Most people that attend the dog park are fun, dog-loving folks that follow the rules and pick up their poo. However, there are several remarkable character types to watch out for. Now, granted, some of these personality types may be found in any office, jobsite, or interpretive dance class, but the dog park has several unique temperaments. It’s even more amusing when you observe the dogs behaving in a similar manner.
The Helicopter Parent is always hovering over their dog. These newbies truly have the best intentions. However, their inability to recognize escalation effectively thwarts playtime and frustrates other owners. I’m not sure what they are expecting from the dog park. Perhaps the dogs should light up some cigars and deal poker like in those old timey Coolidge paintings.
The Loner likes to graze discernibly in left field. Their earbuds are nature’s way of preempting any attempts to approach or associate. The good news with these guys is that they stay out of your way and have a propensity to pick up their dog’s poo. They are also known for the kindly habit of policing up many of the rogue perimeter piles.
The Phoner has absolutely no intention of poo cleanup nor canine cognizance. They often have a tablet or laptop and camp out on the bench with their notes (while shouldering their phone) because they are very important and extremely busy. I’m just grateful they let me use their office as a dog park!
The Stepper is a Fitbit addict. These kooks walk circles around the park like they’ve lost their keys or dog tags. Hopefully he’s picking up abandoned poo, either with a bag, or his shoe.
The Cruise Director likes to orchestrate dog park dinners and happy hours. He loves to gabble and prattle, and you can be sure he has no idea what his dog is doing. Despite the wincing inelegance of his inescapable invitations, his cookouts are actually quite enjoyable.
The Meddler doesn’t start arguments, he arranges them. They like to sow discord, and will blurt whatever they think – like they have some sort of “Special Edition” Tourette’s. These folks are unpopular and get cussed often. They are chiefly famous for creating that exhausting paradox where they impose a rule call-out, while pretending not to notice violations by their own dog.
The one-upper doesn’t care how many pets you have, how much your dog weighs, or how many cars you own, because they always have 1 more. They are the best, and you aren’t.
The Salesman uses the park for business development. These interesting and funny people want to sell you cars, jewelry, or take photos of your dog. If you haven’t met one, don’t worry, they left a stack of 60 photo-degraded, crinkled, and stained business cards jammed into the bulletin board.
The Hall Monitor visits the park to tell people their dog is pooping. Also, kids are not allowed and, by the way, your dog is digging. You will have less than 400 milliseconds to take corrective action when this micromanager is around.
The Trainer knows everything about dogs and it is vital that you know this. They’ll explain what you’re doing wrong before you’ve even put your leash away. Been throwing tennis balls for 40 years? Nope, you’re doing it wrong.
The Know-it-all is similar to the trainer, but they know everything about everything. They excel at unnecessary corrections, casting unwanted advice about your spouse and job, and tedious interruptions.
Filibuster Fred has mastered the art of talking at you without pause or relief. My response is what I like to call the “diatribe and dash” because a ceaseless soliloquy is unendurable.
Negative Neds don’t like anything: The restaurants around here are crap, your music sucks, there’s nothing to do in this town, and everyone is an idiot. Believe it or not, these bundles of joy attend the park to socialize.
The Player is great at getting dates. This conversation aficionado is likeable and moves very fast. These guys are only able to play the field for a short while, because once you’ve been spotted spooning with a different partner on the bench every two weeks, folks tend to catch on.
The Passive Aggressive is probably the most taxing energy vampire out there. My go-to move, as I suppress a dizzying eye roll, is to ostensibly feign an incoming call.
The Pet Sitter. Hah! You knew this was coming. Well, they may be really good or really bad, or both. They like to barge into the dog park (breaking the rules) with 4+ dogs like they own the place. They’ll stash snacks, tools, and spare clothing on top of the bulletin board, but hopefully they’ve taken the time to get to know everybody. Dogs follow them around because an amalgamation of Pig Pen, the ice cream man, and a cool camp counselor is irresistible to dogs.
Good sitters add value when they complete maintenance the municipality never gets around to. They also like to pick up forsaken poo piles, reset the gate magnet (“lock”) when it malfunctions, or provide rakes and hooks for convenience. Sitters tend to be good at preventing or stopping fights and are usually “in the know” regarding maintenance scheduling or events that are going to eclipse nearby parking.
That’s all for now. Have a happy and hairy weekend, and tune in next time when I post about DOG personalities and playstyles!
Disclaimer: Pet Sitter Compendium is for information and entertainment purposes only. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental.
Featured photo – Greta and Millie attempting to determine what sort of personality the other has.