I want to rant about dogs at off-lead parks that their owners have no control over.
Backstory is that me and my mum have been rather lazy with walking our oldest dog Ares. He is something of a couch potato and spends most of his time sleeping inside. However, yesterday evening we took him for a walk at the off-lead park opposite my dad's house.
Ares is very smart but basically has no interest in obedience work. This dog hasn't done any sort of formal obedience work since probably the start of the year, and yet went through all his commands like he did them every day. About halfway through we could see him losing interest and so we let him off his lead and played ball with him for five minutes or so (something we rarely if ever do).
Well after that he got put back on his lead and we started heading for our car. This was when this poodle x looking dog came tearing towards us with the owner nowhere in sight. The dog came running straight at Ares and while Ares is fine with dogs passing close to him, he doesn't like strange dogs in his personal bubble.
Ares lets the dog sniff him once and then when the dog starts trying to get in his face and lunges and barks at it (Ares is all talk but he is big and it scares people).
The poodle x does not seem to be phased by this and is making a beeline for a second sniff when I see the owner bolting over from the second oval a good 100 metres or so away. The dog is completely ignoring him, and so I manage to lure it over with a treat, grab it by the harness and lead it back to its owner.
We put Ares in the car and sit in there waiting for my dad to come back with Eos our other dog, when this same poodle x comes running up to our car and starts sniffing around the doors and generally making a pest of itself.
Not long after it starts harassing some other dog that obviously was telling it very politely to stop.
Just because someone is in an off-lead park, does not mean that it's okay to let your dog go running up to theirs. It's not friendly, it's rude, and it would be like me running up to you and getting right in your face. Yelling 'it's alright he's friendly' as you are half a kilometre away does little to assuage my fears.
This is the reason our dog Eos is not allowed to free run with other dogs. She pretends she has suddenly developed hearing difficulties, and then spends all her time with a ball in her mouth herding dogs up. I find that mortifying and so she is only allowed off leash in fenced areas where there are no other dogs.