Going to the dog park is one of our favorite things to do. Our dogs just love running around and socializing with other dogs. We got another dog in the fall and she certainly isn't as good about going to the dog park as our other two. Don't get me wrong, she LOVES it! She's a real speed hound and loves whipping around the park at top speeds! But, the problem is she doesn't stay near to us like the other two. The other two will run around, sniff things, and greet other dogs - all while staying within sight. They are always checking to make sure we're close. If they get distracted, simply calling them gets them running over to us. Now, I've had one of these dogs for about 6 years, and the other for about 2 years. The new one (the speedster) we've only had for about 3-4 months. She's slowly getting better at coming when she's called! I've found the dog park to be a great place to teach them this! You don't have to worry about them running away and they can be a great enough distance away to really test out your training. With that being said, you shouldn't bring your dog to the dog park just train them "come". If you have an unruly dog not only are you going to upset the other visitors, but you could get yourself in trouble (not to mention your dog getting into it's own wack of trouble!)

..... So how do you know if your dog is ready for the dog park?

First and foremost, they need to be up-to-date on all their vaccinations including rabies and altered (spayed or neutered). Not only do you want to be sure that you're complying with the owners liability act in case your dog gets into trouble and you need to show proof of vaccinations, but also to protect your dog from someone else who isn't as responsible. The last thing you want is your fun trip to the dog park turn into a hassle (or tragedy) if your dog picks up something while at the park. You'll want to have your animal altered because firstly, it's a rule of most, if not all, dog parks, and second because if you have a female you could end up coming home with more than you bargained for (instead of bringing home a little mud, you end up with puppies!)...and if your dog is a male, not only could he be the one to "give the gift" but intact male dogs can be completely obnoxious if they are following around your dog trying to hump it! Altered animals are also less likely to be aggressive.

Next, you'll want to gage whether or not your dog is good with other dogs and people. There can be a lot of people, children and dogs (of all shapes and sizes) at the park at any given time. It's great to socialize your dogs with all kinds of people and animals so they are well adjusted pets - but not at the risk of reducing the safety of another being. I should also mention here that the dog park is not the best place for young children. They can easily get knocked over by a fast moving playful crowd of dogs and can even upset some dogs (and owners).

If you do decide to go to the dog remember to:

-leash your dog(s) on the way in and out

-make sure they are tagged and properly licensed


-if it's your first visit, go at off-peak times

-be sure to shut BOTH sets of gates!

-if you're not sure how your dog will react, walk around the outside of the fence first so they can get a feel for the environment and you can figure out if this is going to be too stressful for them (or you!)

-DO unhook the leash when you get in the gate (dogs can react aggressively if they feel they can't get away from the other dogs because they are leashed)

-DON'T bring your really old dog that could be bumped over or hurt by an overly enthusiastic canine

-leave on a high note (before your dog is too tired and doesn't want to go back again)

Can you guess which one is our speedster?
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2 Responses
  1. Everyone should follow this ettiquette!! Love your work and your pooches..

  2. Abimbola Says:

    Thank you for the really useful content in this post...Much appreciated.


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