GreyDog.jpgI’m just going to say it: I am not a fan of dog parks. There, I said it. Here’s the reason: Typically, they are overrun with dogs with poor manners whose main exercise outlet is a weekly trip to the dog park. These dogs tend to be pushy and overly friendly.

It’s not the dog’s fault that they have such a limited amount of exercise, that falls on the owners. Of course, the dog owners at these parks tend to spend most of their time chatting with each other in a clump, or with their noses in their cell phones. Combining overly exuberant dogs and inattentive owners is typically a recipe for disaster, especially if your dog has tendencies to become a target for bullying, or isn’t very fond of overly friendly dogs.


Austin, TX Dog Parks that are Dog Friendly

There are a few parks around Austin that I find do not follow this trend. I tend to look for off leash hiking trails or private parks. Off leash areas that encourage hiking can be much more fun than the enclosed square of grass that typically comes to mind when you think of a dog park.

Not only is the park itself more interesting and fun for the dogs, but owners who frequent these parks are typically more interested in interacting with their dogs than their cell phones. Private dog parks offer the comfort of only certain dogs being allowed in, and the possibility of staff to help supervise the interactions between dogs.


“What Type Of Dog Park is Right For My Dog and I?”

DogPark.jpgFor me the debate is less public vs private, and more focused on the type of park, and the time of day. I recommend going to the parks at less popular times if at all possible. The less crowded the park, the more fun it will be for everyone. I also look for parks that are more focused towards moving around, or at least have an allowance of space for you to move around.

Here is a list of parks around Austin that I enjoy:

Turkey Creek Trail

Walnut Creek Trail

Red Bud Isle

Zilker Park

If you are looking for a more private experience then a private membership dog park might be right up your alley. You can also look at the options that are unique to Austin of the dog park+bar combo. The Yard Bar is a new establishment to Austin. They employ staff to help watch the dogs in their yards, and make sure that things are running smoothly.

Anytime you go to any kind of dog park you must be an active participant in your dog’s day. Watch your dog closely, and make sure they are enjoying themselves. I also recommend continuing to move around with your dog. Make this an active outing for both of you. This increases the bonding experience you have with your dog, and you get some exercise out of the deal too! That’s a win-win situation.

The more you wander around the more likely your dog is to wander and explore, and not get stuck in the middle of a clump of dogs. This is typically when fights between dogs are most likely to occur.

Lucky for you we live in an amazing city to explore off leash adventures with your dog! Get out there and explore. If you need any help with your dogs off leash skills, just give our trainers a call.


Image Permissions:

Grey Dog… by M&R Glasgow

Dog Park by Omar De Armas