As a dog trainer and walker and as the owner of 3 dogs I frequently use dog parks or areas where dogs are allowed to run free. However, I am always aware of the risk involved in going to off lead areas as so many owners have not socialised their dogs properly or do not pay enough attention to their dogs at the park or don't understand the body language and behaviour of their own dog or of other dogs in the park. I am constantly vigilant, watching intently to see that any dogs in my care are feeling confident, not being aggressive and are having a good time.
I also watch the other dogs in the park to make sure they are not acting inappropriately around the dogs in my care. People often comment on how being a dog walker must be such a relaxing occupation and so much fun, which it is, but it is also quite stressful having to be constantly on the lookout to make sure my dogs are safe and I can return them to their owners happy and safe after their run in the park.
This article was published today raising a whole lot of issues relating to off lead parks and I am interested to hear what others think about Vicki's argument. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-11/off-leash-parks-dangerous-says-dog-trainer/7316108