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Dog Park Behavior

Is Your Dog On His Best Behavior At The Dog Park?

DogParkBehavior-PawsitiveStepsDogTrainingIt’s a beautiful day in your neighborhood…you have always wanted to take Fido to the off leash dog park just down the street…today just might be the perfect day for it. But wait! Have you and your pup prepared to be in the company of several other off leash canines and their owners? The two of you may be well trained on how to behave at a dog park, but there are others you might meet that are not only inconsiderate and irresponsible, but have bad habits. These can lead to uncomfortable situations and even possible injuries.

You can’t let the “unknown” keep you and your dog from having a great afternoon, the best thing you can do is to know how to behave yourselves, and be aware of those who may not.

Tips for Good Dog Park Etiquette:

Dog parks aren’t just for your dog’s enjoyment, you can enjoy them too…but they aren’t places where you walk in, take off Fido’s leash and you settle in with a good book or your friends on social media. This is a great place and time to play with your dog unencumbered by a leash, practice some of yours and his training skills, visit with other dog owners/lovers, and enjoy watching your dog have a great time.

Off Leash Guidelines:

  • Make sure you’re taking a dog that is old enough, obedient and healthy.
    • Puppies younger than 4 months old should stay at home and prepare for the time they are old enough to play with the big dogs.
    • It’s important that your dog have all their vaccinations current.
    • It’s a good idea to have your dog neutered or spayed…female dogs that are in heat can cause quite a disturbance, and unneutered male dogs sometimes become aggressive.
    • Fido should be trained and obedient enough to obey basic commands such as come, sit and stay.
    • It’s a great idea for younger dogs especially to have had socialization training, and opportunities to have been around other dogs.
  • Things you can/should take with you…
    • DogIdentification-PawsitieStepsDogTrainingNever leave home without your dog’s identification.
    • Out of consideration for others and just plain good responsibility, be sure to have your pooper scooper supplies with you. Just because it’s a dog park, doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean up after yourselves.
    • It’s OK to take water to the park with you, with all the fun going on, your dog is going to get thirsty.
      • While it’s OK for water, food and treats should be left home, or at least kept in the car or your bag, and saved for when you leave. Dogs competing for food or treats could end up in problems, plus even if it was OK, other dog owners may not like you offering food to their dog.
    • It’s totally acceptable to bring children on the outing as long as they too know how to behave.
      • Stay away from strange dogs
      • No running around or screaming
      • No food or snacks
      • Don’t throw things
  • Things to be avoided…
    • Keep your dog from jumping up on people or other dogs.
    • Avoid spending time on electronic devices, your focus should be on your dog and what is going on around you.
    • If you think your dog looks cool in a pronged collar, or you like using a choke chain (I don’t recommend them), substitute them for a regular collar while you’re at the park.
    • If your dog acts uncomfortable when you get to the park, don’t force him to go in.
    • Leave toys at home, they could cause jealousy and competition with the other dogs.
    • Don’t let your dog bully or be bullied.
    • If your dog is getting tired, getting over excited or being bullied, don’t overstay your visit, it’s time to leave.

Part of preparing your pup for an off leash experience is good training…

Pawsitive Steps Dog Training’s techniques are based around one simple question:
What do you want and expect from your dog?

We believe that the most effective method of dog training revolves around teaching your dog what you want them to do, how to behave, how to act in their environment, and what appropriate behaviors are under given circumstances and situations.

Contact me or check out my family friendly classes.