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Pets 🐕 People you meet at the dog park

Dan

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The Poop Nazi

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Demographics: usually female and 50+

She's the one who, as soon as a dog looks like it's squatting over to poop, will yell "SOMEONE'S DOG IS POOPING!" She'll yell at you, screaming that your dog is pooping, even as you're running over to Fido with plastic bags in hand. She'll yell at you if your female dog is squatting low to pee, because it looks like she could be pooping. She'll blame you for stray poops she picks up around the park, even if you've just walked through the airlock moments ago.

The Pug Posse

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Demographics: urban hipsters in their 20s, usually female

They all meet up at a certain time every day, each with one or more pugs. Just as the pugs play in their own little world, shunning the big dogs, members of Pug Posse ignore everyone else at the dog park who doesn't own a pug.

Womyn of the Wolf

womyn_of_the_wolf.jpg


Demographics: lesbian women in their 30s and older

They'll arrive at the dog park in a Subaru Forester or Toyota RAV-4. When they open up the tailgate, one or more Siberian Huskies, Malamutes, or Arctic breed mutts that look "wolfy" will pop out and run straight for the sally port.

More on the way. How about your dog park patron archetypes?
 
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PlannerGirl

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Hey now watch it about 30 something year old women with Foresters ;-) My dogs are both on the smaller side of things but damn do I wish I had the subie when my Rott was alive.
 

Maister

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The Cruiser – always a male late 20’s – mid 30’s. Goes to the dog park for the sole purpose of meeting chicks. The dog breed could be any number of different breeds but will first and foremost be an interesting, unusual, or distinctive breed that serves as an icebreaker inviting attractive single women to say “my what interesting dog you have there.”
 

mendelman

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The Oblivious - owners standing in a group talking to each other completely oblivious to the fact that one or more of their dogs are exhibiting any number of anti-social or just annoying behaviors.

Usually, get yell at by the Poop Nazi at least once each visit.
 

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Chet

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I'll post one once I stop laughing, crying, and sitting in my puddle of pee! ;)
 

zman

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This is the best thread ever.

We don't cotton too much to dog parks here on the High Plains. Usually our dogs are in the front yard, tied with a 100' length of rope to a 6 foot length of steel rail (formerly of the now abandoned Great Western Rail-line that used to run through town. This will keep the dog "close" while work is done on a lifted, fullsize truck, about 25-30 years old, usually the lineage of one of the Detroit Big 3. (can of Natural Light resting on the radiator).
 

CJC

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The Sympathy Hounds - These folks always have a dog that has something bizarre wrong with it - missing a leg, giant visible tumor, nearly hairless, etc, etc. Rounds of the park are made, with attempts to start conversations with every other person there. Every conversation is a sob story, with the ending line: "Yeah, it's been hard on all of us."
 

michaelskis

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The Hippy

Has a medium size longer haired dog, usually a golden/lab mix. Dogs name is Sunshine, Raindrop, or something similar. The dog downer will often sit on a bench reading some off the wall book, not communicating with anyone else, unless they are also a hippy, and tends to not pay attention to their dogs.
If female… they are in a long sun dress.

The Professional

Former pet store, pet supply store, vet’s office, or other pet related employee who is acts as if they know more about dogs than anyone else in the place. They will often scold you and your dog if either is doing anything that is not perfect in their eyes. Will often ignore the “No Food” rule and bring dog treats into the park.

The Dog Lover

20’ something single woman who shows up every single day with her dog just so she can be around other pets. She is not too social with other people unless the topic is about dogs. She is much like the classic cat lady but want’s to let her dog socialize with other dogs. Outside of the dog park she is a hermit and does not communicate to anyone… ever. Her dog is well groomed, very social, and knows enough tricks to be on late night TV.

The Urban Gangsta

Does not go into the park, but walks by the park with a bull dog, pit pull, or other similar breed, following in toe. The dog will have a chain collar that is way too big and is actually very well trained only because the dog goes everywhere with his owner. The dog is not social with other dogs but great around other people.

Over Protective Parent

Young professionals who don’t have kids yet, but do have a medium breed dog. The dogs “parents” work too much and bring their dog to the park several times a week because they feel guilty about not walking it 10 miles a day. They are always worried that their dog will get into trouble or a fight and are often calling their dog over to play with them instead of the other dogs. The often live in a modern condo that does not have a yard and only lets the dog run loose in very protected situations to prevent the dog from running away and getting hit by a car. They will always week a gallon jug of ice cold water with them to prevent the dog from getting dehydrated. At home, the dog will have dog beds for each room of the house and more than enough toys to keep it occupied. These toys are washed and sterilized on a weekly basis and don’t make it to the dog park in risk of contamination. Their dogs are often the cleanest dogs in the park because they get a bath at the slightest hint of dust or dirt. Their dogs also eat top quality food which is often healthier than what the owners eat.

