Dog Park Training Tips. How to Choose and Use a Dog Park
Taking your pup to a dog park can be a great way to get you both out for some fresh air. First make sure your dog has a solid recall, is healthy and is not dog or human aggressive before taking them to a dog park. Always go check out a dog park before taking your dog there.
When picking a dog park, searching online is a great way to get general information, read reviews and see photos. The smaller, fenced parks are useful if you are working on training and want to up the distraction level. Not on the inside of the dog park, but on the outside or even in the parking lot. Here, you can work with your dog in an environment where dogs and people are coming and going to the dog park. Usually these dogs are very excited, pulling on leashes and barking so make sure you are working at a distance that you are confident and comfortable with. This may even be in your car.
The factors to look at when searching for a dog park are:
-Fenced or not fenced
-Is there a fee or pass required?
Finding a park with lots of space, trails, hills and trees with no fencing or partial fencing is the cream of the crop and is usually worth the fee if there is one. The lack of a fence will keep out people who don’t have off leash control of their dog. The changing landscape will not only have lots of cool smells for your dog, but will break up the dogs and owners so there won’t be a pack and a dog fight breaking out is less likely. Walking with your dog at the dog park is not just a good way for you to get some exercise. It is also a healthy way for your dog to navigate the dog park. Pack migration with you solidifies your relationship and smells will change so they don’t get bored. It is also the best way for your dog to meet others. When they stand face to face, tension rises, but if they are moving it is a natural way for them to learn about each other. I want my dog to use his nose so I don’t bring any toys or balls unless we are alone. These are resources that dogs might fight over.
Every dog park can be useful in it’s own way, even if you never enter them. The key is to really know your dog and to do what is best for them. This way the dog park experience will be enjoyable for all.