Dog Park AssistantHere at DogBoy’s Dog Ranch, we live and love dogs so much, and we are thankful every day that we get to do this job.  In the early days of DogBoy’s, things where very different than now, but very much the same still.  We use to say that we “create wild-domesticated dog packs”, meaning we would pick our play groups to run the same way that wild packs or wolves would run their pack…with a heirarchical social structure.  Although we now know this isn’t necessarily the true way dogs “run” together, the basic idea still stands. The dog world has changed A LOT in the last 25 years and even more in the last 10 years.  One of the biggest changes is the explosion of dog parks around the country, especially in the super-dog friendly cities like Austin and the surrounding areas.

There are so many dog products and dog-centered things out there…some good, some great, and some just SO bad.  One of the very best things I’ve seen lately is a new smart phone app created by Sue Sternberg, a devoted, insanely smart, proactive dog trainer, accomplished author, and all around dog-lover.  The app is called Sue Sternberg’s Dog Park Assistant.  It is a comprehensive study of body laguage and dog communication that the average dog lover does NOT get to see.  It has an area called “Behaviors” and in there it shows videos and describes “Red-Alert Behaviors”.  These are behaviors that if you see them at the dog park, you need to get your dog and go!  It also shows high-moderate-low risk behaviors, and even a long section on other behaviors like bowing, nose licks, whale eye, marking and other dog communication and body language.  It is extremely informative and useful.

Dog Park Assistant 1Other useful sections include an area on checking in at a dog park and tips to follow while there.  You can even enter multiple dogs and create profiles on each one of your dogs. Finally, and probably one of the coolest features is that you can video your own dogs and send it to Sue to have your dog’s behavior analyzed for a small fee.

Sue’s whole reason for this app was she saw a huge increase in dog parks as well as the very dangerous behaviors that are allowed to happen there.  We are professionals here at DogBoy’s. We have run tens of thousands of play groups, and we still have to work at making DogBoy’s a safe and happy place for dogs. With our private dog park we strive to educate owners and dogs to what is appropriate. Many dog parks don’t try to educate owners, but I believe this app will go a long way to help dogs and their human best friends.

If you’d like to try out DogBoy’s Private Dog Park, click below to apply for a day pass!

Blog post by Bart Emken, DogBoy