Taking your dog to a dog park where he can roam free and socialize with other dogs is beneficial to both your pet as well as your peace of mind knowing that you are providing your companion with a high level of socialization. For example, in the city of San Diego there are two locations near the beach which offer a designated dog park which is a fenced in environment, in addition to a “dog beach” which is a section on the shore totally set up for dogs to roam free off leash.
Needless to say, the animals must also be accompanied with their owners, obviously. However, there are a few aspects and responsibilities of bringing your dog to such an environment that you must consider. Too many people make the mistake of letting their animals run free and completely disconnecting from the entire time their dogs are out socializing. By sitting on a bench in waiting until it’s time to go home, you are potentially missing out on maintaining obedience etiquette with your dogs.
What does all this mean? I’m simply referring to the fact that your dog may cause several problems that you may not be aware of my leaving him alone at the dog park without any interaction from you. Below are a few ways that you can ensure your pet’s safety and fun while at the dog park, in addition to keeping him under control and obeying your commands.
1. Leash your dog every now and again and walk him outside of the fenced enclosure. Initiate the basic commands that he is used to such is sit or stay. Be sure to reward the dog and then allow him to return to his fun. By practicing this activity you are letting him be reminded that obedience is still an important rule even though he is in the middle of doggie heaven.
2. While he is out running around with other packs of dogs, occasionally walk out and call him by name. Have him follow you for a quick petting before returning him to his games. This accomplishes two things: you are reminding him that you are still the leader and you are also letting other dominant dogs see that you have territory over your dog, thus preventing dominance aggression from other animals.
3. Always keep a close eye on your dog and be quick to avoid situations that may lead to unwanted behaviors. Be careful to look out for mounting, intense staring, or aggressive body language between two or more dogs. Watch out to make sure your dog does not suddenly lie on his back, tail tucked in, and possibly start urinating. This is a sign that your dog is completely overwhelmed and in fear. This happens all too often when groups of dogs get together at these parks and by nature, root out the submissive ones.