Proposed Ban on Kids in Dog Parks Goes Bust

by Katie Pyzyk July 26, 2011 at 9:30 am 7,728 107 Comments

The controversial proposal to ban children from Arlington dog parks will not come to fruition after all.  As Gwyn Donohue of the blog Two Dog Tales first reported, the county has decided to keep the existing rules in place.

Officials have been taking in feedback and holding listening sessions since the proposal was brought up earlier this year.  The idea was to ban children under the age of 8, and to require parental supervision for children aged 8 through 14.

In a letter to Community Canine Area sponsors and users, Arlington County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Director Dinesh Tiwari said the existing rules and regulations are adequate.  However, the county will take some additional steps to make sure dog park users comply with rules.  One measure is to install signs advising parents “to pay close attention to their children to ensure that they remain under direct supervision at all times.”

The county will continue to take feedback on how the beefed up rules and regulations are working.

  • Lou

    This is a great victory for the human species over our would-be canine oppressors. It’s bad enough we are forced to pick up their poop in public; we will not allow our progeny to be segregated.

  • DK

    Well of course adding a sign will solve all of the problems since we know that all parents will take heed!

  • ArlForester

    Mike Vick supports this decision.

  • JamesE

    Can we at least ban them from movie theaters and restaurants?

    • Hobo Joe


      I would also like to see those massive strollers banned from Metro or any other confined area with lots of people.

    • SomeGuy

      I’ve been tempted to run for county board on a platform similar to that. Bike trails too!

      • doodly

        Good thing neither of you were ever children.

        • Josh S


          • doodly

            Sarcasm. (sigh)

          • Maria

            I think you just need to give up on using sarcasm here. It’s becoming a problem.

      • Jackflops

        What you call “bike trails” are really bike/ped trails. You wouldn’t suggest we ban walkers from those trails, would you? So what’s the difference if the walker is accompanied by a dog?

        That said–if it’s because some dog walkers have the dog all over the place, they shouldn’t. I make a point to keep the dog on my right, most times on the grassy shoulder.

        • Jackflops

          Oh, wait–are you saying ban kids or bikes from the trails? Maybe I made a booboo borne of postprandial somnolence.

          • doodly

            Doesn’t matter. Any talk of “banning” is usually impulsive goofiness…or sarcasm.

          • SomeGuy

            Doodly, it’s also impulsive goofiness to dismiss the concept outright (which I won’t accuse you of doing).

            It’s neither practical nor politically feasible to fully ban children from Arlington County. But it’s not unreasonable to restrict their access to certain places, whether by age or by time frame or some other constraint. Consider the many swimming pools have “adult swim” for 15 minutes every hour during which kids are banned. Or this restaurant, which bans children under 6:

            So while my tone, in this instance, was sarcasm, I don’t think some degree of banning children is pure “impulsive goofiness.”

            That said, you did qualify your statement with usually, so I’m probably being a little too defensive about it.

          • Lou

            Hell, DC has a curfew. It doesn’t get much more direct than that about banning young people from a place.

    • Outrageous.but.true

      Seriously. I think I’ll start a petition to rid Arlington once and for all of these annoying little mooches. They don’t pay taxes and they can’t provide interesting conversation.

      No more kids in Arlington! Let ’em eat cake over in Maryland, I never go there.

  • Bluemontsince1961

    The Arlington Sun Gazette has an opinion article that is somewhat related; on the restrictions in Bluemont Park:


  • Skeptical

    Yeah right, I am sure that those signs will be just as effective as the signs telling dog owners in “non-dog” parks that their dogs must be on a leash at all times. Try pointing one out to someone who’s letting his dog run unrestrained hither and thither and see what kind of profane abuse you will get back. I always thank people who actually shorten their dog’s leash and respect the laws, which are really only common courtesy, but there will always be people who think laws don’t apply to them, never mind suggestions.

