Offleash Dog Parks
As a Trainer and Behaviourist, I am constantly asked about how owners can control their dogs in offleash dog parks.
These areas are HARD WORK! You can't just expect your dog to come back to you in an offleash dog park. When there are many dogs and smells, you have to be MORE interesting than any of these stimulants and that's pretty much impossible.
Offleash dog parks are a place that combines the chance to have your dog mingle with other dogs and also you get the change to mingle and socialise and make new friends. The problems that occur though sometimes outway the benefits.
Please don't see an offleash dog park as the answer to your dogs exercise and socialisation needs, but instead see them as one of many different options you have for taking your dog out and about.
You really need to practise your recall (getting your dog to come back to you) a LOT in order to get your dog listening to you for a recall in a dog park!
Some dogs get on well, others don't....so please don't expect your dog to simpy enjoy and get on with every other dog it sees and meets. It's too much to expect this and you will set yourself and your dog up for failure if you do.
Dogs can fight and bite and pin each other down very easily in offleash dog parks. Keep the best control possible of your dog, and if there is a dog that you know your dog doesn't get along with coming towards or into the dog park, maybe it's the best time to leave and finish the experience on a happy positive ending rather than think about whether or not MAYBE it could work. My bet is it won't.
Enjoy offleash dog parks and have a social gathering without dramas and stress. Keep onto your dog training and practise, practise, practise!