If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the dog run.
Every boy dog knows that an off-leash space is a great place to pick up bitches — but at Brooklyn Bridge Park, if that female canine is going through her twice-yearly reproductive cycle, she could be kicked out.
That’s right, the “No dogs in heat” rule suggested at most dog runs has become an enforceable rule on Pier 6 at the foot of Atlantic Avenue. Some dog activists are perplexed by the strict regulation — but everyone knows what happens when dogs bring the heat.
“Your dog will be mounted constantly, which leads to fights,” said Bob Marino, president of the New York Council of Dog Owner Groups that oversees most dog runs in the city. “But it’s an enforcement issue — it’s almost impossible to prove when a dog’s in heat.”
The rules for the new off-leash space are cribbed from those at the Hillside Dog Park in Brooklyn Heights, but that space is maintained by local dog lovers, not a park with a security detail. As such, the decree raised eyebrows among dog owners at Pier 6, but many agreed with it — those damn dogs will travel from far and wide when they hear the howl of a female who wants to start a litter of her own.
“My dog has humped other dogs in the park, and the owners were appalled,” said Micky Baumrind, who brought the horn-dog Freckles to the run on Thursday. “Then again, when was the last time you saw a dog in heat? I would imagine most dogs are spayed.”
Indeed, spaying is a common practice among owners who don’t want to breed their pooches, and the operation can decrease chances of tumors and other health problems.
But other dog enthusiasts, like Sean Forlenda — who walks the prize-winning Heights dog Opa — said that they’d blow off the rule. After all, the warning signs are difficult to pick up at first glance. Would a heat enforcement officer notice a dog’s increase in urination, “spotting,” or odd behaviors like dragging her tuchus around the floor?
Not likely, the experts say.
“I’ve never heard of an official rule on this subject,” said Bob Ipcar, a member of the dog advocacy group FIDO. “Still, people realize rather quickly what a pain it is to bring a dog in heat to an off-leash area or a dog run. You have to have an inconsiderate ‘New York’ attitude to tough this one out.”