June 28, 2021
Visiting the dog park for your dog is like going to a party where you get to meet cool people and hang out. Dog parks offer a super nice environment where your pup can go off-leash and finally experience a measure of reckless freedom for a while.
However, dog parks also feature the presence of other dogs, hence, the need to behave right, respecting other dogs and dog parents present. So, here are a couple of appropriate dog park behavior tips that you should know about:
You need to exert your authority as the alpha animal at all times, and no, this doesn’t mean you should be mean. Your pup just needs to know that you are in charge and this is essential especially when other dogs are around.
You need to train your pup to respond when he’s called. The idea is to use a phrase or a word that wouldn’t be commonplace at the park; consider it your secret code word. When he responds, reward him with treats during training; this is great for reinforcement.
A great dog park with proper planning would have a double entrance and sport two gates. Don’t just breeze through the gates without taking a look around first.
Keep your dog on a leash through the first gate and ensure that the conditions are optimum; nothing that would spook your pup before releasing him. If there are a lot of dogs swarming around the gate or there’s a scuffle, pause at the gate so that the other pooches get used to yours so that they don’t get overly excited.
A big part of being a pup parent is being able to look out for signs; reading canine behavior. When dogs are playing, they typically have their ears relaxed, their tails wagging, and would occasionally lower their front end to the ground to “play bow.”
For riled dogs, the whites of their eyes become more obvious with the shrinking of their pupils, their ears stay firmly pinned back, and their tails would either be between their legs or stand at half-mast.
Snarling is pretty commonplace, but snarling with the lips curled back calls for extra attention. In cases like this, you can use a treat to distract or break it up with a loud clap or noise.
Recall that the dog park is about your dog and not necessarily about you. It might seem like a good time to get on your phone and reply to texts, but this might not be a great decision.
You should keep an eye on your pup to ensure that he doesn’t wander off or get in trouble with other dogs. Similarly, you would have to pack up your dog’s business. While most parks provide plastic bags, taking your own isn’t a bad idea either.
Also, if you notice your dog chewing on something that didn’t come from you or sniffing in suspicious areas, it might be time to call him back.