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A neighborhood dog park is a council approved area where dogs are allowed to frolic freely in the company of other dogs. Most neighborhood dog parks are fenced off areas and thus leash-free areas as well. Using a neighborhood dog park is not only a great way to let your dog get some exercise and socialize, but it is also an excellent way to get to know your neighbors that share a common interest with you.

How Dog Parks Work

Neighborhood dog parks will vary depending on the location. There are some parks that are located on a large grassy patch of land in the middle of a busy city while others are located in suburbs outside the main city. There are some parks that may connect to a beach and water and thus your dog may be able to go for a swim as well. Most dog parks come equipped with a large fence and a gate to let owners in and out as well as some jumping equipment and obstacles, water fountains and doggy-bags to keep the park clean. There may also be a few park fences for the owners to sit on while they watch their pooches play.

Most dog parks are free to use and open during daytime hours. They can be a great place to bring the family as well as the dog for some quality family time and also a great place to stop in for a half hour after work, especially if you don’t have the effort to go for a run with your pup. Dog parks let dogs run around and get out that built up energy but without tiring out the owner.

Appropriate Dog Park Behavior

Just like with bedroom organization, there are a few important rules to remember when using any dog park. First of all, always close the gate on your way in and out. It is incredibly important to do this as another dog could escape and you could be faced with a very upset owner and a very guilty conscience. Another thing to remember is to always bring a leash for your dog as many dogs will be reluctant to leave and may need some pulling.

Every dog is different and will handle a dog park in a different manner. Some dogs will be happy to run around by themselves while others will immediately want to play with the other dogs. Some dogs may not leave your side and cower away from the action while others may be aggressive towards the other animals. It is important to only allow your pet to play with the other dogs at the dog park if he is socially ready to do this. Shyness, over-excitedness and friendliness are perfectly acceptable behavior but aggression is not. If your dog has a tendency to bite other dogs or get angry if they are in his space, then perhaps a dog park is not the best place for him to be.

As the owner, you are responsible for your dogs actions which means you need to watch him at all times. While you may find that socializing with the other owners can distract you, you also need to watch your dog to ensure he behaves himself. If your dog goes to the toilet, clean it up. This is an important rule to any dog park. If your dog does get out of hand, restrain him on the leash. Give him a time out and help him to learn how to socialize better. Dogs, like children, need to be trained in many social situations such as neighborhood dog parks. This is part of the job of being a dog owner.

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