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Dog Culture: DogPatch
The Evolution of a Dog Lover
We had the chance to talk with Matthew Gilbert, TV critic for the Boston Globe and author of one of our 2014 “Best Reads” about his first book, Off the Leash: Year at the Dog Park and his conversion to being a dog lover. His is a rather unique perspective because not long ago he was definitely on the other end of dog-loving spectrum. You seem to be in a rather unique position being rather new to...
Dog Culture: DogPatch
Off The Leash
Cell Phone Lady
Dog Park Illustration
That spring, my new park friend Hayley lectured me about talking on the cell phone at the dog park. “I like to leave my phone at home,” she volunteered to me, when she saw me having an animated conversation with my brother in Philadelphia. “How sad to be miles away while Toby is playing joyously at your feet.” Ultimately, I was persuaded. The idea of a daily intermission from the virtual, a spot...
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Crissy Field Dog Use in Peril
Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Leash
The San Francisco Bay Area is blessed with a majestic natural setting. Thanks to forwardthinking citizen activists and environmentalists, generations have been able to enjoy the scenic beauty and open spaces of Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo Counties. In 1972, Congress established Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA)—a unit of the National Park Service—to, among other things, create...
Dog's Life: Lifestyle
Howard & Erna Soldan Dog Park
Dog Park Case Studies
Description: This jewel of an Off Leash Area (OLA) comprises 15 acres in a woodland landscape, with open fields, shady trails and a large pond. It opened in September 2007, and is owned by the city of Lansing but maintained cooperatively with the Ingham County Parks Department. The park is enclosed by a six-foot fence, and has permeable, sandy soil and easy access to the pond, which is its...
Good Dog: Behavior & Training
Close Encounters in Dog Parks
How to handle trouble at dog parks.
The dog gave her a bad feeling even before he charged at her. Later she would say that she felt the fear in her body before it reached her mind. That can happen when a dog stiffens, stares intensely or runs right at you, and this dog did all three. Once he picked up speed, a low growl in his throat, her “bad feeling” became definable as fear. She was worried for her own safety and even more...
Blog: Guest Posts
How to Spoil a Dog Park
Jake's visits to the dog park ended when he bit off part of a Bulldog's ear. Jake, a black Lab-Pit Bull mix, belonged to a first-time dog-owner who reacted to his frequent aggressive behavior by saying, “Oh, Jakey, we don't do those things” in a high, sing-song voice. Jake's owner paid the $1000-plus bill for the Bulldog's surgery but the incident reflected the biggest problem with dog parks-and...
Blog: Editors
Teachable Moments in the Dog Park
The other day I, and my three leashed dogs, had a tense encounter with two women and their two unleashed dogs. We had just finished our morning outing and were leaving our wonderful off leash area in the Berkeley marina—this 100+ acre park has breathtaking vistas of the bay’s bridges, plus half its space is set aside for humans and off leash dogs to exercise and enjoy nature together—but the rule...
Blog: Editors
Invisible Perils in Parks
Park maintenance is normally not an issue that most pay attention to. We probably blindly trust that weed clearing is done with minimum impact to us and our dogs. Dogs especially, with their noses to the ground, can be more susceptible to the affects of harmful pesticides and weed killers like Roundup. Mark Derr wrote in a recent post on the perils of a dog park that aren’t visible to us. His...
Blog: Karen B. London
Culture of Dog Parks
A change is in order
Dog parks have always been controversial, but they’ve also always provided opportunities for dogs to run and play off leash in wide-open spaces. It’s hard to deny the cliché that dog parks create both the best of times and the worst of times. To me, the overall issue is that the culture of dog parks is a work in progress and I have strong feelings about the direction I’d like that progress to...
Blog: Editors
Please Don't Treat My Dog
If you go to dog parks, I am sure you have run into this problem—people who give your dog treats without first asking your permission. I had a run-in this morning over such an offering. The park that we go to is around 25 acres, with ridges and swales, easy for a dog to be nearby but be hidden from your view. Being able to spot my dogs even though they are off sniffing or playing with others, is...

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