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Dog parks are lovely places for not just your dogs to hang out but also for their humans too. In a dog park ” A dog loves to do 2 things: chase & be chased”. Your Bruno can live the dream and for us humans there is nothing quite like the sight of happy dogs running around.
But dog parks can also be a nightmare. In the decade I have been visiting such places, I’ve run into a few parks that our city has to offer which lack the basic necessities like water bowls and a garbage bin for the poop bags. Or, for that matter, poop bags themselves. (Not all dog humans can be relied upon to bring their own.) I have also witnessed some serious confrontations, both physical and verbal. And it’s not always the dogs doing the fighting.
So what is a well behaved human to do?. Follow these simple Dog Park Pawlitics
So how do you ensure a good dog park experience?
1. Make sure your dog has all her shots and parasite control treatments:
before bringing her to a dog park.
2. Pick up her poop:
Always, no excuses. Don’t have a bag? Borrow one. Can’t borrow one? Go find a bit of discarded newspaper to pick it up with. Do not, under any circumstances, leave her poop in the park.
3. Ensure your dog is not in heat: Parks are for playing, not fornicating.
4. Don’t bring your dog to the dog park if your dog isn’t good in the dog park:
No two dogs have the same personality. “One might be exuberant and confident while another might be timid and shy. You have to be very well acquainted with your dog’s individual way of approaching social interactions in order to help him and others have a positive experience.”
In truth, not every dog should go to the dog park. A dog who is exceedingly sensitive and/or submissive, or a dog whose alpha manners are likely to earn him a few well-deserved growls and snaps in a pack situation, are better off socializing at home, with carefully chosen, compatible canine pals. That can be hard news for some dog owners. But it’s not about you.
“It’s about the dog,” i say. “If you can be honest about your dog and his individual quirks, then you can avoid bad situations.”
5. Know your dog park — and don’t bring your dog if this isn’t her kind of park:
Just like the dogs themselves, dog parks are unique. Some are just wide, open spaces that have evolved into casual off-leash areas over time. Others are intentionally built — even staffed! — parks with specific rules, regulations, and hours. No matter what kind of park appeals to you, make sure you understand its culture and observe its rules — both written and unwritten. Be aware of where you’re going — and think through whether it’s a good fit for your dog.
6. Pay attention!:
A dog park is not a relaxing place for a responsible dog owner. Given the complex mix of dog personalities and interactions, you must be absolutely attentive to your dog as she makes her way around the park. Always remember the basic pack nature of dogs; their inherent drive to establish dominance, and the possibility of clashes, even between the “nicest” of dogs.
If you get distracted by your Phone, or caught up chatting with others at the park, your amiable Golden Retriever might just decide she doesn’t like a certain St Bernard and take a lunge at him. “As a responsible dog parent, you need to be ready to step in and assert your authority whenever there is anxiety or tension.”
So pocket the phone, keep an eye on your dog, and — although it’s an off-leash park — keep a leash handy.
7. Be in command:
You must always — always — be in control of your dog. People who bring their pooches to dog parks should certainly have their canines under strong voice command. This can be achieved through proper socialization and good training.
I like to train using praise and treats as a reward. But do this work at home. Don’t bring treats or chews of any kind to the dog park, though, since dogs are hard-wired to compete for food resources which could lead to fights, and many pet parents won’t appreciate you offering snacks to their dogs.
And always have a leash on hand. If a situation seems to be developing between two dogs or a group of dogs, you want to be able to loop a leash over your dog’s head, pull her away from any potential conflicts, and take her to a place of safety.
8. Always be ready to go:
If you sense that a situation involving your dog might lead into something injurious, just leave. If something’s not working for you or your dog, get out of there.
9. Don’t fight with other dog parents:
No matter what happens between the dogs, let’s we humans keep our cool, shall we? Common courtesy goes a long way.
10. Aggressive dogs:
Aggressive dogs should not be allowed in the park. Any dog who engages in fighting and aggressive behavior who cannot be easily controlled by their owner should not participate in dog park activities.
11. Puppy socialization:
Your puppy is not ready for the park — or any high-traffic areas — until he is at least 12 to 16 weeks of age and has had all his vaccinations. Consult your veterinarian to see when the time is right for your puppy.
12. Don’t take your dog’s valuables to the park:
A dog that guards and become aggressive with certain items — including specific foods or toys — can pose a risk to himself and others if he feels like his belongings are threatened. Leave your dog’s favorite things at home and keep in mind that a dog that exhibits guarding tendencies may not be able to handle a dog park where toys like tennis balls or Frisbee’s are allowed.
13. Don’t bring a hyper, under-exercised dog to the park:
A wound-up canine’s overzealous interactions can cause other dogs to feel threatened. If you have an excitable dog, take him for a long walk or jog or play fetch in the yard before you head to the dog park — whatever it takes to burn some energy and get him ready to play nicely with his friends.
14. Don’t allow your dog to hump or mount other dogs:
Humping can be part of normal play, but not all dogs, or their humans, react nicely to it and aggressive responses may occur — from the dog and his human. Instead, redirect your dog or remove him from the park if his humping becomes excessive.
15. Don’t get in the middle of a dog fight:
This is a good way to get bitten — in an aroused state, your dog (or someone else’s) may unintentionally injure you. The dog may also see you as a threat and redirect his aggression toward you. Instead of jumping in between two fighting dogs, use other tactics for breaking up a dog fight.
16. Collar with ID Tags:
Make sure your dog is wearing a collar with ID tag at all times.
17.Don’t take young children, toddlers or babies to the dog park:
Their small size and lack of experience with dogs can create a dangerous situation for the child and the dog. An overexcited dog may unintentionally knock over or injure a child while greeting or playing. A dog who is afraid of children may react aggressively to a child’s attempt to make friends. In rare cases, a dog may view a child as prey. Regardless of the situation, the risks to the child can be significant.
18. Fill up holes:
As a responsible pet parent you must fill up any holes that your dog digs in the park to avoid inconvenience or injuries to other patrons using the park