As many of you know, my Area of specialty is city dog training. And most people in cities don’t have gardens. Most city dogs in the world don’t even have easy access to outdoor space – other than the sidewalk. When you combine all of that with “not having dogs off lead” and “leash laws” (which you see in many cities around the world), you are left with dogs who for their entire life never have the opportunity to be off lead and run around. And that my dear friend is something I am very against.
I think it is very important for our dogs to be able to be dogs. To stretch their legs (without the confinement of a long lead), to walk around and sniff (safely and at their own pace), and to not be micromanaged to within an inch of their life by their humans (I see you Karen!!).
Many trainers who are anti dog parks suggest hiring fields, driving out to the countryside, visiting relatives with gardens etc as a way of exercising a dog. That my dear friend is coming from a place of privilege. You are working on the assumption that someone has a car, that they have family or friends they communicate with, that they can afford to hire a field, or to even spend 2 hours getting outside the city centre. To assume that people can afford all of these things is coming from a place of privilege. Not everyone can afford that. And that’s ok.
Of course every owner wants the best for their dogs. Nobody wants to love and care for their k9 friend and not try their best. But that “best” should not be dependent on their income, or ability to travel out of the city.