Here are a few things to remember besides the obvious ones like picking up your dog and always having voice control over your dog to make sure that you and your dog have a pleasant experience.
Many more towns and cities add dogs parks to their list of community features. In my city there are over 14 off-leash zones. Dog parks can be an excellent resource for you and your dog, but they can also be a nightmare if the rules are not followed and the owners are not paying attention to it. Here are a few things to keep in mind when going to dog park, besides the obvious ones like pick up after your dog and always having voice control over your dog – just to ensure you and your dog have a pleasant experience.
There are Dog Parks Do’s and Don’ts
Do a good job keeping your eye on your dog at all times – When you are not looking at your dog, you will not only miss your dog pooping, but also have no idea that your dog is chasing another dog, jumping on little children, guarding the water dish or a variety of other things. A dog park is unfortunately not the place to let your dog free, out of sight while sitting at the bench and reading the paper or participating in other activities. Dog parks are a great place for people to socialize; it only needs to be done while keeping an eye on your dog. This is in my opinion the most important thing you can do.
Do stay moving – dogs in motion are less likely to engage in fights. It is when several dogs are seated in a single place that a lot of undesirable social behaviors are practised. Don’t crowd around a large group of non-moving people and dogs.
Do learn a little bit about dog behavior and body language – Reading the body language of a dog is a big part of the social process. If you can tell when your dog (or another dog) is uncomfortable in a particular situation, you can call your dog out of it before anything escalates.
Do realize that not all dogs belong in a dog park — It is truly that simple — not all dogs can handle the dog park experience. I know plenty of really good-trained dogs who can just not handle a dog park for a variety of reasons. There is nothing wrong with that. Be honest with yourself and ask yourself seriously if your dog belongs there.
- Keep kids from running or approaching all dogs – There is a proper way for children and adults to greet a dog, but not all dogs are good with children. When children run, dogs chase – it is what they do. Teach your kids how to behave a dog kindly and always obtain permission from the dog owner before any interaction occurs.
- Don’t over react when someone’s dog rants at yours – Growing is a form of communication – It does not mean a dog is aggressive. There is a correct way for dogs to greet each other. If a stable dog corrects another for an inappropriate in-your-face greeting it is simply communication between them
- Don’t crowd around the entrance – It can be a stressful experience for dogs when dogs first enter the dog park. Imagine how much worse it gets when 10 other dogs come right up and run him or her Most dog parks are big enough to spread out, even if your park is not large enough, leave the immediate area surrounding the entrance free of dogs.
- Don’t let your dog guard – Keeping the water bowl, a stick or other toys in order is an easy way for a fight to begin. Don’t let your dog do that, and don’t let your dog cause another dog to lick if that other dog & he is peacefully chewing a stick by himself, tell your dog to come!
- Don’t expect others in the park to do the right thing – When it comes down to it – You are the only one who can be responsible for your dog only.
While there are several dozen more dos and don’ts about dog parks, if everyone took these steps there would be a lot less incidents at dog parks.