Frequently Asked Questions - (and Answers)
Is your Dog Ready for Play in the Dog Park?
Playgroups and Social Scenes. Here are some tips to get started!
- Review the Dog Park Rules.
- Don't bring dogs younger than 6 months to the dog park, puppy socialization is better coming from a puppy training class.
- Familiarize yourself with "good" dog behavior before going to the dog park.
- Teach your dog manners, a trained pet is less likely to behave aggressively towards other pets at play.
- First-time visitors should go to the dog park at non-peak times, since first-time visits can be stressful. It is best to start off slow when the dog park is not busy.
- Check weather conditions, frost bite, hypothermia, and overheating can be avoided.
- Make sure your dog has a collar and id! (Microchip too!). Microchipping at HSCI, Microchipping, Tags, and ID's
At the park...
- Walk or run the dog on it's leash to get it warmed up to the area before turning it loose.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle for your dog, lean weight reduces strain on heart and joints.
- Keep dogs on leash until secured in enclosed dog park area.
- Know how socialized your dog is before entering a playgroup, if your dog is too aggressive it may upset other dog owners.
- Observe how other dogs play and act to measure how they might act towards your dog.
- Do not allow your pet to approach aggressive-looking dogs.
- Prepare to see your dog mount or be mounted. It is perfectly natural regardless of sex or being neutered, and most likely it is to establish dominance. This helps establish ranking order without violence.
- If your dog is being defensive, be careful when picking up the pet as a scared, panicked dog may accidentally bite.
- Keep moving - if you stand in one spot, a dog may become territorial.
- Use caution with toys, as many dogs can be possessive.
- Don't let your dog dig in the dog park.
Don't worry too much, dogs usually figure things out and will have fun. Don't let your dog see you tense. It is, however, important to take proper precautions before engaging in dog park activities.
Enjoy the fun!
Dog park tips and etiquette brought to you by: Dog Fancy Magazine (Sept. 2003) & www.peteducation.com