Tips For The Dog Park
- Walk through the gate with your dog following behind. You are the leader of this activity. Don't let an over excited dog pull you through the gate.
- If you have a dog who shows signs of being nervous, possessive, dominant or aggressive its often a good idea not to stand still, but to keep moving around the park leading the way for your dog. Giving your dog the task of following you helps to focus their attention.
- Stay alert - keep a close eye on both your dogs behaviour and other dogs. Its vital to be assertive and correct any minor problems early before they escalate.
- Toys and balls - be aware that depending on the personalities of other dogs at the park sometimes possessions can cause problems.
- Food - don't bring any food for yourself into the park. It can lead to begging and frustrated dogs. Dog treats are ok but again you'll probably get lots of attention and it can lead to problems. Best leave the food at home.
- Young children - be very careful if parents are letting young children run around. A playing dog can easily knock over and injure a child, or their herding or prey instinct can kick in. Young children should ideally stay close to their parents and not make sudden excitable movements.
- Puppies - if possible take puppies to the dog park at quiet times when fewer dogs are around, otherwise it will probably be too overwhelming for them. Around three months old is the earliest a puppy should visit a dog park.
- Aggressive dogs - if you have a dog who is consistently aggressive and does not respond to your commands don't bring them to the dog park. Exercise them in another way. The most important thing at the dog park is the safety of other dogs and owners.