Things To Know Before Taking Your Dog To A Dog Park
A dog park might sound like the perfect outing for your beloved dog, but it’s important to know what to expect before you go. Off leash dog parks are usually fenced off areas where dogs can play and interact with each other under the supervision of their owners.
Dog parks come in all sorts of shapes and sizes – take this one, for example: There are two entrances – one for people and another for dogs!
But no matter how big or small an off leash dog park is, there will always be dog park rules that every owner has to follow. Some dog parks forbid certain breeds from entering, some ban aggressive behavior between dogs, while others promote responsible ownership by requiring licenses and or current rabies vaccination tag.
Some off leash dogs parks are divided, they have an off leash dog area for small dogs and a separate play off leash dog area for large dogs. These areas are usually divided by a fence, so your small dog can play safely. While there’s no guarantee that the dogs will all get along, this is typically a safer area for timid or scared dogs to be around large dogs (who want to rough house).
Animal control is a good number to have on hand if you need it. In case of emergencies, having this number is vital because these officers are equipped with the tools and authority to handle aggressive dogs that display threatening behavior.
Here are some things you should know before taking your canine companion out to play at the off leash dog park.
You’ll have to follow the rules of your local dog park.
Many parks are free, but some do charge an entrance fee that covers maintenance costs. Some parks are open during certain hours while others are closed at night for safety reasons. It’s important to adhere to these rules so that other dogs and their owners can enjoy the space just as much as you did.
No two dogs are alike.
Just because your furry friend is good with dogs in your backyard doesn’t mean they’ll be well-behaved at the dog park. Every dog has a different personality, which means it takes time for them to get used to new environments and dogs before they can start making new friends.
You may have to supervise your dog closely at first to see how social they are with other dogs.
Most parks require that every owner be with their dogs at all times. Why? Because most parks can’t supervise dogs as well as their owners can. Plus, there will always be one or two aggressive dogs in a crowd that end up ruining everyone’s fun.
You’ll have to pick up dog’s waste after your pup.
Nothing is more frustrating than playing fetch with a tennis ball that smells like rotten eggs. Luckily, most parks have pooper-scoopers around the park so you can clean up your dog’s waste. If not, keep some doggie bags in your pocket at all times!
If your dog is new to dog parks, meet the dogs outside of the park. Most dogs will be happy to see a new friend and it is easier for you to keep them from getting into a fight if they are both on leash.
Come in with your dogs on leash or with one on a long line attached to you belt loop. Your dog’s friend should be brought in by their owner, also on a leash or long line.
When going to an off leash area for the first time, it is a good idea to bring a long line with you for your dog in case they get over stimulated and need to go in a separate area. This way you can allow them some space from others when they are getting too overwhelmed or if there are dogs that start fights that you do not want your dog involved in.
Once inside you can let go of your leashes and give everyone some space! However, make sure that there is always someone watching everyone else’s dog. Dogs can get into fights quickly and if no one is watching then they either don’t care about what their dog is doing or they cannot watch all the dog’s at once. This situation can be dangerous to your dog’s well being and to other dogs as well.
If one of your dogs begins the growling, lunging, barking behavior that usually starts a fight, pull them off immediately by their collar and keep a hold on them until everyone leaves. Introducing two new dogs to each other can be a stressful experience for both parties if not done correctly because you never know how they will react to one another.
What are some things to know before taking your dog to an off leash dog park?
Some parks are closed at night for safety reasons, make sure you follow all rules. Large packs of dogs will often lead to fights between two or more dogs without anyone noticing until it’s too late. Most parks have an employee on- who is responsible for keeping track of the pack If you’re given a whistle , use it immediately if you notice two dogs starting to scuffle with each other. A whistle can stop most fights before they start!
Water is a necessity in most pup’s lives, so they’ll be able to drink from water fountains or pools. Bring your own water bowl and fill it up before you leave. Don’t forget to bring a portable water bowl, just in case! A portable dog bowl is perfect for filling up with water when you’re outside or on the go.
Bring a ball to the dog park to share with the other dogs so everyone has something to play with!
If your dog is scared of things, it’s okay! They are still a good dog and that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to go to a park. If your dog reacts badly towards another dog or people, its best not to take them back until they have learned how to behave in this situation. On the other hand, if your shy dog just wants to watch from the sidelines but gets too overwhelmed by all the excitement going around him it may be time for a break as well. You know best how your dog is feeling.
Puppies of all ages are welcome in most parks, but if they are too young to have all their shots, keep them at home! The last thing you want is for them to catch parvo from another dog because it only takes one infected dog to spread this awful virus throughout a park.
Be sure you use the park’s resources correctly! The agility equipment is there for the dogs to play with and enjoy. Don’t bring your own toys unless they are donated by other people who want their toys used as well. If no one donates any then please do not bring your own toy that day because it will be difficult for others to share when they are using the same ones over and over.