Females in heat being prohibited is a no-brainer but prohibiting intact males???
Drop this prohibition on intact males.We have an intact Gordon Setter which has never fought with another dog. He needs to be intact to be shown in AKC shows.
Kyle Horton commented
Just to chime in -- as a working professional seriously considering buying a home or condo on the Eastside, this policy has singlehandedly driven me away from Kirkland. It's bad enough that we can't take our well-behaved, non-aggressive, CGC-certified intact dog to any day care facilities, but for him to be restricted from the only off-leash dog park in that region is frustrating. This is a pretty rare policy for dog parks nationally, as far as I can tell.
terrier boss commented
Yesterday an intact male tried to hump a spayed female and it resulted in a serious dog fight. I was there an hour a ago, and another intact male tried to hump another male and it resulted in another serious fight and 3 people grabbed their dogs and left. You decide.
Thank you very much for posting about your observation at the park. This is not a rule that will be changed. This is a rule at many other parks across the nation, and a few in our state. Nearly every dog park recommends that unneutered dogs not be brought to dog parks. This is why you also will not find intact male dogs allowed at doggie daycares or kennel free boarding facilities. This rule was approved by the Park Board and the Park Director. We've found park users to be very happy with the rule, and rules were posted last October online. We also offered 2 free Educational Seminars where dog owners were welcomed to join in on any discussion about park rules. Here is the information we've provided on our website in regard to this rule:
Why aren't unneutered males and females in heat allowed in the park?
A: Unfamiliar dogs, particularly those giving off a sexual scent, attract a lot of attention from other dogs. In an off-leash setting intact males and females in heat are a magnet for other dogs and can quickly become overwhelmed by the other dogs in the park. As arousal level increases in all the dogs present the risk of a fight also increases.
KDOG's goal has always been to provide the safest park we can. Our Park Stewards are watching for scuffles caused by someone bringing an intact dog into the park, and we very much appreciate all park users helping others understand our rules. There is no guarantee that this park will be a permanent fixture in Kirkland beyond a few years if there are problems with safety. Compliance with park rules will provide us with the potential for other off-leash opportunities in Kirkland's future.
Angela Beegle commented
There was an intact white male English Bull Terrier there today (2/7), and although he was making an obvious tour of inspection in case any of the other dogs might be females in heat, he was no more aggressive than any other dog present. The problem is aggressive dogs, is it not? I don't like to see the word "DISCRIMINATION!" trotted out, because dogs are incapable of feeling discriminated against, and these days most owners who keep their dogs intact usually have a reason, such as valuable breeding genes. I'm sure breeding dogs like to get out and interact with other dogs when they are not being asked to mate, and it seems likely to me that they benefit from natural doggy interactions like any other dog.
The problem is not sexuality, it's aggression. A neutered dog can be very aggressive too, but I didn't see a sign banning *them*.
Thank you for your feedback. Local dog owners were invited to join our Education Committee last spring. Park Rules were developed and recommended. This is a City park, and the City of Kirkland approved the rules. There are many parks with similar rules, including Vancouver, WA and Tri-City Dog Parks in Richland, WA. Our priority is a safe park for users. Feel free to read through our FAQ about Park Rules.
sharon whitson commented
as the owner of pure bread Queensland Healers (Blue Healer) I feel that its discriminatory and I don't believe they can legally enforce this rule. I've asked for their lawyers information as I plan on contacting them. I also wonder if the sponsors are worried about how the pure bred community will feel about this blatant discrimination that they are supporting. I plan on writing to them if the KDog board does not look into this dicriminatory practice and correct it,.
G M Joyner commented
What other off-leash dog park in the known universe has this policy?
Thank you for your feedback. Our Park Rules will stand. We spent a great deal of time developing them with a local dog trainer, and they have been approved by the City of Kirkland. We do understand that our park will not meet the needs of all dog owners. We have provided further information about this rule on our website. On the website Menu Bar, click on "The Park" and then click on "FAQ about Park Rules."