Dog Park Training Tips

Before Dog Park

There are a few things you must do before you take your dog to the park. The first thing you must do is exercise the dog

Depending on how your dog behavior is we will go from worst to best. Now, let’s start with the worst.

Wake up in the morning and take your dog for a run. This run should consist of 45 minutes, but it should be one hour

After the run put the dog on the treadmill for another hour. This will set your dog up for a great time at the park.

Next when you get to the park get out of the car and walk your dog at the park for another hour. At this point you would be ready to enter the dog park

What to Do at the Holding Pen

Once you return to the park you and the dog should be nice and tired. The building often consists of two gates you must open

Make the dog sit before you open the first door. Go into the first door and have your dog sit again.

The holding pen is at the point where you can evaluate if you should continue exercising or go into the dog park.

For this example, we will assume that the dog will go into the park and the 3 hours of exercise has made him nice and calm before entering.

Removing the Leash

Don’t remove the leash until the dog is sitting down calmly. Over time your dog will just sit down without the extra energy.

You may want to put the leash on and take it off multiple times so that your dog knows to come to you and let you put the leash on. Repetition is key.

If your dog is jumping up and down and you take the leash off you’re not seeing the dog up for success and may cause the dog to get attacked. If the dog never calms down you have two choices

Take them on a longer walk because you haven’t tired the dog out.

Second option is to take the dog home.

Most likely you should go on an hr walk at the park and return to the dog hopefully the dog has a different attitude.

To be safe run for an hour, treadmill for an hour and walk after arrival at the dog park for an hour without fail. Doing this consistently will take some work and it will be some hours involved but it will be worth it in the long run.

Don’t Bring Treats or Toys to Dog Park

Don’t bring anything that will make your dog possessive. The guarding of prized items will become higher when there is a park full of dogs

Mostly untrained dogs who are not exercised. Leave the toys and treats at home and let them focus on the task on getting alone with other dogs.

Why bring them to the park only to have them on an island with a bone he can play with at home?

Follow All the Rules at the Park

Rules at the dog park

Each park will have a set of rules and guidelines. Make sure you are aware of the park getting on leash and off leash.

Make sure you know about the size of the dog area and which one your dog belongs in.

Hyper Dogs at The Park

You want to exercise because hyper dogs at the park can cause many issues you want to avoid. The dog can be attacked immediately upon entering.

Dogs will attempt to calm your dog down and not really be attacking your dog but they will look similar in nature.

Dogs will misbehave most likely engaging in full speed running and not really socializing. You want your dog to go to the park and sniff other dogs not run around trying to exercise.

That’s why you want to exercise before you get up there. Everything the dog does at the park after exercise with required a lot of effort and most likely can only happen in stores spurts.

Make sure you take a hyper dog to the park wore out, so you avoid potential fights and unwanted behavior.

How Long to Stay at the Park?

You want to stay at the park for at least an hour or two. You want to give the dog time to be social and calm down so that they can enjoy the experience.

The dog should be sniffing dogs and getting to know others. That way your dog only learns to interact with dogs in a positive manner.

Dog Misbehaving

You should have a good handle on your dog off leash so that they are always going to listen while inside the dog park. If you think your dog is not trained and is always on its own agenda, you should think twice about the dog park.

If you call your dog at the dog park and they continue to run away here is what to do. Stay calm and walk very slow. Don’t speed up at all as if you’re not in a rush.

Correct the dog if you feel it will help but if not just stay silent. When the dog is running, they’re playing a game, so this is how you communicate you’re not going to be playing around.

Most of the time you must worry about other people’s dogs misbehaving and acting out of place. No worries just continue to monitor your dog every second and correct as needed. Before you go to the dog park read this from the Animal Humane Society. 

Dog Mounting or Humping Others

Dogs will normally hump dogs that aren’t neutered. Any gender of dog will hump another. Never take your dog to the park in heat.

If your dog is neutered, you will encounter this less and less. Dogs will want to connect with the scent of dogs that aren’t neutered.

Make sure your dog is up to date with everything and you shouldn’t have any problems moving forward.

Mounting and Dominance has nothing to do with sex when the dog isn’t in heat. Remember it is more of a ritual of dominance than sexual exploitation. 

Dog Aggression

Dogs can become aggressive for all kinds of reasons. It is important to understand that is aggression and what is a correction.

