It’s A Pittie Rescue does NOT support taking your Pit Bull Terrier (or any dog for that matter) to an off-leash dog park.
Here’s what Debbie Wilke, IPR board member and professional dog trainer has to say about dog parks: “Dog parks are not the place for pit bulls. They may not start a fight but they will finish it. There is way too much instability at dog parks, people do not watch their dogs properly, they do not know dogs and their body language. Dog parks are an accident waiting to happen.”
Although you may be very knowledgeable about your own dog’s social skills around other dogs, you likely know next-to-nothing about all the other dogs visiting the dog park. Also, many dogs let loose to play in the dog park will not be supervised closely enough – or even supervised at all! They could be on their cell phone, feeding the baby, reading, and generally NOT paying attention to their dog as he wreaks havoc across the park. There is no way to ensure that every dog’s owner will notice the instant that their dog’s play devolves into a conflict.
Why dog parks are so troubling to It’s A Pittie Rescue: If something DOES go wrong – if a fight or even just a scuffle occurs while a Pit Bull-type dog is there, the Pit Bull will be blamed. This can lead to legal complications, animal control investigations, and all sorts of ugliness for the owner, and for the Pit Bull himself. If that’s not enough, dog parks are also a great way for dogs to pick up worms and other diseases – playing dogs poop in the park, everyone gets covered in mud and dirt as they play, and finally go home and ingest the worms as they lick their paws clean – yuck! There are many other fun ways to socialize your Pit Bull Terrier, and the risks of exposing your dog to an unsafe or unhealthy environment like an off-leash dog park are too serious to ignore.