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    Aussies Are Raging Over Irresponsible Dog Owners And They're Making Some Excellent Points

    Unpopular opinion: Do not bring your prams and young children into a dog park.

    If you've made it through the last 18 months without getting a dog, I applaud you. I, however, caved in September of 2020.

    Julia Willing

    To be clear, I am in no way advocating for impulse-buying a dog. That's not fair to you or your newly adopted pup. Dogs are hard bloody work — and they will be with you long after this pandemic is over. So you need to be certain that your lifestyle can sustain looking after a dog long-term, irrespective of your current COVID-related situation. 

    One thing I've learned over the last year, is that people have very different ideas about what it means to be a "responsible" dog owner.

    Julia Willing

    I get it, few dogs are perfectly behaved. Leo, my pup, is a one-year-old beagle-labrador — making him highly intelligent, exceptionally greedy and absolutely ballistic at the dog park. Which means I spend a lot of my time herding him away from other owners' treat bags and chasing after him when he nabs other dogs' balls. 

    I still spend hours every week training him, but there are certain times when his adolescent self will simply refuse to listen — and often I'm left feeling like a "bad" owner. 

    But the one golden rule of dog ownership that I think every owner should obey is also the most simple one — and that is to PICK 💩 UP 💩 YOUR 💩 DOG'S 💩 POO.


    I am always appalled by the sheer amount of steaming shit piles I come across during my walks. Blatant disrespect for your neighbours aside, how do you carelessly walk away from big poop like that? Aren't you afraid of being caught? Publicly shamed? 

    Christ, I've even used a big ol' leaf to scoop up one of Leo's shits, just for fear of someone watching me poop-and-run. 

    Well, Reddit user u/markjustmarkjust has some sage advice for his fellow Australians and I beseech all dog owners to heed it: "Don't be a cunt. Clean up your dog's poo. It's everywhere."


    "Lockdown is hard enough, without some dog owners leaving their dog shit right in the middle of walking paths...and don't just put it in a bag, then leave the fucking bag lying there either."

    Other Australians were quick to share their support for the PSA, with many lamenting the laziness of some dog owners:

    "I live in Brunswick and walk my kelpie-cross twice a day and carry at LEAST three bags with me on each walk — just in case he needs to stop more than once. I am utterly disgusted by the sheer amount of dog shit just left lying on the footpaths. Take some pride in yourselves and your neighbourhood!"


    "People who say they 'ran out' are just bullshitting — they didn't bring any to begin with. It's so easy to get one of those holders with a whole roll of bags and attach it to your lead."


    "I foster dogs and when I’m at the park, I’ll pick up extras if I see people have left their dogs poos there. It’s gross and I’d rather not, but I’m furious about parks being left disgusting for everyone."


    "Had to call a lady out the other day when I was waiting in line at an ATM, watched her stop and look away as her dog shat on the footpath, then she began to walk away after the dog was done. The look of embarrassment on her face when I screamed out: 'YOUR DOG HAS JUST SHIT ON THE FOOTPATH, CLEAN IT UP'."


    Others called out the irresponsibility of allowing off-leash dogs to roam about attended, or in on-leash only spaces:


    "My dog has been mauled several times and now is unsociable to other dogs. Last time I asked politely for a woman walking my way to put her dog on a leash and her reply was 'It's none of your fucking business.' To which my reply was 'It will be my business when my dog turns yours into mince meat, because you didn't put it on a leash'."


    "We have a little wetland area in our suburb. There are signs around it to put your dog on a leash and signs as you enter saying NO DOGS at all. People, of course, let their dogs off leash right into the wetlands. I've seen them splashing around in the water and everything. Good luck to any birds trying to nest in there."


    In a sister-thread, Reddit user u/TequilaMockingbard also asked Aussies to share their take on off-leash dog park etiquette.


    "Inspired by the dog poop post earlier today, what's your take on off-leash dog park etiquette? What do you think of owners who let their dogs run freely while they sit down? What about people who keep their dogs leashed and asks other owners to do the same?"

    "Pet peeve: People who bring prams and toddlers into an off-leash dog park. Dogs are animals at the end of the day. I've seen a few incidents at my local dog park and I don't believe a dog park is a suitable place for toddlers or prams."


    "I’m always perplexed by the owners who give my dog treats without asking — she has a sensitive tummy and is on a prescription diet and many treats are a big no-no! Just don’t give my dog a treat without asking first, even if your intent is good!"


    "I get so frustrated by dogs that horde all the other toys. It's one thing for your pup to take a ball so that others will play with him, but when you allow your dog to resource-guard others' toys, it's a problem."


    Steve_and_jody / Via Flickr: activesteve

    "People who walk their dog on-leash at the off-leash park and get all shitty when your dog comes up to say hello? Don't go to an off-leash park! Likewise, people who are just walking or exercising or whatever — it's an off-leash park, so there's gonna be dogs running around, what did you expect?"


    And finally, "Unless people have at least one other dog that likes to be off leash, I think bringing your nervous/anxious/aggressive dog to an off-lead dog park is a recipe for disaster for any party involved."


    Do you have any pet peeves or advice for good doggy etiquette? Let us know in the comments below!

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