Taking your dog to the dog park is a good way to let your four-legged friend exercise and roam freely in a safe place. Running around the park off-leash helps your furry friend’s muscles stay toned and strengthens their bones. The space also allows your dog to play with other canines. However, you need to make sure your dog’s interactions remain safe for their own sake as well as for the benefit of the other dogs and their owners.
If you want your visits to the dog park to be enjoyable, you need to take note of proper dog etiquette. Here are some proper canine behaviors your dog must observe and things you need to do as a responsible pet owner.
Your Dog Must Play Well with Others
The dog park is a great place to go where your dog can socialize. But they must know how to play well and not be aggressive toward dogs they don’t know. If you are bringing your pet to the park for the first time, stick to the leashed area where they can engage with other dogs under your control. Keeping your pooch on a leash lets you manage their movements, and if they become a little rough, you can pull your dog away. Once your furry friend is more at ease around other hounds, you can let them explore the off-leash part of the park.
Additionally, make sure to expose your dog to people other than those in your household. This helps ensure they will not be aggressive toward strangers and other pet owners in the park. To help your dog be comfortable around new individuals, ask dog-loving friends to play games like fetch with your pup. To encourage safe play, use the appropriate-sized ball for your dog’s size so the toy is comfy enough to be carried in your dog’s mouth without becoming a choking hazard.
Also, opt for customizable dog tennis balls that you can personalize with easy-to-spot colors and designs.
Your Dog Immediately Comes to You When Called
One of the important doggie behaviors your furry friend must be able to observe at the dog park is coming to you as soon as you call them. Your dog needs to recognize that you are in charge at all times, even when there are other canines around. Before you head to the dog park, teach your dog a command that makes them come to you -- without fail or hesitation.
For some dog owners, calling their pet’s name directs the dog’s attention to them. This training will be very handy in situations when your dog begins to show signs of discomfort. If you see that their ears are pulled back, the mouth is tense, or the tail is tucked, call your dog immediately to move them away from the source of stress.
To help encourage your four-legged friend to be responsive to your calls, give them a treat as a reward during training. When you are at the park, make sure to let your dog know they did a good job by petting them.
Your Dog Is Fit to Enter the Dog Park
Good doggie manners will ensure your pet has an enjoyable time at the park. But as the owner, you also need to know the best time to take your dog out and when it’s better to avoid going to the dog park. For example, your dog must be fully vaccinated before visiting places where it will interact with other canines as they might contract illnesses from other dogs. Similarly, make sure your furry friend has flea and tick protection if you don’t want your dog coming home with a new scratching habit.
If you have a female dog in heat, don’t bring her to the dog park. Her presence can cause distractions or fights among the male hounds. It is better for your dog to be spayed or neutered so they don’t go around the park looking for a mate. Also, dogs that have been fixed are less likely to show aggressive behavior, which makes them easier to manage.
You Must Pay Attention to Your Dog
A dog park is a safe place for your dog to socialize but that doesn’t mean you can leave them unattended. Keep a watchful eye on your furry friend at all times. In this way, you can keep track of where your canine pal is and what they are doing so you can immediately leap into action if needed.
For instance, if you sense your dog is about to do their business, go to where your dog is. Then, scoop, bag and dispose of the waste properly. It won’t just help keep the dog park clean and sanitary but also exhibits proper dog owner etiquette.
Taking your dog to a dog park can help them socialize with other canines and people. But as a pet parent you need to make sure your dog behaves properly while at the park. This way, it will be a pleasant experience for all dog park visitors. To encourage good behavior, give your furry pal a special treat once you come home. It will help train your dog and give them something to look forward to after their fun time at the park.
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