesting sound into a dangerous situation. It's their human's responsibility to keep them safe.
. . .
One last thing. I have heard people say that they don't want their dog on-leash because it seems mean, it seems less fun for the dog and they just want their dog to be able to enjoy their freedom.
So, what if I said I didn't want to buckle up my kid in the car because it made the ride less fun and I wanted my kids to be free to enjoy the back seat? How would that go over?
A Prospect Park employee reports that around 7:15 today she instructed a young blond male to leash his dog. The owner complied. At 7:20 A.M., an unleashed collie was running along the shore on the north side of the Lullwater. The owner, a large middle-aged woman with a fuchsia blouse, black spandex pants and thick wide glasses, ignored the park employee's instruction to leash the dog.
At around 7:30 A.M., two unleashed dogs were on the south side of the lake near the skating rink.