Guest Blog By Linda Brennen Your Canine Coach
Recently, many of my clients have asked my opinion of Dog Parks, so I thought I’d share some of my tips and concerns about dog park use. I personally am a fan of our dog park here in Briargate, and take my dogs there regularly. I have also visited many dog parks around the country over the past 20 years. However, dog parks are not for everyone, or every dog, and not every visit will be a positive one.
Here are some things to think about to help you decide if the dog park is right for you and your dog.
Know Your Dog
Is he friendly and confident with dogs and people? Has she ever been in a dog fight? Does she have good bite inhibition (has he ever broken skin while playing, or arguing, with another dog or person)? Is he neutered, (other dogs are less tolerant of intact males)? Is she healthy (a dog with arthritis or hip problems may not enjoy being jumped on by other dogs) and are her vaccinations up to date? Will he come when called, no matter the circumstances? Does she really enjoy playing and socializing with other dogs?
Know Your Park
Visit the park, without your dog, at different times and on different days. Get the “vibe” of the park. Are the dogs playing together, or just walking around with their owners? Are there dogs with similar play styles to your dog? Are any dogs playing too rough, or bullying other dogs? Are their owners intervening to redirect their dogs to more appropriate play or playmates? Are the owners respectful of the other dogs, and of each other?
Will you pay attention to your dog, or are you too easily distracted by the other people, or your cell phone? Are you well versed in dog body language and communication? Will you be able to control your dog, and your emotions, should things get out of hand?I share more tips on my website (yourcaninecoach.com/blog)
I am also considering offering a 4 session class, for Canine Coach Clients only, Introduction to the Dog Park. Please let me know if you are interested. In the meantime, should you want additional information, here is a link for the APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) list of dog park articles.Dog Park Etiquette Basic guidelines that should be taken into consideration when bringing your dog to a dog park. Dog Park Body Language A helpful guide for understanding how dogs communicate with each other and things to look out for when taking your dog to the dog park. Pros and Cons of Dog Parks A compilation of the advantages, disadvantages, and things to think about for communities and/or the individuals to consider regarding dog park development.Elements of a Good Dog Park What makes a good dog park?