Does New York Have It Over San Diego When It Comes To Dogs?

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by jtclough on October 23, 2010

The Harris Poll just announced that for the fifth time in the last eight years San Diego placed second to New York as the city more people would prefer to live in.  So what does New York have over San Diego?

Dogs and San Diego versus New York

So K9 Coach would like to conduct our own poll.  Which city would you rather live in when it pertains to dog lovers and dog friendly attitudes?  New York or San Diego?

Just last week I spent some time in Manhattan presenting the great attributes of treadmills for dogs with DogTread at the Meet the Breeds AKC Show.  Not only was I impressed with the number of people with dogs in a city like New York but I have to say I had some interesting observations about dog’s habits in New York versus San Diego which is the home my dogs and I choose to live in.

First I have to say I’m going to have to shake my head at those living in San Diego who use an excuse they don’t have a good place to get their dog out for exercise.  While staying on the 26th floor of an apartment building I saw more dogs being consistently walked several times a day than I see in around the dog friendly areas of San Diego.

The reason most likely stems around the fact there without a yard, even a small yard out the back door, one is forced to take their dog out to “go”, but in the midst of it, there is actually quite a bit of walking involved and it occurs several times a day.

The second note I found quite interesting and very surprising.  The behavior of most dogs on the streets of New York had a general respect of other dogs and people around them and the space they were walking in.  Let’s put it this way, leash charging was not prevalent the way I see it on one of my normal walks around a beautiful trail overlooking the ocean with plenty of space here in San Diego.

What is Leash Charging

Leash charging is the act of rushing up to another dog (or person) with no restraint, no proper introduction, and lack of any type of manners when called back away from another dog.  It is one of the biggest factors contributing to “leash aggression” or dogs showing a strong reaction like growling and lunging when approached by an unknown dog.

The behavior is perpetuated by people but usually gets blamed on the dog.  Why is it that dogs don’t have this tendency in New York, yet with much more open space, park trails and beaches it happens in San Diego?  People allow it.  In New York people tend to keep their dog moving.  In San Diego dogs have a bit more space and somehow the space allows people to let their dogs inappropriately socialize while on a walk.

While I’m all for socializing dogs and finding appropriate times to play, just like your workout, your dog should have the structure of an uninterrupted walk or run.  Maybe you can understand the irritation some dogs get with the inappropriate greetings if you thought of it in terms of a typical gym workout or walking/running on a trail experience for yourself.

How would you feel if someone you didn’t know with a bit too much energy came rushing up to you and got right in your space?  Would you have the tendency to be a bit snarky?  Your body language alone would let the other person know to get away.  Quickly.  Many dogs do the same thing and out of poor social manners, leash aggression is born.

Granted it provides lots of work for me, but I’d much rather be working on fitness games and how to have more fun with your dog at all the dog friendly venues available in San Diego!

The Thing About Dog Poop

Ok, and lastly, I’m blown away by the dog poop thing and my San Diego co habit-ors.  Seriously.  San Diego is a beautiful place, with beaches, trails and people’s nicely landscaped front yards.  Yet I see people ignoring the fact that their dog just pulled up and took a big ol’ dump.  No attempt to pick it up.  Just move on.

Again, New Yorkers… uhhh nope, you don’t see this happen.  It the appropriate clean up happens very swiftly.   In the midst of a “the walk” the daily duty goes on for the dog, the owner without hesitation scoops it up with a bag and discards it as soon as possible.  That easy.  Simply a consideration for those that live on the very well used streets and sidewalks around their living area.

So the big message:  I don’t care where you live… pick up your dog’s poop and make it nice for everyone!

Why does more open space suggest it’s okay to just leave your dog’s pile laying there?  I’m not sure, but come on my fellow San Diegians.  We live in a beautiful place, and yes, my vote certainly is to live in San Diego over New York.  But let’s take a few lessons about appropriate dog behavior from those who live in the Big Apple!

The Dog Lovers City Vote

So what’s your preference?  San Diego or New York for you dog lovers?  Leave a comment and give your reason.  Personally, I love San Diego from the weather (bar this summer) to the beach and the many places I have to take my dogs and enjoy fitness, play, dog friendly restaurants and all the events dogs are allowed to come to.

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