There is an adorable video on YouTube about a dog practically bursting with excitement as he realizes that his owner is approaching his favorite play space – the dog park. [The video can be seen here.] And while there is no doubt that a day at the dog park can be one of the nicest experiences you can provide for your pooch, for us owners it can occasionally be exasperating. That is because other people and their dogs are sometimes inconsiderate and don’t follow a set of rules that would make these parks fun for owners and canines. At Dogstuff – where we have unique gifts for dog lovers of every kind – we believe that these shared experiences between human and canine can be enjoyable for both. It simply takes adherence to some basic ideas when visiting his/her favorite park.
- Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered, has all her shots, and is in good health: If your dog has not been fixed or is ill, then you should not even consider taking him/her to the park.
- Know your dog: As every pet owner knows, dogs have personalities that are as unique as ours. Before taking your dog to the park determine whether he/she is overly aggressive, passive, etc. If your dog has a problem socializing with other dogs, introduce him/her to smaller, more controlled settings before thrusting him/her into a situation full of strange dogs.
- Introduce your dog to other dogs on leash first: Doing this will not only control your dog’s initial interaction with other dog’s and possibly avoid fights, it will also remind your dog that you are there to handle conflicts in your way.
- Remain attentive at all times: Stay off your mobile device and watch your dog as you would a small child in a similar situation. It only takes a second for conflicts to arise and for your dog to get into danger or to endanger another dog or owner.
- Note your dog’s behavior: Signs that your dog may not be enjoying itself should be evident to you as its owner. For example, dogs that are frightened often exhibit the following behaviors:
– Tail tucked between legs
– Low body posture
– Looking away
– Pinned back ears
If your dog does seem uncomfortable, take him/her away immediately.
- Make sure your dog is properly trained: Does your dog ignore your commands? If he/she does then you may wish to train him/her more before taking him/her to the park. An undisciplined dog in an open area of any kind invites danger for other dogs and people.
Finally, just as you would take care in selecting a gift for dog lovers; take the time to ensure that you and your dog’s trip to the park will be fun and memorable for both of you.