Dog parks are not as much fun for your dog as you may think. If you don’t pay close attention to your dog’s behavior, you may cause behavior and anxiety problems that will last the rest of his or her life. Dog parks are great if you behave correctly and if your dog is trained and socialized. Follow the tips below and avoid making the mistakes that many people do when taking their dogs to a dog park so your dog can enjoy the trip to the dog park.
1. Clean up after your dog – This is a very basic thing and simply good manners. Make sure that you take enough poop bags to the park and clean up after your dog. It is not very appealing to go to a dog park that has poop everywhere. It is also a health hazard for your dog as diseases can be spread through contact with another dog’s poop.
2. Don’t take a pregnant dog. If your dog is in heat or pregnant, don’t take her to the park. It should be pretty obvious why this is a bad idea. If you don’t get it, just trust us and don’t take her.
3. Train your dog – Dogs that have not been trained or socialized are dogs that will not behave well, cause chaos, and be difficult to control. If you want to take your dog to a dog park, he or she should attend puppy or dog school to be socialized. An out of control dog that doesn’t listen when its human calls is a problem dog in the park.
4. Prepare your dog – A dog that has been left alone for several hours or has been unable to run and play for hours will have pent up energy. The excitement that this energy brings may cause fights at the dog park. The excitement and running around may be misinterpreted by other dogs and end up in a fight. Rather play with your dog or go for a walk around the block to get rid of some of the pent-up energy before going to the dog park.
5. Don’t pick up your small dog – This is our first instinct in a spiralling situation, but it is the wrong action. When you pick up your small dog the tree-climbing instincts of larger dogs kick in. This means they will start climbing you like a tree to get to your dog.
6. Don’t take your puppy. Puppies who are younger than 12 weeks have a high risk of contracting worms and diseases from older dogs and the park environment. Only take your puppy once his or her vaccinations have been completed and their immune systems are equipped to handle all the germs they will be exposed to.
These are only a few guidelines. The most important thing to remember is that your dog should be safe and also not a hazard to other dogs. A trained dog can be recalled and will listen when you give commands. You want to take your dog home in one piece at the end of the day.