A Few Doggy Park Rules…
I am so excited to meet the new dog in my life… I don’t have him or her yet, but I’m already getting prepared: picking out doggy bowls, researching the best foods for my new friend and looking up nearby dog parks – and there are a bunch to check out. I already know we’ll enjoy our regular trips to the dog park – what I don’t know is dog park etiquette. Is there even such a thing? I don’t want my pup to be judged by his peers just because I’m the one pet parent who didn’t read the park rules. And in fact, yes. There are some very basic but important rules.
Know thine Dog
Take the necessary time to get to know your dog’s personality before cutting him loose in public. How does he greet people and other animals? If he is a shy boy, be mindful of more aggressive dogs – if he’s more aggressive, be considerate of the more demure pups. Much hostility or hurt feelings can be avoided with a little-focused attention from us humans at the doggy park.
No Hot Mamas, Period
Do not, under any circumstances, consider taking your lady dog to the park if she’s in heat. Lucky for dogs, this only happens once or twice a year, but don’t be the oblivious canine companion that pleads ignorance when complete pandemonium ensues upon your arrival. You might think this would be a no-brainer, but I was surprised to see how often this ‘rule’ is ignored.
Make sure when your dog hears you call, there isn’t any question about what he needs to do. ‘Total’ may be a stretch, even for the best of dogs – but the endeavor here is to hard wire some blind obedience into your dog’s brain. I know this training will actually require more of me than it will of my new dog. Consistency and discipline can be a challenge for me, especially when a mischievous act can be so darn cute – but I don’t want to be the dog park mama with the rotten child – stealing toys, bullying the other kids, running rampant while I chase after yelling pointless suggestions. So while it may be difficult, make sure to teach your dog to come when he is called. It is the fundamental rule for enjoying quality time in public – and likely in private too.
Bag it Up
So many dogs – so many digestive systems. What to do?
Sure it seems like common sense – no one wants to step in ‘it’ – but it is remarkable how many pet parents are checking their phones at that special moment. Simple sanitation makes a better world for us all. Until my pre-parenting research, I had no idea about the incredible variety of poop pick up provisions. I think I’ll use the Flush Puppy bags or the Doggipots… maybe I’ll even invest one of those bag dispensers that attach to the leash… Bottom line? BAG IT UP!
And there we have it. Basic considerations that will help make any pup and his parent the bark of the doggy park.
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