I don't think I understand what a dog run is all about. This one was privately owned and the very nice man in charge has cut timber from his land and put in water and gates and leash holders and sun umbrellas. When we arrived Choco and I were the only ones there and after taking her off her leash she ran around about 5 minutes. (Another dollar a minute run!) Then she sat down next to me and panted.
"Run! You silly dog! Run!"
Choco doesn't seem to know what to do with her freedom. I threw balls for her but she doesn't know what to do with a ball either...
Pretty soon a young man came with his three miniature Poodles. But he went into the section for smaller dogs and Choco just looked at the Poodles through the fence. Oh well, I got out my book and read awhile and Choco sat under my chair.
A little bit later a lady came with her medium size Shiba dog. She came into Choco's area so I put Choco back on her leash and we went over and introduced ourselves. (Good dog manners.) The two dogs sniffed at each other and then we all walked around the pen together. Good, good. It looks like the dogs will get along so we both let our dogs off the leashes. The Shiba gave a half hearted jog and Choco went chasing after her. That startled the Shiba and she ran a little faster and Choco started chasing. The other lady and I stood there nervously thinking "Is this a game? If Choco catches the Shiba is this going to develop into a fight? " I tried to catch Choco but she's much too fast and the other lady was getting worried about her dog and finally scooped it up in her arms. Choco comes barreling in and jumps up scaring the poor lady and the Shiba. The lady quickly took her dog to the small dog pen apologizing that her dog wasn't used to other dogs. Mine neither. I'm apologizing too. In the other pen, all the Poodles and the Shiba did about the same thing and the Shiba cowered at her owner's side.
The Shiba leaves and in a few minutes a Papillon came in, the owner taking one look at Choco and making a u-turn for the Poodles. The Poodles were happy to have another friend and they gathered around barking and the Papillon owner couldn't even put her dog down. The Poodle owner gathered his dogs in a corner allowing the Papillon to be put on the grass but the Poodles rushed over again and started a new chase game. Choco and I decided to go home just as the Papillon owner was getting hysterical that the Poodles were attacking her Papillon.
Was this a successful dog run day? I don't know. The purpose was to give Choco some freedom (which she didn't really take advantage of) and to get her used to other dogs and people. Except for the Poodle owner, I think the rest of us were way too nervous about our dogs. It reminded me of nannies around their precious charges, fawning over them, talking baby talk, making excuses for their behavior etc. And the dogs? They reminded me of children who play solitary computer games all day and when pushed into a group of children don't know HOW to play. None of those dogs (except for the poodles) even knew what the word "PLAY" meant. And we owners were too nervous to let the dogs be dogs...
In some ways, Choco has come a long way. I mean when she first joined our household I wouldn't let ANYONE near her because she would attack. I used to worry that she'd bite people who reached out to pet her. She's gotten better about people but she still hates any dogs that walk by her yard. So the encounter with the Shiba was good for Choco just because it never developed into a fight...
Any dog owners with opinions? Should Choco be visiting dog runs and meeting other dogs and owners or is it just better for everyones' peace of mind to try not to make "doggie" friends?
She sure looks bored though just sitting at home.