To the dog park!
This post is written for This N That Thursday hosted by the lovely Two Brown Dogs And Ruckus the Eskie.
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Living in a country where space is a limited resource can be quite a challenge. The challenge is intimidating for dog owners whose dogs need a good stretch.
The dog park comes to, or we go to it for, the rescue.
Bringing a dog to the run for a little exercise and socialization certainly gives your dog a much needed boost. At the same time, there are many things to bear in mind when bringing a pet to the park.
When you come home to find the door frame destroyed or the slippers chewed, it simply means that Fido needs a little more exercise and attention. A dog’s mind and body need to be stimulated, so a dog park presents many such alternatives for a sometimes hapless owner.
Dog parks also present many opportunities for socialization. Like us, dogs too are social animals and love to spend time with members of their own species. Like children, dogs need the practice of reading another canine’s body language. The experience of getting to know other dogs they do not meet on such a frequent basis is readily available at the dog park.
Fun for pet parents
Dog parks are good fun for pet parents too. This is where pet parents get to socialize with other dog lovers and get a little exercise with their own and other dogs. They also get the chance to practice a little off leash training within a controlled environment.
Dog parks do not come without downsides. It simply means having to bear a few things in mind.
While the dog park presents wonderful chances for socialization, it can, ironically, present a problem itself.
Shy dogs, like those of us who are a little shy, can be overwhelmed in a dog park, compounded perhaps by unpleasant experiences with aggression. They may start behaving aggressively out of fear themselves towards other dogs.
Subjectivity reigns when it comes to considering appropriate dog behavior. Some may believe that a dog is too aggressive when it starts to give friendly barks. Others may see playfulness as a sign of aggression.
Which dogs should not be included in the dog park?
Not everyone is a good candidate for the park, so some of our canine pals, sadly, should not be included until they are ready. A dog should only go to the park if it is socialized, vaccinated and healthy.
Puppies which have not had shots should not take the trip to the park. They may easily contract worms and illnesses and allergies from other dogs.
Females in heat
These “ladies” will, of course, be the subjects of attention. If not prepared for a few puppies, do not bring them to a park.
Frisky gents, too, have to be thought about. Do not bring them to the park unless properly spayed.
Dominant or aggressive dogs
If owners know that their dogs tend to be aggressive, it is always best to avoid bringing them to the park.
Dogs less familiar with other dogs should not be brought to a dog park because they might not know how to play properly with other dogs. They might have some rude experiences!
Owners will want to consider the facilities a suitable dog park should contain and the environment within the park itself. An ideal park should have:
Space for interaction
Secure fencing to prevent a distracted dog from escaping
Clean up stations for owners to clean up after their dogs
Water for drinking
A separate area for small dogs. They might be intimidated by bigger fellows, or conversely,
frighten with their own aggressiveness.
Other dog park tips
1. Go a few times without your dog to get to know the other people and dogs who go there regularly.Be there a few times and on different days to get a clearer idea of who frequents the park and any potential problems that may occur.
2. Dress comfortably and remember a dog kit with water, a leash or poop scooper for cleaning up after the dog.
3. Train yourself and your dog. Being aware of a bit of dog body language may help one to know when a dog is scared, aggressive or simply in the mood for fun. To help out a little, I have provided an earlier article I have written on dog communication here.
At the same time, train Fido! A little bit of obedience training ] helps in a dog park and prevents stress as the dog would know better how to behave.
WIth the holidays approaching, have a great time ahead with Fido!
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