Posts made in April, 2016

5 Tips for Your First Visit to the Dog Park

5 Tips for Your First Visit to the Dog Park

Off leash dog parks can be so much fun and a great way to socialize your dog, if you do it right. Nothing is worse than fights at the dog park or dogs that ‘bully’ other dogs just trying to have fun, especially if your dog is the instigator. Here are a few tips that will make your time and your pups’ time much more enjoyable and SAFE for everyone.   While you can’t control how other dogs behave at the dog park, you CAN control your own dog and they should have a firm grasp of the “come” command. If your dog doesn’t come when called, then a trip to the dog park could turn scary very quickly, especially during those busy hours when there a lots of strange dogs and people in the enclosed area. If your dog needs practice consider hiring a trainer or going to the park when there are NO dogs around to test the waters. Do your research. Not all dog parks are well maintained and some pose hidden dangers or just annoying hassles like mud pits; who wants to put a muddy dog back in their car? Ask friends and neighbors for local dog parks that they really enjoy and then go scope it out. Are there overgrown weeds? Bits of toys and dog poop everywhere? If there is a water feature for the dogs to play in, is it in another fenced area should you want to keep your dog dry? Small dog areas/parks are for SMALL dogs. Many dog parks have a separate enclosed area or special hours for small dogs only and it keeps them safe. If you have a small dog, then go to the small dog area for the first visit and see how they do before letting them loose with the big guys. Large dogs tend to play a little rough, lunge and can roll the smaller dogs. If you have a large dog and want to test it out, you could go into the small dog area to acclimate them ONLY if no one else is using it. Remove their leash right when you cross into the enclosed area or right before. This may seem obvious to some but new dog owners are really nervous about doing this. Keeping the leash on them will not only make them feel more stressed about this new situation...

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