Incidents like this happen regularly at a majority of off-leash dog and multi-use parks, resulting in bad experiences for both people and dogs. Many people may pooh pooh the problem and blame other, insecure dogs for being scared. However, when you turn the situation around and imagine we were talking about kids at the playground, it would all seem very different.
Take these scenarios, for example:
At the dog park, avoid letting your dog mob dogs that enter the park and avoid letting them sprint up to other dogs they don’t know. Watch how the other dogs respond to your dog’s greeting and look for signs of fear or anxiety in them (Read the blog on body language of fear and anxiety and download the free poster)
If your dog has a tendency to steal toys or even crowd other dogs who are playing with toys, you’ll need to develop a fantastic come when called and fetch so that he can bring the toy to you and you can get it back to the rightful owner. You may need to leash your dog if he’s a toy thief because it’s not fair for him to disrupt other dogs’ play.
In fact, in my experiences, overly rough play is a leading cause of deteriorating behavior at the park. One dog’s having fun but the other is getting trampled, or both dogs are getting too excited and suddenly their play breaks into a fight. To prevent this from happening, you’ll want to call your dog over to you and engage him in replacement behaviors before he gets overly rough with others.
While most people at the dog park like dogs, most people dislike being body slammed or jumped on. In fact, these rude behaviors can cause injury to people. I’ve even seen this injury cost $40,000 for the negligent owner of the dog. The solution? Train your dog to greet people by sitting politely or call him away from them before he can jump or body slam them.
Probably the number one reason dogs get into trouble at the park is that people stand around and ignore them. Behind their back, multiple small altercations are happening or the dog’s being rude and other dogs are just too polite or friendly to fend him off.
What should you do to prevent your dog from being a dog park menace?
Luckily the trick to keeping your dog out of trouble at the park is simple.
It sounds easy and it really is. If you can train these two vital skills and supervise your dog, then you and your dog and the other park participants will be happier and everyone will get along better.
Graphics and context provided by Dr. Sophia Yin. More information available at www.drsophiayin.com
|Tip from the
Humane Society of Moab Valley
|Traveling with Your Pet in Canyon Country:
Practice Water Safety - Just because your dog loves the water doesn’t mean he always knows its dangers! Keep an eye on your pet around water, especially when it’s an unfamiliar place. Animals won’t know about fast-moving currents, how tired they can get if they swim out too far (or for too long), and potentially-poisonous water sources, among other things. If your pet will be in and out of water often on your trip, bring along a life-jacket for him or her, too.