Features June 2011 Issue

Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Dog Park

Ideally, you can find a time when your local dog park is not crowded, or populated by dogs who play too rough or bully others. If your dog’s park time is highly stressful for him, it negates its socialization and exercise value.

Keeping Your Dog Safe at the Dog Park

How to ensure your dog has only good experiences at the dog park.

Dog parks have gotten a bad rap in the past few years, thanks in large part to articles written and statements made by training and behavior professionals. That’s unfortunate, because, while there are, indeed, problems with some dog parks, a well-run facility can be a lifesaver for some dogs. These days, most dog park administrators understand the need for rules that purport to regulate, at least to some degree, the behavior of the canines and humans who avail themselves of the dog park privilege. Problems arise when there’s no one in attendance to monitor the action and enforce the rules. Some parks run well on a peer-pressure basis, but this format often acts only to evict an offender after a problem arises – sometimes a serious one – rather than screening users in advance to prevent problems.

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