Spending time with your dog in public parks offers them lots of benefits. These benefits are both mental and physical.
Unfortunately, there are things that could go wrong. Take for instance when your pup takes another dog parent’s leg for a pee-able spot.
To be on the safe side, remember these sage pieces of advice:
Be in control
Your pup has to learn the fact that between you two, you are the alpha. This is most beneficial whenever you take them out in public spaces, especially those with other dogs around. With this said training your pup is essential before you can take them to public parks.
Do this by using treats as rewards. Use a phrase or a word that will easily get your pup’s attention and that will make them run to your spot when summoned.
Assess the park before entering
Yes, you might get a little excited over the prospect of playing with your pup in a park. But get a hold of yourself and your dog. Stop for a few minutes by the entrance. Use this time to assess the park’s interior.
If more than 20 dogs are currently gathered by the entrance, or if a doggy scuffle is underway, refrain from barging into the park. Wait until the commotion stops. Taking your time by the gates will also alert and prepare the pups already inside that a new dog is about to enter.
This eliminates the risk of dominant dogs feeling like their space is being co-opted.
Keep your pup in your line of sight
As tempting as it is to go people watching at the park, when you have your dog in two and there are other dogs around, it is in your best interest to keep your focus on the park’s canine inhabitants.
Keeping your pet in your line of sight will alert you when there’s brewing trouble. Or when your pup squeezed one out, which, of course, you have to scoop.
Be mindful of canine behavior
Knowing canine behavior goes a long way. This will let you know when it’s time to take your pup away from the park’s dog pack. Keep in mind the behaviors of relaxed dogs. These include wagging of their tails, relaxing of their ears, and play-bowing.
Meanwhile, an upset doggy will have their tails between the legs or semi-erect. They will also raise their ears and held their heads high. Listen to your pup and other dog’s growling. It’s easy to ascertain whether these growls are friendly or the opposite.
Be ready for when fights erupt
No matter how well you prepared for your pup’s park visit, fights can and will happen. The key is to be ready and to know what to do.
Most doggy brawls only last a few seconds so it’s better to wait before you take your pup away. Should the fight last longer than you deem passable, use a water hose or a stick to drive the fighting pups away from one another.
Refrain from taking young pups to the park
Young pups are often uncontrollable. While humans think of these pups as the embodiment of cuteness, their older doggy counterparts are not as impressed. So if you do not want to see your puppy getting bullied by an older dog, it is best to wait when they’re at least 6 months before you take them to the park.
Go to the park only when:
Your pup has been spayed or neutered, and has all the vaccines they need and the law requires.