    • CW

      +100. Arlington dog owners are, collectively, the single biggest group of self-righteous, conceited, arrogant snots I’ve ever dealt with in my my life. Walking down the street, getting into an elevator in my building, anywhere, they will just let their dogs run right up to me and try to slobber all over me, even if I’m wearing a suit. If I move away to avoid it, they act like I’m some kind of monster and usually say something snide like “Oh, afraid of dogs?” If I reply by saying I don’t want to get covered with dog slobber and the remains of the cat poop that Fluffy just ate, I usually get treated to either a look that would make you think I committed a crime against humanity or a lovely string of expletives.

      • ArlForester

        I am pretty sure the County Board holds the title of being the single biggest group of self-righteous, conceited arrogant snots.

        • CW

          If you normalize on a per-person basis, then yes, but there are so many more dog owners that the collective amount of self-righteousness, conceitedness, arrogance, and snottiness is much larger.

          • Thomas

            For apartments and dogs, the size of these dogs is what really bothers me. It’s been so long (and a management change) since I moved into my apt, but I believe the weight limit I was told was 30lbs. On the elevator I’ve been stuck with these behemoths that must be 70, 80lbs.

            It’s just a bad thing all around. Why doesn’t the apartment enforce it more? Obviously I don’t want to be stuck in an elevator with a dog taking up half of it and getting on my clothes. Also most of the owners I encounter generally seem to care about the fact that they can’t control the dog and are apologetic. Which begs the question, why not wait until you get a house? Until then be considerate

          • ArlForester

            I’d argue big dogs are better for close living. They bark less, are more docile and are less aggressive for the most part.

          • G

            I completely agree, ArlForester! Though I also agree with Thomas, that apartment and condo dwellers should be considerate and wait until they are settled in a single family home or townhouse at least, before getting a dog.

          • doodly

            You could, like, complain to your apartment management.

          • Thomas

            Don’t you realize that people who complain on blog comments like being passive aggressive?

          • CW

            Been there, done that (see other comment). But at the end of the day I enjoy my living situation enough, and they treat me well enough, that I do not consider it worth pressing the issue over. While the weight limit I do believe should be enforced by the management, the behavior (leash usage, jumping/slobbering) is obviously up to the individual owners.

          • CW

            Yep. My management said it was a 40 pound limit on the lease that I signed. It also said that the dog’s weight and breed (there are forbidden breeds but that’s another topic) had to be vet-certified. Then I see these monsters and inquire, and they say “Oh, it’s been changed to 60 pounds and we’re not weighing dogs”. So basically dog owners can ignore any rules and it’s fine? Where are the rules that I get to bend to suit my own tastes?

          • JamesE

            They should have a dog property tax based on how big it is.

          • doodly

            Hmm. Well, maybe the lease requires them to keep the 40 pound limit. Any lawyers out there willing to give free advice?

          • Blueloom


      • JamesE

        How dare you insult me and my purse dog!!!

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Purse dog……LOL!

      • arlgirl

        Both dog owners and parents can have their shortcomings. It’s unfortunate to condemn everyone because some aren’t well behaved.

        As a parent and a dog owner, I assume that neither kids nor my dog are welcome intrusions on anybody unless invited. The problem in dog parks is that kids often run free without supervision and the possibility of a serious injury happening exists. There really is no reason for parents to bring their kids into a dog park unless they are with their own dog — and frequently, they just come in to “visit” and “see the dogs.” Well, many dogs are big animals that aren’t paying attention to humans as they chase balls and each other. I have gotten knocked over twice at the dog park — and I watch out for myself. The dog park is not a petting zoo; there should be no assumption that every dog there is friendly to kids or adults, even though there should be the assumption that dogs there are under some supervision. For example, I have seen a toddler pick up a ball that was thrown for a German Shepherd just as the dog was arriving to fetch it — that could have been ugly. The parent thought it was cute. It’s that sort of thing that caused dog park users to seek this injunction — at least if there were an incident, it wouldn’t automatically be assumed it was all the dog’s fault. Not to mention that dog parks are crawling with nasty germs due to all the pee and poop. I wouldn’t want my kids playing in there — especially small ones. Yuck!

