My Monday morning dog walking group decided to take the dogs to the new, under construction, Dog Park being built by Pen Met near the fire station on Bujacich Road. We walked the dogs on leash to the double gated entrance. As we were getting ready to enter we heard a lot of barking and held up for a moment to be greeted by two sets of three dogs each barking and straining on leash inside the park. We played musical dogs to try to allow the dogs all ready in the gated sally port to enter the park while the leashed dogs waited to leave. It was not a good introduction to the new park. Once everyone was safely in the park we
continued our walk while the dogs ran happily about safely in a fenced area.
Dog Parks are designated off leash areas. If you go to a dog park it is important to understand the rules of the park. The rules are posted to keep all the dogs and
their owners safe. Some of the rules should be common sense. Aggressive dogs or dogs that do not play well with others should not be in a dog park. All dogs
need to be vaccinated. Females in season should not be visiting a dog park.
Children under twelve need to be supervised. It is very easy for children to be
knocked down by running dogs.
I was sorry to see that the park will allow three dogs per person. I figure an owner needs a hand for each dog and wish the limit was two. I was also concerned that three separate people we meet had their dogs on leash inside the park. If a dog is not trained well enough or is not friendly enough to be off leash in a designated off leash area it should not be there. A leashed dog will naturally
feel very intimidated by a group of dogs running toward it. Having a dog on leash in an off leash area will quickly teach the dog to be leash reactive. Simply put the leashed dog does not feel safe and will try to defend itself.
All of our dogs had a great time running in the woods and sloshing in the wet spots along the trail. I cannot wait until the park official opens. The Gig Harbor area has needed a designated off leash area and I am glad to see that Pen Met was up to the challenge. A dog park is only as good as the people and dogs that use it. So keep your dogs off leash. Enter and exit carefully and lastly pick up after your dogs. Pen Met has given us multiple safe entrances and multiple potty stations with bags and receptacles.