Sure, dog parks seem fun right? Your dog can run free, make new friends, burn off excess energy, and get some fresh air. It all seems like fun and games until... your dog is sick, your dog gets into a fight, or your dog gets bullied and finally defends itself and you're half an acre away to intervene. Dogs drinking out of other dogs bowls is a huge no no. That's how they spread diseases and get sick. Sure, it says on the rules dogs must be current on vaccines and shouldn't be sick and blah blah, but does that mean everyone follows the rules? Probably not.
Intact dogs and females in heat can also cause fights at the dog park also, but for some reason people still think it's a good idea to bring those dogs there. Can we also talk about leashed dogs in an off leash area? Huge mistake. The leashed dog is now confined on a leash, and can't get away while all the other dogs are running full force at them, no wonder dogs get defensive and leash aggression becomes an issue. Oh, he's better on leash? Maybe he just shouldn't be there at all then. Also, why are we bringing toys and treats into the park? This can trigger resource guarding in some dogs, please don't bring them.
People on their phones these days. Literally their faces are buried in them. Their dog is a football field away. This is probably one of our biggest reasons to stay away from the dog park. People are not paying attention to their dogs. It's become a free for all and the dogs are left to do whatever they want. Dogs are being bullies and dogs are being bullied, with zero interruption from humans and that's how fights happen. Also, if you're going to go to the dog park, please this is a no brainer, why are we not picking up after our dogs? Dog poop is NOT biodegradable. Whoever told you that lie, is full of dog poop. It's gross, bad for the environment, and now the dog parks are not pleasent to go to.
These are the reasons we're not a fan of the dog park. If you want your dog to socialize and have "doggie friends", make dog play dates. Introduce them to your friends dogs, bring them to doggie day camp where it's not a free for all and it's a structured environment, where someone is watching them, and will intervene when it's getting too rough, or when another dog starts mounting your dog.
If you decide you still want to go to dog parks, please pick up after your dog, no treats or toys, always monitor what is going on before entering to make sure you're not walking into a scene of the zombie phone apocalypse, while kujo is running around, and make sure to unleash your dog in the unleashed area.
We hope this was informative and gave you a new outlook on dog parks either way and an alternative solution for your dog to dog parks such as doggie day camp. We also love teaching dogs to run on treadmills to burn off excess energy! Give us a call we would be more than happy to teach your dog how to run on the treadmill, it's much cleaner than the dog park too!