        • CW

          You are in the minority unfortunately. I would say a good 90% of dog owners that I encounter believe that their dogs are extremely welcome intrusions upon my physical being.

          • AllenB

            Your key statement is 90% of dogs that YOU encounter.

            My experience, as a dog owner, is quite the opposite. I live in a building with a large number of dogs. I’ve never observed anyone letting their dog jump on someone or slobber on someone without the other person first inviting it. We all pick up after our dogs. Our dogs are well socialized as they see and play with other dogs regularly.

            There are always going to be a few bad apples around – I encounter a few of them in the dog parks. But to generalize like you are is really uncalled for and just flat out wrong.

          • CW

            How is it flat out wrong? I live in Clarendon and spend a good bit of my waking hours in the R-B corridor. I spend a lot of time on weekends outdoors in public spaces, like parks and trails. I go up and down the elevators and through the halls of my building many times a day. What I stated is my experience, based on a statistically significant sample size of hundreds of encounters.

          • doodly

            All generalizations are flat-out wrong.

            The idea that you think you can be a one-man experiment shows how little you know about statistics or science. But even then, it’s irrelevant, because generalizations are wrong when applied to specific members of a group.

          • CW

            Yes, right, it shows how little I know about everything, as opposed to doodly who knows everything about everything.

            Generalizations are wrong when applied to specific members of a group? Then why in the world do the concepts of probability and statistics exist? Are you saying that there is no projective or predictive power in any statistics? Huh?

            No, I did not conduct a double-blind, randomized study while controlling for other variables, but I do think that my experience has been pretty well randomized since said experiences are distributed pretty well spatially and temporally. I’m not, say, referring to consistent encounters with the same dog.

          • Maria

            If he had said 90% of dog owners were like that, then yes, that would be flat-out wrong, but he didn’t say that. Experiences and experiments are two different things.

            His math may not be exact, but he’s not claiming to know about every dog owner in Arlington.

          • CW

            “He” also posted a comment in response but it was lost in the ether…

          • doodly

            It’s wrong whether he says 90% or 100% or 10% or no number at all, unless he’s actually gone out there are done a reliable scientific random-sample study.

          • ZoningVictim

            ” I would say a good 90% of dog owners that I encounter believe that their dogs[…]”

            I don’t see where that is a generalization. He’s (hope I got that right) talking about his experiences, just like AllenB was when he posted: “My experience, as a dog owner, is quite the opposite.”

            How is it that one is a generalization and the other isn’t?

          • AllenB

            This is a generalization from CW: “Arlington dog owners are, collectively, the single biggest group of self-righteous, conceited, arrogant snots I’ve ever dealt with in my my life.” I was reading all of his/her comments.

            Yes, you’ll say that it was from his standpoint as he point out, but a generalization all the same since he’s hardly dealt with a majority of dog owners in Arlington.

            I think he also says the same about people who wear flip-flops, frequent Clarendon bars and some other astutely observed groups as well.

          • CW

            I say no such things about flip-flop wearers or bar patrons!

          • ArlRat

            I have to agree. I live in an apartment building where dogs are allowed and I don’t see any crazy dog jumping on people. Sounds like you live in a badly managed place CW.

          • Webster

            doodly engaging in an argument over semantics? I’m shocked.

          • doodly

            It’s not semantics.

          • Fredo

            Pedantry and semantics do seem to be his stock in trade.

        • Arlington

          If a dog is not friendly with humans (adults or children), it doesn’t belong off leash in the dog park.

          • AllenB

            As a dog owner, I agree 100%.

          • Maria

            “100%”? Are you sure you arrived at that number through a statistically significant sample size of your thoughts? Or wait… does that argument not work when you’re talking about your own experiences and opinions?


          • C

            If it is aggressive to adults, children or other dogs it does not belong. This is different than not being friendly. I know dogs who do not go and seek every human out, some are shy and others may not like the unpredictability of young children. This doesn’t mean they are aggressive, just that they prefer dog friends, which is what a dog park is for. Children and adults need to be mindful that dogs have their own personalities and will respond differently to different people/stimuli. They should not touch or attempt to touch other dogs without talking to the owner first. Sadly, many dogs are deemed “aggressive” because they snapped when their ears or tail were pulled on.

