Dog parks are the solution to the city dweller’s challenge of being able to get their dog outside for ample exercise, socialization, and sunshine.
What’s not to love about dog parks? These green spaces are designed to accommodate dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds, giving our furry best buds a safe place to be free and happy.
But while all dogs are physically different, so are their personalities. Like humans, some are new to socialization and may need time to adjust, while others are extroverted and ready to romp.
That’s why it’s crucial to consider the importance of dog park etiquette. This isn’t just about manners, it’s about making the dog park and safe and enjoyable place for all pets and pawrents.
In this post, we discuss the key points to remember when it comes to proper behavior at the dog park.
If you’ve never brought your dog to the local dog park, it’s probably a good idea to get the lay of the land before making your official debut.
Do a walk through on your own and scope out the layout. Is there shade? Is a water fountain on site or do you need to bring your own? Are there separate areas for small and large dogs?
By doing this you can be better prepared for your first trip with your pup. There’s no surprises, you’re relaxed and in turn, your pet will feel more relaxed also.
Basic commands are essential for your dog to understand before heading to the dog park for the first time.
While it’s an enclosed, safe place for canines, it doesn’t mean that drama can’t happen and if it does, you’ll want to be able to quickly call your dog to your side.
The dog park isn’t an excuse to let your pup off the leash and run wild while you sit back on your phone. It’s paramount to be attentive at all times, monitoring how your dog interacts with their pals.
Understanding your dogs social cues can prevent an aggressive interaction. Does your dog seem anxious around certain dogs? Are they guarding their toy? If you see this happening you can jump in before tensions rise.
Once again, knowing your dog’s social cues can alert you to when it’s time to call it a day. If your dog is shy, it’s not a good idea to wait around for hours watching to see if they warm up and come out of their shell.
On the flipside, if your dog is being an instigator or vice versa, it’s a good time to grab the leash.
Overtired? Overstimulated? Every dog is different, and every trip to the dog park might be different, too. That’s why it’s important to recognize these behavioral signs and head out in order to keep the dog park a positive place in your pup’s mind.