Don’t you wish people knew how to behave at Austin dog parks? So many times, you take your dog, hoping and planning on giving your dog a fun place to play, and then your experience is less than stellar. Your dog was behaving perfectly, but those other dogs were bullies, and nobody was doing anything to stop it. What went wrong? Chances are, some of you (or maybe even all of you) don’t know the modern rules of Austin dog parks. Lucky for you, we DO!
Here are the things you need to know that will really help improve your dog park visits:
- Don’t Bring Food. Give treats before or after, but don’t bring treats to the park (or if you do, don’t get them out anywhere near other dogs). In fact, don’t bring any food at all if possible.
- Don’t bring your cat (you’d think that would be a given!) Poor kitty. That is just mean.
- Leave small children at home. Dog parks aren’t safe for kids under 6. If older kids come, make sure you teach them not to approach dogs they don’t know. I’ll cover that in a future post, I promise.
- Don’t sit down. You should always be moving at the dog park. Where people congregate, dogs to too, and then they start protecting their owners. If you’re moving, your dogs will too, and there will be less focus on protection and more focus on play.
- Don’t hold your little dog above the others, and if you do pick yours up for safety reasons, don’t set him or her back down in the middle of a pack of dogs. You have just elevated his status, and the other dogs might attempt to bring him back down to level the playing field.
- Mind your manners. Don’t let your dog play too rough, and don’t let other people’s dogs play too rough with yours. Running and playing is fine, but constant humping, or dogs jumping on other’s backs is not okay.
- Keep Water Fresh. If your dog tips over the communal water – Be a sweetie and fill it back up.
- SCOOP your own dog’s POOP! You know when you don’t, and so do the other people at the park. Don’t be a doo-doo.
Keeping these tips in mind should improve your dog park experience, and hopefully make dog parks safer and cleaner all around Austin. DogBoy’s has a private dog park for customers only which is a more controlled environment and decreases the risks associated with group play. Dog training can also help with socialization issues. If you like these tips and are eager for more, download our article about Safe Dog Play by our Director of Training, Paula Baker Prince.
Thanks for caring and have fun at the park!
Photo by Norah Levine Photography