          • I recently saw the sweetest dog continuously had her tail pulled by a young girl. The girl was told to stop, and did not. The dog whisked her butt away three different times (that I saw) but finally the dog went after the girl’s hand (snapped, but did not get it). Mommy then chimed it with complaints about the dog. What a stupid b!+$h. I stepped up to make note that mommy was more interested in her iPhone than her child.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            I’ve seen the same thing happen a few times on my walks. I’ve also seen good parents that physically removed the child’s hand and move the child away from the dog before it got to that point.

        • KArlington

          If people were thinking human beings like arlgirl, there wouldn’t be a need for the government to tell people how to BE thinking human beings. Thank you for your reasonable POV as both a parent and dog owner.

          Considering all of the Arlington parents standing at school bus stops with children until they’re about 15, I have a hard time seeing why people would get riled about requiring parental supervision at a dog park where unintended injuries can happen easily. Helicoptering required by law, yay.

          • doodly

            Yep, it took a combined dog-owner/parent to shed (so to speak) the biases that everyone else can’t seem to handle here.

      • Bluemontsince1961

        GASP! I am shocked, SHOCKED, I say! You beast, you brute, you Philistine! You don’t like having pushy dogs invading your space and you don’t like “owners” that get their undies in a knot when you make it clear you don’t like pushy dogs invading your space! Why…why….why……well, that is just plain mean and….and…and…..unAmerican!

        Please note, the above comment is totally satirical and not to be taken seriously.

        CW, I understand what you are saying. I’ve had lots of encounters when out for my walks where some “owner” doesn’t even reel in Fido but lets them keep right on coming at me. Granted, most of the time the dog may be just curious, but how do I know that? When I shoot them a look, they act like I’m the “bad guy” because I don’t want them to keep their dogs at their side under control on the walking/bike trail. I’ve seen cyclists do gyrations to keep from running over some dog on a too long leash and the “owner” getting snotty about it.

        However, I have noticed that there are considerate dog owners in Arlington who keep their dogs at their sides or reel them in when they see others coming. When I walk my neighbor’s Golden Retriever, I make sure the leash has very little slack. While he’s quite nice and friendly, I know people don’t necessarily want a strange dog getting up in their space.

        • CW


          And yes, I do appreciate the considerate dog owners out there.

        • doodly

          “Please note, the above comment is totally satirical and not to be taken seriously.”

          You need to say that about ten times before it sinks in around here.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            So I noticed on one of the other threads. I figured CW would probably see that I was being satirical/poking fun, etc. But I figured a bunch of other readers might not get it and we’d have a rhubarb like on the other thread.

        • North Cherrydaler

          I’m a dog owner (and dog walker), and I appreciate the considerate dog owners as much as you do. My dog loves people but can be aggressive towards other dogs. I keep her on a short leash and away from others (canine and human), but that does me no good when some irresponsible yahoo is strolling along Donaldson Run while her dog romps 50 feet ahead of her–and straight into my dog’s space. (And while such situations have happened to me multiple times, I’ve never once received an apology from the dog owner as I frantically tried to separate our dogs.)

      • Tre

        +100 awarded to CW. Now if I can only figure out which bastards keep leaving dog sh*t on my lawn.

      • porkchop_milkshake

        Horse potatoes. I’ve owned two dogs in Arlington and interacted with hundreds. I’ve never seen one jump on, slobber on or otherwise molest anyone who didn’t first interact with the dog in a friendly way. Your anecdote is invalid.

        I can’t say the same about children, however.

        No one in their right mind lets their dogs jump on strangers. The liability in our litigious society is too large.

        • CW

          My “anecdote is invalid”? Your idea of making a structured, logical argument is to tell people that they did not experience things that they experienced simply because you have experienced differently? Brilliant.

