Sequim Dog Parks
 

 

Why go to a dog park?

1. Benefits

2. Need for Open Space

3. So...

SDPP

Benefits

There is an increasing issue of members of the Dog Park not cleaning up after their animals.  When the Sequim Dog Park Pals and local citizens proposed the idea of the Dog Park, your group assured the Citizens Park Advisory Board that you would be “self policing” of Park users.

  Bullet Dog parks give dogs an opportunity to socialize with other humans.

  • A dog accustomed to meeting humans is less likely to have a fear response toward strangers.

  Bullet Dog parks give dogs an opportunity to socialize with other dogs.

  • Dogs will not feel the need to display dominance if they are comfortable meeting other dogs.

  Bullet Dog parks allow dogs to get strenuous exercise, something not easy to do in an on-leash situation.

  • An exercised dog is healthier, and less prone to anxiety behaviors like repetitive barking or destroying property.

  Bullet Dog parks have a positive effect on their owners

  • Dogs are a great ice-breaker. A dog park promotes friendships and a feeling of belonging to a community. Owning a dog encourages people to exercise. Taking a dog out has also been found to stimulate social interaction with other people (Journal of Nutrition and the Elderly, 1996).

  Bullet A growing number of dog owners take their pets with them when traveling.

  • Offering a safe, off leash area for visitors to our community will enhance the tourism experience. People are more likely to stay in an area that is dog-friendly when traveling with their pet.

  Bullet According to a national survey, nearly all pet owners say companionship, love, company and affection are the number one benefits to owning a pet. Fifty-nine percent say pets are good for their health and the health of their family and help them relax. Forty percent say that owning a dog motivates them to exercise on a regular basis. It is universally agreed that pet owners are health conscious, like to look their best, like to exercise with their pet, are happy and maintain a well organized home.

  Bullet New figures just released from American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) 2005-2006 National Pet Owners Survey (NPOS) show pet ownership is currently at its highest level, with 63 percent of all U.S. households owning a pet which equates to more than 69 million households.

  Bullet Three-quarters of dog owners consider their dog like a child or family member.

  Bullet Spending time with one's pet is considered an extremely important leisure activity.

 

Why Do Dogs Need Open Space

The benefits of allowing dogs access to public open space are not self-evident and warrant closer examination. It is important to understand that they apply not only to dogs and their owners but also to the wider community as well as to those responsible for urban animal management.

The most obvious reason why dogs need access to public open space is because of their popularity. Dog owners are a substantial group of park users. A study by the American Veterinary Medical Association shows that 36% of American households have at least one dog. Other estimates are even higher.

Other groups - skateboarders, softball teams, even radio-controlled model boats, for example - have been given special consideration in view of their unique park needs. The overwhelming numbers of dogs and dog owners would seem to warrant specific consideration for them as well.

The second reason has to do with the link between open space for dogs and promoting acceptable behavior from dogs. Dogs need to be properly socialized in appropriate behavior (Canine Behavior, 1965). They also need regular outings to reduce boredom and pent-up energy at home. Access to a park close to home is the safest and most effective way to ensure that owners socialize their dogs and provide them with on-going experiences in the outside world. This not only benefits the dog and its owner but also neighbors who are affected by unacceptable behavior at home, other park and street users, and authorities responsible for urban animal management.

The third reason why dogs need access to public open space is for the positive effects it can have on their owners. Owning a dog encourages people to exercise and visit their local park. Taking a dog out has also been found to stimulate social interaction with other people (Journal of Nutrition and the Elderly, 1996).

The final reason is that a balanced approach to accommodating dog owners in public open space may achieve higher levels of compliance by dog owners with relevant laws. If dog owners perceive laws to be unfair it may elicit a defiant rather than a compliant response from dog owners - they may ignore the laws in protest. If, on the other hand, laws are perceived to be fair people will be more likely to voluntarily comply. However, the impact of these programs can only be limited without an access policy that is perceived to be fair by dog owners.

 

So...

  Bullet That dog owners are as legitimate as any other special interest group, and that their needs should be taken as an integral part of the city's decision making process.

  Bullet That integrating dog activities with other park users allows for a more efficient and equitable distribution of resources, whereas separation and restrictions concentrate potential conflicts into isolated areas, increasing the likelihood of overuse.

 

  Bullet That dogs allowed to exercise off-leash - running with other dogs, catching a ball, chasing a Frisbee, or working at obedience training - are happier and healthier dogs.

 

  Bullet That exercised dogs make better next door neighbors than under-exercised dogs. Puppies and dogs that get enough exercise through vigorous play are less likely to create a nuisance, bark excessively, destroy property, or learn anti-social behavior.

 

  Bullet That in an era when people are often reluctant or afraid to approach or converse with a stranger, off-leash exercise areas bring people together and create a greater sense of community.

 

  Bullet That unduly restrictive access policies are inequitable and likely to be counterproductive in managing conflicts between law enforcement and the large number of citizens who own dogs. Further, punitive leash laws generally result in non-compliance. If dog owners perceive an ordinance to be harsh or unfair, it may elicit a defiant rather than a compliant response. On the other hand, if dog owners understand the reasons for restrictions relating to access and accept them as reasonable, they will be more likely to comply voluntarily.


  Bullet That access to a public park or beach close to home is the safest and most effective way to ensure that owners socialize their dogs and provide them with on-going experiences in the outside world.


  Bullet That dogs provide a measure of security, both perceived and real, to single women and elderly or handicapped persons who most often fall victim to crime in parks.

 

 


Website Last Updated: Friday, June 20, 2014


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