Celtic-K9 Trainer has the 4-1-1 on Dog Park Etiquette

etiquette is important for safety at the dog park
One of the most important things you must bring with you to your dog parks is a positive, calm, relaxed, and happy attitude. You must have a good strong leash (not a recoil leash as they are the worst type of leash for controlling your dog) and collar or harness. Never bring a dog to a dog park wearing a pinch collar. Also, remember to bring a good outdoor toy with which you and your dog love to play.
The first behavior I look for at a dog park is not the behavior of the dog but of the handler. I have noticed owners approaching a park all tense and rigid. This energy rubs off on their dog and in turn the dog enters the park all tense and defensive.  This energy transfers like a ripple in a pond. It can and has been the cause of many upsets in the park, usually resulting in some poor doggy having to leave too early.
I once watched a man stand alone in the middle of the dog park throwing a ball for his Shepherd mix. Every time he threw the ball, every dog in the park went crazy for the ball and charged after it. This big pack of dogs – all colors all breeds – charged together playing. The other dogs’ owners stood in a huddle together on the sidelines, pretty much ignoring their dogs. They were either too busy playing with the latest fad in technology or complaining about the world and its problems.
A short while later, a truck pulled into the car park and out jumped a short thin man with two of the most beautiful Bullies I have ever seen. They sat at the tail of the truck waiting for their leashes to be attached and to be led to the park to play. The man weighed approximately 150lbs and was leading approximately 180lbs of muscle. He led them with confidence and pride. As he entered the park, his two dogs sat and waited to be released.
As he started to release them, every handler in the park called their dog over and leashed them. As the owners became nervous and tense while trying to round up their dogs, three different fights broke out. The only dogs in the park not involved in the freeze of fear and stress were the two Pit Bulls and the Shepherd mix that had been chasing the ball.
What we need to learn from this situation is that sometimes (and I would argue that the majority of the time) it is the dog owner that causes the problems that we see in dogs. From the lack of understanding of the breed to their need to be exercised both physically and mentally, many dog owners fail to understand how their behavior directly affects their dog’s behavior.It is important to supervise your pet at the dog park

A lot of owners will bring their dogs to the park and release them to run in an unsupervised and unstructured environment. A dog running free in the park with no plan will create a game of his own which can be fun to watch but it can also encourage the dog to develop his own way of entertaining himself, which usually results in the development of a behavioral problem. Take a ball, a rope, or the good old trusty Kong-On-A-Rope to the park and play with your dog. Chase him and let him chase him you and reward him for playing. You cannot imagine the strong relationship that will develop simply by playing with your dog.
After all, what do you think your dog thinks you have been doing for the past eight hours while he has been protecting the house? So take him out and play and have fun with your dog – he’s earned it and so have you!

One of the most important things you must bring with you to your dog parks is a positive, calm, relaxed, and happy attitude. You must have a good strong leash (not a recoil leash as they are the worst type of leash for controlling your dog) and collar or harness. Never bring a dog to a dog park wearing a pinch collar. Also, remember to bring a good outdoor toy with which you and your dog love to play.

The first behavior I look for at a dog park is not the behavior of the dog but of the handler. I have noticed owners approaching a park all tense and rigid. This energy rubs off on their dog and in turn the dog enters the park all tense and defensive. This energy transfers like a ripple in a pond. It can and has been the cause of many upsets in the park, usually resulting in some poor doggy having to leave too early.

I once watched a man stand alone in the middle of the dog park throwing a ball for his Shepherd mix. Every time he threw the ball, every dog in the park went crazy for the ball and charged after it. This big pack of dogs – all colors all breeds – charged together playing. The other dogs’ owners stood in a huddle together on the sidelines, pretty much ignoring their dogs. They were either too busy playing with the latest fad in technology or complaining about the world and its problems.

A short while later, a truck pulled into the car park and out jumped a short thin man with two of the most beautiful Bullies I have ever seen. They sat at the tail of the truck waiting for their leashes to be attached and to be led to the park to play. The man weighed approximately 150lbs and was leading approximately 180lbs of muscle. He led them with confidence and pride. As he entered the park, his two dogs sat and waited to be released.

As he started to release them, every handler in the park called their dog over and leashed them. As the owners became nervous and tense while trying to round up their dogs, three different fights broke out. The only dogs in the park not involved in the freeze of fear and stress were the two Pit Bulls and the Shepherd mix that had been chasing the ball.

What we need to learn from this situation is that sometimes (and I would argue that the majority of the time) it is the dog owner that causes the problems that we see in dogs. From the lack of understanding of the breed to their need to be exercised both physically and mentally, many dog owners fail to understand how their behavior directly affects their dog’s behavior.

(alt text: It is important to supervise your pet at the dog park)

A lot of owners will bring their dogs to the park and release them to run in an unsupervised and unstructured environment. A dog running free in the park with no plan will create a game of his own which can be fun to watch but it can also encourage the dog to develop his own way of entertaining himself, which usually results in the development of a behavioral problem. Take a ball, a rope, or the good old trusty Kong-On-A-Rope to the park and play with your dog. Chase him and let him chase him you and reward him for playing. You cannot imagine the strong relationship that will develop simply by playing with your dog.

After all, what do you think your dog thinks you have been doing for the past eight hours while he has been protecting the house? So take him out and play and have fun with your dog – he’s earned it and so have you!

Blog post added by Celtic K9

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