          • porkchop_milkshake

            My apologies. I clearly made an unjustified assumption about your reasoning skills. If you really believe I was telling you that you “did not experience things you experienced,” you are a moron. (If you don’t believe that but wrote it anyway, you are a troll. I haven’t decided which is more likely.)

            It would be both idiotic and pointless to tell someone that they did not experience something they claim to have experienced.

            I’m saying that my anecdote is at least as valid as yours when it comes to characterizing Arlington dog owners. I suspect my sample size is a great deal larger. That doesn’t matter, though. Neither anecdote is valid for that purpose. So I’ll expand my earlier sentence: Your anecdote, like mine, is invalid as supporting data for your argument.

          • Maria

            Calling CW a troll? Pot, meet kettle. Holy moly.

          • porkchop_milkshake

            Nice try, CW.

          • porkchop_milkshake

            I clearly over-estimated your reasoning skills. I’m sorry.

            No one is telling you did not experience something you claim to have experienced. That’s so obviously a stupid thing to say, I’m surprised you would believe anyone said it.

            What I meant is that my anecdote is just as valid as yours for characterizing Arlington dog owners. My sample size is most likely much larger, but that’s not important. Because neither anecdote constitutes valid data for making such a characterization.

            Your anecdote is invalid for that purpose.

      • soarlslacker

        “Fluffy” is normally a cat name. If you had a fluffy dog, it is more likely that you would call it “Furry”.
        Why would a dog want to slobber on you? You do not sound at all appealing. I keep my dogs far away from stangers. I do not want strangers touching my dogs. I have no idea where stranger hands have been.

  • John Fontain

    This was the right decision by the Department of Parks. Thanks Arlington.

  • forget the kids and parks – I LOVE that photo. Too cute!!!!

  • VA Redneck

    All childern should be banned

    • Tre

      All rednecks should be banned

      • Rick


  • Steve

    Should set up a law firm right there to get business from the kids who get bit by dogs and the idiot parents wanting to sue rather than have been smart and not brought their kids in the first place.

  • Ann of Tan Gables

    How about a sign that says, “Dogs are allowed to be in this park if they are good with other dogs. They are not required to be good with children. Parents should supervise their children accordingly”?

    • Jackflops

      Works for me!

      I think parents are overall way more self-absorbed and over-permissive than most dog owners–though there are some very bad dog owners out there.

      You can’t take your dog to a nursery school. I see no reason to allow small children inside a dog park. (On the outside of the fence, looking in, would be OK.)

      • John Fontain

        “You can’t take your dog to a nursery school. I see no reason to allow small children inside a dog park.”

        Let’s use this same thought process in another example to see if it makes logical sense:

        You can’t take your dog to a strip bar. I see no reason to allow strippers inside a dog park.


        • Would it be ok to allow your dog to look into the window of a strip bar? My dog may enjoy that.

          • Bluemontsince1961

            LOL! Good one, O.B.!

          • John Fontain

            Only with your close supervision!!

          • You could count on that!

          • Bluemontsince1961

            Heeheehee….no fair “peeking”, O.B.!

        • Jackflops

          Except that strippers in a dog park wouldn’t be at increased danger of being bitten due to an impulsive propensity toward yanking dogs’ tails, jumping between tussling dogs, etc.

          You fail.

        • atown

          However, if she goes into a dog park and bends down to pet the dog and her pastey gets ripped off to create a “wardrobe malfunction” that’s her fault. She should not have been there topless. 😉

          I see what your saying as that was a bad comparison, but parents should supervise children, that’s the big issue here. Everyone says they don’t want the government deciding how to raise their kids, but they’ve stopped parenting and doing it themselves (generally I admit, and not EVERY parent). I was not raised where I could walk up to a strange animal with an owner present or not and touch it without my parent/guardian by my side to tell me that wasn’t the safe way to act, and if I wandered off and got bit for doing what I knew wasn’t right, it was my fault, even though they were lovingly concerned I was hurt… now it doesn’t seem to matter to parents if their smart phones have an e-mail or they think it will kill two birds with one stone to take everyone, dog and child, to the “park” and just not pay attention.