*I admit, (and Dan will agree) I am the last one.
 

Dan

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The Mutt Snob

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Demographics: female, late 30s and up.

They usually arrive in a beater car covered with bumper stickers with phrases like "Don't Breed or Buy While Homeless Pets Die". All their attention is directed towards mutts, especially the "SPCA brown n' black" variety. With the zeal of a Baptist missionary or Linux user, they preach the superiority of mutts over purebred dogs; hybrid vigor, less prone to genetic diseases, and so on. They chastise owners of purebreds for paying hundreds or thousands of dollars on a dog while hundreds of homeless mutts are put down in animal shelters every day. Allergies to shedding dogs, desiring a certain temperament, or rescuing a purebred aren't adequate excuses for not owning a Lab/German Shepherd/Beagle/Rottweiler mix.
 

Maister

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dogstrollsf1.jpg


Grandma Luvspoochie – a widow in her 70’s or 80’s whose very existence (talking about borderline mental health issues here) revolves around her cute li’l bichon frise, yorkie, or other similar toy breed. ‘Spoiled’ does not even begin to describe this animal’s pampered existence and the amount of care and attention this pooch receives is one order of magnitude greater than the Overprotective Parent. Displays of normal dog territorial behaviors and aggression towards poochie are tantamount to attempted homicide in grandma’s eyes – angry letters will be written and formal complaints with various authorities will be lodged in such circumstances (never mind her mutt was the one who started yapping to begin with). There is a high probability the dog has been named as sole beneficiary in her will.
 

Mud Princess

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The Hippy

Has a medium size longer haired dog, usually a golden/lab mix. Dogs name is Sunshine, Raindrop, or something similar. The dog downer will often sit on a bench reading some off the wall book, not communicating with anyone else, unless they are also a hippy, and tends to not pay attention to their dogs.
If female… they are in a long sun dress.

Don't forget the dirty bandana around the dog's neck. The owner may bring a frisbee for the dog to catch. Or a hacky-sack. :D

I love the picture that accompanies the Poop Nazi description - it reminds me of my dog, who is half boxer.

Are dog parks a western/midwestern phenomenon? We don't have them around here. I walk my dog in the neighborhood or on the bike path, trying to steer clear of the cyclists, rollerbladers, and powerwalkers...
 

Dan

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Don't forget the dirty bandana around the dog's neck. The owner may bring a frisbee for the dog to catch. Or a hacky-sack.

Beat me to it.

The Agility Hippie

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Demographics: usually male, mid-to-late 20s to mid-40s.

Looking as if they followed Widespread Panic around the country for the past two months, you'll see the Agility Hippie off in one corner of the dog park, playing frisbee with their obsessive/compulsive Australian Shepherd. Of course, dogs being social creatures, many will venture over to compete for the frisbee with "Garcia", "Fillmore", "Windsong" or "Kindbud". The result: the Agility Hippie's mellow will be harshed, and he'll usually yell to the pack of humans "Hey, man! Keep your dogs away from us! We're in training, man!"

Are dog parks a western/midwestern phenomenon?

Like so many other things, dog parks are an "everywhere in the country but upstate New York" phenomenon. A "trial dogpark" finally opened in Buffalo last week, making Rochester the largest dogpark-less metro area in the US.
 

jmello

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Are dog parks a western/midwestern phenomenon? We don't have them around here.

We have them in North Carolina and they were in the larger cities in New England as well. They are a very recent invention. Ours here opened just last year. A group of residents paid for all of the fencing and plumbing and the city provided the land. I have only been about three times, so it's a little early for me to offer any insights.

Although, from the looks of the park, we may need a few more Poop Nazis down here.
 

Tom R

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DPs

Like so many other things, dog parks are an "everywhere in the country but upstate New York" phenomenon. A "trial dogpark" finally opened in Buffalo last week, making Rochester the largest
There is a dog pond in Stow (near Akron).
 
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Are dog parks a western/midwestern phenomenon? We don't have them around here. I walk my dog in the neighborhood or on the bike path, trying to steer clear of the cyclists, rollerbladers, and powerwalkers...

They're a bit of a nightmare to maintain. Our municipality has been inundated with requests for a dog park, especially since The Town Next Door put one in a couple years ago. However, liability and maintenance issues have so far kept the issue on the back burner.
 

