Dog Parks, Good or Bad? 4 Simple Tips

Dog Parks, Good or Bad?

dog walking at dog parks in lawrenceville, ga with max

Walk your dog prior to the dog park.

To dog park or not to dog park that is the question. A hotly debated question that I am frequently asked “ Is it ok to take my dog to dog parks?”. My answer “yes and no” depending on your dog. A dog park is for socializing (learning how to interact with other dogs) not exercising. Will your dog get exercise while at the dog park? Of course they will but never take a fully energized dog into a dog park or you could be setting your dog up for failure. Over excited dog = bad doggie manners = possible dog fight.

Take your dog for a nice walk before taking them into the dog park. They will be calmer, better behaved and make better social decisions.

Supervise your dog while there. Don’t stand in a circle with the other humans chatting, don’t be distracted by your phone, don’t read a book. Pay attention to your dog and the body language of the other dogs so you can intervene if need be if you see the dogs getting too excited (overly aroused).

dogs playing at dog parks in Buford, GA

Dog parks are great for learning good social skills.

Give your dog a time out to calm down and chill out every so often. If it looks like play is escalating to something more serious intervene before a fight breaks out.  Is there a dog that is trying to hump every dog in there? Is it your dog? Intervene, correct and redirect your dog to something more positive.

Know your dog. Is your dog confident enough for a dog park? Nervous or anxious

nervous dog at dog parks

A dog park can be scary for a timid dog.

dogs have no business being in a dog park as they can become a target. Well meaning, good natured dogs can try to overpower a nervous, scared or anxious dog because it is in an unstable state of mind. It is in dogs’ DNA to weed out the sick, week or inferior from the pack.  Your dog may be better suited to have doggie play dates with dogs it is familiar with until it gains confidence.

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