  • Fairlington

    The idea of banning kids in Arlington locations doesn’t surprise me. Kids are not welcome and barley tolerated when it comes to childless adults dog owners in Arlington.

    Have you ever been to Fairlington? Dog owners wanted to turn the neighborhood tennis courts into another neighborhood dog run, and when unsuccessful, they tried to ban kids from the tennis courts. One dog owner in Fairlington felt the neighborhood jungle gym was a nuisance and threatened to have it removed.

    Childless adults dog owners in Arlington are one dangerous breed.

    • CW

      Kids are not welcome in my home; however barley is not only tolerated but is in fact encouraged, and quickly cooked into a delicious stew.

      • Wicked Witch

        Barley is not welcome in my home; however kids are not only tolerated but is in fact encouraged, and quickly cooked into a delicious stew.

    • Skeptical

      The horror, the horror. Well, so far as I know the dogs are not on the tennis courts and I often observe parents teaching their kids how to play tennis. So there you go.

      I’m not that fond of barley but will tolerate it in turkey soup.

  • Steve

    hey, I don’t know if you guys knews this, but in the past, they used to have retirement communities, one of the main reasons they had age restrictions was to make sure that none of the people living there had young kids to annoy the hell out of everyone. However these places are dying out.

  • Skeptical

    You mean it takes a sign to remind parents to do the obvious? Huh? Let’s all chant the chorus: Here’s your sign.

  • ArlG

    I’ve got a dog that I walk around the Westover area. I’ve never had a child come up and start petting it. There is always an adult, reminding the child to ask permission first (if they need reminding) and reminding the child how to pet safely (if they need reminding). Never had a problem, seems like a cranky lot here (as always).

  • doodoo

    I’m a home owner who takes great pride and interest in how their yard looks. And I can tell from first hand experience that most dog walkers have such little respect for an owner’s yard. And this falls into both categories: professional dog walkers as well as owners. I was very polite with them whenever I saw them allowing their dogs to use my yard as their waste depository. But 100% of the time the reaction that I received was nothing short of ignorant, disrespectful detritus. First I was accused of being a dog hater. Then they would somehow think that by picking up the poop that it was defensible. The typical response was that they had no control over where their dogs used the bathroom. The logic and reaction wasn’t nothing short of absurd. I thought I was talking to a child whenever these conversations occurred. So after talking to the Police, they said that it was indeed illegal for the dogwalkers to do this. But that I’d have to put up a sign in my yard to warn them. Can you believe this? I have to warn people to be respectful of my property? Then of course, after I installed the signs, the reaction was worse. They would intentionally allow their dogs to make their deposits and they wouldn’t clean it up. Or they would allow their dogs to do their business, put it in a bag and then throw the bag in my yard. Is this Arlington, VA? One of the most educated populations in the USA? I grew up with dogs and I loved having them. But I had respect for other people and their property. Why is it that dog walkers feel they can disrespect people and their property so? Why can’t Arlington pass a “curb law” without the need for the property owners being required to put up “no trespassing signs” in our yards, which only serves to invite these types to harass us even more? In the end, all of my signs were stolen. I give up. I wouldn’t even expect this kind of behavior from a 2 year old.

    • Jackflops

      Awful behavior. I’m a dog owner myself. I pick it up every time and am apalled at those who don’t. (I think the biggest culprits are these paid dog walkers; who does this for a living anyway?)

      Idea: Plant some thorny rose bushes along the front of your yard. This goes a long way toward solving the problem.

      Barring that, follow them to where they live (or where the dog lives) and then confront them at home (or when the dog owner is home, if it’s a dog walker). If someone leaves dog crap in your yard, returning it to its rightful owner–sans bag–is fair game!

  • Mickey

    I am a 67 year old retiree and in all of those years, I have NEVER heard of a dumber idea than to ban kids from dog parks! If I was a county board member and the fool who suggested this to be decided came before me, I would have him locked up for being a moron of epic proportions!….maybe make him a permanent t*rd inspector in the dog park?

