Dog Park Guidelines
Written by Guest Writer: Matt Rhoney
Dogs are complex creatures. People love them for it. Dogs display many of the traits we as humans often seek to display: honesty, loyalty, joyfulness, and being free-spirited. They also do some things we’d be ashamed of: getting worked up over minor things, losing their cool in tense situations, attacking out of fear. Dogs are instinctual animals, and certain situations can push those instincts into different directions.
Dog parks bring out many things in our animals. These parks are great places to get your precious pooch out into the canine community. Many dogs love to interact with members of their own species, and thrive given the chance to romp around with new friends. Unfortunately, not all dogs are cut out for the puppy playground, and any dog owner who has been to a dog park has encountered shifty dogs and reckless owners. The following dog park guidelines discuss some key things every dog owner should know before heading out to the dog park on a Saturday afternoon.
Dogs Have Different Comfort Levels
Dogs’ personalities are as varied as their breeds. Some dogs like to lay in the shade and soak the sun’s rays, and some need to zip around like squirrels. Like people, some dogs are intensely social, while others keep to themselves. Don’t assume a strange new dog is going to be as charmed by your wrestling moves as your puppy is. When meeting a dog for the first time, start slowly. Keep your dog close to you and start the social process slowly.
Dogs Have Different Social Needs
When heading out to the dog park, you need to know your own dog’s preferred social anxiety threshold, and to keep aware of the new dogs around him. You spend a lot of time around your furry friend, and probably have a very good idea of what sorts of things set him off—loud noises, tall people, different breeds, etc. But remember that it’s also important to keep in mind the sorts of things that agitate dogs generally. Even if your dog is as cool as cucumber, there’s still the wild card of the other visitors.
You Can’t Judge By Breed
Breeds are not personalities. A dog’s life shapes its attitude. The world is filled with peaceful pit bulls, as well as vicious Brittanies. You never know the tender-hearted creature that could lie behind a rough and tumble exterior. Any dog owner should know that the love you give a dog is the driving force behind its actions. Don’t let stereotypes muddy your mind. You need to get to know a dog before judging it. By all means, be watchful, but don’t unfairly target an animal based on its ancestry.
You Are Responsible for Your Dog
Your dog is your duty. To prevent bites, scares, and any other bad dog days, you need to watch your dog. Watch for tension, exhaustion, aggression, and any other signs that things may not be going well. If she’s off leash, stay close and keep a sharp eye on her. If she starts barking excitedly at another animal or a person, you need to take charge of the situation; a personal injury is not a light matter.
“Dog Park Guidelines You Should Know”
was written by Matt Rhoney
Matt Rhoney is an avid reader on trending topics and a writer in his spare time. On the beautiful coast of North Carolina you will usually find him catching up on the latest news with locals or on the beach surfing, kayaking or paddle boarding. He loves to write pieces on health, fitness, and wellness, but often writes about families and safety.
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A QUESTION FOR YOU:
Do you have any other dog park guidelines to add to this list?
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3 thoughts on “Dog Park Guidelines You Should Know”
Great article, Matt! Thanks for making the point about how every dog is different, with different play styles and personalities. There’s a lot more going on at the dog park than most people realize. Great tips!
Thanks for your comment, Elaine. You’re absolutely right about a lot of people not realizing that there’s more to going to a dog park than meets the eye. You have to be aware of possibilities, and be ready for them. I’m glad you stopped by!