Guidelines for Dog Parks

First up, when I talk about dog parks here I am talking to the fenced off areas in parks where dogs are allowed to go off leash at any time. I make this distinction because when I search for a list of dog parks on the internet I get all sorts of results.

We’ve only recently started taking Logan to dog parks. There is one next to Logan’s obedience school, which is a great reward for him after a good class.

Dog parks are a great way to relieve a dog’s energy. Even high-energy dogs like Logan are worn out after half an hour of running around with other dogs in a park.

But on the flip side, if done improperly dog parks can also be a bad experience for a dog. Because of this, there  some guidelines that you really should follow when going to a dog park.

Ensure your dog has been socialised, and is friendly with other dogs

You can be sure that within seconds of entering a dog park your dog will be sniffed all over by a variety of different dogs and breeds. If you have a scared or timid dog, that isn’t use to being examined in this way, they may bark or snap at the dogs.

Being let off leash at a dog park is not a good way of socialising your dog. It may traumatise your dog and ruin future visits. Better ways to socialise your dog include:

  • Being kept on leash for short periods of time at a dog park
  • Obedience school
  • Doggy Daycare
  • Puppy Preschool

If your dog is overly dominant, aggressive, or fearful of other dogs, do not take your dog to an off-leash park.

Be active with your dog

Attending dog parks are a great way to bond with your dog. Don’t just take your dog into the park and then sit on a bench. Play with the dog, run around the park, be active and bond with your dog.

Be aware of what your dog is doing

Watch your dog. Try to stay close to your dog. If anything occurs between yours and another dog you will need to be close to break it up.

It’s easy to get distracted socialising with other dog owners, but you still need to stay aware of what your dog is doing.

Keep an eye on other dogs

Sorry, but it’s not just your dog that you need to keep an eye on. If other dogs seem aggressive, overly dominant or fearful then it may be a good idea to keep your dog on a leash. If you think it is best then do not be afraid to leaving the park.

Do not correct other people’s dogs

Is it acceptable to tell off another persons child in a school? In the same fashion, it is not acceptable to correct another persons dog in a dog park. There are many reasons for this:

  • You do not know how the dog will react to your correction. It could react aggressively and you could make matters worse.
  • You do not know how the dog has been trained. Your correction could have an adverse effect on it’s training.
  • The owner of the dog could react badly and take offense to your correction.

Below are some of the photos of Logan’s dog park time today. Anyone else take their dogs to parks like these?

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