Today he was talking about dog park etiquette since he believes that many people are not concerned with the way they behave at the dog park. Most people think that the dog park is a free for all and that it’s a place for dogs to exercise, run around and have their time. This may be true but there are rules, boundaries and limitations here, to what dogs can do. This is what he believes in and he urged the audience to look at a dog park through the eyes of their dogs.
He pointed out that for some people, going to a dog park appears to be fun but to the dog this might be a prison experience in their view because it is a contained area with a bunch of other dogs around. Therefore, for some dogs, it’s not a fun experience but rather a terrifying moment, for some it is a bullying moment, some are prone to submission, some may fight while others are just playful and end up having fun.
Dogs need socialization and a dog park can be a great place for this but you need to approach it carefully and steadily. When taking your dog to the dog park for the first time, he suggested that you need to watch their behavior in the car; is the dog terrified, excited, agitated, aggressive and the like, since these are indicators of what you will get at the dog park once your dog exits the car.
He indicated that you need to take note of these initial signs that may be questionable and act accordingly before the situation escalates. One of the strategies he uses when he visits the dog park is to walk his dog on a leash outside the park, close to the fence while checking how they behave.
Once he is confident that his dog is composed, he enters the park and gets the dog off leash. He insisted that this is general advice and seeking additional insight on this depending on your dog, will be a wise idea. On the other hand, having your dog on a leash inside the park when they are surrounded by other dogs creates a notion of being held back in them, when they should fight or take to flight.
This can trigger a fight and getting them off leash is better since they are free to choose how to react. When you allow your dog to socialize normally with dogs of their similar energy and intensity, their skills and interactions begin to develop. Dog parks are great but you need to be careful how you bring your dog in and how you get them out.
Sometimes it’s better to go to the park off hours if you feel that you are not that experienced, for your dog to learn how to socialize with other dogs gradually. He pointed out that neutering is the other aspect that many do not consider and if your dog is not neutered and you bring them to the park, they bring with them a foreign smell.
This scent is known to other dogs and if other dogs are neutered, the scent of your dog that is not neutered may give rise to a fight amongst the dogs in the park and this is something worth considering as well.