Are You Choosing The Right Dog Park?
By Jason Wright
June 26, 2020
What to look out for in Dog Parks:
Dog parks are an uncontrolled gamble in our opinion. There is absolutely zero management and is a free-for-all for dogs to run wild without any rules. Furthermore, there are very few owners that have knowledge of dog behaviour and body language to prevent fights before they happen. Both people and dogs can easily be seriously injured. All it takes is one missed signal from one dog to another before a fight can break out.
If the majority of individuals in dog parks are socializing with each other or texting rather than keeping an eye on their dog, there are bound to be problems. If owners are oblivious to their dogs’ inappropriate behavior and allow mounting, bullying, or aggression to go uninterrupted, it’s not a healthy place for you and your dog to hang out.
If you are a dog park regular or are planning on going to the dog park here are some guidelines:
- A dog park shouldn’t be somewhere you take your dog to get rid of energy. Overstimulated or energetic dogs usually lead to bad decisions and a variety of problems. The best decisions are made when a dog is in a calm state of mind.
- Pick up after your dog. There are a ton of diseases and parasites that can be spread from feces.
- Never bring a dog in heat into the dog park (unless you would like to witness WW3). This one should be obvious.
- Have your dog up to date on all vaccines.
- If your dog doesn’t have any obedience training and you have no control over your dog, get training first. Without your dog knowing basic commands, there is no way to stop him from a potentially dangerous situation. The best commands for your dog to know are a recall, stay and an emergency down.
- STOP YOUR DOG FROM BULLYING! This is the behaviour modification we witness the most at dog parks. Nipping, barking, rough play, and rude and invasive greetings need to stop. How would you like to be poked at constantly and never left alone?
- Put your cell phone away. Please watch your dogs, you will be surprised how much you can learn about what your dog wants and doesn’t want if you actually pay attention. The dog park isn’t for human socialization; it is for dogs to socialize. Stop being selfish and keep watch of your dog.
- Do not bring treats!
- Don’t bring fearful dogs to the park. Fearful dogs need a calm, relaxed, and quiet environment to thrive. Unless your dog park is filled with relaxed seniors, we recommend finding a fenced-in baseball diamond for you and your pup to enjoy time in.
- Last but definitely not least. STOP STEREOTYPING. Just because your dog is a certain breed or size is no excuse for his or her bad behaviour. You as the owner are fully responsible for your dog and how they act. Train your dog to act appropriately or don’t go to the dog park. For example, if you have a smaller dog that is constantly chasing, nipping or barking at a larger breed, YOU are the one to blame if the larger breed decides to take matters into his own hands. YOU allowed your small dog's bad behaviour to carry on and you were aware of the potential consequences.
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