If a dog mounts another and you heat growing and barking that’s a correction.

If a dog is over excited and causing a frenzy, they are almost always going to cause a correction from the other dogs

Once the dog is playing with a toy, treat, or any tips of precision of possession you may hear a bark or a growl.

All of these behaviors are normal for a dog and should not be considered aggression.

Aggression can happen whether there is a toy or a treat. Aggressive dogs are triggered by small amounts of activity.

Due to aggressive dogs being nervous and extremely alert you want to identify the dogs’ body inside.

Is the dog’s tail, hair, and ears up? Is the dog unable to relax on the environment? All dogs don’t choose flight some dogs choose to fight instead.

Dog Park is Not for Exercise

Don’t take your dog to the park for exercise. This is the worst decision you can make. Put in the work on the front end and make sure your dog arrives with more than enough exercise.

That makes the experience better for all dog owners and cuts down on misbehavior and dog fights.

Once you make this shift in behavior the dogs will benefit.

What Age to Bring Puppy to the Park

You want to make sure your dog is mature and not too young. Sometimes they’re older dogs that like to play though in the big dog area.

The small dog park area you can bring the little one over a little younger but be beware. Don’t take the dog without exercise (broken) cause the younger energetic dog will be quick to get corrected

Rude behavior like sniffing and lifting other dogs off the ground can be something a young high energy dog would do.

Follow the same guidelines for the puppy as the adult dogs. Bring them up tired so that they don’t face to exercise and can socialize.

Train Behavior at the park

You want to make sure your dog will come when called. When you call your dog make sure the dog is in a state of mind where they will listen to you. Ian Dunbar has an excellent article about Training in the Dog Park.

Lower the energy level the better but also if you are using the correct correction method that we recommend you should have no problem.

Your dog should be able to sit or lay down on demand. Also, the dog should be able to understand the no command.

Keep in mind that practicing these commands, or repetition, is the way to beat these into your dog’s head.

Make sure you stay on top of training and exercise to keep your dog heavily centered on great dog behavior.

The dog won’t come in the park you will need to get on the same page before going out in public.

If the dog is too hyper don’t bring them till the park get.

Make sure you teach your dog the basic commands and have a regular training program and your dog should be ready to go to the park any day of the week.

How to Introduce Dog to Dog Park

Bring the dog alone slowly and continue to bring them on the weekends exhausted. During the week do all you can to make them tired. Dog Park Problems Solved is an interesting read.

Once you have this combination you will have a dog that will display behavior that doesn’t get attacked often.

The dog will not have a bite me sign on top of his head and even the knucklehead dog owners won’t have a dog that is willing to attack yours.

As you bring your dog over the months your dog’s excitement levels when being other dogs will decrease.

When other dogs are very excited, and your dog is young you will see your dog mirror the higher energetic dog at first. Eventually you will see your dog completely ignore dogs sigh me with high energy levels. Completely ignore.

That’s when you know your dog is on another level socially.

Pick up Dog Poop

Make sure you pick up your dog poop. There is no reason to ever face someone else take care of your responsibility.

Most dog parks will have a bag for this situation. Don’t leave it and have someone step on it.

Although most people do this the are some that continue to set a different example.

Supervise Dog

The more you follow and never take an eye off your dog that easier or is for you to correct misbehavior. If you are looking at your phone got will look up and see your dog mounting someone

You may look up because you hear dogs fighting and it’s your dog. Don’t be the dog owner that someone is asking whose dog is it?

Always Keep your dog in your sight and under control. The first 20 times you bring the dog are the most important.

The dog must know you are there, and you are going to enforce the rules. The dog park isn’t chuck e cheese and isn’t without rules. Teach the dog there are boundaries to respect.

Liability

If your dog bites someone you can be held accountable. The owner may want to come after you.

Not in a bad way but to pay for vet bills for dog caused. Make sure you have your dog over control, or it could get expensive.

Don’t let your dog go to the park until they’re ready to conduct themselves in a great manner.

Conclusion

Take your dog out for a great exercise session before taking them to the dog park. It is mandatory if you want the dog to go to the park and focus on socializing instead of an exercise environment.

Always watch your dog and never forget to supervise. Follow these guidelines and you should have a healthy dog that is getting the socialization that they deserve along with the exercise that they deserve.

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