Maister

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You've had almost three years to think of some more additions. I'm appalled it's taken you so long and things now have to be micromanaged...:-@;)
 

Dan

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This was a hilarious old thread
Unfortunately, I haven't taken any dogs to a dog park since Guinness and Bailey died about seven years ago. I still think of them every day. Here they are, chilling at a dog park in 2012. If I just said the words "dog park" to them, they'd get excited. If we were in the car, and made a turn down the street leading to the dog park, they'd leap towards the wndows, and their wagging tails would speed up.

guinness_and_bailey.jpg
 

Dan

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I thought of another one.

Compensating Tough Guy

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Demographics: male, blue collar, 20s to early 30s.

I don't even have to write a description, because you're picturing it now. The dude's "don't mess with him" big, through either the gym or the Chinese buffet, but either way, he'll have a big pit bull in tow. About 80% of the time, it'll be an intact male. He's at the dog park, seeking out new territory to show off his dog and get "respect", even though his audience won't be receptive.

Often, the sight of a Compensating Tough Guy in the sally port will cause the regulars to clear the hell out shortly after. Regulars may chase away a Compensating Tough Guy if his dog is too "playful", although calling the police for support could be seen as "problematic" now. In the many years I've been to dog parks, I only saw one serious call-the-cops dog fight. It happened at a dog park in Round Rock, Texas: a Compensating Tough Guy's pit bull locked down on an Australian Shepherd.

The Sympathy Hounds - These folks always have a dog that has something bizarre wrong with it - missing a leg, giant visible tumor, nearly hairless, etc, etc. Rounds of the park are made, with attempts to start conversations with every other person there. Every conversation is a sob story, with the ending line: "Yeah, it's been hard on all of us."
The good 'ol tripod. Don't use that term, though, because it can offend some people. Or at least it offended my ex-girlfriend, even though her dog had all four legs.

Expect to hear about how a missing leg, being dependent on a dog wheelchair, or being blind (yes, I've seen blind dogs at the dog park) or deaf, won't stop a dog from leading a full, happy life. Also, you'll feel guilty for having an able-bodied dog.
 

Maister

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Yeah my current hund is reactive to other dogs, so no going to any dog parks or events that require dog-dog socialization. We suspect this tendency had to do with her previous owner having two full grown pit bulls when she was a puppy.
 

luckless pedestrian

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I don't take my dog to dog parks but we do have a huge privately owned park where you can unleash your dog - the circumference trail is 6 miles so it's great walk - I find my dog is better behaved there unleashed (toy aussie that over bonded with us) -

the one thing that drives me nuts is the people that use the poop bag but leave it on the side of the trail - wtf
 

MD Planner

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What about the person who constantly says their dog's name? "Rudy, Rudy, Ruuuudeeee". "Rudy!!!" Good lord let the dog relax.

Speaking of disposing of the poop bag, what about the person at the dog park who never cleans up after their dog? They get their dog there, take off the leash and do one of two things:

1. Immediately sit on the bench and immerse themselves in their phone, never seeing the dog take a massive dump.
2. Immediately engage in conversation about their dog with EVERYBODY because their dog has some sort of quality that makes it a conversation starter (at least in their eyes) and again, conveniently missing when their dog takes a crap.

Of course me being me, I say something. I'm just that guy. Oh well.

Dogs generally work it out among themselves in the park so there's no need to hover over your dog. If you have to, you probably shouldn't be there to begin with. I like to just sit or stand and watch the dogs do their thing. Seeing them run around and tussle and greet the newcomers etc. gives me a great deal of pleasure.
 

mendelman

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I can't imagine living without a dog.
I understand.

I grewup with dogs and cats. My wife had a dog most of her childhood and we got our Lab in 2004, but when it was the Lab's time to go (she was great for 9 years and we had lots of fun and adventures together), my wife and I decided we'd gotten our fill of household pets and are unlikely to get a pet for the duration.

We have three sons (11, 12, 13), so we're full up with providing care and getting love in return.
 
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Doohickie

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Dog but not park related. My son had his dog out for a walk yesterday before the storm blew through. He texted me and said, "I found this dog at [intersection], post it to Nextdoor" along with a couple pics of the dog. So I go over to Nextdoor and it already has a pic of the dog with a phone number. So I gave him the number and he stayed with the dog until his owner showed up, just as the storm was starting.

The mystery of how the dog escaped was solved: My son had the dog cornered in an area bounded by two houses and the 6-foot privacy fences to their back yards and when the thunder rumbled the dog jumped the fence into one of the yards and hid under a pickup truck there. He knocked on the door and told the people about the dog in their yard just as the owner was pulling up. When he opened the gate the dog made a beeline for the owner's car and jumped in.

All's well that ends well.
 
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