    We need another sign like we need another democrat!

    • LOL. Let’s just nail a democrat to a post and maybe that will do the trick! LOL

    • atown

      Problem is, as a 67 year old retiree, you probably raised children in an age where they were watched by their parents, and they knew that they asked someone before they pet their animal, or they asked you if it was ok before they went up to do so. If there wasn’t an issue in these parks of parents thinking it’s “park for all” and not a park for dogs, and they don’t watch their children, then this would never come up… but clearly this is happening. I’ve seen it. I love dog parks, and dogs… and I love children. I don’t love all parents. I think a lot of people think it’s some privilage to have kids and not work… I’ve seen parents on their phones, or talking to their neighbors while their very small children are running around putting dirt in the water dishes for the dogs or trying to pick up the dogs’ balls or touching the dogs themselves. The parents don’t watch until they hear tears, then it must be the “horrible” dog’s fault if the kid gets hurt. I have a dog who LOVES people, and children, but I can only stop someone else’s child so much from upsetting them to a point where they snap. I’ve been yelled at parents for nicely asking a child not to pull my dog’s tail. That’s just stupid. Have respect for the other adults, and the animals, and do your job as a parent to worry about your child’s well-being by watching you kid… then we wouldn’t need signs telling parents to do their jobs.

      Is it really stupid that it’s gone this far?? Of course… but are there too many people out there that clearly have no idea that it’s their responsibility to watch out for their kids? Sadly, yes.

  • Homey D. Clown

    All children should be kept in kennels until 18 years old.

  • Head_Shaker

    The urge to ban, tax, and restrict activities amongst the seemingly educated in Arlington is saddening.

    • Aaron

      Really? There usually seems to be a strong correlation between a person’s education credentials and their desire to control the behavior of others.

  • Shirlington cca user

    The suggestion to “ban” small children from the dog parks was NOT because dog owners don’t like kids, it was to protect the children, first and foremost, and the dogs and their owners as well.
    Dogs in a dog park run, and people get knocked into, and knocked over. Dogs in a dog park play chase, and play fight, and occasionally a dog becomes reactive and perhaps snappy with whoever is around him.

    In neither of those situations does anyone want to see a toddler in harm’s way, and there can easily BE harm with no intent from anyone, human or canine.

    If you then insert additional risk factors: inattentive parents, kids eating, kids wanting to “touch” unfamiliar dogs – all of which I have witnessed – you ramp up the potential for harm to unacceptable levels.

    I personally take my dogs home, and they get their leash walks, because exercise is an important part of making them more social residents of my neighborhood. And as I leave, I hope the small children who are there get home safely as well.

  • mountainmama

    “Who does this for a living anyway?” : I am a stayhome mom that works as a dog walker during the day while my kids are at school. I love my job because I like dogs and it is great exercise. I have never left dog poop on anyone’s property, in fact I even pick up poop out of the woods…which some owners think is not necessary. Now you are generalizing dog walkers…please think before you spew vitriol. Thanks!

    • CW

      “in fact I even pick up poop out of the woods”


  • soarlslacker

    Many children are well educated about how to meet a strange dog, but not all children. I have 2 small dogs and children run up to them and frighten them. The best reason to keep small children out of dog parks is for the safety of the children and the safety of the dogs. Also, I have 2 dogs to watch and I really do not want to remove my focus from my dogs to watch stray children. While many parents can manage their children, many cannot. My job is to manage and protect my dogs, stray kids are on their own.

    • CW

      Many dogs are well educated about how to meet a strange child, but not all dogs. I have 2 small children and dogs run up to them and frighten them. The best reason to keep small dogs out of child parks is for the safety of the dogs and the safety of the children. Also, I have 2 children to watch and I really do not want to remove my focus from my children to watch stray dogs. While many owners can manage their dogs, many cannot. My job is to manage and protect my children, stray dogs are on their own.

      Funny how that works, huh?


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